We all have the innate desire to enjoy life and stay away from pain. How come, though?
Why does the Creator even permit humans to suffer if, as most spiritual schools affirm, He is an all-good being? Holocaust survivor Victor Frankl once said, “If there is any meaning in life, then there must be meaning in suffering.” It has to do with desire, the drive that propels us on as we persistently look for pleasure. Food, sex, and family are basic human and animal needs that are shared by both. In addition to this, humans also have cravings for money, honour, and knowledge. We dedicate our entire life to going after all of these inner impulses.
Suffering results from not being able to satisfy any one of these desires, or all of them. Suffering might be great or tiny, lasting or brief, widespread or individual, and so on. The problem is that we are egoistic in all of our endeavours to prevent pain; we want what we want when we want it. This strategy is egotistical and disregards the greater good. We feel obliged to act against others in order to achieve our own desires since they are different from theirs in kind and intensity. But what if we were able to alter our perspective? What we are going through right now is a direct result of our egoistic view of the world and of one another.
The planet is responding to our intrusion into that ideal condition of nature. The earth is an entity that is ideally balanced to be a welcoming and rewarding home for humans. When we are prepared to destroy portions of the globe in order to achieve our goals, we interfere with the perfection of the earth. When we partake in and sanction these behaviours and allow our interpersonal connections to degrade, we interfere with our own pleasure. We now place a high value on things like avarice, power, success, being right, dishonesty, deceit, and revenge. As a result, there is increased unhappiness among people and the danger of war, conflicts that start when we don’t receive what we want. These characteristics do not appear out of thin air.
We all have them, and our problems originate from our inner moods, which are exacerbated by one another’s bad intents. Therefore, the objective is to analyse ourselves and realise how our actions, like greed, affect the world rather than wage a crusade against such qualities because we see them in others. In addition to overeating, overspending, and enjoying our goods, we also contribute to the status quo by constantly desiring more. Breaks in television shows, for instance, are jammed with up to 10 advertisements for various products in an effort to persuade us that we need them. Ads are now shown in movie theatres as well!
In actuality, change starts with each of us and how we decide to relate to one another. We might learn to foster among us a spirit of acceptance, generosity, caring for one another, honesty, open-mindedness, compassion, and forgiveness. This is by no means simple since by cultivating these virtues, we find ourselves acting against to cultural expectations and conventions, but if we are to rescue mankind, we must transform ourselves such that we treat one another with kindness and love. It seems that the purpose of pain is for us to experience happiness and pleasure.
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So much to unpack in your words. Really enjoyed it. I can only imagine Dr. Frankl and what he went through during his time in a concentration camp and losing his family.
Perhaps not being broken by such evil actions. Takes a lot.
Don’t know if you’ve heard of Maximilian Kolbe. His story is interesting as well. Thanks for sharing
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Thank you for sharing Maximilian story with me. It’s definitely worth mentioning in another encouraging post. Best regards. Have a great Sunday
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You as well
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