Oct 28, 2006

Happiness is a Distraction (Part 2)

What is the realest of emotions? Think about the time when you've felt the most pain. When you've been feeling the lowest of lows. When life seems unbearable. When you've longed for something you can't have. When you're mourning a loss.

Pain is the ultimate state of realness. You know you're alive when you feel the most pain. It's severe. It's raw. It's really living.

I'm saying this cautiously though. My intentions are not to glorify pain. I'm not saying it's a state one should seek and hold on to. It's just part of a difficult process of realizing Truth and dicovering self(lessness).

Letting go involves pain. Pain is an inevitable part of letting go.
Letting go is freedom. Pain is freedom.
Letting go is peace.

Pain is peace.


Blogger rabfish said...

dude, you sound like Heidegger

5:26 PM  
Blogger rabfish said...

pain is what rends and joins together

5:27 PM  
Blogger Pomegranate Queen said...

i was thinking about all of this for a while now before I heard you mention H's ideas...i still haven't had a chance to check out what he had say about all this...i'm hoping you can fill me in! ;)
no but i'd really like to read his work and see where he's coming from with all of this...
even tho he is one of the hardest dude to read and understand!

5:38 PM  
Blogger margaret said...

I would say that this sounds a bit like Buddhism. From my very elementary understanding of Buddhism, it is important to live through our feelings, to truly experience them in the moment and to not try to brush them away with "happiness."
Maybe peace is the state I am thinking of when I was writing about contentment.
I haven't read Heidegger either but I know I try to live through everything I am feeling or am exposed to.
When Lebanon was being attacked by Israel, I tried to live this and experience this. When a youth is harrassed in my community because of their sexual orientation, I try to live this too.
Doing this keeps me active in standing against these injustices and shaking things up in the process. It's what happens after I shake myself up and attempt to shake others up that worries me. Often, I am incapable of shaking others up sufficiently and I start getting frustrated and depleted.
This is what I mean about finding a certain level of groundedness. Finding peace in all of this pain before I cause my other eye to stop closing (I was just diagnosed with Bell's Palsy. I know its nerves.)

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Aaminah said...

Asalaamu alaikum PQ.

Ukhti, I have missed you and am so glad to see you back and in such fierce form!

I think you are really onto something here and I look forward to reading the rest of your journey on it. I'm not familiar w/ Heidegger either and simply don't have time to look him up right now, but inshaAllah at some future point...

I have always said that we have to allow ourselves to see and feel the pain in order to appreciate the good too. If we did not have intense pain and suffering and ugliness, we would not even know when we see beauty or a bit of happiness.

It probably sounds bizarre, and I don't have time to delve into it yet, but what you made me think of was cutters/burners. You know, people who hurt themselves (I had a very close friend as a teen who had those issues) because feeling the pain is the only way they feel anything and are reminded that they are alive. I know that's dysfunctional, but perhaps it is just the extreme outgrowth of a more natural need that we all have.

PS - Unrelated note, I've changed from blogger to wordpress myself. In some ways, I am very glad I did so, but there are some aspects of blogger that I miss. If you ever seriously want to look at changing, I suggest talking to people you know who have different ones and asking them what some of the drawbacks are, not just what the good it, so you can decide better what you need from a space. And of course you can email me anytime.

12:41 PM  
Blogger Ktrion said...

Hey, PQ, you're speakin' truth.

I'm reading a book called Being Black: Zen and the ARt of Living with Fearlessness and Grace.

And I'm also trying to articulate what's been going on in my head, with L*'s cancer treatment and both of us--but especially L*--being perceived in the world in a whole new way.

'Cause the moment when she fell asleep in my arms in the waiting room at the breast cancer center, and all the bougie heterosexual women and their husbands surrounding us tried NOT to look at us...that was one of the most intimate moments in my life. A couple of weeks later I was on a panel presentation where someone was going on and on about sex as the defining moment for butch/fem identity, and I was like "I'm so not feelin' it! This is not my world anymore."

Anyway, I'm ranting, I guess. But I HEAR you!

6:25 PM  
Anonymous Aaminah said...

Ktrion, I am so sorry to hear about L. I didn't know from other conversations. But I am really irked (I'm being polite) that anyone would look at you funny holding her in the doctor's office. Never mind that I think it's ridiculous that people act like they don't know women are together...what bothered me most about it is that it says something about the level of closeness expected even amongst hetero women. Listen, you don't have to be a lesbian to let your friend, sister, cousin, or even an aquaintence, fall asleep in your lap in the cancer center waiting room! What's up with this thinking that women can't support and comfort each other without it being a sexual thing? People suck.

