The Teacher in Suffering – Pain on the Spiritual Path
I spend a lot of time people-watching. Just observing others go about their lives for all the highs and all the lows. I watch the cycle of suffering, insight, transformation and then mastery. I watch as people get indignant or frustrated when the next cycle of suffering begins. Yet the human experience is all about the cycles.
Me, I’m a survivor. As an old soul I have lived, died and re-birthed countless times. I walk in the shadow of Kali. Understanding spiritual growth means the destruction of what is no longer fit for our purpose. Yet understanding that does not make me immune to the pain of change, the grief of loss. Even the birthing process is painful despite having something positive to look forward to.
Why this need for pain? Why this endless suffering? Why is this human life painful, full of suffering and if not our own pain, that which we witness in others. Why are we in such an existence that some would argue is a veritable hell?
You’re not going to like the answer. People feel cheated when they hear it, like its a cop-out or they’ve been duped by some dodgy car salesman. Yet, that very aversion to understanding and more importantly, accepting the truth of it, is blocking you from the source of power the truth brings.
We suffer because we have free will and yet lack the fully enlightened faculty of wisdom to exercise that free will in completely beneficial ways. In other words, we suffer on account of free will and ignorance. That includes ours and when we suffer the fall out of someone else’s ignorance and free will.
Free will encompasses all the known and unknowing choices that become all our actions and reactions. It is driven by conscious intent and the full gamut of human emotions and perceptions of reality, both conscious and unconscious. Our free will is a creator force of incredible power but we fumble with it on account of our degree of ignorance or mastery. We as humans exist in this karmic soup of the fall out of the intertwined consequences of our collective free will and ignorance.
Mastery of human existence comes down to applying free will with loving wisdom, yet how many lifetimes have you already spent learning and practising that mastery? How many more will you need? We call it spiritual “practise” for a reason. It reminds us that we are still learning, still training and therefore it’s OK if life isn’t perfect if we are not perfect.
Many are going through “dark night of the soul” experiences, presently and certainly in the past. We have all been there… countless times in fact. Still, it doesn’t make it any easier.
Guan Yin once explained to me that suffering is never chronic in the experience of the one suffering. It is always acute and intense because it fully occupies the “Now” moment of the one suffering. The pain of the “dark night of the soul” is raw, acute and intense because it actually needs to be that way in order to reach the light of dawn.
Our suffering fills our awareness for a reason. To force an action of free will, to force us to make a choice and create. Most deal with this in an uncontrolled reactionary way and our choice reveals our ignorance as it affects the situation at hand. This can lead to a deeper, darker place, but it can also be powerfully cathartic when you have the insight. You understand what must be done and you realise what path of action you must implement. Your pain created a space of intense awareness and contrast allowing you the opportunity for a leap of insight. Wisdom replaces ignorance and you have shifted a bit further along your spiritual journey.
That process of catching the insight, “seeing the lesson and understanding it” takes self-awareness and mindfulness, then the courage to act as lovingly and wisely as we can to reduce our suffering or the suffering of others. Being gentle with ourselves and less judgemental of others as we all learn to be better at this human experience that life offers helps us find peace and helps us suffer less.
Ignorance is the shadow aspect of free will. What we do with it makes all the difference. Accept that truth and you won’t feel like universe sold you a lemon of a human life, but rather you will remember why you took on the human life experience, to learn to cultivate wisdom and master creation.
Love and Light,
Jennifer, founder of ‘Light Dynamics’, a system of Healing and Spiritual Awakening, is one of Mystical Dragon’s trusted and gifted Psychic Development teachers. She is also a highly intuitive Spiritual Healer and Clairvoyant who provides clearing of negative energies, protection, healing, and reading services to clients.
© Copyright to Jennifer Valente but this article may be reproduced and distributed provided the author is acknowledged.