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Is our suffering not such a burden once we do not suffer by its causes or must endure its grip of pain??


When I think about pain and suffering, I remember this line (which is not original with me)

"Pain is inevitable, but misery is optional."

To me, this means that while we all will be visited with pain in some form or other, we don't have to give in to it, or become a victim of it if we can apply some spiritual value to it.

When I was a kid in Catholic school, the nuns taught us that when we suffer pain, we should offer it up. And this means that we use the pain to possible help another by offering the suffering we are feeling for the benefit of someone else. I am not sure how this is supposed to work, I can't really explain it, but it does work - at least for me.

When I was in my 30s and had been divorced from the church for many years, I had a terrible period of time when I was severely depressed and in considerable mental and emotional pain. It was so bad that I turned to a therapist because I could not stop crying. I was truly miserable, and I felt so alone in my pain. It was scary, really. And I had not yet discovered The Urantia Book, and felt truly alone spiritually, but did not even realize it at the time.

And when I went to see him, one of the first things he said to me was "MaryJo, maybe you could offer it up." I was shocked to hear that after so many years, and from this stranger/therapist. But it was like a comforting light went off in my brain and I began to feel better right away.

Maybe it was a harkening back to my childhood days, but I connected with that idea once again. And it really helped me. There is something healing about thinking of someone else who is suffering and offering whatever value is in that pain I am feeling for their benefit. It makes the suffering holy in a way.

Maybe it is a function of raising one's suffering up out of the strictly personal realm into a space where one thinks that maybe this can be more than just misery...maybe it has some value for someone else.

Whether it does or doesn't, just thinking about it with intention seemed to help alleviate and transform the pain in those days. And even now, if I have a season of pain, I try to remember to offer it up.

Just some thoughts on the subject.

And some great inspiration here, especially the last line:

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148:5.5 “But, Nathaniel, there is much in the Scriptures which would have instructed you if you had only read with discernment. Do you not remember that it is written: `My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction, for whom the Lord loves he corrects, even as the father corrects the son in whom he takes delight.’ `The Lord does not afflict willingly.’ `Before I was afflicted, I went astray, but now do I keep the law. Affliction was good for me that I might thereby learn the divine statutes.’ `I know your sorrows. The eternal God is your refuge, while underneath are the everlasting arms.’ `The Lord also is a refuge for the oppressed, a haven of rest in times of trouble.’ `The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of affliction; the Lord will not forget the sick.’ `As a father shows compassion for his children, so is the Lord compassionate to those who fear him. He knows your body; he remembers that you are dust.’ `He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.’ `He is the hope of the poor, the strength of the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, and a shadow from the devastating heat.’ `He gives power to the faint, and to them who have no might he increases strength.’ `A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax he will not quench.’ `When you pass through the waters of affliction, I will be with you, and when the rivers of adversity overflow you, I will not forsake you.’ `He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and to comfort all who mourn.’ `There is correction in suffering; affliction does not spring forth from the dust.'”


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 Post subject: Re: Suffering
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Suffering, and our response to suffering, affects us personally but also has repercussions for the whole to also respond to and overcome by experiential wisdom gained by the evolutionary trials and errors of adversity.

12:7.7 (138.2) The will of God does not uniformly prevail in the heart of the God-seeking material mortal, but if the time frame is enlarged beyond the moment to embrace the whole of the first life, then does God’s will become increasingly discernible in the spirit fruits which are borne in the lives of the spirit-led children of God. And then, if human life is further enlarged to include the morontia experience, the divine will is observed to shine brighter and brighter in the spiritualizing acts of those creatures of time who have begun to taste the divine delights of experiencing the relationship of the personality of man with the personality of the Universal Father.

12:7.8 (138.3) The Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man present the paradox of the part and the whole on the level of personality. God loves each individual as an individual child in the heavenly family. Yet God thus loves every individual; he is no respecter of persons, and the universality of his love brings into being a relationship of the whole, the universal brotherhood.

