325. The Fine Art of Successful Suffering

Very, very few people dare to ask themselves what they _really_ want.

Even fewer are so bold to observe _how_ they actually feel pleasant, unpleasant, and neither-pleasant-nor-unpleasant feelings.

Madly coping with the self-imposed command to comply with the standard ways of living they see practiced around them, they are trying to satisfy other-determined and wildly contradictionary goals.

The result is a fractioning of the Being into more aspects than there are water drops in the Pacific Ocean:

  what was whole (kha), now becomes un-whole (du-[k]-kha).

There is a considerable thrill in this, too, that's for sure!

The exciting choice whether to get a car loan for a Ford Explorer with 0 cash down or a Nissan Pathfinder with 1000 dollar cash-back;

Whether to settle down in 'Where is the sun?-Oregon', or share one's life with the mosquitos in the heat of Florida; finding a cozy home along tornado-alley in the midwest, or shaking it up in quaky but sunny California.

And whether to get as a house loan an old-fashioned 30-year assumable fixed-rate at 6.75% or this new 15-year adjustable, starting at only 6.25, and only available from this brandnew, out-of-state mortgage company.

On the other side, there is this beautiful sadness; there is the exciting challenge to start all over from scratch when 'everything' in life broke to pieces; there is this deep love in one's heart  that one realizes only AFTER someone left.

 Watch this one:

What is the difference between riding Magic Mountain's latest super-roller-coaster ride and spinning down to the icy ground over the Northpole in a Boeing 747?

  [Answer: The roller-coaster pulls more G's (except for
           the impact of the airplane on the ground, of course).]

Now, in this notebook, the author is wasting a lot of time, and cyberspace with the effort of debunking the horribly destructive myth of 'all life is suffering', falsely attributed to Gotamo Siddharto (the 'Buddha').

Alas, he DID talk about suffering!

Because 'suffering' is a consequence of a Being's loss of wholesomeness (the literal translation of 'dukkha'),  'suffering' can serve as an _indicator_ or _trigger_ that something is not quite right.

The problem, though, is not as easy as it seems: an 'indicator' or 'symptom' usually doesn't reveal the causes of the problem.

A running nose doesn't offer any clues that there may be a virus wrecking havoc and even if so, what strain of cold-virus could be at work.

This is exactly where the 'Fine Art of Successful Suffering' kicks in!

It takes the pain to new and unexpected heights by finding its underlying causes rather than losing time fiddling with symptoms.

This beautiful craft has many fascinating facets. For this chapter, they shall be reduced, however, to the art of asking the right question at the right time.

For example, the following subtle, yet time- and spaceless question, put forward 2,500+ years ago by none else than Gotamo himself:

 "How many times does a person have to experience death
  before he starts suspecting that he may not be a body
  after all?"

Now, there is a good chance that a reader of the 'Little Purple Notebook On How To Escape From This Universe' doesn't have a problem understanding this question. But we want to go further here and look for cues within the dazzling
fireworks of emotions during the course of a lifetime:

   Sometimes, when all else fails, a Being, confronted with
   an extreme situation, may drop all its carefully assembled
   assumptions and justifications.

It happens at such occasions that a tiny spark, reflecting the Being's true state, may flicker for a short moment.

Miracles seem to happen then. But they are no miracles because there are no miracles.

Prompted by an apparent lack of choices within the  self-imposed limits of the game of life, the Being is just revealing its _true_ power for a very short
moment in order to get going again despite the odds.

Now, let's not go out to the desert immediately without water supply or hang our bodies on a rope down a cliff in the Grand Canyon.

There have been moments in most everybody's life already that revealed the state of 'untouched Beingness'. And there may be more opportunities on the way.

Yes, you read correctly, opportunities!

Because, the ultimate skill in the 'Fine Art of Successful Suffering' is to take this opportunity to recognize one's own existence beyond the random rapid fire of events:

- in a moment when and where the 'hard facts of life'
  smoothly dissolve in the waves of an ocean of processes;

- when and where the concepts of time and space lose their meanings;

- when and where one drops hate, lust, and greed like a hot potato;

- in a moment when 'love' becomes a one-syllable, four-letter word.

Because this Being, for a short moment that lasts forever, is now encompassing the All and the Nothing - everywhere and everytime.


Copyleft © 1998 by Maximilian J. Sandor, Ph.D