Hermeneutic and Buddhist Meditations
Edited By David W. Jardine, Christopher Gilham and Graham McCaffrey
Chapter Twenty-Two: “God’s Sufferings Teach God Nothing”: Some Emails (Alan A. Block & David W. Jardine)
“God’s Sufferings Teach God Nothing”: Some Emails alan a. block & david w. jardine David: Date: Sunday, April 13, 2014 at 8:16 AM Attached [a draft of Chapter 21,“Nobody understood why I should be grieving”] Alan: We should talk a great deal about this paper. So let me start: You say, “I am defined by what I can thus remember …” but I wonder, can we be defined also by what we choose to forget—that forgetting is an active process and not a passive one? And why do you want to call the effort of remembering and forget- ting—of becoming—a suffering? David: Yes re: forgetting—formative process, not just indiscriminate storage for later access. And as to suffering—I keep blurring my way between enduring, undergoing, traversing, feeling, passing through, all the way to the nurses I work with in pediatric oncology, where suffering is still all of these, but magnified. The reason I keep blurring this is because of the tendency in education to try to get away from the old regimes of punishment and “a lesson he’ll never forget” by cleaving to the equally bizarre belief that everything should be easy, that nothing is gained through patience, endurance, perseverance, discipline, and so on… Alan: But as the Rabbis ask: are your sufferings precious to you, and the answer is neither they nor their reward (inelegant and ungrammatical but that is what they say!). Suffering exists, but does it have meaning in and of itself, or...
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