Suffering by Design
Mr. Sina, It has been a long time I have been waiting for an article like ” The Science of Prayer and the secret of performing miracles” But unfortunately, it did not answer my question which I have been struggling to solve for a long time.
We all are facing some problems which sometimes seems unreasonable to us. Things happen which is not supposed to. Most of the times We do things implying our conscious rational brain, planning not to harm any one, deceiving no one even though the result becomes very opposite. Before we jump in to action, we whole heartily desire, use our will, pray sincerely, ask His companionship in every step of the procedure and at the end Bingo…
Some hidden force takes away all our dreams put us in a great tribulations and leave us in a desert. I bet you have this bitter experience as you have mentioned, I am personally is one of this statistics also and going through this for the last 5 years. I prayed, cried, asked, did seek but what was I missing ? I don’t know !!
You cited from Mark, Here is my question : I asked, I used my will, I did seek and more over I firmly believed, now why I am in the street and why no one around me came up with a penny ? What did I do wrong ? I even asked this question million time to Him ” Lord, please at least let me know what did not I do that you have asked me to do, why then ?
Finally, Before I started the venture, before signing the documents I asked / prayed “God, if it is good for me and for my family please let me sign, if not, let me have a way to get out.” After that sincere prayer, I SIGNED, and here I am, in a victim of $20 million corporate greed which put me in a financial condition where every day I have to think at least thrice to spend a $1.
Any logical answer ?
Mr. Sina, can you please share with me if I can’t proceed with my will in life how will I evolve myself. If God’s will supersedes my will why He allowed me to have a will ? Is there any reason for this suffering ? I know you have mentioned in some other article that the causes of suffering is to grow our-self. If that is so, then are all these sufferings determined ? If it is, then what is the purpose of having my will ? If we are part of God why then my will/desire will not be satisfied by his love ?
I know these are very acute and delicate questions. Since you seem to be on the same boat I just want to get a clue of these as I am stuck in the middle.
I wish I had an answer to these and many other questions. Since I accepted God I have not ceased praying for understanding and the only understanding I have received is the discovery of the vastness of my ignorance. Surely God has a sense of humor. But like you and others I want to know the truth and keep searching.
The truth is hidden to us for some reason. We are immersed into this world of virtual reality and shut off from actual reality. What I have learned both from NDE and quantum physics is that this world is only a facet, a cross section of reality. And therefore, it is impossible for us to grasp the full reality. We will never find the truth by observing and measuring the physical world. That is why science can never provide the full answer. Reason also is inadequate because it relies on known facts and since most facts are unknown, we can never find the truth through reason. All we can do is share our thoughts and exchange views. Maybe together we can find a more satisfactory answer. But it won’t be the correct answer. So I share my two cents, not because I think I have found the truth, but because I want the dialogue continue.
I look at the world and all I see is suffering. All humans suffer. All animals suffer. We come to this world only to suffer. We all struggle to find a moment of peace, a trice of relief, an instant of happiness in a life long of adversity. Nothing in life seems to be easy, from birth to death. Apparently death, according to those who experienced it is actually easy. They said they did not even feel it. The only thing they felt was immense joy. All pains ended, all worries dissipated, everything made sense and tremendous peace descended on them. The problems with which they were struggling seemed insignificant and meaningless. So clearly, this world is the place of suffering. True peace is found only in the next world.
In one story of NDE a woman who committed suicide said, when she put the gun on her head she heard a voice telling her to aim her heart instead. She did but missed the target. When she left her body she encountered Jesus who was furious. He strongly rebuked her and told her that life is not supposed to be easy. He told her that she has to go back and live her life and try to choose joy in the midst of suffering.
The message I get from this story is that suffering is intentional. It seems to be the purpose of life. We come here to suffer while doing our best to remain joyful. In other words God says, I want you to go down in the world, and I will make sure your life is filled with hardship while at the same time I want you to smile through it all, be joyful and grateful in the midst of adversities. And for some reason we agree with this seemingly unfair deal and take up the challenge.
Why we do that? Why even bother to come to this world of pains? Heaven is quite a comfortable place. Why any sane person would want to leave such a place of bliss and come down to this world just to suffer? Obviously, it is by coming to this world and by overcoming its difficulties that we can grow spiritually. We don’t come here to have fun. Life is not supposed to be easy. We come here to face hardship, while striving valiantly to overcome them and remain joyful in the midst of tribulation. How else can we develop our spiritual limbs? If you don’t strain your muscles how else can you make them strong?
