We have certain special days such as birthdays, New Years and Christmas where we celebrate and have as much fun as possible.
Unfortunately, for a large portion of the globe there is not much to celebrate for there is always some catastrophe being reported in the news that can be depressing with which to identify.
This causes many to feel somewhat guilty about feeling a little joy and showing it in celebration during times devoted to good cheer, but consider this. If one is looking for a reason to be mournful then there are many reasons right in front of us.
Every year there are over 200,000 people worldwide killed in car crashes. Many times this number are seriously injured, thousands suffering a fate worse than death with crippling injuries.
Perhaps just as disturbing is the fact that only one in six worldwide have access to a car to even have a chance at having an accident.
If you really want to be disturbed consider that around 60 million people, many of them young children, die each year from starvation. Which death would you prefer, a quick death from a Tsunami or the slow painful death of starvation?
Which should cause the most concern, 120,000 deaths from a quick downing as happened in the Tsunami in Indonesia or 500 times that number who meet a slow agonizing death of starvation?
The sad thing is there is little we can do to prevent deaths from a natural disaster, but to prevent death from starvation is within our control.
At any given moment there are millions of individuals on the earth experiencing intense suffering verging on death.
Does this mean that if one is sensitive that he will spend every living moment in a mournful state with no room for joy and celebration?
How should a spiritual person handle the pain and suffering that is always in the world? Should he feel guilty about eking out a little happiness for himself?
The answer lies in why we are here to begin with. The reason the life of God reflected itself and came into mortal existence was to the end of having joy through the experience of overcoming. To receive this priceless joy, one must first understand and experience pain and suffering and, once it is understood, it is then overcome and joy comes to him who thus overcomes. Here are some interesting scriptures concerning the rewards of overcoming:
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
“To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” Rev 2:7
“He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death” Rev 2:11
“Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.” Rev 3:12
“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” Rev 3:21
“He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” Rev 21:7
And what is that which we need to overcome?
All things that stand in the way of eternal joy and happiness.
Now the interesting thing is that one would think that individual pain and suffering is the biggest obstacle, but for many who are of a sensitive empathetic nature this may not be true. For many, the suffering of others bothers them more than the suffering of themselves. The problem for these people is that they can often see the way to end their own suffering but are powerless to end the suffering of others.
Suppose you have a friend who is suffering a disease that could be corrected with a change in diet or habits. You make suggestions but he does not listen and continues to suffer through his own ignorance. You are powerless to make him change and he continues to suffer. Should you suffer along with him?
Now let us look at suffering from the vantage point of a Master. To him all suffering (as human understanding goes) does not have to be endured and can be transcended with a little knowledge and spiritual ability and attention. They are willing to help us make that transcendence, but few humans are willing to give heed. Should therefore, the Master be obligated to suffer along with us because of our own limitations?
The answer is no. Not only should the Master not suffer because of us but none of us should suffer because of the suffering of others.
Does this mean that the solution to such empathetic suffering is to be hard-hearted and ignore the suffering of others as if it did not exist?
No. Of course not.
The solution is given in the phrase “isolated unity.” Of this DK writes:
“We come again here to those contradictory and beautiful words: Isolated Unity. When one is isolated from form attachments and when one is freed for identification with the life aspect, then one can know the true meaning of unity, then one is released from pain and one is free to release others also.” Discipleship In the New Age Vol 2, Page 650
Few have truly mastered this principle of isolated unity, but even so it is of worth for all of us to contemplate as a seed thought. The reason for its importance is that we cannot obtain the freedom to experience joy and happiness unfettered by emotional disturbance without it.
As individual entities we are isolated from attachment to other people’s problems, but as beings unified through the Oneness Principle, we understand the need and respond to it in a realistic way.
There is a big difference in the effectiveness of he who is weighed down with empathy and attachments to other people’s problems and the disciple who has attained isolated unity.
The empath is often so weighted down with grief that he is unable to offer any help other than symbolic support. The disciple, on the other hand, is isolated from the pain of others, yet understands the pain because he has been there in the past and this person truly sees effective ways to help and does help as the opportunity presents itself.
So, what does he who sees the true path of service do to assist those who are in pain and suffering?
First, what he does not do is assume a judgmental attitude of superiority and think something like the following to those who suffer:
“He brought it upon himself.”
“If he wasn’t so lazy and would just get a job.”
“He must deserve this because of his karma (or something else) so I’ll leave him to his fate.”
“It’s God’s will.”
“If he just did what I told him he wouldn’t have had the accident.”
The second thing the disciple does not do is attempt to bite off more than he can chew and help everyone. He realizes his limitations and works within them and thus accomplishes much more than the one who scatters his energies.
On the other hand, what the disciple does do is:
(1) Intelligently help those who are in his immediate sphere of influence. If everyone just did this one thing to help then most of the life forms in the entire universe would have assistance.
(2) Assist the various benevolent organizations that assist the downtrodden on a larger scale. This will help fill the gap created by the many individuals who ignore the legitimate needs of those within their sphere.
(3) Realize that the greatest help one can give is to help others to help themselves. When a window is open for this type of assistance one should take it, for this help is much more long lasting than a temporary gift.
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. Even so, the greatest assistance is to lead the willing to water. When the thirst is great enough, they will drink on their own initiative.
“Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.” Thomas H. Huxley (1825 – 1895)
Jan 1, 2005
Copyright by J J Dewey
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