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January 02, 2012


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Algernon D'Ammassa

"Reality is optional." I think of this as akin to the "bargaining phase" in the stages of dying, prolonged.


Hmmm,. If reality is optional, then suffering is inevitable.

Willie R.

Well, yes...suffering IS inevitable. The difficult thing to see is that it is transient; the same as all other states.


Actually, Willie, *pain* is inevitable. Suffering is optional. ;-)

Barry Briggs

The Buddha's teaching is founded on the reality of the cessation of suffering.


Willie R speaks his truth, but is rebuffed by the party line (the Inquisition is moments away! The Buddhist secret police will enforce the right theories!). And yet the truth as I know it is clear...
... as a non-Buddha, or as someone not yet awakened to my full Buddhahood, suffering and pain are most certainly inevitable!
Thank you WilleR for telling it like it is, for me at any rate!



Bob Erb

Would you point to the source of the quote, Barry? I'd like to read the rest.

Barry Briggs

Bob, I'm sorry to say that the "quote" is of my own creation. I don't think it's particularly unique in Buddhist teaching, except perhaps for the emphasis on "reality" - which as you know is a tricky subject in Buddhism.

Willie R.

If suffering were not inevitable, there would be no such phenomenon. The First Noble Truth is not akin to acknowledging that composite entities disintegrate in myriad ways and that has a tendency to be unpleasant. Rather, it is the realization that we resent it.
I am afflicted with a number of chronic physical conditions that are painful and debilitating. No big deal, really - I am in my mid-60's and pain is more of a bore to me than a threat.
However, if I am informed of difficulties being experienced by persons I am close to (such as my children) I can find no respite from agitation until some sort of inevitability with respect to their situation is established. I guess you could call that "worrying", but that's what I call suffering.
Funny how suffering tails off when it comes to people I do not know.

Bob Erb

Barry -- I guess I'm waiting for your book, then. :-)

Or maybe a "Reality is Not Optional" bumpersticker?

As my Mom would say, "Have fun on your retreat!"

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