Graduation, Retirement, & Enlightenment.
Causes do not lead to effects. These are categories of thought. They are a conceptual overlay that attempts to impute degrees of differentiation on to the unimpeded flow of experience.
Pain is not the product of doing it wrong or not getting it right. Pain is an unavoidable condition of life. It is a symptom of vulnerability. So, in the final analysis, there is just pain, and no explanation.
Explanations are delusions. They are projections of what we really do not want to get at—the terrifying fact that we cannot live in an automated world that is always 70 degrees and free of discomfort.
External explanations are distractions from the truth of suffering within ourselves. We want to blame the job, school, the relationship, our parents, the economy, or politicians. The truth is we stubbornly cling to what we think we should be, rather than embracing the changing reality of who we are. That is to say, we are forever trying to become the"perfect one"who has "graduated" or "retired" from the intensity of life. We think we will "figure out" some secret, and snatch enlightenment. While we may not consciously think these thoughts, our behavior suggests that we believe that we will one day have everlasting comfort all for ourselves.
This is the birth of suffering.
Suffering is resistance to pain. Night will always come. Rain will always fall. Sadness will always well up from within, not because we are broken or stupid, but because we are intrinsically awake or sensitive.