. I was starting to wonder if I was totally alone here in regard to this question of sorrow
We seem to be agreed that a different response to human sorrow is called for, other than the usual avoidances, the common escapes from it, the intellectualisation of it. An approach that somehow comprehends sorrow, goes inwards into sorrow; that perhaps regards it as an ‘honoured guest’
But in real terms what does that mean? Can we explore that? If I ask “How to respond to sorrow”, probably we both know the limitations of that word “how”. It cannot be a matter of thought devising some method of response, and then trying to put that method into practice.
And let us remember we are talking of, or at least I think we are, the vast stream of human sorrow that has flowed through Man’s history, not our individual sufferings. Not that I am drawing a line, but I want to make it clear I am not talking about any sort of therapy here.
Something happened to me today that later brought up the perceptions that we shared about suffering on another thread. After a bout of physical work I came home very tired. I really had wanted to be alone, but my partner has said she had cooked a lunch for us. There had previously been hard words between us, and as a result of a whole series of conflicts, I was ‘primed’ for reaction, although not consciously so. And so with very little provocation anger surfaced in me.
I left the table and became completely physically immobile somewhere. I had become accustomed to bouts of frustration and anger, and part of me was learning to somehow control them. Rather than “control”, perhaps I mean “watch them”, so they did not manifest too violently. I returned to the table, although unable to eat, with intense emotions of various sorts.
Suddenly I realised that the dominant feeling in me was actually sorrow. Sorrow for all the conflict in human relationship, especially in man/woman relationship. That sorrow somehow enveloped all the other feelings that had been in me, hurt, resentment, and so on… It just was. Tears started to well up.
This state did not last long, but it seemed significant. It seemed that to a small extent human suffering had been allowed to flower a little. And not covered up by anger or other feelings. In fact I don’t know if what happened can be rightly described as a “feeling”. And although it probably was therapeutic, it felt more than that, less personal than that.
I don’t know if what happened is any sort of clue to the complete ‘experiencing’ of sorrow. But can we go into the whole issue? of course I open the discussion to everyone on the forum.