Suffering arises from ignorance.
What is ignorance?
Ignorance is a false context of Reality, like operating with false beliefs about the nature of Reality.
So long as we operate within a false context, we suffer.
In a true context, we are in the light of Truth, and there is only Truth; no suffering.
So, the answer to ending suffering is to re-contextualize over and over again until the light of Truth shines forth and the suffering dissolves as an illusion.
As an example, let’s imagine, “I am suffering because someone stole my favorite watch.”
Now, to re-contextualize the situation until the suffering dissolves as an illusion means to poke wholes into the supposed reason for the suffering until it reveals itself to be entirely based on falsehood and ignorance. To poke holes in the false context, shine the light of Truth of the spiritual teachings from any great teacher or tradition.
To demonstrate implementing some of the tools/teachings to re-contextualize and end the suffering:
- Happiness is not dependent on anything outside you.
- Internally dialogue: “My happiness is not dependent on that watch, nor is dependent on being stolen from. I can be happy regardless if I have the watch or not, and regardless of whether stole from me or not. Neither of those are legitimate reasons to lose my happiness and peace of mind.”
- It is all for good.
- Internally dialogue: “I can see how I projected happiness onto this watch, and I was even attached to this watch. On some level, I thought that without the watch, I will not be happy. And having the watch even built up in me a sense of fear over losing the watch, and sure enough now it is gone. Now I have less for others to envy, and I’m sure whoever stole the watch could really use it, or must be suffering on a level much deeper than I am, or something! Who knows what the thief is going through right now – poor person 😦 I can be so grateful that I’m not in a condition to have to steal for my livelihood, and I can get a new watch. There is so no much the thief didn’t steal too – how nice of him to leave so much stuff! And as much as I like all these things, I know they are not permanent and can be taken from me at any moment, just like the watch. I am so grateful that this watch was stolen, for now I feel more free and light and less attached to worldly possessions and more aware of the great Kingdom within myself at all times.”
- Covet nothing; everything belongs to the Lord.
- Internally dialogue: “The watch belongs to God. God gave me the watch and God took the watch from me. Who am I to argue with the will of God?”
- Judge not lest ye be not judged.
- Internally dialogue: “Maybe this is actually a really great thing that someone stole the watch from me. Perhaps if I was wearing it tomorrow, someone would have mugged me to steal it from me. Much better they stole it from me without harming my physical body or mind. I’m probably better off without it anyway – I was way too attached to that watch.”
- Give to the one who asks of you.
- Internally dialogue: “I accept full responsibility for the watch being stolen, and on some level I totally allowed it to happen. I was almost asking for it. I was so attached to the watch that losing it practically became a source of fear and anxiety for me. The person who stole the watch really gave me a great gift by relieving me of the burden of having such a nice watch, and I gave them a gift too. We both win and have served each other.”
- Store up treasures in Heaven, not on earth.
- Internally dialogue: “Yep…I was definitely storing up treasures on earth. I should have known! Thank goodness the thief didn’t steal some of my treasures in Heaven: like my consciousness, awareness, or this gift of life itself. Truly, my greatest treasures remain in tact and cannot be stolen. Hallelujah!”
- Don’t worry.
- Internally dialogue: “Even though I lost the watch, I have more than I need. The Lord is my shepherd. All is provided. If I need another watch, I can get one. No big deal!”
- Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
- Internally dialogue: “I forgive whoever stole the watch from me, and I forgive my watch for any potential greed in acquiring such a nice watch. I forgive everyone for everything! We are all just doing the best we can and operating with some degree of ignorance, so I forgive everyone for their ignorance and their innocence.”
- Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.
- Internally dialogue: “Surely, if Jesus can forgive people who crucified him, I can forgive someone who stole a watch from me! What a blessing to still be alive
- Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
- Internally dialogue: “Have I not ever stolen anything before? Surely, I am just as guilty as the thief on some level. So, who am I to cast a stone at him?”
To re-contextualize, it is helpful to be familiar with spiritual teachings. Thankfully, one doesn’t have to know every teaching, but really applying any one spiritual teaching can serve to liberate one from the suffering.
Applying the spiritual teachings and realizing their validity amidst our suffering can lift the veil of ignorance and heighten awareness of the light of Truth shining forth, dissolving all the suffering.
Gloria in Excelsis Deo!