Why Do We Suffer?

eyeless_girlVarious explanations have been offered down through the ages to explain the suffering experienced by so many in physical reality. In some traditions, there are good gods and evil gods, constantly vying for supremacy over their Creation. In Fundamentalist Christian tradition, it’s humans’ fault that pain and hardship exists in the world, which was cursed because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience at the dawn of time; catastrophe is frequently seen in this tradition as God’s punishment for unrepentant human sin. In traditions where reincarnation is espoused, pain and suffering is often explained as the logical outcome of misdeeds done by the sufferer in past lives.

In atheist materialist tradition, physical reality is a mindless mechanism unaware of and unconcerned with the suffering of its creatures. Stephen Fry, noted British actor, writer, and outspoken atheist, recently said in an interview that in light of all the horrors that exist in this world (such as certain insects that can burrow into childrens’ eyes), a compassionate loving God could not possibly exist. The argument is simple and compelling: as God, the deity is presumably omnipotent and omnipresent; as a loving God, the deity is presumably concerned with the suffering of others. Logically, then, if God created insects that burrow into children’s eyes, God is either not loving, or It does not exist.

The visions I experienced in the fall of 2013 showed me unmistakably that a multiversal Consciousness (which many call “God”) does exist, and that Its nature is love and light. These visionary experiences I have since learned resemble those of many religious and non-religious individuals down through history and across all cultures. The symbols vary from person to person and culture to culture, but the gist is the same: that we are each of us known, accepted, and supported by a universal consciousness that is personal without being individual, and that is utterly familiar without being comprehensible. [For a compelling examination of mystical experience from the viewpoint of a nonmaterialist neuroscientist, see The Spiritual Brain by Mario Beauregard and Denyse O’Leary (New York: HarperOne, ISBN 978-0-06-162598-5, paperback $14.99), available through Amazon.com.]

My visions have given me hope that ultimately, whatever happens to my body, the core of me is eternally loved and safe. But my visions did not give me any theology with which to understand why life in physical reality involves so much suffering, or why “God” appears to do nothing about this.

The Kinds of Suffering

Not all my suffering arises from the same vectors or conditions. I’ve broken down the stuff that causes me the most pain into several categories, organized according to the forces and actions involved in the suffering I experience.

Suffering That Results Partially or Primarily from the Actions of Natural Forces: My severe juniper pollen allergy, worse this winter than ever before in living memory; my genetic predispositions towards osteoarthritis, depression, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes; the aches and pains that come from the natural aging of my body; my spinal damage due to a mild case of polio as a child in the Fifties; the physical distances between things and people; the deaths of loved ones from AIDS, alcoholism, and heart attack.

Suffering That Results Partially or Primarily from the Actions of Others: My ongoing PTSD, the result of my upbringing in a dysfunctional family with an alcoholic pedophile mother, an angry chronically depressed father, and a sadistic, mentally ill older brother; the economic and sociopolitical forces operative nationally and in New Mexico that make access to employment and medical care difficult for low-income people like me; my struggle for self-acceptance as a gay man in a homophobic culture; Santa Fe’s socioeconomic stratification; the high cost of education; the suicide of my lover Stuart.

Suffering That Results Partially or Primarily from My Own Actions or Inactions: My years of resistance to acknowledging, and seeking help for, my incest background and eating disorder; my poverty, which partially results from my having made unwise education choices as a young man; my loneliness, the result of self-imposed social isolation; my perfectionism; my attempts at controlling a physical reality that is naturally in a constant state of change; my lifelong tendency to resist exercise;  my lifelong practice of eating foods that harm me; the harms I have done to others; the depression that comes from my insistence upon listening to radio news and reading newspaper accounts of the world’s pain; my resistance to acknowledging the good things in my life because I’m so pissed off by the bad things; my resistance to asking for help from God and others.

I recognize that I have not experienced horrors and brutalities that so many of the world’s peoples experience on a daily basis. Nonetheless, suffering is suffering. What kind of help can I expect the “God” of my visions to give me in dealing with the sufferings of everyday life? To what extent can the “God” of my visions directly affect or mitigate the hardships spacetime affords me? And how can I best access this help? We’ll look at this issue in the next blog.

Next: Accessing Divine Help In Spacetime.

 

 

 

 

 

Breathe and Release

I don’t know about you, but I find the holiday season pretty stressful. I have to remind myself all the time these days that I don’t need to be perfect in order to be acceptable to Spirit or myself. I can’t please all the people all of the time; and 5 minutes taken out of every hour to stretch and take some deep breaths can help me soften around my tension and make me 10 times more productive than if I just gritted my teeth and barreled through my days.
My brother Jeff, 1954-1990

My brother Jeff, 1954-1990

Another thing that comes up for me at the holidays is sadness over loved ones who have died or moved far away. I particularly miss my brother Jeff, who died of AIDS at age 35 in 1990. In the past I used to try to stuff such feelings with food, overspending, or overwork. Now I ask Spirit to help me relax around my grief, and let myself feel it, offering it to the Heart of Love as I weep.

