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The Way of Suffering

from Christ The Eternal Tao by Hieromonk Damascene

I give you no formulas, says the Way,
I give you no equations.
But I will heal you in my own time,
In my own way,
Imperceptible to you.
Your mind races, seeking a solution;
But there is no solution that can be grasped by the mind.
Your mind tries every avenue,
Thinking that at least one will open up suddenly on the longed for goal:
Freedom from pain.
But every avenue is a dead-end;
You are up against a wall,
The goal is not reached.
That is because the pain is there for a reason.
It is like a maddening fever that burns up and drives out disease.
By it alone do I heal you:
Without it you will die in your sickness.
By it alone do I change you unto perfection:
Without it you will be as a foreigner in my Kingdom.

Seek no formula.
Seek no equation.
Only be patient:
Wait on me
While I do my unseen work inside you.
When you are changed and fit for my Kingdom,
You will know that something happened,
And that is all you will know.
But there is no need for thought.
Enter, then, into my joy,
You who have waited, in devotion, in my pain.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
eversearching
Oct. 21st, 2005 04:57 pm (UTC)
I read your last post this morning and feel very much driven to respond, but I don't have the right words. Perhaps just that I felt a deep empathy and kinship in regards to your fear. When I sit down to write, the terror of my own arrogance (who do I think I am to even begin to believe I can create something good out of my words?) is often the thing that outweighs my tenative joy in writing. And sometimes when I see children, the thing I feel is not the joy of their existence, but this deep sadness that the world will break them in some way.

But I also think there is something, some grace or some underlying strand of benevolence that does undergird us all. This poem gets to that, I think. It's very hard for me to accept it, but in my soul I cannot get rid of the sense that nothing in the universe is ever wasted, nothing is ever anything but the most precious thing there is.

Sometimes I think our darknesses must also be cherished- held in check, but cherished- because they teach us so much.

It angers me at teh world that you lost your sister. maybe that is something foolish, since we don't know each other, but the things you write are a gift to the world that is meaningful to me, and through that gift I get the most nebulous sense of you, and in that way I come to care about you. And because of that, it hurts me that you hurt, and I am angry at the world that it caused you such deep hurt.

But I also believe- and forgive me for just throwing my beliefs on you- that your sister is not lost, not abondoned. And I believe that there is a process involved in this pain that you will come out of, a much much stronger more radiant vessal.

So often for me it seems that life breaks me just so that I have more room in me to be a holder of whatever is The Universe. So often it feels like I can only grow by breaking.

I have this deep suspicion that if you look back on your life since you were twelve, that while you may not be everywhere that you wanted to be and everything that you wanted to be, that you would still see tremendous growth. And perhaps even growth that, while less obvious to the observer and perhaps less shallowly spectacular, is very deep, very very true. I think you would see that you are in the process of becoming and that it is a good thing.

Mostly I would like to just hold your hand and sit with you, and let you know that I am grateful, very grateful, to have the oppurtunity, however distant, to be a fellow travelor.

createdestiny
Oct. 25th, 2005 02:55 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for your kind words. I love how you said,
But I also think there is something, some grace or some underlying strand of benevolence that does undergird us all. This poem gets to that, I think. It's very hard for me to accept it, but in my soul I cannot get rid of the sense that nothing in the universe is ever wasted, nothing is ever anything but the most precious thing there is.

Beautifully put. I often feel the same way, but there are times when it's so obscured it's hard to go on.

Your name is Sarah, right? These last two posts of mine were only for a handful of people on my friends list who I felt I could trust with my sorrow. You are one of these people and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being the person that you are and being a channel of light, wisdom and hope.

Yes, there has been tremendous growth from every painful experience in my life. Ug. When will I be grown enough?
lcurtis
Oct. 23rd, 2005 07:30 pm (UTC)
curious divergence
The Four Noble Truths

Dukkha, is the first noble truth and as stated in Buddhism acknowledges that life is suffering and is almost universal and that there are many causes for suffering.

Samudaya, is the second noble truth and states the suffering is (other than physical pain or disease) caused by attachment, the desire to possess.

Nirodha, is the third noble truth stating that there is a way to escape or end suffering.


Magga, the fourth noble truth states that one must follow the eight fold path to end attachment, therefore suffering. Nirvana.

Daughter, I agree with the above writer's comments. I too would sit with you and hold your hand: As I do in my heart every day.
createdestiny
Oct. 25th, 2005 02:57 am (UTC)
Re: curious divergence
Nothing cuts off attachment like death.
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