Conscious Suffering- How I Drag Myself Back Down

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Addiction and Obsession, Buddhism, Overcoming Ourselves

And I hug myself, again, as I witness me walking right into my own hand-made drama, again. Enlightened? (Sigh) A bit more. At Peace? No. There? Probably never. As Cat used to lovingly say, “There will always be a bathtub more of spiritual work to do.” I am calmer, more full of light than I have ever been in my life; and still, my addiction, that one story, I can’t let go of. Not yet. I guess I have more to learn. And so, I search in Buddhism, Quantum Physics, and deep within the oceans of myself.

I have lived on the lip of insanity,
wanting to know reasons,
knocking on a door. It opens.
I’ve been knocking from the inside. – Rumi

Buddhism says our senses, and the consciousnesses that come from that, create a direct path to our suffering. How do my senses drag me back down? I’m looking for some guidance for me, and maybe for you, too. 

Dragging Myself Back Down

So, there are stimuli that cause me to suffer. Immediately. I know what I am doing and still I allow myself to walk down that path. I will consciously decide to think of this or remember that. I will suddenly see that, taste this, hear that, and I’m there. Not full-force anymore, but I’m there, enough. It hurts- enough; it confuses me -enough; it’s still there- enough. My addiction is unresolved. It lives somewhat dormant, deep inside of me. Until I touch it, brush against it, and it flairs up- enough. I have not let go.

Today, I’m looking to Buddhism for some help. I’m shaking, so hold my hand, ok? Sometimes, I still need that.

To End All Suffering- The Core of Buddhism

In a nutshell, the entire point of Buddhism is to relieve suffering. That’s it. Relieve suffering. But, I, I am reliving suffering. I want to relieve it. Just an ‘e’. That can’t be so terribly hard, just a damn ‘e’.

At Buddhism’s core of cores are The Four Noble Truths. The second one tells us that all suffering is caused by desire and attachment. I’m guilty of both. I desire and I attach. I am doing both in regards to my addiction.

Buddhism also tells us that all suffering ends when we follow the Eight Fold Path. The first two principals in this path are Right View and Right Intention/Thought. Together, Right View and Right Intention/Thought form Wisdom, or Panna. Panna is also translated as ‘pure consciousness’. That’s what I want. To be pure. To see things as they are, and no longer create that drama, that suffocating deja vu story of mine. That’s it. “Pure Consicousness.”

And so, I’ve begun looking into how Buddhism looks at consciousness. Right? Makes sense. If pure consciousness is what I want, I want to know what prevents me from it. I’ve found out a lot. A lot I can  use now, and a lot more questions that I don’t know what to do with yet. But, I shall continue seeking; and shall share with you, every step of the way.

 

What is Consciousness?

Buddhism has between 6-9 different consciousnesses (depending on which form of Buddhism you look at). I want to look at model that explains 6 of those consciousnesses nicely, and tells me how I wind up turning my consciousness into craving (desire), which leads to more suffering.

The Pali Canon has the Six Sextets Model of Consciousness. I’ll break down all five parts of the model, and then explain what we can get out of it. (If you are not so interested in the details of the model, and are more into the conclusions, skip to the “What Exactly Am I Doing Wrong” section below.)

The model:

1- SENSE BASES (has two parts)

a- internal sense organ (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind)

b- external sense organ (visual form, sound, odor, taste, touch, mental object)

So, the internal sense organ  ( ie: eye) , in essence, meets the external sense organ (a visual)  and forms a pair.

eye- visual form                                        tongue-taste

ear-sound                                                    body-touch

nose-odor                                                    mind-mental object

This pair together meets one of six consciousnesses  (#2 below) that fit it’s category.

 

2- CONSCIOUSNESS

visual consciousness                             gustatory consciousness

auditory consciousness                        tactual consciousness

olfactory consciousness                       mental consciousness ( I made this one up for simplicity purposes.)

Now, each sense base pair, meets it’s consciousness, and forms a Contact (#3 below).

 

3- CONTACT

At the contact stage, the pair (from #1)  and the consciousness unit (from #2) form a conclusion. I will conclude that this thing before me that I’m seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting,  touching, or thinking; that this thing is one of three conclusions to me:

pleasurable, painful, or neutral.

So, for example, I miss this really special girl and go look up her pictures in facebook. My eye and the photo meet my visual consciousness. Together, they form a contact, which I conclude is painful, because I miss her so much it is unbearable, because I miss her so much it just hurts. This is painful contact.

Based on how I register something as pleasurable, painful, or neutral; I create a Feeling (#4)

 

4- FEELING

How do I feel about what is going on before me? We all know that what that’s like. I love it, I hate, or I don’t have an opinion cuz it’s neither to me, it just is. My personal contact conclusion will elicit in me emotions.

If I look at her picture and my contact conclusion is ‘pain’, then I allow myself to form all the emotions that go with it: sadness, anger, jealousy….

And from that, I can form Craving (#5)

5- CRAVING

And, we all know this one, too. As soon as I crave, I desire, I obsess, I yearn, I want, I need…. I often lead myself gingerly down the path to suffering. Where does this suffering come from? From wanting, desiring that picture, that person, that touch, that taste, that smell, those emotions that were, that __________(fill in the blank) desire.

What Exactly Am I Doing Wrong

I am not getting what I want.  I am craving something, partially what was and partially revenge/an apology/being right/being sought after/ regret/ sorrow. And though, until now, I have not physically let myself touch my addiction in any way; tonight, in a weird moment of weakness I kind of, sort of, kind of, yes, I touched it. And it made it all come up really strong. After four months of nothing, I touched it again. Hoping that after this life-time of silence that I would get what I crave. No.

And so I realize a few things I’m doing wrong:

1- I keep doing this to myself. Recreating my desire (the past) over and over again, in tearful memories.

2- I keep hoping desperately for renewed contact (future) , which will only brings me more pain.

3- I want to leave it dormant (ignore)  for then at least the pain is a constant dull, but I don’t.

And above all, I know, I know, I know that I don’t want 1, 2, or 3 anymore. I want to change how the entire thing is on a deeper level. I want it to not hurt at all, anymore. At all.

Find yourself in my lists? Do you also abuse yourself, kill yourself softly all on your own? Do you see how the Six Sextets Model of Consciousness applies to your life? Can you see yourself allowing the stimulus to bring you down? Have you ever touched ‘pure consciousness’ yourself? How did that feel? Wanna be there again? 

I’m here, if you want to talk. I’m here, if you remain silent. I’m here, either way. Just me, with me, and my thoughts, and my journey, one step at a time.