Why is there suffering? II
Abid, a reader of this blog asked, “Why God couldn’t make it such a way that we grow strength without generating so much pain in body and muscles? In the same way, if we are to progress spiritually, why can’t we do without suffering?”
Our understanding of God and what He can do is very limited. The common misconception is that God can do anything He wishes, that He is infinite and therefore infinitely powerful. As a consequence there is nothing that man can think of that God cannot do. Such a god, in the imagination of the people, is a powerful wizard, an omnipotent magician. All he has to do is say “Be,” and puff, that thing will come into being instantly, by magic.
I have not come across this definition of God in the saying of Jesus or other major religions that are not influenced by Islam, but you can find plenty of such statements in the Quran and hadith. Muhammad’s understanding of God was that He can yaf’alu ma yosha va yahkumo ma yurid. “Do whatever He desires and order whatever He wants.” This is basically the narcissist’s wet dream.
According to this definition of God, He is not bound by any law, because that would limit his power, which is impossible because he is infinite and so is his power. Any limitation diminishes God’s infinity. But that is impossible because infinity cannot be diminished. No matter how much you take away from infinity, it remains the same.
Throughout the years I have come to the conclusion that the easiest way to arrive at the truth of anything is to study what Muhammad said and do the opposite. This is truly amazing. If you ask an ignorant person about anything, chances are that he will be right sometimes. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Muhammad was wrong always. The only way to make sense of it is to presuppose that he was not just a mentally sick man but guided by a demonic spirit. But I digress.
God is a mathematician, a physicist, a scientist, but not a magician. In fact even magic follows mundane laws. It only appears as magic because of the dexterity of the illusionist to deceive our eyes. God cannot do whatever he pleases. It is very easy to prove this point. Two plus two is equal four. Can God change the outcome to five or to any other number? He can’t because that would be illogical and God cannot do illogical things. He cannot do the impossible. So He cannot do anything he pleases.
The universe, both the one we see, i.e. the material world, and the one that runs it from behind, i.e. the spiritual world, are subject to laws. Let us compare the world to a computer. In fact many scientists are beginning to think that the world is indeed a giant computer. The material word is the hardware of this computer and the spiritual world is its software. Software is information. Information is expressed in binary form; it is mathematics. Even matter is information. A particle can be defined in binary form. Therefore, everything is information and information can be defined by mathematics.
Mathematics is inviolable. Consequently, the laws governing both worlds are inviolable. Take the example of gravity. Objects bend the space around them, which make them fall into each other. Actually, objects create space and this result in gravity. Therefore, gravity is the intrinsic quality of anything with mass. The bigger the mass, the bigger is its gravity. Gravity cannot be violated. Then how can we fly? We fly by applying centrifugal force to overcome gravity. When centrifugal force is stronger than gravity, we can fly. Flight does not violate any physical law. We simply use one law to override another. God does the same. He knows all laws, both physical and spiritual. And He can use one law to override another. To a person who does not understand physics, flying looks like magic. But there is nothing magical about it.
Let me share with you an interesting story. In my adventurous youth years I visited a tribe called Shuar, in the heart of Amazon jungle. They were known as head shrinkers. They used to cut the head of their victim, take out the scull and with a process that they explained to me shrunk the skin. Before going there I was told not to take their picture without permission. I was told a story of a group of missionaries who had gone there some years before and the Shuars had killed them. The reason was that these missionaries committed the mistake of taking their picture with their Polaroid camera and had showed them. When these primitive people saw their own pictures they thought that the missionaries were magicians who had captured their spirits, so they killed them. Because they did not have any understanding of photography, they made such a big fuss out of such a simple technology.
We do the same mistake when we look at the mysteries of the spiritual world. Because we don’t understand them, they appear to be miracles. Once we leave this physical world, all the mysteries will vanish. There are no miracles. Laws cannot be violated. What appears as miracle is simply the application of laws that are not known to us. Since we don’t know of the existence of the spiritual world, we can’t know its laws.
Although we are not aware of it, we are in the spiritual world at this very moment. Only our focus is here. Let me make an example. You might have heard of FPV (First Person View) flying. It involves mounting a small video camera on a remote control aircraft, and see what it sees, through a pair of goggles. You can pilot it from the ground, but since you see anything that the camera on the aircraft sees, it feels like you are flying. The goggle obscures your view of the world surrounding you. The camera mounted on the aircraft moves as you move your head. So if you turn your head to the left you see the sceneries on the left of the aircraft. If you turn your head up, you see the sky, etc. The experience can be very realistic.
This is a good example. You are a spirit and you are actually in the spiritual world at this very moment. You operate your body by remote. You are not even here. Your vision of your spiritual surrounding is obscured. Your focus is in this world and it has become your only reality. But when the game is over, you remove your goggles and suddenly your focus is shifted back to the spiritual world.
