Some Thoughts About Suffering
SOME MOONS AGO, when I was a social justice/peace campaigner type, I used to feel that I could never be happy so long as there was even one person suffering in this world. I wanted to house the world’s homeless, feed the world’s hungry and fill the wallets of the world’s poor, take the whole world’s suffering on my shoulders. (Yeah, all typical Piscean stuff 😉). I wanted to alleviate everyone’s pain, sorrow, grief, misery and heartache; create paradise on earth. But I don’t think like that anymore. It was a mighty turning point for me when I realised that such goals are not only unattainable from a global standpoint, but they are not even necessarily a desirable one because everyone has their necessary path to follow and it is not for us to live everyone’s lives for them or determine how they should be lived. I realised that suffering is not merely an unwanted anomaly in this world but is in fact the very essence of it, providing a unique opportunity for each human being according to the lives they have been allotted. One therefore has to be careful not to negate that opportunity and ensure that those who suffer are not deprived of the necessary lessons therein. Now you may find it strange for me to say that. You may even think that it sounds callous and uncaring. So please allow me to go a little deeper into these challenging thoughts.
As my own spiritual pathway went deeper and as I became less of a ‘professional’ sufferer myself (and more of a watchful experiencer of anything and everything), I came to see human suffering in very different terms to how I had seen it before. I realised that this world as it is currently constituted (i.e. in its unredeemed, 3-dimensional, physical, low-frequency matter form) is inevitably a suffering environment and will continue to be so until the end of this present age. In other words, suffering is actually built-in to this physical universe and is not going to be eradicated but, in fact, will inevitably worsen. (Second Law of Thermodynamics: All systems degenerate and break down into chaos [very simplified]). This is where the whole concept of the new aeon, written about extensively in a section above, comes into play. Making this world into a utopia is not to be the primary aim in our lives, for that concept has its origins in a very myopic view of life which fails to see the only way that suffering will end is through the total transformation of this universe by divine intervention into a non-physical one when the new aeon (of which we are already experiencing the birth-pains) takes over from the old.
Of course, there are things one can do to alleviate suffering and make life more bearable in this twisted world during the countdown of “this present evil age”. There is also much we can do to help others — indeed, the spiritual life is all about service-to-others (and service to the Divine) rather than service-to-self. But it is a real epiphany to realise that each individual being has his or her own unique journey which will inevitably involve suffering — in some instances maybe even a whole lifetime of it — which has not just happened randomly but is there for a purpose: Our growth and spiritual development. Human existence and especially the essence of spirituality is about how one responds to that suffering.
Of course, there are many different kinds of suffering. First, there is the suffering which one brings on oneself by making bad or stupid life-choices; which is easily remediable (e.g. stop making the bad or stupid life-choices!). Second, there is the suffering which is imposed on us by being born into a world of decomposing fallen matter (e.g. death, bereavement, disease, accidents, famine, natural catastrophes, etc.). Third, there is also the suffering which we choose to undergo by playing the victim; so many thrive on moaning about their challenging situation instead of living it to the full or transforming it, or they act offended the whole time: “Poor me! [Boohoo!]” [As a sidebar here, I can’t take any pleasure in listening to blues music lyrics anymore as they are all about people moaning about their situation as victims instead of handling it with dignity or dealing with it. “Mah baby dun left me, so I took a shot of gin, [x 2]. If yuh don come back to me soon woman, I’m gonna pull that firing pin”, bla-bla. The blues is victim-wallowing instead of transforming the misfortune into something glorious. (Before you start to lecture me about being “racist” and that the blues was born out of real suffering, let me tell you that very many people have lived through terrible circumstances in this world and made the best out of it, even turned it around completely, rather than moan about it incessantly in a boringly predictable twelve-bar music pattern!)]. Fourth, there is also the suffering which we must needs undergo as we work out the karma which is stacked up against us and which we bring into this life as part of our soul journey or which we chalk up on our way through life. This we have to deal with in our own way on our path through this world. It is not up to others to save us from it. It is up to us to face up to it and deal with it in the wisest and deepest manner possible.