12:7.9 (138.4) The love of the Father absolutely individualizes each personality as a unique child of the Universal Father, a child without duplicate in infinity, a will creature irreplaceable in all eternity. The Father’s love glorifies each child of God, illuminating each member of the celestial family, sharply silhouetting the unique nature of each personal being against the impersonal levels that lie outside the fraternal circuit of the Father of all. The love of God strikingly portrays the transcendent value of each will creature, unmistakably reveals the high value which the Universal Father has placed upon each and every one of his children from the highest creator personality of Paradise status to the lowest personality of will dignity among the savage tribes of men in the dawn of the human species on some evolutionary world of time and space.

12:7.10 (138.5) This very love of God for the individual brings into being the divine family of all individuals, the universal brotherhood of the freewill children of the Paradise Father. And this brotherhood, being universal, is a relationship of the whole. Brotherhood, when universal, discloses not the each relationship, but the all relationship. Brotherhood is a reality of the total and therefore discloses qualities of the whole in contradistinction to qualities of the part.

12:7.11 (138.6) Brotherhood constitutes a fact of relationship between every personality in universal existence. No person can escape the benefits or the penalties that may come as a result of relationship to other persons. The part profits or suffers in measure with the whole. The good effort of each man benefits all men; the error or evil of each man augments the tribulation of all men. As moves the part, so moves the whole. As the progress of the whole, so the progress of the part. The relative velocities of part and whole determine whether the part is retarded by the inertia of the whole or is carried forward by the momentum of the cosmic brotherhood.

8)


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On the function and blessings of suffering as a repercussion of the experiential origins of evolutionary ascendency:

32:3.10 (361.5) The fact of animal evolutionary origin does not attach stigma to any personality in the sight of the universe as that is the exclusive method of producing one of the two basic types of finite intelligent will creatures. When the heights of perfection and eternity are attained, all the more honor to those who began at the bottom and joyfully climbed the ladder of life, round by round, and who, when they do reach the heights of glory, will have gained a personal experience which embodies an actual knowledge of every phase of life from the bottom to the top.

32:3.11 (361.6) In all this is shown the wisdom of the Creators. It would be just as easy for the Universal Father to make all mortals perfect beings, to impart perfection by his divine word. But that would deprive them of the wonderful experience of the adventure and training associated with the long and gradual inward climb, an experience to be had only by those who are so fortunate as to begin at the very bottom of living existence.

8)


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The UB is so...Zen...

https://beingzen.com/four-noble-truths/

O:) :idea:


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8. The Buddhist Faith

94:8.1 (1036.3) To become a Buddhist, one merely made public profession of the faith by reciting the Refuge: “I take my refuge in the Buddha; I take my refuge in the Doctrine; I take my refuge in the Brotherhood.”

94:8.2 (1036.4) Buddhism took origin in a historic person, not in a myth. Gautama’s followers called him Sasta, meaning master or teacher. While he made no superhuman claims for either himself or his teachings, his disciples early began to call him the enlightened one, the Buddha; later on, Sakyamuni Buddha.

94:8.3 (1036.5) The original gospel of Gautama was based on the four noble truths:

94:8.4 (1036.6) 1. The noble truths of suffering.

94:8.5 (1036.7) 2. The origins of suffering.

94:8.6 (1036.8) 3. The destruction of suffering.

94:8.7 (1036.9) 4. The way to the destruction of suffering.

94:8.8 (1036.10) Closely linked to the doctrine of suffering and the escape therefrom was the philosophy of the Eightfold Path: right views, aspirations, speech, conduct, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, and contemplation. It was not Gautama’s intention to attempt to destroy all effort, desire, and affection in the escape from suffering; rather was his teaching designed to picture to mortal man the futility of pinning all hope and aspirations entirely on temporal goals and material objectives. It was not so much that love of one’s fellows should be shunned as that the true believer should also look beyond the associations of this material world to the realities of the eternal future.


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MaryJo... "Pain is inevitable, but misery is optional."

