Posted February 17, 2007on:
Yesterday night I dreamt of a famine in a hot and arid region of rural India. This lead me to think (in the dream) of the suffering of a farming family affected by this famine. I imagined a family slowly starving to death in the unbearable heat of the famine stricken area. I imagined what must be passing through their dazed minds. A feeling of utter hopelessness, of all possible avenues being closed, a realization that no help would arrive, and that there would be no escape from the inexorable march towards death, and even that would not come to pass swiftly. I felt most intensely the feeling of overwhelming anguish at the knowledge “this is it” – being robbed of this feeling that everybody has that eventually things would turn out just right, that every suffering would have relief on the other side, and if not at least everything would be resolved before we die and we would die happy.
And then it struck me – isn’t every death associated with pain and suffering – and a feeling of utter hopelessness and helplessness to stop this inexorable march towards the abyss. The ultimate suffering is not something someone in a far off famine stricken or war torn land faces. It is a suffering everyone will experience someday.We revel in the sweeping relief that follows with every problem resolved – every suffering conquered – and reaffirm a belief in the inherent goodness of life. But someday it will not be so. The sweeping relief will not come.
Then I woke up. The intensity of the feelings had gone but they lingered.