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Reader comment on Ram Dass's passage ...

Suffering Leads to Grace

On Sep 23, 2014 Syd wrote:

 “Suffering Leads to Grace” is such an inspiration to me.  Suffering and pain constantly reacts in my subconscious and when I am not conscious of my suffering it will create this tormented consciousness.  Everything becomes this torment and everything is this unbearable reminder of my alienation from life.  Much of my unfinished work mocks me, my failure to love mocks me, my family mocks me, and this inability to have a purpose mocks me.  It is all because of my cell disease.  Maybe much of self-accusations have a basis in fact, but my self-absorption and self-indulgences makes the anguish even more real.  I know, to a real extent I responsible for bringing on my anguish on myself, which is why the self-accusations cuts so deeply.  The only way out is to do away with this tormented consciousness and I do this by denial of my truth. 

There have been many times innocent remarks will send my mind into schizophrenia.   I feel terrorized, the madman attacks, and then the insane paranoid delusions set in.  My mental connections go haywire, I start rocking back-an-forth, true craziness and my fears become consuming.  The stranger trying to console me becomes the policeman who has come to arrest me.  Fear becomes a life of its own.  My thoughts are uncontrollable, scaring me when I do not want to be scared.  My mind will race wildly and I become terrified of my fears because I cannot escape them since they originate with me.  My anger just burns. 

When I come out of one of these burning attacks, after both my body and my brain have splintered into a thousand pieces, I deteriorate into a state of emptiness.  I become isolated from my environment, from other people, and from my inner life --- from thinking feeling and doing.  My deep struggle between these various pairs of polar opposites: between identification with others and a rejection of them, between feelings and doing, between love and hate, is all this emptiness.  The ambivalence becomes so intense the evil will exclude the good.  Eventually, my suffering becomes this nothingness: nothing to identify with, nothing true, and nothing valuable in which I can believe in.  My fear becomes fulfilled and within this void feels this terrifying attraction to darkness.

There is a part of me that over identifies with my woundedness, with my sense of inner deficiency, and sometimes I make a lifestyle out of suffering.  It gives me something to do in my agitation and restless mind.  Yet other times I have caught myself in my emotional reactions and my belief in my deficiency, letting this raw material filter through my unconsciousness.  The moment becomes this opening, a moment of inspiration, like a catalyst shocking me into awareness.  This suffering compels me to choose to give it a meaning.  Giving a meaning to my suffering and pain, to give meaning to my experience, even my nothingness, creates me.  It feels like suffering is a positive force and I can sustain my awareness of myself here.  This place is to suffer and give meaning to it is a self that who transcends it.  The moment becomes the self and I fall into my faith, feeling my deep void.

I live in this complex and exhausting life.  Sometimes I refuse to make contact with anyone and even God because it is all an intolerable idea.  The horror and uncertainty of my own body is an enormous stumbling block.  Yet if I do not force everything to a conclusion, force my mind to seek order, my realistic faith can let the moment emerge spontaneously.  Faith becomes a “given” and I feel this inner Essence that cannot be lost or harmed.  Truly it is beyond beliefs, beyond doubts, learned procedures and the moment is not lost.  This place requires my soul, rather soul-making, and is this unselfconsciousness the moment just IS.  The act itself transcends the self-consciousness, and becomes this spontaneous quality of inspiration.  Faith itself becomes self-aware.  There is no place to hide, shocking awareness and the richest part of my consciousness life becomes outside of my control.

Faith in nothingness is like walking of the edge of the world.  It feels like suffering and emptiness, paradoxically, becomes the guide.  Divine awareness is discovered in death and becomes this value to which I submit.  My daily deaths creates this tension between conflicting sides, my suffering, and I have certain hostility here, so raw I do not feel it can be healed.  Hopelessness is strong and is a big trap, yet at the same time I have to move beyond my self-awareness and to let go of my trap in self-consciousness.  In this moment, the self is possessed both in suffering and in my physical breakdown of my own body.  There is this unshakable equanimity in the moment.  Suffering can truly be one with where I learn both self-possession and self-transcendence together and sometimes this profound center has mystical overtones.  When all is said and done, I wish we all could suffer together and allow this to be a gift to each other.  It is place transparency allows everything to pass through the consciousness, nothing “sticks” in the consciousness, and Essence is possessed.        

