Reader comment on Anna Quindlen's passage ...

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    On Sep 29, 2014 Rebecca McCarty wrote:

     Everyone suffers, there is no escape from it. How we respond to suffering, is a different matter. Some people prolong suffering unnecessarily, wallowing in self pity, resentment, anger, self righteous indignation, blaming others and etc.; others accept suffering, separate themselves from it and rise above it, thereby they attain "grace".

    There are different kinds of suffering, real and imaginary. If you break your arm for instance, you experience real suffering, if you choose to be offended by the action of another, considering the action to be an insult and/or that the other "does not understand me", this is imaginary suffering, for if you had chosen to take the action in another way, or if you had tried to understand, what circumstances led the other person to perform the action, instead of feeling miss-understood yourself, then you would not have suffered.

    From one point of view, it is all a question of energy, a specific kind of energy, psychic  energy. Wallowing in self pity, or imagined wrong, uses up this energy, which is the very energy we need to sustain higher states of consciousness. When we accept suffering, endure it without expressing it, we transform the negative energy suffering evokes into positive energy, this process allows us to not only gain energy that would otherwise be lost, but to produce more energy, this energy fuels the state of "grace", because it can be used to sustain higher states. Upon experiencing suffering, we can choose to elevate our state above it,  penetrate the present, and add to this "grace" to our true selves, or we can choose to descend into self pity, anger, resentment, bitterness, blame others, etc., and loose our Selves in these lower states, how we respond to suffering is entirely up to us.

    It is difficult to separate one's true self from the suffering of the personality and body, yet the reward for doing so is an increased ability to sustain higher states within, and an increase of the energy required for doing so.

    Suffering is not pleasant, yet taken rightly, it can furnish us with the very thing we need to awaken, and from this point of view is something to be thank-full for. Rilke, a sensitive German poet of the past, said "We are wasters of sorrow." To wallow in negative emotions produced in response to suffering truly wastes our finest energies, where as transforming suffering, boosts our finer energies, making them available for sustaining states of "grace", increasing our understanding,  leading us into wisdom.

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    On Sep 30, 2014 Syd wrote:

     Thank you for your hidden depths Rebecca and the preciousness of your truth.  

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