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Fear is the root of All suffering

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This morning I posted a one liner on my FB wall stating "The root of all suffering is fear". To which someone responded - "No, the root of all suffering is Ego".

 

So after  a few rounds of back and forth, we decided to define that which we are calling Ego. 

I said -- "Ego is just the identification of our selves with our body and mind".

 

So back came the question. How does one identify with the mind. What is the mind?

 

To which my response was - "The mind is a field of thoughts in our consciousness. It is the sensory apparatus that lets us interact with the material universe via a subject-object paradigm. It helps us categorize and label things...and ourselves thereof"

 

Then came the rejoinder - "then How/Why is Ego not the root cause of all suffering?"

 

To which my response was - Ego cannot be eradicated as long as there is a physical body and a mind. What can happen is that Ego takes a back seat unless needed for the organism to interact with it's surroundings.

 

As part of categorizing and labeling, organizing objects that the subject encounters, there are value judgements made. This is good, that is bad...and we attach to the good and reject the bad. But always have the "FEAR" of losing the "Good" or of experiencing the "Bad".

 

So we see, Fear is the emotion that is the root of all suffering. We suffer because we fear losing this or not attaining that (whatever this or that may be). We feel anger, we feel pain, we feel other emotions triggered by this one primal emotion. Even when we love we fear that we will lose our loved ones...or that the love we give is not going to be reciprocated...we fear of our feelings getting hurt. We fear pain that might be caused by some action or non-action.

 

Our fear leads us to act unnaturally...and one action leads to another action and so on and so forth. Each action in turn is a decision point of what is good for me and what is bad for me...

 

Feel free to discuss...but PLEASE don't post long quotes of other people's thoughts. Respond by thinking and stating how and what YOU understand of this topic...

 

:)

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WoW!  You want us to think?  What a strong request!

 

However,

 

I do agree with you as this is how I have always viewed the concepts.

 

But,

 

That is a fair argument that the ego is the root of suffering.  Sure, ego is present as long as there is conscious awareness.  However, if our ego is a perfect reflection of reality then our ego has no role.  But, if our ego is too strong or too weak this will cause fear and fear will cause suffering.

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As part of categorizing and labeling, organizing objects that the subject encounters, there are value judgements made. This is good, that is bad...and we attach to the good and reject the bad. But always have the "FEAR" of losing the "Good" or of experiencing the "Bad".

 

I agree 100% with that.

 

I would say that distinction (good/bad, any dualities) is the root of suffering, and the very process of making up a bad we can fear / a good we can fear loosing comes before the fear itself. But that is only an approach, and before/after is just another duality. So basically it is the same thing. I'm just not used to formulate it your way.

 

Dinstinctions, dualities, craving for good, attachement, fearing bad, or fearing loosing good.. It's all the same process.

Edited by Aithrobates
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The ego isn't real.  It is dualistic by nature.  Therefore, its essence and existence are interdependent to the body and the world around it.  The ego can not just be and must be defined by its interaction with the social surrounding.  The ego is as much as a persona for the individual.  It helps the individual to deal with the world around him or her. 

 

Would the ego commit a suicide if a person decided to live in a forest for months without any contacts with any civilization?  I say the animal instincts would take over this individual.  For a cultivator, this would give birth to a Taoist immortal instead.  The ego's fear is internal. The ego is like a pressure cap on a pressure cooker.  As long as there is an equilibrium, the ego has nothing to fear.  If the ego can no longer deal with the person's past traumas, things would get ugly for the ego.  The greatest fear for the ego is internal.  Ego can change its surrounding to deal with world life issues.  Its past?  You can't escape the past and it will always be there regardless where you are.     

Edited by ChiForce
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If you mindfully conclude choosing to fear, by default you greet all you perceive with Love, as that is the only alternative root of thought for humans. 

 

If you are choosing to Love all you perceive, suffering is impossible. 

 

A humans past is nothing more than some ever evolving delusions of imagination filtered through human perception limitations and processed by delusions of judgement and categorizing in the mind that is no more real than they choose to make it through choosing to believe the illusion.  

 

If you recognize all that is real is the perception of this moment of Now, how can anything else effect you outside of yourself consciously choosing to suffer out of ignorance?

 

With Unlimited Love,

-Bud

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If you mindfully conclude choosing to fear, by default you greet all you perceive with Love, as that is the only alternative root of thought for humans. 

 

If you are choosing to Love all you perceive, suffering is impossible. 

