Grief as Teacher

Deep grief in the form of the death of the psychological self, regardless of the cause, requires that we face the loss and allow it to change our identity, and in this regard is a great teacher. It benefits ego transcendence as it teaches one to allow everything to rise up and pass, even the most frightening and overwhelming, thereby strengthening mindfulness, presence, nonattachment, and surrender. Deep grief helps the ego more readily accept the death of itself, strengthening its commitment to more readily undergo the trials and tribulations of its transformation into a spiritual self, e.g. the physical sacrifice of certain practices and rituals, the interpersonal humiliations associated with altruism, and the uncertainty and disruption inherent in personal transformation. Obviously, deep grief is not the preferred way to learn, but it is an unavoidable and valuable one.