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 Post subject: Suffering
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The topic of suffering has been widely discussed here in relation to lots of related topics and discussions. I've always found suffering a most interesting issue for consideration before I found the UB and since.

I think suffering is an issue that is shared by believers and non-believers both. Everyone wonders about the causes of suffering. Most of us either reject God or blame God, for a season or longer, due to the fact of human suffering. We sometimes wonder...if there is a God, then why does God allow or impose suffering? If God loves us the why doesn't God prevent suffering and end the sources of suffering?

While many simplistically stop there, the real truth seekers plunge on into the actual causes of suffering, the potential and real benefits of suffering, and the solutions to suffering. We find great fields for the plowing and discovery for our philosophical considerations and metaphysical theories of why there is suffering in our lives.

This topic unites the Eastern and Western perspective and philosophies and is a key factor for all believers in all religions throughout history....and today. The Urantia Papers are replete in their presentations on the causes, meaning, value, and solution to suffering too. Suffering is originally and designedly for our primitive ancestors who would do nothing at all unless and until suffering from hunger or cold or attack. We are told our ancestors did not even think until hungry.

Suffering led to invention and activity and cooperation and specialization and collective action and many, many evolutionary advancements over thousands of generations from hunters to gatherers to agriculture to home building to villages to walled towns to skills and trades to religion to governance, etc. The solution to suffering has been the greatest of all drivers of progress in human history. Still is today in fact. Society is structured upon suffering avoidance as is religion.

We are told that we reap what we sow and what goes around comes around. This is the lesson on self inflicted pain and suffering. It also introduces the basic and foundational element of freewill choice as the very source of suffering. Foolish choices result in bad outcomes. But we all know fools and thieves and brutes and bullies who appear to thrive and profit from their foolishness. So karma either is not real or does not work effectively or fairly! Or the reciprocations of karma are unrelated to the material aspects of reaping what we sow.

The UB tells us that Newton's law of physics where every action results in a reaction is also true of freewill choices. Our choices deliver results. Choices are causes. These causes have effects. There are some benign effects to benign or ordinary choices which have nothing to do with conscience, ethics, morality, self importance, the domination of or unrighteous domination of another being, or the spirit within but all of those types of choices reflect our spiritization and spiritual progress.

How do we react and respond to situation, circumstance, relationship, disappointment, failure, confusion, and decision that involves conscience, ethics, morality, religious experience, and the self?

Why do innocents suffer at the hands of others? Why is there cruelty? Why doesn't God stop it? Does God cause it? Such victims did not choose to suffer thusly so freewill has nothing to do with it, right? Does suffering benefit us somehow? If so, then how? When does suffering end? How does it end? When? Is there suffering in heaven? Does anyone ever suffer forever? What is the cure for suffering?

These are some of the questions we might consider as we dive into the Papers in discovery of what they teach us on this universal issue that touches us and the ones we love. I look forward to the thoughts and experiences and text posts of all who are interested.

Let us begin with these facts and teachings: God does not cause our suffering or wish for us to suffer and offers each of us and all of us the solution to all suffering and the way to and means of happiness and joy and all the fruits of the Spirit...and does so in this life and no matter the amount or the source of our suffering. Glory Be!!

Thank you. Bradly 8)

94:8.3 (1036.5) The original gospel of Gautama was based on the four noble truths:


94:8.4 (1036.6) 1. The noble truths of suffering.

94:8.5 (1036.7) 2. The origins of suffering.

94:8.6 (1036.8) 3. The destruction of suffering.

94:8.7 (1036.9) 4. The way to the destruction of suffering.

131:2.8 (1445.2) “Yahweh is the God of my salvation; therefore in the divine name will I put my trust. I will trust in the Lord with all my heart; I will lean not upon my own understanding. In all my ways I will acknowledge him, and he shall direct my paths. The Lord is faithful; he keeps his word with those who serve him; the just shall live by his faith. If you do not well, it is because sin lies at the door; men reap the evil they plough and the sin they sow. Fret not yourself because of evildoers. If you regard iniquity in your heart, the Lord will not hear you; if you sin against God, you also wrong your own soul. God will bring every man’s work to judgment with every secret thing, whether it be good or evil. As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.

131:2.9 (1445.3) “The Lord is near all who call upon him in sincerity and in truth. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. A merry heart does good like a medicine. No good thing will God withhold from those who walk uprightly. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. Thus says the Lord who created the heavens and who formed the earth: ‘There is no God beside me, a just God and a savior. Look to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth. If you seek me, you shall find me if you search for me with all your heart.’ The meek shall inherit the earth and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. Whoever sows iniquity shall reap calamity; they who sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind.

148:6.11 (1664.3) Then Jesus made this final statement: “The Father in heaven does not willingly afflict the children of men. Man suffers, first, from the accidents of time and the imperfections of the evil of an immature physical existence. Next, he suffers the inexorable consequences of sin—the transgression of the laws of life and light. And finally, man reaps the harvest of his own iniquitous persistence in rebellion against the righteous rule of heaven on earth. But man’s miseries are not a personal visitation of divine judgment. Man can, and will, do much to lessen his temporal sufferings. But once and for all be delivered from the superstition that God afflicts man at the behest of the evil one.


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Here is a link to a TruthBook forum keyword search for "suffering" ....over 50 pages of posts going back 15+ years:

search.php?keywords=Suffering+&terms=all&author=&sc=1&sf=all&sk=t&sd=d&sr=posts&st=0&ch=300&t=0&submit=Search

UB qoutes on "suffering":

https://www.urantia.org/urantia-book/se ... &op=Search

Fear of loss and suffering is a powerful motivation. Avoidance of suffering and the relief from suffering have been the primary motivation for social progress. Hunger and danger and loneliness and need for shelter deliver social cooperation. Ghost fear causes real suffering and drives mortals to the solution and prevention of such suffering to the gods and spirit land fot answers and for protection and for favors.

Suffering is the very source of thinking, tribal and social cooperation, religion, science and metaphysics, civilization, ethics and morality, and results in all mortal achievement including the eventual brotherhood of humanity and light and life.

Suffering is the very foundation of evolutionary progress and experiential wisdom. By freewill we choose not-suffering instead of suffering. That choice is a nearly endless and quite relentless guide forward into personal and collective progress.

8)


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The issue of fairness is a very relevant consideration when considering suffering for the believer. It's a concept that must be integrated into perspective and philosophy for every religionist!!

