„Suffering points out that there is falsehood somewhere. Suffering occurs when you clash with reality. When your illusions clash with reality when your falsehoods clash with the truth, then you have suffering. Otherwise there is no suffering.“

"Obstacles to Happiness", p. 74
Awareness (1992)
Context: Suffering is a sign that you're out of touch with the truth. Suffering is given to you that you might open your eyes to the truth, that you might understand that there's falsehood somewhere, just as physical pain is given to you so you will understand that there is disease or illness somewhere. Suffering points out that there is falsehood somewhere. Suffering occurs when you clash with reality. When your illusions clash with reality when your falsehoods clash with the truth, then you have suffering. Otherwise there is no suffering.

Last update May 22, 2020. History
Anthony de Mello photo
Anthony de Mello134
Indian writer 1931 - 1987

Related quotes

Byron Katie photo

„You move totally away from reality when you believe that there is a legitimate reason to suffer.“

—  Byron Katie American spiritual writer 1942

Source: Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life (2002)

Wayne W. Dyer photo
Thich Nhat Hanh photo

„When you begin to see that your enemy is suffering, that is the beginning of insight.“

—  Thich Nhat Hanh Religious leader and peace activist 1926

Source: Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

Samuel P. Huntington photo

„In the emerging world of ethnic conflict and civilizational clash, Western belief in the universality of Western culture suffers three problems: it is false; it is immoral; and it is dangerous.“

—  Samuel P. Huntington American political scientist 1927 - 2008

Ch. 12 : The West, Civilizations, and Civilization, § 2 : The West In The World, p. 310
Source: The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (1996), Ch. 12 : The West, Civilizations, and Civilization, § 2 : The West In The World, p. 308
Context: Normatively the Western universalist belief posits that people throughout the world should embrace Western values, institutions, and culture because they embody the highest, most enlightened, most liberal, most rational, most modern, and most civilized thinking of humankind.
In the emerging world of ethnic conflict and civilizational clash, Western belief in the universality of Western culture suffers three problems: it is false; it is immoral; and it is dangerous.
Context: Cultural and civilizational diversity challenges the Western and particularly American belief in the universal relevance of Western culture. This belief is expressed both descriptively and normatively. Descriptively it holds that peoples in all societies want to adopt Western values, institutions, and practices. If they seem not to have that desire and to be committed to their own traditional cultures, they are victims of a “false consciousness” comparable to that which Marxists found among proletarians who supported capitalism. Normatively the Western universalist belief posits that people throughout the world should embrace Western values, institutions, and culture because they embody the highest, most enlightened, most liberal, most rational, most modern, and most civilized thinking of humankind.
In the emerging world of ethnic conflict and civilizational clash, Western belief in the universality of Western culture suffers three problems: it is false; it is immoral; and it is dangerous. … The belief that non-Western peoples should adopt Western values, institutions, and culture is immoral because of what would be necessary to bring it about. The almost-universal reach of European power in the late nineteenth century and the global dominance of the United States in the late twentieth century spread much of Western civilization across the world. European globalism, however, is no more. American hegemony is receding if only because it is no longer needed to protect the United States against a Cold War-style Soviet military threat. Culture, as we have argued, follows power. If non-Western societies are once again to be shaped by Western culture, it will happen only as a result of the expansion, deployment, and impact of Western power. Imperialism is the necessary logical consequence of universalism. In addition, as a maturing civilization, the West no longer has the economic or demographic dynamism required to impose its will on other societies and any effort to do so is also contrary to the Western values of self-determination and democracy. As Asian and Muslim civilizations begin more and more to assert the universal relevance of their cultures, Westerners will come to appreciate more and more the connection between universalism and imperialism.
Context: A world in which cultural identities — ethnic, national, religious, civilizational — are central, and cultural affinities and differences shape the alliances, antagonisms, and policies of states has three broad implications for the West generally and for the United States in particular.
First, statesmen can constructively alter reality only if they recognize and understand it. The emerging politics of culture, the rising power of non-Western civilizations, and the increasing cultural assertiveness of these societies have been widely recognized in the non-Western world. European leaders have pointed to the cultural forces drawing people together and driving them apart. American elites, in contrast, have been slow to accept and to come to grips with these emerging realities.

Paulo Coelho photo

„When your suffering is a little greater than my suffering, I feel like I am a little cruel.“

—  Antonio Porchia Italian Argentinian poet 1885 - 1968

Cuando tu dolor es un poco mayor que mi dolor, me siento un poco cruel.
Voces (1943)

Paul Gauguin photo

„Your Nordic blue eyes looked attentively at the paintings hanging on the walls. I felt stirrings of rebellion: a whole clash between your civilization and my barbarism. Civilization from which you suffer. Barbarism which for me is a rejuvenation.“

—  Paul Gauguin French Post-Impressionist artist 1848 - 1903

Original: Votre œil bleu du nord regardait attentivement les tableaux pendus aux murs. J’eus comme le pressentiment d’une révolte : tout un choc entre votre civilisation et ma barbarie. Civilisation dont vous souffrez. Barbarie qui est pour moi un rajeunissement.
Source: 1890s - 1910s, The Writings of a Savage (1996), p. 105: quote from his letter to August Strindberg (5 May 1895)

Thich Nhat Hanh photo
Fernando Pessoa photo

„For valuing your own suffering sets on it the gold of a sun of pride. Suffering a lot can originate the illusion of being the Chosen of Pain.“

—  Fernando Pessoa, book The Book of Disquiet

Ibid., p. 253
The Book of Disquiet
Original: Porque dar valor ao próprio sofrimento põe-lhe o ouro de um sol do orgulho. Sofrer muito pode dar a ilusão de ser o Eleito da Dor.

Jordan Peterson photo

„Do I want to suffer or not suffer NOW? That's the only truth for you. There's no tradition, no past, no discussion in it. It's all you need. Keep it with you and at the next temptation to suffer it will prevent you suffering. But only if you've learned in your own experience what causes you to suffer. If you haven't learned that, you're still attached to suffering and will unwittingly embrace it. In that case you have to read on, take more time and ask yourself more questions.“

—  Barry Long Australian spiritual teacher and writer 1926 - 2003

Love is not a feeling ~ The Article (1995)
Context: In other words, to be enlightened of the acquired burden every spiritual belief and notion has to be abandoned, every reference to what any spiritual teacher or master has ever said must be set aside. What does that leave? Your own experience. Not your historical or memorable experience, for that's the problem. Your own experience is your self-knowledge of life. Let's establish once and for all what this means now. Forget everything I've said in this article except this question: Do I want to suffer or not suffer NOW? That's the only truth for you. There's no tradition, no past, no discussion in it. It's all you need. Keep it with you and at the next temptation to suffer it will prevent you suffering. But only if you've learned in your own experience what causes you to suffer. If you haven't learned that, you're still attached to suffering and will unwittingly embrace it. In that case you have to read on, take more time and ask yourself more questions.

Thich Nhat Hanh photo
Tennessee Williams photo
Emil M. Cioran photo
Paulo Coelho photo
Eckhart Tolle photo
Teal Swan photo
Philip Wollen photo
Emil M. Cioran photo

Related topics