The First Noble Truth – The Noble Truth of Suffering

The First Noble Truth – The Noble Truth of Suffering

The Four Noble Truths are the most fundamental teaching of the Buddha. Deceptively simple, they actually provide a profound explanation of human unhappiness, both gross and subtle, and how to attain increasingly positive states of mind, from stress relief in daily life to an unshakeable calm happiness and a selflessly compassionate heart.

With regard to the Four Noble Truths, the Buddha has been likened to a physician who diagnoses a condition, explains what causes it and what will end it, and then lays out in detail its cure.

The Noble Truth of Suffering
The first Noble Truth is that life contains inevitable, unavoidable suffering. (Some translators use the word, “stress,” to convey the broad meaning of the original word used by the Buddha in the Pali language: dukkha.)

This suffering encompasses the gross forms of pain, illness, and trauma we can all imagine, such as a broken leg, stomach flu, grappling with the devastation of a hurricane or the violent death of a loved one — or getting the diagnosis of a terminal disease.
It also includes milder but common forms of discomfort and distress, like long hours of work, feeling let down by partner, a headache, feeling frustrated, disappointed, hurt, inadequate, depressed, upset, etc.

And it includes the subtlest qualities of tension in the mind, restlessness, sense of contraction, preoccupation, unease, boredom, blahness, ennui, sense of being an isolated self, something missing in life, something just not fulfilling, etc.

What People Do with the Fact of Suffering
Because suffering is uncomfortable, we may suppress or minimize it in our own lives. And because it is unpleasant – and sometimes guilt-provoking – to see it in others, we sometimes turn away from it there, too.

We also live in a culture that tends to cast a veil over the everyday suffering of poverty, chronic illness, draining work conditions, aging, and dying while – oddly – pushing intense imagery of violence in everything from the evening news to
children’s TV. Simultaneously, our media present an endless parade of promises that you can avoid suffering through looking younger, upgrading your internet connection, drinking Bud Lite, getting Viagra, losing 10 pounds, etc.

It can almost make you feel like a failure for suffering!

Personal Reflections
What are some of the kinds of suffering that exist in your life?

Can you accept the fact of your suffering? What gets in the way of doing that?

What happens inside you when you accept the universal truth of suffering, that everyone suffers? In a way, it becomes less personal then, and easier to handle. It’s just suffering. It doesn’t have to be a big deal that we suffer. It’s just what is. It is indeed true that we and everyone else suffers.

You have opened up to a truth . . . a great truth . . . the First Noble Truth.

44 Comments
  • Jim Hight
    Posted at 08:41h, 17 November

    Great stuff as usual Rick. Your questions prompt me to realize I’m hiding from my pain over a recent breakup because I fear the sadness will overwhelm me. When I let myself feel it, yes it hurts, then it passes. I can even laugh at the story that my ego makes up about it.

    • Robert Ryan
      Posted at 10:21h, 03 December

      Yes, This is Truth, reality it is what it is, so do your best to take of one self

  • Perseus Q
    Posted at 17:55h, 20 November

    …which is why I reject Buddhism. I was a Theravada monk 20 years ago (briefly) and it was while I was a monk (perhaps with all that time to meditate) that I totally rejected the universal and noble truths, and promptly quit. My problems are many with the noble truths but at the top of the list are: 1) Too much like the Christian ‘born with sin’ – yes, yes I know, it’s different, but both tell the human “You are troubled” and that this particular religion can help you out of it. It’s like punching someone in the face then offering medical help. 2) It overstates what constitutes suffering – at time confusing it with just ‘living’. You even mention some of these, eg: “unease, boredom, blahness,” To suggest one needs religious or supernatural belief and guidance to ‘overcome’ boredom is ridiculous. 3) ‘Truth’ is such a sticky word. In conclusion, I’d like to answer your question… “What happens inside you when you accept the universal truth of suffering, that everyone suffers?” Answer: Possibly panic and join a religion.

    • Maja Nikolic Banjac
      Posted at 09:44h, 03 December

      I’ve often wondered and questioned this same thing in Buddhism.
      Perseus your point about the noble truths and suffering hit a nerve in me that I’m going to explore further. Thanks!

