My life experiences and contemplations have brought me to the conclusion that without suffering it would be all too easy to remain in mind-dom i.e. in the clutches of the emotional mind. The latter can always keep us entertained with never-ending, theatrical representations of past events or fantasies of potential future happenings. When everything in our lives is going as planned (by the personality), the emotional mind can be a very comfortable place to take refuge. The risk, however, is that we remain stuck there, which means living in the illusion that our rational mind and emotions are our sole identity. Thanks to suffering, we get the gentle push, or even dramatic shove, to move out of contracted mind-dom and discover the fullness of our (divine) identity and consciousness.
Georg Feuerstein provides a Tantric – and I guess also Buddhist – perspective on suffering when he writes: “Many people […] are not in the least aware of their self-perpetuated state of incarceration. But those in whom wisdom has dawned can see that the world, or rather how they experience it, is confining. They also are sensitive to the fact that worldly existence is suffused with suffering (duhkha).”
Feuerstein also sees suffering as the trigger that’s needed to encourage or drive a person onto the path of self-discovery, where he/she will find the truth of the sacred nature of his/her identity. “At first, they may not see a way out of the cosmic prison, but as wisdom increases, there is a growing sense of a Reality that transcends the cosmos. Then they understand that the Divine […] dwells within themselves […] and that it is the hidden doorway to liberation. In other words, the prison gates were never locked.”
Edited extract from my book “She Who Is Unto Herself”
 Feuerstein, G. (1998) Tantra: the Path to Ecstasy. Shamballa Publications: Boston & London, p.30.