The Higher Purpose of Pain

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The Higher Purpose of Pain

Pain is more than a warning sign

From a strictly physical standpoint modern medical science has found that pain is a warning sign and should be treated. Emotional and spiritual pain, however, from a higher perspective have far different reasons for being a part of life.

When we take for granted the fact that the entire universe has purpose, and humanity is a part of that purpose, we can understand that the tenacity of emotional pain is to help us reach a detached state of consciousness. In that way human disinterest has an important and even valuable place in human life.

Gaining detachment from emotional pain enables us to move on to more difficult problems.

Amazingly the lesson goes far beyond human perception into one of nature’s most glorious kingdoms, the avian.

Loren Eiseley explained the phenomenon of detachment magnificently in his book, Star Thrower. It was obviously for him a life changing moment, one that he could never forget.

Star Thrower by Loren Elsely I had been hiking and was tired so I took off my knapsack and sat on the ground with my back braced against a tree stump. In the warmth of the shadowed sun I fell asleep “in a glade like a vast cathedral.

On an extended branch sat an enormous raven with a red and squirming nestling in its beak. The sound that awoke me was the outraged cries of the nestling’s parents, who flew helplessly in circles about the clearing….

No one dared attack the raven. The bereaved and the unbereaved cried out. They fluttered their wings as if to point at the murderer. There was a dim intangible ethic he had violated, that they knew. He was the bird of death.

And he, the murderer, the blackbird at the heart of life, sat there glistening, formidable, unmoving, unperturbed, untouchable.

The sighing died. It was then I saw the judgment. It was a judgment of life against death. I will never see it again so forcefully presented. For in the protest, the birds forgot the violence.

There is in that clearing, the crystal note of a song sparrow lifted hesitantly in a hush. And finally, after painful fluttering, another took the song, and then another, doubtfully at first, as though some evil thing were slowly being forgotten.

Till suddenly they took heart and sang from many throats joyously together as birds are known to sing. They sang because life is sweet and beautiful. They sang under the brooding shadow of the raven. In simple truth they had forgotten the raven, for they were the singers of life, not death.”

Source: Loren Eiseley, Star Thrower, 1978, pages 33-34.

Eiseley’s beautiful description of the birds assures us that even avians compensate for a lost young life. After all, they live simply and unselfishly reminding us that we live in a new period in human history, one where joy and love predominate.

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All rights reserved, 2017. Rebecca Field

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