“ Why me ! I shall not suffer.”
Of course we never say “I shall not suffer” but silently we say “Why me” .
This emotional defense mechanism is a fundamental part of our mind-based ego.
It is so deep in our subconscious and so powerful from our Western education and philosophy that, even the possibility and expectation of some sort of suffering is perceived like a nightmare.
“ Why me, it is unfair, life is terrible”
The presence and recognition of suffering in life is the absolute center of Zen-Buddhism teaching.
The Buddha talked about it every day during 50 years 2500 years ago.
In fact, Zen-Buddhism has been seen as a very pessimistic if not masochistic philosophy of life until very late in our current century.
The word suffering came from a poor translation. We should use softer words such as dissatisfaction, unhappiness, and all other negative emotions like grief, nostalgia, anger, frustration, jealousy, fear envy, and so on.
Our Western culture is telling us to “be happy” all the time. It is even written in the American Constitution.!
Avoiding and denying unhappiness at all costs is an integral obligation in our daily way of life.
In fact, consumption-based capitalistic economy is the main tool in our quest for happiness:
New car, more money, bigger house, zillion of friends, travelling non-stop, more and more etc., etc....
All of the above are just mirage, deception and illusions since they are transient and never provide steady happiness. In fact, they create the opposite because they are inducing an ongoing thirst for happiness which will be never satisfied.
This avoidance and denial of “suffering” is viewed by our Oriental counter-parts as very weird because:
1) Avoidance of suffering is simply impossible and
2) Denial of suffering, when its strikes, is added more suffering to the existing one.
Wen suffering strikes and it will always strikes, our ego is reacting violently:
“ I don’t want to suffer, I want to be pain-free”
Again, this ongoing subconscious sound track is making us suffering more because we are twisting the knife in our own wound. This is craziness at its max.
Blaming life and its events as a person does not make too much sense either since “life” is not a person who has something against you. Life is a genetic material, which has no enemies.
This mind gap between avoidance/ denial of pain and actual experience of pain is one of the main cause of second degree suffering beside desire, hatred, illusion and deception of reality.
The wider the gap the deeper the suffering.
This gap “ being pain-free vs. presence of pain ” will always be present, so, what can we do?
We have to say YES to suffering which does not mean to become masochistic which, by the way, means pathological active search for pain.
Without this acceptance of an obvious reality of Life, we cannot fill this gap.
If we cannot fill this gap, we cannot transcend it.
If we cannot transcend it, we will remain inmates in our illusion-made prison and be part of zillion of greyhounds racing around a ring to catch a dummy rabbit called happiness and without being able to grab it permanently.
All of them will widening our mind-made gap. Try to narrow it thru meditation.
Thanks you all