So what the Buddha was teaching here is the root or cause of suffering, whether that is physical or psychological, is attachment; this suffering is endured by humanity because we are subjected to desires and cravings. If the individual is able to achieve or attain what he or she aspires for, then they experience pleasure and satisfaction, but this joy and happiness is only temporary because it is associated with or attached to that which was attained because all people, all things, all experiences are temporary except the eternal soul. Consider that for a moment. Where is your joy and happiness rooted? Is it rooted in your circumstances or is it rooted within your eternal soul?
- A man experienced suffering when he was separated from his wife through death; he suffered because he was connected to her in a relationship and derived meaning from being her husband so that when she died he suffered from the loss.
- A young woman experienced suffering when her boyfriend broke up with her; she suffered because she was dependent upon that relationship to bring her joy so that when he left her she suffered in loneliness.
- A woman experienced suffering when she became disabled; she suffered because she was dependent on the condition of physical health to bring her happiness and when she no longer was able to do the things she had done in the past she suffered.
- A couple experienced suffering when the husband lost his job; they suffered because they were attached to their income and derived pleasure from being able to pay their bills, to provide themselves with a place to live, clothes to wear, and food to eat; they suffered because their happiness was dependent on these conditions so that when this was all taken from them they suffered.
Misfortunes befall human beings because we are subjected to desires and cravings, but even once our desires are met and our cravings are fulfilled that pleasure is fleeting because everything ends, decays, and dies. Individuals who are ambitious and are able to manifest and achieve that which they desire most, will inevitably become lustful so that it will take more to fulfill their desires creating a never-ending cycle. The only true happiness can be found within.
The root of the suffering is not the physical things or conditions …it is not the possessions or the state of being that causes a person to experience suffering, it is the attachment or identifying with that person, thing, or state of being that does. It is the spiritual reliance or the energetic dependency that creates suffering when that person, thing, or state of being is gone; this is when the lack is experienced. If an individual never identified or attached themselves energetically to that person, thing, or state of being and had found happiness within them then the pain and suffering would have never been experienced. It would not cause an emotional response if the individual is not identified with that which was taken away.