How will I ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering?


Ever since I finished “Looking for Alaska” a few days ago (for the second time, by the way), I’ve been trying to answer to one of the main questions in this wonderful book… How will we ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering?

If you’ve read ‘Looking for Alaska’ you probably already know that one of the main characters, Alaska, has always tried to get out of the labyrinth of suffering. This labyrinth of suffering is one of her greatest mysteries and one of the things that fascinate her throughout the book. Finally, she finds the answer.

Alaska got out of the labyrinth of suffering straigh and fast. This is how she chose to do it. In that moment of absolut insanity, she thought that this was the answer she needed. Straigh and fast. No looking or turning back. But did she really get out of the labyrinth of suffering?

My answer is no. Or at least I don’t think that this is the way to do it. I don’t think that by killing yourself you’re getting out of the labyrinth of suffering.

In the beginning of the book, Alaska mentions that she thinks that we are never going to get out of the labyrinth. Here’s a beautiful quote from that paragraph.

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As a matter of fact, that might be true. Sometimes our dreams do not come true. Sometimes we just dream about the future, without actually living it, not the way we’ve always imagined we would. I believe many people will agree with Alaska on this and I am tempted to do so myself, but I have another theory on how to get out of the labyrinth of suffering. Keep reading if you want to find out about it, because I will share it with you later.

Later in the book, Alaska suddenly stops being… Alaska. She finds her way out of the awful labyrinth and everything around her stops. But I believe she’s found her piece, even though she left a hurricane behind her.

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Near the end of the book, the main character, Pudge, finds his answer to this very question. The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.

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Do you believe that? Hm… I don’t really know. I don’t know if I believe that or not. It might be true. Forgiving gives you peace of mind. We’re all looking for this peace of mind, because our minds are usually our worst enemies. Wars are going on in those heads of ours, wars that never let us sleep. And when we find a way to forgive, maybe to even forget, this is it. We have it. The way out of the labyrinth.

So John Green gives us three theories about how to get out of this labyrinth. The first one is to never actually get out of it. Just to learn to live with it. The second one is straigh and fast. The third one, the most normal one, is to forgive.

I’ve thought very hard upon this. I’ve tried to find more answers, but I’ve decided upon one in the end. To give you the answer to the main question in our discussion, I have to mention another important thing in our beloved book.

The Great Perhaps.

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Pudge left home because he wanted to seek the Great Perhaps. All throughout the book, he seeks it. He tried to find it in everything he does and in the same time, he is well aware of the fact that the Great Perhaps is closer with every day.

He wasn’t sure what the Great Perhaps was, but he was sure that once he’ll find it, he’ll know.

I believe that the Great Perhaps is different for each person. Why? Because in my opinion, the Great Perhaps is, in fact, your greatest dream. The one dream that keeps you awake at night, the one that makes your heart beat faster. The Great Perhaps is the Dream that keeps you alive. I also believe that our dreams have the power to both kill us and keep us alive. We just have to choose what kind of power we give them. The power to save us, or the power to kill us?

I also think that the labyrinth of suffering is a state of mind. Every demon that we meet, every war that we have to fight… it’s all in our head. Suffering and pain are the products of our own mind, of our desires and of our disappointments.

As did Alaska, we all want to get rid of the suffering. To get our of the labyrinth of suffering. At some point in our lives, we all ask our selves… how will we get out of the labyrinth of suffering?

For me, getting out of the labyrinth of suffering and the Great Perhaps are greatly linked… My theory is that we will find the Great Perhaps we will get out of the labyrinth of suffering. Let me explain why.

There’s one thing that brings me pain… not living my dreams. It doesn’t matter which ones. All of them. I want my dreams, either they are about my career or about my love life or my personal life. I’m not living them, not entirely, and sometimes that brings me pain. Personally, the most important thing for me is living my dreams. I’ve been working on that ever since I was a small kid and I’m not going to stop until I’ll wake up one morning and smile, realizing that I am finally living my dreams. That is when I’ll stop feeling pain.

I think that living our dreams is equal to getting out of the labyrinth of suffering. Dreaming gives us joy because we can imagine our life as we want it to be. Living it? Just imagine how good that would feel.

That is the Great Perhaps. And that is my way our of the labyrinth. Working for my dreams and later, living them.

I go to seek a Great Perhaps. And when I’ll find it, I’ll be able to get out of the labyrinth of suffering.

This is my theory. Find your dream. Work for them. Dream them. Live them. Get out of the labyrinth of suffering.

Do you have a way of getting out of the labyrinth of suffering? If so, would you like to share it with me? 🙂

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6 thoughts on “How will I ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering?

  1. Oh my… Choosing the labyrinth or going through it straight and fast didn’t feel ideal, nor is choosing to forgive.

    But your theory… Wow! Sounds like the best way out. Good one!

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  2. What about, to suffer? I know, it’s cruel, but what if…! How will we ever out of this labyrinth of suffering? Not to run, but to suffer gladly, or ungladly, but, to take it in, sweat it, breathe it, bear it…

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  3. Probably a farce. He suffered for us, right? Forgave. The hero figure, the role model. So all we need to do is do the same. Really? Minus the suffering. The suffering is just a recapitulation, archetypal, passed down ancestrally in the collective unconscious. But then the suffering is what gets us to that point (on the hypercube cross, a cube unfolded) of being able to see and understand and empathise, in the dawn of the morning star, at which point we have a choice, a choice to make, and the choice is the choice of the labyrinthian question-posing, existentialism, which is borne out of our suffering and confusion in that moment, and so we can choose to forgive, ourselves and others, or we can choose something else, but maybe something else is mere intellectual mastication 😉 or avoidance, masking of the pain, or journeying, journeying…

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  4. Dreams are essential; imagination, hope, belief, faith. Couldn’t dreams be seen as John Green’s no.1 though? To never actually get out, just to forget and live it. Whether the dream stays a dream or the dream becomes a reality, it’s still, the outcome of it, to live the dream. Do you know what I’m saying? But by all means… 🙂 Dream! I’ll admit, I’ve not read this book. Maybe I should, before I comment. Ha. ’twas ‘In The Lurch’ that led me here. Antemasque lyrics. Don’t know if that was intentional, an intentional reference, with its ‘labyrinth’ and its ‘the only way out’, but that’s the connection I’m making. I’m blogging about it too, in my own round’about way. Thanks for sharing your own thoughts. Ciao! 🙂

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