Answer: Suffering moves us forward. Like we prod an animal in order for it to walk in the right direction, in the same way suffering awakens a person.
Once a person receives a shot in one of his desires (for food, sex, family, money, honor, or knowledge), he awakens to the external and internal action, meaning to change in order to eliminate the suffering and its source, or at least to move away from it, to sweeten it somehow.
Therefore, suffering performs a very important function; we would not be able to do anything without it. For example, I sit and speak feeling certain limitations, trying to behave so I won’t be ashamed, meaning this is the fifth type of suffering that infringes on my desire for honor. And my companion suffers from the desire to know what I will say; this is the sixth type of suffering.
Life would be impossible without suffering. Even electrons, molecules, and cells of our body that collide, merge, and divide also suffer from this.
Suffering is the basis for feeling. If there were no suffering, we wouldn’t feel anything. The only question is with what do we extinguish suffering? If, when suffering from hunger, I sit down for a meal, then I enjoy on the basis of the suffering that makes me hungry. The moment the suffering disappears, the appetite and the pleasure from the food also disappear.
Everything is based on suffering and it is essential in order to enjoy. The moment I am satiated, the enjoyment disappears; it is so with everything. A person who stops feeling suffering has lost desires, doesn’t feel any deficiency, and becomes indifferent and fades. This is real death. When we cease to desire, we die.
Therefore, we care so much that children will have strong and correctly aimed desires, and we stimulate them with gifts and punishments. Suffering is the foundation of our life. If there is no suffering, there is no life and no feeling. All is measured on this scale, from suffering to pleasure.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 6/23/16