A woman I know, my mother-in-law, wants to believe in God. She wants to believe that God is in our hearts, waiting for us. It is hard for her to trust that statement, although it comforts her to a certain degree. She reads the newspaper. The rapes and murders of Darfur, the holocaust, the horror of the weapon wielding attackers in love with the power of their knives, their guns, their gas chambers, who are thrilled by the damage they cause. Who seem to justify violence by believing that it actually has power to solve their problems.
No wonder Jacob Boehm wrote that self-will is evil, and resigned will good, resigned will representing renunciation of power to manipulate the world to reflect the preferences of the self-involved fear and ego driven person so many of us were taught to be.
Buddists talk about contaminated action that strives to avoid suffering and that hoards pleasure, but how far do you take it? When you are sick, don't you take medicine? Perhaps you are given vision, so you can see what you are given and see also what you are grabbing.
But why Suffering?
Does it symbolize our separation from God, or Self? Does it reminds us that we are lost? But home is closer than we know.
Does it help us because as people overcome fears caused by such suffering we learn from and are inspired by their strength in facing the truth?
Suffering reminds us of the truth of impermanence, because when we are hurt we are mourning the loss of our wellness, the violation of health, wholeness, well being. And once that law is internalized, we know we can't find the peace we seek in the world, we have to look within. We will never find true security in the world.We are so deluded, in this point in history more than ever. Now the polar ice has taken on the job of teaching this lesson: that our solutions are false.
Does it reminds us that we will never be completely whole in this world? We strive towards wholeness here, but there are parts of ourselves that exist in heaven, even now, and separation from those parts is the root of suffering.
Perhaps the violence, injury and hurt we see in the world symbolize and emphasize our separation from God, from Self.
But these seem like cold responses to the woman's questions. Rationalizations.
I feel a little pathos when I write that without free will, than the accomplishment that we generate as we grow in strength, love, patience and courage would have no meaning. And I feel like it does. It feels to me like every atom in the universe has a heart, and appreciates every leap towards freedom and truth and honesty any human being ever makes. Every bit of growth is celebrated. But by the human race, not enough.
Many people have thought, are thinking now, and will think, about this question. I wonder what ideas they offer us.
But one thing I know for sure: The meaning of life is to lovingly hold space for ourselves and others to grow in strength and courage, the courage to let go, to be generous, to hold the tenderness in our hearts instead of avoiding the intensity. To wait patiently for the elusive truths to reveal themselves. And when someone raises a step on the great pyramid of truth, celebrate, rejoice. The best we can do is call for the truth, and face it with courage.
And the truth is, people are doing this, constantly, taking deep breathes and pushing themselves farther and farther in letting go of false supports. But we don't notice or celebrate, we are too busy complaining about God.