Hello there. I've been browsing through the various posts that you've all issued for some time now. You all come across as well educated, highly motivated individuals - the very kind of people that I would like to meet... Thinking people consider suicide more than most. The old clichés contemplate that life is a cruel absurdity that serves little or no purpose except to generate the maximum amount of pain for those that bare it. While this is undoubtedly true, it might also be the case that a life lived at an extreme, can also be a more valid life than one lived in a state of emotional comfort. Take all the greatest artworks for instance; they were all produced from conflict and turbulence. Using film as an example, a motion picture about a character that is suffering and is under pressure is far more fascinating than a comfortable tale of a man living under little or no stress in a perfect suburban setting. Some might say that this is so because we all like to enter the coliseum and watch the martyrs get torn apart by the Lions: But there might be another reason for suspecting that an extreme life is far more precious than one lived in a state of ease. Society tells us that we are failures if we do not possess all that others find easy to possess; a loving family; a beautiful girlfriend or boyfriend; a high powered and successful career; a stable home environment. People shun or ridicule those that do not aspire or achieve such standards. But a small minority do not shun or ridicule. A small intelligent minority know that all of these achievements are designed for people living a life with the game play level set to Beginner. A young soul can only take a Beginner setting because he or she knows that a more Veteran game level would wipe them out. Beginners therefore start the game and achieve everything they could have wished for; money, clothes; a stable loving family and a perfect partners and kids. Beginners live to the age of 90 and die, loving and warm and surrounded by peers and family, etc. You might know some of the Beginners yourself, the jocks and high grade blondes at your school or college, daddies girls and boys. They are Beginners because they live their entire lives with only a tiny hint of trouble. Surrounded by wealth, power, happiness and comfort they retire to the country to die to the sounds of song birds at a grand old age... Don't get me wrong, a Beginner can quickly ascend to Veteran level during the course of a single lifetime by encountering real trouble - but many are born at the Beginner level and sit there for the rest of their earthly existence. In contrast to the Beginners are the Veterans. These men and women are born into troubled worlds, not because they can completely deal with the trouble that comes their way, but because they come as teachers, guides and living inspirations for the rest of us. They suffer largely in silence, knowing that their very thoughts are like acid inside their minds. Abused, used, smashed and broken, these people do not realise what dignity they engender by rising to show the world their faces each day. The Beginners largely dislike the Veterans because on a subconscious level they know that they are more eloquent and rounded beings than they could ever be. Beginners therefore hate and bully the Veterans, not understanding that their hatred only raises the Veterans ability to inspire others through their plight. You may know a few Veterans yourself or indeed, you may be a Veteran yourself. If you cry more than you smile; if you seek to die every night and if every relationship that you have ever encountered has led to disaster, misery and turmoil then you are a Veteran. Unknown to most Veterans is the fact that their lives are far more worthwhile and meaningful than any Beginner experience. The pain encountered in the course of a single Veterans day is more than a Beginner will encounter in ten years. The Veteran therefore explores the extremes of creation and is far closer to Gods ideal description of a human being than any Beginner. Every single person who posts to this board is a Veteran. Each of you climbs horrific, destructive, storm drenched mountains each day; but unbeknownst to most of you, you are always visible to others from the summit, at the end of daylight hours. If every illuminated peak where you stand lit by a sunset represents a victory, then you send a message to all the other Veterans (and even the Beginners) below the summit that physical existence IS possible no matter what the circumstances. All Veterans are heroes, no matter what their experiences and no matter how low or degraded they feel. So to all the Veterans out there: Stay with us and keep climbing mountains. The depth of your pain is the mark of your greatness.