The Nature of Suffering

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Marion
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The Nature of Suffering

#1 Postby Marion » Thu Jul 10, 2014 7:44 am

Shalom Brothers and Sisters in the light of the One who was and is and is to come!

Recently I was contemplating suffering. I was considering the advances in technology. For instance how we no longer use mules to plow our fields, we no longer have to draw water from the well. Does this necessarily end that suffering? or is it merely transferred? Like how now, we have bills to pay and computers to fix. It seems to me that in this world, suffering never gets "better." It merely transferres itself to something else. Therefore, whatever we're dealing with today or tomorrow is a piece of this vast fabric of suffering. We are in no way unique and we are connected in our suffering. I think of it often like a huge cosmic sheet. Each of the threads criss crossing one another represents individual suffering. You can see that they all look the same. There is no difference between this suffering and that suffering. So what is there to be done?

We cannot change suffering in this world. We have to transform it. What if in the midst of our suffering, we thought about all of the other people who are experiencing that exact same thing. Then if we can, think about everyone who experienced that during the whole day, then the week, then the month, then the year, then all of eternity. This contemplation certainly transforms the feeling that "I'm the only one this has ever happened to. It begins to expand our awareness and invokes love and compassion for others.

There is an interesting thing that happens when we expand our view like this. We begin not to suffer so much. There is the pain of course. But now, we have so many friends in so many lands. How could things possibly be so bad? Now this is interesting, because this is what allows us to see beyond the pain and the suffering into something greater, and that is Gods plan. Gods plan is so great when we're stuck in a tiny world view, it's impossible to see. But now, since we have love in our heart and we are looking toward God, we may be able to glimpse a bit of this plan.

This contemplation is the antidote to the "poor me" syndrome.

Praise God for revealing your goodness and your truth. Praise God!

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Re: The Nature of Suffering

#2 Postby Elder Sarah » Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:06 pm

Shalom Sister Marion,

Blessings in the dance of the Holy Shekinah!

In praying and contemplating regarding your observation this morning I am watching a new insight arise in regards with how we work with trials and tribulation, in how we work with suffering. As you say, how important it is to remove the focus on self and redirect toward a focus on others. The question though becomes how we actually do this? In action, in manifestation? In this, I would add to your observation, how important it is to see the good, and perhaps even shift our focus from suffering to what is good in life and how we have been blessed. Perhaps a large part of the nature of suffering is the tendency in us to over focus on suffering itself. It reminds how we can notice "news" here often circles suffering rather than what is good. Studies have even proved showing what is "good" on the evening news attracts less viewers than showing suffering. So, as light bearers here, we have to swim up stream, we have to switch the view in us.

I also hear an idea of setting down the fight. We often fight against what we struggle with, face to face, going at it head on. What if we get more sneaky, go at it in a round about way? I was just speaking with a sister this morning about this very idea. This sister brought up a beautiful metaphor, which I just loved in this context. She used the example of swimming and how when one really gets into the flow of swimming, the body itself begins to turn into something of a cork screw. She went on to explain, within this cork screw like action, a sort of eddy begins to form. I heard this "eddy" or "current" as a pocket one can abide in regardless of the flow one finds themselves in. This pocket then becomes a sanctuary of sorts that can even assist the movement of the body through the water. In this way, instead of fighting the water to move body through it, one uses the physics of how water and currents work to move through in an effortless way. What if we go at life this way? using what arises as means to power through what is happening?

We hear in the teachings of Abraham that the Shekinah moved before him, The Holy Shekinah herself taking up the battle. Perhaps, combined with the swimming analogy, the struggles life gives us become the vehicles for the Shekinah to enter in and move before us. In other words, these movements in life become as fuel for the Shekinah to take up and dance. In this way, I am not sure we can afford to focus too much on suffering. While it is good to notice and pray about, after that though it is good to redirect and use what is happening in a positive and uplifting way. It seems this is how we can direct prayers toward others, in action. This requires setting a good example, and being as a sign of hope. I think this is taking responsibility for our own energy and recognizing our energy effects those around us. What effect do we want to have?

