6 thoughts on “It all looks totally real!

  1. Hi Tom. I am very curious about the notion that if we are ´liberated´ it becomes impossible to suffer. My question is what is wrong with suffering? Does it not play a purpose? If someone lost a child to a terminal illness or had an abusive relationship would it not be a normal, healthy human response to suffer (in this case it tells us that we lost someone we loved or that something is wrong in a relationship). As I understand trauma, we can learn to accept what happened and move on with our lives. With ´no suffering´ as a spiritual objective is there not a danger that we simply numb ourselves to the ´external´ world by telling ourselves that nothing is real, in a similar way that drug addicts may do. I understand that by not identifying as the body or the mind we can ´choose´ to suffer from things that we experience or not, and can deal with suffering in an effective way, but I am skeptical with this idea that through liberration it´s ´impossible to suffer´. Thanks, Lucy

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  2. Hi Lucy, thank you for your comment – I agree with what you write in essence and I appreciate the way you have written it too. There is great wisdom in our emotions. Note that experiencing a full range of emotions and emotional responses to life doesn’t necessarily equate to suffering. The body mind can appear to suffer, but inwardly there is peace, and vice versa too. I also agree with what you write about becoming emotionally numb as being a danger of these kinds of teachings – this video is just an excerpt from a longer satsang, and I too point out these dangers. I usually encourage people to feel their emotions as the danger of not doing this is this emotional numbing or cutting off that you speak of, often called ‘spiritual bypassing’. This spiritual bypassing is actually a very egoic fearful movement to avoid suffering that results in a cold numbness, rather than liberation in which suffering ends and only pure open peace-love remains. I’ve spoken about this a few times and will post some videos below that may be of interest to you. Best wishes, Tom

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    1. Thanks a lot for these videos, I will certainly check them out! I suppose it comes down to one’s definition of ‘suffering’ then. Having ‘strong emotional responses’ (eg. during bereavement) is what many people would call suffering. My point was that being able to deal with ‘feeling pain’ or ‘suffering’ is as important as not ‘feeling pain’ or ‘suffering’ (similar to numbing) in the first place. I am new to spirituality and find the Buddhist teachings of not wanting or craving things to be very useful. However, I also agree that being able to feel a full range of emotions, especially after trauma, and deal with them properly is also a very healthy thing. Thanks and have a good weekend, Lucy.

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