There is a concept there, that I've been reading about in Eckhart Tolle's book, Quietude, that left me thinking for a while ...
"The grief itself is what one enjoys-what madness!"
in the context where he realized he enjoyed being made miserable by tragedies.
Eckhart Tolle states quite the same thing in his great short book, which got me thinking alot about the sweet pain I sometimes feel, and I think I am not alone here in saying that; nor are poets the only ones that braved this feeling.
Among so many other things in his book, E. T. says "Ce sont vos pensees qui vous rendent malheureux, dont vos interpretations, les histoires que vous vous rancontez" (my translation: It is your thoughts that render you miserable, in your interpretations, the stories you tell yourselves)...." ....l'égo a besoin d'énnemis pour definir ses frontieres..." (m.t: the ego needs enemies in order to define its borders) and "Bien de formes de souffrance, subtiles et moins subtiles, sont si normales qu'on ne les recconait pas habituellemennt come etant de la souffrance." (m.t: A lot of suffering shapes, subtile and less subtile, are so normal, that we normally do not recognize them as being suferings).
Preety much the same thing, but from a different point of view. While Augustinus, when he said this, there was simply the recognition of that sweet pain we all feel at some time in our lives and enjoy it, be it crying at a theater play, or enjoying self-pitty; Tolle is speaking about our general addicton to any kind of psychological pain, pain which can be good for some reasons, but only to a certain degree.
Pain can make us understand ourself and our brain's functions better, helps us see how we react to problems, and by reading this in one book we might even realize that we are self-pittying ourselves for some thing or another.
Different from Augustinus' pain, and more scrutinized, Tolle's "malheur" is the manifestation of our ego, who feeds on it in order to grow and overcome our true nature, which should be anchored in the real present moment at the time of the speech, and not relenquish in some past experiences.
It is neccessary to suffer in order to understand that suffering is useless; this is the main idea Tolle highlights in one of his books, fragment from his great success "The power of now". This is an easy-written book, although in order to grasp some of its ideas you need to read it over and over again, and you will surely understand something more each time.
I doubt it that Tolle read Augustine, and I really have no idea about what further thoughts the latter had on pain, but I am planning to read his masterpiece, "The City of God" and maybe after that I will be able to develop this post more, but I thought this first aspect important in both their views, and as I've already promised to talk about the books I'm reading; I just had to share this idea.
Lucky me I have it borrowed from my friend and highschool colleague, Andy (yet again one more book to add to my huge pile of borrowed books, as if I was in need of any more material....) in exact the edition seen above!
As a conclusion, one must think of the fact that our own minds take us sometimes for fools, play with us and really transform this so called mental pain into literally physical pain; and it is somewhat appealing and calming to know you have the answer to resist it in one book. The only problem is that, in order to be able to listen to this book, a long and thorny way lays before the reader, as self-contentment is not something easily reached... Yes, we might try to fight it by anchoring ourselves in the present, but sometimes it is so hard that we just let ourselves be taken away by guilt, despair, self-pitty or dissapointments.
I hope this made some kind of sense, and I will be trying to comment on the books I'm reading more, especially trying to be more positive than this time....