How can suffering help us, guide us?
Question from the Internet:
“How can the frequency of disasters lead to people's resiliency?”
There is a saying, “Suffering softens man’s ego as salt softens meat”.
It is true that we are prone to stubbornly go against any forces that try to change us, and our usual, subjective survival reflex also kicks in and tries everything to keep us alive against suffering.
But if the pain and suffering keep coming and it increases and at the same time another, different kind of existence, the path of development opens up, even if we previously rejected this option we start to reconsider it and accept it.
By default, we are all born with an inherently egocentric, self-serving, subjective and exploitative nature. We all thrive on ruthless, exclusive competition, succeeding and surviving at each other’s expense — knowingly or unknowingly. We all make calculations for self-benefit at any given conditions and we all excessively accumulate everything for our own sake, beyond our necessities — knowingly or unknowingly.
This is how we are programmed, there is nothing else we can do, it is not a sin, we are not evil, we did not have any free choice about the nature evolution created us with.
And as a result of our self-justifying ego, the last thing we would ever consider is changing ourselves, or even admitting the need for self-change. Thus we constantly blame and want to change, correct, censor, cancel and destroy others.
But as a result of our inherently “cancer-like” nature, as a result of history’s helplessly recurring vicious cycles that also get more brutal, destructive each time, today we find ourselves in a very realistic threat of total self-destruction.
The already dominating but at the same time declining West jeeps pushing for further domination, further exploitation and manipulation of everybody and everything, while others are increasingly pushing back with growing brutality. And all have weapons of mass destruction that can wipe out humanity many times over.
On the other hand, we are desperately helpless and clueless in the face of global problems that threaten all of us, since we can even imagine what a global, positive, sustainable, mutually responsible and mutually complementing connection, cooperation — above all differences, against the instinctive distrust and animosity — means let alone implementing it in practice.
So now we have two different ways of future development ahead of us.
The first is blindly, instinctively following our inherent nature until the increasing blows — from each other and from Nature — reach such an intolerable suffering that we soften and yield and accept the need for self-change.
On the other hand, we can also willingly, methodically recognize and accept what inherent nature we are born with and then purposefully, practically start changing ourselves. Obviously, nobody can “lift oneself by pulling one’s own hair”, we can’t change ourselves from within the same nature we are born with. But with the right, purposeful and practical method we can learn how to use and harness Nature’s forces, processes around us that are all aimed at facilitating, governing the seamless mutual integration between vastly diverse elements of Nature in order to create and sustain life.
We can consciously and methodically use Nature’s forces and processes to complement our inherent nature and by that become Nature’s seamlessly integrated and at the same time independent parts based on the duality of our “being” — comprised of the instinctively selfish, egoistic and the acquired altruistic, mutually integrating parts.
This will make us “truly Human”, a being that has consciously become similar to Nature by its own efforts above and against its inherent nature. Then we will also understand that the suffering that woke us up, directed us to exist above and against our inherent nature was purposeful and “benevolent”.