Pain

From the very beginning of a person’s life one learns that the purpose of life is not uninterrupted pleasure. Every infant suffers pains and illnesses. We should not perceive illness and pain as negative. Suffering teaches us humility. We learn that we do not have complete power over ourselves.

The human condition is such that pain and effort are not just symptoms which can be removed without changing life itself; they are rather the modes in which life itself, together with the necessity to which it is bound, makes itself felt. For mortals, the "easy life of the gods" would be a lifeless life.

To be born is to suffer: to grow old is to suffer: to die is to suffer: to lose what is loved is to suffer: to be tied to what is not loved is to suffer: to endure what is distasteful is to suffer. In short, all the results of individuality, or separate self-hood, necessarily involve pain or suffering.

Graceful, particularly in youth, is the tear of sympathy, and the heart that melts at the tale of woe; we should not permit ease and indulgence to contract our affections, and wrap us up in selfish enjoyment. But we should accustom ourselves to think of the distresses of human life, of the solitary cottage, the dying parent, and the weeping orphan. Nor ought we ever to sport with pain and distress in any of our amusements, or treat even the meanest insect with wanton cruelty.

The fatal fondness of indulging in a spirit of ridicule, and the injurious and irreparable consequences which sometimes attend the too severe reply, can never be condemned with more asperity than it deserves. Not to offend is the first step towards pleasing. To give pain is as much an offence against humanity as against good-breeding, and surely it is as well to abstain from an action because it is sinful, as because it is unpolite.

There is no passion so distressing as fear, which gives us great pain and makes us appear contemptible in our own eyes to the last degree. Fear is in almost all cases a wretched instrument of government, and ought in particular never to be employed against any order of men who have the smallest pretensions to independency.

Earnestness is the devotion of all the faculties. It is the cause of patience; gives endurance; overcomes pain; strengthens weakness; braves dangers; sustains hope; makes light of difficulties, and lessens the sense of weariness in overcoming them.

Piety and selfless deeds elevate the inhabitants of this earth to exalted spiritual estates... self-serving acts reduce them to the realms beneath, of sorrow and pain, rebirths among birds and vermin, or out of the wombs of pigs and beasts of the wild, or among trees. Action is a function of character, which in turn is controlled by custom. This is the whole substance of the secret. This knowledge is the ferry across the ocean of hell to beatitude. For all the animate and inanimate objects in this world... are transitory, like dream. The gods on high, the mute trees and stones, are but apparitions in the fantasy. Good and evil attaching to a person are perishable as bubbles. In the cycles of time they alternate. The wise are attached to neither.

All that we are is the result of what we have thought; it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of he who draws the carriage.

There is no remembrance which time does not obliterate, nor pain which death does not terminate.

Pleasure and pain, though directly opposite, are yet so contrived by nature as to be constant companions; and it is a fact that the same motions and muscles of the face are employed both in laughing and crying.

Virtue is not the absence of vices or the voidance of moral dangers; virtue is a vivid and separate thing, like pain or a particular smell.

Prefer a loss to a dishonest gain; the one brings pain at the moment, the other for all time.

Do not hate someone who has humiliated you. Although he has transgressed, he has rendered you a service. When a person suffers humiliation in silence, it atones for his misdeeds. The situation is analogous to someone’s preparing a hot bath for you. Although it might cause you some pain, it also cleanses you. Keeping this thought in mind will prevent feelings of hatred.

Courage takes many forms. there is physical courage, there is moral courage. Then there is a still higher type of courage - the courage to brave pain, to live with it, to never let others know of it and to still find joy in life; to wake up in the morning with an enthusiasm for the day ahead.

There is no greater pain than to recall a happy time in wretchedness.

The ability to laugh at life is right at the top, with love and communication in the hierarchy of our needs. Humor has much to do with pain; it exaggerates the anxieties and absurdities we feel, so that we gain distance and through laughter, relief.

View every difficult situation as an opportunity to grow and we will feel pleasure instead of pain from such situations. Failure to do so will cause you needless suffering.

Happiness is fundamental in morals only because happiness is not something to be sought for, but is something now attained, even in the midst of pain and trouble, whenever recognition of our ties with nature and with fellow-men releases and informs our action.