Personal Pain and Global Pain

People are beginning to see that personal pain and global pain are not two separate factors, but very much interrelated. Some people experience inside of themselves what they conceive of as being the pain of the world, but in a way it’s the pain of themselves. There are others who experience inside of themselves what they conceive of as being purely personal pain. In a way, it’s the pain of the world. –Christopher Titmuss, quoted in the Upaya Institute / Zen Center June 30, 2008 newsletter

To know and be able to discern what is ours and what is not… to let go of what is not ours… to own what is… to know we are never in control but that we can be in charge of our own selves, our resilience…
I’m thinking resiliency is only relevant in territories of boundaries, whether of personal or global scales. Boundaries are, after all, where the action is: where a self meets an other. And in a changing and shrinking world, not only do we encounter other’s more frequently, highlighting our individuality, also increased is the opportunity to discover our sameness, our unity.

Paradoxically, evolution is the impulse toward both differentiation and union. Our personal process of individuation brings us simultaneously into a greater sense of our distinct individual identity and a greater identification with the whole of life.

The evolutionary impulse toward differentiation can be seen in the gradual growth of individuality and complexity as life moves up the evolutionary scale. As humans, we are constantly being challenged to differentiate, to pull ourselves out of a regressive over identification with family, tribe, religion, or nation. We need to be able to challenge the mass thinking that enthralls our consciousness, and instead find our own unique truth. We need to be willing to stand alone with our truth. (pg 101) The Undefended Self: Living the Pathwork or

And the truth that lies in the nexus of our personal encounter with the global, and of the global encounter with our personal lives… in that nexus is the challenge and invitation for re-membering our wild resiliency, our love of life — Life’s innate love of itself.
Within that love lies the impulse for change, adaptation and transformation, and for our homeostatic processes as well, for stability and predictability. These impulses are as commonly rooted in their origins as are our personal pain and our global pain.
This is a transformation of perception that will change everything, how we see resiliency, our selves, and even how we see the other.


  1. Marc Choyt

    07/01/2008 at 2:45 pm

    Good thoughts here, Larry. Unity in multiplicity is what Pir Vilayat used to talk about. Or being able to love both spirit — the refined landscapes of snow and ice — and soul, the life in the valley. Accessing both these perspectives fully gives a lot of resilience.

  2. Larry Glover

    07/03/2008 at 5:21 pm

    I was unaware of Pir Vilayat, Mark, so thanks for the reference. I did a good search and found many links. Belief Net has a good interview here:
    And here’s a quote that relates to the Personal Pain and Global Pain post:
    “The universe as a being is trying to reveal its software through its hardware, and we’re not listening.”

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