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exp:channel:form channel="location" return="topic/how-to-respond-to-suffering/"
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Session: How To Deal With Suffering
This is a Session within the Topic Suffering
 
 
Reach the heart of any topic
– Grasp this issue deeply.
– Find what is valid or insightful about each perspective.
– Is there a way that changes assumptions, that all sides can agree with, and that works at the heart level?
 
Goal
Understand what is true about each perspective. Decide on a pathway that you can use to respond to your own suffering in a way that transforms it.






Your progress:
0 of 4 Perspectives
 
Perspectives & Resources
Perspectives are short paragraphs summarizing any point of view about the Topic. Explore each View and then vote on it.
Would you like to add a Perspective or Resource to this Topic? Go to the Topic development page.
 
"Life is suffering, so get your act together!"
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Reach the Heart of a Perspective
Topic: How to deal with suffering


Life is suffering, so get your act together!

Try to be a good person so you don’t make suffering worse. You have lots of reason to be resentful. God, there’s reasons to be resentful about your existence; everyone you know is going to die. You make everything your complaining about infinitely worse. What do you do about it? Well, you accept it. That’s what life is like. It’s suffering.

College students don’t know that they’re surrounded by just a bloody miracle. It’s a miracle that all this stuff works, that all you crazy chimpanzees that don’t know each other can sit in the same room for two hours sweltering away without tearing each other apart.

Get yourself together. Transcend your suffering. See if you can be some kind of hero. Make the suffering in the world less. That’s what’s under assault by the postmodernists.
 

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How to Explore a Perspective
Relax, focus. Take a step back and look at the Perspective from all sides. Now, zero in at the center!
 
What is the Bias?
What assumptions does it make? Whose interests does it serve?

What is your Personal Experience?
How does it make you feel? How do your experiences, privileges, and personal interests affect your understanding of it?
Now, enter the heart
▶ Say something good about what you disagree with, even if there are flaws.
▶ Find causes, not symptoms. Ask what lies at the root.
▶ Have respect for people with different views, insights, and priorities!
 
Opinion added by
Visionary {name_l}
on August 01, 2019
 
Visionary
This is the opinion of Jordan Peterson
"Pay attention to suffering. Ignoring suffering limits joy too."
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Reach the Heart of a Perspective
Topic: How to deal with suffering


Pay attention to suffering. Ignoring suffering limits joy too.

A patient once told me that he had tried to ignore his own suffering and the suffering of other people because he had wanted to be happy. Yet becoming numb to suffering will not make us happy. The part in us that feels suffering is the same as the part that feels joy.

I don’t know how the world is to be saved, unless it is to repair it with tears, to weep the world well. I was talking with J. on the Shabbat of transformation between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. He was telling me about a friend of his son who had died in a car accident. "My heart hurts," J. said, “I can’t stop crying.” "You’re saving the world," I said, "you’re saving the world with your tears."
 

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How to Explore a Perspective
Relax, focus. Take a step back and look at the Perspective from all sides. Now, zero in at the center!
 
What is the Bias?
What assumptions does it make? Whose interests does it serve?

What is your Personal Experience?
How does it make you feel? How do your experiences, privileges, and personal interests affect your understanding of it?
Now, enter the heart
▶ Say something good about what you disagree with, even if there are flaws.
▶ Find causes, not symptoms. Ask what lies at the root.
▶ Have respect for people with different views, insights, and priorities!
 
Opinion added by
Visionary {name_l}
on February 19, 2018
 
Visionary
This is the opinion of Rachel Naomi Remen
"Use suffering to grasp the ultimate. Turn sorrow into a song."
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Reach the Heart of a Perspective
Topic: How to deal with suffering


Use suffering to grasp the ultimate. Turn sorrow into a song.

There are three ways to respond to grief. You can cry, you can be silent, or you can turn your sorrow into a song.

Every experience opens the door into a temple of new light, although the vestibule may be dark and dismal. The pious man accepts life’s ordeals and its need of anguish, because he recognizes these as belonging to the totality of life. Such acceptance does not mean complacency or fatalistic resignation.

By foregoing beauty for goodness, power for love, grief for gratitude, by entreating the Lord for help to understand our hopes, for strength to resist our fears, we may receive a gentle sense of the holiness permeating the air.
 

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How to Explore a Perspective
Relax, focus. Take a step back and look at the Perspective from all sides. Now, zero in at the center!
 
What is the Bias?
What assumptions does it make? Whose interests does it serve?

What is your Personal Experience?
How does it make you feel? How do your experiences, privileges, and personal interests affect your understanding of it?
Now, enter the heart
▶ Say something good about what you disagree with, even if there are flaws.
▶ Find causes, not symptoms. Ask what lies at the root.
▶ Have respect for people with different views, insights, and priorities!
 
