Thursday, 29 December 2011




Pain only exists in resistance.
Joy exists only in acceptance.
Painful experiences which you heartily accept become joyful.
Joyful experiences which you do not accept become painful.
There is no such thing as a bad experience.
Bad experiences are simply your resistance to what is.
Rumi

4 comments:

Ray said...

... but what about a childs face being burnt off in an arson attack or a brutal attack on a defenceless elderly person. I think the author is referring to experience in general as a learning curve or vehicle for growth based on whatever attendant retrospective insights leap to the fore. but surely there are indeed bad experiences happening all the time that are simply just that - bad (or grotesque) experiences.

Ann McIlraith said...

In my experience Ray all experiences can be transformative. The experience which has probably most shaped my life was my father's early death and all the resulting 'fallout'. Yet in spite of all the pain and loss it caused me I am now grateful for the experience. I have also read many accounts of people who speak of terrible accidents being their wake up call. Rumi's insight may not be true for everybody but it certainly rings true for me.

Ray said...

and I agree with you. but I find myself seeing this insight as a relative truth. For instance, Im going out later. Suppose late in the nite some drunk gets in a car and ploughs into me from behind and cripples me in a horrific accident. Indeed its a wake up call for him when he gets round to evaluating things. but what about me? Crippled and in a wheelchair the rest of my days. Despite any benefit or higher ground being gained from the accident, it would never convince me the end justified the means and hence my persepctive of it as bad experience to put it mildly. I dont need a wake up call. Perhaps this example is a bit extreme like the previous two but these things do happen a lot out there so for me its a relative truth with profound undertones.

Ann McIlraith said...

Einstein once said that the most important question a person can ask himself is "Is this a friendly universe ?" I think that how we answer this question will determine how we deal with the difficulties life gives us. If we are victims of a bad accident we may find it difficult to come to terms with it in the short term, but if we believe that the universe is really friendly in time we may come to find some silver lining in the cloud.