May all of those this day who desire you, Oh Holy One of Being, turn toward you and manifest their desires!

Shalom,
Elder Sarah

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Re: The Nature of Suffering

#3 Postby Yonah » Sat Jul 12, 2014 9:07 am

Greetings Sisters!

Beautiful insights and very timely.

Thank you so much Elder Sarah for practical suggestions and ideas on how to work through suffering.

I saw Marion’s post yesterday and have been contemplating in my own life and in the world. I think that you are right that suffering is not something isolate to an age or a people group. Its potential seems to be part of the human condition. I think there are two main reasons for this – the first is that we live in a world of admixture with bodies that do become ill and eventually pass and the second is the illusion of separation that makes us feel alone in our struggles.

I’ve been thinking of the nature of suffering within myself. Yes.. there is physical and sometimes emotional pain, but I have also noticed that whatever actual pain there is becomes exaggerated when two of my interior stars get involved in the process. When the root star becomes agitated and not connected with the others, there is often an extreme emotional blowing up of an issues: “it’s never going to go away”, “my life will never be the same”, and even “am I going to die”? There are, of course, physical issues that could be life threatening, but I believe that even minor issues that our ego blows way out of proportion. I believe the other star that sometimes becomes agitated is my solar plexus. In Western society we are taught to be “in control”, so when there is a situation that causes suffering I have had the experience of my 3rd star being out of balance and wanting control. This feeling alone and without any control over the situation then turns our emotions in on themselves and yet again the situation becomes filled with drama and unneeded worry.

I believe that when both of you mention the idea of realizing we are not alone, it is the process of joining these other stars in balance with the heart star. When we realize we are not alone and that others are suffering with the same issue we are (or even bigger issues), then it takes our focus off of us and onto loving God and our Neighbor. It is amazing how our energy and worry shifts when we move from our own “problems” to our innate unity with God and that others are in difficult times as well. I believe this shift moves the energy from the lower starts into connection with all stars.

Elder Sarah, when you wrote:
In other words, these movements in life become as fuel for the Shekinah to take up and dance. In this way, I am not sure we can afford to focus too much on suffering. While it is good to notice and pray about, after that though it is good to redirect and use what is happening in a positive and uplifting way.
It seems this is how we can direct prayers toward others, in action. This requires setting a good example, and being as a sign of hope. I think this is taking responsibility for our own energy and recognizing our energy effects those around us. What effect do we want to have?


It makes me think of the teaching on interpreting the dream positively. I have found that suffering (although not fun) often is a vehicle for change in us and as you say, a vehicle for helping others and directing them inward and upward.

I know that for me, Silent Witness, a Partzuf meditation, or Giving and Receiving are all good ways of redirecting this energy in myself. I’m curious what others use or what other practical teachings we can bring forward to assist in this process!

I pray for the least suffering possible, but that all suffering be used for the Glory of God.

Shalom, Yonah
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Re: The Nature of Suffering

#4 Postby sheryl » Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:46 am

We cannot change suffering in this world. We have to transform it. What if in the midst of our suffering, we thought about all of the other people who are experiencing that exact same thing. Then if we can, think about everyone who experienced that during the whole day, then the week, then the month, then the year, then all of eternity. This contemplation certainly transforms the feeling that "I'm the only one this has ever happened to. It begins to expand our awareness and invokes love and compassion for others.


Shabbat Shalom Dear Friends!

As I was reading what you shared, Sister Marion, it came to mind that you are speaking of drawing out the good. Those who are awake, who engage in daily spiritual practicing, who pray for others who are or have or will suffer as they are suffering, become a blessing for this world. They bring light into the karmic matrix. And if the awakened individuals are part of a greater community, the blessing is amplified by the prayers of their friends.

Praise for the Mercy of El!