People who died and came back, tell us that they came to see the other world is the real one and this world is only a virtual reality. Everything that they thought was important before their experience became insignificant. All of them are transformed by their experience. They often change their jobs, give up materialistic pursuits, and engage in activities that involve service to others.
Life is only a simulation. We operate this body from remote. We don’t come here to have fun, but to experience this world, to meet its challenges and to acquire more consciousness, i.e., grow spiritually. What we learn in this simulation called life will allow us to become better “pilots” in the spiritual world. That is the real world, not this one.
In regards to God being infinite, that too is a fallacy. Infinity does not exist. It is a fictitious number we humans have constructed to make our mathematics work. Infinity, zero and negative numbers don’t have exterior existence. They exist in human imagination.
Infinity is a process, not a number. Yet, most people think of it as something real. Materialistic physicists appeal to infinity in order to deny the existence of God. The laws that govern this universe are so fine-tuned that only an infinite number of trial and errors can make them all possible. In infinity everything, including an absurdity is a possibility. Neither there are infinite universes nor is God infinitely big.This is also very simple to demonstrate. Infinity must occupy everything. If there is a spot not occupied by the infinite thing that that thing cannot be infinite. So the very notion that something is infinite is absurd. If i am not part of that infinite thing then that thing cannot be infinite.
God is subject to the same laws that we are. He, however, does not have a physical body and therefor, is not restricted by physical laws. When we leave this world, we too will be free from the restrictions of the physical world and become very much like God. The difference between God and us is in size. Essentially, we are the same. The difference between a drop of water, a glass of water, a pool of water, a lake and the Ocean is in size. Just as all waters on Earth, come from the ocean and return to it, so do all spirits come from God and return to Him.
There can’t be growth without resistance. This principle is explained in the Bhagavad Gita allegorically. Arjuna is first reluctant to fight. But Lord Krishna explains to him that fighting is essential in order to transcend and to attain His consciousness. This fight should not be interpreted literally. It is not about bloodshed, loot and rape as Muhammad did and taught his followers. Krishna explains the principle that souls can evolve only by ignoring their desires, and by exerting against the challenges of life. Arjuna is asked to fight his relatives, towards whom he feels love and attachment. In this parable his relatives represent his attachment to this world. the moral of that story is that we should fight all things to which we feel attached to and are objects of our desire.
This principle is clear in the evolution. How do you think our physical body has evolved? The first living organisms that appeared on earth were single celled. How from that simple start, we came to be so complex? It happened only through fighting. Single cell organisms procreate through division. They make two sets of chromosomes and then split, with each taking one set and the process is repeated. At one point in the history of the Earth, some of the cells realized that if they stayed close and cooperate with each other, they can have a better chance of survival. So they formed colonies. Volvox is one such organism.
Eventually, the bond between the cells became stronger and they specialized each doing a differ task. So organs evolved and some three billion years later, humans came to exist. Without that fighting there would be no evolution. Even today, viruses are responsible for our evolution. They mutate and attack us, we mutate to resist them and these mutations result in our evolution. Evolution can happen only through struggle. As Darwin put it, it is the survival of the fittest. This is an inviolable principle.
Your question is the same as a child saying why should he go to school and effort himself to learn? Why knowledge can’t be downloaded to his brain so he does not have to study. That is not how the world works. Universe is governed by laws that cannot be violated.
We can know things by their opposites. If there is no suffering, how can we know joy? If there is no sickness how can we know health? If there is no darkness, how can we know light? And if there is no evil how can we know goodness? There is no darkness or evil with God. To experience his goodness, God needs his opposite, the void where His light does not shine. It is by observing this void that He can feel His existence. He copied himself in “infinite” souls and sent them out to experience his opposite. Imagine you want to test the temperature of water. You dip your fingers inside it. You feel, what your finger feels. We are like God’s fingers. He feels our feelings and experiences what we experience. He is connected with us through our thoughts.
Now, this is not a perfect example. When you dip your finger in hot water and it burns, your finger has no say in it. But we are free spirits. God does not make us do anything. Everything we do is our own choice. Because we are colones of God we are free like Him. We can choose good or evil. God does not intervene, but He feels our experience. He feels joy when we feel joy and he suffers when we suffer. Although free, we are still part of him. We are not separate from God.
We are images of God, like mirrors reflecting Him. Imagine God is standing in a hall of infinite mirrors, of all sizes, watching Himself. But we are not made of glass. We are conscious like God. We are free to turn towards God and become filled with His Light, or turn away from Him and reflect the darkness of the void. That is the choice we make every moment of our life.
