Monday, December 02, 2019

Rupert Spira on Self-Inquiry and Suffering

This is a paraphrase:

The only thing suffering cannot stand is being seen clearly. The reason for that is that it is an illusion. You can’t do anything to an illusion because it isn’t there, like the water in a mirage. The very best you can do is to see that it is not there. That alleviates the desire to collect it, alleviate it. You can’t do anything to a nonexistent self. There is nothing there to do anything to. Clear seeing, experiential understanding, is the best you can do. As a result or byproduct of that clear seeing, that suffering dissolves or vanishes in time. In order to remain present, suffering requires the illusion of a separate self; it revolves around this illusion. Without it, it cannot stand. There may be old habits in the mind and body, but they cannot stand when they are no longer supported by a belief in a separate self. They disappear as a by-product of this exploration -- not as its goal. Suffering vanishes in the same way a headache vanishes. You wake up in the morning with a headache. By evening it’s gone, and you don’t know when it disappeared or why or how. It’s just not there anymore. That’s how suffering disappears. Its disappearance is a byproduct, not a goal. If you make it a goal you perpetuate suffering. That’s how suffering perpetuates itself, sometimes for decades, by trying to get rid of itself.

Suffering is to the mind what pain is to the body. Pain is not a mistake, when you put your hand in the fire. It’s the intelligence of the body telling you to take the hand out of the fire. It is pain working on behalf of your well-being. Similarly, suffering is cooperating with your desire for happiness. It is telling you that you have mistaken yourself for a limited self and to have another look.

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