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Handling suffering with resignation

One amongst the many incapabilities of orthodox religions to explain the reasons behind the miseries prevailing in the world is the ability to rationally justify suffering according to the fairness of the Creator's laws. The problem starts from the beginning when they try to define God. The justification for so much pain and distress that permeate our world, becomes almost an impossible task to accomplish, if by trying to understand God we anthropomorphize Him. Even the most pure amongst the brethren who lived and preached mankind through words and deeds, cannot be taken as a parameter to define God. Regardless the fact that many of these enlightened beings set themselves afar from the majority of the humankind, in terms of spiritual progress, they are simply our brothers in a more spiritually evolved condition, one that each and every one of us are destined to reach one day. The time when this will take place depends solely on us.

Question number 1 of The Spirits' Book deals with the problematic of giving us a better understanding of God, which states:

1. What is God?
"God is the Supreme Intelligence, the First Cause of all things."

The statement is absolutely comprehensible. However, notice that it does not bring God under our human condition. Nevertherless, it is quite clear that in our current stage of spiritual evolvement we lack the appropriate faculties to understand the fundamental nature of God. This is exactly what the Superior Spirits taught us in the question number 10 of The Spirits' Book, in the topic The Attributes of the Divinity, which says:

10. Can human beings fathom God's innermost nature?
"No, they lack the aptitude to comprehend it."

In addition to the above, in his remarks to the question 13 of The Spirits' Book, one that lists some of the attributes of the Divinity, Allan Kardec ponders by saying:

"God is supremely just and good. The providential wisdom in the divine laws is revealed in the smallest things as well as in the largest, and this wisdom makes it impossible for us to doubt either God's justice or goodness."

Now, if the attributes of God are unanimously shared amongst those who are considered non atheist, how do we conciliate suffering with the attribute of justice and goodness of God?

In order to be able to rationally comprehend the attributes of God and understand suffering, one needs to primarily consider the principle of reincarnation, which tells us that we have come from a long journey that precedes the date of our birth in this current existence on the Planet Earth. In addition to that, one needs to also consider that what we understand as "death" is nothing more than a shift of position from which we change the condition of incarnated spirits to one of discarnation. In fact we are all immortal spirits, for this was the condition to which we were created by God. The phenomenon called "death" does not annihilate our individuality, which keeps going on and carrying all the achievements and misdeeds of the past lives.

Taking into consideration solely these two major principles or point of views, it will be vital to understand suffering and face it in a way that will be beneficial to our spiritual progress. Enduring suffering with resignation is crucial for our spiritual evolvement, for complaining will not allow us to benefit from it. Furthermore, resignation towards suffering will definitely diminish the pain of the suffering.

We live in a world, the Planet Earth, yet in a low level of spiritual progress, consequently suffering is inevitable here, the question is when and how it will hit us. But we ought not to forget that this is the world we have built and if we find ouselves here it is because we deserve it. Suffering will cease to exist when we decide to work bravely to improve ourselves spiritually and the improvement of the world will be just the consequence of this attitude.

Unfortunately, the orthodox religions have rendered a disservice to mankind throughout the ages in regard to the explanation of these pressing matters. It is understandable that they do so, for selling the idea of easy solutions is convenient and according to their policy of keeping people in a level of ignorance, so as a result it will be easier for them to push through their guts the paraphernalia of dogmas and formalities from which they profit from immemorial times, retarding humankind progress.

Spiritism does not preselytize, it rather has a strong commitment to help mankind towards spiritual progress. Therefore, the message imparted from the voices of the Superior Spirits through the Spiritist Doctrine, is one that appeals to our rationality and at the same time pushes us towards the unavoidable principle of personal responsibility. These Spirit friends find themselves in a condition of evolvement far beyond from the one we fit in, and undoubtedly they know indeed what is better for us. They also have endured all kinds of suffering and have the authority to tell us about what would be the best way to undergo suffering and benefit from it. So, let us listen to what they have to tell us in the question 115 of The Spirits' Book, which covers the matter into analysis here, in a very clear and reasonable way:

115. Have some spirits been created good and others evil?
"God has created all spirits simple and ignorant, i.e., without knowledge. God has given to each of them a mission, with the aim of enlightening them and progressively leading them towards perfection through knowledge of the truth in order to draw them near. In that perfection they will find eternal bliss without any troubles. Spirits acquire knowledge by experiencing the trials that God has imposed upon them. Some humbly accept these trials and thus arrive more quickly at their destiny, while others cannot endure them without complaining; thus, through their own fault they remain far from the perfection and bliss promised to them."

- Then are all spirits at their origin ignorant and inexperienced like children, who gradually acquire the knowledge they lack by passing through the different phases of human life?
"Yes, that is an accurate comparison. How much children improve depends on their behavior - rebellious children remain ignorant and imperfect. However, human life has an ending, whereas that of spirits extends into infinity."

One cause for great suffering in our world is the death of a dear one, which most inappropriately call "a loss". The article that we bring forth in this edition, Dying, Death & After Death: Random Musing Concerning the Spiritually Challenged, by Michael E. Tymn, is extremely instructive and may lead those who see this unavoidable aspect of life as negative towards a different direction, one of more comprehension of a phenomenon that is simply part of our Real Life, the spiritual one.

Source: The Spiritist Messenger, 15th Year, Number 86, August 2007