Cause of human suffering
The Buddha taught that the cause of human suffering was attachment to people and things and the inevitable loss and rupture of those attachments.
A Course In Miracles teaches that, at a metaphysical level, what causes suffering is the separation from the Oneness, “the tiny mad idea,” and the consequent guilt, and fear of punishment.
The ego teaches us that our salvation lies in special relationships to people and things which is very similar to the Buddhist idea of attachment. When our special relationships fail us, we project our fear and anger onto others and accuse and blame them for not making us happy. This anger, resentment, and grievance is the basis for human suffering.
Special relationships are based on the two dynamics of “give to get,” “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours,” and “one or the other,” “it’s not me, it’s you.”
The antidote to human suffering is what the Course calls the “Atonement” which is the recognition we can change our minds about the causes of our suffering and come to understand that our suffering is not caused by the other, but by our expectations and thoughts about the other. The “miracle” is changing our mind, our decision making choice, about the causes of our suffering. No one and no thing can make me think and feel and behave any way that I don’t want to. My response to my perceptions is always up to me and the Holy Spirit.
It is this recognition that I have a decision making mind which affords me the opportunity to forgive myself for my mistaken belief that my happiness, peace, and well being is to be found in blaming others and attempting to change them. Clearing away the obstacle created by this mistaken belief that the other is causing my unhappiness allows me to become aware of Love’s presence within which is my natural inheritance.
Unitarian Universalists intuit this reality when they enter into a covenant with each other to affirm and promote their seven principles. The Universalist faith is based on the idea that God loves everyone unconditionally and would send no one to hell. Hell is of our own making when we choose wrongly blaming others for our suffering.
The first principle of Unitarian Univeralism is the affirmation and promotion of the inherent worth and dignity of every person. It is in this recognition and awareness that we become aware of our own holiness and that of others and in this consciousness the sanctification of the world is created. This awareness ends suffering as we experience what the Course calls the “Holy Instant” of Oneness.