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September 01 2012

Ask Deepak - What Is Existential Suffering And How Do We Go Beyond

Category:  Ask Deepak Videos

Deepak Chopra discusses suffering related to our sense of identity or of who we are - also known as existential suffering.

Does existential suffering arise from awareness of our mortality? What are the causes and how can we remedy this type of suffering? Looking at Vedantic traditions, Deepak explains five reasons that lead to existential suffering and some approaches to prevent and ease it.

Top comments

  • How then do we become unaware of our mortality? How then is that we should begin to know our true self?

    Elijah Ahmad // 2012-09-01 17:24:37 // //
  • krishna has given us a way for getting away from all kind of suffering is karmayoga . Why not people practising this ancient technique . In this technique there is no need to go away from our duties .Krishna emphasises it, as an best technique.My question is people like you suggesting about tough technique like meditation but not karmayoga which is more simple.

    Narendra Patel
    // 2012-08-31 13:58:18 // //



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All comments

  • Why do I wake with great fear and doubt?

    timauthee // 2012-11-21 06:32:05 // //
  • I feel its not a simple as "smart people" and "stupid people". Its those who don`t seen the need or refuse to not look at themselves introspectively and those who do. Selfawareness.

    // 2012-09-08 19:54:55 // //
  • I learn from every quote by Deepak. He inspires me with every word and my dream and hope is to be content with all that is around me most of the time.

    Asha // 2012-09-07 20:03:14 // //
  • So what is the Truth then?

    // 2012-09-07 19:23:56 // //
  • Its as simple as learning. Learning stops when you repeat a procedure. Learning is the key to finding peace. Peace comes from knowing something new awaits in the future. The question is, how do you let something go? How do you avoid getting stuck on something?

    Rusty Covey // 2012-09-07 14:31:27 // //
  • mr Deepak do u know ethiopia?

    Fantaye Tadesse // 2012-09-06 08:35:20 // //
  • you are not very confident in what you are saying ... but it`s good. you are an active Illuminati of enlightenment and i kneel to your knowledge . thanks Google force auto-correct. i forgot how to write in English

    Luca Todoca
    // 2012-09-05 13:47:00 // //
  • “Existence precedes and commands essence.” Man is a being for which nothing is predestined, no precepts, and no principles. We come to this world as blank slates without any chalked principles of being Human; as such we trace our own concepts of existence. Yes! Existentialism is an existential epidemic, our resolution to respond to existence, an out and out a “Me Me Culture.” It is a miserable misunderstanding a concept of “Living with the world” through our uniqueness and individual experiences with absolute freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences. It is blind men’s race running without enquiring about what is real. Human life is transient, one who is born has to die, is the gospel truth. The transient nature of our life leads us to tug and toil towards the pursuit of material aggrandizement and merriment and we moil for the maximum amount of happiness in the shortest juncture. In our modern society, materialism is the only provider of pleasure and a so called meaning to life and we are busy making money and buying fun, living in the house of attachments and cravings, and trying to alleviate this feeling through distractive activities of riding roughshod over the lives and properties of others by acquisitions of landed properties from the poor for business purposes and killing of thousands of animals for the pleasure of hunting. In addition to this material gains, our ego takes the centre stage, boosting and bursting through myriad nuisance values to become known and remembered in our lifetime and beyond and to be called The Great The most apt example is Ashok the Great who lived most of his life in lust of destructive pleasure eventually realized the meaning and purpose of his life. One fine day the realization dawns that no matter how much we strive for materialism there is always something missing and there is a feeling of emptiness, dissatisfaction and uneasiness and we punch the clock, walking out of this progress paradox striving for the real meaning of life. Although we are born and blessed with humane consciousness as the gift of the universe but this small river of consciousness gets covered with the dust storm of the worldly desert no matter how fearlessly we fight through our lives but unable to dig the sand to catch the flow of the river of consciousness. Yes! Our consciousness sleeps and becomes unconscious to all real and truthful jobs, remains only excuses-“Hey life is short, enjoy it to the fullest.” No matter existentialism looks like an amusement park but has its short comings. We know -” No existence can be validly fulfilled if it is limited to the self.” This knowledge is the meaning and essence of life. We all forget that the ultimate objective of human life is “Knowing Thyself”;-It is to breathe deep kind of intimacy within ourselves where we become still, yet profoundly active, this centre is point is our soul. Love is the portion of the soul itself and has the same nature as the celestial breathing of the atmosphere of paradise. These true values can only be achieved when life is rooted in love. If we choose our action by means of love which is the way of right action and continue doing what we love, it will take us to the right path. We need to become true to ourselves by engaging in projects which we are passionate about and creating relationships through sheer dint of love which comes straight from our heart not governed by any imposed ideals. This will ground us in the present moment getting out of the destructive thoughts towards right action thus giving ego the back seat, moving towards our ultimate truth. Eg- Mother Teresa through her compassionate service for the humanity achieved the meaning and purpose of her life.”To live is to choose, but to choose right is to live-” We must know who we are and what we stand for, where we are and where we want to go and why we want to get there.” If you want special illumination, look upon the human face; see clearly within the laughter essence of ultimate truth.” Rumi.

