Dear Jeanne: Why must we suffer?
The other day someone asked me a rhetorical question: What’s the point of life if all we do is die and come back to suffer again? What’s the point?
We pondered the question from many angles, from the Shamanic perspective, from the Buddhist perspective, from what we’ve personally experienced and learned, but kept coming to the greater question, that being: What’s the point of anything?
What I’ve gained—in doing deep inner work around my own life lived, in doing recapitulation, and in having had experiences beyond the mundane—is a greater awareness of everything as quite the opposite of pointless and instead full of meaning and purpose. Today, I ask, can you clarify for us: What is the point of all our suffering?
The most straightforward answer I can provide is this: Suffering leads to growth.
I follow that up by asking you, My Dear Ones, a rhetorical question in return: How would you even know you were suffering if you did not have something good to compare it to? How would you know that suffering was happening if you did not also know when experiences of the sublime were occurring? In this dichotomy I present the two facets of the meaning of life, for there is indeed great meaning in life. The point is to evolve beyond suffering. But it is only through suffering that the pointlessness of suffering will be revealed and it is only through suffering that the sublime will be revealed as well.
Fathom infinity as endlessness though not as nothingness. In suffering, one may remain endlessly caught in feelings of purposelessness, on the endless wheel of suffering. It is only in having experiences beyond suffering, outside of the wheel of suffering, that one will understand that there is more to life than suffering alone. Suffering is relegated to that realm, to life on earth. There are many other levels of existence. In your spiritual endeavors and in your experiences of life itself you have glimpses of these advanced realms of life; fleeting as they may be, accepted or rejected, they nonetheless occur many times in a lifetime. Life is not subject to life in human form alone, but exists independent of the human form as well.
Perhaps it is best explained this way: the spirit inside every human being knows that life has meaning, that there is a point to all life, to suffering and bliss alike. It is revealed in ways that do not overwhelm. It is revealed in experiences that each one of you can handle, even though you may think otherwise.
I interrupt Jeanne with a thought. Yesterday, Jeanne, I had the clear perception, perhaps clearer than ever, that the recapitulation process is very much like the dying process, that is, as we recapitulate we shed an old self, much the way we shed our human form and leave our body in death. Would you agree?
Yes, I would agree, Jeanne replies.
I go on to state: I agree with you Jeanne that in recapitulating we invariably allow ourselves the opportunity to understand life on a deeper level. In my own process, I began to understand both the Shaman’s perspective and the Buddhist concepts of life and afterlife at a much deeper level of understanding. I could not have fully embraced these new ideas had I not had many experiences during my recapitulation. In fact, recapitulation became my greatest teacher.
Jeanne goes on to say:
Remember, it was your own spirit that urged recapitulation upon you and this is what I speak of when I say that your spirits know how to guide you through life. Your spirits know what you personally must encounter in order to evolve. Your spirits know the challenges that will present you with the means of going beyond suffering as you go through your personal struggles. And yes, you must suffer until you no longer need to.
It is only then that you will understand the point of life—yours personally—including the point of suffering and the point of spiritual evolution. Until then it will all remain a confusing concept, a great mystery; as it should.
If you find yourself caught in the endless cycle of thought regarding life—constantly asking what’s the point or why must I suffer?—you will not evolve. The question itself will keep you attached to the queries of the mind, attached to the idea of suffering and the endlessness of pointless life. Why stay there when you don’t have to? In fact, the first point of life is to fully understand life through your own experiences, and then, through your own experiences, to expand the mind to fully understand mindlessness; the concept of mind without attachment, without grasping, to fully experience open mind without fear.
The job of suffering is to aid you in ridding yourselves of fears so that your dying process—in the many forms of dying that happen everyday, in the death of old ideas and concepts of self and others, for instance—may lead you to greater awareness. Life is not relegated to life on earth alone. That is what your spirit strives to teach you every day. Even your suffering is not really of earthly experiences, but far exceeds your present moment, your present self, and your present situation. Your suffering takes you on journeys far beyond self and the mundane world.
Is not most of your suffering inside you? Where is your suffering really in the world around you? You will find that the world does not deliver your suffering, but merely reflects your inner process, long ago planted inside you. Your inner fears are mirrored all around you. Life is a hall of mirrors. So where is reality? Once you discover that reality is inside you and that you have total control over it, the point of everything else will be revealed.
Work on freeing the self from the hall of mirrors. Face the fear that sends you looking for escape from the endless hall of mirrors. Look at it closely. Realize it is buried inside you, presented in this life but even more deeply embedded from past lives. You will indeed discover that the fears you carry have been carried much longer than you suspect. You carry your life lessons always within. Until you resolve them they will continue to haunt you, reflected in life.
So, what’s the point of suffering? What’s the point of life? The real point is to answer those questions for yourself. What do you think the point is? And believe me, there is indeed a point that will be revealed and the sooner you find out the better you will feel about it, about life, about the self, and about your role in infinity, because that is the ultimate point: you all have a role in infinity, in far greater life than you can now envision. But I can’t really tell you more than that. It’s your journey to figure out, to experience every day that you live upon that earth as you experience that wheel of suffering.
Keep learning about the self. Trust your life’s unfolding and your spirit to guide you on your journey, they know where you must go and why. Solve the riddle of self first, then other riddles will naturally be resolved.
Seek openness, freedom, and fearlessness by facing all the challenges of the self in a deep inner process of not only shedding old life but in seeking new life, a new life full of energy and curiosity. In letting go, in learning what it means to let go of suffering by suffering, you will eventually get the point of it all.
May patience, compassion, and fearlessness be with you.