For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
Psalm 30:5, King James Version
The most challenging book I’ve ever completed is Zen and the Brain by neurologist James H. Austin, MD. As a meditator and student of neurophysiology interested in religious practices of all kinds, I turned every last one of the 697 pages of text. I sought to really grasp the mechanisms underlying my experiences in quiet concentration.
Your eyes aren’t deceiving you: I read an entire medical-level textbook.
Yes, I am a nerd.
My curiosity about many things extends far below the surface, as I prefer to grasp deeper concepts in the event I encounter a discussion on a topic. I’ve always strived to provide educated opinions when asked and this is why I continue to learn the varied subjects of history, philosophy, physics and anatomy.
I believe exposing the links between these disparate disciplines shines a spotlight on universal truth.
As such, this piece of Scripture came to mind when composing the two-part series I posted earlier this week. You see, down through the ages and all across the spectrum of faith, people have found deep pain precedes bright happiness.
On the road to triumph, everyone encounters life-altering low moments.
St. John of the Cross found people passed “a dark night of the soul” when reaching for the fullness of communion with God. In Buddhism, a similar unsettled mental and physical state arises before aspirants break through into the first dalliance with enlightenment. When the struggle between “have been” and “wishing to be” nears overwhelming proportions, how can you keep going?
Clinging to the value of your life spurs you onward.
Steady belief in your purpose is the driving force on winding roads through dangerous valleys. Your capacity to maintain–or impose, when necessary–a state of easy calm while enduring blinding blackness promotes the realization of your dreams. Focused certainty when faced with crushing trials and unending tribulations is the highest form of belief.
And only conviction can warm your heart until rejoicing sunshine kisses your face again.