“Pain is inevitable,
Suffering is optional…”
The word ‘pain’ defines a condition of consciousness, in which we experience hardship. In simple terms, it it the condition of having been injured either physically, mentally or emotionally… However, must pain always invoke suffering?
In simple terms, no. At the deepest depths of pain, suffering can become a reality as a result of emotional as well as psychological attachment. In romantic relationships, this can be to the person, who inflicts violence and abuse on an unassuming victim. Yet, more often than not, it is an attachment to our preconceptions.
We believe pain must inevitably lead to suffering, therefore we simply accept suffering as an unchanging, immutable companion of pain…
Where Does Pain Begin?
In the mind, always. From a biochemical perspective, pain starts a spark in the wiring of the brain [i.e. neurotransmitter signaling]. Yet, on a quantum level, any type of pain is mere information. For example, when we put our hand in a burning fire, we are basically reaching into a cobweb of particles that are moving much faster than our own. What we experience as “Ouch, that’s hot.” is a small collision of particles, communicating the extent of the injury. In terms of thermodynamics, two objects are initiating thermal contact, in which they are exchanging energy, but cant achieve an equilibrium. As particles collide, the cells in our hands are acutely aware of what is happening. This causes a wave of signals to surge through the sympathetic nervous system to initate a pre-conditioned response to the experience. As a darwinian throwback, it takes great willpower to keep our hand in the fire, the more intense the flames.
Psychological pain is akin to its physical counterpart in that it is governed by similar laws
As we burn ourselves, we experience a drain on our energy reserves. This drain persists until the injury has healed fully. The pain is a byproduct of not merely the experience, but its engram…the physical equivalent of its impression on the individual consciousness.
However, in the spiritual sense, pain is a result of conflict. The multiverse functions very similarly to a self-contained holomovement, in which various domains of space-time are [thought to be] casually interlinked. From the moment of the Big Bang, universe after universe emerges…yet they remain an intrinsic part of an interconnected whole. Without them as a form of containment unit for space-time, energy-potential could not become energy and energy could not be condensed into matter.
Therein lies the origin of conflict. In an interconnected whole, we are an indivisible part of the totality of the multiverse. We no longer exist as individuals or a planetary collective, we are at one with the cosmos as well as that which gave rise to it. We may feel we are linked as a people or cosmic whole of consciousness, but we rarely translate this knowledge into an actuality.
For what it is worth, realisation of such multiversal unity is as destructive as it is liberating, hence few choose this path. Even at the highest point of enlightenment in the physical body, pain persists, because we remain in the confines of relative existence [i.e. space-time].
Where does suffering end?
What’s the root cause of mental, emotional or physical suffering? Giving power to that which we have no direct control over is what causes suffering. In other words, we relinquish control, which in turn serves as a source of pain that leads to suffering.
Focus on what you can directly control and accept what you cannot.
There’s a dark gap between what you’re doing and what you’re truly capable of. For instance, when we aim to complete a task, we follow our objectives in order to achieve a level of success. This success is more often than not defined by attaining a specific goal, we have no direct control over. Mentally speaking, when we work toward any goal, our mind is preoccupied by past attempts and preconceptions about the future, so it cannot fully concentrate on the process to improve it while it is still ongoing. Our actions throughout the process are fully under our control, but we are too occupied to focus on the present moment.
If we define success as giving our best in the process, then we cannot fail, feel calmly confident, and can accept any outcome with equanimity.
Suffering is the psychological resistance to what happens. A person can inflict physical pain on us, but suffering only come from resisting what is, from fighting with reality…although it’s futile to fight them, because we can’t change or undo what already is. Nevertheless, we fight with reality all the time in our desire for it to be different. We must have it our way, the way we want it, the way we expected it to be…
Whenever we desire something that isn’t in our power, our sense of inner confidence as well as tranquility is shaken. Often, if we don’t get what we want, we’ll be upset, but if we do, we will experience anxiety, apprehension and insecurity. Therefore, we should always focus on what is now…what we can control our actions but not the outcome. We can give all that is in our power, but we must invariably accept whatever happens.
Focus on what you control, and take the rest as it happens in order to make the most of it.
External factors may have the power to affect how and even whether you live, but they don’t have the power over your spirit in this life and those yet to come. Only you yourself can give them this power over the deepest part of you [by failing to act as well as you’re capable of].
We must make sure that our happiness depends as little as possible on internal or external factors. There should be only a loose connection between what happens to us and how happy we feel. We may focus on what we control, trying to make the best of any given situation and only wanting what is within our power…However, that still invites suffering. It is never possible to make happiness consistent with longing. True happiness implies the possession of all which is desired, yet we can never obtain all we desire.
So, what we aim for is a transient state of conditional happiness. We bind our happiness to some past, present or future event. Time after time, we promise ourselves, we will be happy after we have achieved our next goal, but we never are.
We never experience happiness, because we are never satisfied. It’s like trying to wall off the edge of the Earth, we can walk for miles and miles but won’t get any closer. Either we keep on yearning for stuff we don’t have, or we actually have a chance for happiness. We can’t have both. True happiness is when you have all you desire at the point when you desire nothing from the world or it’s people.
If we wish to be unconditionally happy, we must seek happiness within ourselves.
We’ve been equipped with the necessary tools to create a satisfactory life, regardless the hardships we face in life. So, if we want to be content, we must change ourselves and our desires. We cannot change the things that happen in the world around us, we can only change the way we look at those things and what we choose to make out of them