 

A humans past is nothing more than some ever evolving delusions of imagination filtered through human perception limitations and processed by delusions of judgement and categorizing in the mind that is no more real than they choose to make it through choosing to believe the illusion.  

 

If you recognize all that is real is the perception of this moment of Now, how can anything else effect you outside of yourself consciously choosing to suffer out of ignorance?

 

With Unlimited Love,

-Bud

Is not that you choose to fear but it was this internal fear you have an ego.  What is this internal fear?  Your past and your life history give rise to this ego and its defense mechanism.  What if this fear is being played out in your dreams?  Good luck trying not to fear.  A fearful dream about your past can linger on throughout your entire daily existence.  It makes you feel like you are living in the past again.   

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Is not that you choose to fear but it was this internal fear you have an ego.  What is this internal fear?  Your past and your life history give rise to this ego and its defense mechanism.  What if this fear is being played out in your dreams?  Good luck trying not to fear.  A fearful dream about your past can linger on throughout your entire daily existence.  It makes you feel like you are living in the past again.   

 

One is free to make his or her delusions as real as they like if you wish to justify pointless suffering out of ignorance. 

 

If not yourself, then whom is thinking these fearful thoughts for you?  Whom is dreaming them for you?  

 

At which point does a man lose domain over his mind and thoughts?  It's always just you, nobody else can do your thinking of suffering for you, nobody else can conclude your choice to suffer for you. 

 

Mindfulness is the simple key, recognize there never could have been a moment you lost perfect mindfulness, when you experience the illusion you've lost mindfulness, it's still just you there with your thoughts. 

 

With Unlimited Love,

-Bud

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One is free to make his or her delusions as real as they like if you wish to justify pointless suffering out of ignorance. 

 

If not yourself, then whom is thinking these fearful thoughts for you?  Whom is dreaming them for you?  

 

At which point does a man lose domain over his mind and thoughts?  It's always just you, nobody else can do your thinking of suffering for you, nobody else can conclude your choice to suffer for you. 

 

Mindfulness is the simple key, recognize there never could have been a moment you lost perfect mindfulness, when you experience the illusion you've lost mindfulness, it's still just you there with your thoughts. 

 

With Unlimited Love,

-Bud

No, not that easy.  That's why the ego complex is called a complex.  A matrix of inner emotional and psychological conditioning giving rise to this ego and pretty much more or less, under the influence of this complex, your life is in an auto pilot mode.  People don't realize it until they hit a wall in their lives!!!!!   

Edited by ChiForce
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No, not that easy.  That's why the ego complex is called a complex.  A matrix of inner emotional and psychological conditioning giving rise to this ego and pretty much more or less, under the influence of this complex, your life is in an auto pilot mode.  People don't realize it until they hit a wall in their lives!!!!!   

 

 

There is your perceptions of this moment of Now.  All the rest is delusions of human construction which all are welcome to tangle themselves in however they like. 

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There is your perceptions of this moment of Now.  All the rest is delusions of human construction which all are welcome to tangle themselves in however they like. 

Not my perception now.  It was how things were for me 20 years ago.  :)  I had a mid life crisis around 17.  A year later, I had my kundalini energy rising experience.  Go figure....  :)  My ego was a quick death and years in the making.  Since I was young, single, and still in college, the ego death was convenient and didn't generate much negative karma.  What if you are already married and made few enemies in your life?  Is going to be fun.

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The only enemy is choice to beleive illusion of un-mindfullness.

 

If you are appreciating concious mindfulness in Now, what outside stimulus can impact your personal peace/bliss beyond whatever level you are choosing to experience?

 

A man can burn alive in Nirvana with simple mindfulness. If someone feels burdened, out of compassion to the self (who always deserves it) forgive all things past present and potential future arisings. Choose to forgive in advance the most awful things beyond your imagination capacity. This severes your attachment to mind carrying that burden. Recognize everything you have ever seen or experienced will crumble to dust, be consumed by a stars death process, collasped into a super density mass and spray back out of a black hole in beautiful divine spirals of gamma rays that somehow make the energy/mass conversion back to become new stars and planets. Galaxies of galaxys are repeating this process like fire flys flashing at an infinite pace like a blurred even energy gradient. Oneness is a perception of reality.

 

For this realization, severe ones ties to the concept of material attachment, there is only energy. Some of it is on a fleetingly brief loan to you right now to compose ones body. Everyone pays back this debt equally and exactly, no matter how much of their life they gave to clinging to it to suffer in futility.

