Many people asked, “How to be free from suffering, especially suffering that is inflicted by other people’s ignorant behavior out of ignorance?”
Only through self-realized compassion and wisdom can free one’s mind from suffering. Obtaining sympathy and empathy from others can only console the mind for momentary relief, but it doesn’t free the mind from the root cause of suffering – Ignorance, egoism and impurities. It doesn’t matter what kind of suffering that the mind thinks it is suffering from, it’s all out of ignorance. The mind who thinks it is experiencing suffering, the object of suffering, and the cause suffering, may it be something physically, mentally or emotionally unpleasant or hurtful inflicted by others, intentionally and unintentionally, or it’s due to some unforeseen circumstances, are all the products of ignorance.
Even the liberated, compassionate and wise Buddha also couldn’t free other beings from suffering. He could only give them the teachings and it’s up to everyone’s own awareness, effort, perseverance, self-inquiry and self-realization to free one’s mind from ignorance, egoism and impurities, and thus, be free from suffering.
When there is a thinking of “I am the victim of suffering” and “I am the victim of the cause of suffering”, where there is an identification from the mind being identified as the sufferer, and there is attachment and judgment towards the suffering and what the mind thinks is the cause of suffering, this mind won’t be able to see the truth of the suffering and the cause of suffering. And hence, the mind couldn’t be free from suffering even though there are plenty of sympathy and empathy coming from other people towards this mind that it thinks it is suffering from some kind of suffering.
Compassion and wisdom allows the mind to stand as a third party looking into the mind that thinks it is the sufferer or an victim, the suffering and the cause of suffering, WITHOUT egoism of judgment, attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion, intention or expectation. It allows the mind to see the truth of the existence of the sufferer or the victim, the object of suffering and the cause of suffering, as it is.
When the mind experiences something that the mind doesn’t like, doesn’t agree with and doesn’t want, there arise suffering in this mind. When the mind doesn’t experience something that it likes, agrees with and wants, there arise suffering in this mind. When the mind losing something that it likes, agrees with and wants, there arise suffering in this mind. It’s all in the mind from the mind, it’s not coming from the objects of name and form that the mind is experiencing. It’s the mind rejecting the reality that it perceives or experiences that is not the way that the mind likes and wants it to be, but is the way that the mind doesn’t like and doesn’t want, that is why suffering exists in the mind. It’s egoism of attachment and identification towards the physical body and the thinking mind, that generate great fear and aversion towards having bad condition, not having good condition, losing good condition, physical and mental limitation, loneliness, decay, weakness, injury, sickness, pain, hunger, thirst, disability, old age, separation from people and things that we love, the unknown, insecurity, and death. The mind is suffering from peacelessness or restlessness of ungratified desires of craving and aversion, dissatisfaction, greed, lust, passion, disappointment, anger, hatred, hurt, animosity, hostility, humiliation, pride, arrogance, ill-will, ill-thinking, violence, fear and worry, and etc.
Out of fear, craving and aversion, there’s violence, unrest, war, killing, sexual assault, hostility, discrimination, hatred, corruption, and all sorts of human-made ignorant happenings in this world.
And hence, out of wisdom, the mind realizes that all suffering are deriving from impurities born out of ignorance and egoism of attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion, judgment and expectation. It’s really nothing to do with the objects of name and form that the mind experiences/perceives which the mind thinks are ‘bad’, ‘horrible’, ‘undeserving’, ‘wrong’, ‘hurtful’, ‘negative’ or ‘suffering’, that the impure mind thinks it’s the cause of its suffering.
And out of compassion from this mind towards itself that is under the influence of the ignorant thinking about itself is the sufferer or an victim, and being compassionate towards the mind perception of suffering and the cause of suffering, this mind is able to let go the thinking about itself as the sufferer or the victim and what it used to perceive as ‘suffering’, and thus, the sufferer, the suffering and the cause of suffering all disappear from the mind that is wise and compassionate. And knowing that whether they are pleasant or unpleasant sensations, desirable or undesirable experiences, enjoyable or hurtful experiences, happy or unhappy experiences, deserving or undeserving experiences, present or past experiences, they all have no quality or intention to be something pleasurable or suffering, and they are impermanent, and it’s not ‘I’.