      • Perseus Q
        Posted at 15:17h, 04 December

        You’re welcome! Buddhism has at its core three Universal Truths, loosely defined as 1) Everything is impermanent (I love that one!), 2) You’re suffering (My attitude to that is: “Yeah, so what? I’m also wearing shoes.” and 3) There is no self (lame – my DNA says otherwise). Note: What I just wrote is a crass interpretation, I concede, but this is a blog not an academic dissertation. It’s just a religion dressed up as a philosophy (and boy, does it do that successfully!)

    • Mel Fairfeather
      Posted at 10:55h, 03 December

      1) I disagree. Christian religion says “you are suffering, Jesus can help” while Buddhism says “We all suffer from time to time, it is a fact. How can we accept this fact?”

      2) To live is to suffer. This is a fact. Buddhism is not a supernatural belief. It is a very natural statement on life.

      3) To accept suffering, to FULLY accept it is the exact opposite of panic. It is calm. It is acceptance.

      I wonder where you have obtained your facts about Buddhism, which isn’t actually a religion. It is a way of living.

      • Perseus Q
        Posted at 11:54h, 03 December

        Wow Mel… I disagree with almost everything you said. Buddhism clearly states that Buddhism offers the ‘truths’ to alleviate suffering.

        “To live is to suffer” is not a “fact”. To live is to live in my view, and suffering is just one small part of it.

        Buddhism is very much a religion.

        It is very supernatural – particularly Mahayana.

        I was a Theravada Buddhist Monk so I know my stuff.

        • Mel Fairfeather
          Posted at 16:45h, 03 December

          Perseus, perhaps in your brief time as a Theravada Buddhist Monk, you did not fully come to understand suffering. While it is true that suffering may play a small part of life (depending on whom you ask 🙂 ) it is in itself, completely unavoidable. Rick is pointing out that we can either accept it as fact or avoid it (though this does not cause it to disappear) and live in a fantasy realm of our own making. To walk within your suffering and acknowledge that it exists and is purely natural is to diminish the power we give it over our present moments.

          Buddhism offers the only logical conclusion to something that is unavoidable. It is up to the perceiver then to either accept suffering or not and be lost to their own madness. There is no religion that can ever relieve any being of suffering, for it would be akin to relieving them of existence. To live is to suffer. Buddhism would be a lie were it to promise to end your suffering in this life. You are finding fault with a way of life simply because you do not fully understand it.

          Religion and spirituality may seem like the same thing, but they are not. One can be spiritual without calling their beliefs a religion.

          • Suparerk Janprasart
            Posted at 17:45h, 03 December

            Mel, let him go :-). He spent 20 years as a Theravada monk and didnt find it. He will still never find it in the argument anyhow. The more he keeps spreading the words of his ignorance the more he will distance himself from the great knowledge. Remember? Three conditional types of lotus. One is under the mud and will never get a chance to reach the water surface and neither a chance to blossom. Two, lotus that is just awaiting to blossom, and Three lotus that has blossom. There are still always the first kind no matter what.

          • Hung Nguyen
            Posted at 20:42h, 03 December

            It seems like you are showing your respect because you are smarter than others.

          • Suparerk Janprasart
            Posted at 20:57h, 03 December

            Where and when did I say that?

          • Hung Nguyen
            Posted at 21:06h, 03 December

            Take deep breath, close your eyes and then read your comment again. You might found it yourself

          • Suparerk Janprasart
            Posted at 21:24h, 03 December

            Hmm… i think you are the one that should remind that to yourself. 🙂 If you interpreted my post in such way that you are in favor of, instead of what I wanted say so it is your business. Keep it to yourself please. There are many people like you out there and I understand.

            On a side note, you seem to understand meditation more or less. No need to take 20 years to understand the benefit of it right? It took only two days for me when I began to do so, and that was one of the things that has made me become more interested in Buddhism and wanted to find out more. Of course meditation can be found in many other doctrines but i didnt find anything more comprehensively explained like it was in Buddhism. Once you I have practiced more meditation, it has made me further understand the concept of suffering. I never heard that anyone disagreed with it. Unless, they never do it or do it so wrongly, or were not a little patient enough, but have claimed to do it rightly so. I live in Thailand and there are so many fake monks here just to keep staying on by the incentive of free food and donation, that might be the case.