Although others can be there in support, frankly sometimes (maybe often) we simply have to “suck it up”. We might even have to see our suffering as a gift. Yes, suffering as a gift. Just let that soak in for a moment. Is that a totally new concept for you? That chronic illness which you have which is never going to go away but which you will have to live with until it is time for you to let this broken body go. That is your gift in this life. Oh yes. A gift. You can kick against that all you like but when you melt into acceptance you will see the beauty of it — what opportunities it provides. The questions always to ask when faced with suffering on any level in this life are: “Why is this happening to me?” and “What am I supposed to be learning from it?” For everything is a lesson. That’s why we are here. Maybe we have to bear the suffering as our lesson. Maybe our lesson is to rise above the suffering and use it to transform our lives. You may look at those poor people starving in a far-off country and feel acute compassion (and believe me I do and I have wept many tears over it). There may be endless funds flowing into such a place to attempt to alleviate the situation. But if an individual there found a way to hitch a ride and take themselves away from that and develop themselves and their family somewhere else, then the world is their oyster and they will have space to grow and learn with very different experiences. So we may have to live with the suffering or it may be a catalyst for us to move away from victimhood and learn more about the journey of our life.
One has to look across the world and see the vast unfolding flower of suffering that it is and realise the price which is being paid through the Fall and the lessons which arise out of that (which I will be discussing in a later section). Yes, we can help others, but others have to help themselves and come to terms with their suffering rather than being “infantilised” through being over-helped through well-meaning interference which undermines human experience. One cannot take upon oneself the suffering of the world. Each life is being lived in accordance with its karmic debt and point of soul-evolution. Suffering is a gift which provides an opportunity to hurl oneself into what I call “the alchemy of adversity” — the spiritual power to transform suffering into a crown of glory (even if the suffering continues). Really, the ultimate solution is to follow the Light for then one will be working with the kind of forces which created the world in the first place and which can effect that alchemy within you! That is infinitely better than wallowing in some awful suffering without any sense of hope.
This world in its present state has never been intended as a happiness playground of bliss and head-bobbling coolness. Coming to this earth is like entering Room 101. It is a world where one has to face one’s darkest fears. It is an arena for the suffering and hardship necessary in the life of our souls as we reap what we sow (not to mention the interference of the demonic/archontic realm which has been permitted to run the show during this present evil age for a higher divine purpose). The only way out of this mess is to follow the Light of the world. We are certainly not here to be continually pampered and bathed in luxury, wallowing in feelgood security. That is a materialistic trap which will guarantee that we remain stuck on the treadmill cycle of alternating death and compromised life. For we must become disillusioned with this world and what it has to offer so that we ultimately can step into another one which has no roots in mere physical matter but is truly out of this world (yet having its beginnings within it). Neither are we meant to be infinitely wallowing in suffering without learning its necessary lessons. As we have seen so far, recognising this and stepping through the narrow gate onto the difficult spiritual pathway which leads to the full experience of life is the only possible exit strategy. There will be times of relief gifted to us. But that is not the permanent natural state of the spiritually-awake human, who must be torn apart in order to be made whole, as we will see in the following section. However, it is far better to suffer for Truth and Light than to be an incessant victim of wilful ignorance and karmic payback…
Extracted from my upcoming 50,000 word eBook:
“Narrow Gate, Pathway Strait — The Road I have Chosen:
A Spiritual Biography & Presentation”
© Alan Morrison, 2018
2 thoughts on “Some Thoughts About Suffering”
Mar 23, 2018 at 9:33 am
Synchronistic words as always.
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Mar 25, 2018 at 4:17 am
Excellent discourse on the dilemma of suffering. Unless one enters the world of suffering, they cannot truly understand people who suffer. Indifference about the purpose of suffering is merely makes political capital which further alienates the sufferer. Suffering is the opportunity to reflect the substance of love and joy into a sustainable reality that meets the deepest need of every human heart – that a precious price was paid for precious lives. Thank you for writing such a clear piece! 😊
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