Just a side note, my body is soaking wet from the sweats and I feel deep exhaustion.  It is merely just this moment that is the source of everything and it becomes this inner Essence.  There is deep alienation in this place suffering and the gift is where the flat tire no longer needs to be fixed.  Essence is found in the suffering and becomes more than just an idea but a living experience.   Suffering is accepted and it can catalyze into shocking awareness and the moment is Essence.  There is no significant accomplishment here and the moment just IS, a shinning Void, where hopelessness and hope are held together and the stillness creates Divine awareness.

Your presence is deeply significant, a human being who suffers like me, and yet you are all a source of life, this Inner Essence that lets me touch my experiences and leap into the unknown.  Thank you!!!              

On Sep 23, 2014 david doane wrote:

 I am sad that you hurt as you do.  You and all that is and has been is responsible for your anguish -- not just you.  You are suffering anguish for all of us.  You seem to end your statement with some positiveness that has to do with being in the present -- being present is the medicine. 

On Sep 23, 2014 Always wrote:

 Syd, YOU are VERY BRAVE!  I admire your courage as you experience/ride this storm.  Satan is playing with you to be sure.  In the end, I want you on God's team.  I want you with me in Heaven one day.  By Grace, keep holding on!  

On Sep 24, 2014 Syd wrote:

Thanks David and I agree with you when you express “being present is the medicine.”  My being able to write helps me to be present to my experiences and seems to be medicine for me also.  Writing seems to make my unconscious impulses objective and helps me to let go of my suffering and even my bitterness.  When I am in union with the present moment it seems to bring the opposites together and it seems to offer this opening.  The opening is what allows me to let go of my tormented consciousness and this seems to be the opening to let go of my bitterness. 
My faith combined with my bitter faith, and at the same time letting go, creates this opening.  It is point I want to feel my bitterness and yet this letting go can draw on a Higher Level of consciousness.  My bitter faith and this place to let it go truly is grace within suffering.  Grace and suffering combined is difficult to describe.  It is just this sharp sense that perhaps grace is enough and is this leap of faith where suffering is raw, creating this opening to let go. 
This is all a strange language, letting go at the point of my suffering and bitterness, which creates this opening where faith draws on my hidden depths.         

On Sep 24, 2014 Syd wrote:

Always, thank you deeply and yes this inner life has big traps in it.  When everything becomes this intolerable idea, even God, I can literally throw out the baby with the bathwater: faith, hope, love, and even kindness.  Sometimes I get attached to my torment and then I get cynical about all my relationships.  So it seems when my faith becomes courage, this courage becomes my support.  Also this ground is touchy because everything is intense and my anger just burns.  I do not like this vulnerable point.  Maybe the gift is I am truly not that different from anyone else nor am I an outsider, as we all struggle with faith within suffering.          

On Sep 24, 2014 Amy wrote:

 Syd, tomorrow morning I will offer prayer for you at mass.  (Hope you are a believer, too!). Jesus in me, you, us . . . He is capable of amazing things . . . We simply need to be open.  (An "opening" allows the bad stuff to escape and allows the Good Stuff to enter in!). Amen Syd!

On Sep 24, 2014 Syd wrote:

Yes, Amy, I believe in Christ.  This belief does not seem to resolve my points of physical and mental chaos, and yet my belief or faith does offer these moments when I fall into serenity.   This serenity feels natural and helps me to accept my life as it is.  This serenity is teaching me this opening and it is starting to allow my energy or lack of it to flow.  This opening and serenity is also starting to create this letting go, like transcendence, and faith is becoming letting go.  This letting go, specifically as faith, appears to allow the paradoxes of life become One.  I am just beginning to fall into this new faith and there are points I am not separate from anything, union.  
Thanks for joining me in your prayers in this unfolding process.   


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