In this short article I will talk about the third noble truth that the Buddha described. To recap the first noble truth is that life is inherently dukka and you can read my article about this Here and then the second noble truth is that dukka has a cause and that cause arises from within us through what he described as wanting/thirst/trying/desire and you can give my article on this second noble truth Here
The third noble truth simply states that which is subject to arising is also subject to ceasing. That ending of dukka, the ending of confusion, sorry and loss is nirvana. The Buddha described nirvana as unborn, ungrown and unconditioned. The Buddha argued in the second noble truth that this dukka arises from within us and so therefore we are the cause of dukka because we don’t understand the way of the world.
I equate in my mind the third noble truth to what goes up must inevitably come down, it’s just a question of when it comes down, similar how in life you find people taking it out on others – their own suffering and it’s understandable because they don’t see the truth in the way of the world and you can’t blame them because its not their fault why they don’t see the way of the world. Eventually though all people who take it out on others their own suffering will incur a cost in the afterlife or karma as Buddhism describes it.
The Buddha also sees that our actions, our speech, and our thoughts are geared towards bringing about some kind of control. Then, when these efforts inevitably fail, we suffer. The Buddha doesn’t ask us to give up control. Instead, it acknowledges that we never had it in the first place. I know this is quite deep and it took me a long time to really fully grasp this understanding, because in my life I have attempted to exert control over others because I thought they were the cause of my suffering, when in fact it was myself who was causing myself my own suffering – which is quite a sad truth for me to actually realize because I have taken it out on others my own suffering and not been as compassionate to myself as I should be because I feel the need to be punished all the time because I feel the need to be punished and so this has hurt my friendships a lot and people whom are close to me because I just don’t want to hurt them and so have learned somewhat to avoid people and put a shield around myself because I think that others are the cause of my own suffering when in fact it is myself.
So more on the third noble truth, it essentially says to let go of attachment and desire because any desire and attachment to anything will inevitably cause dukka. This is quite a difficult thing for many to do because like I said they just want control mainly as an attempt to end their own suffering and so can make others suffer as I have done as a result of an attempt to end their own suffering. Therefore, its beholden upon each individual who understand the four noble truths to be more forgiving, loving, compassionate and understanding to those who don’t yet understand the nature of reality and the way of the world.
However, this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t love others, your family, your spouse etc. because you should, because you can love others and love your spouse without being attached to them which took me some contemplation.
Spend some time contemplating in meditation these truths and some time testing their validity by putting them to the test in your life, because the Buddha and others Buddha’s after him have extremely wise teachings and we would all do very well putting efforts to understand these noble truths that the Buddha has blessed us with in the world because like I said they are extremely wise and so if you want to end your own suffering then spend more time contemplating on these truths and meditating on them.
I will also be putting out my understanding of the eightfold path and each of them in separate articles on this blog so be sure to stay tuned for those articles because the Buddha argued that the eightfold path is actually the way out of suffering, which I tend to agree with, but don’t fully accept yet because I am still fairly new to Buddhism and have been putting a lot of effort to really understand the Buddha’s teachings and apply them to my own life because it is very wise teachings from a master of this world.
Also, you shouldn’t be deterred by the perception that you have of Buddhism and that modern society has given us, because Buddhism isn’t simply being a monk and living like a monk your whole life – its more so a way of living. There are lots of people who have lived and been good Buddhists and still managed to live ordinary lives.
A small list of interesting people who are Buddhists is Here to name a few
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 https://www.amazon.co.uk/Buddhism-Plain-Simple-Arkana-Steve/dp/0140195963/ref=sr_1_5?crid=34M92RA2NH4SR&keywords=buddhism&qid=1649083246&sprefix=buddhism%2Caps%2C79&sr=8-5\
Unhindered: A mindful path through the Five Hindrances by Gill Fronsdal https://www.amazon.co.uk/Unhindered-Mindful-Path-Through-Hindrances/dp/0989833402/ref=sr_1_1?crid=NPAIHMT6E263&keywords=unhindered+a+mindful+path+through+the+five+hindrances&qid=1649084275&sprefix=unhindered+a+mindful+path+through+the+five+hindrances%2Caps%2C55&sr=8-1\