Why the good man suffers
The questioning rings out loud and clear; it is more than ever louder today in view of the difficult times and harrowing experiences mankind is passing through: Why do good people suffer and the wicked prosper? A majority, indeed, if not all human beings, are troubled by what are generally referred to as mysteries of life. Everyone must have read at one time or the other about a family, say of five, returning from a holiday and all dying when their aircraft suddenly lost height and plunged into the ocean. Neighbours regard the man as kind hearted and helpful, and the wife as respectful, warm-hearted and generous. The children were full of promise. How could this have happened to them? We may have quietly observed in the neighbourhood a man, dutiful in his field of endeavour. His application to work is matchless. In the community work, the testimonial he brandishes is that of a leader as a leader should be—selfless and without stain. Mention his name and everyone would say the man is good. But it is observed that he is afflicted by an endless stream of misfortunes. Despite being hard working, hardly can he keep both ends meet. When he changes his job which raises hope of an improvement in his living condition, he has hardly spent three months settling down when the company folds up and everyone looks askance: What is going on? How can a man like this suffer in this manner? Words of encouragement pour in. The success of a man is not in his never falling but in his rising when he falls, so goes the admonition. Weeping may last all night, but joy cometh in the morning, he is told lovingly. Examples are innumerable.
The moaning, grumbling, remonstrations, biting of lips and gritting of teeth and protests, the experiences of neighbours, acquaintances or friends have led to the same question: Why do good people suffer and the wicked prosper? And to the same conclusion that the ways of the Creator are inscrutable. Come to think of it: But are they? If it were His wish that His ways are inscrutable, the coming of Teachers, numerous Guides, Prophets and Envoys would not have been necessary. Indeed, His Son even came, the Lord Jesus Christ, A Part of Him, the Truth and Life. Rather, it is the ways, stubbornness, obstinacy and arrogance of human beings which are inscrutable. It is man who can and has learnt to hide his true self over millennia to the chagrin of the Envoys, Teachers and Prophets, who from millennia, have been sent to bring to mankind the truth about life and existence, about Creation and about the Creator Himself. But man has always preferred what he thinks about himself and what he thinks life is all about or should be about. It is like pupils who ignored their teachers or persecuted them only to turn round to say they did not understand what school life is all about. Where the Teachers or Guides or Prophets and the Son are recognized and appreciated, their teachings are distorted or embellished until they become caricatures of the Truth which questioning souls must reject.
Why do good people suffer and the wicked prosper? The answer lies in recognizing that arbitrariness and therefore injustice is impossible in the ways of the Almighty Creator Who is Love and Justice, and Perfection. He is Justice, Truth and Perfection in absolute terms. The conclusion of arbitrariness and injustice imputed to Him is borne out of ignorance on the part of we human beings, and the notion and practice of conceiving a world without rules and regulations. As far as human beings are concerned, the laws passed by parliament are the only valid laws, and all institutions of state, social, political and economic, and religious organizations are made to adapt to them. These laws emanate from the thoughts of man and are governed by the limitations of the organs of thought. It is inconceivable that the Most High, He Who is generally acknowledged as perfect, just, omnipotent and omniscient would bring worlds upon worlds—visible and invisible—into being without rules, without laws. The world’s population is about 7.3billion. According to NASA, the earth, our abode, is the third planet from the sun and is the fifth largest planet in the solar system. NASA explains that only Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, which it describes as gas giants, are bigger. The earth is the largest of the terrestrial planets of what it calls the inner solar system and says it is bigger than Mercury, Venus and Mars.
Indeed, so vast is the Creation that the earth is only a planet in the solar system which is built around the sun. The sun itself is only one of the billions of stars in our galaxy called the Milky Way. This galaxy in turn is one of billions of galaxies in our Universe, Ephesus. There are seven of them, listed in the Book of Revelation in the Bible, also referred to as the Revelation of John. The distance between the earth and the sun is 92, 955,807 miles (149,597,870 kilometers). Yet, this universe is no more than the tip of a fountain pen, indeed, a speck of dust, immeasurable as it may be to us. Each of the universes is with own solar systems and galaxies with its own planets of which the earth is just one—all Creation in living activities, working and weaving, and weaving and surging, and sparkling, energy fields far away from and to regions incomprehensible to human reasoning. Indeed, immeasurable! Scientists say all of the bodies in the solar system—planets, comets, asteroids, and more revolve around the sun at various distances. Mercury, the closest to the sun, according to NASA, gets as close as 29 million miles (47million kilometers) in its elliptical orbit. It is said there are objects that lie as far as 9.3trillion miles (15 trillion kilometers) from the sun, and all orbiting in an orderly manner, none standing in another’s way, no clashing, no colliding. The awesome Wisdom of the Most High before which all angels bow and all human beings must bow their spirits in worshipful adoration.
