Without misfortune, distress, and sickness our lives would suffer.

That may sound like a great paradox but I am referring to eternal happiness not worldly happiness.

We usually are happy when things are going OUR way. That is, happiness is obtained when life and the world all fall into our personal view of how life should be—for us. Since this view often does not look beyond the personal self or the physical world, one’s happiness becomes tied to reputation, accumulation of wealth and pleasure. Therefore, God has no other recourse but to allow “s_ _ t to happen.”

It is not in God’s or our best interests that we go through life solely in our habitual minds, which have been conditioned to operate on a corporeal/sensual level. Daily life does not require us to seek spiritual happiness or to look beyond the allurements and trappings of the material world.

So when bad things happen, many people “snap out” of their habitual condition and begin to wake up and think more deeply about what really matters. That is a good thing! Misfortune, distress and sickness often lead people back to God and to the realization that what they formerly valued most turned out to be fleeting and worthless.

Lots of people blame God for the suffering in the world. However, if the things that give us the most pleasure hinder or block God’s influence of spiritual goodness from entering into our lives and hearts, desperate measures are taken. Happiness eludes most people because they only know what gives them the most pleasure.

What is the difference between pleasure and happiness?

Happiness goes deeper than pleasure and is more inclusive. Pleasure often runs counter to true happiness as well. We want good things from God, but God wants us to do good things for others. Pleasure is worldly. Happiness is spiritual.

Let me share an experience. I was once told by an acquaintance that he felt it was wrong that people should suffer and die. Yet, this same person thought cheating on his wife was fine—he found pleasure in it. Now that he is old, overweight and has a bad heart, I hope he has time to ponder the true secret of happiness.

I have kept this post purposely short because I want to hear what you think about suffering in the world and how this affects your feelings about God.

Website: http://www.staircasepress.com

About thegodguy

EDWARD F. SYLVIA, M.T.S. Philosopher/Theologian Edward F. Sylvia attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his Master of Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and a Certificate of Swedenborgian Studies from the Swedenborgian House of Studies. He is a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (C.T.N.S.) and the Swedenborg Scientific Association (S.S.A.). Award-winning author of "Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden" and "Proving God," which fulfills a continuing vision that God’s fingerprints of love can be found everywhere in the manifest universe. His most recent book, "Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links" is an edgy collection of anti-intuitive essays for personal transformation that challenges and inspires. He has been a student of the ideas of both Emanuel Swedenborg and George I. Gurdjieff for over thirty years. Read more about TheGodGuy, his books and his ideas at http://www.staircasepress.com
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