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There is nothing noble in suffering

As with many other things that I write, the following perspective is just one facet of the equation – it is not a generalization and it is not absolute. That being said:

There is nothing noble in suffering. What can be noble, dignified, or extraordinary is the way someone approaches suffering, or the fact that they use even the most horrible circumstances for their own evolution, for the realization of their potential, for refining their being (the example I keep mentioning when I talk about this is Viktor Frankl.) But suffering in itself is not noble and, if someone argues otherwise, it is often because they want a comfortable explanation, a justification for their own helplessness or inability which they cannot or don’t want to recognize as such and call it something else instead. I am not discussing here the nature of this helplessness or inability (whether it is inevitable, inherent to human nature, or if the human potential includes the possibility that one could be happy/joyous/fulfilled at all times), but the way some people approach it. The term “inability” might be too harsh and puts too much pressure. I don’t want to promote self-flagellation and I think a very important part of the process of knowing yourself is accepting and embracing all aspects of you and every state you experience – spiritual bypassing can be terribly damaging and has nothing spiritual in it. I’ve also once said that a spiritual process which denies or tries to avoid confronting and integrating the shadow is only airy-fairy bullshit and not a spiritual process. On the other hand, though, I like to believe that I promote lucidity and discernment. It is in this sense that I criticize the “Suffering is noble” discourse. I’d prefer that people don’t call suffering in any way. At most, they could say “Suffering is what it is.” Depending on what you do with it and how you approach it, suffering can be meaningful. But not the single or most meaningful thing in the world. And surely not noble.

The problem with the “Suffering is noble” approach is that it doesn’t bring any real benefits (only false consolation, false comfort, and a false impression of meaningfulness.) If suffering is noble and, as I suppose, one wishes to be noble, then they need more and more suffering in their lives (in order to become more and more noble.) In consequence, this is what they will search for/attract, while omitting that life is made of other thing as well. It is also a form of narcissism through masochism.

If people could be happy, joyous, peaceful, or fulfilled any time they want, no one would think of coming up with such justification-discourses. They’d be too busy being ecstatic.