Make your own free website on Tripod.com


MeaningS of L
ife
 

Using Philosophy in
Everyday Life

 Home ] Poems ] Love ] Friendship ] Happiness ] Philosophies ] Humans ] Thought ] Years ] Meaningful ] Dream ] Short ] [ Pain ] Death ] Heaven ] Science ] Universe ] Funny ]
            

Home
Poems about Life
Life and Love
Life and Friendship
Happiness
Philosophies of Life
The Human Beings
Existential Thought
Life Best Years
Is Life Meaningful?
Life is a Dream
Life is Short
Life is Pain
Death
Life after Death
Man and the Universe
Science and Meaning
Funny Life
Sites
 

 

LIFE IS SUFFERING - THE CRUELTY OF LIFE

LIFE: SUFFERING, CRUELTY AND PAIN
Meaning of life

O
riental philosophy emphasizes the cruel element of life. To Taoists, Buddhists and for Hindu Jainism, life is suffering. In much the same way, the Bible and some Christian traditions also point out the pain present in life.

Life is suffering.
Pali Tripitaka, Buddhist collection of sacred texts, Vinaya


The Noble Truth of Suffering is this: Birth is suffering, ageing is suffering, sickness is suffering, death is suffering; sorrows and lamentation, pain, grief and despair are suffering; association with the unpleasant is suffering, dissociation from the pleasant is suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering – in short, the five aggregates of attachment are suffering.
Pali Tripitaka, Buddhist collection of sacred texts, Sutta-Nipata


And I too, when born, inhaled the common air, and fell upon the kindred earth; wiling, I uttered that first sound common to all.
Bible, Wisdom Book


Mother that obliges the family of animal beings to tremble and to cry from birth; nature, ignoble monster, always breeding and feeding to kill, tell me: if the premature death of a mortal is an evil, why do you inflict it on innocents?
G. Leopardi, 1798-1837, Italian writer, Poésis, Le Coucher de la Lune


Things will get thrown at you and things will hit you. Life’s no soft affair. It’s a long road you’ve started on: you can’t but expect to have slips and knocks and falls, and get tired, and openly wish – a lie – for death.
Seneca, Roman philosopher and politician, Letters to Lucilius


At one place you will part from a companion, at another bury one, and be afraid of one another. These are the kind of things you will come up against all along this rugged journey.
Seneca, Roman philosopher and politician, Letters to Lucilius


Comments
Suffering and its overcoming



NATURE IS CRUEL
Meaning of life: life is cruel, life is suffering

We can’t escape from evil and the world’s cruelty. So proclaim many reflexions about life. Cruelty is in nature and also in man, who embodies the cruelty of life and the natural law of kill or be killed.

Reality is cruel to the human being, strewn on the Earth, ignoring his destiny, submitting to death, unable to escape from fatal mourning, from the vicissitudes of luck, from suffering, from servitude and malice.
E. Morin, French philosopher and sociologist, Method V


The cruelty between men, individuals, groups, religions and races is terrifying. The human being has in him a sound of monsters which he releases on all favourable occasions.
E. Morin, French philosopher and sociologist, My Demons


Life fights cruelly against the cruelty of the world and resists with cruelty to the cruelty of life. All living beings kill and eat living beings.
E. Morin, French philosopher and sociologist, Method V


Comments
Suffering and its overcoming




How to fight the cruelty of life?
Meaning of life: life is cruel, life is suffering

Faith, art, love, friendship and mental attitudes are among the ways of minimizing and overcoming the cruelty of the world.

The human being is given over to the cruelty of the world. Hence, the necessity of a compromise, obtained through the mobilization of the myth to find supernatural comforts, through the mobilization of the imaginary to shelter the soul and through the mobilization of aesthetics and poetry to live reality plainly.
E. Morin, French philosopher and sociologist, Method V


Religious faith, as the faith in an idea, is a profound strength that helps to support and fight the cruelty of the world.
E. Morin, French philosopher and sociologist, Method V


Those who live in accord with the course of Nature and are contented and at ease when the occasion comes, cannot be affected by sorrow or joy. This is what the ancients called release from bondage.
Tchuang-Tsu, Taoist Chinese philosopher, II or III Century b.C., Book of Tchuang-Tzu


Perturbations are a consequence of opinions and unwise judgements.
Cicero, 106-43 a. C., Roman philosopher and statesman, De Finibus bonorum et malorum


He who does not consume himself with the injuries, futilities and enthusiasms, who does not enervate with fear, and does not boil with desires and envy, is a sage; with serenity and firmly he is serene and in harmony with himself.
Cicero, 106-43 a. C., Roman philosopher and statesman, Tusculan disputation


Comments
Suffering and its overcoming

See also:
Life and Love
Life and friendship
Happiness
Philosophies of Life
The Human Beings

Existential Thought
Life is Short
Death
Life After Death

Science and Meaning
Man and the Universe
Humour about life


Back to Top - Life is suffering

Back to Home Page - Meanings of life

 

 

SUFFERING AND CRUELTY OF LIFE

 

 

Above:
Hindu Painting: Goddess Mahakali, connected to the cruelty and suffering of life.


Commentary
Suffering and its overcoming

To live is to suffer, postulates the Pali Triitaka, an ancient Buddhist text, in a typically Asian way of speculation.

The Bible echoes similar ancient traditions, in beautiful verses: «And I too, when born, inhaled the common air, and fell upon the kindred earth; willing, I uttered that first sound common to all» (Wisdom Book).

These judgements of life are, obviously, a direct result of our human condition, and of the evils continuously lurking around us. Evil is as a «hidden tiger, ambushed and ready to kill the unwary», to use an old Buddhist maxim. Indeed, hidden in the bag of fortune and life, along with forms such as pain, illness, unhappy accidents and death, is always human suffering. «Life fights cruelly against the cruelty of the world and resists with cruelty to the cruelty of life. All living being kill and eat living beings» (Edgar Morin).

Yet there is also the other side. In our way and within the limits that reality and fate concede to us, we have the capacity to deny suffering. Within us, lives an obstinate instinctive force, expressed by positive dreams, optimism, determination in living and being happy. And though never definitively, we often get it, against the logic of the cruel world.

To get the denial of suffering, the ancient Roman and Greek philosophers adopted particular philosophies of life, based on a wisdom that demands friendship and controlled pleasures (in the case of the epicureans), or special attitudes towards life, refusing to feed material insensate wishes and fears, and creating in us the persuasion that it is worthwhile to live (in the case of stoic philosophers).

Cicero, one of the great exponents of Roman stoicism, expresses that philosophy in a superior way, when he asserts: «He who does not consume himself with injuries, futilities and enthusiasms, who does not enervate with fear, and doesn’t boil with desires and envy, is a sage; with serenity and firmness he is serene and in harmony with himself».

But there are, obviously, other more common ways of denying suffering, or of minimizing it.

Faith… faith in God is one of them. Faith is a balsam and a source of human comfort. «To have pleasure from You, in You and through You: that is the Happiness. And there is no other», considered Saint Augustinian, referring to God.

Art is another way of escaping from a cruel world. Art is a balsam in a world without soul, otherwise insupportable, said Schopenhauer. «The role of art is to make our world habitable», also proclaimed William Saroyan. As it is  friendship («Friendship redoubles joy and cuts grief in half», said Francis Bacon) or love («Only the soul that loves is happy», said Goethe).

These are some ways – maybe the most important – of achieving what can be the biggest of our victories: the victory, although transitory and never definitive, over the suffering and the cruelty of the world.

 

 

 

 



 

Eduardo Reisinho & MeaningsOfLife.com. All Rights Reserved.