Without darkness there is no light. Without sorrow there is no joy. Without this there is no that blah blah blah.
That’s not the point. There’s little sense in trying to explain or understand the existence of pain unless you’re going to do something about it.
The real constructive effort lies in learning how to experience it.
Because you’re going to.
Realize, however: you can engage with pain in a way that helps unlock the potential for growth hidden inside it.
We don’t have to live in fiefdom to pain.
In servitude to the exigencies of life.
Pain is a gift basket filled with vital information.
No, okay, not really a gift basket. But it’s filled with clues to what each of us needs to prosper.
Castle in the sky?
All the big wisdom traditions mention the possibility of a transfigured mode of existence. Basically, a life above pain.
I completely believe in that.
Each of us can reach a point in our evolution where we flow so perfectly with the universe that pain and struggle fall away into the radiance of pure being, unobstructed by distraction.
A world in which we make it a priority to discover and reveal our gifts and ideas, and to respect the gifts and ideas of others.
And make use of them.
Build our world with them.
And we can get there as a society, a world society, a species.
It’s why we’re here.
It’s called fullness of life.
And it’s your birthright.
Pain is a clarion call
But for now we experience pain. So we have to find a way not only to deal with it, but to make the most of it.
Because pain is a stepping stone on the trail toward that castle in the sky.
Our task is to integrate our disparate energies into a unified whole so that we become capable of stepping into sync with that flow of the universe.
Pain is message from your underworld about your acquired self.
Pain is telling you that your acquired self is a problem. Pain is telling you that you have work to do in order to become free of that acquired self and manifest your full self in the world.
All pain qualifies
This is true of all pain. Even the self inflicted or inexplicable kinds. Tragedy, even the kind with a perpetrator you can identify, contains information.
Our ability to access that information may be limited, but it’s there. And it can tell us a lot about how we operate. How we interact with our surroundings and with each other.
But I’m mainly talking about psychological and emotional pain. The kind that reverberates across generations and makes it hard to enjoy or fully experience life.
The kind that stands in the way of thriving.
That’s the pain everyone feels. You don’t need famine or cancer or bombs going off to feel that kind of pain.
But famine and cancer and bombs going off are evidence of its existence.
There is a basic inner friction caused by our perception of separateness from one another, from the world and from God.
We see ourselves as separate but we are not. Yet this sense of disconnect influences our every thought, word and deed.
This friction is where all pain, suffering and conflict come from.
Even disease and natural catastrophe, because human imbalance puts everything out of whack.
How we interact with life in this context, as individuals and as a group creates disturbance that shows up as pain of every kind.
The flow of the universe is distorted as it passes through us into the world, to emerge as a choked, bent version of the original. Cluttered by the toxins in our filtration system.
Inspiration becomes craving.
Relationship becomes competition.
Difference becomes threat.
The proverbial carpenter’s angle gets wider and wider. And layer by layer we step further and further from our potential.
View yourself as separate and you have a victim. View yourself as part of a whole and you have a single organism hurting itself.
Small comfort, yes.
But this awareness is the root of the solution.
There’s more to life than pain
Pain is a marker on the path back to integration. It signals the existence of the friction and lets us know when we are out of sync with the universe.
It helps us to be aware of the presence of imbalance.
And imbalance must not be taken lightly.
War is imbalance.
Starvation is imbalance.
Abuse, neglect and rejection are imbalance.
The roots of a beginning
Once you understand that pain is not who you are, that fear is not who you are, that harming and being harmed is not who you are, you can begin to see what is true about you.
Really see it. Know it. Derive your orientation in life from it. Allow it to motivate and guide you.
Step by step, pain by pain, you can win through to this realization. Dust off your own self worth. Recognize your irreplaceable value. Discover your unrepeatable place in the scheme of things.
That is the beginning of transformation.