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Questions about the noble Truths.....

newlotusnewlotus Australia Explorer

I have just embarked upon learning about Buddhism and believe this may be the right path for me to follow. But I am have a few hesitations with the four noble truths. Mainly “2, We are the cause of our own suffering”.
My background is filled with abuse from a young age. I’m working through that but I need something else to hang onto and guide me. I was turned away from Christianity when my partner who frequently raped me said that it was ok because he would confess his sins and be forgiven. This lead me to shoot holes in the teachings I had learnt and I just could not believe in it any more.

A lot of what I have read on Buddhism rings true with me, except the 2nd noble truth. I can agree that our actions in the now impact on our future which can lead to suffering. But I’m also trying to find answers for my past and this is forming a contradiction for me.
I can see that the bad actions of the perpetrator have negatively impacted them - I dont seem them often, they know our relationship is shaky and deep down I think they know their failed in their role as a parent. But compared to what I suffer thats nothing! In my work also, I see people with impairments and disabilities who are abused and neglected. I need to find a reason that people hurt each other.
I would think that it is not accurate. But in light of the second noble truth, my abuse was caused by me. That is not accurate, and I don’t believe correct in relation to these teaching. But what way do I view this?

pegembaraCinorjer

Comments

  • SwaroopSwaroop India Veteran

    @newlotus all of Buddha's teachings are for the ending of suffering in the individual ie. you. If you do not take responsibility for not only your future but also your past, your heart will be filled with hatred. A heart filled with hatred is a heart filled with suffering. The purpose of the second noble truth is to rid your heart of this suffering and make room for happiness and peace.
    This in no way means that your abuser is absolved of his crimes. It only means that you cease to carry the burden of hate.
    May you find peace.

    lobsterCinorjerkarasti
  • @newlotus said:

    I have just embarked upon learning about Buddhism and believe this may be the right path for me to follow. But I am have a few hesitations with the four noble truths. Mainly “2, We are the cause of our own suffering”.
    I can see that the bad actions of the perpetrator have negatively impacted them - I dont seem them often, they know our relationship is shaky and deep down I think they know their failed in their role as a parent. But compared to what I suffer thats nothing! In my work also, I see people with impairments and disabilities who are abused and neglected. I need to find a reason that people hurt each other.
    I would think that it is not accurate. But in light of the second noble truth, my abuse was caused by me. That is not accurate, and I don’t believe correct in relation to these teaching. But what way do I view this?

    The cause of suffering(being hurt) and the reason people hurt each other are the same, namely - greed, hatred and delusion.

    Aging, sickness, death, separation from loved ones, association with the unloved is suffering. These are all unavoidable and how one deal with these issues is the key.
    All these causes pain(physical and mental) but suffering is what we add on to the experience. The more we add, the more suffering there is. If we are able to completely let go by not adding anything to the experience, there is no suffering.

    The Blessed One said, "When touched with a feeling of pain, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught.

    "Now, the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones, when touched with a feeling of pain, does not sorrow, grieve, or lament, does not beat his breast or become distraught.

    "Sensing a feeling of pleasure, he senses it disjoined from it. Sensing a feeling of pain, he senses it disjoined from it. Sensing a feeling of neither-pleasure-nor-pain, he senses it disjoined from it. This is called a well-instructed disciple of the noble ones disjoined from birth, aging, & death; from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs. He is disjoined, I tell you, from suffering & stress.

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn36/sn36.006.than.html

    Metta

    newlotusCinorjerseeker242
  • @newlotus, it has been said that when one holds anger or hatred of another, it is not the other who suffers. Rather, it is the one carrying the anger, the hatred, the resentment who suffers.
    Yes, we are the source of our own suffering just as we are the source of our own joy/happiness.
    As @Swaroop stated, the abuser is not absolved of his crimes. But by releasing that hatred, you free yourself to be happy.
    That hatred may be like an familiar old garment. It has been around a while and is difficult to part with. But once you do, you will find the new garment fits so much better.

    Peace to you

    Peace to all

    lobsterSwaroopCinorjerBunks
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited April 2016

    @newlotus said:

    A lot of what I have read on Buddhism rings true with me, except the 2nd noble truth. I can agree that our actions in the now impact on our future which can lead to suffering. But I’m also trying to find answers for my past and this is forming a contradiction for me.
    I can see that the bad actions of the perpetrator have negatively impacted them - I dont seem them often, they know our relationship is shaky and deep down I think they know their failed in their role as a parent. But compared to what I suffer thats nothing! In my work also, I see people with impairments and disabilities who are abused and neglected. I need to find a reason that people hurt each other.
    I would think that it is not accurate. But in light of the second noble truth, my abuse was caused by me. That is not accurate, and I don’t believe correct in relation to these teaching. But what way do I view this?

    @newlotus sorry to hear about the abuse you have experienced...

    The cause of Dukkha, is craving, either in the form of desiring something or having an aversion to something ie, not wanting things to be the way they are...Clinging to that which is impermanent ....