I recall once years ago in the midst of great suffering, by the Grace of the Holy One, the Lord's Prayer came to mind, and the millions who were praying at that instance. I realized that they were, unbeknownst to them, praying for myself and others who were then lost in suffering.

It seems the real tragedy in our world is not suffering, but the absence of prayer for those who are suffering.

May our prayers reach into the depths, bringing light into the darkness.

With gratitude,

Sheryl

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Re: The Nature of Suffering

#5 Postby BrandonLw » Sun Jul 13, 2014 2:09 pm

Shabbat Shalom!

I am reminded of the teachings around how much suffering arises from subtle and overt distinctions that are not in God’s view, or the angels’ view, but nonetheless understood and perceived as “real.” I am fascinated lately with the Shabbat discourses of late that speak of YHVH as God in what is happening, the God of the arising of reality and all that is in it. I see in my experience that the root of much suffering I know comes from making distinctions and gradations and applying them unconsciously to a fractured arising of a life display. This will manifest for me as commentary like, “I should be ______ , but I am _____.” “The world could be (or so-and-so could be) ______ , but is ______ . How can I fix this?” I appreciate the angle on the transformation of suffering that begins this thread. Our lives are short, and appear and disappear into no-thingness like a thought in consciousness. Pain and grief are much longer lived entities than I am, and it may not be my portion to struggle with them, but neither is it my portion to struggle with joy :) .

Let patience have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:4

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Re: The Nature of Suffering

#6 Postby Yonah » Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:28 am

Greetings Brother & Sister!
Great insights...

Both of you remind me that we are perfect in the mind of God. So, even though we have suffering or difficulty, in God's mind we are perfected and thus, out of time, suffering has ended.

I believe that is what the Scriptures say when they discuss finding joy in all situations... not that pain doesn't hurt, but that we an find joy knowing we are perfected and everything is for the good of God and for us. This is not to diminish that human suffering is still difficult, but it is a way to see through the process.

I see this as a really important discussion because there are so many that are in a place of suffering with no idea how to find their way out of it.
I welcome this discussion and am thrilled to be part of it.

Shalom, Yonah
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Re: The Nature of Suffering

#7 Postby Marion » Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:12 am

Shalom Brothers and Sisters,

I am struck by the contemplation of not accepting the way things are as suffering. I feel like this mentality bars us from doing the things that our soul really wants to do. I was considering the life of Yeshua. He was born poor to a laborer and a housewife. He went through many times of people not believing the message he was trying to bring. Many times, people even tried to kill him. Eventually they did. At any point he could have said, "This suffering is too great." and given up. What would that do? give all of that light, all of that goodness into the hands of the archons and demons. But he didn't and because he didn't we have this beautiful tradition that brings us hope and gives us sanctuary. Praise God!

It also feels as if, the practice of seeing the good naturally banishes dark and hostile forces. It is possible to see the good in even the harshest of circumstances. I am reminded here of the Prophet Elijah after he is fed by ravens, he meets a woman and her son, they are starving because of the drought and are about to die. We are told that she has a little bit of grain and some oil. Elijah takes to little bit of hope she still has and makes sure that it never runs out. To me, this says that God can do amazing this with just a little bit of hope. If we are willing to put it on the table, God has the power to turn that hope into an endless spring. This reminds of Yeshua saying "if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to the mountain 'Move' and it will move. It also reminds me of the samaritain woman at the well. She says to Yeshua "Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

Oh Lord we pray, give us this living water of life, from your Sun Yeshua. Amen.

