Berdyaev On Personality and Suffering

Personality is not only capable of experiencing suffering, but in a certain sense personality is suffering. The struggle to achieve personality and its consolidation are a painful process. The self-realization of personality presupposes resistance, it demands a conflict with the enslaving power of the world, a refusal to conform to the world. . . . Acquiescence in slavery diminishes suffering, refusal increases it. Pain in the human world is the birth of personality, its flight for its own nature. . . The worth of man, that is to say personality, and again that is to say freedom, presupposes acquiescence in pain, and the capacity to bear pain.  (Slavery and Freedom; taken from Four Existentialist Theologians)

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