Question on duality in suffering-pain


“just a realization, and hope you can awaken me further! pain does not mean suffering, pain is physical, yet suffering is mental however once I point that out as pain, then there is suffering right there however once it is observed as it is then there is non duality – no suffering.”

Dear reader,

Thank you for sharing your realization with us.
There is physical suffering/pain and there is emotional, psychological suffering/pain.
When we talk about the experience of non-duality, it does not mean that we will not experience physical pain. At the physical level there is pain and pleasure. Both of them are experiences which come and go.

The issue is not to make those experiences a trauma or “something we cannot live without;” such as the experience of a particular pleasure.

There is pleasure in looking at the Sunset or a full moon surrounded by stars. There is pleasure in looking at the beauty of a smiling face or a hummingbird ready to fly…Experiences, moments which a healthy mind does not depend on or rejects. Likewise, the painful experience of being burned by the Sun while riding a bicycle at noon when it is outside 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the shadow; is an experience which only marks a limit. That is what physical pain does.

Emotionally, there are experiences which we treasure or reject. That is duality. Psychologically, all experiences are neither “good” nor “bad.” Just experiences. Our internal label and traumatic, dramatic “interpretation” of a experience is what makes that experience more than what it is. Then, we choose, then we experience duality in that choosing.

Here is the example:

John and Carl had a fight. The 14 year old Carl beat up his “friend,” John; who was 12 years old at the time. Carl then spat at John’s face with anger, and left him laying on the floor. John’s felt pain, his body was aching but after a week; everything went back to normal. However, John’s mind was resented for many years after that incident.

John never forgot that experience. John resented Carl for what he had done to him. John felt humiliated and carried that trauma with him in his older years.

John made that experience of being spat on the face, a trauma which caused him mental suffering.

On the other hand, one man spat at Buddha’s face. His disciple, Ananda said:”This is too much. Give me permission to show this man what he has done.” The Buddha cleaned his face and spoke to the man:
“Thank you for bringing this experience to us. I could see that there was no anger in me whatsoever. It was a great experience for Ananda as well. Next time you feel the irresistible urge to spit at someone, please come see us again.” The Buddha was saying this with great appreciation and gratitude thankful for that event which allowed him to discover his “true” nature. That is acceptance and appreciation.

That man couldn’t sleep that night for he was thinking about that episode which he couldn’t believe. He was seeing Buddha’s eyes filled with compassion and thankfulness… The next day he came back to Buddha asking for his forgiveness.
The Buddha was sitting by the Ganges. The Buddha said: ” Lots of water have gone by already in this river. Why are you still carrying with you what happened yesterday?” The man asked for forgiveness. Buddha replied:” I cannot forgive you for I didn’t get angry with you. Just forget. But if getting forgiveness is what you need, go ask Ananda; he will be happy to give you that.”

The Buddha observed the events as they were. He saw that event as an opportunity to find his own Buddha nature. He did not act out of fear or convenience. He did not choose. He simply appreciated and accepted the events as they were.

When someone is in the path of self realization, every opportunity is a chance to discover that “buddha nature,” therefore, the “good ones and the bad ones” around us create the right environment for that realization to take place.

In psychological suffering the question is: Who is suffering? When the answer is “I” then you know that our mental creation known as the “ego,” is there giving “life” to something that no longer exists. That “life” is food to nourish the ego. A “normal” response out of ego means anger, fear, resentment, revenge, etc. that is “normal” behavior.

Transcending duality means to go beyond ego. That is “soul consciousness,” which Avyakt7 rather call “consciousness.”

Best wishes!


  1. Tony Nguyen

    The beggar come to existence when the king forgets himself. When the king remember that he’s a king, there is no longer “the beggar”. When there is no “the beggar”, there is no “the king”.


  2. avyakt7

    🙂 I wonder what is about Speedo’s that make them such a good example for a good laugh? Thanks Xxavierx for your creative examples. You made your point.


  3. xxavierx

    Suffering occurs when you’re damn sure there’s no exit. If you’re looking at the hour hands of your wrist watch, you’ll find that the suffering of others will always be. To remove its place within the carnival of duality is like a putting a tater in your speedo’s and wondering why everyone’s laughing at you (you put it in the rear instead of the front), like adding more salt to your hashbrowns at the Waffle House, or drinking a Coors and expecting a good buzz… impossible expectations.


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