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Free Will and Suffering

Spiritual Schizophrenia

We all have both a selfish separate self, and an Inner Being that is One with
the Universal Spirit. In this sense, every human has a sort of ‘split personality’. We
are all kind of what you call ‘schitzy’ with these two sides, these two people living
within us. And they are in total opposition. The free will dictates which of these
two sides will have its way in our life, at every given moment.

The struggle is nothing less than the war between good and evil. There can be no
harder battles. And with our free will, we can decide who wins the battles, and
ultimately, the war.
Sometimes we have thoughts and feelings that are from one side, sometimes
from the other. Have you ever seen the old cartoons in the movie theatres, where
the devil is sitting on one shoulder and an angel on the other – both whispering in
our ear, trying to influence us one way or the other. Then one of them finally “wins
out”.

“One side is stronger than the other within us?”

That is not why one side wins out over the other, just which side may have more
voice or influence.
One side wins out over the other, simply because we use our free will to choose
which side we will go with – which side we will lend our mind to, our attention to,
our thoughts to – and ultimately, which side we will lend our actions to. Free will is
the one thing that gives us the ability, the power, to choose between our negative
self, and God. And the results of our choices change everything in our life, and the
lives of others.

“But it seems like in some people the bad side is stronger, or the good
side is
stronger – and the influence is so strong that it’s not just a matter
of a balanced free
will choice.”

Excellent perception. Every person has a different level of consciousness.
You know, every individual has a different level of how giving, or how selfish they
are. Some are higher (leaning more towards the Universal Spirit), some lower (leaning
more towards selfishness).

It is the result of their accumulated use of their free will.
Thus the world is full of a variety of so called ‘good and bad’ people to all kinds
of degrees. For instance, some people are just ‘not very nice’ (on the bad side), and
others are really bad – rapists, murderers, etc. (more deeply on the bad side). Their
consciousness is a result of using their free will over time. For instance, someone
who has more often chosen selfishness over time will have lower consciousness
than someone who has more often chosen Unselfish Love. So each individual has
made one side primarily stronger than the other. Yet in the worst, there is still a
divine spark of Universal consciousness buried deep within them, and in the best
people, except for the enlightened ones, there is still the seed of selfishness. Thus
all can still break from their norm at any time, and make different choices, and
change their consciousness, and thus even turn their lives around. Just by applying
free will, one step at a time. Building a new life, one stone at a time. Are you not
in the process of raising your consciousness by using your free will to
override your
past habits and consciousness?

“Yes. I am. And I do see the results. But, sometimes it is so hard to
make and stick to the right choices. It is so hard that it is painful.
Sometimes it feels
like you’re going to die.”

“If you think about it, were you free from pain before you started using
your free will to become a better person? People who have not become totally
Unselfishly Loving beings, are always in pain, always in internal turmoil. They have
an unrelenting unpleasant disturbance within them, that they are constantly trying
to emotionally cover-up, and get distracted from. They are always trying to distract
themselves from this with selfish thoughts and diversions (talking with friends,
becoming a “workaholic”, eating, shopping, sex, affairs, TV, playing or watching
sports, games, magazines, etc., etc., even drinking/drugs). They do all these things
to run from the part of them that is God within them. But just like there is no running
away from yourself, there is no real getting away from God. There is no peace
without oneness with God. And there is constant dis-ease, and no rest, for those
who are trying to get away from God.

Everyone has this spiritual “split personality” composed of Selfishness (the “devil”
side using Christian terms) and Universal Spirit (the “Christ” side). Sometimes we have
thoughts and feelings that are from one side, sometimes from the other. And some of
these feelings are painful.

“We are always faced with choices between our sides, between being selfish
(wanting and taking), or being Unselfish (considerate and giving). And we find that
by making a selfish choice, we create new karma that causes suffering. And the
lack of doing God’s Will, and being separate from God, creates pain, loneliness,
emptiness, a gnawing dis-ease deep down. It is the Spirit part of us that then seems
to be giving us pain. The ‘conscience’ seems to be giving us pain. But this pain is
in truth, simply coming from the selfish separate self that is trying to resist the natural
flow of the forces of the Universal Spirit. Sometimes people think that by
choosing to run away from God, and delving deeper into a selfish, materialistic life,
they can escape the pain. But they never can. The Inner Voice may get suppressed,
and may get hard to hear, but the pain and dis-ease is always there.

“So it won’t ever stop no matter what you do?”

Yes i will But let me finish. You are still thinking that you are suffering new pain
by going through the tribulations that will lead you to enlightenment one day. But
think about your past with an open mind. Remember what it was like in your life
when you hid from the light. Remember the pain of squandering your life in darkness
and despair. The more you hid from the light and the more you delved into
selfishness, the worse the spiritual ache got. Even as ‘numb’ and detached as you
were able to make yourself, even with drugs and alcohol, you still had severe pain
and dismal feelings of hopelessness and loss. It can never be any other way when
you choose the selfish path – you will always have pain, and you exert constant energy,
struggling forever to block out God. And you can never be happy, or have
peace. The most you can hope for with a selfish path, is temporary pleasures, what
you call ‘get offs’. And the pleasure you get from temporary get offs never fully satisfies,
it always leaves you wanting more. And what’s worse, is that you have to
pay for the get off, with an equal measure of its opposite. And what’s the opposite
of pleasure? And on top of all that pain, life also keeps ‘hitting’ you with the
results of your ‘karma’. It only happens once in a while, but it’s bad when it does.
You know what I mean – think about the worst times in your life, your darkest hours,
the times life hurt you, leveled you, brought you to your knees in pain. Why do you
think it happened? What was life telling you? What was God telling you? And when
you were hit with such pain, didn’t it force you to be introspective? To question
your life, or life itself? At least for a moment?

