Our thoughts are the eyes we use to see experiences. Thus, we do not really experience what is happening as it is, but our thoughts about what is happening. That is why it is possible for two people to outwardly go through the same experience, but inwardly draw different conclusions. Or for someone to see an experience one way today, and years later reflect on it differently. The experience remained constant, only the personal perspective and thoughts changed.
Thoughts are the bodies the concepts of the soul wears, i.e. the forms they assume, like the hand wearing a glove. In turn, the soul then uses these thoughts (eyes) to interpret and engage its environment and experiences. Thus, what we draw from the interpretation of our experiences and fellowman actually reveals a lot about the condition of our soul.
If everyone is immersed in different capacities in the dreams of their own unique interpretations, how then do we individually and collectively awaken to reality? Sorrow and joy.
What we call “sorrow” is when experiences seek to cajole us and reconcil our imaginings with objective reality. Joy is similar but it helps us transcend an existing state to enter a new one. Ergo, experience is the best teacher. In this light, what we call “suffering” is often the refusal to completely relinquish an idea of what we feel “should be”, and fully embrace the reality of “what is”. The tension between these two causes the tremendous pain we experience as suffering. Whenever I have really suffered I have realized, beyond the external physical pain, it is because there is an idea I am still tenaciously nursing about what I feel would be “ideal” for my happiness. This stubbornness is equivalent to a rejection of what is before me (a refusal to fully accept it), and thus the fostering of the inner tension known as suffering.
For this reason, both sorrow and joy and really just messengers of spiritual awakening.
~Ikenna Q. Ezealah