Primitives and many whose beliefs are founded upon the world's evolutionary religions believe suffering is a form of direct punishment from the gods and/or God. They believe it is both personal and social in nature. From this core belief comes all the fears and anxieties related to good luck and bad, hell and damnation, atonement and sacrifice, the salvation dependence upon the blood of Jesus upon the cross, the evil eye, reincarnation as animals or bugs, Armageddon, the rapture, etc.

Fairness is what makes atheists so adamant that there can be no God for no God would inflict OR allow such suffering!! Fairness is what makes many who suffer or have empathy for those who suffer to question God's existence and purpose and plan and perceived indifference. Whether one believes God is indifferent or God is wrathful and filled with vengeance and can be bribed with sacrifice and offering and deals of behavior or God delivers karmic punishments to drive our choices to very specific beliefs and behaviors....all such beliefs are immature, even infantile, and very primitive indeed.

But....fairness is a real issue to consider. How is the suffering of innocents fair? Or how does it become fair and equitable over time? Or how does it benefit us? Is there reward ultimately for suffering? Are there actual advantages and meaning and value which result from our suffering? How is wisdom and enlightenment and perfecting affected by suffering? How is the world and the universe affected by suffering?

Anyone with half a brain and a modicum of wit should be able to discern that freewill causes suffering....not God. And should also be able to discern the cure for suffering....better choices. No one even needs to believe in God at all to logically and reasonably determine both of these universe facts and truths!! Look around. Pay attention. Think about it. Bad choices equals bad results. Personally and socially.

But Jesus taught us that God loves us deeply and personally and does not wish nor impose our suffering. So then....there must be some mechanism of fairness to alleviate and to end and to compensate us for our suffering....if there is fairness in the universe! And so there is....

https://www.urantia.org/urantia-book/se ... &op=Search

Actually, suffering does not merely end by its relief but does indeed deliver meaning and value and wisdom and empathy and understanding and love and service results that can only be achieved by knowing suffering personally. The entire experiential and freewill universe suffers from immaturity and poor choices and we are destined to become administrators and ministers to the suffering children of time. And we will be tempered and honed and sharpened by our suffering and our understanding of it. We are becoming agents and ministers of "fairness" ourselves...right now!

What is the link between suffering and sympathy? And between sympathy and compassion? And compassion and mercy? And mercy and forgiveness? And forgiveness and love?

On being sympathetic:

https://www.urantia.org/urantia-book/se ... &op=Search

On compassion:

https://www.urantia.org/urantia-book/se ... &op=Search

4. The Divine Mercy

2:4.1 (38.1) Mercy is simply justice tempered by that wisdom which grows out of perfection of knowledge and the full recognition of the natural weaknesses and environmental handicaps of finite creatures. “Our God is full of compassion, gracious, long-suffering, and plenteous in mercy.” Therefore “whosoever calls upon the Lord shall be saved,” “for he will abundantly pardon.” “The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting”; yes, “his mercy endures forever.” “I am the Lord who executes loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight.” “I do not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men,” for I am “the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort.”

2:4.2 (38.2) God is inherently kind, naturally compassionate, and everlastingly merciful. And never is it necessary that any influence be brought to bear upon the Father to call forth his loving-kindness. The creature’s need is wholly sufficient to insure the full flow of the Father’s tender mercies and his saving grace. Since God knows all about his children, it is easy for him to forgive. The better man understands his neighbor, the easier it will be to forgive him, even to love him.

2:4.3 (38.3) Only the discernment of infinite wisdom enables a righteous God to minister justice and mercy at the same time and in any given universe situation. The heavenly Father is never torn by conflicting attitudes towards his universe children; God is never a victim of attitudinal antagonisms. God’s all-knowingness unfailingly directs his free will in the choosing of that universe conduct which perfectly, simultaneously, and equally satisfies the demands of all his divine attributes and the infinite qualities of his eternal nature.

2:4.4 (38.4) Mercy is the natural and inevitable offspring of goodness and love. The good nature of a loving Father could not possibly withhold the wise ministry of mercy to each member of every group of his universe children. Eternal justice and divine mercy together constitute what in human experience would be called fairness.

2:4.5 (38.5) Divine mercy represents a fairness technique of adjustment between the universe levels of perfection and imperfection. Mercy is the justice of Supremacy adapted to the situations of the evolving finite, the righteousness of eternity modified to meet the highest interests and universe welfare of the children of time. Mercy is not a contravention of justice but rather an understanding interpretation of the demands of supreme justice as it is fairly applied to the subordinate spiritual beings and to the material creatures of the evolving universes. Mercy is the justice of the Paradise Trinity wisely and lovingly visited upon the manifold intelligences of the creations of time and space as it is formulated by divine wisdom and determined by the all-knowing mind and the sovereign free will of the Universal Father and all his associated Creators.

8)


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Why do innocents suffer at the hands of others?

The freewill choices of each being have effects in time. Good choices reflecting and expressing truth, beauty, and goodness deliver eternal effects to the being who makes such a choice AND to all other beings through God the Supreme. Such reality-based cause and effect is a realization of potential and creates new potentials for actualization. So, everyone everywhere benefits by every righteous decision by all beings everywhere.

The consequences of our bad choices are local and temporal. Those effects dimminish by time and distance. But they do affect others. Sometimes a few others and sometimes many others. Sometimes the effect is small and sometimes it is great. Such consequences suffered by others can be intentional or unintentional, great or small, and cause suffering in others in any such combination.

All freewill choices have effects. The freewill choices of imperfect beings have similarly imperfect results and effects. The only way to avoid such results is to terminate freewill or to create only perfection. God has chosen otherwise. But God has provided limits to suffering, solutions to suffering, and even benefits from suffering the consequences of imperfection.

The wisdom of God is Divinely perfect.

118:7.3 (1300.7) Error in finite choosing is time bound and time limited. It can exist only in time and within the evolving presence of the Supreme Being. Such mistaken choosing is time possible and indicates (besides the incompleteness of the Supreme) that certain range of choice with which immature creatures must be endowed in order to enjoy universe progression by making freewillcontact with reality.

118:7.4 (1301.1) Sin in time-conditioned space clearly proves the temporal liberty—even license—of the finite will. Sin depicts immaturity dazzled by the freedom of the relatively sovereign will of personality while failing to perceive the supreme obligations and duties of cosmic citizenship.

118:7.5 (1301.2) Iniquity in the finite domains reveals the transient reality of all God-unidentified selfhood. Only as a creature becomes God identified, does he become truly real in the universes. Finite personality is not self-created, but in the superuniverse arena of choice it does self-determine destiny. *

118:7.6 (1301.3) The bestowal of life renders material-energy systems capable of self-perpetuation, self-propagation, and self-adaptation. The bestowal of personality imparts to living organisms the further prerogatives of self-determination, self-evolution, and self-identification with a fusion spirit of Deity.

