The world is full of suffering. Birth is suffering, decre- pitude is suffering, sickness and death are sufferings. To face a man of hatred is suffering, to be separated from a beloved one is suffering, to be vainly struggling to satisfy one's needs is suffering. In fact, life that is not free from desire and passion is always involved with suffering.
Use all your suffering for meditation, and soon you will come to know that the suffering disappears because the energy starts moving inwards. It is not moving to the periphery, to the suffering, you are not feeding your suffering. It looks illogical, but this is the whole conclusion of all the mystics of the world: that you feed your suffering and you enjoy it in a subtle way, you don't want to be well""there must be some investment in it.
The suffering that food animals undergo, the suffering of those who eat them and profit by them, the suffering of starving people who could be fed with the grain that feeds these animals, and the suffering we thoughtlessly impose on the ecosystem, other creatures, and future generations are all interconnected. It is this interconnectedness of suffering, and its reverse, of love, caring, and awareness, that calls out for our understanding.
True freedom and the end of suffering is living in such a way as if you had completely chosen whatever you feel or experience at this moment. This inner alignment with Now is the end of suffering. Is suffering really necessary? Yes and no. If you had not suffered as you have, there would be no depth to you as a human being, no humility, no compassion. You would not be reading this now. Suffering cracks open the shell of ego, and then comes a point when it has served its purpose. Suffering is necessary until you realize it is unnecessary.
The poor, you know, have a way of solving problems...they have a tremendous capacity for suffering. And so when you build a vehicle to get something done, as we've done here in the strike and the boycott, then they continue to suffer - and maybe a little bit more - but the suffering becomes less important because they see a chance of progress; sometimes progress itself. They've been suffering all their live.s It's a question of suffering with some kind of hope now. That's better than suffering with no hope at all.
There is much suffering in the world - physical, material, mental. The suffering of some can be blamed on the greed of others. The material and physical suffering is suffering from hunger, from homelessness, from all kinds of diseases. But the greatest suffering is being lonely, feeling unloved, having no one. I have come more and more to realize that it is being unwanted that is the worst disease that any human being can ever experience.
If you want to understand suffering you must look into the situation at hand. The teachings say that wherever a problem arises it must be settled right there. Where suffering lies is right where non-suffering will arise, it ceases at the place where it arises. If suffering arises you must contemplate right there, you don't have to run away. You should settle the issue right there. One who runs away from suffering out of fear is the most foolish person of all. He will simply increases his stupidity endlessly.
Disciples will not be weakened by suffering, worn down, and embittered until they are broken. Instead, they bear suffering, by the power of him who supports them. The disciples bear the suffering laid on them only by the power of him who bears all suffering on the cross. As bearers of suffering, they stand in communion with the Crucified.
We have tried everything to get rid of suffering. We have gone everywhere to get rid of suffering. We have bought everything to get rid of it. We have ingested everything to get rid of it. Finally, when one has tried enought, there arises the possibility of spiritual maturity with the willingness to stop the futile attempt to get rid of it and, instead, to actually experience suffering. In that momentous instant, there is the realization of that which is beyond suffering, of that which is untouched by suffering. There is the realization of who one truly is.
Suffering is universal; how we react to suffering is individual. Suffering can take us one of two ways. It can be a strengthening and purifying experience combined with faith, or it can be a destructive force in our lives if we do not have the faith in the Lord's atoning sacrifice. The purpose of suffering, however, is to build and strengthen us.
Robert D. Hales
Nobody wants to see the truth. Everybody wants to have the fantasy. When I look back at the books I was reading in my childhood were selling some sort of fantasy as well. Most stories are not going to tell the deep suffering of every day. No book prepared me for the suffering I would experience in life because the word "suffering" does not even describe what the suffering is. No story is going to tell you that, and no words can tell you that.
To endure the cross is not a tragedy; it is the suffering which is the fruit of an exclusive allegiance to Jesus Christ. When it comes, it is not an accident, but a necessity. It is not the sort of suffering which is inseparable from this mortal life, but the suffering which is an essential part of the specifically Christian life. It is not suffering per se but suffering-and-rejection, and not rejection for any cause or conviction of our own, but rejection for the sake of Christ.
Do you want a sign that you're asleep? Here it is: you're suffering. Suffering is a sign that you're out of touch with the truth. Suffering is given to you that you might open your eyes to the truth, that you might understand that there's falsehood somewhere, just as physical pain is given to you so you will understand that there is disease or illness somewhere. Suffering occurs when you clash with reality. When your illusions clash with reality, when your falsehoods clash with truth, then you have suffering. Otherwise there is no suffering.