What a great statement. thank you
Al


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Hello Al...always so nice to see you here.

Yes - as I said, that statement is not original with me, but it still rings truth bells for me whenever I hear it or think about it.

All the best...

MaryJo


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maryjo606 wrote:
Hello Al...always so nice to see you here.

Yes - as I said, that statement is not original with me, but it still rings truth bells for me whenever I hear it or think about it.

All the best...

MaryJo


Yes, that rang like a gong for me while reading it just now! Good one, thanks


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Yes...it is our response to suffering (as well as disappointment and frustration and failure) that delivers and determines our experiential wisdom, and life's priorities and our philosophy of living.

We cannot choose what happens perhaps, but we always choose our personal response to whatever happens.

Our "response-ability" is key to personal progress.

https://forum.truthbook.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5029

8)


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This topic is excellent and has been thoroughly discussed down through the centuries... it reads a bit like the book of Job. But there is a quote which I can't find which MaryJo quoted regarding tribulation and difficulties, something like "What is it to a child of the Father if everything fails, etc." I should have memorized it when I read it, and now I can't remember enough of it to even find it. I'm sure most of you know where it is found.

But that is the point isn't it, learning to transcend difficulty and disappointment through faith and knowledge of the Love of the Father? Isn't all of our learning and growth centered on trust in Him no matter what? And that trust continues to grow at all levels of reality and frees us from the burdens of suffering and the vicissitudes of our mortal existence? And here we are even talking about suffering in the morantia worlds! So evidently our faith and trust is tested in order to strengthen us for our continued progress onward.

I personally have had to endure a lot of physical pain and discomfort in my life, but there are so many who have had to bear much more than I, and the fact that so many, most of them in fact, are able to smile through their tears and choose to be of service to others in spite of their difficulties is a great testimony to their determination not to surrender to despair and misery.

We can discuss the theory and theology of suffering all we want, but like all things, it is the experiential process that brings everything into focus, separating the wheat of true reality from the chaff of temporality. If the Master says we live in a friendly universe then we really do live in a friendly universe and that fact eclipses ALL other things.

Physical pain, psychological pain, anguish and fear certainly seem to be real enough when we are in the midst of those kinds of difficulties, but the fact that they can be transcended by faith demonstrates that these trials are temporal.

All things, positive or no, are grist for the mill of the individual who trusts in the love of the Father, and as mentioned previously, we can't avoid suffering but we don't have to choose misery! No one, especially God, makes us wallow in misfortune. One of the most liberating lessons I learned from the UB is that God doesn't punish us, but as the lesson in the book of Jonah brings out: "They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy" and a lot of the pain we suffer is a result of beating ourselves up for mistakes and failures.


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Nice response...thanks, Al

Maybe you're thinking of this passage:

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100:2.7 (1096.4) Jesus portrayed the profound surety of the God-knowing mortal when he said: “To a God-knowing kingdom believer, what does it matter if all things earthly crash?” Temporal securities are vulnerable, but spiritual sureties are impregnable. When the flood tides of human adversity, selfishness, cruelty, hate, malice, and jealousy beat about the mortal soul, you may rest in the assurance that there is one inner bastion, the citadel of the spirit, which is absolutely unassailable; at least this is true of every human being who has dedicated the keeping of his soul to the indwelling spirit of the eternal God.


This one surely is rest for the weary of body, mind, or spirit. When we know who we are and where we are going, just about anything becomes bearable.

Merry Christmas!!!

MaryJo


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maryjo606 wrote:
Nice response...thanks, Al

Maybe you're thinking of this passage:

Quote:
100:2.7 (1096.4) Jesus portrayed the profound surety of the God-knowing mortal when he said: “To a God-knowing kingdom believer, what does it matter if all things earthly crash?” Temporal securities are vulnerable, but spiritual sureties are impregnable. When the flood tides of human adversity, selfishness, cruelty, hate, malice, and jealousy beat about the mortal soul, you may rest in the assurance that there is one inner bastion, the citadel of the spirit, which is absolutely unassailable; at least this is true of every human being who has dedicated the keeping of his soul to the indwelling spirit of the eternal God.