118:7.7 (1301.4) Subpersonal living things indicate mind activating energy-matter, first as physical controllers, and then as adjutant mind-spirits. Personality endowment comes from the Father and imparts unique prerogatives of choice to the living system. But if personality has the prerogative of exercising volitional choice of reality identification, and if this is a true and free choice, then must evolving personality also have the possible choice of becoming self-confusing, self-disrupting, and self-destroying. The possibility of cosmic self-destruction cannot be avoided if the evolving personality is to be truly free in the exercise of finite will.

118:7.8 (1301.5) Therefore is there increased safety in narrowing the limits of personality choice throughout the lower levels of existence. Choice becomes increasingly liberated as the universes are ascended; choice eventually approximates divine freedom when the ascending personality achieves divinity of status, supremacy of consecration to the purposes of the universe, completion of cosmic-wisdom attainment, and finality of creature identification with the will and the way of God.

8. Control and Overcontrol

118:8.1 (1301.6) In the time-space creations, free will is hedged about with restraints, with limitations. Material-life evolution is first mechanical, then mind activated, and (after the bestowal of personality) it may become spirit directed. Organic evolution on the inhabited worlds is physically limited by the potentials of the original physical-life implantations of the Life Carriers.

More to come on the questions below...



Why is there cruelty? Why doesn't God stop it? Does God cause it? Such victims did not choose to suffer thusly so freewill has nothing to do with it, right? Does suffering benefit us somehow? If so, then how? When does suffering end? How does it end? When? Is there suffering in heaven? Does anyone ever suffer forever? What is the cure for suffering?

How is the suffering of innocents fair? Or how does it become fair and equitable over time? Or how does it benefit us? Is there reward ultimately for suffering? Are there actual advantages and meaning and value which result from our suffering? How is wisdom and enlightenment and perfecting affected by suffering? How is the world and the universe affected by suffering?


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Why is there cruelty? Why doesn't God stop it? Does God cause it? Such victims did not choose to suffer thusly so freewill has nothing to do with it, right?

So....suffering the consequences of our own choices is not cruelty by any definition. Indeed we are taught that sympathy for those who suffer from their own choices is misplaced and counterproductive. We become enablers of bad choices by sympathizing with bad choice outcomes suffered by those who made the bad choices which caused their own suffering. As parents we must learn this painful lesson of allowing or even providing and enforcing consequences upon our children to help them learn and to avoid the greater consequences and calamities to come if they do not learn! This is one purpose of suffering...to learn its causes and to choose otherwise to avoid the consequences of suffering. There are still other purposes, meanings, and values to discover in suffering!

159:3.11 (1766.7) Teach all believers to avoid leaning upon the insecure props of false sympathy. You cannot develop strong characters out of the indulgence of self-pity; honestly endeavor to avoid the deceptive influence of mere fellowship in misery. Extend sympathy to the brave and courageous while you withhold overmuch pity from those cowardly souls who only halfheartedly stand up before the trials of living. Offer not consolation to those who lie down before their troubles without a struggle. Sympathize not with your fellows merely that they may sympathize with you in return.

We can also suffer the consequences of others' choices - both individual's choices and collective, social and cultural choices as well. Such consequences are often not intentionally inflicted upon others by those making decisions that do nonetheless intrude upon others and inflict suffering upon them.

Whenever suffering is inflicted upon another or simply allowed and not prevented, it may be an intentional effort to help them to learn and grow and become wiser in their choices. Or it can be the infliction of pain and suffering and cruelty. It can be malicious.

Cruelty can be inflicted upon others either intentionally (malicious) or unintentionally. So there are unintended consequences for freewill choices which the immature and inexperienced and unwise and indifferent and thoughtless decisions people make result in suffering for others.

Social consequences of food quality and safety or home and building safety or car engineering or air and water quality regulations and all forms of political/economic/social priorities chosen and enforced by those charged with such things also have consequences...these are choices made collectively or by leadership which have results which can and often do result in suffering by some. Some benefit and some suffer by every social choice made.

Some of those consequences can definitely be consider cruel but those are not an intentional and personal choice made to inflict cruelty personally upon another. Those choices are not evil/error but are deliberate and sinful. The victim suffers now and in their way but the perpetrators of cruelty also pay dire consequences...sin carries the seed of it own destruction.

The victim suffers temporally. God extends love and relief from suffering for those who will accept it by their own choices of religious experience in the moment of suffering. But God also delivers complete release and relief from all suffering in this life in the heavenly abode and life to come. And also delivers a wonderful mercy and sympathy to those who suffer by earning that experiential wisdom and sympathy that suffering eventually delivers to all mortal ascenders.

Those who are cruel in this life put the survival of their own souls at grave risk and also suffer many immediate consequences by such sin and iniquity. They remove themselves from the comfort of the Spirit and the potential fruits of the Spirit and all Divine comfort and joy. Those who impose cruelty and hate and unrighteous domination upon others truly suffer too. Grave consequences. Suffering they may not even know by the very lack of that which they have never known. Imagine no love in your life. No peace. Only fear and anxiety or hate and malice....bitterness and emptiness. THAT is real suffering and real danger.

God does stop all cruelty....eventually. God also limits its effects for it cannot thrive or survive in reality or eternity and becomes overwhelmed by time and by love and by forgiveness and by mercy. The effects of cruelty are temporary too. Those who suffer from the cruelty of others can overcome it sooner or later depending upon the choices they make in response to that cruelty and suffering.

What was Jesus response? How does he advise us to respond to those who hate and revile and abuse us?

God does not cause suffering or cruelty or evil or sin. God does provide the solution to all suffering and all cruelty.

Freewill does have everything to do with the causes of suffering and also the end of suffering. Choices cause suffering and choices can also overcome suffering and choices can also end suffering and choices can serve the suffering of others and choices can forgive those who cause and inflict suffering.

What is our response to suffering?

How do we respond to our own suffering? Do we pray? Forgive? Act? Change? Endure? Hope? Have faith?

What about our response to others' suffering? Do we serve and love and extend kindness and generosity and comfort as did the Good Samaritan?

God chooses to love and to forgive and extend mercy and patience. Reality overwhelms unreality. Love conquers hate and all suffering from all sources. Or so we are taught by the Papers.

What happens is less important than our responses we choose to what happens. Such responses become their own causes resulting in new effects. Righteous and love based responses create immediate and ripple effects throughout all of time AND eternity!

