Freitag, 8. Juni 2012


I don't remember where I heard this story, but it followed me for the greater part of my life.

The universe is and always has been incredibly huge. Galaxies, solar systems, planets, comets, nebulas.... and on some of these planets life developed, granted that the conditions allowed it. Some of these life-forms developed the ability to feel joy and pain as an evolutionary advantage in order to "prevent" and "recognize" harmful conditions. Even today they all have one thing in common: Every being wants to avoid pain and be happy.

Pain has two components: The physical part (electric impulse, sensation of pain at the moment) and the psychological component (the harmful object is memorized and will be recognized in the future, now associated with a negative emotion). The physical component of pain arises and disappears again, but the psychological component remains. Some beings cannot get rid of their pain and so they try to give it away; they try to give it to someone else...

When I first came into contact with Buddhist texts, I read a lot about "ignorance" and "delusions". As I understand it, Buddha taught that one of the most harmful delusions is the psychological component of pain. It pretends to be of use, it turns into anger and pretends to guard you against future attacks, but in reality it is like a fire inside of your stomach, burning away at you with nothing left in the end.

I try to remember this every day. A lot of people offer their pain, they want to give it to someone else. Don't take it, let them carry it and maybe someday they can let go of it. It's not yours and it has never been yours to keep.


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