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Re: The Nature of Suffering

#8 Postby elizabethduval » Thu Jul 17, 2014 7:55 am

Shalom Brothers and Sisters:

I had been visiting the forum this morning to inquire what I could learn about the letter "gimel" for my study of the Hebrew letters. I came across a post under "gimmelprints" with the quote from Tau Malachi stated below:

'Yeshua Messiah does what he sees the Father doing, he does the works of the Father – the works of God; doing the works of God he embodies God and we see God in him, and so it shall be with us when we also do the works of the Father – the Divine will be embodied in the Human One (Adam). What are the works of the Father? They arise from the desire to enact loving-kindness (Hesed), which corresponds to the light of the first day of creation, this Mercy of God, which is the *Light of the Messiah*; these works of the Father, as we see in Yeshua Messiah, are *Gimilut Hasidim*, acts of loving-kindness, deeds so generous that Ha-Shem does not even ask everyone to do them – in fact, they are deeds that must be done on account of love and compassion, and for no other reason, apart from any outward compulsion or any desire to receive; an action of the *Pure Desire to Give*.

There is such an action for every soul to perform, one that, in truth, God will not ask of us, but that the we must look and see for ourselves; this act is the fulfillment of our soul’s mission, our part in the great tikkune (Gadol Tikkune), which brings our soul to its fruition, completion (Gemara). Indeed, acts of loving-kindness, as Adonai Yeshua demonstrates and teaches us, is our soul’s redemption (Geulah). Thus, in the Gospel of St. John, Adonai Yeshua encourages his disciples to Gimilut Hasidim, saying “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (15:12-13)."


It seems that, in my own contemplation of suffering, this has such a relevant meaning! What if our suffering is really God's mercy in preparing us for giving of ourselves in a huge way that we never even dreamed we could possibly do? In my own suffering, I have at times felt overwhelmed by it- but there has also been an underlying peace that I cannot understand or explain. My heart has been in so much prayer for others I am aware of that are going through so much pain at this time. I don't think I would have felt the enormity of this pain and suffering if it was not for my own. It is like I have felt comfort in the pain by praying for those going through pain themselves, and at the same time I am comforted by the prayers of others. It has given me such a deeper understanding and compassion for others. Maybe this could be a perfecting of our souls in order to come to the place that we can truly "lay down our life for our friends". If there is correction on my contemplation, please let me know!

May we all join in and pray for the suffering in this world until the day when there is no more suffering!

Blessings,
Elizabeth

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Re: The Nature of Suffering

#9 Postby sheryl » Fri Jul 18, 2014 7:22 pm

Shalom Dear Sisters!

I am delighting in your insights this evening.

Praise to our Merciful God who hears our prayers and responds according to Wisdom.

A teaching recently encountered was brought to mind by your sharing: when we see and draw out the good, even from the most nightmarish dream or experience, we are seeing and doing what the Father is doing. By seeing the good, and drawing out the good, we are invoking the arising of the most auspicious of circumstances. This is our co-labor with God, being a vehicle to see, to draw out, to enact, the greatest good.

And so I am hearing that when we find ourselves in the midst of suffering, in the midst of trying circumstances, by seeing the good that can potentially arise from our situation - or by seeing the good that can potentially arise from the circumstances of others - and then abiding in faith that this good will arise, we are doing the work of the Father.

Much gratitude and praise for this teaching!

May all work for the good of those who love God and are called according to Divine Purposes.

With gratitude,

Sheryl

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Equity

#10 Postby Elder Gideon » Sat Jul 19, 2014 11:15 pm

Shabbat Eve Shalom:

It was You who established equity--mystery of two cherubim below, who align the world and render it habitable, as has been said. (Zohar 1:232b)

There is so much good that is being drawn out of this subject of suffering. It is necessary that one does so, for to identify only with suffering misunderstands existence. While Kabbalah may anchor the suffering of physical existence in the knowledge of good and evil by the curses Adonai Elohim speaks to the woman and the man, there's an underlying sublimity I hope, with Ma's help, to share.

I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children and cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life (Genesis 3:16-17). The same word in Hebrew for both the woman's pain and for the man's toil is etzev, עצב. I like how in our own language labor applies to both women in birth and men in work. This word etzev is still used for pain receptors in contemporary Hebrew: nerve. However, if this was about physical pain or toil, my instructor taught me that another word would be more accurate: ke'ev. What etzev connotes here in Genesis is beyond physical pain or toil. Etzev means the suffering of grief. Genesis implies that by grief we enter and by grief we endure.

