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23 January 2009 @ 03:04 pm
Tao of the Day  
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 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. All of us here are going to know grief; if we live fifty years, we'll have known pain for fifty years. And in the end we'll die. That's the condition we're born on. I'm afraid of life! There are times I - I am very frightened. And happiness seems trivial. And yet, I wonder if it isn't all a misunderstanding - this grasping after happiness, this fear of pain. If instead of fearing it and running from it, one could ... get through it, go beyond it. There is something beyond it. It's the self that suffers, and there's a place where the self - ceases. I don't know how to say it. But I believe that the reality - the truth that I recognize in suffering as I don't in comfort and happiness - that the reality of pain is not pain. If you can get through it. If you can endure it all the way.

- The Dispossesed, Ursula K. LeGuin



When I can fully comprehend that this is a statement of Carpe Diem living, I can go get myself yin-yang ring #3 as a reward. (I've thrice graduated to a new level of Taoism - the first reward was my tattoo (see icon), 2 and 3 were little yin-yang rings which I subsequently lost right around the same time I started fighting The Way Things Are.)
 
 
 
Schmischmi on January 24th, 2009 12:45 am (UTC)
I like that. I hate that I identify with so much of it these days.
Angerieangerie on January 24th, 2009 08:56 pm (UTC)
I've wondered about this the past couple years, probably only as far as I've asked people with a certain level of irritation, 'What is Happiness anyway?'

There's something real and human... something worth it... in the middle of pain. There is so much to feel and be hurt or lifted or touched by, and sometimes simultaneously. When I'm not afraid to live it or remember it with true detail... I think I'm filled by it, it brings that third dimension to my life. The one I really began to experience when I had my daughter.

Some of my most precious times with her are when we were in the center of trouble - of her colic, of her tantrums, her sicknesses, her disappointments. I cherish those memories as much as the smiling ones. Being able to remain peaceful and confident, and open and alive while I'm with her has made me into a much better human. Maybe even 'happier.'
autonomic_pilotautonomic_pilot on February 24th, 2009 09:25 pm (UTC)
I like this one.

I have tried to be careful with my expression of compassion when a friend is experiencing pain, trouble, or whatever other negative emotion there is.

I'm careful because while I do not want them to suffer needlessly, I realize that the negative things in life are very important. I relish the growth that life gives us. Sometimes it hurts, sometimes it feels good... but regardless, I would never wish convenience to get in the way of a greater good.

Congrats on your ring. ;)
Kburgunder on February 24th, 2009 09:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you for paying attention.

I'm going through an old poetry book of my Aunt Dot's that she had made for my (good) grandma.

She hits upon a small portion of the larger epiphany, and I was startled to find it so soon after coming to my own understand of this.



Life is cruel sometimes, My dear,
Cold, and sharp and hard to bear.
Gray without the sun around,
Dark with hatred and with fear.

Sometimes the things we must decide
'Tween right and wrong are hard to see.
Yet when it's done - although it hurts,
We know things are as they should be.

And through each hurt and loss we find
A comforting compensation in its place.
There is no hurt too great to know relief,
God sends a friend - and life is good to face.

- Dot, 1942