We cannot determine or control what happens to us or to others in life....but we do definitely and always choose our own responses to what happens!! Situations and circumstances are the intersections of decision in life, providing each of us new opportunities to discover and express the wisdom of love and the fruits of the Divine Spirit Ministry within us each and all.

To the degree and extent we do so is all suffering refuced and healed.

8)

More to come on the questions below:

Does suffering benefit us somehow? If so, then how? When does suffering end? How does it end? When? Is there suffering in heaven? Does anyone ever suffer forever? What is the cure for suffering?

How is the suffering of innocents fair? Or how does it become fair and equitable over time? Or how does it benefit us? Is there reward ultimately for suffering? Are there actual advantages and meaning and value which result from our suffering? How is wisdom and enlightenment and perfecting affected by suffering? How is the world and the universe affected by suffering?


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Does suffering benefit us somehow? If so, then how?


Many years ago (more than 30 years), I was going through a particularly rough patch in my life. I was terribly depressed and in a sort of black hole of self-absorbed suffering. My life was seriously compromised by this condition. And at that time, I was not moored in any particular religious place. It was near to the time when I found The Urantia Book - or maybe I had just found it, but was not yet that familiar with its teachings. In any event, I finally resorted to psychological help. I found a therapist who I hoped would help me stop crying and help me start to live productively again. In our first session, the therapist suggested to me that I "offer it up." It was a phrase that had a lot of meaning to me. And here's why:

When I was a child growing up in the Catholic church, we were taught that suffering was something that we could deal with by "offering it up." This meant that the suffering could be used constructively by praying to God to somehow benefit someone else through this decision to offer it to God as a sort of sacrifice for someone else who was likewise suffering. It worked for me as a child. And so, when the therapist mentioned that phrase, it rang lots of bells for me. And when I applied it to my situation at that time, it marked a turning point for me. And I have never forgotten it again.

I don't pretend to know how this works, or if it would work for everyone. It is not taught in The Urantia Book that I know of. But the concept somehow elevates the plane of suffering to one of service for another. And service, as we know, IS a major cornerstone of the teachings of Jesus. When I think that someone else might be helped through my own suffering, it somehow makes my own discomfort more bearable.

It could be just a psychological device - a fiction, maybe. But if it works, it's worth exploring, I think. And I also think that our merciful heavenly Father honors our desire to be of service - even in the process of "offering it up." Who knows what God might do with this request? It certainly appears harmless.

Just some thoughts on your question, Bradly. Lots of good stuff in these posts. Thank you. And thanks for all the good UB references.


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I think that any device or practice which leads to trust in God and hope for others delivers faith to us and also Divine faith assurance. These confirmations of the Spirit within sooth us and release us from anxiety and help us align our will with God's I think. Such an expression of faith develops our own sympathy as we experience the Divine affection and mercy.

Perhaps offering up our suffering to God is a humble recognition of the temporal nature of our mortals trials and tribulations and the blessings of our Spirit nature and eternal estate? Such confidence gained by this faith act enables us and motivates us for ever greater service for our fellows.


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Suffering and how the individual stands in the face of it plays a significant role in Orthodox Christianity and I believe in many other religions as well. Suffering with unfailing courage, patience, faith and dignity is regarded as a virtue of a humble and God-knowing soul. Truly, in my opinion, suffering can be a remarkable force of personality unification and character building. We are, after all, informed that as imperfect creatures we learn to appreciate good by being exposed to the potential or actual lack of it which in my mind implies and foreshadows a certain degree of suffering on all levels of the human existence:

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3:5.5 (51.4) The uncertainties of life and the vicissitudes of existence do not in any manner contradict the concept of the universal sovereignty of God. All evolutionary creature life is beset by certain inevitabilities. Consider the following:

3:5.6 (51.5) 1. Is courage—strength of character—desirable? Then must man be reared in an environment which necessitates grappling with hardships and reacting to disappointments.

3:5.7 (51.6) 2. Is altruism—service of one’s fellows—desirable? Then must life experience provide for encountering situations of social inequality.

3:5.8 (51.7) 3. Is hope—the grandeur of trust—desirable? Then human existence must constantly be confronted with insecurities and recurrent uncertainties.

3:5.9 (51.8 ) 4. Is faith—the supreme assertion of human thought—desirable? Then must the mind of man find itself in that troublesome predicament where it ever knows less than it can believe.

3:5.10 (51.9) 5. Is the love of truth and the willingness to go wherever it leads, desirable? Then must man grow up in a world where error is present and falsehood always possible.

3:5.11 (51.10) 6. Is idealism—the approaching concept of the divine—desirable? Then must man struggle in an environment of relative goodness and beauty, surroundings stimulative of the irrepressible reach for better things.

3:5.12 (51.11) 7. Is loyalty—devotion to highest duty—desirable? Then must man carry on amid the possibilities of betrayal and desertion. The valor of devotion to duty consists in the implied danger of default.

3:5.13 (51.12) 8. Is unselfishness—the spirit of self-forgetfulness—desirable? Then must mortal man live face to face with the incessant clamoring of an inescapable self for recognition and honor. Man could not dynamically choose the divine life if there were no self-life to forsake. Man could never lay saving hold on righteousness if there were no potential evil to exalt and differentiate the good by contrast.

3:5.14 (51.13) 9. Is pleasure—the satisfaction of happiness—desirable? Then must man live in a world where the alternative of pain and the likelihood of suffering are ever-present experiential possibilities.


I have never been in the habit of blaming the divine for my suffering, but I used to feel as being treated unfairly by the universe for my 'misfortunes'. I have come to the realization that suffering can truly be a blessing in disguise, a motivating force that fuels the mind and urges it to act and it is perhaps one of the most effective teachers of the importance of dignity amidst chaos, pain and uncertainty which when coupled with a humble disposition, really beautifies the individual.

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140:8.20 Jesus did not attack the teachings of the Hebrew prophets or the Greek moralists. The Master recognized the many good things which these great teachers stood for, but he had come down to earth to teach something additional, “the voluntary conformity of man’s will to God’s will.” Jesus did not want simply to produce a religious man, a mortal wholly occupied with religious feelings and actuated only by spiritual impulses. Could you have had but one look at him, you would have known that Jesus was a real man of great experience in the things of this world. The teachings of Jesus in this respect have been grossly perverted and much misrepresented all down through the centuries of the Christian era; you have also held perverted ideas about the Master’s meekness and humility. What he aimed at in his life appears to have been a superb self-respect. He only advised man to humble himself that he might become truly exalted; what he really aimed at was true humility toward God. He placed great value upon sincerity—a pure heart. Fidelity was a cardinal virtue in his estimate of character, while courage was the very heart of his teachings. “Fear not” was his watchword, and patient endurance his ideal of strength of character. The teachings of Jesus constitute a religion of valor, courage, and heroism. And this is just why he chose as his personal representatives twelve commonplace men, the majority of whom were rugged, virile, and manly fishermen.


