Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Why Do Humans Assume Life Should Be Good and Fair?

The human being automatically seeks joy, peace and stability. That is such an assumed given that only a very few unusual sadists would disagree. It is "natural". We have yet to hear of someone who won the lottery and cry out in grieved anguish, "Why!? Why me? Life is not fair!" The human psyche expects the good and requires fairness, at least for itself. This is the basis of "Natural Law". 

But this compulsion toward joy, pleasure, abundance, etc. is such a "given" that most of us never seriously ask, "Why then is there so much suffering, and why do we have that "reptilian" limbic system that hijacks our desire for peace and contentment? Why does even the organic "brain" automatically compel us to a variety of personally and socially conflicting ideas and positions? Why do I look at a darkening mole on my arm and wonder if it might be cancer? Why are my nights punctuated by nightmares? Why do I feel compelled to worry, resent, depress and rage at the most inopportune times? Why do I look at the hungry or abused child and want to weep? Why is a person saddled with a particular lifelong compulsion or addiction? Why are some so damned beautiful and talented and rich and powerful, while so many others are not?" These pathological situations and emotions are not simply always personal choices, although maturity and techniques may help us choose to avoid them with practice. The fact is, we humans are born to pathologize, disagree, worry and separate from the herd in various acts of rebellious conflict--hence the "terrible twos". But this does not stop at "two"--it is the "terrible truth" of human existence from birth--perhaps from conception as millions of speeding sperm cells storm the fortress of the heavily protected ovum, forcefully penetrate the peaceful egg which initiates a violent explosion of division and expansion. Life begins with conflict--the collision of objects. Why? Why this human existence of so damn much conflict and misery when our hearts long for peace, happiness and the happily ever after Utopian fantasy?

The Dalai Lama answers, "Suffering stems from ignorance?" And I ask, "Is there a creative and purposeful genius behind this ignorance?" Many Christians answer, "Suffering comes from original sin." I ask, "Is this "original" tendency to miss the mark purposeful?" Hindus say, "Suffering arises from Karma." I ask, "What prompted the very first act of Karma and might it not be purposeful?" The New Age devotees say, "Suffering is the result of your selfish ego, or caused by your limited consciousness." I answer, "You are just repackaging the old doctrine of original sin by blaming me instead of Adam and Eve; nice try. Why is my ego so selfish and my consciousness so limited; does that selfishness and limitation serve a larger purpose?" Modern Science says, "Suffering is a natural mechanism for evolution toward higher degrees of existence." I ask, "Wouldn't the highest degree of existence be one without so much suffering, and in that case shouldn't evolution have stopped with the rocks and clouds? Perhaps suffering is part of a purposeful evolvement toward a new race of beings heretofore unknown--a feat that would be impossible without chronic internal and external resistance and war."

People assume that negative and troubling emotions and situations result from fear and pain as if that explains it, but seldom ask, "Why is there fear and pain? Is there a creative and purposeful genius in fear and pain?" We must not stop looking once we find the pain--but look under the pain and find the Genius. As I see it, fear and pain act in the same fashion that gravity and solid surfaces serve for the developing nascent infant. Without those annoyingly hard "objects" to come up against (relate to and with), they would remain flaccid little blobs without skeletal structure or muscle tone. Psychological and spiritual growth, like physical growth, requires resistance.

Do not stop expecting the good and fair. We are made to know that is our eventual outcome. But take time to consider the possibility that the problematic and horrific are as every bit as necessary for making us into beings beyond what we currently see. Perhaps we are moving from human beings to Human Beings.

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