Brian’s Reflection: Wednesday, October 27, 2010
A man will give up almost
anything except his suffering.
John Cleese, actor; [ Monty Python; Faulty
Towers]; he was born on this date, 1939
Out of the mouths of apparent bumbling idiots!
Could this be said about women too? I’m tempted to say no, because on the whole I tend to think women stronger and more sensible than men ………. pardon my sexism. But, in the end, I think it’s a commonplace of all human beings. We are not at all good at letting go of the suffering we experience.
Our suffering can be self-inflicted, and my experience of people is that it so often is. And, clutched suffering is a way of refusing to accept responsibility for one’s Life. It’s a way of avoiding facing into the truth, and of avoiding making decisions that Life demands of us all.
It is not then surprising that all the great philosophies and religions of the World have, at their core, a call to face into Truth. Socrates and Plato and Aristotle spoke to this. Certainly Jesus did. Socrates exhorts us all to “Examine”, to see Reality about ourselves and the World; he assumes that this itself is Liberation. Jesus began his public ministry by calling people to Repent. Repentance means simply to look boldly into whatever holds us back from an authentic Life of Love, to own it. It means to both push it away from us ….. and to allow the God of Forgiveness to lift the burden and the suffering it causes from us. Underlying this is a great core Principle of Being: Human Beings are never condemned to failure in the great adventure of Life ….. except by our own selves. That is what I think John means.
We need not play the game. Suffering comes the way of us all. But it need never be our Master.