Poverty is not the beginning of suffering

Gotama said, poverty is a kind of suffering in this world, and it arises from fear and desire. There is suffering that results from poverty, suffering that is of poverty, suffering that is in poverty.

A person who is poor will typically get into debt. And debt is a kind of suffering in this world. This debt motivates further desire and fear.

A person who is poor and in debt owes interest payments. And interest payments are a kind of suffering in this world, motivating further desire and fear. A person who is poor, in debt and owing interest, cannot pay their debts or their interest, and is served notice. And getting served notice is a kind of suffering in this world, motivating still more desire and fear. A poor person who has been served notice for not paying their debts is hounded, another kind of suffering.

A poor person eventually finds themselves in jail. And imprisonment is a kind of suffering in this world. And in jail, and in all their suffering, they experience new cycles of suffering, all because of those desires and fears which motivated their poverty.

But their poverty was not the beginning of their suffering. There is no discernible beginning to the cycle of suffering, though it is perpetuated by desire and fear. Poverty is especially hard on those who desire wealth, power and comfort, poverty is especially hard on those who fear deprivation, weakness, and discomfort.

In the same way, whoever is unskillful in their training experiences a kind of suffering. Being unskillful, they undertake misconduct, another kind of suffering. Their misconduct motivates more desires and fears, and they regret their misbehavior, and would attempt to conceal it. But they cannot, and then, wherever they go, they have remorse. And they experience torment, pain and obstruction as they become imprisoned in a cycle of ever increasing suffering.

There is no discernible beginning to suffering, but there is freedom from it. If you are generous with what you have earned righteously, you will never suffer from poverty, in poverty. If you have developed by skillful logic a sense of conscience, you will live at ease, and never feel remorse.

Seek equanimity, abandon your hindrances, enter the jhanas with unified and wise mind. Know the true nature of reality, free yourself from all desire and fear. Become sorrowless, dustless, at rest. Release yourself from your debt.