Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Purpose of Misery and Suffering

This is a continuation of the comment on this post-- The Gift of Sadness that is on the blog, Little by Little.

As mentioned in the article that the above article quotes, people try to avoid misery and suffering. But it is unavoidable. But there is a purpose to it. The ULTIMATE purpose of misery and suffering is to help you to get to the state of consciousness where you can experience true happiness and perfect peace all of the time.

Note that word ultimate again. In the comment I said that the ultimate cause of all death is birth. Everyone that is born dies. If someone is not born, then they will not die. The quote in bold in the above article talks about real happiness. So there is a real or true happiness and a fake happiness.

The fake happiness is one side of a 2 sided coin. Today someone died that you did not know. Did it cause you pain and suffering? No. Say that you have a brother that you hate and never talk and he dies, does that cause you pain and suffering? No. The point is that the pain is equal to the love and happiness you lose.

So if you have no one that is close to you, then you cannot feel the intense pain of losing someone close to you. The woman who wrote the post above is Rachel. Say that you find the man of your dreams and you marry him. You become wealthy and have 2 kids-- a baby girl and 2 year old boy. You adore the 3 of them immensely. Then while your husband is driving them home from from a restaurant, they get into a crash and they all die.

To most of the people in America, it is no big deal. But can you imagine how much that will hurt you? Well you cannot know how it would feel but you try to can imagine it. So the fake happiness comes along with the fake pain. They both feel very real. They are 2 sides of the same coin. To be a great actor you need to act like what is happening in the move is real.

Now if you are homeless and have no friends, then when you die, you feel the pain of losing that. If you are very wealthy and have a husband and 2 kids that you love, then when you die you feel the pain of losing that. Shakespeare said:
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.
So you do lose all the good emotions from worldly things when you die. But the real happiness has no opposite. It is not from the world of birth and death. It comes from the existence of your soul. This soul or Soul (it is divine) cannot die. Also it cannot be hurt. In fact to worldly people it does not even exist.

So the pain and suffering has the purpose to help you learn that the real happiness does not lie in the world outside of you but exists inside of you. Also the pain and suffering that each person feels is tailor made just for them to help them to learn. There is a new age saying about this-- "it's all good!"

Eckhart Tolle says "Suffering has a noble purpose: the evolution of consciousness and the burning up of the ego." I have a web page all about happiness and it is from a modern perspective. It tells about the Positive Psychology Network that studies how people can be happier. Its director is Professor Martin Seligman of UPenn who is Jewish.

Now if at age 29, Eckhart Tolle won a lottery and became rich or he met the woman of his dreams, that would have been fake happiness. He would not have been on the Oprah TV show and would not be famous. But Wikipedia says about him:
He says he was depressed for much of his life until he underwent, at age 29, an "inner transformation", then spent several years wandering and unemployed "in a state of deep bliss" before becoming a spiritual teacher.

One night in 1977, at the age of 29, after having suffered from long periods of suicidal depression, Tolle says he experienced an "inner transformation." That night he awakened from his sleep, suffering from feelings of depression that were "almost unbearable," but then experienced a life-changing epiphany. Recounting the experience, Tolle says,
I couldn’t live with myself any longer. And in this a question arose without an answer: who is the ‘I’ that cannot live with the self? What is the self? I felt drawn into a void. I didn’t know at the time that what really happened was the mind-made self, with its heaviness, its problems, that lives between the unsatisfying past and the fearful future, collapsed. It dissolved. The next morning I woke up and everything was so peaceful. The peace was there because there was no self. Just a sense of presence or “beingness,” just observing and watching.
Tolle recalls going out for a walk in London the next morning, and finding that “everything was miraculous, deeply peaceful."
This post is not about Tolle but just an example of true happiness. But he did not know how to get others to this point since it just happened to him. He is not going to teach people that they need to be very depressed for many years to do this. He started learning about Buddhism so he would get an idea of how to help others. His books have a lot of stories from Buddhism..

Wikipedia also says about Tolle: "His family thought him 'irresponsible, even insane.' " Also Wikipedia says:
Tolle writes that "the most significant thing that can happen to a human being [is] the separation process of thinking and awareness" and that awareness is "the space in which thoughts exist". Tolle says that "the primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it".
Hundreds of years before Jesus was born, Socrates taught that the most important thing was the immortal soul. He was executed for corrupting people's morals with his teachings. He has a famous quote: "Know your friends very well." Just kidding. His saying is "Know thyself!"

He is not talking about the ego that Buddha says is the source of misery and suffering. Also above Tolle says that suffering burns up the ego. Socrates was talking about knowing your true self or soul. Note again that he taught this hundreds of years before Jesus was born so the soul he is talking about has nothing to do with any religion.

The posts below on this blog talk a lot about the true self. When someone says that they are a Muslim terrorist, they are talking about their ego. The soul has no hate, only endless love. When someone says that they are Jewish, then they are talking about their ego, not their soul. The ego could also be called the fake self.

Also in biology you learn that at one time there was no such thing as sex and organisms multiplied by cell division. Then sex came later on. So the soul does not have a sex but the ego does. Sometimes the sex of the ego is different than the sex of the body and they have a sex change. I have another blog that has the post 7 Year Old Transgender Girl (Hailey) on Oprah.

There is a video of her and she appears to be a happy little girl. But she has the physical body of a boy! The word 'soul' used to be used a lot but now it is referred to as one's consciousness. So pain, misery and suffering are part of living in the physical world but the Dalai Lama says that the purpose of life is the expansion of happiness. As one experiences more true happiness then the sadness bothers them less. There is no true sadness, only the fake sadness.

As far as true happiness not having an opposite or other side, here is something interesting. You can take a long, thin piece of paper and tape it into a loop. This paper loop has 2 sides-- an inner and outer side. Now you can do it again but before taping the 2 ends together, you give the paper a half twist.

Then you tell people that this piece of paper has only one side. They will tell you that you are nuts! How can a paper have only one side. The way that you test it is you draw a line down the center of one side of the paper until the line meets the beginning. Now when they look at it, the line apppears to be on both sides of the loop, since it has only one side. This is called a Mobius strip.

Wikipedia says:
The Möbius strip or Möbius band is a surface with only one side and only one boundary component. The Möbius strip has the mathematical property of being non-orientable. It can be realized as a ruled surface. It was discovered independently by the German mathematicians August Ferdinand Möbius and Johann Benedict Listing in 1858.
A model can easily be created by taking a paper strip and giving it a half-twist, and then joining the ends of the strip together to form a loop.

The Möbius strip has several curious properties. A line drawn starting from the seam down the middle will meet back at the seam but at the "other side". If continued the line will meet the starting point and will be double the length of the original strip. This single continuous curve demonstrates that the Möbius strip has only one boundary

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