8:04 AM  
Blogger skyscraper said...

pain is definitely painful. and undesired. but so real. i agree so much with you PQ--it is the single most powerful and real emotion, god damn it. it can probably bring a dead person back to life. not the physical, but the emotional pain.

isn't it so interesting--/outside observation/--that the world seems to be in sync with me emotionally. when i'm happy--my friends, or just everyone/everything i run into discuss what i'm feeling. when i'm sad--the same (starting from songs, conversations, just some random shit on tv/radio, blogworld posts, anything!). when i feel pain--everywhere i go or run into seems to be about pain; deep, killing, reviving, powerful, die-or-become a new, happy human being typa pain...

thank you for voicing these emotions so beautifully. and for the truth. you are right, you are so fucking right. pains is freedom and it feels so fucking liberating to let go.

but it takes a lot of suffering and torture to even allow yourself to start to let go--that's where the biggest chunk of pain is. to the point of driving you crazy or to suicide. but then once you reach peace through pain, you see that actually it was necessary and that now you're a happier, freer, wiser, more mature, more evolved person that doesn't even care about the pain that was just left behind.

i'm still working on it, i'm still in the process but i began to feel the magic effects of it a while ago.

i hope all is well with you girl. long time no see.

best vibes and tons of luv.

6:58 AM  
Blogger Pomegranate Queen said...

hi margaret...wow...sorry for the late reply to your comments...i've been a little away from the blogging world.

interesting connection between Buddhism and "happiness"....

i also think there's a difference between peace and contentment. I believe the ultimate goal is to achieve peace through love (not in a "hippy" sort of way) - but that peace might bring with it some sense of contentment.

you mentioned "living experiences" - i'm not quite sure i understand what you mean by this. you mentioned trying to "live" the experiences of what was happening in Lebanon or a youth being attacked because of their sexual orientation...I'm not sure if "living" is a word i would choose to express feelings of outrage or empathy, etc... experiences of injustice or oppression that others are facing is not something we as outsiders to that "live"...perhaps you could clarify...

i hear you on the "shaking others up"...it's frustrating when others are not as passionate about fighting injustices or recognizing them, etc.

and you couldn't be more right about the finding groundedness...it's tough...but it's about trying to be committed to whatever we feel passionate about...but making sure we take care of ourselves, as you said.

take care and thank you again for sharing your words.

12:45 AM  
Blogger Pomegranate Queen said...

aleikum salaam aaminah!
sorry ukhti for the late reply...been away for a minute. thank you for your comments.

self-harm is an intense topic. it is about inflicting physical pain unto one self to feel on a emotional/psychological level...but it's much deeper and complex than that. cutting is becoming quite common amongst young people (especially women).

I'm not sure if i agree that cutting is an "extreme outgrowth of a more natural need that we all have"...i see where you're coming from with that comment...you're referring to "the need to feel."

self-harming is not something natural...and it's definitely much more than just the need to feel...but this is a conversation that requires more space! perhaps a post!

by the way thanks for letting me know about your change of blog space...i will be sure to check you out there. i'm not sure about leaving blogspot just yet...i might have to ask you about wordpress!

take care girl.


1:14 AM  
Blogger Pomegranate Queen said...

hey ktrion,

i hope L* is doing well. cancer treatment is a difficult time, not only for the person who is going through it, but loved ones around. I wish you strength and peace through this time.

thank you for sharing such a personal story...about the waiting room space and the homophobia and heteronormativity of it.

i haven't been blogging for a while, but will connect with you on your blog space.


1:30 AM  
Blogger Pomegranate Queen said...

it's true that when we feel a particular emotion...then we see and feel it all around us...it's the law of attraction...we put out that energy out there and it comes to us in a million different ways...

i'm going to quote you:

"pain is freedom and it feels so fucking liberating to let go."

nicely put girl.


1:36 AM  
Blogger skyscraper said...

p.s. oh, and happy haite (or yeet... or i'm not sure what the persian name for it is, but that's how we call it. happy fasting and feasting, in other words)...

let me know how it sounds in your language, girl.

we say 'yeetingiz mubarak bosun'.


3:17 AM  
Blogger margaret said...

Good to see that you are back!
I use the word "living" mostly as a deep form of empathy as I am not actually "living" such pain. Sometimes I wish could though if it would allow me to have a more potent voice to stop such injustices or if it would help lessen the pain for the one who is experiencing it.
Maa Salama

1:57 AM  

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