Examine the framework of the Four Noble Truths
Sean Reece Grange
The Four Noble Truths are much like a doctor’s prescription; they are Buddha’s prescription for suffering. In the first two truths he diagnoses the problem of suffering, and identifies its cause. The third truth is the discovery of a cure, and the fourth noble truth is the prescription as the Buddha sets out the Eightfold path to achieve a release from suffering. Suffering is a serious illness to Buddhist’s because it keeps us in Samsara, the cycle of birth, death and rebirth and prevents us from attaining enlightenment.
The first step in the Buddha’s medical process is to diagnose the problem, and this means identifying Dukkha. The first noble truth is the truth of suffering. This is the recognition that suffering exists, and it affects us all in one form or another. “There is suffering, Dukkha. Dukkha should be understood. Dukkha has been understood”. The Buddha on the three aspects of Dukkha- Sammyutta Nikava. This quote reflects the attitude that the Buddha believes is necessary to deal with suffering. First we must recognise that suffering exists, but that it is not a part of us. By saying “I suffer” rather than “There is suffering” we separate the suffering from ourselves and make it a collective thing that each person and creature has a part of. We are not the only one who suffers and this fact helps us to let go of our suffering in awareness of others worse off than ourselves. Suffering is part of everything we do in our lives and affects us constantly. This is shown in the four types of concealed Dukkha. We all like to buy cheap clothes and other consumer goods, but when we buy from some shops, like Primark for example, we often forget that our clothes are so cheap because they were made in a sweatshop by poor workers for low pay. This is the enjoyment of something that causes others to suffer, and in turn causes us to suffer in our conscience. Another concealed form is the...
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