Suffering and Desire

According to many traditions, the cessation of desire is the cessation of suffering. Suffering is caused because one feels an emptiness from what they desire. They lack or have lost, or never attained. By limiting our desires, we limit our suffering. This mindset focuses primarily on avoiding life’s suffering. Therefore, no desires, no suffering.

In my opinion, if we rid ourselves of any desires, we rid ourselves of not only the suffering, but the pleasures of life as well. We cannot be pleased with anything if we never desired it. Having a desire shouldn’t always be held in a negative light. Whether a material, spiritual, emotional, physical desire. Our desires give us a purpose. They serve as our drive and our motivation.  We live to manifest that desire, to fulfill our dream.

By avoiding desires to end suffering, isn’t that in itself a desire?

By subduing our desires completely, we find a life of indifference. There is no desire or love for truth or goodness- there is only indifference. Therefore there is no hate of ignorance, injustice, etc., there is only indifference.

Desires can give us ineffable joy if attained and the worst suffering if not attained. The beauty of life is that there is both pleasure and pain in everything. Without suffering we are unable to be thankful for the happiness that comes with attaining our goals, and without the pleasures in life we cannot recognize suffering or grow stronger from our lowest points in life. Both go hand in hand. They are both born from our desires. This being so, the cessation of desires is not only the cessation of suffering, but the cessation of life and all the good that comes with it.


It is important to try and find contentment within your current state, no matter if it is  state of suffering or happiness. If you are suffering, it means you are lacking what your desire.  And to have a desire, means you are alive. It means you have the ability to change and achieve. It is your purpose and your source of motivation. Many live a half life, a life with no purpose at all. Find a balance between the sufferings and pleasures of life. Neither should overshadow the other. There will always be something that will bring you down, but there is always something to be thankful for.

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