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What Causes Suffering

by PruJoy

In her question that essentially relates to what causes suffering, PruJoy exposes the dilemma that many people are faced with. My response took on a life of its own and ended up a little longer than PruJoy's question; but hopefully some folks will find something useful in what is said on these pages.

The question

I hope you don't mind but I have something of a BIG question to put to you ...

Why is it hard for "I" to handle it all - consciousness that is???

More & more now I recognize "God or Consciousness" in everything including myself & the world all around me ... so how come I am a bit of a blubbering wreck in amidst it all - ha ha!


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Gavin's response


I think what you're saying is that intellectually, and probably wisdomly and feelingly, you kind of 'know' that all is God, or cosmic intelligence, or Source, or whatever one prefers to call 'that'. And you know that you too, and each of us, is an expression of that. So, if we are 'that', then why are we all so half-complete; why is there suffering?

If I were to postulate and pontificate and speculate, I would probably hazard the following guesses/ideas.

Let's assume that the source of all that is, is what people conceive of as being God. As I recall from the nineteen seventies, in a 33-video course called the Science of Creative Intelligence, by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, he talks about 'Isness'. When Isness starts to reflect upon itself, it creates a three-in-one dynamic: the observer, the observed and the process of observation. I would guess that this is probably the same as Christianity's Holy Trinity - the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And (this is my own conjecture), when that happens there is the first primordial vibration, or sound: probably what has been referred to as the Amen, Om, audible life stream, Word of God, in various religions or philosophies in the world.

In preparation for Isness to diversify and expand itself, and bring into being what we call creation, Isness becomes conscious. And the conscious aspect of Isness makes it intelligent. And it is this intelligence that governs the expansion outwards in an orderly and structured way, according to what we call laws of nature. This is what Wallace Wattles refers to in his book, The Science of Getting Rich, as a 'thinking stuff', and what Maharishi calls Creative Intelligence, which is probably what Christianity calls the Holy Spirit.

Now, if we buy into this story up to this point, then God, in the form of Creative Intelligence, is expanding its essence into multiplicity and diversity. It/He/She is creating life, universes, worlds. And on our world, Earth, it is creating plants, animals, humans. So, in essence, we humans are, as you've suggested, expressions of God.

Thus, everything is, in its essence, what Wallace Wattles calls this 'thinking stuff'. We are, in essence, God creating form from God's own beingness. Every aspect of life is evolving, over aeons. Rocks and water are this creative intelligence made manifest. So are pigeons, dolphins, and we humans. So, both the creationists and the evolutionists are correct, except they seem to see things as either/or. Creation is happening: all that exists is being created, all the time, right from that first stir. And evolution is the manner in which this occurs, the way in which things change and become differentiated and expressed in diversity.

It seems that different 'levels' of creation express different levels of consciousness. It is said that animals have intelligence and can 'know'; but they don't know that they know. Humans know too; but they also know that they know. We have 'self-awareness'. (Baby humans take a while to develop this sense of self.)

I've read that human beings have a nervous system that is evolved enough to be able to experience God-consciousness. This is the stated goal of enlightenment -- to be a living, conscious expression of God, in human form. That is what Jesus Christ is believed to have been. And He said that we too could live in that state.

Now, as I see it, here comes the rub. Right now - for whatever reason, past or present - we are not at that state. We are, in essence, God's consciousness inhabiting human bodies. But our nervous systems have been contaminated from their natural purity because we have choice.

Animals apparently have little or no choice. They must follow their instinct. They are in tune with natural law as it applies to them. They eat when they're hungry and don't eat when they're not. We eat when we're hungry, but we have the intellect to be able to choose to eat beyond satisfying our hunger ... to cultivate a state of obesity and ill-health -- gluttony, which is strongly condemned in religions.

The same applies to every single thing we think, say or do. We have choice. And this choice is what enables us to become part of the creator's process of creating. We can create, through our thoughts and actions. But we can also dis-create when we step outside natural law and lose the plot. Religion calls this sinning, and says that it all started when man became aware that there was such a concept as right and wrong, good and evil, lack of wholeness.

However, whatever the cause of our consciousness being anything less than its full potential, the past is the past, and it is done. We are now in the present and can now do what we currently know to be right. And we have an inbuilt system to help us in that regard - our conscience:

ETYMOLOGY: 13c: French, from Latin conscientia, knowledge within oneself, from 'con', together plus 'scire', to know.

