The winds of change are blowing strong these days…
It’s a good time to, finally, share another moment with you.
Slowly I’m swallowing my own medicine. I find wisdom in pain.
“Nobody’s wise who doesn’t know darkness.”
This quote by Hermann Hesse has been hanging on my wall for a couple of years now.
Only now, I understood its fundamental meaning:
I don’t overcome darkness.
I embody it.
This is basically what I have been practicing with this blog. And what I have been recovering over and over again:
Pain wants to tell me something. It is here for me and not against me.
I’m doing integration work.
I find wisdom in pain – and not despite the pain.
I integrate what is – and not what’s supposed to be.
This is called tantra in the widest sense.
And most of the time what I integrate has been a part of me ever since – a part that I neglected for the longest time. A dark part.
A dark part of my psyche, of my physical body or of my emotional body that I would prefer to hide.
Instead of facing it I tend to set goals, aim higher, dig for more…
“The dark days will be over, if….,” for a very long time I fell for this hedonistic idea.
They are not. They never will be. Because there is always the next step, the next goal, the next thread that fills my heart and head with worry if I let it.
The dark days will never be over, because “the suffering is endless” to say it with the words of Viktor Frankl, author of the fundamental work “Man’s search for meaning”.
Frankl himself a Auschwitz-survivor describes the psychological states of KZ-inmates, which build the fundation for his psychological discipline called logotherapy.
This book translates the wisdom of suffering in a way that is so touching, so precise and so vital – I think every person in the world should read it.
What’s so special about it?
Psychologist and KZ-survivor Frankl transcends misery into hope and retrieves life energy, the life force – ‘the mystical’ that is all around and within us….
‘From mysery to mystery’ – Frankl uncovers the truth of life hidden in a disastrous part of history that we prefer not to think of.
The example of Frankl might be extreme, but the wisdom to be found in this book is applicable to all of our lives:
The earlier we accept that suffering is a part of our lives the more lightness we will find.
What most of us close our eyes from: Our pain is here to teach us something. (I wrote about pain so many times on this blog.)
There is an energy stored in suffering. And that energy wants to be transformed into acts of courage, hope and strong belief in life.
And that is roughly what Frankl describes as the motors of survival, even under devastating circumstances like enduring a concentration camp.
Nothing will ever be solved completely.
There is always some hidden grief. Some deep sadness or collective trauma that is stored in our cells, tissue or memory.
What we can do is: Meet ourselves and the ones around us with compassion.
This is how we befriend darkness and find purpose.