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Suffering and the meaning of life


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Showing 1-25 of 62 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 13, 2012 6:45:27 PM PST
A Customer says:
When we go through some real suffering, like watching the illness of a loved one, we are almost always at a crossroads. The pain can embitter us, turn us angry at God or fate or whoever happens to be nearby. Or it can wash away the trivialities of the world that had been holding our affections hostage. Suddenly the idea that you cared who won a football game or American Idol or whatever nonsense seems silly, the suffering has brought home to you what really matters in this life. The scales have fallen from your eyes.

It's one of the cool things about Christianity. It's the only religion on earth that says God knows what it is to suffer, because he did.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 6:54:25 PM PST
God knows what it is to suffer because God is omniscient, no need for God to take human form in order to learn from experience.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 7:42:26 PM PST
Jeff Marzano says:
Here For The Music says:

[God knows what it is to suffer because God is omniscient, no need for God to take human form in order to learn from experience.]

This gets into questions about what did the crucifixion of Christ really mean.

When Christ's parents took him to the temple as a baby the old wise man said:

<< Luke 2:34 >>

Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too."

In other words Christ suffered to allow people to express their free will. He was God present in human form. It's very interesting how the Roman soldiers put a robe on Christ and a crown of thorns on His head to mock Him.

I heard a sermon around Easter time one year in the Catholic Church where the priest said the story of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ isn't about any particular historical period or society. It's the story of two opposing forces who became personified in the lives of individuals. The one force tried to destroy the other but was ultimately unable to do so.

Some people view World War II in a similar way. They feel that Hitler and Stalin were personifications of evil.

It's a sobering thought to believe that Christ has been crucified on countless worlds in the universe which are like our planet Earth. Those planets are doomed probably as our world is.

Of all the books I've read about mysterious subjects here's one that stands out as having changed my thoughts and really my entire life:

Ufo...Contact from Planet Iarga

That book, if you believe it, contains information provided by beings from another planet.

They state that on the day Jesus Christ was killed a gigantic solar flare erupted on the sun and somehow isolated our planet Earth from the rest of the universe.

Who knows. Perhaps this solar explosion started a chain reaction on the sun which will bring on the end of our planet in the not too distant future. Although 'not to distant' in relation to the universe could easily be 1,000 years from now.

"The human race lives for the present, since it really has no future."
- Iargans

Let's not forget the anguish and despair that people cause the animals in our world. I live in northern New York State where hunting is an obsession for some people. I had a family friend the other day proudly show me a picture on his phone of a black bear he had shot.

I finally asked this guy:

"What the hell's wrong with you killing these animals ?"

Rifles. Black powder guns. Shot guns. Razor sharp arrows.

All of the despair the people cause the animals will probably end up destroying us.

I think it's Japan that still hunts whales. They will probably sink under the ocean soon as they almost did with that recent Tsunami.

They're also hunting the blue fin tuna fish into extinction.

Jeff Marzano

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2012 5:28:07 PM PST
A Customer says:
Maybe that's why Godzilla had it in for them.

Posted on Nov 16, 2012 8:03:17 AM PST
A Customer says:
I just got a link to this blog entry on Twitter. It's beautifully written and goes with the idea in the OP.

http://lisabadams.com/2012/11/15/and-yet-the-morning-comes/

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 8:09:37 AM PST
"It's the only religion on earth that says God knows what it is to suffer, because he did."

Well, there's the legend of Prometheus. And Osiris. And Baldur. And Heracles. And...

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 8:14:00 AM PST
G. Heron says:
As an atheist I find suffering something that while inevitable is something which should be reduced as much as possible. I find the mental gymnastics some theists go through to try and put a positive spin on suffering as fascinating but unconvincing.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 9:32:08 AM PST
Well, even though Buddha is not "the God of Buddhism" in all its forms, nonetheless Buddhism is based on the fact that Gautama Buddha experienced the suffering of the world himself and found a prescription for easing it in nonattachment.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 9:58:13 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 16, 2012 9:59:07 AM PST
A Customer says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 10:00:41 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 16, 2012 10:01:09 AM PST
It's not that you wouldn't feel the anguish, but you would have prepared yourself in advance so it wouldn't come as such a shock.

