1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

The nature of suffering November 30, 2009

Recalling some interesting episodes from Daniil Andreev, as promised.

I find his idea of SUFFERING very refreshing, compared to the classical religious idea. Andreev denies suffering being a necessary condition to evolve. He underlines the non-divine nature of suffering.

It is hard to quote Adreev outside the context of his book, so I would just re-phrase some points (my words in Italic).

All the suffering that beings experience, all their pain and agony, emit radiations….. Every feeling, every emotional response necessarily emits corresponding radiations. Radiations from anger, hate, greed, or animal and human lust sink to the realm of negative forces. True, those radiations are barely sufficient to replenish the energy of individual demonic groups. But the radiation from suffering and pain is capable of satisfying hosts of demons of almost all types and sizes. This  is essentially their food.

Among the various types of suffering-radiation, the one associated with the shedding of physical blood occupies a particularly significant place. When people and animals bleed, a burning radiation of especial intensity is released in the first few minutes. Therefore, certain categories of demons are not so much interested in the death of living beings, or in the suffering of their souls in the afterlife, as they are in bloodshed. Not one bloodbath in history has occurred or will occur without the subliminal instigation of those bloodsuckers of the afterlife. Further, the bloody sacrificial rites of some ancient cultures were horrifying not only because of their cruelty but also because it was not gods but those very same demons that were feeding on them.

This is a very metaphysical description, but I hope you get the point: the more one suffers, the more one supplies the negativity with “food”. Brilliant! I feel it is very true, because from what I can see around, people who suffer a lot…seem not being able to break out…this is like a vicious circle: you suffer->you feed the negativity->it makes you suffer again.

Something to meditate upon?

LOVE; axinia

(image by me)


7 Responses to “The nature of suffering”

  1. swaps Says:

    So true (metaphysics apart). Suffering is pointless.
    I feel if we can see the close relationship suffering shares with attachment then the nature of suffering can be more clearly understood. As you have said several times earlier, the more we resist the flow, greater is the suffering. But why do we tend to resist?

  2. Andreev denies suffering being a necessary condition to evolve. He underlines the non-divine nature of suffering.

    I agree with him. I guess Andreev must have been influenced by Christianity on this. As far as I know, Christianity happens to be the only religion that explicitly tells its followers to put an end to the suffering of others. That was Christ’s core message – the message of his life. Other religions fall short on this vital aspect.

    Of course, certain primitive, uncouth “cultures” believe that suffering is caused because of “previous births’ karma”. Belief in such an uncivilised, barbaric concept about suffering is responsible for the regressive, uncultured nature of societies that follow such a “culture”. Societies that have such a filthy, savage idea about the concept of suffering simply don’t have it in their “cultures” to civilise themselves, even if it takes a million years 😐

    • axinia Says:

      Raj, you noted it right, it was the core message of Christ, HOWEVER Christianity calls people to suffer!! – how paradoxical it may sound, also Chrisitans seem to like suffering..that is why I called it “classical religios idea”, meaning that it is same in all realigions.

      • I’m not sure if Christianity calls on people to suffer, Axinia, though I wouldn’t think so 😐 There is a reason why Christians seem to “like” suffering – it’s not because Christianity likes the concept of suffering as such, it’s because Christianity remains the only religion to welcome suffering people into its fold.

        As far as I know, in the primitive society in which he lived, Christ and his disciples earned the ire of the cabal that controlled the uncouth hordes by preaching that God was for all, including the poor, the sick, the lepers, the suffering, women, children and even repentant sinners. In fact, according to Christ, people will be judged according to how they treated the suffering, the weak, the poor and the helpless.

        That was (and remains) a mighty revolutionary idea, one that was supposed to civilise the uncouth hordes and turn primitive savages into cultured humans. No other “holy book” in the world contains so many references to putting an end to the suffering of others as the words of Christ in the New Testament. In fact, no other religion ever comes close when it comes to explicitly asking its followers to end suffering. Religions like Buddhism are halfway there, but even they merely say avoid causing suffering as much as possible and don’t exactly say do all you can to put an end to suffering in this world. Of course, most primitive religions don’t even ask people to end suffering, they are all about singing praises to the imaginary entities and performing competely useless, meaningless rituals to while away one’s time.

        Of course, instead of acting as a force of civilisation, the mediaeval Church hijacked Christ’s teachings into yet another religion in order to control the masses and the feudal empires of the day.

        But it was the influence of Christ’s message that finally had an influence on civilising societies. Europe, with its pagan roots, would not have civilised itself had it not been for the influence of Christ’s message. If you remember, Volodimir asked once why Swaps and I gave an example of Christ about compassion. The primary reason is because things like compassion, altruism, protecting the weak, putting an end to suffering, treating the diseased, caring for the hopeless – all happen to be Christian values, if I may honestly and unbiasedly say so as an outsider to Christianity. Such things are rarely (if at all) found in other “cultures”.

