Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Number Ninety-Seven

Nur hier ist Leiden Leiden. Nicht so, als ob die, welche hier leiden, anderswo wegen dieses Leidens erhöht werden sollen, sondern so, daß das, was in dieser Welt leiden heißt, in einer andern Welt, unverändert und nur befreit von seinem Gegensatz, Seligkeit ist.

Only here is suffering suffering. Not in such a way as if those who suffer here were because of this suffering to be elevated elsewhere, but in such a way that what in this world is called suffering in another world, unchanged and only liberated from its opposite, is bliss. [Kaiser/Wilkins]

Only here is suffering really suffering. Not in the way that those who suffer here are to be ennobled in some other world for their suffering, but that what passes for suffering in this world is, in another world, without any change and merely without its contrariety, bliss. [Hofmann]


Again I don't think it's wrongheaded to see something wilfully perverse in this interpretation. The answer to the problem of suffering is not to eliminate suffering, but to eliminate its opposite or contrariety, which is what -- nonsuffering? Is nonsuffering bliss, or pleasure, a positive element, or is it only the negation of suffering? In any case, salvation delivers us from non-suffering, so that we can enjoy our suffering without having to feel bad about it, since there's no choice.

This is a highly perceptive rendering of a masochism.

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