This scripture is spectacularly insightful, for we know that the severity of this moment in Genesis implies another pole, another pillar called "Mercy" but these words cannot be misunderstood according to one's ego. Severity is more than bad times and Mercy is more than good times. The very balance of these IS existence itself. Severity and Mercy are much more abstract than our egotistical point of reference. Particle physicists plumbing the quantum world, for example, now understand that the force of expansion of the Big Bang itself in a stabilizing balance: If particles had expanded too rapidly apart from each other, nothing could bond, the mass fabric of this universe would disintegrate; if too slowly, again nothing could bond, the mass of the fabric would collapse upon itself. A much smaller scale of the same tension exists in an active star: Its nuclear fusion reaction wants to explode the star apart while the gravity of its mass wants to crush it to its core. The reality of the sun as we know it today is literally suspended between these two simple forces of "Mercy" and "Severity".

Our own existence and awareness of reality is suspended between these forces. If we are physically here in the densest, most restricted state of light (matter), it is indeed Severity. Too many identify with its ordeals and long for a better place of freedom. Such freedom, however, will never come until one can find Mercy right here, now where it's most difficult. As with any such misconception of heavens, if my ego believes that Mercy is "nice" and I attempt to bypass Severity, thinking it's "mean", I'll soon find out that Mercy is far more overwhelming than Severity. Speaking this to spiritual sojourners is a delicate matter, for I hear in the way many might idealize enlightenment, "truth", or anything Supernal that their spiritual life and practice might be a mere negotiation with a transcendental ego to get out of here. To even speak the truth of where one actually is, like a grown man or woman, is still too much for many well-meaning practitioners I personally know and for whom I pray. If just confessing and repenting, being transparent with another is hard in this life, what deludes the same dishonest individual to believe that being unguarded without a body in the afterlife will be any easier?

I draw this out to propose the view that we need our experience of suffering here. It is a greater mercy to be incarnate, for it is in one respect easier for all its physical and emotional challenges, then being disincarnate in a hyper-amplified dream state from which there's no waking. It is mercy that we are here in such severity. How we find mercy here is by faith, by view, by attitude looking through it all and beyond. Less am I grasping at a self-flattering, idealized beyond; more am I aware that what is beyond for others is fulfilled, made possible by what I'm doing now. Ironically, or not, faith is a gift given us by the Parent of Faith, whom Sefer Yetzirah calls Binah, the head of the Pillar of what? Severity. Where ignorance sees walls, faith sees windows. However big a picture my consciousness can bear is my portion of faith. To grow this faith is to grow the scope of its picture.

I conclude by citing a conversation we're studying of the rabbis in the Zohar (2:36a) of a phenomenal claim they make of the simultaneity of Severity and Mercy. The rabbis propose that in the tenth plague, "At the same moment the [firstborn] Egyptians were struck [dead], the Israelites were healed [of their circumcision]." A similar principle is at the Red Sea, for while the last of the Children of Israel passed through one end, the other began swallowing Pharoah's army. More moments abound of exactly how Mercy and Severity are simultaneous. If I turn my mind to any moment in scripture, I can see these two forces operating at the same time, every time. What looks apparently terrible leads to something entirely helpful; what looks like such a blessing for one character becomes for others a great curse. As one looks into their own experience, the ambivalence of labeling memories just Severity or just Mercy proves too simple and egotistical. Severity and Mercy are both moving in every memory. This is reality, my friends: Reality As It Is.

May we cleave in the equity You have established.
Within us, may Mercy and Severity align the world and render it habitable.


Elder Gideon

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Re: The Nature of Suffering

#11 Postby sheryl » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:29 am

Shalom Elder Gideon,

Thank you for this teaching! Praise to She from whom all blessings flow!

