on suffering

a fellow blogger asked, recently, “Is not our pain as much a part of our existence as our joy?” Well, IMHO, yes. and i do see pain as sometimes correct. i really see this as neither good nor bad. just … the nature of existence. and so, we do learn to live with scars, and many do never mend completely, instead laying dormant like the varicella virus. once again, such is the nature of existence. i suppose the lesson i have taken away from the darkness of suffering involves seeing pain, not as something from which we need escape, but rather as a tool ~ an entity which carves us into being.

my blogging colleague also spoke of ‘win[ning]’ against pain and suffering. honestly, not being flippant, but, i wonder. how does one win against pain? it seems as likely as conquering death ~ impossible.one makes oneself prisoner when one seeks to escape. one must understand and internalize one’s suffering. however hard this feels for us, who live in a society that feels entitled to an exclusively pleasure-filled existence.

pain, i think, seems necessary. for example, how do we know something requires our attention? ~ because we feel pain. in fact, that we feel pain means we can use this awareness to heal ourselves. if we have no awareness of said wound, as it continues to grow and fester, then … the results will inevitably lead to disaster. i’m thinking here on a physical level, from a clinical perspective … but … i think this can be extrapolated and applied to the non-physical realm.

pain seems like the universe’s way to invoke change … to get us to attend. it seems like a harsh attention-getter, at times. alas, its the only message many of us hear …i suppose a lesson of life, then, involves not eradication of pain and suffering … but what one does with (i.e. how one reacts to) this pain and suffering. and the life path thru which it leads us …

to feel no pain at all ~ this could lead to disaster. think of heroine addicts – when they get so high they no longer feel physical pain … and this can result in some nasty wounds … that also could become gangrenous if unattended. most pain, in a metaphorical sense will lead to some sort of rot, if unattended. or perhaps pain seems more like fire to some ~ mind those burning embers! at any rate ~ you have the right idea – awareness … living involves awareness, when we mostly would rather not have awareness.

and now, somehow, this makes me think of that question from the matrix ~ red pill? or blue pill? society wants us to swallow the blue pill … some, like me, refuse. i will NOT go quietly into the night with that little blue pill. i will go kicking and screaming … i’ll bite, gouge, and spit if i have to … but i will NOT take that blue pill. EVER. EVER.

Another blogger says “scars remind us what we learned in life.” indeed. so … what about scars? they’re the mark of suffering … the signature of pain. by definition, scars can never heal completely. methinks. sure, new ’skin’ grows, replacing what’s been damaged … but the afflicted ’tissue/skin’ never functions the same as it did before. i suppose now we are talking about adapting … to new realities. and development ~ growth ~ real growth of new arteries in the vessel that is the Self.

“Affliction [i.e. suffering] compels us to recognise as real what we do not think possible.”

~simone weil


~ by frizzyscissorhands on August 10, 2007.

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