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Suffering | Mitra Mostofi

Suffering

If you’ve passed the title of this blog entry, then you are one step ahead of most people. Avoiding the painstaking word seems like it would preclude us from feeling the heaviness. Whether we avoid the word or deny the feeling, suffering exits. In the cycles of life believed to occur in Hinduism, this is the era of the Kali Yuga. In the Sanskrit scriptures, this is the last of the four cyclic stages and is defined to be the age of suffering.[1]

We are feelingless people. If we could really feel, the pain would be so great that we would stop all the suffering.-Julian Beck

After September 11, 2001 I fell into my first depression. I decided then to turn off the TV, travel to get my news from people’s experience and be more involved in learning about sociology rather than politics. It was important for me to learn in what capacity I wanted to make a difference in this world. The global impact 9/11 had was too much for most people, however; some were able to find a larger purpose in making a difference in geopolitics. Prior to that event I aspired to become a world leader, not for the powerful glory but to know that a shift to lessen human suffering was made. I learned that my impact on the world would have to start with myself and work one on one. One day I might have a global impact that I will not recognize but my capacity to help others is stronger on a micro-scale.

Right before Iran’s elections in 2009, I went back to visit. I was really torn where to call home, where to wanderlust as a motherless survivor yearning for a motherland. Upon my return, it was the first time Iranian expats were allowed to cast a vote except that the elected president was announced before our paper ballots were turned in. I knew then that I was sure I wanted to live in a country I didn’t have to deal with politics on a daily basis. I liked living in the U.S. and not even having to know who our mayor was.

I passionately returned to my career in the medical field and my safe life here in corruption free zone America. When the politics at work started surfacing for me, I started to feel despondent that I can’t evade politics. I can’t evade suffering.

Though I never intended to show my political stance through my writings and tried to avoid politics at all cost, I realize that even handling politics takes mastery in self awareness.

What a vast ocean of human suffering spreads over the entire earth at every moment! Of what is this mass formed? Of blackness, gaps, and rejections. No, let me repeat, of potential energy. In suffering, the ascending force of the world is concealed in a very intense form. The whole question is how to liberate it and give it a consciousness of its significance and potentialities.- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

When I started this blog entry I printed my notes so that I can use penmanship for writing therapy. It was no coincidence that my printer alerted me that it too is suffering. I conclude “looking for printer” is the metaphor of what we are looking for as we suffer to obtain it and that it was its ” 1  job “. Communication is the syndicated channel that one needs to become self-aware, without transparent conversation then there is a high likely chance of a “communication error”. All this superimposed on top of my notes to print for this article, layered on top of my desktop screen image of the reclining Buddha. The reclining Buddha is an iconic symbol to encourage us that all beings have the potential to overcome suffering into a resting calm known as nirvana.