This one surely is rest for the weary of body, mind, or spirit. When we know who we are and where we are going, just about anything becomes bearable.

Merry Christmas!!!

MaryJo


Yes, that's the quote! Thanks MaryJo and a Happy Christmas to you and yours and all who have a chance to read this!


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The quote that follows is also really good!

100:2.8 After such spiritual attainment, whether secured by gradual growth or specific crisis, there occurs a new orientation of personality as well as the development of a new standard of values. Such spirit-born individuals are so remotivated in life that they can calmly stand by while their fondest ambitions perish and their keenest hopes crash; they positively know that such catastrophes are but the redirecting cataclysms which wreck one’s temporal creations preliminary to the rearing of the more noble and enduring realities of a new and more sublime level of universe attainment.


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So...I think it is that personal suffering has but one antidote and cure; which may not prevent suffering but certainly alleviates the misery of our suffering. That is our personal faith and response to the Deity Connections within.

The cure for social suffering from the evils of false liberty and self importance (my wants and my freewill are more important than yours - me first and right now!!) - is the love and mercy and kindness that flows through persons of such faith to others.

Our faith cures our own suffering and relieves the suffering of others, both those nearby in proximity and those far from us in distance AND time! The effects of loving service and mercy ministry are eternal and reach all other beings by their rippling causation in time and their Deity repercussions through the Supreme.

Faith. Trust. Anticipation. Quivering on the brink....

32:5.7 (365.3) There is in the mind of God a plan which embraces every creature of all his vast domains, and this plan is an eternal purpose of boundless opportunity, unlimited progress, and endless life. And the infinite treasures of such a matchless career are yours for the striving!

32:5.8 (365.4) The goal of eternity is ahead! The adventure of divinity attainment lies before you! The race for perfection is on! whosoever will may enter, and certain victory will crown the efforts of every human being who will run the race of faith and trust, depending every step of the way on the leading of the indwelling Adjuster and on the guidance of that good spirit of the Universe Son, which so freely has been poured out upon all flesh.

8)

Our faith does not remove the uncertainties of life or the vicissitudes and struggles of life or the disappointments and failures. But it does make us indomitable and adventurous and able to overcome adversity and to feast and fatten on all of those crucible of wisdom tempering by trial and error and the hammer and anvil of experiential progress in time.


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3:5.4 (51.3) Said Jesus: “My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than all; and no one is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” As you glimpse the manifold workings and view the staggering immensity of God’s well-nigh limitless creation, you may falter in your concept of his primacy, but you should not fail to accept him as securely and everlastingly enthroned at the Paradise center of all things and as the beneficent Father of all intelligent beings. There is but “one God and Father of all, who is above all and in all,” “and he is before all things, and in him all things consist.”

3:5.5 (51.4) The uncertainties of life and the vicissitudes of existence do not in any manner contradict the concept of the universal sovereignty of God. All evolutionary creature life is beset by certain inevitabilities. Consider the following:

3:5.6 (51.5) 1. Is courage—strength of character—desirable? Then must man be reared in an environment which necessitates grappling with hardships and reacting to disappointments.

3:5.7 (51.6) 2. Is altruism—service of one’s fellows—desirable? Then must life experience provide for encountering situations of social inequality.

3:5.8 (51.7) 3. Is hope—the grandeur of trust—desirable? Then human existence must constantly be confronted with insecurities and recurrent uncertainties.

3:5.9 (51.8) 4. Is faith—the supreme assertion of human thought—desirable? Then must the mind of man find itself in that troublesome predicament where it ever knows less than it can believe.

3:5.10 (51.9) 5. Is the love of truth and the willingness to go wherever it leads, desirable? Then must man grow up in a world where error is present and falsehood always possible.

