So many people are so eager and passionate about helping those who are suffering that they lose themselves in others’ pain and end up suffering themselves. The answer? I like this Q&A excerpt from Eckhart Tolle‘s masterpiece, The Power of Now.
But there shouldn’t be any hunger and starvation in the first place. How can we create a better world without tackling evils such as hunger and violence first?
All evils are the effect of unconsciousness. You can alleviate the effects of unconsciousness, but you cannot eliminate them unless you eliminate their cause. True change happens within, not without.
If you feel called upon to alleviate suffering in the world, that is a very noble thing to do, but remember not to focus exclusively on the outer. Otherwise, you will encounter frustration and despair. Without a profound change in human consciousness, the world’s suffering is a bottomless pit. So don’t let your compassion become one-sided.
Empathy with someone else’s pain or lack and a desire to help must be balanced with a deeper realization of the eternal nature of all life and the ultimate illusion of all pain. Then let your peace flow into whatever you do and you will be working on the levels of effect and cause simultaneously.
Is pain truly an illusion? Is suffering a choice? Clearly, any attempt to understand the horrors of war, the injustice of tyranny, and the ravages of disease has its limits; and any purpose behind such incomprehensible suffering may remain beyond the capacity of human beings to grasp. But a purpose we cannot wrap our minds around is a purpose nonetheless.
It is insensitive at best and cruel at worst to present such an argument to those who have suffered horrifically. And yet, even as we honor another’s grief, it is an argument that must be considered, even if it remains unspoken.
We cannot profess that we are co-creators of everything that comes into our lives . . . except this. Or that everything happens for a reason . . . except that. Or that we are being divinely guided in every moment . . . except then.
The first of the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths is that life means suffering. It is true indeed. No one escapes this life without experiencing pain and anguish.The three remaining Truths, however, offer hope and comfort to all souls everywhere: attachment to desire is the cause of suffering; suffering can be overcome; and finally, there is a path of practice that leads to enlightenment and an end of suffering.
The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.
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Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, is a road map for living a more peaceful, beautiful life. It’s the one book that explains how dozens of spiritual principles interact, how to weave them together into a cohesive worldview, and how to practically apply this spiritual wisdom to daily life.
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Phil’s eBook, The Logic of Living a Spiritual Life: Supporting a Life of Faith Through Logic and Reason, is now available for 99 cents.
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In this eBook, you’ll find answers to questions like:
• What is the cornerstone of a spiritual life, and why?
• What is the secret to liberating yourself from other people’s judgments and expectations?
• How do you reconcile the “free will vs. Divine Will” conundrum?
• Why is there an exception to “Everything happens for a reason”?
Those who worship logic instead of God are only half right. Not only is it logical to believe in God and to live a faith-based life, the existence of a loving, benevolent God that governs all creation is perhaps the only systematic worldview that explains every aspect of life.
Phil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent authors and thought leaders he interviewed. The roster of storytellers includes Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Neale Donald Walsch, Caroline Myss, Larry Dossey, Rachel Naomi Remen, Bernie Siegel, Dean Ornish, and Christiane Northrup. Sixty Seconds has been translated into four languages: Italian, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories.
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