If we refuse the Deepest Suffering in existence, then we can never enter the Greatest Fight for existence.
Ortega y Gassett: “These are the only genuine ideas, the ideas of the shipwrecked. All the rest is rhetoric, posturing, farce. He who does not really feel himself lost is without remission.”
Suffering, if we stay with it and go far enough into it without turning back, takes us beyond our own hurt and disappointment and loss of innocence, and initiates us into the deepest suffering of all mankind, the suffering old, dark, deep, dirty, despairing, twisted, agonised, the suffering inherent to the human tragedy; only from this deep and dark place do we receive the true call, the real summons, to rejoin the human race and plunge into the human dilemma as a fighter, as one who stands up for the human possibility as its advocate, and will give their all, their last drop of sweat, tears, and blood, to redeem the human condition.
We are only moved to stand up, to stake ourselves to the ground, and to sacrifice our personalness and lifeblood, by a wound. It is this wound we are fated to encounter which reveals to us our personal destiny.
From this black wound arises red fire.
This is the mystery, the paradox, of passion.
This is why only two colours are sacred to passion, black and red.
Black– Taoism’s ‘uncarved block’: it is called ‘the ravine of the world.’ It holds all possibilities, for love and the defeat of love.
Red– Judaism’s ‘consuming fire’: it is called ‘the pillar of the world.’ It contests everything in the heart, and proves what is deepest, so only that stands up for truth.
Thus could Abba Elias announce: “Whoever loves tribulation will obtain joy and peace later on.” St Isaac of Syria adds: when someone has no more “hope of life”, “no one is more daring than he, no foe can face him, no ..affliction can weaken his purpose, for he has resolved to accept death for himself.”
The reward for following passion all the way: to do what the heart was created for. Small heartedness brings final despair; big heartedness brings a strange and inexplicable hope that everything is still in motion, that it is not over until it is over, and that is not yet.
What is at stake for passion in the world, to which passion is staked, is not over until the end. Passion can fall, or be knocked down countless times, but it always gets up. It always comes again.
This is the way of heart, heart deep and heart great.
This is the way of passion.
It is too deep and too great for us, thus we have put down its weight, yet the ache of its unlived life and ungiven sacrifice urges us not to throw it away.
The ache most wounding and heavy of all tells us not to despair prematurely. In our most forlorn and ruined place of heart, some voice urges us, it can come again.
The ache and the voice whispers, with the most piercing tenderness, it is not over, it can come again.
Passion will get up. It is coming again.
Only in the heartbreak that we accept, and do not try to fix or make better, is revealed the heartbreak of humanity which is held in the heartbreak of God.
God of the heartbreak, God of the bottomless grieving, become the God who will get up, become the God who is coming again.