Reading Raph Koster’s A Theory of Fun, finally, I came across this sentence:

“Beauty is found in the tension between our expectations and reality.”

Which contrasts interestingly with Rebecca Borgstrom’s assertion that suffering is the disconnect between desire and reality (which, as I vaguely understand it, is derived from viparinama-dukkha and sankhara-dukkha).

That’s not to say that together, they imply that suffering is beauty; in fact, Borgstrom (who I think would not disagree with Koster’s statement) has specifically denied as much. Whatever I’m fumbling at here is more subtle than that. So why not crush the subtletly beneath our old friend proof-by-analogy?

According to our premises, beauty is derived from expectations and suffering is derived from desire. Sumana has said that hope leads to expectations, secret or otherwise; I believe that. I also believe that desire invariably produces hope. So desire leads to suffering and hope; hope leads to expectations; expectations lead to beauty; beauty leads to desire. Insert ASCII diagram here. Suffering is the byproduct of the desire-hope-expectations-beauty loop.

Or make up your own better diagram, and tell us about it.