Why Do We Suffer?

While sitting in the comfort of ones’ armchair it’s easy to philosophise that whatever comes to us we desire on some level or another. Indeed many ‘new-age’ programmes of self-empowerment revolve around this idea, and certainly it seems to sit very well with the notion of our divinity.

However, when faced with suffering, the idea that it is coming to us only because we want is less appealing. And even more so when it is the suffering of another.

In the midst of suffering it sometimes seems inconceiveable that anyone could want it.

However when one looks back on past sufferings, sometimes one’s perception can change. For example, a past reversal, when seen as part of the bigger picture of a lifetime, might be retrospectively seen as a necessary element in setting the stage for the realisation of a significant event. It comes to mind the typical plot of a Charles Dickens novel. Most of the book being absorbed in descriptions of struggle after struggle for the hero … but in so doing the author is carefully creating the context needed for thorough appreciation and enjoyment of an eventual triumph. If fact, without the preceding struggle, the climax of his story might seem like a non event. He knew what he was doing!

I am not for being judgemental of the reasons for another’s suffering. But perhaps in our own lives it might help to see our struggles and sufferings as necessary context building/setting the stage for realisation of a glorious future event. A glorious event that we want to enjoy thoroughly. And if our sufferings facilitate that enjoyment, one could argue that we want them. Not in of themselves of course – not in isolation – but wanted in context of what they facilitate.

At least this approach to suffering leaves the notion of our divinity intact 🙂