We are fractals of God. We come to this world so that we can experience our existence and through His creation, God experiences Himself. This duality between God and the creation is an illusion. We are not separate from God. God is in every one of us. He is in all beings.
You also asked about the souls who do evil. You wanted to know whether they choose that path before coming.
Let us rely on our infallible Muhammad. We know for certainty that whatever he said, the opposite must be true. He said God is in control of everything and that not a leaf falls without God making it fall. He said that even the belief and disbelief of people depend on God. People have no choice in that. He guides and misleads whoever he wants and he does that wantonly, without any reason that we humans can understand. So the correct answer is the opposite of what Muhammad said. We are in control of what we do. Every moment we make conscious choices. We can either turn our faces to God or away from Him. Guidance or salvation is a personal choice. God does not impose His will on us. When we turn our faces towards God we experience joy and when we turn away from Him we experience pain.
We are in this world only for a short time. This world is not our destination. Imagine a flock of migratory birds landing in a place to eat something and rest in order to continue their journey. What would happen if some of them love the place and become so attached to it that they forget their destination? When winter arrives, this place will become their doom. Likewise, we come to this world to gain something. If we ignore our destination and become attached to it, it will become our doom. We miss the greater joy that is awaiting us.
Jesus said, my kingdom is not of this world. Muhammad said, “I have been promised the wealth of this world.” This alone tells everything we need to know about him. He was after worldly power, women and control. He had no understanding of the spiritual world. If Muhammad had any understanding of the spiritual world, even as little as what I have gained, which is very small, he would not have cared about wealth and dominion of this world. For those who have any clue about the afterlife, the wealth of this world has as much value as the money you gain in the game of monopoly. That money is worth nothing in the real life. Likewise, the wealth and power of this world is worth nothing when the game of life is over. What did Muhammad do what all the wealth he stole? Five years after he said that to Umar and Abu Bakr, (He said it after he raided the Bani Mustaliq) God took him to hell and all that he had stole was inherited by his mortal enemies, the Bani Umayyah, who killed his grandsons. Don’t you see the poetic justice?
Life is for struggle. It is not supposed to be easy. We come here to fight. This is the world of duality. Clashes will always exist. The fight between good and evil will never end in this world. I have chosen my fight in this life. I strengthen my spiritual muscles by fighting against Islam. For many years I asked myself, if God is real, why would He allow something as evil as Islam to spread. The existence of evil was the main reason why I could not accept God. Now I know the answer. Evil is there, for us to combat it. Islam was allowed to spread so you and I can fight it and defeat it. Smashing this evil force is an opportunity for us to strengthen our spiritual muscles. Islam is a formidable opponent. It is the biggest force of evil. If you can confront this mighty force and defeat it, you become a truly evolved spiritual (divine) being.
But we can’t defeat evil by evil. We must defeat evil with virtue. Darkness can be defeated with light. Lies can be defeated with truth. To defeat this utterly demonic force, we need divine force.
For many years I fought Islam, trying to defeat it rationally. Islam is a lie, so truth should suffice to defeat it, I thought. But Islam is not just a lie. It is also a demonic force of evil. Therefore truth alone is not enough. We must also arm ourselves with virtues. We need to create a force, bigger than Islam in opposite direction. This is basic physics. the universe is governed by laws. Things don’t happen by magic. We need to become an army of light. Over billion souls emanate evil thoughts every day. five times a day. That is a powerful diabolic force. To defeat that, the force of goodness must be bigger than that. But we can defeat this evil. Light is more powerful than darkness. Truth is stronger than lies and good is mightier than evil.
See evil as a challenge, for it gives you the chance to fight it. This is the whole idea of evil. In Heaven there is no evil. Heaven is filled with God’s presence; there is no room for evil, just as there is no shadow in sun. But we left the heaven and came down to this world with the full knowledge that is it filled with evil. Why? Because we wanted the challenge. It is by fighting that we can grow.
Before starting our fight, we must discern the difference between good and evil. That is also a quality an evolved soul needs to acquire. If you can’t distinguish between good and evil, you may join the army of evil, as Muslims have. Jihad means fight, but is is a fight for evil. We all come here to fight. If all of us choose to fight for good, then against what shall we fight? That is why God has left us free to choose side.
What side are you fighting for? Is your God the god of love, or does he teaches you to hate? Does He tell you to dust your sandals when you leave a town that rejects you or does he tell you to raid it, massacre its unarmed people, enslave their women and rape them? Does He advise you to forgive those who persecute you and pray for them or does he instruct you to kill anyone who objects to your views? It is not difficult to distinguish between good and evil. You can fool yourself but you can’t fool God. You know the difference between right and wrong. We are all born with that compass. If you choose evil, it is because you like evil. The choice is always yours.