2 Kerr Graham

Walking up Packard Ave. on Sunday morning.

I don’t shiver.

The roads aren’t white,

and the wind blows.

[picture pending]

Life is generally suffering. While we may be able to understand that everything changes and that suffering is caused by our concepts of reality conflicting with our experiences – anitya and duhka –  that understanding itself is in flux. As Nagurjuna states, “we do not experience anything empirically which does not change, and so never know of fixed essences in the world about us” (Inoue 38), implying that even our understanding of anitya and its effects, essentially our whole means of dealing with suffering, “is like a floating clouds which changes and vanishes” (Vimalakirti as cited in Keene 100).

But that is not completely upsetting, because at the moment, I find living to be valuable. Within that thought I feel that suffering is valuable too. It gives me context for when I am not suffering, and it is one of the ways I understand I am happy. It is not simply a matter of at least I am not in that bad of a situation, but rather, I am experiencing something, and for that I am happy. Maybe it’s a naïve thought, but Lady Sarashina seems to understand: “we continue to live despite suffering” (Baldick 107).

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One Response to 2 Kerr Graham

  1. Graham,

    I agree with you that life is generally suffering. And I also agree with you that there is great value in understanding the necessity of dealign with suffering. I don’t think that it is naïve thought. Rather, I think that, as you said, it provides a positive genre of perspective. The constant weight of having to deal with suffering tunes us in to and amplifies the moments during which suffering is absent. We are that much more focused, that much more keen on feeling as much as we can when that feeling is devoid of pain.

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