Enlightenment Through Pain Essay

1741 words - 7 pages

Through experiencing or living with pain, insight, knowledge and understanding can be presented to those things that may not have been in realization in a pain free life. Because of pain, the true meaning of life, what it is like to live, and the value of oneself and others is to be within one’s control. Pain strengthens the body, mind, and the spirit. As stated in Virginia Woolf’s essay on Being Ill, the true beauty of the people and the real beauty of the earth can be seen through the eyes of those who are in pain. Also according to Woolf, pain can lead to spiritual divinity. From my understanding, the power of prayer to some people is not in belief until pain has overtaken the body of oneself or of a loved one. Pain seems to open the eyes of those who have not lived correctly.
Small things in life are often overlooked due to the busy and determined career oriented lifestyles. The joys of live come through the detail of the small gestures given or received. The golden rule of “treat others the way you want to be treated,” is so important for people who want to lead a happy life. Until he was deathly ill, Ivan Ilyich, the main character in The Death of Ivan Ilyich, never appreciated the small things in life. His focus was narrowed to one topic. “Ivan made work the center gravity of his life (p. 50).” Before anything else, including his marriage, Ivan’s work and analyzing way of living was of first priority. Neither Ivan nor his friends valued one another. Ivan’s family and friends treated Ivan as if he was a large inconvenience. Ivan’s coworkers were selfish as to who were going to receive his job. His wife was also selfish as to her well-being. “Ivan’s wife, Praskovya Fyodorovna, went into Ivan’s hospital room dressed in her evening wear reminding Ivan that she was still going to go to the theater (p. 94-95).” Being last on everyone’s mind is not a relaxing feeling, especially when one is seeking comfort and support. “Ivan Ilyich knew he was responsible for the gloom that had descended, but could do nothing to dispel it (p. 71).” Ivan realized that he oppressed his pain upon the value of his family and in many ways, hurt them. Because of this, he was desperate to make everything right. “He felt sorry for them; he had to do something to keep from hurting them (p. 113).” After Ivan made this statement, he stretched out on his hospital bed and died. Towards the end of Ivan’s life, he did make a connection with his son. To Ivan, the realization of appreciation to the importance of life was absent until his pain completely took over him. Ivan repeatedly asked himself, “What is the “real” way to live?”
What is important and what really is not that critical, is realized by Lars Lennart Westin in The Death of a Beekeeper. Like Ivan with work being of first priority, nature was Lars’s first priority and value. Lars knew that he had not appropriately lived life up unto the point to where he became ill. Unlike Ivan who...

Find Another Essay On Enlightenment Through Pain

An Achievement of Platonic Existence through Transcending Reality

2021 words - 9 pages purpose was to serve others so he worked diligently on grasping the notion of truth and its relationship to the present universe; a very complex but rewarding concept (Kumar). Similarly, the protagonists in the novel Life of Pi, by Yann Martel, and the novel Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse, also explore the complex paths to enlightenment through self-realization. The former is a story of a young Indian boy’s struggle, during the 20th century, to

Motifs in the path to enlightenment

1227 words - 5 pages Siddhartha, by Herman Hess, is an inspiring story of a Bhramin's son who finds restlessness and discomfort with the teachings of his elders. The quest for enlightenment burns within his Self. Siddhartha goes through many trials and mentors on his journey to find inner peace. Throughout the book there are three recurring motifs that support the theme of a man's passage to enlightenment. Trees, river, and celestial objects are the motifs that


759 words - 3 pages The followers of the Buddha believe life goes on and on in many reincarnations or rebirths. The eternal hope for all followers of Buddha is that through reincarnation one comes back into successively better lives - until one achieves the goal of being free from pain and suffering and not having to come back again. This wheel of rebirth, known as samsara, goes on forever or until one achieves Nirvana. The Buddhist definition of Nirvana is &quot


532 words - 2 pages Earth as a punishment, in which all materialistic and emotional possessions that they have gained and become attached to are taken away from them each time they die and go through the cycle of rebirth (Samsara). The main purpose in life for these followers is to attain extinction or a disappearance known as Enlightenment, or Nirvana (the ultimate happiness associated with Buddhist Religion), after understanding its conception. There are two

Enlightenment and the Death of God

3440 words - 14 pages people suffer much (i.e. Job, Christ) and it is obvious that men do not receive the just reward for their actions on this earth.[2] Suffering is a part of existence and God has no obligation to keep the innocent from it. In fact, perseverance through suffering has the capacity to make us more wise and beautiful and the value of the change in our being is worth the passing experience of pain.[3]     Camus, especially, seems to have a strange

