A man started to break up the earth with a spade. A fool came and shouted at him, “Why are you ruining the soil?”
“You idiot!” the man shouted back. “Go away and don’t bother me!”
Understand the difference between destruction and constructive destruction. How could this soil become a rose garden or wheat field before it’s broken up and ruined and made ugly by ploughing? How could it become orchards and harvests and leaves and fruits before it is utterly destroyed and worn down by ploughing?
Unless the seed is destroyed in the soil, the sprout will not manifest. The sprout yields the plant and the plant the tree. The leaves give way to flowers and unless flowers are destroyed fruit will not manifest. When the fruit is destroyed it yields the seed. This is called constructive destruction.
Before we pierce an abscess with a knife how can it heal and how can we regain our health? Until the doctor treats our ailment with his cures, which may include painful surgery, how can our illness disappear and true healing arrive?
When a tailor cuts up a cloth, piece by piece, does anyone go up to him and strike him and say, “Why have you torn up this beautiful satin; What can I do with scraps of torn-up cloth?”
Each time builders come to repair an old building; don’t they begin by destroying what was there before?
Look at the carpenter or the blacksmith; with them too, we’ll find destruction precedes renewal. The gold or iron piece is first heated and then molded into shape.
If we don’t subject wheat to the grinding millstone how will bread ever come to decorate our table?
Troubles are required to develop the mines of human intelligence. Likewise, adversities are required for noble character to shine through.
“Adversity introduces a man to himself.” — Anonymous’
“Smooth seas do not make a skillful sailor.” — African proverb
Similarly, the soul that is without suffering does not feel the need to know the ultimate cause of the universe and realize one’s own essential Self nor does the question “Who am I?” will ever arise in such a one’s mind.
Sickness, grief, hardships… are all indispensable elements in the spiritual ascent. Sorrows and sufferings are needed to spur us on the spiritual path as well as for the growth and progress on the spiritual path.
“It’s a shallow life that doesn’t give a person a few scars.” — Garrison Keillor in Salon.com