          • Perseus Q
            Posted at 14:39h, 04 December

            Funnily, I taught meditation… and even that I ended up dismissing. I certainly encourage people to meditate should they benefit from it, it’s just that I don’t.

          • Perseus Q
            Posted at 14:38h, 04 December

            Found it, didn’t like it, Suparerk. That’s not ‘ignorance’, it’s just ‘deciding’. I’m happy that you find solace in your beliefs, but please don’t demean me for not agreeing with you.

          • Hung Nguyen
            Posted at 21:04h, 03 December

            Mel, You are trying to protect your understanding without knowing other understanding or even unaware of other wisdom, I guess. Buddhism is one part of the wisdom that exist in this world which have profound the suffering. It might be widely accepted by 1/8 of human kind but still got rejection from the rest 7/8. The wisdom rise from the unknown, the rejection of “fact” that people talking about. That’s why We got Buddha in the revolution of the world as well as human soul.

            Buddhism may disappear one day or to be replace by other wisdom to teach or guide human till they die. So do others like Christ too

          • Mel Fairfeather
            Posted at 13:05h, 04 December

            It’s like you are trying to say something to me, but nothing you are saying is making very much sense. But I’ll give it a go. Feel free to make corrections. I think you are trying to say that facts aren’t facts, which is a very odd statement to make. Simply ignoring facts does not make them cease to exist. That would be madness. Though, to be truthful, I was fairly mad before I began studying Buddhism. To say that because the majority of the people of the world are still stuck within their own madness that they must be correct to do so is also madness. Right is right no matter what others do. Wrong is wrong no matter who is doing it. Madness is madness… you get the idea.

            Buddhism is the inevitable outcome of living. Buddhist teachers exist to help guide others to an easier understanding of all that this life encompasses. I have no fear nor need for protection for my understanding, as it is constantly changing as I live my life. I am not attached to this understanding, thankfully. It is not my identity.

            Buddhism does not tell you what to do, how to feel, how to live. Buddhism is merely a tool to help the perceiver to understand themselves and their own personal experiences. Whether you like it or not, if you are lucky to live long enough, you too will come to the same understanding.

          • Perseus Q
            Posted at 14:36h, 04 December

            Please don’t presume that I don’t understand suffering (I probably just ‘understand’ it in a different way to you). Further, to say “Buddhism offers the ONLY logical conclusion to something that is unavoidable…” reeks of religious / dogmatic adherence, and is the platform on which I base my argument. That’s my issue with the Noble Truths – it says, “We know that way to help you, and it is the best way” But, Buddhist philosophy is just one of many, many methods of approaching one’s ‘suffering’ – one that will suit some (presumably, you) and not others (me). It’s just an option. Finally, I reject your statement (which you have made twice) that “to live is to suffer”. It’s meaningless. “To live is to die one day” has just as much validity, as does, “To live is to breathe air”, “To live is to be a part of nature” and “To live is to forge relationships” and so on. I do however completely agree with you that religion and spirituality are not the same thing… but both are supernatural, and I reject the supernatural.

          • Mel Fairfeather
            Posted at 14:52h, 04 December

            I’m a firm believer that dogmatic adherence is a terrible thing, and yet I reject your opinion that Buddhism isn’t the only logical conclusion. It is. What other conclusion could there possibly be? Buddhism is the inevitable result of the study of philosophy. I am most curious to hear what you believe since you seem to reject everything.

            Facts are presented. You either accept them, or you do not. I don’t understand why the study of suffering causes you so much suffering. It seems you are seeking a relief from suffering which you will never find in this life. Perhaps this is why you rejected Buddhism, because you were expecting something supernatural and you feel let down. If this is the case, I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.

