Saturday, January 17, 2015

Dialogue on Suffering

A mystic's stress dream:

Vladimir: Suffering's optional, you know. Pain is inevitable, but suffering is voluntary.

Estragon: I can assure you that I'd never have chosen to suffer as I have!

Vladimir: Why do you say that with such anger?

Estragon: Because I'm offended that you'd minimize my suffering.

Vladimir: How is it an affront to minimize suffering? Isn't minimization the goal?

Estragon: If you'd incurred the hardships that I have, you wouldn't minimize it either! You don't know my pain, so you have no right to attack my suffering.

Vladimir: Are you defending suffering?

Estragon: No, I'm finding you glib and insensitive.

Vladimir: To suggest suffering isn't inevitable is the antithesis of insensitivity. But before I could explain my reasoning, you took up the pro-suffering side of the argument. How can someone not get the impression that suffering's dear to you, when you argue in its defense?


To be in love is to ferociously oppose threats to one's beloved. And over the eons, billions of humans have fallen in love with their pain (though not one has ever recognized they'd done so at the time). Understanding this explains a lot of strange behavior.

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