    Soni Shalini // 2012-09-05 09:24:08 // //
  • What interaction is there between thought and consciousness in choice-making?

    Jim Wujek // 2012-09-05 09:16:04 // //
  • Perceptual experience: species specific > nervous dependent perceptual experience > pure consciousness: > true identity > field of infinite possibilities > creativity correlation unpredictability immortality > thanks deepak

    bigcanadiano // 2012-09-03 22:14:56 // //
  • many times to stop the upadesam all of which he already knew and get the war going. However pompous ass krishna kept on talking giving the 100 sons of dritharastra enough time to seek protected spaces which became difficult for Arjuna to war upon. So please re read the Mahabaratha and the Gita and reassess the War and see if Krishna behaved appropriately or rightiously thanks

    // 2012-09-03 06:57:20 // //
  • This is because "krishna" anything is founded on a false basis. Since you know Krishna you surely must know Lord Arjuna. Well when the 100 sons of Dritharastha did not feed Arjuna and his 4 brothers and Pious Wife Mother Draupathi krishna was around and could have fed them clothed them and insisted that the evil dritharashta sons give back the kingdon without a war but he did not. Krishna is a fake and a faker with a lot of power and no brains. Even on Kurushethra Arjuna had to remind krishna

    // 2012-09-03 06:55:07 // //

    Paulo Torcato // 2012-09-02 13:58:09 // //
  • existential suffering???seriously these 50 cent phrases in the abstract are getting rediculous

    Alan Cassman // 2012-09-02 10:37:19 // //
  • Great very clear indications to walk

    Satchitananda Ma // 2012-09-02 06:12:41 // //
  • Love the new look

    Chris Pesce // 2012-09-01 22:57:08 // //
  • No such thing as stupid people. Just people who have been convinced or have convinced themselves they are stupid. That`s my own little philosophy, anyway.

    // 2012-09-01 22:02:59 // //
  • I relate!

    Holly Tesmer // 2012-09-01 20:02:30 // //
  • We need to accept our life ...we need to learn

    Sheila Morris Chumpitaz // 2012-09-01 18:51:41 // //
  • We don't need to remedy existential suffering--it's very existentialism carries us to deeper renditions of LIFE. We need to accept, and embrace our own responses and interpretations of life as suffering--as they come from a dualistic perspective that says we are separate from the divine. Such embracing unites us again with the divine we are.

    The Soul's Answer to Why the Law of Attraction Isn't Working // 2012-09-01 18:09:08 // //
  • Morality doesn't exist

    Michele Hoover // 2012-09-01 17:45:20 // //
  • How then do we become unaware of our mortality? How then is that we should begin to know our true self?

    Elijah Ahmad // 2012-09-01 17:24:37 // //
  • No it does not.

    Jeff Rey // 2012-09-01 16:50:24 // //
  • Love you deepak chopra..

    Chelly Montegue // 2012-09-01 16:42:22 // //
  • I <3 U Deepak .....thank you so much for sharing your great heart !

    Pia Nußbaum // 2012-09-01 16:38:39 // //
  • “I never remember feeling tired by work, though idleness exhausts me completely” Arthur Conan Doyle, Sr

    Pasha Danishek // 2012-09-01 16:35:10 // //
  • krishna has given us a way for getting away from all kind of suffering is karmayoga . Why not people practising this ancient technique . In this technique there is no need to go away from our duties .Krishna emphasises it, as an best technique.My question is people like you suggesting about tough technique like meditation but not karmayoga which is more simple.

    Narendra Patel
    // 2012-08-31 13:58:18 // //
  • at 2:57 something happen to the frame. Also do you have to be smart to understand this stuff or can a stupid person understand this too? 

    // 2012-08-31 05:46:24 // //
  • Wy would a baby be born dead? If we can`t think, then why would we be here?

    // 2012-08-31 05:29:05 // //
  • would be nice if translate all vids in spanish

    // 2012-08-31 05:09:11 // //
  • I am glad to hear you speak of the difference of perception and reality. I`ve been needing a better definition and this helps. I am doing better with not reacting so quickly to what I perceive as insults or poor treatment. After all, I take a moment to reflect and then converse as best as possible to identify what I have perceived. Thanks so much.

    Rachel K.R.
    // 2012-08-30 22:22:09 // //
  • Quite a bit to think about, I will review this what you said Deepak. I also wanted to ask, probably on the same line of thought: Why do we have suffering in this world, poverty, illness and disease. Can you please address the issue of the rich versus the poor, the healthy versus the sick. Thanks Deepak!.

    // 2012-08-30 21:16:45 // //
  • I`ve read several of your books and understand conceptually what you are talking about which are constructs, something that each of us has to operationalize through our own efforts. I found that self actualization is possible even if you grow up with many obstacles and even at times you might think some of them are too big to overcome, you may lack resources you need, etc. which makes your journey longer to achieve then some others which can feel agonizing but you can find peace in the moment.

    // 2012-08-30 19:16:16 // //
  • THANKS You are a Wealth of knowledge. Well Done.

    // 2012-08-30 18:40:21 // //