Friday, January 23, 2009

Pain Serves

Pain Serves

As bad as 2008 was economically, experts expect 2009 to be even worse. There will be more company closings, more layoffs and unemployment, more stock losses, more foreclosures, more housing devaluations.

In other words, more pain.

We are experiencing the collective pain of our society, both in this country and in the world at large. It is a huge pain, seemingly unmanageable, and it keeps growing.

People hope that the government will be able to make it go away, to make everything “alright” again. But even though the agony is so great, the solution is not likely to be found in administrative programs or changes in monetary policy.

When circumstances change drastically and move people very far from what they consider comfort or normality, pain is the usual result. This can produce frantic efforts to manipulate those circumstances in an attempt to restore or resolve better conditions.

But overwhelmingly difficult and challenging situations may not be solvable according to anything that was known before. It may be that the pain of these circumstances is pushing people toward a new paradigm of living and functioning.

If the difficult story of personal life or collective society becomes unbearable, people may be motivated to stop believing that these represent absolute truth.

When the comfort and safety we have been dreaming in disappears, we may feel strongly moved to wake up.

And in this way, pain serves.

1 comment:

  1. The trouble is that ours is a deeply, deeply arrogant species.

    While pain does, indeed, serve to wake some people up, for many people the greater the pain is the greater the need is to blame others for why things are so bad.

    For some people, the deeper the pain is the more unconscious they get.

    Whether 2012 will be shocking enough to shake the arrogance out of our species, we will have to wait and see.