Free Will and Suffering

“Yes. That is why I searched for spiritual answers to life, searched for God,
and peace of mind. But it is like my pain is getting worse now that I am spiritually growing, and doing the right thing with my life. Shouldn’t the pain be getting less?”

“It is a different kind of pain, from a different source. You see, suffering is
what brings most people to the spiritual path in the first place. They eventually realize
that the only way to end the kind of suffering they are experiencing, is to turn
back to God – to abandon selfishness – to be kind, caring, giving, Unselfishly Loving.
But once they really start the process of spiritual growth, they find that they are
experiencing a great deal of pain from the self, from their ego. Rather than the
aching of the spirit, and the pain of dealing with your own negative creations – your
karma – the self begins throwing a tantrum because it is not getting its way. It begins
to manufacture contrived thoughts and emotions to give you pain. Extreme pain.
Like you said, sometimes it feels like you’re going to die it gets so bad. That’s
because your separate selfish self is facing a death of sorts. And the closer you get
to killing your selfish separate self, the more it gives you pain – it lashes out wildly
like a cornered animal fighting for survival (which it is)

“So as it turns out, you have to deal with pain either way – whether you’re living a selfish life or an Unselfish life. So why not just go with the selfish path?”

The Master’s intensity level jumped several notches.

“Because there is one very big important difference. Let’s say you choose to
give into the selfish side, in order to indulge yourself and to avoid the suffering that
comes from choosing to walk a path of Unselfish Love back to God. If that’s what
you choose, you will forever be in anguish – in many ways!
You will FOREVER feel the relentless gnawing in the pit of your soul. Even if
you make nothing but negative choices, and take nothing but the negative “forks in
the road”, it is impossible to ever completely block out the angel on your shoulder
who causes the gnawing pain. Because as long as you have life, you have a
soul – you have Spirit and an Inner Being dwelling within you. You must have the
spark of Spirit animating you, within you, or your body dies. Thus, you will
ALWAYS have that pain.

And you don’t just have the ‘spiritual pain’ and the ‘conscience pain’, you are
still stuck with pain the self gives you – and not just a little pain! Do you think
you shed the pain of selfish emotions such as insecurity, greed, anger and jealousy
when you choose the dark selfish path? NO! You know that your most selfish
hours have given you the most pain. It is your dark times when you have felt the
terrible emotional pangs of jealousy, or anger or even hate. The selfish path is the
one that actually creates jealousy, builds jealousy, and all the other painful and
pointless emotions. For instance, jealousy is nothing but one of the tentacles of selfishness.

Possessiveness is selfishness, and it’s accompanied by the terrible feelings
of insecurity, and jealousy – and whether it’s a little kid screaming ‘mine!’ over a toy
he doesn’t want to share, or a big kid screaming mine over the ultimate possession,
a human being, a lover or mate, it’s all the same. If you think you’re going to get
away from self-pain by choosing the selfish path, think again – all you get is a spoiled
self that is out-of-control! Just look around you, look at the ‘normal’ relationships
people have! They are full of turmoil and terrible pain. People in ‘normal’ selfish
based relationships constantly cheat on each other, hurt each other emotionally,
physically hit each other, and even kill each other – all the while feeling awful pain!
And you will also still have the pain and suffering from your negative karma
coming back to you. And it feels all the worse because you have not developed the
ability to transcend yourself at all – just the opposite, you’ve chosen to be fully
entrenched in your self – you’ve chosen to float in the sea of possessiveness, jealousy,
greed, lust, hate and anger.

PLUS the choice of the selfish path keeps creating more negative karma, that
will keep coming back to cause you more pain and suffering.

If you choose the path of light to avoid the suffering and pain that comes from
living selfishly and separated from God, you no longer have the spiritual pain, or
the conscience pain, or the pain of an out-of-control spoiled self on a rampage.
That is over for you. Sure, you will have to live with the pain that the self gives you
now, in fact more of it for a while. They are your ‘growing pains’. And it may even
include jealousy and anger. BUT IT IS ONLY TEMPORARY – you WILL eventually
lose the devil on your shoulder. And unlike the results of choosing the selfish
path, the pain will finally stop. And you won’t create anymore negative karma.

You can accomplish this just by making the right choices, and waiting. Then
you will no longer be walking the self-chosen, self-created path of living forever in
anguish. You will change your destiny. Peace will be yours in time – freedom from
the pain of the selfish emotions (like hate, anger, jealousy) will be yours in time – all
you have to do is keep using your free will to keep walking the light path. Keep
re-directing your mind to think loving, giving, caring thoughts. Keep remembering
the rewards of serving God – Love, ultimate security, peace, happiness, the joy of
giving and seeing others lifted up and freed from their bonds of slavery to dark selfishness
and its pain. You know these feelings exist – you have felt them sometimes
– those times when you have Unselfishly Loved just a little bit – or perhaps there is
a time when you let go and surrendered to God just a little more. Just imagine the
joy and peace of loving completely. That is not rhetorical. Imagine it. Visualize
it.

CLO

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