Alexandros


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Based on my understanding of the teachings, the perception and belief that life is random, chaotic, unfair, pointless, directionless, or meaningless is to immaturely succumb to materialism and mechanistic blindness. Or it is the personal embrace of a primitive, superstitious, and fear based belief in those gods who inflict pain and suffering out of their anger and disappointment in people.

As it happens, the latter is eminently more enlightened and functional than the former, resulting in a religious experience and faith. But the faith motivated believers who can discover the God of Divine Affection and paternal love who is the creator and ruler of a friendly universe and family will discern order and progress and truth, beauty, and goodness and the light of love leading our world through obvious transformation.

Chaos or randomness is only a perception of reality….it is not real.

An old Zen proverb:  Things are not as they appear…and neither are they different.

The appearance of reality changes with knowledge, experience, and wisdom.  Reality is changeless but its appearance must constantly change if we have personal progress.  Appearance is a function of perspective which is formed by experiential wisdom attainment and knowledge gained over time. So appearance is always partial, incomplete, and limited by personal perception which is unique to each of us.

And so things ARE TO US as they APPEAR TO US but only until we see more and better than before!  Then do we see more of reality.  And yet it remains true that things are still not as they appear, and neither are they, or can they be, different than they APPEAR.

This is why humility should always accompany our opinions and our prejudice is so trite and dysfunctional.  To see, one must first look!  To hear is to listen!  To see and to hear is to discover!  Ommmm…..

102:7.2 (1126.2) God is the one and only self-caused fact in the universe. He is the secret of the order, plan, and purpose of the whole creation of things and beings. The everywhere-changing universe is regulated and stabilized by absolutely unchanging laws, the habits of an unchanging God. The fact of God, the divine law, is changeless; the truth of God, his relation to the universe, is a relative revelation which is ever adaptable to the constantly evolving universe.

111:6.6 (1222.5) Science is the source of facts, and mind cannot operate without facts. They are the building blocks in the construction of wisdom which are cemented together by life experience. Man can find the love of God without facts, and man can discover the laws of God without love, but man can never begin to appreciate the infinite symmetry, the supernal harmony, the exquisite repleteness of the all-inclusive nature of the First Source and Center until he has found divine law and divine love and has experientially unified these in his own evolving cosmic philosophy.

111:6.7 (1222.6) The expansion of material knowledge permits a greater intellectual appreciation of the meanings of ideas and the values of ideals. A human being can find truth in his inner experience, but he needs a clear knowledge of facts to apply his personal discovery of truth to the ruthlessly practical demands of everyday life.

111:6.8 (1222.7) It is only natural that mortal man should be harassed by feelings of insecurity as he views himself inextricably bound to nature while he possesses spiritual powers wholly transcendent to all things temporal and finite. Only religious confidence—living faith—can sustain man amid such difficult and perplexing problems.

118:10.19 (1306.8) Providence becomes increasingly discernible as men reach upward from the material to the spiritual. The attainment of completed spiritual insight enables the ascending personality to detect harmony in what was theretofore chaos. Even morontia mota represents a real advance in this direction.


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Komposer wrote:
"[...]. I have never been in the habit of blaming the divine for my suffering, but I used to feel as being treated unfairly by the universe for my 'misfortunes'. I have come to the realization that suffering can truly be a blessing in disguise, a motivating force that fuels the mind and urges it to act and it is perhaps one of the most effective teachers of the importance of dignity amidst chaos, pain and uncertainty which when coupled with a humble disposition, really beautifies the individual."

Thanks Alexandros! Your thought about being "treated unfairly" got me thinking about how impossible it must be for a Creator Son (like Jesus/Michael) to experience real "injustice". So the unimaginable unfairness and injustice Jesus personally suffered (experienced) at the end of his human career may have been... crucial?

Nigel


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nnunn wrote:
Komposer wrote:
"[...]. I have never been in the habit of blaming the divine for my suffering, but I used to feel as being treated unfairly by the universe for my 'misfortunes'. I have come to the realization that suffering can truly be a blessing in disguise, a motivating force that fuels the mind and urges it to act and it is perhaps one of the most effective teachers of the importance of dignity amidst chaos, pain and uncertainty which when coupled with a humble disposition, really beautifies the individual."

Thanks Alexandros! Your thought about being "treated unfairly" got me thinking about how impossible it must be for a Creator Son (like Jesus/Michael) to experience real "injustice". So the unimaginable unfairness and injustice Jesus personally suffered (experienced) at the end of his human career may have been... crucial?

Nigel


Evidently, it is not so unusual for a bestowal Son to be unfairly and most cruelly treated by the natives of an evolutionary world. See below...."When Bestowal Sons are not put to death....". This treatment is not a requirement and does not always happen and our Michael Son was most horribly abused and suffered in so many ways. Besides betrayal, torture, false accusations, public humiliation, and execution by a most gruesome means, Jesus also suffered from parents who misunderstood and restrained him, the tragic death of his dad leaving him to assume burdens and responsibilities no teen should suffer, that leaving him suddenly jilted and disappointed from his youthful prime and expectations, and he suffered from misplaced expectations of his mother and his Apostles regarding his ministry and mission no matter how clearly and redundantly he worked to set and manage those misguided material kingly expectations.

And yet at every disappointment and confusion and confoundment and obstacle and suffering he encountered, he did not merely endure but emerged victorious and strengthened by his ever growing faith experience and maturing wisdom acquired by his ability to cheerfully face every challenge with full confidence in ultimate and eternal outcomes, even long before he understood his origin and destiny as Michael. There are those who do suffer in ways The Master did not but no one has suffered more or more acutely, either emotionally or physically, I do not think.

The Creator Sons are the givers of mercy and they are most merciful because of their living and suffering as mortals of time combined with their own Paradise natures. The Divine and the experiential. We mortals are though, I think, the most sympathetic of all universe beings and are important arbiters of justice and mercy in the universes of time. (More on that next.)