 

If you embrace these simple realizations, it will become primary nature not to suffer. You can still always choose to mindfully suffer (pointlessly and un-compassionatly to any level you choose, mindfully choose fear-rooted thought).

 

At some point, chooseing to return to illusion of lack-of-mindfulness-state becomes seen as foolish of a thing to do as stapling into your forehead pointlessly, only much more dangerous.

 

With unlimited Love,

-Bud

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This morning I posted a one liner on my FB wall stating "The root of all suffering is fear". To which someone responded - "No, the root of all suffering is Ego".

 

So after  a few rounds of back and forth, we decided to define that which we are calling Ego. 

I said -- "Ego is just the identification of our selves with our body and mind".

 

So back came the question. How does one identify with the mind. What is the mind?

 

To which my response was - "The mind is a field of thoughts in our consciousness. It is the sensory apparatus that lets us interact with the material universe via a subject-object paradigm. It helps us categorize and label things...and ourselves thereof"

 

Then came the rejoinder - "then How/Why is Ego not the root cause of all suffering?"

 

To which my response was - Ego cannot be eradicated as long as there is a physical body and a mind. What can happen is that Ego takes a back seat unless needed for the organism to interact with it's surroundings.

 

As part of categorizing and labeling, organizing objects that the subject encounters, there are value judgements made. This is good, that is bad...and we attach to the good and reject the bad. But always have the "FEAR" of losing the "Good" or of experiencing the "Bad".

 

So we see, Fear is the emotion that is the root of all suffering. We suffer because we fear losing this or not attaining that (whatever this or that may be). We feel anger, we feel pain, we feel other emotions triggered by this one primal emotion. Even when we love we fear that we will lose our loved ones...or that the love we give is not going to be reciprocated...we fear of our feelings getting hurt. We fear pain that might be caused by some action or non-action.

 

Our fear leads us to act unnaturally...and one action leads to another action and so on and so forth. Each action in turn is a decision point of what is good for me and what is bad for me...

 

Feel free to discuss...but PLEASE don't post long quotes of other people's thoughts. Respond by thinking and stating how and what YOU understand of this topic...

 

:)

 

Makes almost perfect sense except the fear part. Fear doesn't necessarily cause suffering, it's just a response. Irrational fear can cause suffering, but then is it always fear ? Hard to say, there are shades. If you get to your holiday destination and the area is not as expected then disappointment can cause suffering. It isn't the fact that it's just unpleasant and is naturally disliked, but it's the mind talk 'this should not have happened to me' 'I've been a fool to trust that holiday company' etc. Then, if you happen to be in the way of seeking Zen you may add 'I shouldn't be thinking these thoughts' or 'I should be happy with what I have'. All of these thoughts conflict with reality and the self of worth. The impact is then on the Ego.

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Makes almost perfect sense except the fear part. Fear doesn't necessarily cause suffering, it's just a response. Irrational fear can cause suffering, but then is it always fear ? Hard to say, there are shades. If you get to your holiday destination and the area is not as expected then disappointment can cause suffering. It isn't the fact that it's just unpleasant and is naturally disliked, but it's the mind talk 'this should not have happened to me' 'I've been a fool to trust that holiday company' etc. Then, if you happen to be in the way of seeking Zen you may add 'I shouldn't be thinking these thoughts' or 'I should be happy with what I have'. All of these thoughts conflict with reality and the self of worth. The impact is then on the Ego.

More psychobables.....this fear is personal and in relation to the ego and specific to that ego of an individual.  That's why not everyone fears the same thing.  Holiday destination???  Being disappointed in your holiday destination does not cause the ego to go into a panic mode and fearing its existentialism....   

 

Frankly, you have a bigger issue if being disappointed by your holiday destination would wreck havoc in your ego/persona complex. 

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More psychobables.....this fear is personal and in relation to the ego and specific to that ego of an individual. That's why not everyone fears the same thing. Holiday destination??? Being disappointed in your holiday destination does not cause the ego to go into a panic mode and fearing its existentialism....

 

Frankly, you have a bigger issue if being disappointed by your holiday destination would wreck havoc in your ego/persona complex.

It's called an example. I could have used many examples but it's the kind of thing most people have experienced.

 

My posts count appears to play havoc with your ego, or whatever it is you believe is left over.

Edited by Karl

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For me, fear is nothing more than a symptom, a physiologic response, not a fundamental cause of suffering.

