Suffering is Intrinsic to Life

The realization that suffering is intrinsic to life is at the core of most religions and philosophies.

If you do not suffer right now, you will suffer in the future.

Why is this true?

For one, because you are vulnerable and limited.

You can be easily hurt, injured, and killed. As you age, your body and mind will inevitably deteriorate until you have lost most of your cognitive and physical capabilities.

On top of that, life is tragic and unfair.

Every day good, benevolent people die for no reason. Loved ones are diagnosed with cancer and die shortly thereafter. Despite the unfairness of such events, it’s certain that you will also experience similarly tragic events in your life.

Furthermore, people consciously and voluntarily increase suffering.

They decide against doing what they should do or for doing what they shouldn’t do. It’s the resentful housewife who makes poisonous remarks towards her husband or the bitter boyfriend who lies about not having time to help his girlfriend.

Lastly, suffering is universal.

Everyone you know will suffer and most already do. Everyone is vulnerable and limited with capabilities that deteriorate as they age until they and everyone they know die.

Thus, suffering is intrinsic to life.

This begs the question of how you should act in light of this.

We will explore different answers to this question in future blog posts.