How to Overcome Pain & Sorrow | Spirituality Podcasts

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Today’s reading has been edited and adapted from The Path of Prosperity by James Allen, published in 1907.

Unrest and pain and sorrow are the shadows of life. There is no heart in all the world that has not felt the sting of pain, no mind that has not been tossed upon the dark waters of trouble, no eye that has not wept the hot blinding tears of unspeakable anguish.

There is no household where the Great Destroyers, disease and death, have not entered, severing heart from heart, and casting over all: the dark pall of sorrow.

In the strong, and apparently indestructible meshes of evil, all of us are more or less caught, and pain, unhappiness, and misfortune wait upon human kind.

With the object of escaping, or in some way mitigating this overshadowing gloom, men and women rush blindly down innumerable roads, pathways by which they fondly hope to enter into a happiness which will not pass away.

Such are the relentlessly wayward, who revel in sensual excitements; such are the exclusive aesthetes, who shut out the sorrows of the world, and fill their surroundings with enervating luxuries; such are the individuals who thirst for wealth or fame, and subordinate all things to the achievement of that object; and such are the faithful who seek consolation in the performance of religious rites.

To all such men and women, the happiness sought after seems to come. And the soul, for a time, is lulled into a sweet security, and an intoxicating forgetfulness of the existence of evil; but the day of disease comes at last; or some great sorrow, temptation, or misfortune breaks suddenly in on the unfortified soul, and the fabric of its fancied happiness is torn to shreds.

So, over the head of every personal joy hangs the Damocletian sword of pain, ready, at any moment, to fall and crush the soul of they who are unprotected by knowledge.

The child cries to be an adult; the adult sighs for the lost felicity of their childhood. The poor individual chafes under the chains of poverty by which they are bound, and the rich person often lives in fear of poverty, or scours the world in search of an elusive shadow called happiness.

Sometimes the soul feels that it has found a secure peace and happiness in adopting a certain religion, in embracing an intellectual philosophy, or in building up an intellectual or artistic ideal; but some overpowering temptation proves the religion to be inadequate or insufficient; the theoretical philosophy is found to be a useless prop; or in a moment, the idealistic statue upon which the devotee has for years been laboring, is shattered into fragments at their feet.

Is there, then, no way of escape from pain and sorrow? Are there no means by which bonds of evil may be broken? Is permanent happiness, secure prosperity, and abiding peace a foolish dream?

No, there is a way, and I speak it with gladness, by which evil can be slain forever; there is a process by which disease, poverty, or any adverse condition or circumstance can be overcome; there is a method by which a permanent prosperity can be secured, free from all fear of the return of adversity, and there is a practice by which unbroken and unending peace and bliss can be partaken of and realized.

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