Has anyone not asked this unto themselves, their friends or flung it out at God or universe in general? Why does stuff that make us sad,depressed or worse happen?

Somehow the karma theory (as I understand it) doesn’t make sense to me. People say that the person who has given you so much pain will also suffer. Then there must be something that I have done to deserve this pain..but who decides how much suffering and what sort is to be meted out for every offence? Is there a rhyme or rhythm to the pain and suffering in each human life?

Human beings have an exaggerated sense of self  importance, we are after all not even mere specks in the grand scheme of things. But to give ourselves a sense of purpose, we have invented a supreme being who is interested in our life, who metes out punishment and rewards and we also believe that there is hell and heaven, thereby removing the discomfort that knowing that we are mere mortals can generate. Life as we know it will end and we are going to disintegrate into the basic particles that make up this world and then reunite with other similar particles to make something else..a stone, a drop of water or just dust that is going to be swept up and thrown out…

But the question lingers on, as humans endure sufferings, both emotional and physical. For the span of our lives, we need this question to be answered, for the feelings of sadness to be managed and…for our sufferings to be justified! yes, Justified!!

The minute we find a meaning for our sufferings, they cease to be suffering..they wear the garb of love or sacrifice.

That and a lot more is what you are going to get out of a wonderful book, (that an equally wonderful friend lent me) – ‘Man’s Search for meaning’ -Victor.E.Frankl.

It’s an extraordinarily powerful and insightful book, a must read. Victor Frankl survived the concentration camp, survived the loss of his loved ones and saw death, torture and suffering for so many years in the Nazi camps, but he survived and found a meaning for his suffering and hence a meaning for his existence.

Suffering and adverse conditions can bring out the best and worst in humans. How you react to every situation is an intrinsic freedom that no one can take away. That, is a very empowering feeling for me.

Quoting the author, just in case someone might need more convincing ;)

“A man who becomes conscious of the responsbility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the “why” for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any how.”

“Man is not fully conditioned and determined but rather determines himself whether he gives in to conditions or stands up to them. In other words, man is ultimately self-determining. Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment. By the same token, every human being has the freedom to change at any instant. Therefore, we can predict his future only within the large framework of a statistical survey referring to a whole group; the individual personality, however, remains essentially unpredictable.”

“When a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer, he will have to accept his suffering as his task; his single and unique task. He will have to acknowledge the fact that even in suffering he is unique and alone in the universe. No one can relieve him of his suffering or suffer in his place. His unique opportunity lies in the way in which he bears his burden. “

“The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity — even under the most difficult circumstances — to add a deeper meaning to his life. It may remain brave, dignified and unselfish. Or in the bitter fight for self preservation he may forget his human dignity and become no more than an animal”

“What is to give light must endure burning.” ― Viktor E. Frankl

Go get a copy and read it!