This is the Conscious Mental Attention part of this website's two keys to happiness: to be aware of how we feel. If we feel less than good when we think about something, say something, or do something, that is our inner intelligence - God's consciousness, our conscience - telling us we're off track. That is when we can choose to continue off-track, or to change course there and then so that we do feel good inside. And the three habits - truthfulness, kindness and appreciation - are aimed at helping us fine-tune our ability in such 'self-referral'.

When we reach for that extra helping at dinner, and we feel some unease/guilt inside, that's a decision-point, there and then. The choice is to go ahead, or to stop and give it a miss, and rather to 'follow our bliss' instead of our carnal impulses that are currently coming from a non-whole state of consciousness.

When we start to say something 'gossipy' about someone, and we feel some discomfort inside, that's our cue to stop, there and then. Better still, it is our cue to say something nice about that person. After all, we say that at one level we are all one. So, by criticising some individual expression of divinity, we are in fact judging and criticising a different expression of divinity from the one we are expressing.

Truthfulness makes us feel good about ourselves, and so does kindness. And appreciation helps us steer clear of negativity. Negativity makes us feel less good about ourselves.

So ... to get back to your original question, my take on it is that until all stresses are dissolved, our self-consciousness is not yet fully aligned with, or expressing, our inner divinity. So, while we may know intellectually that 'we are all one', and we are all divine consciousness, and we are all perfect, at our present state of consciousness that is not yet a living reality. Even though we may at times have real experiential glimpses of that state, in the main it is still a mental understanding, a belief, an intuitive knowingness. But we don't necessarily experience it in its totality all the time.

I remember reading once about a family who emigrated from South Africa to Canada because they were scared of the the violence they saw here, and wanted to live somewhere 'safer'. Later, in Canada, they were attacked and killed. As the Law of Attraction people would say, they attracted what they feared most.

All my life, it seems, I have known that what we put our attention on is what we enliven in our lives. I KNEW it in the past, and I know it now. And if it is something we don't like, then that is what we enliven. Yet ... despite my knowing this, I could not see that the things I didn't like, I myself kept alive simply because I would complain about them.

I'm sensitive to sound - like that thump-thump from the sound system in the sports gear shops at the mall. And whenever I heard it, I bitched about it to someone; perhaps the person I was walking with. I didn't say to myself, if you don't like the music, then don't go to that mall ... simple; but just stop bitching about it.

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What Causes Suffereing - Response
by: Gavin, Unlock Your Happiness.com

Gavin's response (continued)

Once one starts to see some light, we desperately want to 'get there'. And when we hear others talking knowledgeably about oneness, and being in the Now, and all those glorious concepts, if we believe that in reality that is how they actually experience life, and we compare ourselves with them, then we can find ourselves suffering, because we want to experience life that way too. "Why can they have that, but I can't seem to experience it?"

What we can do is accept that those concepts about oneness and divinity are true, but only in that state of consciousness where the physical body and nervous system can actually allow our God-essence to flow through us, consciously, in its fullness.

In the meantime, we can do what we know to be right for us in every moment of the day by following our inner prompts for what is right ... what feels truly good. And, we can help our nervous system to become cultured enough to sustain higher states of consciousness, by taking our ego-self-consciousness daily towards universal consciousness in that place where thoughts drop off and we are left in the quietness of the fourth state of consciousness.

Also, we can be vigilant to discard old habits that perpetuate our current fuzzy state of being. And for me personally, that includes not focusing on things I don't like, but rather swivelling my attention around to what I do like. This shifts energies inside and takes us to a better 'place'.

One thing that I think people do find tricky is that when one is suffering physically (illness, pain), it is not easy to shift your attention to something more uplifting, something that feels better. If the headache or the backache is there, it is there, and it pulls our attention to it. But what I have found we can do a little more easily is to not talk about it. That's a good starting point. I'm not suggesting that we deny what is. But we can at least not talk about it. That reduces the amount of attention-energy we give to what we are not happily experiencing.

So ... to end off ... there is some truth in the saying, 'ignorance is bliss'. Once we know there is more to life, and we want to live it, it can be quite a challenge to endure the current reality we experience on a day-to-day basis - be it unhappiness, illness, pain, circumstances. Going beyond thinking is one key worth continuing with (e.g. Conscious Mental Rest). And the other good habit is to shift our attention to something better when we notice that we are giving it to something that makes us feel not so good.

It's a challenge, I know. And I am also not 'there' yet. But the real 'there' is actually right here, in this present moment.

~ Gavin

thanx ...
by: PruJoy

Thank you so much for every one of those many words Gavin - just what I needed to hear & be reminded of right now - OK must finish going thru yr CMA pages ;-)

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