suffering

Suffering is not Necessary for Spiritual Growth

“Life is filled with suffering, but it is also filled with many wonders like the blue sky, the sunshine, he eyes of a baby. To suffer is not enough. We must also be in touch with the wonders of life. Hey are within us and all around us, everywhere, any time.

“If we are not happy, if we are not peaceful, we cannot shape peace and happiness with others. … If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile and blossom like a flower, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace. Do we need to make a special effort to enjoy the beauty of the blue sky? No, we just enjoy it. … Wherever we are, any time, we have the capacity to enjoy the sunshine, the presence of each other, even the sensation of our breathing. … It would be a pity if we are only aware of suffering.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Suffering is Not Enough

Hahn used this title on the first chapter of his book, Being Peace. The quote is from that chapter. As he says, life is full of suffering. If we ourselves are not suffering ,we can look around and see others suffering. We shouldn’t ignore that suffering. Neither should we dwell on it constantly. A spiritual person needs to be a person of joy, peace, and love. We need to look around us and see those things. Changing suffering isn’t done by dwelling on it. We change it by dwelling on the good in life and helping it to expand until it pushes all suffering away.

We all know of many saints, holy people, and spiritual leaders who went through what is called “The Dark Night of the Soul”. Some believe it is not possible to have a spiritual awakening without going through such as experience. This is simply not true. Unfortunately, some young people are intentionally seeking out suffering so they can have their dark night. This is unnecessary, and may actually have the opposite effect to that desired. The person may become hardened and embrace a more materialistic life rather than having a spiritual awakening. Many suffer, most of them do not have a spiritual awakening. Continue reading “Suffering is not Necessary for Spiritual Growth”

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A Better Life of Truth, Wisdom, and Constant Growth

“There’s a common misunderstanding among all the human beings who have ever been on the earth that the best way to live is to try to avoid pain and just try to get comfortable. You can see this even in insects and animals and birds. All of us are the same.

“A much more interesting kind adventurous, and joyful approach to life is to begin to develop our curiosity, not caring whether the object f our inquisitiveness is bitter or sweet. To lead a life that goes beyond pettiness and prejudice and always wanting to make sure that everything turns out on our terms, to lead a more passionate, full, and delightful life than that, we must realize we can endure a lot f pain and pleasure for the sake of finding out who we are and what this world is, how we tick and how our world ticks.” ~Pema Chödrön

Misunderstanding

It’s true, of course. Most beings on this planet, including humans, seek comfort and pleasure as their only goal. Some animals spend all their waking hours seeking food. It is their only comfort, their only pleasure. Some more advanced animals can put up with a little pain if they think it will bring them comfort. A horse will tolerate people riding it because it will get food and a comfortable place to sleep from those people.

But pleasure and comfort shouldn’t be the goal at all. If it was, we are in the wrong place for that. No matter how hard we seek comfort, we will still end up getting diseases, being involved in wars, and eventually dying. We can’t hide from the pains of the material world. Instead, we can choose to accept those painful experiences which will lead us to spiritual wisdom and truth.

A Better Life

A better way to live is to accomplish. Whether you accomplish on the physical level, the spiritual level, or both, we need to accomplish. And in order to truly accomplish, we need to learn. We need to learn about the world we live in. Most of all, we need to learn about ourselves. In order to do that, we can’t live a life of comfort and ease. We have to face challenges. Hiding from pain is not the goal. Both physical and mental pain must be accepted. It is part of the growth process. Continue reading “A Better Life of Truth, Wisdom, and Constant Growth”

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frame of mind

A Proper Frame of Mind for Spiritual Growth

“So long as you are in a confident, determined, serene frame of mind, having some special aim in view based on right and justice, so long are you moving in this way the strongest silent power of your thought in attracting to you the persons you need to cooperate with. If your aim is not based on right and justice, you will still move this silent power of your mind, but it will not affect results so beneficial to you as your thought based on your highest idea of right.