Goals In Hinduism And Buddhism

1517 words - 6 pages as the caste system and the Hindu pantheon of gods; none can ensure/bestow salvation. According to the Buddha, each person is responsible for his or her own enlightenment (non-attachment, all-knowing) through one?s own effort. Buddhists are not interested in metaphysics. What one believes is not important; rather it is the actions of one that is emphasized, such as discipline and meditation. To a Buddhist, the nature of the soul and the afterlife

John Proctor Tragic, or Pathet

1359 words - 5 pages live the rest of his life as an outcast he would at least still be able to teach his children the error of his ways. Thus because John Proctor had a way out of his trap and opted not to take it because of selfish pride he is not tragic. Tragedy has been said to be the "progress from ignorance, through a cycle of suffering, to enlightenment" (Merle 4). But what exactly does that mean and who would fit this bill of tragedy? Arthur Miller


1447 words - 6 pages his thirst is not that of knowledge but rather it is a thirst of feeling and experiencing that moment of attaining the enlightenment. Therefore, he decides to continue with his journey. While on his journey, Siddhartha suddenly realizes that one must seek and attaining enlightenment through living, not through preaching since what he is seeking is not something the outer world but rather it is the inner world, the self. During his journey

Describe and comment on the philosophy of Buddhism

1176 words - 5 pages believe in what they want, rather than having to follow the path of faith that is laid down for them by their families. And the Buddha encouraged people of all different backgrounds to practice his belief system.The new profound insight into the true nature of reality, that the Buddha gained, he set forth as "The Four Truths." The first truth is said to be that "Dukkha," or life is suffering. Each and every person is going to feel pain and go through


2370 words - 9 pages and enlightened beings. Those scriptures called the Mahayana sutras told of the significance of spiritual understanding. To the Mahayanists, the dharma is not only a term used in writings but, the actual source of a conversion event that makes one realize the need for enlightenment as the absolute significance of life. Through the years, according to different sects of Buddhism, Buddha made his teachings in reference to the audience in which

Buddha and Confucius

790 words - 3 pages suffering is people’s selfish desire for the temporary pleasures of this world. 3) The way to end all suffering is to end all desires. 4) The way to overcome such desires and attain enlightenment is to follow the Eightfold Path, which is called the Middle Way between desires and self-denial. “The Eightfold Path was like a staircase… those seeking enlightenment had to master one step at a time.” The steps of the Eightfold Path were: 1) Right

Similar Essays

Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha: Enlightenment Can Not Exist Without Love

1062 words - 5 pages order to find a new. When that was not enough, his love desired more and materialistic items captured his soul. He wanted to be taught love from who he thought was a prime master only to run away from her in the end. His love then was to find his Self. The river washed all his relationships into one place. Through Hesse, Siddhartha proved that without his relationships with his father, Kamala, and himself, his path to enlightenment would have not

Orwell’s ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’ And Swifts’ ‘Gulliver’s Travels’

1794 words - 7 pages human face-forever’ it is through this icon that Wolin infers: ‘The complete reversal of the enlightenment faith, that as mind advances, suffering diminishes […] and progress is increased. ‘Progress in our world,’ O’Brien declares ‘will be progress to more pain’. The project is to compel the mind to an ideal of absolute oneness.’ The anti-enlightenment ideology is designed to nullify progress and have the population enter a regressed living

Buddhism Breaks Apart Essay

1303 words - 5 pages . After obtaining enlightenment, Buddha formed the basic beliefs for his followers. The four noble truths are the early doctrines of Buddhism, Dukhka, Trishna, Nirvana, and Eightfold Path.”(Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition pg 3)” Enlightenment can only be reached through these steps. When one acknowledges suffering to be a part of life, they learn to deal with pain. If one is, suffering then there is always a reason behind it, namely

Siddhartha's Spitiual And Intellectual Growth Essay

2629 words - 11 pages , he believed that the only way to enlightenment was the way of the Samanas who starved, isolated themselves, and tolerated pain to kill their Self and senses so they could reach their inner Being. They believed that with no obstructions they could reach the inner subconscious Being and enlightenment. Along with Govinda, who had also chosen to follow the path of the Samanas, Siddhartha travels down this path for the next few years, and through