Essence as Light







   AIA Home

   Questions

   Recommend this URL to Others

   See also:
   Suffering
   Identity



Questions and Replies


Question #6
I wonder what your views are on moments that hold a great deal of pain? I handle them by knowing they are real moments of pain.

Reply
I agree. I do not think that we can, or even should try, to talk or think ourselves out of the feelings of pain and suffering we are experiencing. I am convinced that the "real moments of pain" in our lives have the potential to profoundly open us up to a much larger and broader dimension of who we are. As long as we shut down or contract away from the pain we are feeling, we deny ourselves the opportunity to open even more widely into the experience of this deeper dimension of who we are -- an aspect of Essence which exists within and ultimately extends beyond even these deep moments of pain....

Question
What about betrayal? This one is a little trickier for me. It doesn't fit in with "a real moment of pain" because it was intentionally caused by another, sometimes under the guise of "what ever happens is the only thing that could have...."

Reply
At the level of the personality, all "moments of pain" are simply interpretations of our experience, regardless of the apparent intentional or unintentional cause. Such interpretations may include all kinds of justifications or rationalizations, but the reality with which we must ultimately come to terms is this: things are as they are.

The real question is, how do we react and respond? In my own experience, I believe our experience of "betrayal" has a lot to do with both: (1) identification and (2) integrity.

Ultimately, in any experience of betrayal we must ask: 
	Who has been betrayed?
	Who has been betraying?
	With whom and with what are we identifying?

It is the narrow definitions of self that always confine us and create our suffering. The larger, more expansive understanding of self is that which will eventually enable us to come to terms with even the most cruel forms of "betrayal." It is this more expansive understanding which enables us to see and understand that both (1) the "betraying" behavior on the part of another and (2) our own reactions to this "betrayal" are simply a result of our narrow definitions of self.

The second issue or question here is one integrity. The values we hold dear are often compromised in situations of betrayal. Trust has been broken, confidences have been violated. Under these circumstances, it is vitally important for us not to allow a more expansive sense of Self and Truth to be compromised or constricted by our pain and suffering.

In some cases, we may be challenged to take a stand on the basis of what we believe to be right and good and true, but our ability to maintain this commitment need not be compromised even by the pain we feel in the face of apparent betrayal...

Question
These are critical questions for me, and I continually try to find answers by making sense of some of life's more difficult moments....

Reply
I think the "secret" -- if there is one -- lies within the larger Whole of All That Is. The "sense" and "meaning" within our experience is, in some nonrational way, imbedded within the larger part of who we are within the present moment.

This is not easy to explain, but I believe that it is only when we identify with a more limited sense of self, that these difficult moments threaten to become "meaningless" or completely overwhelming. Somehow when the sense of self has expanded, questions of meaning and purpose quietly begin resolving themselves.....

In large part, I believe this is due to the fact that "meaning" exists only in and at the level of relationships. In other words, something is meaningful (or not) only in relationship to something else. When our sense of identity eventually shifts to the larger background out of which all manifest things emerge, then "meaning" is inherent, at a fundamental and essential level. It no longer needs to be discerned or elicited, and individual events no longer need any sort of explanation or justification. Events are simply experienced in their own inherent fullness, as extensions or expressions of the larger context within which they appear.


1997-1999, Metta Zetty
All Rights Reserved.



AIA Home   |   Questions

AIA Banner