The Four Noble Truths and Psychiatry

Buddha's Four Noble Truths

At the heart of Buddha's teachings are the Four Noble Truths. The Four Noble Truths and psychiatry offer an explanation to why suffering exists as well as valuable insights into how suffering can be relieved. The Four Noble Truths go as follows:

  1. Pain Exists
  2. Pain creates an energy that can be used to grow and realize connection (Emptiness) or fall away from reality into the distractions of the Three Poisons.
  3. We must capture wholly the above reaction, thus preventing its entrancement into the seductions of greed, anxiousness/anger and delusion.
  4. The appropriate use of energy is to learn, love, grow, contribute and relieve all suffering.

The Role of Dependent Origination and the Twenty-Four Conditions

We allow our highest mind to dwell on the Four Noble Truths and search for the truth behind our suffering. When we encounter our distractions from the truth, we apply the studies of ‘Dependent Origination’ to explore and ‘unravel’ the twists and turns to attach to a person, place or thing in a way that was not reality. This distracted our efforts away from the pain we face. These, according to the Abhidhamma, are the twenty-four theories of conditioning that allow us to explore the connection between the attachments that cause us to suffer. The subject of the Patthana, the inter-relations of the mental and material phenomena, is mentioned in the first book of the Abhidhamma Pitaka.

There are also three relationships between the mind and objects that must be taken into account in order to understand and apply the Four Noble Truths in our lives:

  1. Conditioner - producing, supporting or maintaining
  2. Conditioned - states conditioned by the conditioning states
  3. Force of the Condition - the particular flavor used to condition

As you can see, the Four Noble Truths and psychiatry go hand in hand. It may take time, but when you come to a deep understanding of the Four Noble Truths, dependant origination, the twenty-four theories of conditioning and the three relationships between the mind and objects, you will come to understand the root of suffering and find relief.

The Twenty-four Conditions of Buddhist Philosophy: Daily Realities
How Buddha's Explanation of Suffering Brings Peace of Mind
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