Friday, October 5, 2012

The 'Normalcy' of Suffering

"The outer world of circumstance shapes itself to the inner world of thought, and both pleasant and unpleasant external conditions are factors, which make for the ultimate good of the individual. As the reaper of his own harvest, man learns both by suffering and bliss."
-- James Allen, "As a Man Thinketh"
Suffering, the Buddha said, is the normal, unenlightened condition of all sentient beings. That our ordinary self-consciousness is a state of suffering, that there are specific causes of such suffering, that there is the possibility of ending suffering, and that there is a path which can lead to the end this suffering and the bliss of nirvana are the Four Noble Truths, the essence of all Buddhist teachings. Indeed, the idea that facing and overcoming one's passions - i.e., one's suffering - leads to the 'salvation' of a wider and deeper consciousness is a lesson that can be found in virtually all of the world's great religious and wisdom traditions.

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

“Sometimes we must undergo hardships, breakups, and narcissistic wounds, which shatter the flattering image that we had of ourselves, in order to discover two truths: that we are not who we thought we were; and that the loss of a cherished pleasure is not necessarily the loss of true happiness and well-being.”
Jean-Yves Leloup

“There is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter. We sometimes lose sight of this force when there is suffering, too much pain. Then suddenly, the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways.”
Mother Teresa

“No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God . . . and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven.”
Orson F. Whitney

“As long as you think that the cause of your problem is “out there”—as long as you think that anyone or anything is responsible for your suffering—the situation is hopeless. It means that you are forever in the role of victim, that you’re suffering in paradise.”
Byron Katie

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

...much appreciated rabbi...