Wednesday, August 10, 2005

On Suffering

Suffering is a part of life.

Often, those in the human potential movement (who promote empowerment, enlightenment, spirituality, or some type of self-help) forget to mention that your suffering may diminish but never vanish. To say otherwise would be like someone telling you that you will never be sad again, and who would really want that, to be partially human.

But that is not a popular line to sell instant gratification - "Become at peace with the world - and still suffer, sometimes."

For those who wonder what happens when you come closer to your true self and self-transcendence, you do have more peace of mind. And yes, you still suffer.

Sometimes at this stage, the suffering can have a purpose, like a wildfire burning down an overgrown hill. Sometimes the suffering is incomprehensible. Sometimes the suffering is just suffering.

The main difference I notice, besides the ability to feel serenity and joy at times, is that it doesn't seem to matter as much whether or not suffering happens. Of course, in the current day U.S., the suffering endured by most is not of a dire or horrendous nature, in comparison to the types of suffering that exist. While some do experience this type of suffering, the rest of us struggle mainly with interior demons.

What can you learn about yourself through your suffering?

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