My thoughts have been dancing around what you have shared.

It was You who established equity--mystery of two cherubim below, who align the world and render it habitable, as has been said. (Zohar 1:232b)


Thank you for bringing in this quote from Zohar. I believe the blessed Rabbis use the word justice in this discussion, a word whose meaning in my understanding was corrected in this section of Zohar. If my contemplations are recalled correctly, a very simple thought is arising.

Praise to the Giver of All!

Justice is making what was unrighteous righteous, and in our lineage righteousness can also be called giving, perfect righteousness being the perfect Giver. And so when we consider being in the midst of suffering, it seems that what is called the evil inclination - our desire to receive for self alone, is at work. I say this without judgment, for who can blame a personality, especially one without the knowledge of the Divine, for wishing to abide in what is pleasant? Wishing to receive pleasant experiencing? Especially when harsh unpleasantness descends suddenly upon us?

The thought arising from your teaching above on equity is that suffering is the arising of the potential to join the evil and the good inclinations, joining the desire to receive with the desire to give, joining Severity and Mercy - the opportunity to bring righteousness, the desire to give, into a place of evil - the desire to receive for self alone. And so when we are seeking to draw out the good, we are seeking to receive in order to give.

We are seeking to receive the experience of suffering so that something good might be given to others.

This might already be evident to others, but the simplicity I find in this moment astounding - suffering is the potential of bringing giving into a place within the karmic matrix where it before has been absent. Justice.

May our suffering be a vehicle for joining the evil and the good inclinations, making this world habitable.

With gratitude,

Sheryl

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Re: The Nature of Suffering

#12 Postby Anna » Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:08 am

Blessings of Grace to all!

These are wonderful and practical insights into suffering and how to work with it according to God's Will rather than our own small will, that part of us that just wants to be comfortable. It is natural to desire comfort in our bodies, emotions, mind and life, but, as was pointed out already, life is like this; life contains suffering, sometimes inordinate amounts of suffering. It is a great mix of pleasant and unpleasant circumstances. That's just how it is, and, as Sister Marion mentioned, all the technological advances and other worldly progress can't change the nature of suffering, just it's appearance. If it weren't that way, how many people would turn to God for a better life, a better way? How many people would pray for others who suffer? I love Sister Sheryl's insight here:

It seems the real tragedy in our world is not suffering, but the absence of prayer for those who are suffering.


What are we to do with suffering? What I hear in all of your posts speaks powerfully to the embodiment of the Way. James tells us that trials mature our faith, that they help us grow up into complete, mature Christians who lack nothing. Now, in suffering, isn't part of the suffering the feeling that we are lacking something? Don't we increase our suffering through our attitude toward it? Our feelings about our suffering often cause more pain than the actual suffering. Brother Brandon's point about making judgments about our suffering comes across beautifully.

I see in my experience that the root of much suffering I know comes from making distinctions and gradations and applying them unconsciously to a fractured arising of a life display.


How often I have actually heard people engage in a "suffering competition" astounds me still. When I have engaged this type of identification myself, I have noticed greater suffering with very little benefit. For those identified with suffering, that becomes who they are. When this is the case I have experienced and observed increasing suffering as this identification is perpetuated, at times even in a competitive fashion. Then suffering becomes an increasingly painful trap, miring us deeper and deeper into the separation, into isolation in pain. Truly this is an insane view, and it manifests the expectations and frustrated desires of those who hold it through greater suffering.

So what is sane about suffering? Various facets of this question have been answered here. And what came up for me was the drama and mystery of the crucifixion of our Perfect Tzaddik, Lord Yeshua.


34 At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ 35 When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, ‘Listen, he is calling for Elijah.’ 36 And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, ‘Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.’ 37 Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. 38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. 39 Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, ‘Truly this man was God’s Son!’ (Mark 15)



We don't know anything about the centurion except that he was so impressed by "how he breathed his last," (before the curtain in the Temple was torn), by the way that Yeshua died. He must have participated in many executions. How was this one so different that it became, for this man, a divine insight? Saying that someone was God's Son was likely not just vain flattery at the time. Something must have happened for this death to become so meaningful to the centurion; this hardened Roman soldier must have been touched in some way, must have experienced something of the divine. Perhaps there are Christian midrashim that speak of this moment.

