Problem of Suffering, Cooperative Pre-incarnation

I often ponder the Problem of Evil (known in theology and philosophy as Theodicy) and have many times considered the “cooperative pre-incarnation movement” someone mentioned in Kathleen McGowan’s Magdalene forum recently.  Cooperating with each other and with the Universal Consciousness (God?) and choosing, AGREEING to incarnate on earth does seem logical and more sensible than the rather loose karma-reincarnation theory.

Maybe it went something like this.  We were a group of volunteer souls about to be sent onto this egg, this earth-planet, and were gathered together for a sort of briefing, a great gathering of souls about to fill the Hall of Souls on Earth.  We could have been told something like:  You will have minds capable of full consciousness, but your bodies and physical surroundings will constantly distract you, keeping you in a kind of mundane every-day unconsciousness. Your spirit will be asleep in this unconscious state that you will be in. If you can wake up, if you can figure out you are not your body, not the thinker inside your head but the higher soul watching all this thinking going on, you will become fully conscious, “awakened.”  By waking up from the mundane unconsciousness you are one more mind in the critical mass to help the Universe become conscious of Itself — the purpose of humanity in the first place. 

But back to the mundane unconsciousness. It can lead to horrors.  Unconscious people do despicable horrible things to others.  Some of you will fall into those traps and do awful things, others of you will be victims of these horrors and not understand why or what the heck is going on.  You will get angry, desperate, suicidal.  It ain’t gonna be a picnic.  But all that pain and suffering forces your mind to go deeper, deeper until it finally says hey wait a minute, I am not really this little me, I am the field of awareness in which “me” happens!  (Read Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth for the best explanation of this awakening from little me unconsciousness). 

Okay, so anyway, I like to think we were given the choice, asked if we could handle going down into the flesh and going thru incarnation after incarnation where we would sometimes be bad guys, sometimes be victims, sometimes be both, but always trying to make our way thru suffering and bewilderment, thru fear, greed, power-lust, pain until we finally looked long and deep enough to find what is really going on.  We then figure out the REAL reason we are here for — which is to wake up as individuals and thus help Universe wake up, achieve full awareness of Itself.  That is the closest I can come to “solving” the Problem of Evil.  <snort> And I have been grappling with it for many years.  The standard solutions offered by philosophers and religionists such as, ‘God gave us Free Will so we end up with some people perpetrating evils,’ do help me somewhat, but they fail to answer why God allows suffering.  (The problem of suffering is a part of the Problem of Evil in philosophical/theological discourse).  We can say that because of Free Will some men choose to do evil and that is why your little girl got molested and murdered.  Okay, painful as hell but we can see the logic of that.  HOWEVER, what about this, God?:  What causes the same little girl to be born beautiful and healthy but then get cancer when she is in first grade, drop out of school, end up bald and lying in a cancer ward frail as a waif, body racked with pain, wasting away wondering what happened to her life?  What about THAT suffering?  It wasn’t caused by Free Will.

So yeah, evil.  Ugh.  Suffering of the innocent, double Ugh.  That is the one I am grappling with now, solitary philosphical arguments going on in my head.  <laugh>   The closest I have gotten recently, and I have not yet gotten it into words (thank you list-friends for triggering yet another session) is some very wispy realizations while reading Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth and Dinesh D’Souza’s What’s So Great About Christianity.  Suffering of the innocent from flooks of nature like cancer and horrible lingering fatal diseases, is another thing that forces us to go DEEP.  The parents of that child and the child herself (or in the case of adults dying of fatal diseases, the person and their loved ones) are given suffering as this huge doorway, not just a window, into the Awakened Realm.  Back at the beginning when we had our cooperative pre-incarnation briefing we were also told that the system was set up so that some of us would suffer from flooks of nature, from physical waste and excruciating pain.  This suffering would then force us and those around us to think, think, THINK and to go deep and WITHIN to find cosmic answers.  Some of us might even awaken while observing such hells, others would get into despair and curse at Universe/the Powers that Be, etc.  But some would use the suffering as that window — actually nice big door — of opportunity for awakening. 

Still working out the kinks of this one.  I’ll check back in a few years (!) which is usually how long I chew on each of these elements.  <laugh>  Thanks to all the spiritual writers and bloggers who pose such dilemmas and write about them, thus giving fuel to my fodder of pondering.



Are you reading A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle?

Anybody reading Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose? I am.  I was hesitant to pick it up because of all the Oprah hype — made me wonder if it was pop-spirituality.  But then since I had read his previous book the Power of Now, decided to give it a chance. (I am such a spirituality snob).   Turns out A New Earth is a life-changing book — who needs to go see a counselor/therapist, who needs to sit at a guru’s feet, when you can read this book? <grin>  And talk about helping you relate to every other human in your circle: your significant other, kids, your parents, co-workers, friends… EVERYone.  This book is awesome.  My only complaint, and it’s a small one, is he makes the common mistake of exaggerating the numbers of those “killed by the Church”.  In one such instance in his Sacred Feminine section, Tolle writes “Three to five million women” were burned by the Inquisition.  In reality historians (even pagan historians) say it was only 50,000 over 400 years, many of whom were men (Charlemagne beheaded 4,500 Odin worshippers, no women), many of whom were not burned at the stake, and most of whom local towns / magistrates or kings killed, not church authorities. That’s a myth. But many authors make this error lately it seems — Dan Brown in The DaVinci Code is another — and since Tolle is a European probably “mad at the Church”, we can overlook these errors in his otherwise fantastic liberating book).  I just skipped over those paragraphs (very few) and kept devouring the spiritual hands-on life-altering peace-bringing teachings and techniques in A New Earth.

Tolle puts a lot of esoteric Christian correlations in his teaching such as why Jesus really said “Father forgive them, they know not what they do,” and the real meaning of “Blessed are the Meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (the new awakened earth), and Jesus didn’t say “be ye perfect,” but “Be ye whole…” Many deeper meanings opened up with “aha!” moments galore even for this ol’ diehard alternative Christian teacher.  I was just writing to one of our newly ordained ministers that A New Earth is an excellent book for using with one’s pastoral counseling clients. It helps one figure out life’s purpose, not just awaken to one’s own life’s purpose as the title suggests, but THE purpose of life and why we are here, etc. cosmic questions.

Not to mention this book makes a great Mother’s Day gift…. hee hee.  Sending one to my Mom and mother-in-law, too…

Anybody reading A New Earth or have you already read it?  Here’s a link to it for only $7.70 and you can read inside the book online before buying.