Sherab wrote:I have difficulty with the sort of thesis below. It assumes there is a purpose in life. Why bother to create foolish "souls" and forced them to go through an education process to become wise, especially when the process can be very cruel and involve really extreme suffering? If these "souls" are not created, how did they come about it the first place?
You are trying to figure out that which transcends human knowledge by employing human knowledge. I am reminded of a quote from Catherine of Siena:
I talk about it sometimes with Him, all the suffering in the world.
"Dear God," I have prayed, "how is it possible all the horrors I have seen, all the atrocities you allow man to commit when you – God -- are ever standing so near and could help us? Could we not hear your voice say 'No' with such love and power never again would we harm?"
And my Lord replied, "Who would understand if I said that I cannot bear to confine a wing, and not let it learn from the course it chooses."
But what of a man walking lost in a forest weeping and calling your name for help, and unknown to him he is heading for a covered pit with sharp spears in it that will maim his flesh when he crashes through the trap?
"Yes, why don't I remove every object from this world that could cause someone to weep? Yes, why don't I speak in a way that could save a life?”
I opened up my mouth and the Infinite ran to the edges of space -- and all possibilities are contained therein, all possibilities, even sorrow.
”In the end, nothing that ever caused one pain will exist, No one will begrudge Me. The Absolute Innocence of all within my Creation takes a while to understand."
I prefer a more naturalistic solution where beings come into existence through a random process.
Of course, you are certainly entitled to your preferences, but the concept of “random” is nothing but a provisional human contrivance – something with which to amuse ourselves while asleep in the dream. There are endless theories, but they all dissolve when you drop the meat suit and really see how things are. I also realize that is not a very satisfactory answer, but we are not going to arrive at that answer through intellectual debate, which is ultimately pointless. One thing is certain – there is no religion or philosophy once we have left this rock behind in the rear view mirror. Such pastimes are only for those like us humans who can only guess and speculate about the nature of reality. Once awakened, we will no longer need to indulge in fantasy – it will all be startlingly clear.
cool Cathy story! reminds me of a divertimento I penned lo many a year ago:
A CHAT WITH THE SUPREME DEITY
The other day I showed God a newspaper clipping telling of the latest
massacre: "Ten Million Dead."
"What about this, God.?"
"Don't try to pin that on me, buddy. I gave you all free will , and if
that's what you want to do with it, don't blame me."
"But God, you made us a little too stupid to know what to do with free
will. You made us think (or allowed us to think) that we're separate egos
in competition and conflict with each other, then you give us free will.
Its like teaching a child that everyone is the enemy, then giving him a gun
"I didn't teach you anything, I just created you and plopped you down, and
now I'm having a blast watching youall run around like chickens with your
heads cut off. Once in awhile, one of you paints a great painting, shows
kindness to another, or causes to be built amazing machines, and that's
cool. Sometimes one of you causes millions of human beings to be tortured
and killed. That's cool by me too. What's a movie without a little
"But God, what about love?"
"What do you mean by that?"
"The perception/knowledge that we are not separate egos in conflict, but
rather we are each other, and we are You."
"Hey, now don't you go around agitating with inflammatory notions like
that. If everyone knew that, the whole charade would be over. Look: I'm
going to let you in on a little secret: I Am Infinite Manifestation.
Everything that could ever be, is, and must be, all at once. What you call
time is just a way of slicing the apple, there really is no sequence. Its
all manifesting simultaneously. You just happen to be part of the
manifestation that looks like this here universe, and it is what it is,
because somebody had to be this particular manifestation. Somebody,
somewhere gets to be a pleasure-and-happiness manifestation, and just as
surely, someone else, somewhere else, gets to be a pain-and-suffering
manifestation. You should realize that, to me, it's six of one and
half dozen of the other. Just accept your assignment and know that you are
contributing your bit towards Infinite Manifestation."
"What are you talking about? I'm also infinite Love."
"But what about the suffering?"
"I told you, you bring that on yourselves."
"But you allow it to exist!"
"It's not that I allow it to exist, it *must* exist, as part of Infinite
Manifestation. There's another universe down the pike aways in which free
will is combined with love, but that's them, and you're you. In the
manifestation that you're a part of, free will is combined with fear and
belief in separation . In your particular universe, consciousness wants
happiness and instead creates suffering for itself. Just the luck of the
draw. Like I said, its a tough job, but somebody's got to do it."
"But why, God, why?"
"You're beginning to irritate me. What part of "Infinite Manifestation"
don't you understand?"
"I'm not interested in Infinite Manifestation", I only see human suffering."
"You're too provincial to have an intelligent conversation with. You've got
to see the big picture."
"But God, you made it so we cannot see the big picture."
"Oh yes, you can only see big pictures in that other universe I mentioned.
"Wait, God....I see. We need to experience suffering in order to learn."
"What is it you expect to learn?"
"That we all are, and everything is, at bottom, You."
"But that's always the case anyway. Why would you want to suffer to learn that?"
"We have forgotten, or we are just getting to the point where we can 'wake
up' enough to experience our identity with You."
"But since its just Me anyway, I can only pretend to forget, or pretend to
'wake up'. Where's the learning? Some manifestations will cognize Oneness,
and others won't, 'cause they'll be busy doing something else. You seem to
be overly enamored with ulterior motives and salvation. All manifestation
has no meaning beyond itself: there is no justification, no progression
except as viewed from time, nothing really "happens", everything just "is".
"You're getting too abstract for me."
"Hey, I'm God. If I can't get abstract, who can?"
"Well, I think I'd rather be a creativity-and-happiness manifestation"
"Fine, then that's just what you're meant to be. Go for it."
"But my life is full of suffering."
"Well, then, up to now you must have been choosing to be a
pain-and-suffering manifestation. Like I said, six of one, half dozen of
the other.... It's up to you."
"But God, its because of my relationship, and my family, and my job, and
where I live that I suffer. I don't want to suffer!"
"(sighs and rolls His eyes). Oh boy... (looks at His watch) Listen..., I
have to go get started on this new universe where everybody's gonna spend
all day having sex but secretly be thinking about sitting behind a desk.
See ya later......."
Thoroughly tame your own mind.
This is (possibly) the teaching of Buddha.
"I must finally conclude that this proposition, I am, I exist, is necessarily true whenever it is put forward by me or conceived in my mind."
- Descartes, 2nd Meditation 25