Anthony de Mello
Like too much alcohol,self-consciousness makes us see ourselves double, and we make the double image for two selves - mental and material, controlling and controlled, reflective and spontaneous. Thus instead of suffering we suffer about suffering, and suffer about suffering about suffering.
Like too much alcohol, self-consciousness makes us see ourselves double, and we make the double image for two selves - mental and material, controlling and controlled, reflective and spontaneous. Thus instead of suffering we suffer about suffering, and suffer about suffering about suffering.
Alan W. Watts
Our task is to take suffering in stride, not as if it is a pleasure (it isn't), but in the knowledge that God will not let it overwhelm us and that He will use it, by His own supernatural alchemy, to three good ends, at least. 1) Our suffering produces character; 2) Our suffering glorifies God; 3) Suffering fulfills the law of the harvest (John 12:24), Rediscovering Holiness by J.I. Packer, pgs. 232-239.
Christianity teaches that, contra fatalism, suffering is overwhelming; contra Buddhism, suffering is real; contra karma, suffering is often unfair; but contra secularism, suffering is meaningful. There is a purpose to it, and if faced rightly, it can drive us like a nail deep into the love of God and into more stability and spiritual power than you can imagine.
Within the framework of the Buddhist Path, reflecting on suffering has tremendous importance because -realizing the nature of suffering, you will develop greater resolve to put an end to the causes of suffering and the unwholesome deeds which lead to suffering. And it will increase your enthusiasm for engaging in the wholesome actions and deeds which lead to happiness and joy.
The discipline of suffering, of great suffering- do you not know that only this discipline has created all enhancements of man so far? That tension of the soul in unhappiness which cultivates its strength, its shudders face to face with great ruin, its inventiveness and courage in enduring, preserving, interpreting, and exploiting suffering, and whatever has been granted to it of profundity, secret, mask, spirit, cunning, greatness- was it not granted to it through suffering, through the discipline of great suffering?
- This world is full of trouble, umfundisi. - Who knows it better? - Yet you believe? Kumalo looked at him under the light of the lamp. I believe, he said, but I have learned that it is a secret. Pain and suffering, they are a secret. Kindness and love, they are a secret. But I have learned that kindness and love can pay for pain and suffering. There is my wife, and you, my friend, and these people who welcomed me, and the child who is so eager to be with us here in Ndotsheni - so in my suffering I can believe. - I have never thought that a Christian would be free of suffering, umfundisi. For our Lord suffered. And I come to believe that he suffered, not to save us from suffering, but to teach us how to bear suffering. For he knew that there is no life without suffering. Kumalo looked at his friend with joy. You are a preacher, he said.
The more people anticipate the elimination of suffering the less strength they have actually to oppose it. Whoever deals with his personal suffering only in the way our society has taught him - through illusion, minimization, suppression, apathy - will deal with societal suffering in the same way.
The basis of the self is not thought but suffering, which is the most fundamental of all feelings. While it suffers, not even a cat can doubt its unique and uninterchangeable self. In intense suffering the world disappears and each of us is alone with his self. Suffering is the university of ego-centrism.
We have become terribly vulnerable, not because we suffer but because we have separated ourselves from each other. A patient once told me that he had tried to ignore his own suffering and the suffering of other people because he had wanted to be happy. Yet becoming numb to suffering will not make us happy. The part in us that feels suffering is the same as the part that feels joy.
Rachel Naomi Remen
For the first time I noticed - as I would notice repeatedly during my ordeal, between one throe of agony and the next - that my suffering was taking place in a grand setting. I saw my suffering for what it was, finite and insignificant, and I was still. My suffering did not fit anywhere, I realized. And I could accept this. It was all right.
She said, "It's not life or death, the labyrinth." "Um, okay. So what is it?" "Suffering, " she said. "Doing wrong and having wrong things happen to you. That's the problem. Bolivar was talking about the pain, not about the living or dying. How do you get out of the labyrinth of suffering?... Nothing's wrong. But there's always suffering, Pudge. Homework or malaria or having a boyfriend who lives far away when there's a good-looking boy lying next to you. Suffering is universal. It's the one thing Buddhists, Christians, and Muslims are all worried about.
She said, "It's not life or death, the labyrinth." "Um, okay. So what is it?" "Suffering," she said. "Doing wrong and having wrong things happen to you. That's the problem. Bolivar was talking about the pain, not about the living or dying. How do you get out of the labyrinth of suffering?... Nothing's wrong. But there's always suffering, Pudge. Homework or malaria or having a boyfriend who lives far away when there's a good-looking boy lying next to you. Suffering is universal. It's the one thing Buddhists, Christians, and Muslims are all worried about.