          • Perseus Q
            Posted at 15:34h, 04 December

            I reject the supernatural, and I reject religion, Mel. That doesn’t mean I ‘reject everything’… There is much I accept and believe, but, none of it is particular to Buddhism. There is much about Buddhist philosophy I like (impermanence, for instance) and there is much I dislike (particularly the abhidharma, or ‘higher learning’ which is an incoherent ramble). The study of suffering does not cause me suffering at all. Last night my 2 year old daughter came down with a virus and was vomiting – it was horrible and caused me emotional suffering, and she was suffering a lot more than that. Buddhism was of no use to us. A benign example I know, but that just extends throughout my life. Buddhism just isn’t of use to me, but I’m happy that it is for you. I wish you luck too.

          • Ipsita Tripathy
            Posted at 05:32h, 07 December

            Hi Perseus, I am sorry to hear that has been your experience. It must be so very disappointing to spend so much effort over learning Buddhism and not being able to apply it to everyday suffering when that’s one of the basic tenets of Buddhism. But I assure you there are ways within Buddhism to work with these types of suffering. They say (and I know it is easier said than done! Coz I am living the hardship every moment in application but I know it works..) that peace lies within and numerous teachings and practices indicate how to find this peace within despite external circumstances. Buddhism says that if we keep looking for relief from external sources our efforts will be futile because peace is to be reached within not without. And this is an extremely difficult path but I know it to be true. I would paste 2 useful links that are good guides to apply the practices which will bear results (but please remember this can even take ages and lives – which is where karma fits in) but acknowledge your disappointment in Buddhism so didn’t want to disrespect your wishes by pasting the links. If, however, you feel you wish to explore these links despite your earlier experiences I will be happy to message them to you. :).

          • Ipsita Tripathy
            Posted at 05:23h, 07 December

            Hi Perseus, I don’t think Buddhism is saying that we are basically flawed. On the contrary, it says inherently we have the potential for perfection however have various types of pollutants obscuring that view and the whole point of all the practices within Buddhism is to lead us to remove the pollutants and see our real self which is complete perfection. If we were all flawed inherently then what would be the point of trying in any way – Buddhism or otherwise? In relation to “suffering”- I am sure you recognize the obvious ways of suffering – floods, earthquakes,deaths etc but a deeper, subtler level of suffering refers to the inner, deep anxiety we have when we don’t get what we want and we get what we don’t want. It also refers to the disturbance caused deep within when we do get what we want and don’t get what we don’t want. In the former case, we live in fear of losing what we want and have procured. While in the latter we are worried what we don’t like and have successfully avoided will spring back into our life.

            Also, Buddhism isn’t about belief – it’s about some faith to provide the impetus to practice and then to learn ways of experiencing oneself during meditation and outside of meditation in every day life incidents – incidents that occur every moment of every day which we go through as though we were in a coma – we just don’t register them or value them. All practices are also to be applied during meditation as the meditation object (that is, once one’s meditation has reached a certain depth) so that individual topics can be explored in-depth – thoughts, feelings and sensations can be observed and
            understood better over time. It is an experiential level of practice only that can bear any fruit.

            Ignorance leading to attachment and aversion causes suffering. When you feel angry (aversion) at someone try feeling what you feel deep inside your body. You need to be calm enough to sense these feelings. That’s why meditation is required – to calm and still oneself to prepare a person for deep inner investigations. When you have a desire (attachment) you feel a deep urge within. Funnily, if you pay
            true/unbiased attention, you will feel both attachment and aversion generate a restlessness within which is only satisfied when we get rid of the aversive object and/or get hold of the attractive object. The satisfaction lasts only for a split of a second and then there is restlessness associated to what if I get back what I successfully avoided and lose what I own. So, all we live inconstantly is a state of restlessness and that there is suffering. When one can reach these subtler dimensions, one sees this suffering however, when these subtle levels are below one’s radar it’s easy to miss them and think they don’t exist in the first place. Trust and faith are required to absorb this intellectually and generate sufficient patience and perseverance to then experience this oneself. To stay in the belief mode and not take it into the experiential is an injustice we do to ourselves, others and Buddhism and every creation.

