Daily Zen

Why Does Suffering Exist?

Featured Image Purple Smoke

We could look at the subject of suffering from different angles and in fact, the best way to understand something is to look at it from various perspectives. Otherwise, we only have a limited and inaccurate view.

Let’s say you move into a new home and there’s an airplane in your back yard. You don’t understand why it’s there, and you don’t know what to do with it. You’re only annoyed that it’s there, taking up space. You’d rather use that space for so many other things like backyard parties or a swimming pool.

One day, you start checking out the plane so you can figure out how to get rid of it. As you examine the vehicle, you realize, “Hey, this thing can fly!” And that changes everything. Now you’re no longer annoyed with it. Now you’re ready to start traveling the world.

When you aren’t facing, examining, and utilizing your suffering, it only takes up pointless space in your life. When you view it as a large obstacle, that’s exactly what it becomes.

If you’re especially aware, you’ll notice people who have suffered are a little more real, generally speaking. They don’t have time for facades or courteous obligations. When they talk to you, they look you in the eye and can speak from the heart instead of pretending to have a happy life. They tend to be more aware, more open, passionate, or sensitive to others. Or, they know how to really have fun. They aren’t having fun just for the pictures, because they have a genuine connection with reality and existence.

People who have suffered are generally more worthwhile to know and interact with, unless they’ve tried to hide their suffering or pretend it doesn’t exist. That can create all kinds of issues.

Pain is an aspect of reality. Everyone experiences it. Pain tells you what you don’t want, so you can do something different. You can ignore your pain or utilize it. If you use your pain or suffering to fly, you won’t be questioning why suffering exists. You know why it exists.