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.

 

 

 

 

 

A Message From “The Family”: On Hope

ImageWhen a child is born into physical reality, from a psychological perspective it has no hope or despair, for it is aware only of the present moment and the universe of itself.  When a child “hopes for” something, it is not hope that one speaks of, but desire: craving, wish, longing, which all humans possess from inception. If it were not so–if the human infant did not feel and communicate its cravings–it might well die before its caregivers, or those around it, noticed it needed anything. The same is true of dogs and cats and other domestic animals. At birth they live in the present, and their internal lives are characterized by desire: for the warmth of the body of the caregiver; for the milk the caregiver provides, or other sustenance; and for the chance to exercise, play, and learn from their environment and peers.

Hope and despair become conscious emotions or experiences when the child reaches the age when its brain is sufficiently developed for it to be aware of the passage of time, and when it is able to distinguish between self and others. This may take place [by] the age of 8 in many cases. This is why little children were able to play even in concentration camps. Fatigue, exhaustion, and terror were all available to them, but not despair as such, although they could become afraid and depressed at the despair of the adults around them.

We mention these things because to understand hope one must understand  that hope, like despair, arise when one achieves the maturity to sense boundaries to gratification and also the possibility of a positive or negative outcome in time. God, for instance, does not hope, because God is outside of time, and is complete in Itself, of Whom It considers you a particle. God knows that Love is Its nature in all parts of Itself, including you; and that on the divine level,  Love is never defeated or denied. Therefore It need have no anxiety about the future or regret about the past. Amor vincit omnia: love conquers all resistance eventually. Eventually, everyone who has turned its back upon Love will be wooed back into Its arms (we speak figuratively of course).

What, then, is hope, and how does one attain and maintain an attitude of hope when one is beleaguered by unpleasant or discouraging circumstances?

On the Wheel of Creation, Mr Rand and Mr Alex’s template for manifestation in physical reality, hope is allied with belief. To increase belief (in positive outcome, in the eventual victory of Love over all resistance to It) one must look across the center of the Wheel, across the hub called Harmony of Desire, to the spoke opposite that of belief: the support spoke. Put simply, if you lack hope, it is because you lack a sense of support for your longed for condition or goal. To increase hope, therefore, it is necessary to increase one’s sense of support.

How does one do this, particularly when one is discouraged or depressed? . . . By seeking out those who share similar beliefs to your own: similar values, similar cultural backgrounds, similar mindsets, similar thought processes, similar interests and experiences. As support grows, so does belief that positive outcome is possible.

A basic principle in physical reality is that it is extremely difficult to find hope without interaction with other sentient beings. In short, it is very very difficult to climb out of despair alone, or in isolation (though not impossible if one has already developed a rich sense of Divine Love and a habit for dialoguing with It). Twelve Step recovery programs work in part because they offer addicted individuals the hope that, if they work the introspective and self-revelatory meditative exercises expressed in the Twelve Steps, and find a sponsor and attend regular meetings with others like themselves, they will find relief from addiction. For it is a fact that despair can become an addiction: a habituated pattern of emotional response to life that is driven not necessarily by present difficulties, dramatic though they may be, but by the brain having become so drenched in force, threat, and blame in the past that it cannot right the chemical imbalances created by such drenching.

WheelofCreationTo lift one’s brain out of despair-drenching, one must begin by accepting that one is trapped in despair with a desire to learn from the experience. Then one must begin asking questions: How did I get into my present situation? What actions or inactions did I perform, and what strategies did I use, to create or fall prey to my present difficulties? By coming to grips with the physical and psychological processes that led to the choices that have led to one’s force-threat-blame experiences, one then must begin inquiring into whether there are deeper forces at work—spiritual, intellectual, or evaluative patterns that are feeding into one’s despair. If one asks and keeps on asking for enlightenment on this issue, one will certainly be rewarded with an answer or answers. And the answer or answers discovered will contain within them clues as to how one may escape from, or work with, the present difficulty that has led one to give up hope.

When light begins to dawn, and one begins to see the reasons physical and spiritual behind one’s difficulties, one must then commit oneself to finding the path of Love through one’s difficulties. How can I learn to love myself given the choices I have made? How can I learn to love my enemies to the extent to which they will allow and without violating myself in the process? Taking these questions to one’s Greater Self, and to one’s support systems (friends, family, doctors, counselors, teachers and so forth), one will eventually come up with a plan of action the sole purpose of which is to find the most direct route to giving myself the solace, information, help and resources [I need] to change [my] difficult circumstance into one that is more life-affirming. For some persons (and some circumstances), science yields clues to the most direct route to harmony. For others, philosophy or religion; and for still others, the taking of practical physical action to find support for the next step in one’s strategy for self-rescue; or a combination of the utilizations of all these tools.

And we thank you for sharing. •

— Channeled 17 January 2014, 5:20pm MT, by Rand Lee. All rights reserved. Edited 23 January 2014.

On Thanking One’s Abusers

wolfloveOn November 15th I gave a talk in Santa Fe on the ten levels of consciousness I’ve been blogging about here for some time now. During the meeting I pointed out that all too often in New Age circles well-meaning people tell abuse sufferers to let go of their pain and forgive their abusers, before the sufferers have been able to even feel and find solace for the extent of their inner wounds. I told the group I felt that this pathologized the very healthy rage abuse survivors feel, a rage that if felt fully and expressed safely can eventually lead one to such a strong sense of self that the effects of one’s abuse soften and become part of one’s inner landscape.

In response to this, one attender shared with us his experience of having forgiven his childhood abuser, and how it freed him from the damage the abuse had done to him as no other therapeutic technique had before then. He said he had spoken directly to his abuser and told him, “I thank you for the abuse, because the lessons I have learned from the experience have been so valuable,” whereupon a weight, he said, had lifted from him. (He would not tell us what abuse had been done to him, only that it had been extremely severe.) He shared this in a genuinely nonjudgmental and loving manner. I thanked the attender for his share and admitted that although I have forgiven my parents, I was not at a place where I could say I was grateful for what my abuse history has taught me, and might never be.

During the guided meditation at the end, which I led, I invited the group to join me in raising ourselves from the consciousness levels of Force, Threat, and Blame to the consciousness levels of Acceptance, Understanding, Giving, and Loving. As usually happens when I lead a meditation, I got a lot out of it myself. On this occasion, the purified essences of my birth parents came to me and showed me their acceptance, love, and regret for what their shadows had done to me while they had been alive. Their love for me shone brilliantly, and I let it in. This is the very first time I have ever felt any such connection to them, and I was flabbergasted by the experience; it came entirely unexpectedly, on a wave of attar of rose (a diluted essence of which I had passed around the room therapeutically).

Today I have been lonely, isolating, and eating compulsively. I napped and dreamed of Blessing, my dead husky: of a ridge where a crowd of people was gathered, all with their backs to me. I moved among them and saw beyond them thick dense woods, and I knew that Blessing was running free in the woods. And I longed for her, and called to her, hoping she would hear me and come back to me. I awoke in a bad sweat. Is this what happens when we let Love in, that it stirs up the next layer of grief sediment in an effort to flush it from our systems? It seems so.

Thank you, housemate Leo Richard, for letting me take care of your big brown dog Horseshoe today. Playing ball with your dog, and hugging him, and giving him pieces of chicken, I felt a connection to Earth and Earth love, and it consoled me. Mother of Wolves have mercy on all of us, your cubs, and bring us safe home to Your den when our time comes. Amen.