Humor is a wonderful way to deal with our suffering because if we can laugh at our troubles, we can feel better. Thich Nhat Hanh is a special man who has helped millions with their suffering with incredible technique. But he doesn't know real suffering, because he has not dated as much as I have.
Suffering is nature's way of indicating a mistaken attitude or way of behavior, and to the nonegocentric person every moment of suffering is the opportunity for growth. People should rejoice in suffering, strange as it sounds, for this is a sign of the availability of energy to transform their characters.
I would say that our patients never really despair because of any suffering in itself! Instead, their despair stems in each instance from a doubt as to whether suffering is meaningful. Man is ready and willing to shoulder any suffering as soon and as long as he can see a meaning in it.
Viktor E. Frankl
It is easy to suffer for a cause or for a mission; this ennobles the heart of the person suffering. But how to explain suffering because of a man? It's not explainable. With that kind of suffering, a person feels as if they're in hell, because there is no nobility, no greatness - only misery.
The second noble truth states that we must discover why we are suffering. We must cultivate the courage to look deeply, with clarity and courage, into our own suffering. We often hold the tacit assumption that all of our suffering stems from events in the past. But, whatever the initial seed of trauma, the deeper truth is that our suffering is more closely a result of how we deal with the effect these past events have on us in the present.
Peter A. Levine
People often ask: If there's a God, how can He allow so much suffering in the world? Realize all world suffering you perceive is a mirror to your own psychological self-abuse, gender imbalance, prejudice, poverty, and hunger. You couldn't even perceive each suffering aspect of external reality if it didn't already exist within you. Touch and transmute your own psychological suffering, and perceive the world in kind.
Somebody said to me the other day, 'You know, it's really senseless, what you're doing. There's always been suffering, there will always be suffering, and you're just prolonging the suffering of these children [by rescuing them].' My answer is, 'Okay, then, let's start with your grandchild. Don't buy antibiotics if it gets pneumonia. Don't take it to the hospital of it has an accident. It's against life-against humanity-to think that way.
That which should distinguish the suffering of believers from unbelievers is the confidence that our suffering is under the control of an all-powerful and all-loving God. Our suffering has meaning and purpose in God's eternal plan, and He brings or allows to come into our lives only that which is for His glory and our good.
The essence of love and compassion is understanding, the ability to recognize the physical, material, and psychological suffering of others, to put ourselves "inside the skin" of the other. We "go inside" their body, feelings, and mental formations, and witness for ourselves their suffering. Shallow observation as an outsider is not enough to see their suffering. We must become one with the subject of our observation. When we are in contact with another's suffering, a feeling of compassion is born in us. Compassion means, literally, "to suffer with."
If we take the time to look deeply, we see that understanding and compassion arise from suffering. Understanding is the understanding of suffering, and compassion is the kind of energy that can transform suffering. If suffering is not there, we have no means to cultivate our understanding and our compassion. This is something quite simple to see
Suffering is the condition on which we live. And when it comes you know it. You know it as the truth. Of course it's right to cure diseases, to prevent hunger and injustice, as the social organism does. But no society can change the nature of its existence. We can't prevent suffering. This pain and that pain, yes, but not Pain. A society can only relieve social suffering - unnecessary suffering. The rest remains. The root, the reality.
Ursula K. Le Guin
The animals feel that this urgency is mutual. Their own suffering has made them aware of human suffering. More frequent contact with us has sensitized them to what troubles us. They feel our anxiety and our confusion and, most of all, our loneliness. The pain of being disconnected from the Earth, from each other, from our fellow creatures, and from the Source of all life is the worst pain they can imagine, and they are concerned about us. They understand even better than we do that the suffering we inflict on them is an expression of our own suffering, and that their physical situation cannot get better unless the human spiritual condition gets better. They want to help.
It is our contemporary culture's tragedy to have lost any sense of suffering as a positive dimension of human existence. Beginning with the premise that life ought to be without pain, we make suffering something to be avoided at all cost. We consider the equation between evil and suffering so self-evident that we make avoiding suffering the equal of fighting evil. No wonder we are the most narcotized generation ever to inhabit the earth, searching for ever more effective addictive patterns to anaesthetize our existence.
Luke Timothy Johnson
I marvel now that it was not obvious how inextricable suffering and fear are. It was not until fear left that I noticed, slowly, how it seemed to have taken suffering with it. It took a while to figure out that (for me, anyhow) suffering is mostly caused by fear-not by the circumstances themselves, but by my response to them.
