Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Pain and Pleasure.

The drive to seek pleasure and avoid pain is strong. In the story of the evolution of mankind, it boils down to instinct and survival. It's understandable, and there's nothing wrong with it. Sometimes pain is lauded for being a signal that something is wrong, so we have to do something to fix it. Others opine that emotional pain is the furnace of spiritual growth, and is necessary for a phoenix effect; we will arise from the suffering and be better, stronger, and more compassionate. We see others in pain and want to kiss it better; we can't stand to see them in discomfort, we want to heal their pain, for pain is means that something is wrong, the pain itself is wrong, and we have an idea that humanity can be this blissful, calm, peaceful, painless wonder, except of course for the pain of bereavement, which is unavoidable. Some people even try to avoid this grief by rising above death, being all-accepting, taking the irrevocable separation in their stride, unwilling to feel the knife-like heartache and stupor of bereavement, more unwilling to face the part of the story that is The End and that terror of the void of not existing. We fear pain, because it hurts. We seem to take what is and we poke it with a stick. But there is pain because there is pain. There is pain because there is pleasure. Pain is just another face of love. But facing or avoiding or poking or healing, grief or joy, pain or pleasure, what we do with any of it is not the choice of the individual, although it may seem there are many choices. The pain is a gift, a dark one perhaps, but it is, so it is not wrong or right. There is no one in pain, there is pain. There is compassion. It is all working just as it must.

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