To choose a hardship for ourselves is our only defense against that hardship. This is what is meant by accepting suffering. Those who, by their very nature, can suffer completely, utterly, have an advantage. That is how we can disarm the power of suffering, make it our own creation, our own choice; submit to it. A justification for suicide.
Dawn's faint breath breathes with your mouth at the ends of empty streets. Gray light your eyes, sweet drops of dawn on dark hills. Your steps and breath like the wind of dawn smother houses. The city shudders, Stones exhale— you are life, an awakening. Star lost in the light of dawn, trill of the breeze, warmth, breath— the night is done. You are light and morning.
When we read, we are not looking for new ideas, but to see our own thoughts given the seal of confirmation on the printed page. The words that strike us are those that awake an echo in a zone we have already made our own—the place where we live—and the vibration enables us to find fresh starting points within ourselves
There is an art in taking the whiplash of suffering full in the face, an art you must learn. Let each single attack exhaust itself; pain always makes single attacks, so that its bite may be more intense, more concentrated. And you, while its fangs are implanted and injecting their venom at one spot, do not forget to offer it another place where it can bite you, and so relieve the pain of the first.
Suffering is by no means a privilege, a sign of nobility, a reminder of God. Suffering is a fierce, bestial thing, commonplace, uncalled for, natural as air. It is intangible; no one can grasp it or fight against it; it dwells in time - is the same thing as time; if it comes in fits and starts, that is only so as to leave the sufferer more defenseless during the moments that follow, those long moments when one relives the last bout of torture and waits for the next.