"Pain is a great place for growth"
Neuroeconomist Paul Zak, from Speaking of Faith, WBUR-FM, click here to listen or download
Okay. I have found this to be true. Suffering can spur great growth.
But what about pleasure? Don't we also grow through pleasure, through trust? I think we do.
But as a society based on Puritanism, we tend to focus on the pain, suffering and mistrust portion. We even place pleasure in this context. Overeating, alcoholism, anorexia, adultery, sports addiction, gambling, sexual addiction -- these are pleasures turned to pain. They have gone haywire because we lost that sense of trust, that core elemental "thing" in us that connects us to the energy of everything else on the planet and provides peace and balance between pain and suffering and extreme pleasure.
In my beginning tai chi class, my teacher told us to stand and shift our hips subtly from side to side and as we did, to imagine a carpenter's level in our pelvic area. As we shifted the bubble in the middle should stay level.
As I shift through life, that "level" is the innate harmony of my body, mind and spirit with the outside world. It's not something I need to learn, just to draw forth.
This is a good program if you have the chance to listen to it. Zak talks about how our brains adapt during times like these, and about the neuroscience and psychology of trust, as they relate to Madoff and AIG.