Opinion added by
Visionary {name_l}
on February 19, 2018
 
Visionary
This is the opinion of Abraham Heschel
"Suffering can end by understanding it, not avoiding it."
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Reach the Heart of a Perspective
Topic: How to deal with suffering


Suffering can end by understanding it, not avoiding it.

If you wish to be free from sorrow, you must stop running away and be aware of it without judgment, without choice; you must observe it, learn about it, know all the intimate intricacies of it.

If you cry out of self-pity your tears have no meaning because you are concerned about yourself. If you are crying because you are bereft of one in whom you have invested a great deal of affection, it was not really affection. When you cry for your brother who dies cry for him. It is very easy to cry for yourself because he is gone.
 

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How to Explore a Perspective
Relax, focus. Take a step back and look at the Perspective from all sides. Now, zero in at the center!
 
What is the Bias?
What assumptions does it make? Whose interests does it serve?

What is your Personal Experience?
How does it make you feel? How do your experiences, privileges, and personal interests affect your understanding of it?
Now, enter the heart
▶ Say something good about what you disagree with, even if there are flaws.
▶ Find causes, not symptoms. Ask what lies at the root.
▶ Have respect for people with different views, insights, and priorities!
 
Opinion added by
Visionary {name_l}
on February 19, 2018
 
Visionary
This is the opinion of J. Krishnamurti
 
 
Recommended Resources (Review before voting)
 
 

Jordan Peterson - Life is suffering, so get your act together!
 
 
 

Sadhguru on The Source of All Suffering
 
 
 

Eckhart Tolle, The End Of Suffering
Most suffering is self-created, out of resistance to ‘what is’. Suffering is a wonderful teacher. It deepens you, eroding the ego. End suffering by being present. Accept this moment as it is.
 
 
 
Other Resources
 
Text: Suffering can cease by understanding it
J. Krishnamurti
X
Suffering can cease by understanding it

Sorrow increases by avoiding it (Krishnamurti)
“If you wish to be free from sorrow, you must stop running away and be aware of it without judgment, without choice; you must observe it, learn about it, know all the intimate intricacies of it.” Krishnamurti, Commentaries on Living, Third Series, Sorrow from self-pity, 303

Suffering from self-pity makes you dull and stupid (Krishnamurti)
"If you cry out of self-pity your tears have no meaning because you are concerned about yourself. If you are crying because you are bereft of one in whom you have invested a great deal of affection, it was not really affection. When you cry for your brother who dies cry for him. It is very easy to cry for yourself because he is gone. Apparently you are crying because your heart is touched, but it is not touched for him, it is only touched by self-pity and self-pity makes you hard, encloses you, makes you dull and stupid." Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known, 84

Suffering is not the way to God (Krishnamurti)
Suffering perverts and distorts the mind. Suffering is not the way of truth, to reality, to God, or whatever name you like to give it. We have tried to ennoble suffering, saying it is inevitable, it is necessary, it brings understanding, and all the rest of it. But the truth is that the more intensely you suffer, the more eager you are to escape, to create an illusion, to find a way out. So it seems to me that a sane, healthy mind must understand suffering, and be utterly free from it. And is it possible? - Krishnamurti, The Collected Works vol XII, p 176

Satisfaction is a drug
“Please listen. You condemn the state you are in; your mind is opposing it. Discontent is a flame that must be kept burning brightly, and not be smothered by some interest or activity that is pursued as a reaction from the pain of it. Discontent is painful only when it is resisted. A man who is merely satisfied, without understanding the full significance of discontent, is asleep; he is not sensitive to the whole movement of life. Satisfaction is a drug, and it is comparatively easy to find.” “Contentment and discontent are like the two sides of one coin. To be free from the ache of discontent, the mind must cease to seek contentment.” Krishnamurti, ‘The flame of discontent.’ Commentaries on Living, Third Series, 75-7

Hold it as a precious jewel
Can one remain with that pain? Can I look at that pain, hold it, hold it as a precious jewel not escape, not suppress, not rationalize it, not seek the cause of it, but hold it as a vessel holds water? Hold this thing called sorrow, the pain, that is, I have lost my son and I am lonely, not to escape from that loneliness, not to suppress it, not to intellectually rationalize it, but to look at that loneliness, understand the depth of it, the nature of it. - Krishnamurti, Mind Without Measure, p 57


J. Krishnamurti


 
 
Organizations and Activities in the Community
http://162.247.143.50/images/topic/images/Mari_Andrew%2C_Grieving_-_Moving_on.png
Practice
Reflect on your own relation to the issue (experiences, biases, interests, etc, before making a conclusion).
Think of a time that you have suffered. How did you suffer? How did you respond to it?
Is suffering necessary for wisdom? Is suffering required for spiritual growth?
What does it mean to "turn suffering into a song?" Is this possible?
Have you ever made moral compromises that made your life easier?
Conclusion
Ask the impossible question!
What is true and relevant about the varying perspectives? How can you respond to suffering at a deep level?


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