20:6.6 (229.5) When the bestowal Sons, Creator or Magisterial, enter the portals of death, they reappear on the third day. But you should not entertain the idea that they always meet with the tragic end encountered by the Creator Son who sojourned on your world nineteen hundred years ago. The extraordinary and unusually cruel experience through which Jesus of Nazareth passed has caused Urantia to become locally known as “the world of the cross.” It is not necessary that such inhuman treatment be accorded a Son of God, and the vast majority of planets have afforded them a more considerate reception, allowing them to finish their mortal careers, terminate the age, adjudicate the sleeping survivors, and inaugurate a new dispensation, without imposing a violent death. A bestowal Son must encounter death, must pass through the whole of the actual experience of mortals of the realms, but it is not a requirement of the divine plan that this death be either violent or unusual.

20:6.7 (229.6) When bestowal Sons are not put to death by violence, they voluntarily relinquish their lives and pass through the portals of death, not to satisfy the demands of “stern justice” or “divine wrath,” but rather to complete the bestowal, “to drink the cup” of the career of incarnation and personal experience in all that constitutes a creature’s life as it is lived on the planets of mortal existence. Bestowal is a planetary and a universe necessity, and physical death is nothing more than a necessary part of a bestowal mission.

20:10.3 (232.6) In the Creator Sons the love of the Universal Father is blended with the mercy of the Eternal Son and is disclosed to the local universes in the creative power, loving ministry, and understanding sovereignty of the Michaels. In the Magisterial Sons the mercy of the Eternal Son, united with the ministry of the Infinite Spirit, is revealed to the evolutionary domains in the careers of these Avonals of judgment, service, and bestowal. In the Trinity Teacher Sons the love, mercy, and ministry of the three Paradise Deities are co-ordinated on the highest time-space value-levels and are presented to the universes as living truth, divine goodness, and true spiritual beauty.

20:10.4 (233.1) In the local universes these orders of sonship collaborate to effect the revelation of the Deities of Paradise to the creatures of space: As the Father of a local universe, a Creator Son portrays the infinite character of the Universal Father. As the bestowal Sons of mercy, the Avonals reveal the matchless nature of the Eternal Son of infinite compassion.....

21:3.15 (238.9) Before the completion of the bestowal career a Creator Son rules with certain self-imposed limitations of sovereignty, but subsequent to his finished bestowal service he rules by virtue of his actual experience in the form and likeness of his manifold creatures. When a Creator has seven times sojourned among his creatures, when the bestowal career is finished, then is he supremely settled in universe authority; he has become a Master Son, a sovereign and supreme ruler.

21:4.2 (239.8) Avonal bestowals are always in the likeness of mortal flesh, but the seven bestowals of a Creator Son involve his appearing on seven creature levels of being and pertain to the revelation of the seven primary expressions of the will and nature of Deity. Without exception, all Creator Sons pass through this seven times giving of themselves to their created children before they assume settled and supreme jurisdiction over the universes of their own creation.

21:4.3 (239.9) Though these seven bestowals vary in the different sectors and universes, they always embrace the mortal-bestowal adventure. In the final bestowal a Creator Son appears as a member of one of the higher mortal races on some inhabited world, usually as a member of that racial group which contains the largest hereditary legacy of the Adamic stock which has previously been imported to upstep the physical status of the animal-origin peoples. Only once in his sevenfold career as a bestowal Son is a Paradise Michael born of woman as you have the record of the babe of Bethlehem. Only once does he live and die as a member of the lowest order of evolutionary will creatures.

21:4.4 (239.10) After each of his bestowals a Creator Son proceeds to the “right hand of the Father,” there to gain the Father’s acceptance of the bestowal and to receive instruction preparatory to the next episode of universe service. Following the seventh and final bestowal a Creator Son receives from the Universal Father supreme authority and jurisdiction over his universe.

21:4.6 (240.2) Creator Sons, subsequent to the completion of their bestowal careers, are reckoned as a separate order, sevenfold Master Sons. In person the Master Sons are identical with the Creator Sons, but they have undergone such a unique bestowal experience that they are commonly regarded as a different order. When a Creator deigns to effect a bestowal, a real and permanent change is destined to take place. True, the bestowal Son is still and none the less a Creator, but he has added to his nature the experience of a creature, which forever removes him from the divine level of a Creator Son and elevates him to the experiential plane of a Master Son, one who has fully earned the right to rule a universe and administer its worlds. Such beings embody all that can be secured from divine parentage and embrace everything to be derived from perfected-creature experience. Why should man bemoan his lowly origin and enforced evolutionary career when the very Gods must pass through an equivalent experience before they are accounted experientially worthy and competent finally and fully to rule over their universe domains!


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Does suffering benefit us somehow? If so, then how? When does suffering end? How does it end? When? Is there suffering in heaven? Does anyone ever suffer forever? What is the cure for suffering?

How is the suffering of innocents fair? Or how does it become fair and equitable over time? Or how does it benefit us? Is there reward ultimately for suffering? Are there actual advantages and meaning and value which result from our suffering? How is wisdom and enlightenment and perfecting affected by suffering? How is the world and the universe affected by suffering?

Clearly suffering does indeed benefit us somehow and sometime, later if not sooner. It also benefits Creator Sons. The experience of imperfection results in suffering. The more imperfect the situation and circumstance, the more suffering. The more perfected the situation and circumstance, the less suffering. But whether suffering is greater or lesser, the relief and the cure of all suffering is the same...connection to Spirit, the circuitry of love, the Divine and paternal affection and those fruits of the Spirit that deliver peace, poise, hope, trust, and the eternal perspective no matter the situation or circumstance.

We benefit from suffering by becoming sympathetic!! But not only do we benefit by becoming sympathetic but everyone everywhere benefits by all who become sympathetic. Loving service begins, I think, with sympathy. To be empathetic requires us to have also suffered...or we cannot truly be sympathetic. Suffering delivers experiential wisdom and sympathy that cannot be attained or acquired by any other method.


Consider the work of the Mortal Finaliters and Trinitized Mortal Sons and their indispensable work and service to the universes of time and in partnership with the perfected Paradise rulers.

22:2.7 (245.7) Mighty Messengers, in common with all Trinity-embraced sons, are assigned to all phases of superuniverse activities. They maintain constant connection with their headquarters through the superuniverse reflectivity service. Mighty Messengers serve in all sectors of a superuniverse and frequently execute missions to the local universes and even to the individual worlds, as I do on this occasion.

22:2.8 (245.8) In the superuniverse courts, Mighty Messengers act as defenders of both individuals and planets when they come up for adjudication; they also assist the Perfections of Days in the direction of the affairs of the major sectors. As a group, their chief assignment is that of superuniverse observers. They are stationed on the various headquarters worlds and on individual planets of importance as the official observers of the Ancients of Days. When so assigned, they also serve as advisers to the authorities directing the affairs of the spheres of their sojourn. The Messengers take active part in all phases of the ascendant scheme of mortal progression. With their associates of mortal origin they keep the supergovernments in close and personal touch with the status and progression of the plans of the descending Sons of God.

