Here’s a wonderful quote by Rudolf Steiner. He just came out with it as an answer to a question about the meaning of suffering – what must the person who asked the question have thought?

Suffering is a side-effect of higher development. It is the very thing which cannot be dispensed with in attaining knowledge. Human beings will say to themselves one day: What gives me joy in the world – for this I am grateful. However, should I be faced with the choice of retaining my joys or my sorrows, I would have to choose my sorrows; I cannot do without them for the sake of knowledge… There is no development without suffering, just as there cannot be a triangle without angles. When we have attained unity with Christ, we will recognize, that all the suffering that preceded this harmony was the necessary precondition for such unity. Suffering must be there so that unity with Christ can be there; this is an absolute factor in development.

GA 110, Question session 21st April 1910

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One Response to “Suffering”

  1. Shirley Johnson Says:

    Dear Tom:

    Most people know the beginning of this prayer, but not the whole thing: The Serenity Prayer, by Reinhold Niebuhr

    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, nd wisdom to know the difference.
    Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardship as the pathway to peace. Taking as he did, this sinful world, as it is not as I would have it. Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will, that I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.