The world in duality is not typically understood as the interplay of perceived opposite but complementary forces to maintain a harmonious balance. We have been taught to select one of the forces and reject the other.
In this world we value compassion. Some religions and “spiritual keywords” label compassion as something “good.”
Nevertheless, compassion comes from the experience of suffering.
Isn’t suffering “bad”? 🙂
How is it possible to be compassionate without knowing what suffering is? Knowing is not reading about it. It is living it.
The experience of suffering brings greater sensibility to a person.
John kicked the rear end of his dog “Huey.”
If John had the sensibility to empathize with the suffering of others, he couldn’t do harm to a less capable being.
That sensibility allows John to act without a commandment, such as: “Thou shall not kick your pet’s behind.”
Perhaps John has experienced that sort of suffering which has allowed him to breakdown his ego into pieces and to know first hand, what compassion is.
On the other hand, John could have rejected the experience of suffering and that rejection could have created a sense of revenge. Obviously, revenge is the other extreme, which is meant to strengthen the sense of ego.
When John is ready to self-transform, that sense of revenge will necessarily have to transform into compassion.
That is most “seekers’” journey.
The ego is shattered through suffering. When that suffering is perceived as a traumatic experience, more rejection will be built and bitterness will come out.
A bitter person is someone who continuously rejects the experience of suffering as “bad luck,” or a “punishment” from God, destiny, etc.
That same suffering is the opportunity to self-transform: When the ego diminishes its size, then there is an automatic perception of that Totality, wholesomeness of Life.
As my friend Mathias says: “The Universe holds a mirror and most are interested in only seeing the reflection of their own faces. By doing that, these individuals miss the opportunity to see the reflection of everything else.”
That is the experience of a self-absorbed individual.
Looking back at my life experiences, Ananda was born out of the ashes of a different person, Avyakt7.
Avyakt7 went through different kinds of suffering. Those were originally taken as traumatic experiences (thus, the need to heal emotional wounds), which brought a feeling of fear, uncertainty and the greatest need to cling to something to bring some sort of security in life and … even after it.
That “security” thing may have different labels among individuals: God, wife, husband, family, work, etc.
The suffering of “losing” all of the above and more, becomes the source of liberation from all.
That suffering transforms when we bow down to life and allow life itself to change us. This is not surrendering but bowing down; that is to allow that life force to do its work as when we watch the forces of Nature, like a Hurricane or a Tornado, in their presence we bow down in awe.
Therefore, suffering is a medium to transform. It is a medium to know about compassion and a medium to dismantle the arrogance of the ego.
Is suffering “good or bad”?
Like everything else, it all depends on the state of consciousness looking at it.