Hello, and I have a question
Hi newbuddhist forum users! I recently stumbled across your website a couple of weeks ago, and have been reading through some threads. I have to say I like the feeling of this place! It seems like a good place to learn and to discuss ideas about how we can live and act in our modern day lives while applying the concepts of Eastern philosophy. But I made this thread specifically with a question in mind, so let me get to it.
In general, it seems to me that the focus of Buddhism is to mitigate your desires and aversions so that you can reduce your suffering. My question is this....why do we have an aversion to suffering in the first place? The first Noble Truth says that life is suffering, and that we inevitably must all experience it. So suffering is natural, real, and true in that exists in our reality. By seeking to avoid it, aren't we just incurring more of it?
I believe that one can ultimately learn from suffering. Pain makes you feel real, and in a way it verifies your existence. Some of the most beautiful works of art and most beautiful forms of expression have arisen from people who have experienced great amounts of suffering. I'm not saying that suffering is enjoyable, I'm not a masochist or anything of the sort, but it seems to me that many young people today dabbling in Buddhism see pain and suffering as the ultimate aversion. And that if they are experiencing suffering, then they beat themselves up over it and think that they are a terrible person, hence adding to their suffering. Many Buddhists make it their life long goal to completely eliminate suffering from their lives. But if you just realize that pain is natural, that is part of samsara, then you can learn vast amounts from it and you can use that knowledge to improve your quality of life.
So basically, I'm asking....why fear pain? Personally, I would not want to live a life in which I experienced no suffering at all.