Human Being and Becoming

I’m enjoying reading David G. Benner’s Human Being and Becoming ( at the moment; I’m on my third read.

Here are some quotes from the read on my flight home this afternoon:

“Ultimately, we need a meaning that will be strong enough to make suffering sufferable… But for meaning to be useful, it has to help us live a life as it actually is, not as we wish it might be” (p. 40)

“One of the worst things a psychotherapist can do is to relieve people of their suffering before they have helped them discover its meaning” (p. 41)

“Showing hospitality to suffering starts with releasing that inner constriction. Letting it go makes space for you to meet and show hospitality to the uninvited guest that has suddenly appeared in your home. Rather than trying to drive suffering out, get to know it. Listen to it – to the questions it asks of you, not the questions you want to ask of it.” (p. 42)

“What we need is not to figure out the meaning of life but to discover a meaningful way of living life. For this to happen, we must allow the meaning to emerge from life itself, not what we can get out of it. This is the essence of spirituality, which is, as its core, a way of living in relation to a self-transcendent framework of meaning and purpose”. (p.43)

“Meaningful ways of living are never found in the safety of an armchair or ivory tower. They are found in the risky, vulnerable places of real life. They are found in living, not in books, lectures or sermons. Ideas presented in books may come to form a place in a meaningful life, but if they are to help make suffering sufferable and life meaningful, they will always be rooted in an openness to and affirmation of, life as it is.” (p. 46)

I was gifted my copy and would like to reciprocate. If you would like a copy, share your thoughts on the reflections above and I’ll to pass on.

Human Being and Becoming.

Rob Sams

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