Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 251–255 | Cite as

Choosing to Suffer: Reflections on an Enigma

  • Allan S. Berger
Article

Abstract

Most people pursue pleasure and seek to avoid pain. Some individuals, however, choose a life characterized by pain and suffering. The author describes the most common varieties of such behavior patterns: asceticism, martyrdom, penance and masochism. Critical psychodynamics are discussed and the author proposes a synthesis of the motivation underlying pain/suffering seeking behavior.

suffering asceticism martyrdom penance masochism 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Boswell, James, Life of Samuel, Johnson, 1791.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Wolpert, Stanley, Gandhi's passion—the Life and Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi, Oxford University Press, New York 2001.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    King, Martin L., Stride Toward Freedom, the Montgomery Story, Harper, New York, 1958.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cytrin, Leon, Personal conversation.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Meed, Vladka as quoted in Martin, Gilbert, Holocaust Journey, Traveling in Search of the Past, University Press, 1997 325.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Lifton, Betty Jean, The King of Children—the Life and Death of Janus Korczek, St. Martin's Griffin, New York, 2000.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Souli, Sofia A, Greek Mythology, Michalis Toubis, 1995, Athens, pp. 62-81.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Baudelaire, Charles P., Fleurs Du Mal, a new translation by RichardHoward, Boston, D.R. Godine, 1982.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Blanton-Peale Institute 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Allan S. Berger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryGeorgetown University School of MedicineWashington, D.C

Personalised recommendations