Life IS Pain

“Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”
William Goldman

It’s not cupcakes and unicorns every day, or even most days.  But for all the brutality, there be love in equal measure.

Princesses are protected and hidden away from the harsh reality, as are princes like Siddhartha until reality inevitably breaks through and the suffering world is seen and experienced.  Six years and 49 days later he achieved enlightenment under the bodhi tree for comprehending that pleasure and pain are part of a whole.

The world is harsh and will break you.  But it is also beautiful, inspiring art that lasts millennia.  Eliminating the negative simultaneously eliminates the positive resulting in a constancy, a grey blandness.  This is why we have two eyes, to have perspective and see the positive and negative in balance and to navigate through the ever-changing world.

When you were recruited to your firm it was much like the early life of the Buddha: all the nastiness hidden away and unseen.  Only later did you learn the downsides and dark secrets, and it probably more than shocked you. Maybe this is why you left a previous employer, because the sheer darkness broke you and forced you to flee.  But to succeed in business you must have balance between the cold capitalism and unrestrained empathy.

Maybe your lover that was so perfect in the honeymoon stage has shown their true colors and you have seen the negative aspects of their slovenliness or lack of discipline.  Maybe there was outright manipulation to lure you into the relationship, or it could just be the contrast between the perfect image you fell for and the reality of a flawed human. Do you fly away into the embrace of another, or do you accept the good and bad aspects of your person?

The Buddhists talk of The Middle Path, the balance between extremes.  Neither hedonism nor ascetism, it draws from both.  Dark and Light.  Yin and Yang, pleasure and pain cycling and dynamically balancing.  Death and Life are parts of the whole, and without the positive and negative we cannot be complete.