Understanding The “How” Before The “Why” of Suffering

Pain is a process.  Pain is a response to something.  Pain happens when you resist something you perceive.  It happens in steps A-B-C.  But we are seldom conscious of the process of suffering, as a result, we cannot figure out how to intervene in the process.  It is possible to become conscious of the process of suffering.

We simply have to use the pain of suffering to alert us to the fact that a process of suffering is taking place within us.  We can then step back to observe what the pain came in response to.  When you feel emotional or physical pain, simply close your eyes and ask yourself “What did this pain come in response to?  How is this process of suffering happening within me?

For example, if I feel the pain of anxiety, I can close my eyes and observe the HOW process of this pain.  I may notice that the pain comes in direct response to images my mind generates of a potential future scenario that then creates the auditory thought “I cannot survive that happening”.  The body is reacting to the image my mind is creating, not the situation at hand.  If I were to address the situation at hand, I would not be able to resolve my suffering.

I would have to see that the process of my suffering involves the images my mind generates in response to the situation at hand and then to deal with the images directly to have a chance at ending the suffering process taking place within me.

If you were simply to ask someone, why are you suffering?  They would not be able to tell you the accurate answer because they would not have stepped back far enough to objectively see the process of their suffering.  It is only when we know the how of suffering that we can know the why of suffering.  Essentially,  once we know how our suffering is happening, we can ask why it is happening in the way that it is happening.

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“When we ask how, we begin to see things as a process.  When we ask how relative to our suffering, we begin to see our suffering as a process.  When we ask the why after the how, we get to see the purpose behind that process.  We then have the awareness necessary to intervene in that process so that the process itself does not control us.”