22:3.1 (246.2) Those High in Authority, the second group of the Trinitized Sons of Attainment, are all Adjuster-fused beings of mortal origin. These are the perfected mortals who have exhibited superior administrative ability and have shown extraordinary executive genius throughout their long ascending careers. They are the cream of governing ability derived from the surviving mortals of space.

22:3.4 (246.5) Having superb administrative wisdom and unusual executive skill, these brilliant beings assume to present the cause of justice in behalf of the superuniverse tribunals; they foster the execution of justice and the rectification of misadaptations in the evolutionary universes. Therefore, if you should ever be cited for errors of judgment while you are ascending the worlds and spheres of your ordained cosmic progression, it is hardly likely that you would suffer injustice since your prosecutors would be onetime ascendant creatures who are personally familiar with every step of the career you have traversed and are traversing.

22:4.1 (246.6) Those without Name and Number constitute the third and last group of the Trinitized Sons of Attainment; they are the ascendant souls who have developed the ability to worship beyond the skill of all the sons and daughters of the evolutionary races from the worlds of time and space. They have acquired a spiritual concept of the eternal purpose of the Universal Father which comparatively transcends the comprehension of the evolutionary creatures of name or number; therefore are they denominated Those without Name and Number. More strictly translated, their name would be “Those above Name and Number.”

22:4.3 (247.2) Since Those without Name and Number are the superior spiritual minds of the survival races, they are especially qualified to sit in judgment and to render opinions when a spiritual viewpoint is desirable, and when experience in the ascendant career is essential to an adequate comprehension of the questions involved in the problem to be adjudicated. They are the supreme jurors of Orvonton. A maladministered jury system may be more or less of a travesty of justice on some worlds, but on Uversa and its extension tribunals we employ the highest type of evolved spiritual mentality as juror-judges. Adjudication is the highest function of any government, and those who are intrusted with verdict rendering should be chosen from the highest and most noble types of the most experienced and understanding individuals.

22:4.6 (247.5) This group of sons is chiefly, but not wholly, concerned with the services of the ascendant career of the time-space mortals. If the viewpoint of a mortal creature is ever in doubt, the question is settled by appeal to an ascendant commission consisting of a Mighty Messenger, One High in Authority, and One without Name and Number.

22:4.7 (247.6) You mortals who read this message may yourselves ascend to Paradise, attain the Trinity embrace, and in remote future ages be attached to the service of the Ancients of Days in one of the seven superuniverses, and sometime be assigned to enlarge the revelation of truth to some evolving inhabited planet, even as I am now functioning on Urantia.

28:6.8 (315.1) The mercy reflectors, with their tertiary associates, engage in numerous superuniverse ministries, including the teaching of the ascending creatures. Among many other things the Significances of Origins teach these ascenders how to apply spirit ethics, and following such training, the Memories of Mercy teach them how to be truly merciful. While the spirit techniques of mercy ministry are beyond your concept, you should even now understand that mercy is a quality of growth. You should realize that there is a great reward of personal satisfaction in being first just, next fair, then patient, then kind. And then, on that foundation, if you choose and have it in your heart, you can take the next step and really show mercy; but you cannot exhibit mercy in and of itself. These steps must be traversed; otherwise there can be no genuine mercy. There may be patronage, condescension, or charity—even pity—but not mercy. True mercy comes only as the beautiful climax to these preceding adjuncts to group understanding, mutual appreciation, fraternal fellowship, spiritual communion, and divine harmony.


Still to be considered: When does suffering end? How does it end? When? Is there suffering in heaven? Does anyone ever suffer forever? What is the cure for suffering?

How is the suffering of innocents fair? Or how does it become fair and equitable over time? Or how does it benefit us? Is there reward ultimately for suffering? Are there actual advantages and meaning and value which result from our suffering? How is wisdom and enlightenment and perfecting affected by suffering? How is the world and the universe affected by suffering?

And thanks for the posts and thoughts and text offered on the subject of suffering. I sometimes wonder if Jesus did not suffer more and far worse from betrayal and rejection than he did by torture and murder??

8)


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Some links to related topics:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5249&hilit=suffering&start=0

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5029&hilit=response+ability

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5116&hilit=advantage+of+disappointment

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4634&hilit=negative+world+we+live+in

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3400&hilit=suffering

8)

I have suffered in my life. All of us do ….one way or another. But I have no idea or even an inkling of what some do suffer and have suffered and also endured and overcome. All of us are blessed by those who overcome suffering. The courage and tenacity and strength that others have is a great wonder and inspiration to me. Their tragedy and horror of suffering will result in great benefits to all of creation....and should inspire all of us and guide us all into great compassion and mercy and forgiveness now.

When I think of the African slaves torn from their homes and families ripped apart here on the auction block, tearing children from mothers and husbands from wives...and I moan and weep as I watch the TV show the Jewish victims of slums and badges and death camps and the trains to suffering and those who leave home to escape pain and death to travel thousands of miles to they know not where, sometimes sending just their little children alone like bread upon the very uncertain waters of hope.

Oh surely have so many suffered so much more than myself. I am almost shamed to even talk about suffering as if I understood it. For I do not. At least not like so many others today and before me in time.

It is something to think about prayerfully and reverently and not cavalierly or indifferently or intellectually. But still does this fire and hammer and anvil deliver us all to a better place to come. Peace.

:cry:


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Still to be considered: When does suffering end? How does it end? When? Is there suffering in heaven? Does anyone ever suffer forever? What is the cure for suffering?

How is the suffering of innocents fair? Or how does it become fair and equitable over time? Or how does it benefit us? Is there reward ultimately for suffering? Are there actual advantages and meaning and value which result from our suffering? How is wisdom and enlightenment and perfecting affected by suffering? How is the world and the universe affected by suffering?


Some of these questions have been addressed to some degree. All have multiple angles of approach and consideration.

When does suffering end? I think most suffering in most forms, as we consider it, ends upon awakening on the Mansion Worlds. That will be the end, for example, of physical pain and sickness and hunger and infirmaries caused by old age, arthritis, bacteria, and virus. No blindness or deafness or diabetes or related debilities. No sick beds or hospitals. No diseases. No genetic or chronic maladies.

There will still be disappointment and failure and frustration and confusion and uncertainty. When we become fused, I think, most of those forms and sources of suffering will also disappear, although those sources will not! In other words, the suffering ends but not the uncertainties and confusions and disappointments and failures in the adventures of time!

