Does Perception Influence Suffering? (Part 3)


Dreams seem to be real whilst they are happening but when they are finished, we say,  “Oh this was just a dream!” When you change from youth to adulthood, isn’t youth like a dream, because it will come back no more?  Wouldn’t you say yesterday was like a dream because today is different? How can that which is changing ever be real? Isn’t it dream-like? Tell me now, all of these realities that we hold on to, how real are they?

Could we take suffering in the same context, that suffering is an experience that is not real but is perceived? If I were to change my interpretation of an event, can I change my suffering? For example, if I am having an experience of pain, can I see that pain is creating a transformation in me and I am learning something? When I go to the gym and I work the body, I want to push the exercise a little further, it is painful but I am doing it because I know it is a sweet pain because the muscle is going to become stronger and tougher.

Or if someone is changing their diet because they know that the body is going to be far better, but it is painful to do because we are addicted to food. Once they keep the image of where they want to go, suddenly it feels like it is not an issue at all. “I can do this!” The interpretation of the event changes the experience. That’s why we say what can be painful for someone, might be joyful for another.

If we have an ailing relative and the person is going through severe pain and subsequently passes away. If we think that they are relieved from the suffering, and they are continuing on their journey, then our interpretation of the event frees us of suffering. Somebody could misinterpret our response, thinking that we are happy because the person passed away. Another person will see our response as not right and they are totally sad, depressed because the person passed away. You see different interpretations of the same event?

Is it possible then that we can transform the interpretation of any kind of suffering because we have a divine self, “This is happening but it is not totally real.”  If we could interpret the event in terms of it being transformative then would we ever see suffering?

If we are to interpret change as being good for something then when change is happening we will not have an issue with it. If I have the awareness that I am going to live beyond the life of the body, and I can feel that deep within my being and it resonates powerfully within me, then there is absolutely no fear of death. There is no suffering in terms of that. Is it possible then that the consciousness could shift and go to a place where there is never suffering because we can reinterpret events in the way of learning, growing and evolving? We will only continuously see the blessing of transformation.

Is it possible then that the only one who is suffering is the ego which is not divine self? It is false self. If we can come back to that place of pure being where we can reinterpret events and see everything as being transformative, every experience in the consciousness as helping the ego to evolve and finally become free, then would life be free of suffering?

That’s what Buddha found out. He speaks only of pure consciousness; no God, no angel, no event, simply that which is not impermanent. He speaks about this consciousness space that is the basis of everything. Everything else is changing, transitory. Sri Vasudeva


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