Passion: A Holy Flame or Incredible Suffering?
Passion is a word that evokes many sentiments and meanings.
On one end of the spectrum there is the emphasis on the fire and strong emotions that are fuelled with it.
On the other end there is the endurance of pain and the suffering.
Which one is true? Is there a another way?
What is passion?
The meaning of the word evolved over a period of centuries.
The origin of the word "passion" is found in the Latin word "passio" which means "suffering.”
It developed over the centuries from experiencing pain to experiencing any sort of intense feeling or emotion, especially love or sexual desire, enthusiasm or zeal and anger or rage.
Passion as enthusiasm
Business is about accomplishing goals and getting results. The best way to get there is to define a goal that is worthwhile and achievable and then stir up the fire in people so people will do their utmost to reach it. Passion is about the thrill, the adrenalin and the excitement. Passion is the enthusiasm needed to turn your business endeavors in a success.
It is typical of the business world that passion is only used in it’s meaning of enthusiasm. In business people tend to go for passion without the process, without pain. Business people have a strong need to look at things in a positive way. Negative emotions only slow you down. Problems are quickly turned into opportunities.
Few people understand that if you want something that is truly worthwhile it means that you have to overcome obstacles, face ridicule and rejection and still continue on the path. Only creative entrepreneurs and artists know that following your true passion also involves enduring pain or suffering.
Passion as suffering
In religion the emphasis is on the willingness to suffer in order to reach a theological goal. Passion becomes suffering for something worthwhile. Jesus’ last week of life illustrated this. His heart was so “on fire,” so full of a desire for what he needed to accomplish that it gave him the strength to endure torture and crucifixion. That is how passion for Christians became synonymous with the suffering of Christ on the cross.
Glorifying suffering is however a limited view. The focus is on the process and on the amount of pain one can endure. It creates martyrs instead of enlightened beings. It is the root of religious fanaticism, as can be seen in the Jihadists who bombed the airport and metro station in Brussels.Passion is the fuel to rise to greatness
From passion to compassion
Nobody will deny the power passion has. True passion has a motive to strive for something good, a higher purpose if you will. True passion will go beyond psychological goals (pride, approval, fame, fortune, etc.). It is a fire that is infinite, that comes from Spirit and that connects to the Divine, the Whole, Oneness or God, whichever word fits for you. True passion is a quest for the ultimate good. Love. Oneness. Enlightenment.
Your true passion is what you stick with even when it’s excruciating because you know deep inside it is what you need to do. It is the fire that keeps you going on your path when the going gets tough. It's the fire that transforms the pain into something new.
Without a passion for enlightenment, there wouldn’t be many people who would start with meditation. If your passion for enlightenment is great enough, the fire within will transform the pain and suffering, release the desires for and attachments to this world and will aid you in developing compassion.
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