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From: Keith (
Subject: Re: yes, i think so.
Date: December 19, 2005 at 1:56 pm PST

In Reply to: yes, i think so. posted by vv on December 19, 2005 at 1:13 pm:

I disagree that suffering is what makes us human. Suffering is what makes us unenlightened. By definition, suffering is something that we don't want: we want it to end; we want it to be minimized; we want to avoid it; we want it to never have been. The fact that we don't want it is what makes it suffering.

It is contradictory to say that something that we want to avoid is something that we should want in order to be fully human. Putting an end to suffering is the entire basis for Buddhist morality. To me, it is self-evident that suffering is something to be rid of.

What you are describing is an attachment to suffering itself, an unwillingness to give it up. For myself, I am quite ready to give it up. I have nothing to lose by giving up suffering and everything to gain by it: infinite patience, infinite compassion, infinite understanding, infinite love. Perhaps that goal isn't human. But if so, it is something beyond human; it is buddhahood.


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