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Lions Roar : May 2018
The Soberanes Fire in California burned for eighty-two days and was, at the time, the most expensive wildfire to fight in U.S . history. This was the third day of the fire. suffering has nothing to do with our external circumstances. It doesn’t matter whether we’re healthy or sick, rich or poor, loved or alone. Suffering comes from our chronic psychological rest- lessness, which resists life as it is. When we get down to it, what we’re resisting isn’t just sor- row but change. If we’re not resisting the fact that our joy has turned to sorrow, we’re resisting the possibility that our joy may someday turn to sorrow. We want our joy to last forever, but we don’t have to look far to see that nothing lasts forever. Everything is falling apart; everything is changing. We can’t rely on wealth, friends, or comfort. We can’t even rely on our own bodies or minds. Deep down we know this, which is why we have so many insecure feelings throughout our life. The Buddha addressed this human conundrum in the four noble truths. He taught that craving is the root of suffering. We crave happiness, comfort, and ease, and we want to avoid their opposites. We crave security, for things to stay the same, to remain stable. This craving is what turns inevitable human sor- row into suffering, even when we’re blessed with favorable physi- cal conditions and circumstances. This collective pathology runs deep. Our craving for security is actually a craving for perma- nence, which is unattainable. At its root is the instinctual desire to survive, which has been physiologically and psychologically hard- wired into us over millions of years of human evolution. PHOTOBYPETERNICHOLS LION’S ROAR | MAY 2018 65