Uncertainty will attend all freewill evolutionary and experiential beings indefinitely I think. We are to learn eventually to feast and fatten on that which now causes anxiety and fear and other forms of suffering.

26:5.3 (291.3) That, then, is the primary or elementary course which confronts the faith-tested and much-traveled pilgrims of space. But long before reaching Havona, these ascendant children of time have learned to feast upon uncertainty, to fatten upon disappointment, to enthuse over apparent defeat, to invigorate in the presence of difficulties, to exhibit indomitable courage in the face of immensity, and to exercise unconquerable faith when confronted with the challenge of the inexplicable. Long since, the battle cry of these pilgrims became: “In liaison with God, nothing—absolutely nothing—is impossible.”

How does suffering end? Simple. Experience. Knowledge. Faith and truth. Assurance. Trust. Progress in the Spirit. By the fruits of the Spirit does all suffering end....sooner or later. That depends upon our individual journey and choices and progress.

Is there suffering in heaven? See above. Not much. Some perhaps but not physical in source or nature. We begin in heaven right where we leave off here so far as spirituality and animal nature legacy goes. So anxiety and self importance will still affect us I think. There are still consequences for our motives and intentions and priorities and choices. We will not awaken as perfected and sainted beings who are magically enlightened somehow. There is still work to do and progress to make by our choices. We will still reap what we sow. So...yes, suffering will still attend us in some ways.

Does anyone ever suffer forever? NO!! There is no punishment for choices per se. God is not angry or wrathful and wishes no harm or suffering on any being in time or eternity.

What is the cure for suffering? Love!! Spiritization! Closeness to God! Fusion. The closer to God we get, the less will we suffer. Many, I think, get that close by faith in this brief life. They find the cure for suffering in their faith and relationship with God.

Full disclosure: Personally, I still suffer a great deal. The above belief is based on others I have met and read about and the teachings in the UB that mortal souls can achieve great faith and spirituality in this short life. I claim no such great faith to myself. But I have experienced relief from suffering caused by that which no longer troubles me or vexes me and have tasted some of those sweet fruits of the Spirit promised to the faith children of God. God does not disappoint to those who believe and act in faith. Sincere faith is a seed that when sown reaps a wonderful harvest!!

How is the suffering of innocents fair? I think it is the eventual and certain relief from suffering as well as the personal triumph over suffering combined with the strength of character achieved by suffering which results in a sublime character of grand nobility that gives great reward in the harvest of the suffering experience that makes suffering "fair". Suffering can never be fair while one is suffering. But we know that those who do not suffer are not as vital and useful to the universe of universes and the collective experiential wisdom of time.

48:7.14 (556.14) 12. The greatest affliction of the cosmos is never to have been afflicted. Mortals only learn wisdom by experiencing tribulation.

5. The Purpose of Affliction

148:5.1 (1661.3) At another of these private interviews in the garden Nathaniel asked Jesus: “Master, though I am beginning to understand why you refuse to practice healing indiscriminately, I am still at a loss to understand why the loving Father in heaven permits so many of his children on earth to suffer so many afflictions.” The Master answered Nathaniel, saying:

148:5.2 (1661.4) “Nathaniel, you and many others are thus perplexed because you do not comprehend how the natural order of this world has been so many times upset by the sinful adventures of certain rebellious traitors to the Father’s will. And I have come to make a beginning of setting these things in order. But many ages will be required to restore this part of the universe to former paths and thus release the children of men from the extra burdens of sin and rebellion. The presence of evil alone is sufficient test for the ascension of man—sin is not essential to survival.

148:5.3 (1661.5) “But, my son, you should know that the Father does not purposely afflict his children. Man brings down upon himself unnecessary affliction as a result of his persistent refusal to walk in the better ways of the divine will. Affliction is potential in evil, but much of it has been produced by sin and iniquity. Many unusual events have transpired on this world, and it is not strange that all thinking men should be perplexed by the scenes of suffering and affliction which they witness. But of one thing you may be sure: The Father does not send affliction as an arbitrary punishment for wrongdoing. The imperfections and handicaps of evil are inherent; the penalties of sin are inevitable; the destroying consequences of iniquity are inexorable. Man should not blame God for those afflictions which are the natural result of the life which he chooses to live; neither should man complain of those experiences which are a part of life as it is lived on this world. It is the Father’s will that mortal man should work persistently and consistently toward the betterment of his estate on earth. Intelligent application would enable man to overcome much of his earthly misery.

148:5.4 (1662.1) “Nathaniel, it is our mission to help men solve their spiritual problems and in this way to quicken their minds so that they may be the better prepared and inspired to go about solving their manifold material problems. I know of your confusion as you have read the Scriptures. All too often there has prevailed a tendency to ascribe to God the responsibility for everything which ignorant man fails to understand. The Father is not personally responsible for all you may fail to comprehend. Do not doubt the love of the Father just because some just and wise law of his ordaining chances to afflict you because you have innocently or deliberately transgressed such a divine ordinance.

148:5.5 (1662.2) “But, Nathaniel, there is much in the Scriptures which would have instructed you if you had only read with discernment. Do you not remember that it is written: ‘My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction, for whom the Lord loves he corrects, even as the father corrects the son in whom he takes delight.’ ‘The Lord does not afflict willingly.’ ‘Before I was afflicted, I went astray, but now do I keep the law. Affliction was good for me that I might thereby learn the divine statutes.’ ‘I know your sorrows. The eternal God is your refuge, while underneath are the everlasting arms.’ ‘The Lord also is a refuge for the oppressed, a haven of rest in times of trouble.’ ‘The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of affliction; the Lord will not forget the sick.’ ‘As a father shows compassion for his children, so is the Lord compassionate to those who fear him. He knows your body; he remembers that you are dust.’ ‘He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.’ ‘He is the hope of the poor, the strength of the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, and a shadow from the devastating heat.’ ‘He gives power to the faint, and to them who have no might he increases strength.’ ‘A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax he will not quench.’ ‘When you pass through the waters of affliction, I will be with you, and when the rivers of adversity overflow you, I will not forsake you.’ ‘He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and to comfort all who mourn.’ ‘There is correction in suffering; affliction does not spring forth from the dust.’”

:idea: :wink: 8)


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I think that suffering is one thing - misery is another.

Suffering of one degree or another is inevitable, but misery is optional. We all have to suffer the vicissitudes of existence, but when we once enter the kingdom, we are no longer at the mercy of misery. We can deal with the inevitable suffering with a modicum of hope. Misery condemns the miserable with little hope.


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