Suffering is an oxymoron. There is unfathomable peace and satisfaction in suffering for Christ. It is as though you have searched endlessly for your purpose in life and now found it in the most unexpected place: In the death of your flesh. It is certainly a moment worth of laughter and dance. And in the end it is not suffering at all. The apostle Paul recommended that we find joy in it. Was he mad?
As children, Siddhartha and Jesus both realized that life is filled with suffering. The Buddha became aware at an early age that suffering is pervasive. Jesus must have had the same kind of insight, because they both made every effort to offer a way out. We, too, must learn to live in ways that reduce the world's suffering.
There is no wrong suffering. There is imaginary, sham, feigned, simulated, pretended suffering. But the assertion that someone suffers for the right or wrong reason presupposes a divine, all-penetrating judgment able to distinguish historically obsolete forms of suffering from those in our time, instead of leaving this decision to the sufferers themselves.
All believers in Christ, the Scripture teaches, will suffer-all of us. You will be glorified, Paul says, if you suffer with him. The problem with too many of us is not that we don't suffer, but that we assume that only Third World Christians or heroic missionaries are suffering. My boys didn't know that they were suffering in Russia; they would feel it as suffering now.
When a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer, he will have to accept his suffering as his task. . . . He will have to acknowledge the fact that even in suffering he is unique and alone in the universe. No one can relieve him of his suffering or suffer in his place. His unique opportunity lies in the way in which he bears his burden.
Viktor E. Frankl
All striving comes from lack, from a dissatisfaction with one's condition, and is thus suffering as long as it is not satisfied; but no satisfaction is lasting; instead, it is only the beginning of a new striving. We see striving everywhere inhibited in many ways, struggling everywhere; and thus always suffering; there is no final goal of striving, and therefore no bounds or end to suffering.
To draw an analogy: a man's suffering is similar to the behavior of a gas. If a certain quantity of gas is pumped into an empty chamber, it will fill the chamber completely and evenly, no matter how big the chamber. Thus suffering completely fills the human soul and conscious mind, no matter whether the suffering is great or little. Therefore the "size" of human suffering is absolutely relative.
Viktor E. Frankl
Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could spare them from all suffering? No, it wouldn't. They would not evolve as human beings and would remain shallow, identified with the external form of things. Suffering drives you deeper. The paradox is that suffering is caused by identification with form and erodes identification with form. A lot of it is caused by the ego, although eventually suffering destroys the ego-but not until you suffer consciously.
Learn the discipline of being surprised not by suffering but by joy. As we grow old, there is suffering ahead of us, immense suffering, a suffering that will continue to tempt us to think that we have chosen the wrong road. But don't be surprised by pain. Be surprised by joy, be surprised by the little flower that shows its beauty in the midst of a barren desert, and be surprised by the immense healing power that keeps bursting forth like springs of fresh water from the depth of our pain.
Henri J.M. Nouwen
Learning is to discover that something is possible. We are using most of our energies for self-destructiv e games, self-preventing games. We prevent ourselves from growing the very moment something unpleasant, something painful comes up. At that moment we become phobic, we run away, we desensitize ourselves. Neurotic suffering is suffering in imagination, suffering in fantasy.
Frederick Salomon Perls
He supposed he was one of those unfortunates born with a great capacity for suffering... He opened his eyes a moment and they were dark with fear, for only one race was run as yet and there might be many others... Then his newborn courage came back to him and he accepted his suffering as the price he must pay for the gift of creation that was his. And suffering, he had discovered, could be the gateway to renewal, than which no more glorious experience can be man's on earth.
The attempt to develop a sense of humor and to see things in a humorous light is some kind of a trick learned while mastering the art of living. Yet it is possible to practice the art of living even in a concentration camp, although suffering is omnipresent. To draw an analogy: a man's suffering is similar to the behavior of gas. If a certain quantity of gas is pumped into an empty chamber, it will fill the chamber completely and evenly, no matter how big the chamber. Thus suffering completely fills the human soul and conscious mind, no matter whether the suffering is great or little. Therefore the "size" of human suffering is absolutely relative.
Viktor E. Frankl
Faith drives a wedge between ethics and suffering. Where certain actions cause no suffering at all, religious dogmatists still maintain that they are evil and worthy of punishment. . . . And yet, where suffering and death are found in abundance their causes are often deemed to be good. . . . This inversion of priorities not only victimizes innocent people and squanders scarce resources; it completely falsifies our ethics.