‘I’ am not the sufferer, the sufferer is not ‘I’. ‘I’ am not the suffering, the suffering is not ‘I’. ‘I am not the cause of suffering, the cause of suffering is not ‘I’. There’s neither ‘I’ exists to be suffering, or there is suffering existing, or there’s a suffering ‘I’ needs to be free from suffering. There might be painful and unpleasant sensations or limitation in the body due to injury or sickness, but there is awareness knowing that the body is not ‘I’, ‘I’ am not the body. And the body and the painful sensations or the injury or the sickness or the function of the body are all impermanent. There’s no identification or attachment towards the impermanent changes of the body and life existence. There’s no fear or aversion towards painful and unpleasant sensations, injury, sickness, separation from people and things that we love, and death or the end of this life existence. And hence, suffering doesn’t arise in the liberated mind.
It’s the intense aversion towards something that the mind recognizes as ‘bad’, ‘negative’, ‘horrible’, ‘unhappy’, hurtful’, ‘unpleasant’, ‘wrong’, ‘undeserving’, ‘sad’, ‘fearful’, or ‘suffering’, that the mind doesn’t like or doesn’t agree with and doesn’t want, that intensify the ‘suffering’ state of the mind. If the mind is free from craving or aversion towards any names and forms that are pleasant or unpleasant, then the mind will be aware of something is not nice, or greatly unpleasant, or not right that the mind is experiencing through the physical body, but the mind won’t perceive it as an suffering, and knowing that this is impermanent, and it’s needless to hold on onto this unpleasant experience, and allow the memory of this experience to be there, without pushing it away, and this memory has no power or quality to make the mind suffers, unless the mind allows itself to be continuously be disturbed or determined by this memory, and suffers.
When the mind is endowed with compassion and wisdom, this mind will know that all kinds of hurtful or painful experiences inflicted by human beings are deriving from ignorant behavior out of ignorance, whether intentionally or unintentionally. There’s no need to blame oneself or others by thinking that “I am a victim of other people’s ignorant behavior. And I am in great suffering because of other people’s ignorant behavior out of ignorance.” or “It’s because I am not good, that’s why I am experiencing this and I am suffering.” Because, the wisdom will allow the mind to understand, “I am not ignorant to behave ignorantly. Somebody else is ignorant to behave ignorantly. Why do I have to suffer for other people’s ignorant behavior out of ignorance? I don’t have to, even though there might be some damages or painful sensations inflicted onto this body and mind caused by other people’s ignorant behavior out of ignorance. If I allow myself to be suffering for other people’s ignorant behavior out of ignorance and generating further damages to this body and mind due to anger and hatred, then it’s out of my ignorance.” And out of compassion towards this body and mind that is physically, mentally and emotionally be affected by other people’s ignorant behavior out of ignorance, this mind will let go and move on without resentment, anger, hatred, hurt, guilt or blame. This mind doesn’t even need to forgive anyone or anything, as there’s no anger or hatred or resentment or hurt in this mind. This doesn’t mean that this mind is allowing or encouraging other people to be ignorant to perform ignorant behavior onto this body and mind.
By telling the people who are under the influence of ignorance about the damages and pain that they have done onto other people’s body and mind won’t undo what had happened and won’t remove the ignorance from the people’s mind. It has to come from everyone’s self-aware and self-realize towards the ignorance in them and the consequences of ignorant behavior, and out of their own free-will and self-control, they want to be free from ignorance and stop behaving ignorantly. If people are free from ignorance, they won’t behave ignorantly in the first place. And because of ignorance, they are ignorant towards their ignorant behavior, and continue to be ignorant, even though they are being pointed out that they are ignorant.
Out of our own ignorance, we can tell the wise about something that we think is ignorant about them, “You are ignorant. What you do is so ignorant.” And the wise won’t be disturbed, and it’s our own ignorance for having such statement towards the wise who are not ignorant at all. But we can’t tell this to the ignorant, even if it’s out of good intention trying to bring awareness to someone about their ignorance and their ignorant thinking, actions and behavior, it’s because of ignorance, they will be very offended, disturbed and upset, as the ignorant are being ignorant towards the ignorance in their minds. By telling those who are under the influence of ignorance that they are ignorant, won’t take away the ignorance in them. And so, it’s pointless to tell anyone whom we think they are ignorant that they are ignorant and to stop being ignorant, whether they are really ignorant, or not, because the wise are not ignorant at all, and the ignorant will still be ignorant.
Whether those who inflict ignorant actions out of ignorance onto other people will finally receive the consequences of their actions, or not, and whether they will repent and apologize, or not, it really doesn’t matter to the liberated minds and it’s not their intention to make them suffer or be punished for their actions out of ignorance.
If the mind needs to see the ignorant people to suffer or be punished for their ignorant actions, to feel better and satisfied, then this mind is not free, even though it might feel better and satisfied in this present moment by gratifying its desire of wishing the ignorant people to suffer or be punished for their ignorant actions, as this mind is also under the influence of ignorance and egoism and impurities.
May all be free.