3:5.11 (51.10) 6. Is idealism—the approaching concept of the divine—desirable? Then must man struggle in an environment of relative goodness and beauty, surroundings stimulative of the irrepressible reach for better things.

3:5.12 (51.11) 7. Is loyalty—devotion to highest duty—desirable? Then must man carry on amid the possibilities of betrayal and desertion. The valor of devotion to duty consists in the implied danger of default.

3:5.13 (51.12) 8. Is unselfishness—the spirit of self-forgetfulness—desirable? Then must mortal man live face to face with the incessant clamoring of an inescapable self for recognition and honor. Man could not dynamically choose the divine life if there were no self-life to forsake. Man could never lay saving hold on righteousness if there were no potential evil to exalt and differentiate the good by contrast.

3:5.14 (51.13) 9. Is pleasure—the satisfaction of happiness—desirable? Then must man live in a world where the alternative of pain and the likelihood of suffering are ever-present experiential possibilities.

8)

102:2.3 (1119.8) It is difficult to identify and analyze the factors of a religious experience, but it is not difficult to observe that such religious practitioners live and carry on as if already in the presence of the Eternal. Believers react to this temporal life as if immortality already were within their grasp. In the lives of such mortals there is a valid originality and a spontaneity of expression that forever segregate them from those of their fellows who have imbibed only the wisdom of the world. Religionists seem to live in effective emancipation from harrying haste and the painful stress of the vicissitudes inherent in the temporal currents of time; they exhibit a stabilization of personality and a tranquillity of character not explained by the laws of physiology, psychology, and sociology.

8)

26:5.3 (291.3) That, then, is the primary or elementary course which confronts the faith-tested and much-traveled pilgrims of space. But long before reaching Havona, these ascendant children of time have learned to feast upon uncertainty, to fatten upon disappointment, to enthuse over apparent defeat, to invigorate in the presence of difficulties, to exhibit indomitable courage in the face of immensity, and to exercise unconquerable faith when confronted with the challenge of the inexplicable. Long since, the battle cry of these pilgrims became: “In liaison with God, nothing—absolutely nothing—is impossible.”

8)

100:6.3 (1100.5) The marks of human response to the religious impulse embrace the qualities of nobility and grandeur. The sincere religionist is conscious of universe citizenship and is aware of making contact with sources of superhuman power. He is thrilled and energized with the assurance of belonging to a superior and ennobled fellowship of the sons of God. The consciousness of self-worth has become augmented by the stimulus of the quest for the highest universe objectives—supreme goals.

100:6.4 (1100.6) The self has surrendered to the intriguing drive of an all-encompassing motivation which imposes heightened self-discipline, lessens emotional conflict, and makes mortal life truly worth living. The morbid recognition of human limitations is changed to the natural consciousness of mortal shortcomings, associated with moral determination and spiritual aspiration to attain the highest universe and superuniverse goals. And this intense striving for the attainment of supermortal ideals is always characterized by increasing patience, forbearance, fortitude, and tolerance.

100:6.5 (1100.7) But true religion is a living love, a life of service. The religionist’s detachment from much that is purely temporal and trivial never leads to social isolation, and it should not destroy the sense of humor. Genuine religion takes nothing away from human existence, but it does add new meanings to all of life; it generates new types of enthusiasm, zeal, and courage. It may even engender the spirit of the crusader, which is more than dangerous if not controlled by spiritual insight and loyal devotion to the commonplace social obligations of human loyalties.

100:6.6 (1101.1) One of the most amazing earmarks of religious living is that dynamic and sublime peace, that peace which passes all human understanding, that cosmic poise which betokens the absence of all doubt and turmoil. Such levels of spiritual stability are immune to disappointment. Such religionists are like the Apostle Paul, who said: “I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else shall be able to separate us from the love of God.”

100:6.7 (1101.2) There is a sense of security, associated with the realization of triumphing glory, resident in the consciousness of the religionist who has grasped the reality of the Supreme, and who pursues the goal of the Ultimate.


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