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Inner Peace and Freedom – Chapter 1: Types of Sufferings Leave a comment

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You don’t want suffering, yet seldom reflect on its root.
You pursue happiness, yet don’t understand its essence.
You seek freedom, but fail to realize what is true freedom.
Do you want to live instinctively like an animal?

There are two types of human suffering. The first is physical suffering, which is commonly referred to as pain of the body. The second is psychological suffering, which is mainly rooted in desires and emotions. We call it suffering of not getting what one wants, suffering of separation from what one loves, and suffering of encountering what one dislikes.

Let’s analyze it step by step, starting with physical suffering. There are several types of physical suffering: the suffering of illness, injury, aging, and dying.

Let’s take the suffering of illness as an example. When humans fall ill, the physical pain and discomfort persists and may even intensify over time. Meanwhile, they may also have various negative emotions, such as stress, fear of death, worry about work, children and grandchildren, and worry about money.

For example, if a person has acute rhinitis, he may suffer from nasal congestion, runny nose, difficulty breathing, and discomfort in the head and lungs. When applying medicine to clear the nasal passages, he will feel comfortable and his mood will improve as well.

While treating an illness, when inflammation or virus is cleared, the pain will diminish or even disappear, and the body will feel comfortable. After recovery, as the pain disappears, the physical comfort will disappear. Subsequently, the various negative emotions will also gradually alleviate, and a relaxing and joyful mood will last for a while.

Similarly, when a person is hungry, he may feel weak, stomach discomfort, and anxiety. When he starts eating, the pain of hunger gradually alleviates, energy gradually recovers, negative emotions fade away, and happiness emerges.

In short, the feeling that emerges from the relief or the elimination of physical pain is relaxation, pleasure, or comfort in the body. They are simply two different ways to describe the same feeling.

However, humans are ignorant, clinging to the feeling that arises from the relief or the elimination of physical pain, while rejecting the pain itself.

Physical pain is lasting, while the feeling that arises from the relief or the elimination of physical pain is fleeting.

In the term ‘Kuai Le’ (happiness), ‘Kuai’ means fleeting, while ‘Le’ means alleviation.

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