            I am surprised to hear you have not been able to pick on the 3 basic concepts of attachment, aversion and ignorance in Buddhism during your 20 years. Because understanding them means one will understand how suffering exists currently in all moments of our lives and exists at various levels. I know that lots of people over the world make claims to knowledge they don’t have so, there may be a possibility that you just didn’t have a good guide and I am sorry you couldn’t experience the benefits of the practices despite the time and effort you invested.

            I think there is no difference between religion and spirituality – if only one could see all the ways religions guide us to grow our spirits. Why do we always focus on the parts of religious readings or talks that pull our spirit down? What helps your spirit grow is necessarily spiritual. And we must remember these writers and speakers are bound by their prejudices and interpret and disperse all information “they” have understood which may or may not be what was actually said initially. It’s their interpretation and we think they are teaching religion when in fact it’s just “their” view. All the more reason we need to have experienced human conditions first hand so we can develop within the ability to distinguish between accurate and inaccurate facts not just by mental analysis but by using all our senses while we are in a deeply calm and stable state within otherwise the investigation will get dispersed in various directions in a chaotic manner due to the restlessness energy it encounters and has to flow through.

            I also have a deep conviction which I can’t prove that all religions in fact teach the same thing but people, coloured by their unexamined views through the eyes of attachment and aversion have changed the original messages thus breeding distrust in the very religions or knowledge bases. I know a little about Hinduism and it says the same things as Buddhism. I wish I knew more about other religions to state that but I am sure they talk about similar ways of purification of mind/soul so that one can be one’s true self, which is complete perfection. In our current state of existence, we have
            imperfections and obscurations however these aren’t up for judgment but for examination with the correct methods, in the correct manner so that these impurities can be removed to alleviate our suffering.

            I do hope you were able to see another angle to Buddhist concepts. I know this is what the teachings mean and am saying from an experiential level although I still have a long, long way to put these into practice in every moment of my life. I apply lots but need to progress further for full experience at all levels. Having read a few comments I felt the need to clarify the concepts as they were intended. I am sure you will read this with a patient and calm mind and attempt to understand the
            rationale behind these concepts.

            Take care,
            Ipsita 🙂

          • Perseus Q
            Posted at 13:30h, 07 December

            Thank you Ipsita. As with others here, I fully respect your beliefs and opinions. Unfortunately, my attitude can be best summed up by responding to one of your lines above: “…there are ways within Buddhism to work with these types of suffering”. My experience is that there are non-religious ways, to a) work through suffering and b) walk through life.

          • Ipsita Tripathy
            Posted at 05:22h, 10 December

            Hi there, what non-religious ways have you found useful to work through the example you gave or other similar examples or through life?

            I am also keen to hear [however please write only if you feel like it – I’ll manage my curiosity if you do not wish to answer :)] how you would apply the above in the following context – from one of your posts you talked about a question in the article – “What happens inside you when you accept the universal truth of
            suffering, that everyone suffers?” Answer: Possibly panic and join a
            religion. That sounded like the go-to approach but you say walking through life can be done through other approaches. Given, the question poses a definite and constant truth about our experiences I would classify it under “walking through life”. So, I was wondering about your response in light of your beliefs about answers in other approaches.

            And my initial responses were directed to the meanings you ascribed to some of the Buddhist concepts. What do you think of the other ways in which these concepts were presented? Do they provide a different view of suffering at all? Does it seem to you that meanings I ascribed to suffering actually exist and are experienced by people universally? Just eager to know in the spirit of discussion :).

            Take care,
            Ipsita

          • Perseus Q
            Posted at 15:01h, 10 December

            Thank you for the question Ipsita. It is difficult to answer the question on a blog though – it would require hours and hours of you and I discussing / sharing… suffice to say, I reject supernatural and religious teachings because they are supernatural and religious. There may be parts of religious teaching that one could accept (eg: Biblical Commandment: “Thou shalt not kill”) but, we can clearly see that Judeo-Christianity doesn’t have a monopoly on that basic piece of advice. I think everyone accepts that murder is ‘bad’ whether they are religious or not. Now, click and drag that concept across the whole spectrum of human experience… One does not need religion or supernatural belief to arrive at any state. Sure, you can choose to adhere to a religion, as several billion people do, but my point is: you don’t have to. Religion, including Buddhism, is to me just background noise. I ask you, then: Do you accept the fourth noble truth – that there exists a ‘path’ to alleviate suffering which, at its (possible) end is an avoidance of death/rebirth (which in itself is a supernatural concept)? Because from my standpoint, it’s at that point I tune off from what Buddhism teaches. It soils everything that came before it.

