Rule # 10 of Love – Suffering Elevates Consciousness

Shams in his Rule # 10 of Love said, “The midwife knows that when there is no pain, the way for the baby cannot be opened and the mother cannot give birth. Likewise, for a new self to be born, hardship is necessary. Just as clay needs to go through intense heat to become strong, Love can only be perfected in pain.”


Well, these days it is slightly extreme to say that when in pain, you can see the light. Or rather, in pain, you realize God – that is sheer sadism!

I tend to think, in joy, I can, for instance, feel that quality which can give me a remembrance of something akin to God. So when I read that Rule # 10, I thought, “Wait a minute, I am stopping to read this book here.”

I don’t like pain. I never have. I am sure you don’t either. I do not have the ability to bear pain. Period! I hate syringes in hospitals. I saw to it that, I was never pricked by a doctor unless there was an absolute need. No pain, nothing, zilch!

And then one day I became a mother! That is all. This is probably the end of the post! I know pain can be the most painful, and at the end of it, it can be most satisfying thing.

The labor of childbirth does amazing things to a woman’s body and mind. And HEART! Pain can give you love. The pain of childbirth teaches you new ways to love the bundle of love which comes along. That is the ‘END’.

My experiences with pain had just begun!

“The saint Ram Chandra of Shahjahanpur used to emphasise that pain is what gives us liberation. The more we have pain, the more we are able to suffer pain, the more we are able to master pain, the more we become capable of more and more. And as I have repeated so many times, the one who masters pain is as near to God as he can get. It does not mean that like the ascetics, we should sleep on beds of nails or invite pain. He says “When pain comes, accept it.” 

That is just the first lesson. Acceptance. And later on comes wisdom, that perhaps we need pain.

Why do we need pain now?

Okay, so let us think of pain later. Why do we need fun, joy, a happy heart?

Perhaps because that makes us feel good about the world, ourselves, we love all the good things happening to us in this world. So what is reality? The pleasure which keeps us happy? The contentment resulting from comfort and leisure? Would that make us wise? Would that liberate us from the shackles of more comfort? Or is this just a trap for us, perhaps a golden cage?

In pain, when we remember God, asking for his help, asking for wisdom, asking for communion, then our real journey starts. Pain is necessary to commence an authentic spiritual journey. We grow in pain. We evolve when in pain. Character builds. And the heart melts.

Yesterday someone told me, pain and suffering are different. Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. And I agree. So why I thought? Well, pain happens for everyone in some form – physical, emotional, psychological and so on. But the society we live in, this world has somehow ingrained in us that we have to reject pain. We do not think of pain as a symptom of something, rather we think of it as a condition in itself. However, it only indicates something to us.

So what does pain indicate?

Pain indicates our readiness to grow. When the mother is in pain, it indicates her baby is ready to be born, she is ready to be a mother, the baby has grown big enough to be contained inside the womb and she suffers the pain of her inadequacy to contain a large baby. Pain is only one’s readiness to allow the light to enter like Rumi says. 

sufferingWe become ready to expand our capabilities, expand our responsibilities, expand our awareness, expand our actions, and ultimately this means to expand our consciousness, improve the quality of our presence. Pain is a step to go to the next stage of our existence.

And pain is just not enough for this. The willingness to go through this pain is the suffering. The acceptance of this pain is suffering. Suffering indicates our readiness to grow.

I have come to the conclusion that to suffer makes you human, at the end of this suffering, you would be transformed almost similar to divine.


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