I came across this line from the Persian poet Rumi the other day and it resonated in my old existentialist heart. Which is quite strange given the man has been adopted by just about every religion and spiritual movement going! But, as I always say, we’re all existentialists whether we like it or not – we all exist don’t we? And we all have to get on and make the best of it whether you believe there’s ‘something’ at the end of it or not. Any road, here is the line:
‘Don’t get lost in your pain, know that one day your pain will be your cure.’
Now, my interpretation is don’t get hung up on being miserable and worrying about pain and death because they are going to come soon enough and that pain will ultimately be your release. Knowing that it’s all going to come to an end one day should be a spur to make the most of things while you still can but don’t let it dominate your life.
Now, like most existentialists, I didn’t choose to be one – I’d love to meet up with that old man with the flowing robes and the white beard (other gods are available… ) when I’ve shuffled off this mortal coil, but that’s probably not going to happen. Because as you trundle through this existence and see the total absurdity of life… well, you have to laugh, don’t you? And maybe sing-a-long to some great existential classics:
‘Always look on the bright side of life‘
‘Enjoy yourself (it’s later than you think)‘
and the ultimate –
‘Is that all there is?‘
Finally, report me to the Existential Police but I can get karma pangs sometimes (or maybe it’s just good manners) so as I’ve quoted Rumi I’d like to give something back by mentioning this year’s Edinburgh Iranian Festival. If you’re going to be in the area you might want to check it out.