        • Eastern light
          Posted at 08:21h, 04 December

          Which is even worse. U claim u know ur stuff? U was a Theravada monk before but clearly u do not understand the essence of the teaching. Buddhism is not a religion. It a way of life. Sorry to say this, u probably misguided when u were a monk

          • Perseus Q
            Posted at 14:41h, 04 December

            Buddhism is a religion. You could adopt it superficially and call it a ‘way of life’, but that doesn’t change the fact it’s a religion.

        • Chamee
          Posted at 18:23h, 05 December

          For Perseus, suffering is only a part of it, but for some people it’s a lifetime filled with suffering. As per Buddhism, suffering in life is inevitable, the suffering will end with life. Everyone faces the moment of death, it could be an accident or an illness, still death itself is a suffering which no one can avoid. That itself proves the fact of suffering of life.

          • Perseus Q
            Posted at 13:53h, 07 December

            “…for some people it’s a lifetime filled with suffering” Buddhism teaches that it’s everyone. It is very clear on this. It says: “You suffer, all the time…” It’s an insidious religious subversion.

      • Donna
        Posted at 16:00h, 03 December

        Buddhist Buddhism taught by monks I know a couple practicing personally and though much like the teachings of sages and spiritual men through out history have some ring of truth they are still considered by the UN a a religion registered with the UN. The Tao is the life current it is not a religion

    • Will
      Posted at 10:58h, 03 December

      You both seem to have missed the point. When we accept that suffering is a fact it is not the same as accepting that one is sinful. To live, to breath, to get wet, or hot, or cold, are all facts of life – what causes suffering is the expectation that it will be some other way or that we desire that it go away. Being able to accept life as it is, is neither Christian, Buddhist or any one religion. Religions can offer some people the structure to solve the problem of “desire” or expectation ” and see it in the correct light more often religions become self serving.
      And to accept suffering is not a form of nihilism either, it is simply to say that life has challenges and learning to face these challenges without expecting of being saved, or controlling the universe to our own ends is a more satisfying and peaceful way of living.
      I have been a MH counselor for 20 years, am neither Buddhists or Christian and frankly find in the research in psychology that it always points to finding levels of appropriate acceptance. And finding that our expectations are most often the source of our pain and sorrow. And this position does not mean accepting injustice but developing the ability to see injustice without it becoming personal as you address it – ie emotions rising to a place where we cause more harm than good.
      Living this way requires practice and the acceptance that at times you will fail and suffer and that is ok, you simply get back on track and not allow yourself to be ruled by your infantile narcissism.

      • Perseus Q
        Posted at 14:47h, 04 December

        “…you simply get back on track and not allow yourself to be ruled by your infantile narcissism.” Problem being with Buddhism, they will teach you that even preferring one brand of instant coffee over another is some kind of weakness / flaw / suffering. That’s an extreme example, but they really do get into that nitty gritty, often. So what’s merely having a preeference, and what is ‘infantile narcissm’. Well, depends on which monk you’re talking to.

    • Ethan
      Posted at 11:52h, 03 December

      I think the big difference between Christianity’s original sin and Buddhism’s dukkha is that dukkha is less manipulative. Buddhism doesn’t necessarily require that you join its religion for freedom. Buddha’s purpose was not to teach Buddhism, rather to ensure that people choose the Middle Path to enlightenment to escape the cycle of Samsāra and Karma. It wasn’t so much Buddha’s concern that you “follow” him, rather that you choose the way that will free YOURSELF from the suffering.
      Christianity . . . now this is a different story here. Christianity is more punching someone in the face and offering medical help. It’s saying “hey, you’re a sinner! You fucked up! You had no control over your fucking up, because we all have a fucked up nature . . . but you’re still getting the blame for it. BUT, we have the cure for it!” Christianity is essentially creating the problem and offering a solution.
      While Buddhism’s focus is more on the suffering that takes place in this life, Christianity merely acknowledges the suffering as a result of sin (a made up concept) and that if you don’t submit now, you’ll suffer later, and for all eternity. Jesus was more concerned about people following him than he was about curing people’s present day suffering, so much so that he had to jump on the bandwagon of hell that Judaism (and various other religions) came up with. I think that’s a significant difference

