We all suffer in the journey of life. The rich and the poor suffer. The rich may think that they suffer less, but what are they rich in? If they are well-to-do with lots of money but are short on real compassion, insight, and wisdom, are they truly rich? Most of us were miseducated on what true richness in life entails; then we go through life bereft of the real treasures, empty of real substance.
Animals (other than our own species) also suffer. Many are currently suffering because of the overindulgence of man… too much cement, too much pollution, too much loss of habitat. There is also the competition in nature between the many animals; many have to struggle among themselves for survival. It’s a tough world out there.
When one looks with barriers, through psychological walls of separation (as one has been mistaught to), then one doesn’t do much about the suffering. Ironically, these very walls (i.e., psychological walls) tend to enclose and greatly contribute to one’s own so-called personal suffering.
True intelligence not only helps much suffering to end in the exterior world — via compassion and action (because “others” aren’t so separate any longer) — but also transcends suffering internally (or psychologically, so to speak). When a mind goes beyond crude ways of perceiving, then a totally different dimension may take place (that is — to a large degree — beyond the friction and pain of regular life). A mind that consists of reaction after reaction is bound to suffer; a mind that does not always react like a programmed robot may transcend much suffering.
Very good commentary Tom. Sometimes we learn, then after a while, we dismiss or simply choose to forget. We are in this gift of life together. Sadly we see the greediness affects all levels of creation. 😦
Many of us need to wake up regarding treating the planet better by regulating our human population better (i.e., we are reproducing our species beyond our fair share), by using cleaner energy, by staying more local; but a lot of us are refusing to do that (because of miseducation and propaganda that will cause much suffering). Hopefully, more of us will wake up.
Magnificent photo Tom.
Regarding suffering: “Ironically, these very walls (i.e., psychological walls of separation) tend to enclose and greatly contribute to one’s own so-called personal suffering.” Oh this is so true… just now it is all the burning trees that have my heartfelt compassion.
Yes, animals — as you know well, Sara — live in those trees. Such out-of-control massive fires are getting to be the norm. It’s our neglect of the environment.
Wonderful macro of a “wolf” spider….frightening…..happy it is a tiny creature.
Thanks, Michael. It’s not a wolf spider; it’s a jumping spider.
Charles Dickens made a great statement in “A Christmas Carol”. When Ebeneezer Scrooge’s fiance breaks their engagement because she says he has found another love, the golden idol of monetary riches. Young Ebeneezer’s reply is truthful and direct, and a bit of an eye-opener. Paraphrasing, he describes the viewpoint of the ordinary working-class stiff:
“It never ceases to amaze me how people can aspire to the pursuit of wealth, then condemn it in the same breath.”
Rich people suffer life’s agonies and to the same degree as those less fortunate, they just do so in more lavish digs. When it comes down to it, when I cry for my mother’s death, would it matter if my handkerchief were silk, or cotton?
Truly seeing the real world, “outside”, nature, wildlife, we see that each and every thing is fragile, and every moment counts. Fortunes change rapidly, and there are always those greater and lesser than yourself. To study the wildness of wild things is to uncover the unnatural, soft, mechanical, artificial, insulated way in which humankind has walled itself. The world has suffered incomprehensibly from humankind’s best and worst intentions, and the losses continue to mount. Again, I turn to Dickens.
“O! You do not know the length and weight of strong chain with which you have girded yourself, and you have labored on it these many years. Lo! It is a ponderous chain.”
The good news is, the world and the universe will move on after we have gone.
Yes, great points!
Yes, Pazlo, the universe will do just fine after our species has extinguished itself.
Your last paragraph reminds me of the saying that I have heard from friends in recovery groups, “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”
Yes, suffering can be transcended; the mind can even go beyond the pain to a large extent also (without the use of drugs).
Aah – my favorite critter, a spider … okay, not true, however, the way you have captured it with your macro lens Tom, it seems to look at you with those big eyes and ask “why?” The only animals that have benefited from the ravages of the pandemic are the shelter pets who many people adopted because they were home on lockdown. Thank goodness they sought companionship at shelters to help clear out shelters. Too bad the same benefit cannot be extended to wild animals.
Oh, for a second one thought that you were actually immensely fond of the jumping spider but then i realized that you were largely being sarcastic. Yes, those big eyes are truly of curiosity; these jumping spiders often jump onto my camera as i am photographing them… seeing the camera as a nifty place to explore. They are like miniature monkeys and with their stereoscopic vision they do not miss a leap goal.
Yes, dogs make great companions. 🙂 Ours is now shaken up because of a thunderstorm.
Amazing capture beautiful eyes! 🙂
Yes, beautiful eyes! They often jump onto my camera to explore. 🙂