A couple of years ago, someone asked me this question and I replied him from a materialistic point of view. Now that I read that article I see how I missed the point. This time I am going to answer that very question from the spiritual point of view. This to me is a lot more convincing and I hope you will also see it that way.
Someone commented on the injustice of this world. He/she asked what happens to children that die while still innocent. Where would their souls go? If to heaven then isn’t it better that someone kills all the children and save them from committing sin and hellfire? Even if this means that person will go to hell, he can be content that he has helped all those who he killed from entering that dreadful place. Such a person would be a real hero, the savior of countless souls. He sacrifices his own soul to save that of others. Should such a person be punished? Doesn’t he deserve the greatest reward?
That is an interesting question. If we accept the harebrained explanation of Muhammad about the purpose of life, who said this world is a testing ground for souls to be eternally rewarded or punished, the argument raised by this commenter becomes difficult to refute.
Those who peep into the next world and come back tell us a different story. They say we choose to come to this world to experience it. We choose our parents and even our physical handicaps.
In this word life seems to be the end to itself. The one with more appears to be the successful one. This is only a mirage. This life is just a blip in our eternal existence and the purpose of coming here is to face the challenges that only a material world can offer. It is by overcoming these challenges that we can grow spiritually.
Think how our physical body grows — by acquiring more muscles and bones. That is the stuff it is made of. Our spirit grows by acquiring more consciousness. What do we need to gain? We need to gain more empathy, more compassion, more humility, more love, more sacrifice, more courage, etc. These are our spiritual muscles, the stuff from which consciousness is made of.
Just as we exercise our muscles so that they grow, we must also exercise our spiritual muscles for them to grow. How? By making them to overcome resistance! If you want to grow your muscles you work them out by making them overcome some resistance. The same is true for our spiritual muscles.
Let us say you want to increase the size of your courage. To have more courage you need to confront fear and overcome it. But there is no fear in heaven. There is no loss and no hurt. In heaven you are safe. You are part of God. You are God, like water molecules in the sea. Nothing can go wrong there. There is no fear in heaven and therefore, you can’t learn courage.
You choose to come to this world. Here you are given a body which seems everything to you. If it gets damaged you feel pain and if it is destroyed you seem to vanish into nothingness. Because your body is perishable you experience fear. If you confront your fear and overcome it you gain courage.
Take another example: empathy. Empathy means feeling the pains of others. How can you experience empathy in heaven when everyone is happy? Nobody is suffering. You can share their suffering because they have none. In this world there is suffering and if you can feel the pain of others you can grow your empathy.
It is by facing and overcoming the hardships of this world that we can evolve spiritually. One woman who committed suicide met Jesus who strongly rebuked her and ordered her to go back, angrily. “Life is not supposed to be easy,” He shouted at her.
Life is not supposed to be easy? Are all these sufferings by design? I didn’t know that. But it answers a lot of my questions. Life is supposed to be difficult because only by overcoming these difficulties we can grow spiritually. Sufferings are blessings. We often choose them and set the level of difficulty before coming to this world. Since the goal is to evolve spiritually, the harder it is the more will be our spiritual growth, provided we fight them and don’t give in. And at the end what matters is what we learn, not whether we won or not. This life is just a game. There are no winners and losers. The goal is to learn the skills that will serve us to continue our journey into other realms.
We choose the level of hardship we face in this world before coming here. If your life is difficult, it’s because you knew you could handle it. You must be a valiant soul. Don’t give up now. Take advantage of the hardships and evolve your spiritual muscles. Maybe your goal was to acquire patience, maybe sacrifice, maybe generosity, or humility, or all of them. This life is not meant to be a picnic. It is a school, maybe a gym. We come here to develop our spiritual muscles because that is what we need to continue our progress in the realm of consciousness.
This physical world is only the epidermis of reality. It is the lowest realm of existence. We came a long way in the material world, but this is the last stage of it. Think of it as a womb. The human baby spends nine months in the womb to develop the limbs and organs that he needs after he leaves it. Likewise we come here to develop the spiritual limbs that we need after we leave this world.
The concept that God created us so He can test us and then reward and punish us is very puerile. It is suitable for an ignoramus like Muhammad, but not befitting for rational people of this day and age.
We are lucky to be here. There is a big lineup of souls wanting to come to this world and experience it. We made it. Let us take advantage of this opportunity and do what we came to do. Let us grow our spiritual muscles before our time is over. We may not get this chance again for a very long time.
I thank God for making me see the purpose of life while I am still alive. Now I am very conscious of my actions and thoughts. Difficulties don’t bother me as much as they did before. Instead of getting upset, I ponder why they happened and what I am supposed to learn from them. My goal is now to grow spiritually, so much that maybe I won’t have to come back again. There are more exciting worlds to explore. Why come back?
Real life stories are more powerful than words. Last night I watched this video and was so moved that emptied the box of my tissue paper. It is the story of three women and their divine love for their handicapped children. Look at their radiant faces. You can touch the love they feel. These children came to this world knowing what they will go through. They wanted this kind of challenge for themselves, and in the process these women who take care of them with such a profound love have been blessed to have the opportunity to grow the divine love in them. I am sure these women have completed their journey in this world. In this life they have gained what many cannot gain in ten lives. Please watch it as actions are louder than words. See if you too can be touched by the love of these three beautiful highly evolved souls.
Make sure you watch this amazing young woman too. She is the gift of God to humanity to show us the real meaning of beauty.