On Pain & Suffering


“Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart.  The really great men must, I think, have a great sadness on Earth.”

~ Fyodor Dostoevsky

Those who live a full life must, by definition, experience the “ups” and “downs” that comes with the terms & conditions of human existence. I dislike when people/society seems to demonize sadness, as if to say being sad is not something “healthy” humans experience. Also, how would one “recognize” joy if they have never experienced profound sadness? I tend to believe people develop, grow, and create more during difficult/trying times then when things are “just peachy.” Teleologically speaking, reaching for one’s aims is supposed to be difficult. Suffering, at least to some extent, is necessary in order to “reach” one’s potential, or aim. The “bad times” are equally important, perhaps even more so, than the “good times,” for in times of challenge, we either “fall upwards” (ie overcome the barrier) or give up. Each method yields different results obviously, but there is something to be said, to value, about sadness…in PRAISE of sadness, in appreciation of joy, and the wisdom to understand the purpose of each.

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6 thoughts on “On Pain & Suffering”

  1. Thank you. Man has often attributed the qualities of “permanence” and “the ideal” to godliness, considering that which ebbs and flows as being of nature. This broad stroke allows me to respect the idea that the sway of moods as disgusting as a reflection of man’s quest for his own divinity at the same time helps me remember how erroneous it is when it pops into my own mind. The “sad is bad” mentality is an important indicator of where we wish to be, but a terrible distraction from the reality of where we are.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think it’s an effect of narrow banded vision. I often fear that we put too much emphasis on feeling as being the plenum of “experience.” You can feel “less than good” and still experience joy, such as that which comes from the ambition to excel or the urge to fulfill a duty. Good isn’t a place, it’s a vector, and feeling isn’t the map, it’s the compass.

        Liked by 1 person

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