Why Does Buddhism Talk About Suffering?
Understanding and realising our true nature of pure consciousness is easy and natural: it is that which is aware of this page right now. Clearing the habitual, mental obstacles that obscure that realisation is challenging, as we are constantly distracted by wanting something else, such as ‘wanting’ to be happy. We are already happy, but don’t notice it. That ‘not noticing our true nature’ is the cause of our suffering.
This is why the Buddha’s first noble truth
is admitting that we are unhappy,
– not admitting that we are happy.
People think they are happy, but there are two kinds of happiness, one that relies on conditions and the other does not rely on anything. If our happiness relies on conditions, then when those conditions are taken away, we will suffer. The whole point is therefore to recognise the unconditional happiness of pure consciousness.
It all depends on what we think happiness is. If we think, “I’m having a great time, so I’m happy,” that in itself suggests we are referring to a happiness that relies on what we consider to be good conditions. Any condition is a temporary affair.
Funnily enough, this suggests that being unhappy or depressed is the path to realising true happiness. The Buddha wants us to be happy without relying on conditions. If we rely on conditions, then we can be manipulated … and given pills!
We live in a world of mental and physical illusions: we think family, work, status, entertainment are our soul purposes in life. All these things actually cause stress. In reality, we are here to realise what we truly are, and that is pure consciousness. It is where the reality of everything is known.
Or we can remain chasing our tails.