      • Erika Langdon-Kline
        Posted at 19:01h, 03 December

        Beautifully stated

      • bodhisa
        Posted at 07:05h, 04 December

        Ethan, while i agree with pretty much everything you say here regarding Christianity and Buddhism, i think Christianity is a vastly different religion today than the way Jesus practiced or even intended to be practiced for that matter and i’m hesitant to lay the problems of the church on Jesus. From some of the texts I have read, i believe Jesus’s preachings are fairly aligned with the preachings of the Buddha and other spiritual leaders.

        Jesus maintained that we were all ‘Sons of God’ and that the ‘Kingdom of God is within You’ and that enlightenment and heaven were here on earth.

        so i don’t blame him so much for the modern concepts of Christianity as i blame “the church” which i believe creates the problem and then solves it for the purpose of power and money. which is truly a shame

        • Ethan
          Posted at 07:44h, 04 December

          Very interesting point. I think Jesus was heavily misquoted as many Biblical scholars have mentioned. I’m really interested in reading the book “Misquoting Jesus”, because it says a lot about much of the stuff that people have changed about the ideas of Jesus.

          • bodhisa
            Posted at 10:01h, 04 December

            i don’t think i’ve read it, but ii may have it in my library. i’ll have to check it out. I think Stephen Mitchell’s “The Gospel According to Jesus” is an insightful book into this and I enjoyed reading “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth” by Reza Aslan. Interesting in that they strip away the “church’s perspective’ from his ‘words’ . The more i’ve read about the teachings of the spiritual leaders throughout history the more i’ve learned that they are all saying pretty much the same thing: We are all children of the universe. We should love one another and practice kindness, compassion and acceptance. I love this concept.

      • Perseus Q
        Posted at 14:45h, 04 December

        Ethan, yes, logically well-put! I still disagree though (sorry dude). Nirvana is Heaven-lite (I coined another phrase I’ve always liked: Gluten Heaven”) All the points you make are correct, but I still find it insidious that the central tenet of Buddhism (found in the Universal and Noble Truths) is a) telling us we are flawed and b) telling us that Buddhism can help you out of it. It just doesn’t sit well with me. But, if I were forced by law to pick a religion, I’d still go Buddhism over the others.

    • Hung Nguyen
      Posted at 20:50h, 03 December

      Perseus 🙂 The guy that taught Buddhism rejected his religion as well

      • Perseus Q
        Posted at 15:07h, 04 December

        He did, and predictably, he came back to it.

    • Aditya
      Posted at 23:01h, 03 December

      You were never a Buddhist monk. You never understood the fundamental tenets. And you are simply confused. Read Alan Watts and clear your brain. Sitting in monk clothes does not make someone a monk.

      • Perseus Q
        Posted at 14:49h, 04 December

        Dude, I’d out abhidarma anyone. Also, sadly, sitting in monk clothes (and taking 227 vows) does indeed make someone a monk whether you like it or not. I mean monks that knew nothing at all, and were just after the free food. At least I gave it a shot.

  • Suparerk Janprasart
    Posted at 17:36h, 03 December

    Dukkha in the context within the Epitaka and Buddha’s own words can also mean impermanence. When the lord Buddha said, Happiness is dukkha, it does not exactly mean that happiness is suffering but it is also impermanent. We always get this wrong.

  • thaijitsu
    Posted at 08:47h, 19 December

    By seeing suffering universal, you understand it better and look at it more subjectively, but we still take responsibility on that fact and don’t wait for an imaginary being to come and save us.

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