suffering

The only antidote to mental suffering is physical pain.

The truth that many people never understand, until it is too late, is that the more you try to avoid suffering the more you suffer because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you in proportion to your fear of being hurt.

The man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears.

To love all mankind, from the greatest to the lowest, a cheerful state of being is required; but in order to see into mankind, into life, and still more into ourselves, suffering is requisite.

The only way to judge an event in life is to look at it from high enough, to see it in the order and dimension of the timeless. When we see pain, suffering and inequalities, we don’t understand or we jump to false conclusions. We see only the broken arc of a complete circle. Instead, life is a field for progress and progressive harmony. Each one of us has a part to play which he alone can execute. This role, based on our real nature - what Hindu scriptures call svabhava - can be discovered. An individual’s aim in life must be to find out the “law of his being” and act according to his svadharma. This discovery is no easy task. Normally, we are aware of our ego, the surface self that is a bundle of contradictory impulses. But we can find the true self, our best self, by a process of standing back and surveying our needs. Abandoning desire and self-assertion, accepting the challenges of life in a state of stable, unwavering peace will result in this supreme revelation. When life’s shocks turn our eyes inward, we rise above contingencies of time and place. Our perspective changes. The greatest sorrows is transformed into a luminous vibration. We see into the life of things. Life itself, a single, immense organism, moves toward a greater and higher harmony as more and more cells become conscious of their uniqueness. Life, then, is not Macbeths’s “tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” It is a grand orchestra in which discordant notes contribute to the total harmony.

To know our purpose for being here, we have to know who we are. To know who we are, we have to know God who created us... Through knowing God’s love, through prayer, we come to find our best self. Each of us has a call. No two of us are alike in our potential for growth and development... Sometimes we find our meaning from our successes. Sometimes suffering is the prelude to understanding, and we realize that eventually, out of darkness, comes light... I chose to try to know God and to find a deeper meaning in life through sharing my life with others, reaching out and being more vulnerable and open to the stranger, the one in need, the depressed and the ill... The specific purpose each one of us discovers along the way, we do have a common purpose. It is to become part of the life of God; to know, love and serve Him; to come to know and love our brothers and sisters; to be energized and made whole by God’s tremendous love for us in this life and the next, a love that binds us all together.

The white man’s civilization with its inhuman economic competition and rugged individualism has produced millions of physical and mental wrecks. It has produced enough vices to fill Dante’s hell. Nine-tenths of the people who reach forty are suffering from shattered nerves.

Eventually we'll have to confront the fact that world suffering is the result of ill-conceived thoughts taking form through misdirected action. If we're going to survive as a species, we must relinquish - to unprecedented levels, - qualities such as greed, hatred, and delusion. In other words, our very survival depends on accelerated levels of psychological and spiritual maturation.

Clergymen and peopled who use phrases without wisdom sometimes talk of suffering as a mystery. It is really a revelation.

To become the spectator of one's own life is to escape the suffering of life.

To explain the relative peace of the wicked and suffering of the righteous is beyond us.

God has laid upon man the duty of being free, of safeguarding freedom of spirit, no matter how difficult that may be, or how much sacrifice and suffering it may require.

The world is full of wickedness and misery precisely because it is based on freedom – yet that freedom constitutes the whole dignity of man and of his world. Doubtless at the price of its repudiation evil and suffering could be abolished, and the world forced to be “good” and “happy”; but man would have lost his likeness to God, which primarily resides in his freedom.

To be human is to long for something more, something beyond us. Fulfillment, peace, and lasting happiness, for no apparent reason, seem to have evaded us. We believe that we are meant for happiness and made for joy. Pain and suffering are somehow a mistake that should not be part of life.

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

It is in suffering that we are withdrawn from the bright superficial film of existence, from the sway of time and mere things, and find ourselves in the presence of a profounder truth.

To my mind, there are two things that, in life, you can do about death. Either you can choose to ignore it, in which case you may have some success in making the idea of it go away for a limited period of time, or you can confront the prospect of your own death and try to analyze it and, in so doing, try to minimize some of the inevitable suffering that it causes. Neither way can you actually overcome it.

All that we are is the result of what we have thought; it is founded on our thoughts and made up of our thoughts. If a man speak or act with an evil thought, suffering follows him as a wheel follows the hoof of the beast that draws the cart.

No suffering befalls the man who calls nothing his own.

Hell is the suffering of being unable to love.