We human beings enact laws and draw up constitutions which we regard as the supreme law of our respective nations, to guide us and our relationship with the state and our fellow men, and spell out duties and responsibilities. Human beings, a majority of whom have come to realise that they as creatures can ascribe to themselves wisdom to enact order through their constitutions and enforcement of same, but have hesitated to ascribe wisdom to do likewise, and greater to their Creator.
There are rules governing the use of cars, of aircraft and ships. If the rules are obeyed, the automobile gives joy, pleasure, and peace of mind to the user and promotes his good health. It is danger for him who disregards the rules. He comes to grievous harm and in many cases shortens his life. This is the key to the understanding of all the so-called mysteries of life: the world is not an accident. Like any automobile, any television or radio set, mobile phone, telecom masts, name it, the world is a work. As a living work, it bears the Will or aims of its Maker. These aims are achieved through the application of certain self-acting mechanisms. Turn the key in ignition and the car starts. Engage the gear and fire the accelerator and it moves. Slam the brake and it slows or stops. Before constructing a house, engineers do soil test to determine whether the soil is solid enough to bear the weight of the beams, columns, the desired building. They must also determine the nature of reinforcements and balance the load here and there. In other words, the constructors recognize the existence of certain natural forces which they are powerless to annul; they bow themselves to the nature of these forces in order to get along with them. The world, or better still Creation, is of no different construction.
Laws govern the whole of Creation. In the higher knowledge mediated to man and which is spreading today on earth, we are permitted to know that these laws are uniform, governing the entire Creation and governing activities even if their manifestations differ somewhat dictated by the nature of the planes. In the Beyond for example, the noble and the depraved do not live together which the ponderousness of the body on earth makes possible. The physical body is dropped on earth. The velocity of motion is higher and so the sense of time must necessarily also differ. Have we not been told that a day in the Light Realm is like a thousand years on earth? I dwelt with the Laws extensively in the last two weeks. As a matter of fact, these laws have been sensed and hinted at here and there in different cultures, but they have not been fully grasped, nor their operations and their origin. Consequently ignorance and distortion of concepts have led men to all kinds of conclusions and to blasphemous accusations against the Creator.
It is knowledge and understanding of His Principles that reveal how sublime His ways are and how unrelenting, ceaseless, immutable, perfect, incorruptible and just the mechanisms that govern life are. As I did state last week, the law of sowing and reaping, for example, can be observed at work in the plants of the field, all obeying the sequence of the seed sown, its germination, the growth , the blossoming and flowering, fruit bearing and harvesting. The fruit harvested is as the seed. It is not often realized that men’s thoughts, speeches and deeds are seeds and the fruits will similarly be as the seeds which once sown will go through maturation processes to harvesting. And the fruits belong to the sower. Why will they not? Has it been forgotten that trespassers have been warned to keep off? “Trespassers will be prosecuted”, the signpost reads loud and clear. Human beings only learn from Nature that the fruits belong to the sower—His rewards or punishment.
The Law of Return ensures that the sower is tied to his harvest, that is, every journey ends where it began for the Cycle to be closed. For man, what he has sown returns to him for the closing of the cycle that began from him. And he, too, at the end of his sojourn on earth, attempts to return to his point of origin, which is the Spiritual Realm, however pious or depraved he may be in what we call death, swinging and driven as it were in the Law of the Cycle. He does return to that point of origin, the Realm of our longing, if he has not through his unedifying activities, barred his way there. The activities of every man—and this bears emphasizing—either through thought, speech or deed return to him, palatable or unpalatable, in accordance with the nature of the seed sown; to uplift him or drag him down. The upliftment may be such that the man soars and lands in the Light Region or if heavy with dross, the weight drags him down, sinking to the sphere of Darkness, a major feature of which is hell, the region of unmitigated torment, hellish conditions with the reality of the final death staring the inhabitants in the face, obeying, again, an important law which is that of gravitation. The law of gravitation stipulates that what is light floats and soars, but what is heavy sinks.
The activity of a man for whom the period of maturation takes long may not bring forth fruits for harvesting if he does not live long for one reason or the other. But then, it is his body which expired, not he himself. He is spirit, the animating core with finer coverings it wraps itself with as it traverses different planes down to the earth which then makes it to be recognized as soul. The soul is therefore what is connected through radiation threads to the man’s activities which have not yet ripened for harvesting. This brings us to the phenomenon called reincarnation. We must return to this major milestone which many people conveniently ignore in tackling mysteries, yet without the knowledge of it, the Justice in life cannot be understood? And the question lingers: Why do good people suffer and the wicked prosper?
Next week, we examine the seemingly inscrutable subject more closely.
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