Suffering has always been part of human history and remains a present reality. The people of the first civilizations believed that suffering was the punishment of the gods for bad behavior. Vultures and vipers were referred to as symbols of evil that made humans behave badly. In Genesis, the serpent in the Garden of Eden tempted Eve to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge. His act against God’s command led to the punishment and the effects of original sin. Adam and Eve by their disobedience were forced to enter the world of suffering.
“The state of suffering, distress, or hardship” is the definition of suffering in the Oxford Dictionary. Suffering is a vast subject that has been addressed by philosophers, theologians, psychologists, neurologists and sociologists. The points of view of some philosophers, of several denominational religions and of the suffering of the society will be presented.
Philosophers are known to understand human dilemmas. Suffering is abundant in human life. Socrates wrote: “Life without experience and without suffering is not life. Aristotle wrote: “The soul suffers when the body is sick or traumatized while the body suffers when the soul is sick. Writer and philosopher Khalil Gibran wrote: “Out of suffering came the strongest souls. Thomas Merton, Trappist monk and theologian, wrote: “The truth that many people never understand, until it is too late, is that the more you try to avoid suffering, the more you suffer because that smaller and insignificant things begin to torture you in proportion. to your fear of being hurt. A spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, said, “I believe that all suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their happiness or satisfaction. Yet true happiness comes from a feeling of inner peace and contentment, which must be achieved through the cultivation of selflessness, love and compassion and the elimination of ignorance, of selfishness and greed.