Once the awakening happens, with it comes the realization that suffering is unnecessary now. You have reached the end of suffering because you have transcended the world. It is the place that is free of suffering. This seems to be everybody's path. Perhaps it is not everybody's path in this lifetime, but it seems to be a universal path. Even without a spiritual teaching or a spiritual teacher, I believe that everybody would get there eventually. But that could take time.
[... ] Everyone tries to make his life a work of art. We want love to last and we know that it does not last; even if, by some miracle, it were to last a whole lifetime, it would still be incomplete. Perhaps, in this insatiable need for perpetuation, we should better understand human suffering, if we knew that it was eternal. It appears that great minds are, sometimes, less horrified by suffering than by the fact that it does not endure. In default of inexhaustible happiness, eternal suffering would at least give us a destiny. But we do not even have that consolation, and our worst agonies come to an end one day. One morning, after many dark nights of despair, an irrepressible longing to live will announce to us the fact that all is finished and that suffering has no more meaning than happiness.
To be good Christians you have to contemplate the suffering humanity of Jesus. "How can we bear witness? Contemplate Jesus. How can we forgive? Contemplate Jesus suffering. How can we not hate our neighbor? Contemplate Jesus suffering. How can we avoid gossiping about our neighbor? Contemplate Jesus suffering. There is no other way". These virtues are the those of the Father, who forgives us always, and Our Lady, Our Mother, shares in these virtues too.
I think we start suffering as soon as we come out of the womb. I think that people tend to stereotype. When they think of suffering, they think of abuse - physical abuse, emotional abuse, poverty, that kind of thing. There's different levels of suffering. I don't think that it has to do with how much money you have - if you were raised in the ghetto or the Hamptons. For me it's more about perception: self-perception and how you perceive the world.
The Lord loves us so much that He suffered for us on the Cross; and His suffering was so great that we can't comprehend it. In the same way our spiritual pastors suffer for us, although we often don't see their suffering. The greater the love of the pastor, the greater his suffering; and we, the sheep, should understand this, and love and honor our pastors.
Silouan the Athonite
My father and I were always on the most distant terms when I was a boy--a sort of armed neutrality, so to speak. At irregular intervals this neutrality was broken, and suffering ensued; but I will be candid enough to say that the breaking and the suffering were always divided up with strict impartiality between us--which is to say, my father did the breaking, and I did the suffering.
Our Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ, know us and love us. They know when we are in pain or suffering in any way. They do not say, 'It's OK that you're in pain right now because soon everything is going to be all right. You will be healed, or your husband will find a job, or your wandering child will come back.' They feel the depth of our suffering, and we can feel of Their love and compassion in our suffering.
Linda S. Reeves
Jesus lost all his glory so that we could be clothed in it. He was shut out so we could get access. He was bound, nailed, so that we could be free. He was cast out so we could approach. And Jesus took away the only kind of suffering that can really destroy you: that is being cast away from God. He took so that now all suffering that comes into your life will only make you great. A lump of coal under pressure becomes a diamond. And the suffering of a person in Christ only turns you into somebody gorgeous.
There is another reason also why the soul has traveled safely in this obscurity; it has suffered: for the way of suffering is safer, and also more profitable, than that of rejoicing and of action. In suffering God gives strength, but in action and in joy the soul does but show its own weakness and imperfections. And in suffering, the soul practices and acquires virtue, and becomes pure, wiser, and more cautious.
Saint John of the Cross
I think the function of suffering is to let me know that my perception is skewed; what I'm doing is judging natural events in such a way that I am creating suffering within myself. For instance, you have pain over certain conditions, certain situations that occur. And if you just say 'ok, here I am, I'm going to experience the pain,' you don't suffer. The resistance and the degree of the resistance to the natural phenomenon of life causes tremendous suffering.
We are all going, I thought, and it applies to turtles and turtlenecks, Alaska the girl and Alaska the place, because nothing can last, not even the earth itself. The Buddha said that suffering was caused by desire, we'd learned, and that the cessation of desire meant the cessation of suffering. When you stopped wishing things wouldn't fall apart, you'd stop suffering when they did.
I think the function of suffering is to let me know that my perception is skewed; what I'm doing is judging natural events in such a way that I am creating suffering within myself. For instance, you have pain over certain conditions, certain situations that occur. And if you just say 'ok, here I am, I'm going to experience the pain, ' you don't suffer. The resistance and the degree of the resistance to the natural phenomenon of life causes tremendous suffering.
Hubert Selby Jr.