Gurdjieff teaches many things about Suffering.
He tells us that His Endlessness suffers and that we must strive to lighten as much as possible the Sorrow of our Common Father.
He says that suffering arises from the consequences of the properties of the organ Kundabuffer : Egoism, arrogance, the need to provoke astonishment in others, bragging, cunning, the vice of eating, envy, hate, imagination, jealousy, lying, offensiveness, partiality, pride, wishing the death or weakness of others, self-conceit, self-love, swagger, vanity.
"Like what it does not like." -Gurdjieff
He teaches that one of the ways to freedom is by the practice of Intentional Suffering.
He advises us to sacrifice useless suffering. "Only conscious suffering is of value." -Gurdjieff
"Work on remorse, remember yourself, revive the scenes when you were a bad child, when you made your parents cry, perhaps. Feel again in all the details, find your faults again. Search in your past. Suffer. In that suffering you can have real happiness given by real love." -Gurdjieff
"We must endure patiently the life conditions that we cannot change." -Gurdjieff
Gurdjieff writes about Saint Buddha in Beelzebub's Tales, so he must have been aware of the Buddhist teaching about Suffering.
THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS OF THE BUDDHA
THE FIRST NOBLE TRUTH OF SUFFERING
What, now, is the Noble Truth of Suffering? Birth is suffering; Decay is suffering; Death is suffering; Sorrow, Lamentation, Pain, Grief, and Despair, are suffering; not to get what one desires, is suffering; in short: the Five Groups of Existence are suffering.
THE SECOND NOBLE TRUTH
THE ORIGIN OF SUFFERING
What, now, is the Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering? It is that craving which gives rise to fresh rebirth, and, bound up with pleasure and lust, now here, now there, finds ever fresh delight. In the absolute sense, it is no real being, no self-determined, unchangeable, Ego-entity that is reborn. Moreover, there is nothing that remains the same even for two consecutive moments; for the Five Khandhas, or Groups of Existence, are in a state of perpetual change, of continual dissolution and renewal. They die every moment, and every moment new ones are born. Hence it follows that there is no such thing as a real existence, or "being", but only as it were an endless process, a continuous change, a "becoming," consisting in a "producing," and in a "being produced"; in a "process of action," and in a "process of reaction," or "rebirth." This process of perpetual "producing" and "being produced" may best be compared with an ocean wave. In the case of a wave, there is not the slightest quantity of water traveling over the surface of the sea. But the wave structure, that hastens over the surface of the water, creating the appearance of one and the same mass of water, is, in reality, nothing but the continuous rising and falling of continuous, but quite different, masses of water, produced by the transmission of force generated by the wind. Even so, the Buddha did not teach that Ego-entities hasten through the ocean of rebirth, but merely life-waves, which, according to their nature and activities (good, or evil), manifest themselves here as men, there as animals, and elsewhere as invisible beings.
THE THIRD NOBLE TRUTH
THE EXTINCTION OF SUFFERING
What, now, is the Noble Truth of the Extinction of Suffering? It is the complete fading away and extinction of this craving, its forsaking and giving up, the liberation and detachment from it. But where may this craving vanish, where may it be extinguished? Wherever in the world there are delightful and pleasurable things, there this craving may vanish, there it may be extinguished. Be it in the past, present, or future, whosoever of the monks or priests regards the delightful and pleasurable things in the world as "impermanent," "miserable," and "without an Ego," as a disease and cancer; it is he who overcomes the craving. And released from Sensual Craving, released from the Craving for Existence, he does not return, does not enter again into existence.
THE FOURTH NOBLE TRUTH
THE PATH THAT LEADS TO THE EXTINCTION OF SUFFERING
To give oneself up to indulgence in sensual pleasure, the base, common, vulgar, unholy, unprofitable; and also to give oneself up to self-mortification, the painful, unholy, unprofitable: both these two extremes the Perfect One has avoided, and found out the Middle Path, which makes one both to see and to know, which leads to peace, to discernment, to enlightenment, to Nirvana. It is the Noble Eightfold Path, the way that leads to the extinction of suffering, namely: 1. Right Understanding and 2. Right Mindedness, which together are Wisdom. 3. Right Speech and 4. Right Action and 5. Right Living, which together are Morality. 6. Right Effort and 7. Right Attentiveness and 8. Right Concentration. This is the Middle Path which the Perfect One has found out, which makes one both to see and to know, which leads to peace, to discernment, to enlightenment, to Nirvana .
The Endless Search © 2004 Ian C. MacFarlane