Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Is Suffering Sacred?

Often when I hear people talk about particularly 'holy' individuals, some sort of suffering is inevitably mentioned - be it fasting, poverty, torture, etc. It seems that the more ascetic the person, the holier they are. What do you think?

i) Is suffering sacred? Is suffering in itself something spiritual that brings one closer to divinity?

ii) Is the person who voluntarily makes sacrifices more spiritual than the person who doesn't?

iii) Conversely, are people who enjoy material pleasures somehow more profane?

iv) Is 'true' spirituality/religion somehow incompatible with having fun?

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