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The Fourth Noble Truth: The Path to the Cessation of Suffering

There is a path to the end of suffering – a slow, careful path of enlightenment and self-improvement, which is described extensively in the Eightfold Path of Buddhism. Here, one develops insight into the true, transient nature of things, allowing one to eliminate greed, delusion, anger and hatred.

It is the Middle Way between the two extremes of excessive self-indulgence (hedonism) and excessive self-mortification (asceticism); and it leads to the end of the cycle of rebirth. The latter quality discerns it from other paths which are merely “wandering on the wheel of becoming”, because these do not have a final object.

In Buddhism, the path to the end of suffering can extend over many lifetimes, throughout which every individual rebirth is subject to karmic conditioning. Craving, ignorance, delusions, and its effects will disappear gradually, as progress is made on the path.