Understanding and harnessing human suffering

Zsolt Hermann
3 min readMar 28


Question from the Internet:

“What is the role of suffering in human existence?”

Suffering or pain is the strongest motivator. Our nature is such that we make our calculations, decisions, and actions based on a simple “pleasure/pain” software, constantly moving towards ever-growing pleasures for ourselves while moving away from any actual or feared pain and suffering.

And pain or suffering pushing us is a stronger motivator than our craving for pleasures since our survival reflex responds stronger to escape from harm.

When we look at human history, we can see how humanity developed through pain and suffering all the time. There was a revolution, a change of civilizations, when the present and actual state gave us such intolerable suffering, an unbearable situation, that we had to reinvent ourselves.

Up to this point, human history has been a completely blind and instinctive affair. On the one hand, we are driven by our inherently egocentric, subjective, and exploitative nature, which creates our ideologues, philosophies, religions, and social systems; on the other hand, when we inevitably destroy the actual civilization, the intolerable suffering, and dead-end state prompts us to reinvent ourselves and move on.

We could say that this blind and instinctive development drove us to great heights — albeit at the expense of terrible loss and destruction. On the other hand, today, our civilizational crisis is not a simple one. We have truly reached a dead-end, from which even the potential suffering from a nuclear world war cannot redeem us.

We have already tried and failed in all possible permutations of social, economic, governing, and oppressive systems. We have achieved and consumed everything that was possible through our inherent nature. Our only “new idea” today is to hand our lives over to robots and AI, hoping that “they” can save us. We still do not understand that since we created and programmed the robots and AI, they would continue the same kind of destructive existence that we conducted.

A ‘creature” can never surpass its “creator.”

We need to use the suffering of our generation to start a completely new style of form of human development, one that focuses on changing and further developing ourselves instead of trying to change, correct, and conquer others and manipulating the world around us.

Only a refined and upgraded human being has a future in nature’s lawful and deterministic system, where selfless, unconditional, mutually responsible, and mutually complementing coexistence and cooperation is the foundation of life.

Here we can learn how to consciously use and combine the “pleasure and pain” driving us by projecting an ideal and perfect state of existence before us that we can realistically reach together. Then the expected pleasure of that state and the pain and suffering from not yet reaching that state can help us rise above and go against our inherent nature. This way, we can also elevate above and escape the unnecessary physical suffering we usually have to endure.

Moreover,m by learning and accepting what nature’s evolution is expecting from us, by consciously and purposefully making efforts to reach and fulfill our predetermined evolutionary role in the system, we can also harness and draw on us nature’s unique developing forces that can help us in our “mission impossible” of fundamentally changing our inner program and way of existence.



Zsolt Hermann

I am a Hungarian-born Orthopedic surgeon presently living in New Zealand, with a profound interest in how mutually integrated living systems work.