Contemporary people have forgotten how to approach the placeless temple of peace with the wish to deepen their capacities to feel a full range of feelings. Cleansing, sustaining sorrow is blocked not only by personality fragments like rage and despair, but by the demand for a unilayer of happiness, in denial of the depth of our entanglement with life and death.
Sorrow is the capacity to jettison delusion, to grieve the demise of innocence, to inhale and absorb the brevity and loss that accompany all life, to empathize with this identical plight in every being, and to cleanse the wound with faith's sustained direction. The absence of sorrow, according to this definition, isn't happiness, but fantasy.
The deeper and richer our capacity to face reality and stand firm, the more we can positively and peacefully help ourselves and influence others.
- Paul Fleischman, M.D., from Cultivating Inner Peace
"If only we could see a little farther than our knowledge reaches and a little beyond the borders of our intuition, we might perhaps bear our sorrows more trustingly than we do our joys. For they are the moments when something new enters us, something unknown. Our feelings grow mute in shy embarrassment, they take a step back, a stillness arises, and the new thing, which no one knows, stands in the midst of it all and says nothing."
- Rainer Maria Rilke, from Letters to a Young Poet
"Now when we speak it is with a great seriousness, and when
we touch it is with our own fingers, and when we listen
it is with our big eyes that have looked at a thing
and have not blinked.
There is no longer any reason to distrust us."
- excerpted from Marie Howe's "Sorrow", in What the Living Do
Dana Wyss Healing Arts