I'm talking about the Second Noble Truth today. In my last post I discussed the First Noble Truth which is about suffering. Today is about causes and conditions. "And this, monks, is the noble truth of the origination of stress: the craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming."
As an alcoholic, this was the thing that really created the urge to learn more about Buddhism. Craving is, indeed, something that I understand. And the suffering and stress that craving creates is also something I understand.
I have been thinking a lot about the idea that the problems we have are often not the problem, they are actually the solution. Drinking was a solution for me. For many of my clients their drug or alcohol use was also their solution. In the end, drinking became my only solution no matter what the problem was. Craving to feel better led to more suffering, more ill feelings, and a greater craving to feel better, leading to more suffering, more craving.
When in the midst of craving, the obsessive thoughts, the intensity of it all can be overwhelming. Even when I knew with no doubt at all in my mind that my actions would create even more suffering I could not stop because I needed that instant relief, even for a minute from the suffering created by my own desire for relief. It's a strange cycle to be in and extremely difficult to break out of, especially when there is physical dependence involved as in my case.
May all beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering. May all beings find happiness and the causes of happiness.