I feel like rambling on today so I’m posting this. I was reading earlier about a person who’s cat died recently and I was struck by how deep his feelings were for the animal and how much it hurts when someone or something you love is taken away. Maybe I’ve just been down lately but I see pain and suffering everywhere. War in Iraq. Thousands of innocent people killed. People actually dying of hunger. Its 2005 and people still die because they can’t get enough to eat. So much more. Then there is plain old domestic pain…families fighting, robbery, rape. Fathers leaving their children to fend for themselves. Divorce. Child abuse. The simple, slow death of people dragging themselves to a job they hate every single day because if they don’t they and their famlies will suffer. You have to love that concept…work doing something you hate until you are too old to work anymore. And that’s if you can even find a job. They increased the retirement age in the US to 67 to add more years of it. Everywhere around me when I look is suffering and pain with many shades of gray. The guitar checker working hard in the corner, worried that his music won’t be loved and his band won’t succeed (they don’t, and it won’t). The insecure and desperate manager trying so hard to keep up with a job that throws more at him than he can handle. Suffering is on in this world by default like the Windows screensaver.
I guess I want some answers here and none are to be had. Billions of people have come and gone since the dawn of humanity and from what I can see we’re no closer to understanding why we must live and die in suffering in this life than when it started. Jesus had a lot to say about it and so did Buddha and others but their lot focused on how to live, not why we must suffer. Buddha taught that we must let go of our need to accumulate possessions and things to find happiness but that in itself seems like suffering to me as well; if perhaps less of it. Christianity teachs that Christ suffered and died for our sins so we can all get into heaven. Wouldn’t it have been easier to not close the gates in the first place? He made us, why the surprise that it turned out this way? And why the seemingly arbitrary rule that Christ had to suffer and die to save us? God’s making the rules here…if the Christians have the right religion than I think God must be completely insane. And if god is omnipotent than he knew this was all going to happen right from the beginning and did it anyway.
I have a hard time reconciling the concept of an all-powerful diety that created all of existence making it so that the principle focus was pain and suffering. Assuming there was some purpose to it couldn’t the creator have simply drafted a universe in a state that would exist after we had passed whatever sick test is in place? After all, he is all powerful, right? Even if the concept makes no logical sense (ie reaping the benefits of whatever lesson suffering teaches without having actually endured suffering) an omnipotent god can do anything without limit. He could have made a universe of happines and satisfaction. He could have made us creatures that take pleasure in anything. Instead we are a group of selfish monsters. Our own comfort takes presidence in this life because it is so hard to come by. Nobody wants to share in a world of limited comforts and unlimited pain.
Hmm, how to word this without sounding overly simplistic? Imagine, if you would, a perfect existence. You are a 3 dimensional point of energy and you do nothing aside from exist. By virtue of your existence you feel emotionally fufilled, ecstatic and jubulant at all times. It is not necessary for you to move, eat, think, or do anything at all and yet you are happy. A loving, benign god would create a universe like that, not the pit of despair we exist in now. Whatever lesson or teaching we are supossed to be learning from suffering could have been incoporated into the fundamental “stuff” that makes us what we are right from the beginning. A true all powerful creature could even create a universe where we did actually go through the suffering…and yet didn’t. A paradox for sure, but there are no limits, even logical limits, to an omnipotent god.
I guess I’m sort of burning with rage at the percieved unfairness of everything. At least in most games you know the rules. Here you don’t even get that much and our greatest disagreements stem from trying to settle on how to live and why. A kind and loving god would help us out here and I see no evidence of it aside from wishful thinking. I want some answers from whatever force has put us here.
Boy…how disappointed will I be if I die and still don’t get the answers I’m looking for?