 

In my view and experience the primary root of suffering is ignorance of our true nature.

And stable realization and manifestation of that nature is the end of fear and the end of suffering.

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Ok here is a short quote of other peoples' thoughts..

 

Atma Bodha

(Self-Knowledge)

By Adi Sankaracharya, 788-820 CE,

 

...

27. Just as the person who regards a rope as a snake is overcome by fear, so also one considering oneself as the ego (Jiva) is overcome by fear. The ego-centric individuality in us regains fearlessness by realising that It is not a Jiva but is Itself the Supreme Soul.

...

45. Brahman appears to be a ‚ÄėJiva‚Äô because of ignorance, just as a post appears to be a ghost. The ego-centric-individuality is destroyed when the real nature of the ‚ÄėJiva‚Äô is realised as the Self.

 

No jiva, no fear. Ill just have to be hopefull until I realize this.. :)

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more basically what is fear (and all of its many or related aspects) but energy flowing in or through the fear area of the mind/body and letting it stick around or dwell there.  Panic is a side-example more related to survival yet the process is not all that different,  for instance if one gets caught in an ocean rip-tide when going out for a swim and lets panic take over then they don't have much chance to survive compared to one that has some self-control in not letting all their energy flow just through the fear area of their situation, thus having some energy also flow for serious problem solving.  The same idea applies to anger and energy flowing through that area without there being some self-control of the flow that can result in blind destructive rage.  So the basic energy itself is not really fear or anger - it is just energy that magnifies those areas of mind by flowing there.

 

"Fear not"   and flow not energy to fear

 

further, beating anger out of someone can also beat the energy out of them instead of redirecting it - thus not the thing to do.

Edited by 3bob
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Fear IS ego IS hatred IS suffering IS illusion IS greed IS desire.

 

These all coincide together and form the basic worldview that the intelligent try to escape.  One can't be placed at the root of any of the others.  They all imply each other and go together.

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Ok here is a short quote of other peoples' thoughts..

 

 

No jiva, no fear. Ill just have to be hopefull until I realize this.. :)

Good quote, seems that particular patterns of contracting the self are being untied through experiencing these fears and feelings deeply. As if taking of your cloths in a public place - you think that you will be naked in a moment, but then there is another t-shirt underneeth that you were not aware of, you might think that this os the last one but then other shows up, more collorful and sometimes almost invisible like wearing coths made of air or sound Edited by Kubba

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"what you fear shall come upon you" 

 

fear can not destroy fear, hate can not destroy hate, ego can not destroy ego, etc...

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Ok here is a short quote of other peoples' thoughts..

 

 

No jiva, no fear. Ill just have to be hopefull until I realize this.. :)

Haha yes...but Shankara also mentions limitations of the upAdhi. I'm not saying that Ego identification is not reduced, but it cannot go away entirely as long as the physical body and associated mind exist. I said fear is the root because fear is one of the things that prevents people from venturing into atma-vichara -- self-inquiry and other practices. 

 

With proper practice fear is neutralized and that involves working with the body-mind complex. Fear has to be let go of, little by little. And as 3Bob put it...fear cannot be removed by fear...it can be removed by letting go of the value judgements we superimpose on things (both material as well as immaterial...such as ideas and thoughts)...

 

I know it is kind of silly to try and distill down to "one thing" that is the root of something like suffering (which comes in many shapes, forms and sizes...). This was just and attempt to delve deeper into the notion of fear and how it affects us and our behaviors and thoughts :)

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Fear IS ego IS hatred IS suffering IS illusion IS greed IS desire.

 

These all coincide together and form the basic worldview that the intelligent try to escape.  One can't be placed at the root of any of the others.  They all imply each other and go together.

Ding, ding..we have a winner.  :) 

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#23 is debatable...

 

touching on just desire for instance, the Buddha "desired" to find an end to suffering, Taoist masters desire to keep their students moving along in progress, Gandhi desired far better rights and justice for the Indian people, parents desire that children do better than they did or at least have some happiness in an often difficult world, such examples can go on and on times a million along the lines I've mentioned and relate to fulfilling dharma.  Also, even so called false desires normally have some aspect or grain of truth to them buried deep down inside that got crossed-up or twisted-up somehow.

Edited by 3bob
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Can a being that mindfully transcends fear-rooted thought still have cause to arise the illusion of suffering? (Illusion because the natural state has awareness beyond the capacity to suffer.)

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