“If you wish to gain through deceit and craft, you can do so. You will attract, by the same law and method, deceitful and dishonest thought in advance of its body. You will than work with the dishonest in the body. Dishonest minds herd together through a natural law.” ~Prentice Mulford

Frame of Mind

Most people don’t understand how important the right frame of mind is. What we think, what we see, what we do is all affected by it. When Columbus landed in America, most of the Native Americans could not see his ships. They could not believe such big boats could exist, so they could not see them. Only when the tribal Medicine Man told them what was there were they able to see it. It sound strange, but this happens to all of us, all the time.

Take the classic example from business and Psychology classes. Three man walk by an empty lot in the city. The land developer sees a spot where a luxury hotel could be built. The social worker sees a place for a neighborhood playground, while the gardener sees a place that could be turned into a neighborhood garden. We could go on with ten others who each see something different depending n their frame of mind.

Spiritual Frame of Mind

In order to truly develop your spiritual self, you need more than a positive mind and a can-do attitude. You need to have a spiritual frame of mind. That means that your spiritual growth must be your top priority. There are many forces in this world that wish to keep us trapped in matter. There are also forth-dimensional dark beings that want to keep us trapped on this level where they can control us. If we don’t make spiritual growth our top priority, we make it easy for them to turn us away from it. A positive and serene frame of mind is good. A spiritual one is better.

Gain Through Deceit

As Mulford notes, it is possible to gain through deceit. By cheating, lying, and basically being a con, you can get wealthy. But even in the material world, this method often causes problems. First, there is something called karma. Those who gain wealth they haven’t earned justly will end up paying for in ways they probably won’t like. They will pay through illness, loss of friends or loved ones, being conned by other cons, and so on. Such people constantly live in fear, and often make irrational decisions because of it.

Of greater concern, however, is the spiritual damage you do to yourself when you operate as a con man. First, deceitful people often reach a point where they even start deceiving themselves. They actually start believing their own lies. And when it comes to spiritual growth, you are not going to get far if you continue to believe lies. Second, even if you have a true spiritual awakening and attempt to mend your ways, it may be very difficult. People who know you as a con are not likely to listen to anything you say. And if you haven’t completely reformed, but are still deceiving some with your business dealings, you will not get any aid from angels, ascended masters, or any other light being on your path. So part of a healthy frame of mind is to always be honest. There are, sadly, many cons operating as preachers and spiritual gurus today. But if you want to experience true spiritual growth, you must be honest and forthright. So start developing that kind of frame of mind now.

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Instruments of God Still Have Free Will

“For God hath not created us for ourselves alone, but to be instruments of His Wonders, by which He desires to manifest His Wonders. The resigned will trust God and expect all good from Him alone; but Self-Will rules itself, for it is broken off from God. … It has gone out of that order wherein He created it, into disobedience, and desires to be its own lord and master.

“When a man’s own will dies from itself, then it is free from sin, for it desires nothing but that which God desires, desires only to do that for which God hath created it and that which God will do by it; and though it must be involved in the doing, it must be the instrument of the Doing, by which God what He will.” ~Jacob Boehme

Instruments of God

Many people don’t like the idea that we should serve God and follow His will. They think they should be able to exercise free will at all times. They want to do everything their way. That is the same attitude that resulted in the great fall.

If you are a computer programmer, you probably will pay a thousand dollars or more to attend some programming seminar taught by a recognized expert on the particular subject. A medical student would do the same with a famous doctor. If you are a welder working on the construction of a new building, you follow the plans of the architect, not your own. Most of us are perfectly willing to listen to a recognized human expert and follow their direction or advice. Yet we don’t like being told to follow the will of God. Even though God is the highest expert in all fields, especially spiritual growth, we don’t want to follow His Plan. But to refuse to do so limits our growth and will likely result in us following the dark being instead, even if we are not aware that we are doing so.

Being instruments of God doesn’t mean we are puppets or play things. It means we are co-creators of a better universe. An instrument of God isn’t being manipulated like a hammer or screwdriver. Instead, God is sharing His great Plan with us so that we can choose to help.

But there are many people in the world. God isn’t going to waste time on the stubborn, egotistical ones. If you refuse to be part of His Plan, he will find someone else who will. Continue reading “Instruments of God Still Have Free Will”

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