• Tony de Lacey

Why You Suffer

People choose to suffer. You don't know you do. In fact you probably think that very choice is saving you from some sort of suffering but it isn't. It has the adverse affect. The difference is that you don't realize you have chosen to suffer until it is too late. Not only do you choose to suffer but your suffering is your responsibility. Why do you choose to suffer? Because you are more likely to choose the easier path to self-destruction than the alternative which is harder but is the path to self-improvement.

Suffering is pain. It is as bad a pain as losing a loved one. This isn't the slight feeling of a setback. No, i'm talking about a punishing pain that will take days, weeks, months to get over. This kind of suffering is made all the more painful because the architect is you. You might not know it but you are responsible for this suffering. This seems harsh but what is the alternative? If you make something or someone else responsible then you are the victim and you are trapped in suffering because there's nothing you can do when you place responsibility on something else. That is suffering.

So why does it happen to you? Funnily enough the reason is because you are doing everything you can to avoid it. The harder you push away from suffering the more it draws you in. We believe suffering as being hit by the unknown, the less familiar. This is a fear of the wilderness so to speak because that is where chaos exists. We prefer order and so we tend to stick to what that is to us. Order is what is familiar, what we know, what we have experienced and most crucially is what is short term, or rather gives a short term benefit because we know what it is. By choosing the easier option of familiarity with a much more obvious short term benefit we are indirectly causing suffering further down the line. This can be as basic as smoking and as complex as living with someone who you have fallen out with before but 'are giving it another go'. Sure in the short term it might make sense. It is an easier existence. You have to think less. You are not in the dark. You can see where you plant your feet. What you don't see is where your path is ultimately taking you.

How do you suffer then? You realize the choice you made to play it safe, to live in the short term, to go with the familiar at the expense of exploration is somewhere where suffering simply becomes inevitable. How? Imagine this; what if the order you so craved, relied upon and took up in a vain hope of avoiding chaos was suddenly ripped from under your feet? What if the simple existence you chose was obliterated by an event you didn't expect? Imagine you are sailing a boat down a familiar and gentle stream only to be suddenly met with a storm, tidal wave and tsunami all at the same time. This is an inevitability. Why? Nothing in life is ever a blissful constant. Life is suffering but when you choose to live life simply in an effort to avoid it you are affected ten times more and ten times worse when something signifying chaos razes your world of order to the ground. You have been smoking all your life in an effort to bring order to your mood then life's suffering hits you with lung cancer. You are living with someone who you have fallen out with before in an effort to cling on to what is comfortable and familiar only for what you fell out with that person about before happens again. Suffering hurts more when you have tried to avoid it.

Unfortunately this is the typical case of human existence. This is the revelation that came to me not long ago. Man prefers order because man prefers to suffer. What this means is that people prefer to live in safety and comfort and as much order as possible because it gives greater short term benefit than the alternative which is self-improvement yet through a longer path and with a much more long term pay-off. You in the majority of people in the world would choose the easier path even though you actually might know that it is the path of suffering but would choose it because it is easier. That is why you don't exercise. That is why you don't move on from your past. That is why you don't improve. That is why you feel empty when you try to go to sleep. You know you have chosen to suffer because it's easier than self improvement.

The alternative to the easy route of order is not simply all chaos. You know the ying-yang symbol; part black with a white dot and part white with a black dot. The white symbolizes order and the black symbolizes chaos. This is the symbol of what life should be; a balance of chaos and order. And both cannot exist without the other. Chaos makes sure the order we crave is an effort of self-improvement and not taking the easy route and order keeps chaos on the ground rather than losing control. The white and black dots amidst the different sides of the symbol remind us of that. It is living in this state that we can all choose to do is what helps us avoid suffering because we bring order to chaos so we do not suffer catastrophically and we bring chaos to order so that when things go wrong in our order we are ready.

The reason why this is much better than the alternative is because our striving for self-improvement means that when suffering comes our way in any shape or form we see that as a minor setback rather than a devastating crushing blow. If you are going forward things that hit you back only slow your moving forward. If you are standing still what hits you pushes you back. This mental image is much closer to the real mental battle we all go through. Searching for chaos and order in the balance already mentioned is moving forward, stopping you from reaching out for the familiar and the easy which is what standing still is. You avoid choosing the easier paths of self destruction because you empower yourself with a tougher choice and you are not content with sitting back and letting life hit you backwards. That is living. That is what separates those who make history from those who history forgets or has never heard of. But that's your choice, reader. It has always been your choice.

Therefore, reader, your quest for order, for the familiar, for the easy is the road to ultimate suffering; the worst kind imaginable. That is why you suffer. You chose for it to be that way. The responsibility is yours. You might not have known that there are alternatives but the more you look into it the more you find you have many choices you could take in order to minimize potential suffering. Take calculated risks, avoid the familiar favouring instead the road to self-improvement and go into the dark of chaos knowing what you want out of it to form order that you desire. Then and only then will you avoid the sort of suffering which has brought countless millions of people, good and bad people, to their knees.


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