        It’s not a wonder that all the noble ideas that Western civilisation gave to the world, like Human Rights, equality, liberty, women’s rights, empowering the disabled, modern justice, punishment and rehabilitation, treatment of horrible diseases can all be traced back to the influence of the core message of Christ.

        Normally the things that I mentioned above are not found naturally in any society, and they can rarely be found in the primitive religions of the world. Primitive, uncouth societies for instance are used to ostracising the disabled and the sick and shunning them. That’s because semi-civilised societies have filthy ideas about the concept of suffering. It also fits in with barbaric jungle laws like “survival of the fittest” that characterise both animals and the primitive human “cultures”.

        To preach something that severely contradicted the established jungle laws and barbaric behaviour of human societies was a highly revolutionary act by Jesus. That noble soul should be credited with attempting to single-handedly civilise a savage world and turn uncouth clothed-apes into decent humans 😐

        Alas, the mediaeval Church ruined it all and wasted a very rare opportunity to civilise the entire world 😦 But that’s what happens when something is turned into a religion – they become useless and an impediment to human progress.

        • Elke Says:

          I absolutely agree that Lord Jesus taught us to live happy lives, and help others to live happy lives. Not only that, he suffered so we wouldn’t have to suffer anymore! But look at the results! There are only few societies as cruel and aggressive as the Christian societies! Christians conquered the world and suppressed people all over! It is the Christian societies who cause most of the environmental and social problems with their greed and aggression!
          I was raised Christian and I have been taught that it is a sign of a saint to undergo some suffering. In fact, Mother Theresa, who is considered a Christian role model, said that it isn’t love if it doesn’t hurt!
          Makes absolutely no sense to me!
          I don’t know if there is any other religion that caused as much suffering in the world as Christianity! It wouldn’t be so if they would listen to Lord Jesus Christ!

          In my few every religion in its core means to increase happiness and joy! I am sure God does not want to see us suffer!

          Lord Buddha taught us that the cause of suffering is to be found in our desires. If we don’t have desires, we will never be disappointed! We can achieve true joy.

          Hinduism teaches us to be content with what we have, to make the best of our position and role we play in life.

          Indigenous religions show us to respect everything and everyone, because god’s spirit is there!

          There is no religion that teaches us to suffer! But when we see suffering, it is in our human nature to feel compassion and the desire to help! I think this is embedded in everyone, but might be covered up by insecurity or greed.

          However, I also see that suffering very often goes a vicious circle, and people suffering attract pain as long as they view themselves as victims.

          There are so many people undergoing difficulties, yet feeling happy and content, while others are unhappy and depressed when the circumstances seem to be perfectly alright. A strong soul can’t be touched by outside circumstances. Modern psychology calls that resilience.

  3. dragonflydm Says:

    We all live a life of unsatisfactoriness (or suffering) because we are conditioned to see external factors determine happiness. We are so ignorant of what brings bliss to our lives. Happiness is something that comes from understanding and acceptance of the world as it is, and how to engage with the world rather than how it engages with us.

    Christianity doesn’t not call for people to suffer, but says that they suffer because they have unwholesome desires. Buddhism does not say that we suffer because of previous karma, but states that our actions (karma) create the conditions of our existence.

    John Milton said, “The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make heaven of Hell, and a hell of Heaven.”

    This is true. We create our own suffering from our own outlook of the world.


  4. To me this description is spot on literally and figuratively. I try not to share this experience too often, but one of my first experiences opening up was seeing a demon. It had first appeared as a shadow, then a shepard (like Joshua), and then the Virgin Mary, but with wicked teeth. It then appeared as multiple faces changing over and over again. What was common with all the faces was that they did not have any eyes, just holes for where eyes would be. It was one of the scariest moments in my life that actually made me physically ill and throw up. That being said, it showed me what truly exists. I was never truly in harms way and it had no real power over me except my own fear. I ended up seeing it as a test as to whether or not I would wish away all that I had been granted, or whether or not I would continue on this path. I decided to continue on this path.

    As for suffering, I do not believe suffering is necessary. Some say that there must be balance, ie there must be evil in order for good to exist, or there must be hate in order for love to exist. That is what they would have you believe but I feel it is false. Balance is a misunderstood idea. To me balance means flow, not a 50/50 split. Flow means, there can be all good, or all bad, or all hate or all love, not just a mixture of the two. Imagine an hour glass that is flipped. In order to achieve balance, the sand flows all to the other side. To me this is the same as the battle within each and every one of us. There is the potential for all love, but we must chose to flip the hour glass. It is a choice.

    We can choose to suffer or we can choose live in peace. We can choose to suffer or we can realize the stillness. It is only our expectations that tell us otherwise.

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