Why does suffering exist? Why cant life be nothing but shear bliss?
Let’s start with the why does suffering exist question. I touched on my views about this in previous posts but will break it down again here. Suffering exists for the purpose of contrast. Food always tastes better when you are really hungry. You can not appreciate how nice it feels to not have a headache unless you have had a headache before. The loss of a loved one makes us value and appreciate life more. We can not appreciate the warmth of the sun without knowing what it feels like to be cold. Suffering is a part of the human experience. Suffering provides contrast.
If we lived in a utopia where there is no crime, now anger, no hunger, no violence,.. how would we know that we were in bliss? When we experience hate, we are able to learn more easily about love. We learn about who we are as individuals by learning what we are not, or what we do not want to be.
If a guy throws a fit and the local steakhouse because his steak was over cooked and berates the staff loudly as a side effect of his anger, every other person in that restaurant reacts to the mans rage. Nearly all bystanders in that situation would think or say “geez, what an a-hole”. By watching a man display behavior that offends us, we realize that we do not want to be that type of person. Without the contrast of witnessing the jerk with the over cooked steak, we would be less likely to learn to be more loving and tolerant in our own lives.
It is my opinion that we are each extremely evolved beings who choose to live in this human body for no other reason other to have lucid experiences. Good experiences and bad experiences. Esther Hicks refers to this process as “sorting and sifting”. By sorting and sifting through life’s experiences, we learn what we do want by figuring out what we don’t want. If i am tasting different roasts of coffee to figure out what roast i like best, i have to experience them. The first one might be too bitter. The second one might be too weak. The next one might be too nutty. Eventually by sifting through the roasts that we don’t enjoy we find one that we really do enjoy. This is how we learn. We learn through experiences.
All of this data that we gather via experiences helps us evolve as beings. The more each of us evolves, the more we benefit all or the greater good.
So,.. back to question number two. Is it possible to live life here in earth in a stature of shear bliss? I would say, yes,.. it is possible. But it is also EXTREMELY unlikely. The whole purpose of living this human life is to learn love through contrast. Right? Well here is a little secret that many of us have discovered. Our perception is our reality. How we perceive our reality becomes our reality. Let me give an example:
If someone backs into my beloved little pick up truck in the parking lot, there are an infinite ways to perceive this event but here are two scenarios:
A. I can stomp my feet and utter profane words while being frustrated at the time and expense and inconvenience that the accident will cause me. I can foster these unpleasant emotions like anger and greed and fear. All of which will inevitably make my situation worse and more challenging.
B. I can perceive the event from a place of gratitude with thoughts or words like, “I am glad that no one was hurt” or “its just a truck and it can be fixed”. From this perspective this challenging situation can become an opportunity. Repeat- a tragedy can become an opportunity. More positive thoughts start flowing: “i was a little bored of driving my little truck anyhow, and now i get a rental car for a little while while my truck is being repaired” or “hey, there was already an old scratch in the same spot where my truck got hit that will be fixed as part of the process”. This positive perspective will likely begin to ripple. You may happen to meet your new best friend working at the shop or at the rental car agency. A person you may have never met without the accident. As a sign of gratitude for you’re business, the auto shop may shampoo the coffee stain out of your carpet which will later be a pleasant surprise for you.
If we perceive ourselves coming from a place of despair and lacking, we will suffer.
If we perceive ourself in a place of positive thinking, the suffering will evaporate. In that moment, there will be no suffering. In the place where angst is absent due to positive thinking, more great things will go down. Positive thinking is really a Pandora’s box. A really fun adventure.
One last observation about suffering and perception of things. Greed, anger, selfishness, hate, jealousy are all emotions that take a tremendous amount of energy to sustain. Holding these emotions is exhausting in the same way that swimming up stream is exhausting. Holding these fear based emotions will provide very little benefit for a tremendous amount of effort.
Choosing a perception of positive thoughts on the other hand will open the world up to us. We will live easier, sleep better, form great relationships, and experience life with ease. This will feel like floating down stream rather than swimming upstream. With a positive perspective, we can live a life without suffering. The tragedies will still occur, but our perspective Will see these tragedies as opportunities rather than disasters.
I invite you to experiment with this- every time you catch yourself thinking a negative or judge mental thought of you more anyone else, replace it swiftly with a positive thought. Look to the bright side of every situation. In a short time you will see how the world opens up to you. Changing you’re perspective is easy, its free and it will change your life’s in ways you never imagined.