Chapter 14: Suffering: Broken Harmony
People in both the Eastern and the Western hemispheres are suffering in every dimension of life. Will you diagnose this suffering for us: its causes, its preventions and its cures?
Suffering is symbolic. It does not have causes, but only one cause. Howsoever different the suffering is, the cause is always one. The cause is that the hidden harmony between the human mind and the cosmic existence is lost. Whenever the hidden harmony is broken, suffering arises.
So suffering is only symbolic of broken harmony. In fact, even physiological suffering is symbolic of the harmony in the body being broken. Mental suffering is symbolic of the harmony in the mind being broken. Wherever harmony is broken, there is suffering.
Suffering really means broken harmony, and bliss means harmony regained. You can say it like this: harmony is bliss and the absence of harmony is suffering. So whenever and wherever there is not harmony in any dimension - physiological, mental or spiritual - you will have suffering.
The deeper the level, the more suffering there is. On a physiological level, when there is no harmony you have pain. It is not so deep. It can be removed by outward methods because it is superficial. It is only the first layer, the physiological. It can be helped to be thrown out. Medicines can help, chemicals can help, and your health can be regained.
This word health must be understood, because health really means harmony. The word health comes from the same root from which whole and holy come. The moment the body is whole, it is healthy. When the body is broken into parts, it is diseased. The word disease is also to be noted. It means dis-eased: two parts not at ease. But on the physiological level, outward help is easily possible because physiology is your outer part, your outermost part.
When it is the psyche, the mind, and if the mind’s harmony is broken, then you have not pain, but anguish. Then the suffering is deeper, and at the most outward help can make you adjusted, not harmonious. On the physiological level, outward help can make you harmonious, healthy, whole, but the mind can be helped only up to the limit of adjustment.
So the whole of Western psychology is doing nothing but creating adjustments. Freud said somewhere that the most that we can hope for through psychology and psychoanalysis is normal insanity. We can only hope for normal insanity. In his last years, he writes to some friends: “I cannot hope for happiness for the human mind. At the most, we can make him adjusted to normal unhappiness.”