Also even though Buddhists espouse non-attachment, they also espouse right thinking, right speech, right action, etc., so it's not like they're just a bunch of cold uncaring you know whats. Buddha had a lot of sympathy for those who suffer which is why he wanted to share with others his discoveries about how to mitigate it.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 10:14:54 AM PST
A Customer says:
I am not an expert on Buddhism, but my understanding of it is that if you attain the "enlightenment" that Buddha taught of, then you wouldn't experience anguish over the loss of a child, or anyone else in your life.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 10:25:59 AM PST
Detachment is not the same thing as apathy. Detachment in the spiritual sense means not being overly attached to anything here in the physical realm. I don't know of any major religion that doesn't teach this sort of detachment.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 10:32:01 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 16, 2012 10:33:35 AM PST
A Customer says:
Figures the guy who thinks all the world's religions can be thrown in a blender and mixed into a bland smoothie thinks the detachment of someone like Saint John of the Cross (or of course Jesus) can be aligned with Buddha's total detachment from the world.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 10:38:41 AM PST
"all the world's religions can be thrown in a blender and mixed into a bland smoothie"

That's the worst description of what the Baha'i Faith teaches that I have ever seen. Why are you always so unChristian when you defend Christianity? You could certainly use some detachment.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 10:42:20 AM PST
A Customer says:
Nada Doctrine, that's detachment as taught by John. I know it well. And it isn't your religion that I dislike.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 10:42:50 AM PST
Zen also teaches nonattachment to the idea of enlightenment, which would include nonattachment to the idea of not experiencing suffering!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 10:48:48 AM PST
Astrocat says:
Cilantron, that's correct, the myths go back into the mists of time, as the saying goes. Look up "dying gods" and you'll get a very long list of gods who have suffered. It didn't begin with "Jesus".

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 10:51:47 AM PST
Astrocat says:
Arpard, good point. Buddha, who never claimed divinity, was still enlightened, and so became a kind of god in all the truest sense of the word. He began that life as a human being, was enlightened, and ended that lifetime as a highly evolved individual, but still a human being. The same with Jesus, who, if he actually lived, went through a whole series of changes, but still ended the life as a human being, sacrificing his life for the good of others. Buddha did that as well, but he went about it in a less dramatic way, taking 40 years (40 is a highly symbolic number, by the way) in the process.

Posted on Nov 16, 2012 10:52:32 AM PST
Bogus Pomp says:
If your -- loving -- Gawd does exist, then why do we even have physical bodies (that can be damaged and contract diseases etc.) at all? Why didn't Gawd just put everyone in Heaven to begin with and forego all that unnecessary punishment? In a universe created by an all-powerful and -- crucially -- a loving being, suffering need noteth existeth!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 10:52:42 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 16, 2012 10:54:26 AM PST
Astrocat says:
Macheath, Buddha only did that for a few years. It was an experiment, and when he could see it wasn't working, he gave it up and lived a very moderate, very affectionate life, after that.

If you're talking about the woman who had lost a child, the Buddha's teaching to her was very compassionate, bringing home to her the fact that there was no one she met who had not suffered in some sense, that in every home there had been a loss to death, that she was one with the whole and not separated nor afflicted in any kind of isolation.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 11:38:12 AM PST
mrs exp says:
Music,
We are supposed to love God with our whole being, but if my child dies I am going to feel great sorrow. I would not be detached. That wouldn't mean that I loved God any less.
exp

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 11:39:52 AM PST
mrs exp says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 1:15:10 PM PST
Nancy Davison: What makes you so positive that any person named Bhudda actually lived, supposedly achieved some sort of "enlightened" state of a highly evolved human being and did it in exactly 40 years...

Yet you doubt that the man Jesus Christ even walked the area between Galilee and Jerusalem during the governorship of Herod II under the rule of caesars Augustus and Tiberius.

We have so many long quotations of what Jesus said in front of so many witnesses.

Why are you so eager to believe there was a man named Buddha and so resistant to believe there was a man named Jesus?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 1:40:33 PM PST
A Customer says:
If you've seen her posts for long you'll know that she is willing to believe anything from astrology to atoms having consciousness, everything you can think of, with the exception of Christianity.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 1:55:01 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 16, 2012 1:55:16 PM PST
Astrocat says:
Mrs. Exp., that's what the writers of the Christian materials wanted you to think, and what the Catholic church imposed upon the early Christians, and is something many of us categorically reject.
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This discussion

Discussion in:  Christianity forum
Participants:  18
Total posts:  62
Initial post:  Nov 13, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 11, 2012

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