Life Means Suffering

1.  THE FIRST NOBLE TRUTH:  Life means suffering.

To live means to suffer, because the human nature is not perfect and neither is the world we live in. During our lifetime, we inevitably have to endure physical suffering such as pain, sickness, injury, tiredness, old age, and eventually death.  We also have to endure psychological suffering like sadness, fear, frustration, envy, disappointment, and depression.  People also suffer when they are unable to satisfy their limitless needs and wants.

There are different degrees of suffering, but there are also positive experiences in life that we perceive as the opposite of suffering such as ease, comfort and happiness.  Life overall is imperfect and incomplete, because our world is subject to impermanence.  This means we are never able to permanently keep what we strive for, and just as happy moments pass by, we ourselves and our loved ones will pass away one day, too.

The truth is that there is happiness also.  There are various kinds of happiness, such as the happiness of friendship, the happiness of family life, and so on.  But all these kinds of happiness are impermanent and when one loses them, one suffers.  One suffers because of one’s attachment to pleasures that do not last.  People often remain unaware of the inevitable sufferings of life because they are distracted by temporary pleasures.

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