Norman Fischer explains why it’s suffering that gives us the incentive, vision, and strength to transform our lives.
This article is available in PDF format, for download.
The most astonishing fact of human life is that most of us
think it’s possible to minimize and even eliminate suffering.
We actually think this, which is one reason why it’s so difficult
for us when we’re suffering. We think, “This shouldn’t be this
way,” or “I’m going to get rid of this somehow.” I think many
of us believe that since suffering is so bad and so unpleasant,
if we were really good and really smart, it wouldn’t arise in
the first place. Somehow suffering is our own fault. If it’s not
our fault, then it’s definitely someone else’s fault. But when
suffering arises, we think we should surely be able to avoid
it. We should be able to set it to one side and not dwell on it.
We should “move on,” as they say, go on to positive things,
do a little Buddhism, meditate, get around the suffering, and
go forward. We shouldn’t allow the suffering to stop us, not
allow it to mess us up. We believe that if only we play our
cards right, we could have a positive life without much suffering.
We constantly come back to that way of thinking…”
(please download the PDF to read the entire article)