In the realms of spiritual authenticity, our worth is not calculated by our monetary fortune, but rather by our actions and the quality of our emotional mind space at any given moment. We are responsible for our perceptions and attitudes i.e. our thoughts and feelings and, therefore, how we experience outer events. We are only partially in control of how those outer events play out. Life on the physical plane is impermanent and relatively random. To resist or deny that reality is madness. The sanest recourse is to accept life as an ever-changing playing field, to find the point of permanence in the inner self and then to live life with a sense of curiosity and playfulness. “A disciplined mind regards all changes as causal and temporary. The balanced does not fluctuate, and does not suffer.” This tantric attitude takes courage and persistent effort, which is why I refer to it as the way of the warrior.
Eckhart Tolle offers further perspectives on how suffering is a vehicle through which a person can gain greater awareness of the human constitution beyond the personality (rational mind and emotions): “One of the ego’s many erroneous assumptions, one of its many deluded thoughts is ‘I should not have to suffer’. Sometimes the thought gets transferred to someone close to you: ‘My child should not have to suffer.’ That thought itself lies at the root of suffering. Suffering has a noble purpose: the evolution of consciousness and the burning up of the ego.”
Tolle suggests the way forwards involves saying “yes” to suffering in order to be able to transcend it. Similarly, Albert Schweitzer sees “resignation”, or surrender, as the means through which a person can gain the necessary “inward freedom” and strength “to triumph over the difficulties of everyday life”.
Tolle and Schweitzer clearly point to the importance of mastering our inner world, if we want to live an empowered life, where spiritual success, or “inward freedom”, can be demonstrated through even small actions like sharing a beaming smile or empathic hug notwithstanding our own – or other people’s – suffering.
This perspective is similar to the Buddhist technique of divine indifference, which is not a refusal to suffer, but rather, like a hammer, divine indifference breaks down mental illusion and diffuses emotional reactions, bringing the personality fully into the present moment.
Edited extract from my book “She Who Is Unto Herself”
Photo c/o Devanath http://bit.ly/1Xuuzxy
 Bhattacharya, B. (1988) The World of Tantra. Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd: New Delhi, p.80.
 Tolle, E. (2006) A New Earth. Plume: London & New York, p.102.
 Ibid, p.103.
 Schweitzer, A. (1998) Out of My Life and Thought. The John Hopkins University Press: Baltimore & London, p.233.