I understand what you went through because I too had a similar life experience, not once but several times. Every time I thought I was close to the shore, a new wave dragged me back into the midst of the ocean of tribulations. While these experiences were difficult and painful, they taught something. Unjust people taught me forgiveness. Cruel people taught me compassion. Hardships taught me patience. Tribulations taught me forbearance. Losses taught me gratitude for what I have. Hate taught me love, and so on and so forth.
Once we die, this world, all its glamor and all its problems become insignificant. We suddenly realize this was a world of make belief. Nothing is real here. It is all a game. Imagine you buy the game of monopoly for your children to learn decision making, problem solving, strategizing, risk taking, and dealing with difficult situations. They become excited and get immersed in the game. You then deliberately make things harder on them. They lose and they get frustrated. Your goal is not to make them suffer. You want to make them learn how to face difficulties and think their way out of problems. Sometimes you make them lose. They have to start from scratch. While they may get angry at you, you do this out of love for them, for you know that winning and losing this game is totally irrelevant. The only thing that matters are the skills that they can acquire by playing the game. And while you make it difficult to play, you insist that they should have fun. The game will be over in no time and whether they amassed millions of paper money or lost it all is all irrelevant. It’s only a game. Its money is worthless. But its lessons are precious. This world is also a game. Its losses and its victories are meaningless. The only thing that matters is how much spiritual qualities you acquire while here. The experiences are what you carry to the other world not the material wealth or worldly successes.
Because understanding this is important to understand the purpose of life let me make another example. Let us say you want to hire a group of pilots. But they need training. So you set up a training school equipped with a simulation cockpit. The students enter the cockpit and practice how to take off, how to steer, how to land and how to deal with various incidents. The lessons are at first easy, but gradually you increase the level of difficulty. You wait until they master one situation and as soon as they get hold of it, you introduce a bigger one, unexpectedly. During the course of their training they face nothing but difficulty and apparently life threatening situations. Would it be fair that they get angry at you for not letting them enjoy the simulation? The goal of the training is not to enjoy the simulation. The goal is that they become skillful pilots. You know that they are safe. Even if they crash and the simulation is over, nothing bad happens to them. If they have mastered the skills, you will hire them and if not they can apply again to come back and take the course one more time, or as many times as they want.
Coming to this world is very similar. We volunteer to come, to face hardships, and here is a short list of lessons we need to learn.
Al these are needed in the spiritual world but they cannot be learned there. That is why God created this virtual world. Everything here is simulation. All problems are designed for us to learn these spiritual lessons. Success is not measured by how comfortably we live, but how much of the above skills we learn. Take the example of joyfulness. Anybody is joyful in heaven, where love permeates everything and no soul faces difficulty, loss or fear. God wants us to choose joy when we are immersed in difficulties. The same can be said of all other virtues.
I want to share the following video. It shows a homeless man who gives away all his possession to a stranger because he claims his daughter is sick and needs medication. This homeless man is wealthy. I watched it several times and every time my eyes are filled with tears for I know that he is superior to me. When we all leave this world and the veil is removed from our eyes, our real ranks become clear and you’ll see this man’s rank is much higher than kings and presidents. Don’t get fooled by the glitter of this world. This world is just a game.
Be grateful in hardship and thank the Lord for giving you yet another challenge to overcome and another opportunity to grow spiritually. Once you leave this world you’d be grateful for all the problems you faced here and you’d wish you had more. Hardships are blessings in disguise. The goal is to bring you closer to God, to make you patient, and choose joy in the midst of misfortune.
An important lesson we come here to learn is to believe. You cannot learn to believe while in heaven because everything is known to you. Belief is the ability to accept things that are invisible to us. Belief is the secret behind miracles. Once you learn to believe, you can perform miracles. This is a faculty that only big souls possess. So take advantage of the hardship and believe that God has something better in store for you. Leave everything in His hands. Let your heart be at peace and confident that God is with you and He will not abandon you for you are His beloved child. Then watch miracles happen. Once that happens you know you have made it. You have become a miracle maker and a superior soul.
And this is a prayer for all those who feel beat and broken, and can’t find their way.