A Course in Creative Suffering - What a Miracle!
Aug 31, 1996 01:56 PM
by Keith Price
Someone said the job of a spiritual devotee like a minister or even a counsellor
is to kill oneself very slowly and very intelligently for his fellow man. The
crucifiction of the spirit on the cross of matter will take place slowly over
many lifetimes or symbolically as an event in the life of the historic Jesus and
in our individual mind as the gnostic crucifiction of our individual personality
to a higher Self and resurrection as one with that Self.
The Buddha said all is suffering, it is in the nature of the concantenation of
being and desire (no-being as a perpetual eternal LACK or ACTIVE NOTHINGNESS
seeking FULLFILLMENT. The preacher in Eclessiates said all is vanity (nothing)
and vexation of the spirit. But we are called to suffer or to feel our
existential state authentically and honestly, we have choices:
1) the fool - denial of the reality of suffering and the active principle of
"evil" or "entropy" or "emptiness"
2)the devil - escape into the senses as temporary relief (hedonism)
3)the hanged man - suffering senseslessly and stupidly by trial and error as a
negative role model of the fool and what might happen to one (there but for the
Grace of God, go I, so I had better get my act together )
4)the magician of creative suffering - having children to feed clothe, educate
and nurture or creating works of art and commerce, or nuturing humanity itself
on some level (the Masters - the Boddhisattva vow maybe one more true acceptance
of suffering as self-imposed Necessity.
5) the divine Fool who has transcended suffering while remaining in it.
6) the hermit - contemplation of suffering and one could go on of course
An interesting idea is presented by Liz Geene in "The Astrology of Fate": She
" I am still in no position to know whether Chrysaippos the Neoplatonist was
right when he described dual fate as energy and substance. Madame Blavatsky,
after all, equated karma with substance, while the destiny inherent in mythic
themes is the 'energy' aspect. Perhaps the two are not really separate, but
simply 'feel' different because they are experieneced at different levels."
I don't know where this idea is stated by HPB. I think I remember she called
many things a substance-principle. The whole discussion around mulaprakriti is
obstruse to me.
We tend to think of substance as something to be molded and transformed by the
active energy of the will, thus we create our on fate by involuting into
substance which then is the very process of evolution.
The English conotation of fate as the opposite of free will is the problem for
the West. In the East, karma and fate are more closely twins. C.G. Jung said:
"Free will is the ability to do gladly that which I must do."
"Sin" is fighting against fate (will of the Higher Larger Self), but this
creative tension is what we may experinence at once as free will, power, and
intentionality, the original "I as not that which is desired" with inevitable
frustration of which creates suffering and the release of the tension which
creates temproary "pleasure" in some form. The tension must be constantly
recreated and released like Sisyphus rolling his rock forever up the hill just
to see it roll down again every time.
The rock and the hill and the rolling down are there for all of us. Maybe
spirituality could be whistling while you work, helping a friend roll his rock
up the hill for a change, changing hills occasionally :) The fated part is
inescapable, but the creativity response and attitude is infinitie. The divine
play of Lila is a cosmic joke of the playing of the gods, the tragic suffering
of the sentient being in the drama or perhaps a tragi-comedy a little at a time.
The miracle of laugher to heal illness and alleviate suffering is well known,
it is a miracle and gift of Jove.
Embracing one's fate as suffering seems to go against all within us. It is a
work against nature, an opus contra naturum, according to Jung. Spirit is a type
of miracle and to feel its energy and listen to the Voice of the Silence is a
gift, a miracle of seeing things different as in the eyes of the child (HPB
mentions becoming like a child, in echo of becoming like children to enter the
Kingdom Christ and in advance of finding the inner child of today).
The whole process of life seem to be a course in lessons of desire and
suffering, but the fact that we can create, and intelligently direct as we
embrace suffering with compassion and even the release of joviality at the whole
mess seems trully a miracle.
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