Everyone has to suffer at one time or another in their lifetime – that’s just life. But what are the causes of suffering? Now, some of the most intense and prolonged suffering comes from things outside of our control – death of a loved one, illness or disease, physical pain. What I’m going to be talking about here is the emotional and psychological suffering that we all endure. And how you can overcome it.
The 3 Causes Of Suffering
This is how the Buddhist teachings explain it.
Almost all of the suffering results from these three evils:
Greed – When someone is greedy, they will spend so much of their time and energy taking and consuming. No matter how much they may have, it’s never enough. So there is always the emotion of wanting more and more. They will not share – just keep everything they get. Even though these greedy people may appear happy and content because of all their possessions, they are actually in pain most of the time.
Anger – When someone is angry, they are not at peace. So much energy is wasted on the emotion of anger. Angry people are not calm, not relaxed. It’s so difficult to have a normal, peaceful interaction with an angry person.
Ignorance – When someone is ignorant, they do not see the truth. Seeing the world in their own distorted, contaminated way can lead to so much suffering. Ignorance of the truth holds so many people back from being happy and peaceful.
Greed, anger, and ignorance lead to motives based on desire, attachment, and self-interest – which are the causes of suffering.
Change Must Come From Within
You can’t get rid of them, but you can use those energies in a more positive way. See them for both their negative and positive qualities – the yin and yang. Use their opposites:
Greed becomes Generosity
Anger becomes Compassion
Ignorance becomes Wisdom
Your thoughts and actions will no longer be ruled by the 3 causes of suffering (greed, anger, ignorance). Your motives will not be based on desire, attachment, and self-interest.
But instead, your thoughts and actions will come from a place of generosity, compassion, and wisdom. See the truth – and be at peace.