Which Suffering Do We Choose?

It is the mystery of the human heart that it is not ‘wired in’ to its Source of Being, but is grounded upon an absence of ground that can cripple it with foreboding or become the spur to all the venturing, risking, giving, suffering, bearing and enduring, of passion. The Abyss confronts us with the ultimate Kierkegaard “either/or”; either the heart is cast out into existence like a ship adrift, exposed to literal and metaphysical danger that is fathomless, for no point [hence Sartre’s conclusion that “Mankind is a useless passion”], or this lack of meta foundation is an extraordinary freedom to do some action which requires we step out over the unknown and non-guaranteed emptiness beneath our feet. The heart will inevitably experience both realities, and consequently will remain ‘between a rock and a hard place.’

In a sense, this means there are only two final choices: either, give your heart to existence and suffer, or, withhold your heart from existence and suffer. The challenge to each of us personally is, which kind of suffering do you want?

Angst causes us to fall out of normal life; our sleep walking in conformity to ‘playing the game by the rules’ collapses, and we take a step back from everything.. Angst takes us out of the life we were living, but only passion can return us to existence to live in a new way. Hence Angst sparks Action– or if we cannot act, then it causes a kind of infinite ‘prevaricating on the edge’, paralysed by the profound doubts and the unanswerable questions. Only Action addresses what Angst knows about existence.

This is why passion is our greatness and dereliction at once.