Some will say it is a matter of karma. Others will say the good are tested either to confirm their faith or strength in the character. Or perhaps we live in a random world where things just happen without any hidden hand.
As a teenager with a burning ambition to succeed in life I would often daydream about the exciting possibilities of life. However, my dreams never ever really felt complete when I considered the suffering of so many innocent fellow human beings. I would always ask my self even if I become a billionaire and can afford all material possessions I desire could I ever be genuinely happy? Deep down I believed I could never really be happy if so many other people in the world are so unhappy. My conscience would interfere with images of starving children, people suffering with terminal illness, orphans without protection.
This inner conflict of wanting to be rich and successful on one hand, but feeling that I could not accept personal happiness whilst billions of fellow humans were enduring unimaginable pain and suffering. My sensitivity to these global injustices meant I became politically active from the age of fourteen. My quest like that of so many teenagers was to change the world.
Ironically, I joined the Conservative Party purely because the local Conservative school teacher, who was actually Mauritian, that I met happened to be maverick and free thinking. I always admired people who were willing to take on the established order of things. In truth, as a teenager I was fascinated by Marx and his ideas of social justice. Maybe Marx offered me a way out of my dilemma. I suppose I was thinking if I fought for the underdog, struggled against social injustices I could justify being an apprentice millionaire. This was at at a time when of course I had very little.
The world is full of self-help and motivational books that are intended to bring you an abundant life. But I have never read a book which tells you how to avoid accidents, or terminal illness or death. The end game of our lives was always to be a miserable one. We are born to struggle to make ends meet, we will have many pleasures and beautiful moments, but ultimately we will probably suffer from a terminal disease and die.
What if as has been suggested by wise people throughout all ages that there is a spiritual content to life? What if there really is life after death? If so then we are putting too much emphasis on our physical lifetime. There is enough evidence to lead one to believe that we do not cease to exist because our heart has stopped beating. Quantum physics is discovering that there are parallel worlds which occupy the same space continuum as the physical world. There is no doubt that we live in a holographic universe. What scientists describe as the multiverse. The electromagnetic part of ourselves, which some describe as the spirit, finds itself in one of these other dimensions upon death. Our post life destination is determined by how we have evolved in the physical body. This electromagnetic body being electrical in nature seeks to attach to a like vibration. As our physical thoughts influence our night time dreams so our physical life produces our after life. A few spiritual masters have the ability to project themselves consciously into these other dimensions at the time of death. This is known amongst Indian sages as maha samadhi . Equally, authentic masters have the ability to consciously return to the physical world. That is why the Dalai Lama will tell people where he will be reborn and as whom in his next life.
Suffering and struggle build up character. I have learnt so much more from my failures and moments of sadness than from my successes and pleasurable moments. Suffering produces self awareness. It takes us out of our comfort zone inspiring us to change. I cannot think of a single exception of a truly great man or woman in human history who did not suffer intensely in their lives. Suffering not only purifies us but stimulates us to move away from our superficial wants and back to our fundamental needs.
There are never words to console a parent who has lost a child, or a person who has been the victim of a horrific crime. However, life can be perceived very differently if we accept that death is not the end. My life has been fraught with profound challenges, especially emotional ones. I try to understand my personal suffering as a means to an end. As that which underpins the substance of who I am. People who have had an easy life tend not to be particularly compassionate. It is only when you yourself have genuinely suffered that you can empathise with the pain of others. We should be compassionate to all human beings irrespective of their life situation, whether they be rich or poor, King or pauper. It is compassionate to cherish the good fortune and happiness of people. For in truth you do not know the details of anybody’s life story or the sweat and tears shed to achieve what they have achieved in life. And ultimately we are all united by the same common destination of death.
The whole of existence is pervaded by a secret geometry an underlying harmony. Nothing is random everything has an underlying cause and effect. The darker epochs in our life provide us with the opportunity to build our relationship with God. Prayer is natural and instinctive to all of us. Search for Him in the innermost chamber of your heart. Only then can you see the divine pattern emerging in all your life situations whether negative or positive. In so doing, develop an intimate relationship with the suffering in our lives. Recognising that we will likely never have a greater teacher. The purpose of all religion is to equip your being to help others. Standing in awe before God reminds you of your own fragility. Remembering our fragility leads us to humility which makes us more accepting of life’s daily struggles and imperfections. Of ten it is not the body but the ego that suffers. The ego which believes itself to be beyond and undeserved of any suffering.