    The "Second Noble Truth" relates to
    'Tanha" ( craving) and ones attachment to experiences, both wholesome and unwholesome, ( both the desirable/pleasurable & undesirable/unpleasant ) and ones clinging and grasping mind's attempt to continually 'own' either experience (enforcing a strong sense of self )....And the karmic patterns that arise, (in the mind stream) are the residual effects of the past attachment to the experience...

    The deeper one delves into the Dharma, the more clearer things will become....

    "The past shapes the present and the present shapes the future !"

    So Right "NOW" @newlotus is the most important time of your life, and I do meant right "NOW" ....

    If the impact from the abuse you have suffered, is still felt in a strong way, perhaps along with Buddhist/Dharma practice, it would also be beneficial for you to seek out a counsellor/therapist to help you work through it...( if, that is, you are not already seeing one)...

    lobsterWalker
  • @newlotus said:

    A lot of what I have read on Buddhism rings true with me, except the 2nd noble truth. I can agree that our actions in the now impact on our future which can lead to suffering. But I’m also trying to find answers for my past and this is forming a contradiction for me.

    Hello <3
    Stuff happens. Bad stuff happens. Even to innocents. That is samsara. There were at least two attempts on the Buddhas life.

    Your question is why does bad stuff happen and are you karmically responsible?

    First Noble Truth - it happens! Bad stuff that is.
    Second Noble Truth - it happens because of the nature of the world. And we will come across greed, anger, lust ... and that is just Game of Thrones ... [oops making light of serious matters]

    We are 'responsible' or rather find ourselves in circumstances. If we are raped, it does not mean we were a sex offender in a previous life. That is superstition, like believing Almighty Cod creates homosexuals and then hates them. What kind of non existent fish tale is that?

    There IS superstition in dharma. Don't blame yourself or others, they were probably monks in a previous delusion ...

    Move on. Be forgiving. Firstly of yourself.

    NB. My Karma is to be reborn in the hell realms for dissing the superstitious. Challenge accepted. My cunning plan is to create a beneficial life experience from where I am ... :p

    and now back to the wiser Buddhists

  • newlotusnewlotus Australia Explorer

    Thanks everyone that has cleared things up a lot for me.

    @karasti- thank you. That was a very good explanation, I understand it now.

    No I understand that anger and hate aren't good to hold onto. But one day I think I will get angry about what they did (not yet though). And that's fine. I can be angry but I won't be hanging onto it. I hold no hate towards them. I can see their actions were because they were suffering and they have created their own un happiness which is fine by me. I pity them, but I don't hate them. I just don't care about them.

    @soshin - yes I do see someone for help with this also :)
    Thank you to everyone again.

    lobster
  • @newlotus I wish you happiness on your search for healing. And, the Noble Truths seem simple but it's only a key that unlocks a marvelous world of Dharma. As they state above, the Truths aren't saying you caused the abuse that left scars in your mind. We all have scars, some more than others. People who were abused can still find happiness. Buddha never claimed it would be easy. People tend to glance over the 8-fold path that is the last Noble Truth, but that's a huge task Buddha assigned us.

  • We may not be able to change the memory of abuse. We may only be able to think about it differently or manage it. Some mental trickery is involved. In example; one suffers abuse and is traumatized by it. Then the abuse stops mercifully for some reason, but the memory persists. The way we cause suffering for ourselves involuntarily is through memory. The abusive action has ceased but the mind relives it in detail causing stress that is comparable to the original assault. Our brains have a propensity for remembering the horror and pain in our lives more vividly than the pleasant occurances. Maybe it is a limbic survival mechanism our brains devise to alert us in the future when to fight or flee. In any case, no Buddhist worth her salt would affirm that we are responsible for abuse directed at us. We are both willfully and unwillfully responsible for our thoughts and memories only in that we have little choice in the matter, except to train our minds through practice and repetition. A carefully vetted teacher or psychotherapist might be able to help with the tools one needs to add to their psychic toolbox in these matters. I claim no professional expertise, just an opinion.

    CinorjerpersonlobsterShoshin
  • Steve_BSteve_B Far southwest corner of Indiana, USA Veteran

    A quick quip that I find easy to remember and easy to use is

    "Pain and suffering:
    Pain is inevitable,
    Suffering is optional."

    CinorjernewlotusKerome
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    I know this is a week old, but I just had this come up in my Twitter feed and thought you might find it helpful @newlotus
    It is the descriptions of 10 high-level teachers about what suffering means to them.
    http://www.lionsroar.com/what-is-suffering-10-buddhist-teachers-weigh-in/?utm_content=bufferdbb6a&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer#

    lobsterKeromeBunksnewlotus
  • The phrasing of the 4 Noble Truths that I like most (for whatever that's worth) is:

    There is suffering
    There is a cause of suffering
    There is a way out of suffering
    There is an end to suffering

    OP, note that this phrasing of the 4NT doesn't insist that you are always the cause of your own suffering. Trauma is inflicted upon innocent people and it causes intense suffering. However, if there is a way out, then taking the right steps out of suffering becomes our responsibility.

    Maybe I'm just makin' stuff up but it resonates with me :-)

    newlotus
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