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What is suffering?

Is suffering identical to pain? Or is suffering the frustration of a strong desire? Or is suffering the violation of a moral right? Explore the debate on suffering here.

Suffering is pain

When we are physically hurt or when we get sick, we often experience some of the greatest pain in our life. This creates suffering because it forces us to bear through what our very own nervous system was designed to tell us was unbearable.

Suffering is caused by the distressing emotions associated with pain

The health of the mind and the body are intrinsically linked. While pain can be defined as a physical or psychological event that a person experiences, suffering can be seen as a person's reaction to the pain they feel.

Suffering is the violation of a moral right

In the greatest moments of people's unhappiness, they suffer because they feel like they are alienated from themselves and their sense of being. They no longer feel human. When people are made slaves to the slave master of the state, they suffer most because they cannot become happy.

Suffering is a frustration of a strong desire

Unfulfilled desire causes frustration, and the rejection of frustration is the source of suffering. When we do not attain our strongest desires, we are frustrated. This frustration that one feels due to not achieving their desire causes suffering.

Suffering arises from attachment to material desires

Humans are obsessed with all kinds of material goods that exist within their lives, whether that is their physical houses, cars, and wealth, or the friends and family that people love. And when we lose these things that are so important to us, we suffer.

Failure is humans' greatest fear

Failure is the greatest form of suffering because it is humans' greatest fear. It makes us suffer when we experience it because we feel ashamed and embarrassed, but it also makes us suffer before we actually fail, because we spend all our life trying to avoid it.

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This page was last edited on Tuesday, 15 Sep 2020 at 13:28 UTC