Inquiry: It’s OK to suffer, b/c I need humility

It’s OK to suffer, because I need humility.

  1. True?
    No. It sounds crazy. But I can also find the place in me that sees/feels it that way, and I’ll answer from there. (I can also find it in our culture, perhaps most clearly in some forms of Christianity.)
  2. Sure?
  3. What happens when I believe that?
    • I am OK with suffering. I may let it continue longer than it needs to. I may not do what I can to resolve it.
    • I see suffering as noble. It makes me more humble.
    • I may resent those who don’t suffer. They are just living a good life, and here I am suffering and becoming more humble. (!)
  4. Who would I be without it?
    • I would follow my first impulse and actively explore what I can do to reduce or free myself from the suffering.
    • I would make changes in my life so it is more aligned with what feels right and good to me.
    • I would explore the dynamics of suffering, aiming at seeing and feeling through and through how it is created from belief in an “I” and other stories.
    • I would take suffering as a clear sign that something is off, either in my life or how I interpret my life, or – most likely – both. And I would actively seek to make changes in both areas.
  5. Turnarounds.
    • It’s not OK to suffer
      • That is more true. Suffering shows that something is off. It shows that my life is out of alignment. Or that I hold onto a (mistaken) should about life. Or both. In either case, it comes from a belief. It comes from a mistaken perception.
      • Also, suffering is suffering. It is painful. It is something every fiber in us tells us to get out of. (Unless we are caught up in a story that it is good or noble to suffer.)

After doing this, I got curious about what function this belief serves in society.  I see it may serve the function of keeping people in their place, not speak up, not act on what is honest for them. It serves to keep people in victim mode, servile, not questioning authority, whether that authority is in the family, at work, or in society.


Additional stories and turnarounds:

  • Suffering creates humility
    • Suffering does not create humility
      • No. If it does, it may be false humility. True humility comes from clarity and honesty, not suffering.
    • I create humility
      • Yes, through clarity.
    • Humility creates suffering
      • Hm. False humility certainly create suffering. The type of humility where I put myself down and elevate others create suffering, because it is not real. It comes from beliefs and shoulds.
      • True humility seems to have three facets: (a) Recognizing in myself what I see in others and the wider world, and the other way around. The world is my mirror. (b) Pragmatic and realistic acknowledgment of differences in (current) insights and skills in different areas. And finally, (c) recognizing all as the play of the infinite. That’s the true humility.
  • It is noble to suffer
    • It’s not noble to suffer
      • Yes, true. There is nothing noble in suffering, perhaps apart from how we relate to it. There is nothing noble in acting and relating to life from confusion, from a belief. It’s just confusion and suffering. All it demonstrates is lack of clarity.
      • The only noble is to act to change my life so it is more aligned with what is honest for me, and to change how I relate to my beliefs and suffering.
    • It is ignoble to suffer
      • Yes. Suffering is a very clear demonstration of lack of clarity, of being caught up in a belief.
      • Believing that suffering is noble is also ignoble, because it comes from confusion, lack of clarity, and a basic misconception about suffering. Suffering (in itself) only creates false humility. Only clarity brings true humility.

Wow. So suffering does not bring humility, it only brings false humility. Only clarity, honesty and truth bring true humility. And suffering is not noble. It only demonstrates confusion and lack of clarity. Clarity, truth and honesty cannot coexist with suffering.

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