In Soul Murder: The Effects of Childhood Abuse and Deprivation, the psychoanalyst Leonard Shengold quotes Lionel Trilling’s observation that the mind is “a poetry-making organ.”

Be that as it may.

The opening lines of Lord Byron’s poem Manfred contains the following lines:

. . . in my heart
There is a vigil, and these eyes but close
To look within; and yet I live, and bear
The aspect and the form of breathing men.
But grief should be the instructor of the wise;
Sorrow is knowledge: they who know the most
Must mourn the deepest o’er the fatal truth[.]

We find the same idea relating to “pain-derived wisdom” embedded in a book by the psychoanalyst James S. Grotstein, M.D., “…But at the Same Time and on Another Level…”: Psychoanalytic theory and Technique in the Kleinian/Bionian Mode.

“Another goal of analysis may be the achievement of the capacity, upon termination after the analysis, to achieve limited self-analysis.   The human personality seems to be plastic in so far as it has a destiny to return to its original form.  This is what Freud (1920g) understood to be one of the functions of the death instinct.  In other words, once  the analysis has been completed, the now ex-patient may, after a time, experience the return of old analyzed demons.  Although the ex-patient cannot perform a formal analysis per se, because of his inability to plumb his unconscious, he nevertheless  has acquired pain-derived wisdom and experience about who he is and what his issues (demons) are.” (at 61).