The suffering of others


I finally woke up through a period of egoic suffering. A dark night of the soul, so to speak. Since, I have felt almost nothing but effortless and profound peace. I see so much suffering around me, almost no physical suffering, but the same mental anguish that finally dissolved the illusion for me.

A question that I have; given that suffering can be (and was for me) such a profound teacher, how do you decide when to try to help and do something about it? With physical suffering it's easy, I intervene without hesitation. Egoic anguish however, I'm hesitant to help.

I find myself wondering sometimes if this is part of their path in dissolving their ego. Sometimes I do decide to help, I don't know why I decide to (unless I'm asked for help), but often it doesn't help. How do you know it's time to help? I appreciate that I found this channel and any response you might have here.

Short Answer:

Look for the one that you assume to be there who suffers from seeing the suffering of others. Let that insight be your answer. A short answer that requires the work of meditation and self-inquiry to find it for yourself.

Long Answer:

You made a great observation there already. Our help is only actually helpful if the other person has the openness to receive it. In one sense all suffering already exists. But that doesn't mean do not help were we can. Just as you cannot help someone who is in physical pain if he is on the other side of the planet, you cannot help someone with emotional pain if they are closed off to the solution you may offer.

And in a sense, most people are very far away from the solution to their emotional suffering. It would take years of the right kind of education for those problems to actually resolve. If you recognize that they are not in for that, you can make a remark if you find it appropriate, but do not at all be attached to any outcome. At least that's how I dealt with it. But when you realize for yourself that everything is rooted in imagination, even pain is a beautiful expression of your infinite capacity to imagine.