Reply To: ASYMMETRY between pleasure and pain in rebirth cycle


LDF mentioned:

 – “To understand how rebirth is full of suffering read this single page document

 – “Even 9 months of pleasure vacation pales in comparison to one day of harsh intense suffering

It’s kinda interesting that this was brought up because several years back on here, I mentioned and we discussed something similar.

In addition to what has been mentioned by LDF and others, I thought I would share a recent realization / understanding that I have come to that’s related to this discussion and hope it can help others in any way.

 – “Suffering due to unsatisfactory experiences

 – “sense objects nor senses themselves are satisfactory or can be satisfied

I’m currently on vacation traveling aboard. On a long distance flight, I was able to fly business class due to my wife work benefits. For the last few days, I have been living in luxury, doing luxurious things. I’m sure many others would like to be in the position that I’m currently in on this trip and in my lay life.

I would rate my lay life a 9 / 10, with 10 being the best life one could possibly live. It’s somewhat difficult for me to express everything that I would like to in words on how I exactly feel about all of this. What I can say is that I still carry out kama raga due to my anusaya’s, asava’s and gati. Even experiencing all the assada’s and sukha vipaka’s on my current trip and in my lay life, a part of me finds it all stressful, vexing, unfulfilling and meaningless.  

 – “All pleasures in saṁsāra are filled with dukkha

Based on “part of me or in back of my mind” I really don’t see the point of hoping or wanting to continue seeking pleasant / pleasurable experiences or sukha vipaka’s in this world, even from the heavenly realms. If I could spend 99.99% of my “all” my bhava’s / jati’s in the sugati’s (rupa and arupa loka’s) instead of attaining nibbana, I would not want to make such deal / trade. But that’s only possible when I have broken all the 10 fetters.

Why I would say something like this is because my current understanding / view is that any assada or sukha vedana / vipaka’s experienced doesn’t really relieve one of dukkha. It only temporary relieves or covers up the hidden or not evident dukkha that one goes through. It’s like taking a pain killer for chronic pain.

I believe it’s evident, easy to see and understand dukkha and sukha based on vedana, but more difficult with wisdom. To me, seeing and understanding dukkha with wisdom means to see dukkha as a process or mechanism rather than just based on (vedana) feelings. Based on this scrutiny, to me it doesn’t really make sense that I would want to continue the samsara journey even if I could spend 99.99% of my bhava’s / jati’s in the sugati’s.

I believe the only time when one is really free from dukkha is when one’s thoughts are of kusala (with lokuttara samma ditthi) or on nibbana. So even if one is vacationing or existing in the sugati’s without thoughts of kusala or nibbana, are they really free from dukkha during those times / moments? Thinking or seeing based on vedana would seem so but if it’s based on wisdom, I would not believe so.