What I am drawing out from this passage now is that Yeshua was responding to this intense and lengthy experience of suffering with something good, something life-giving that was noticed and even received by some who were there with him. It is not what he suffered but how he embraced the suffering and used it for the sake of those present, and, ultimately, for all beings; how he did not give in to the evil inclination but totally embodied the good inclination, the Divine Way of Life.

This line of contemplation is just at the beginning for me and I wondered what insights might be arising among you, all my dear brothers and sisters.

May God bless and empower us to walk as sons and daughters of God in all circumstances!
Shalom!
Anna

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Re: The Nature of Suffering

#13 Postby Marion » Sat Aug 02, 2014 9:10 am

Shalom All!

I have been contemplating the inseparability of mercy and severity with first coming to lineage. I have heard many stories from companions. Each one tends to begin with: I was in a really hard time in life, or just coming out of a hard time. Then we meet the lineage in some way and it is almost like the opposite of what we just went through.

This has lead to another contemplation. What if mercy and severity just seem separate from the ignorance? what if, when we adopt a larger view, like that of an eagle, it changes. What if we can see that severity leads to mercy? In this vein, just for fun, think about a time that you had a big breakthrough. What was happening before the breakthrough? In my experience, there was always a big time of transition, pain and suffering. In this way, with a larger view, we can see that mercy and severity are not so separate.

Blessings,

Marion

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Re: The Nature of Suffering

#14 Postby Anna » Sat Aug 02, 2014 12:01 pm

Dear Sister,

This is an intriguing nuance you bring out! Yes, it comes to mind that times of suffering are often followed by greater focus on the path, as if, somehow, the suffering serves to remind me of "my first love," the intention to cleave to God. Your point brings up the idea that suffering is a powerful agent for change, a big reminder of impermanence that has the potential to lead us back to God, back to repatriation in our heavenly home, as it were.

Shalom!
Anna

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Re: The Nature of Suffering

#15 Postby Yonah » Mon Aug 04, 2014 12:52 pm

Greetings!

I have often mercy and severity as a never ending circle – much like the ouroboros – with Compassion as their meeting point. I have seen great severity in my life, which has brought suffering, turn into great mercy. I do think that this can only happen if we see through the suffering and restriction and look for the good. This doesn’t negate that the process still hurts, but it does change the energy as the movement occurs.

My personal experience is that this seems tied somewhat to progress and regress. Sometimes suffering for me comes because I am in the middle of working through klippot and this bring energy that causes suffering for me (and sometimes others). Once klippah is broken, then I have seen great progress. Of course, there is suffering that life throws at as (such as in body) that may not start as klippah, but I’ve noticed in my experience, working through the illness, injury, etc still changes energy, breaking things I’ve held onto, and then great progress occurs.

The idea of our first love, being cleaving to God, is really important, too. If we realize that God is with us the whole time and that nothing has changed in our relationship with Him/Her (except us) it makes a huge difference. I know that a struggle I had was with a fundamental idea that suffering was punishment. I know that is not true, but even after “knowing” I still experienced an innate feeling of guilt and emotional pain. It has taken years of knowing that God is always with me and what is happening is happening – it is not punishment or wrath – to break this energetic hindrance.

It comes down to how we see suffering. Pretending that it’s not there is never the answer, but trying to see the good that can come through it, practicing giving and receiving, and focusing on our relationship with Ma makes a huge difference.

Shalom, Yonah

P.S I also wanted to call out a reply that Tau Malachi posted in another thread with a similar topic. His latest post is very applicable to this discussion. viewtopic.php?f=20&t=3094
Shalom,
Yonah
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