There is much truth behind jokes. The joke of the divine trickster is that he’s serious.
Those who teach transcendence or liberation from suffering provide practices that give us the experience of the essential or root nature of the human mind or soul. We can come to see a lasting presence for ourselves outside of any specific object of experience. See how we are one with all things and just as all things pass, new things continuously arise as well. We unite with the creative moment, the divine breath.
There is another way to approach these things. It looks and feels backwards to most people. Those who follow the left hand path, as it’s often described, do not seek liberation from dukkha. They engage suffering itself as a presence, an essence, and they practice rites and engage in experiences that highlight their awareness of suffering. Suffering is change. Even in hermetic philosophy, change is described as an all-consuming flame, apparently destructive.
Where those who seek liberation reach a point where they can go with the flow as it’s often said, those of the left hand path dance in the fire. Suffering is universal, no life goes untouched, and suffering turned away from is suffering that runs its course. Those who embrace the path of suffering seek to arrive at an intuitive understanding of change, become the cause of change rather than the effect.
Can good things cause change too? Not just suffering? Those things we call good also cause suffering. Good lost feels inevitably like good denied. We feel like if there is really any justice we will be allowed to keep the good in our life, but no effort of our own can cause this. By suffering I do not mean evil. Suffering transcends human ideas of good or evil.
You mean you lose your health. You lose your money. That kind of suffering? We will lose all these things yes, for moments, for seasons, or even longer. The way of suffering can also be called the way of power, because can you create change and avoid creating suffering?
For those of the left hand path suffering becomes like a dark core that their efforts revolve around, and they see a mirrored dynamic. Where those who seek transcendence find peace, those who embrace suffering find passion.
Is this what the monks did when they were beating themselves? Yes, is why you hear of things like the passion of the Christ. Passion is a creative force and a lasting presence. One of the faces of our soul.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.