The Second Noble Truth

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In this short article I will talk a little about my understanding of the second noble truth in Buddhism. The second noble truth is that dukka has a cause and that cause is a thirst, craving, wanting or as I put it desire. Essentially what this means it that dukka inevitably has a cause which the Buddha saw as wanting/thirst/trying to get the object of desire into our hands. This wanting/thirst/trying/desire arises from within us (which I agree with).

This wanting comes in three different forms. The first is sensual desire. We want comfort, physical sensations – nice food, a healthy body. We also want good intellectual stimulation, good conversation, a balanced and emotional life, enjoyable art and entertainment, we want to listen to good music, we want massages, we want to see nice photos.

The second form of craving is for existence itself. We don’t want to die and what we envision death to be or I have envisioned death to be is nothingness (and has caused me to be in a total state of sloth and torpor) We would much rather live and persistent and live until 1000 years old. I guess its more so the unknowable and uncertainty of what happens when our physical body ceases to function. But something which has helped me is to realize that we are not our physical bodies. The brain and heart are just computers in a way because they keep the body alive. We are not our physical bodies so we should not identify with our physical body, which is something that I have suffered with tremendously.

The third and last form of craving/want/thirst/desire is that for non-existence. That is we don’t want to be unhappy, we don’t want to be miserable etc.

I guess what the second noble truth really is about is realizing that dukka has a cause and that cause is thirst/desire/wanting/craving and this arises only from within us.

Of course I am very new to Buddhism so take what I say with a pinch of salt and there are other resources listed below which may help you understand Buddhism a little better.


Buddhism Plain and Simple by Steve Hagen\

Unhindered: A mindful path through the Five Hindrances by Gill Fronsdal\\