28 August 2011

Nirodha, the Extinguishing

Wherever a problem arises it must be settled right there. Where suffering lies is right where non-suffering will arise; it ceases at the place where it arises.
– Ajahn Man
I don't think I've ever really appreciated just how unexpected the Third Noble Truth is.  Not the end of suffering part, for there isn't a religion, major or minor, that doesn't promise an end to suffering.  Rather, it's the manner of the end of suffering that's so profound – it just ceases.  Suffering isn't replaced, deferred, taken on by someone else, mitigated, transformed or anything like that.  It just ceases.  One isn't transported to a special somewhere else; the suffering just ceases.

Where it was, there it is no longer.  And that's all. 

That's all!

The end of suffering is no more remarkable than realizing, "Where I had a toothache, there is no longer a toothache."  It sounds silly to say that.  Who talks like that?  Once the toothache is gone it's just as soon forgotten, and one doesn't go on for the rest of one's days saying, "I used to have a toothache here.  Now I have a toothache-free life."

How much more silly does it sound to say, "Where I had clinging and aversion because of ego-attachment, I no longer have clinging and aversion because of ego-attachment"?  Who talks like that, either?

There really is nothing to say about nirodha, nothing at all.

No comments:

Post a Comment