And I let myself remember Jeff in the good times, when we laughed and sang Gilbert & Sullivan songs together. Remembering the good times I had with one I have lost can be very painful, too, because such memories seem to make my grief worse for a while. But this I think is an illusion. What good memories do is reconnect me with Love, which makes my heart feel safe enough to show me what it has already been feeling underneath my consciousness. Bumper Sticker Of the Day: “There is no healing without feeling.” The best is yet to come!
-Dec. 15, 2014
P.S. Looking for the perfect stocking stuffer? Click on the image below to order via PayPal a 20-minute psychic reading with Rand! Or give him a call to place your order at 505-469-9782, including the name and email or snailmail address(es) of your chosen recipient(s). When payment is received, Rand will send each recipient a gift card bearing the message of your choice. Good for New Year’s, too!

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A Message From “The Family”: On Accepting Change In Physical Reality

MAJORTRUMPS.XIV.TheBoltMr Rand has asked us why it is so hard for him to accept change when it occurs in physical reality. We reply that it is because you [originally] come from a [nonphysical] reality where nothing changes; or at least, nothing changes in such a way as to cause pain and torment. In [physical] reality everything is constantly changing, sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly; and whether this change is experienced in pain, neutrality or pleasure depends upon the physical forces involved (physical reality has hard edges) and the viewpoint of the organism being subjected to the change. To an ant living in the yard outside Mr Rand’s door, Mr Rand is one of the changeless experiences of that ant. The ant lives life so quickly, and its life is so brief compared to human lives, that generations of ants may experience Mr Rand over the course of a few years.

Animals accept change because animals are unable to do things with their hands as well as humans can (with some exceptions, such as certain birds and pongids). So animals by and large do not labor under the assumption that they can control anything much except access to their foodstores or foodgathering territory. Animals have a sense of purpose and a sense of time, but these too are very different from the human sense of purpose and time. An animal’s sense of purpose is, firstly, survival of its young; and secondly, survival of itself. So animals do not have great plans that they feel they must protect.

Mr Rand asks, why is accepting change so difficult for me? And we reply, as we see it, you fear change because you fear you will lose access to Love. But Love is always available. Love is the core of everything, and surrounds everything, and is complete in itself so it needs nothing back. It simply loves. So ultimately, everyone and everything is safe.

But bodies are not safe in physical reality. Disease, damage, death all threaten human bodies, and animal ones, too. Physical reality is the one reality in which the experiment of individuation necessitates the human psyche be able to pretend that [1] the nonphysical does not exist and that [2] the Divine Womb is a fantasy of nincompoops and emotionals. [An individual in physical reality] struggles against change because all changes, however minor, remind us that in physical reality, nothing stays the same for long, including the human body and the human brain and the individual soul’s investment in an individual life incarnation. And you would not be in physical reality if you did not have experiences here that you desired [when you were] in the nonphysical.

Understand we speak in human time terms here. From the viewpoint of the nonphysical, time is not linear. There is no before or after, I am [or] I am not, past or future, love or hate in the human sense, success or failure; in the nonphysical, awareness of Divine Love is constantly available and even obvious to the individual soul, as witness the fact that when Mister Rand had his visions of agapé (love) last fall, the Divine Lover felt familiar, like an old friend whom he had forgotten was and always had been and always would be “standing right behind my left shoulder,” as it were.

sow_mother_and_child copySo attachment to one’s goal of expanding one’s experience is needed if one is to approach fulfilling that goal in a spacetime context. Spacetime contains entropy, the force that brings all moving things eventually to rest. Everything that rises must converge. Everything in motion must eventually find rest. Everything living must eventually die and be returned to its undifferentiated state of We not I. So the human soul must struggle to stay focused in physical reality. Attachment of the ego to a spacetime experience is therefore a tool useful for the soul to stay focused enough in spacetime that its pains will not stop it from the experiences that soul needs. [RAND: The ego keeps us in physical reality long enough for us to fulfill the experiences we selected when we were in the nonphysical.]

The human body knows spirit, but on a level that is not usually readily accessible by human consciousness. For humans, the body behaves as though all it knows is physical existence. So to the body, physical reality is all that exists. Much of the pain of physical reality comes from natural disasters such as earthquakes and climate changes, but many changes are caused by humans themselves in their efforts to find ultimate contentment, safety, and nurture. To find these things in a physical context, embodied souls tend to seek power over reality, rather than the more useful approach: that of seeking cooperation with reality.

[NEXT: How to cooperate with physical reality.]