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Is there only way to put an end to suffering? According to Buddhism, suffering will always exist as a universal phenomenon, but every individual has the potential for liberation from it.

As for human beings in general, we cannot expect suffering to simply vanish from the universe, because in the Buddhist view, the universe is whit beginning or end. There can be no real beginning because nothing cannot suddenly become something. Nothingness is a word that allows us to picture for ourselves the absence or even nonexistence of worldly phenomena, but a mere idea cannot give birth to anything at all.

As for a real end, in which something becomes nothing, it is equally impossible. As it happens, wherever life exists in the universe so does suffering , diseases, old age, death, separation from loved ones, forced coexistence with out oppressors, denial of basic necessities confrontations with what we fear and so on.

Despite all that, this vision does not lead Buddhism to the view held by certain Western philosophers for whom suffering is inevitable and happiness out of reach. The reason for that is simple unhappiness has causes that can identified and acted upon. It is only when we misidentify the nature of those causes that we come to doubt the possibility of healing.

The first mistake is believing that unhappiness in inevitable because it is the result of define will or some other immutable principle and that it will therefore be forever out of our control. The second is the gratuitous idea that unhappiness has no identifiable cause. that it descends upon us randomly and has no relation to us personally. The third mistake draws on a confused fatalism the build down to the idea that whatever the cause the effect will always be the same.

If unhappiness had immutable cause we would never be able to escape it. The laws of causality would have no meaning – anything could come from anything else, flowers could grow in the day and hight create darkness and as the Dalai Lama says it would be easier ” not to go to all the trouble of constantly ruminating over our suffering. It would be better just to think about something else, go to the beach and have a nice cold beer! ” Because if there were no cure for suffering, it would be pointless to make it worse by stressing over it. It would be better to accept it fully and to distract oneself so as to feel it less harshly.

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