Our teacher, Ven. Ajahn Tong Sirimangalo, has described the suffering we experience in the world as a kind of heat that pervades our everyday lives:
Nowadays our world is full of heat, turmoil and confusion. Everywhere in the world, in society, the same old problems and stressful conditions arise which are very difficult to overcome. People discriminate against each other. People are jealous, they tell lies, cheat and steal from each other. People slander, back-bite and take revenge against each other. Desiring gain, rank and praise, people fight, argue and destroy each other everywhere in the human world.
These unwholesome conditions are not created by the natural environment, rather these suffering conditions are created by human beings themselves*.
In this analogy, when people in a community finally understand the Buddha’s teaching by the practice of insight meditation, it would be like the water coming in from the sea and quenching the fires of suffering. As, Ven. Ajahn explains, “Once their minds have been purified of the defilements [greed, anger and delusion], people would not perform evil deeds. Their minds thus purified people would be able to perform only good and wholesome deeds.”*
*Venerable Ajhan Tong Sirimangalo, The One Way Path to Nibbāna, translated by Kathryn J. Chindaporn (2012), Published by Thanat and Kathryn Chindaporn.