“There will always be suffering. But we must not suffer over the suffering.” ~ Alan Watts


We have discussed that God, The All, The Thing Itself created the universe and imbedded Itself into Its creation. In addition, we have mentioned that God then allowed Its creation to forget its source as well as to have the ability of a free will so as to “choose” its actions.

This “forgetting our source” maximizes our free will menu of choices. It allows The All to experience though its creation (that includes you and I) choices that might not be available otherwise. How so? There are two primary ways this appears to play out.

First, if we came into being deeply knowing that we are all One and interconnected, then our choices would tend to be (if not totally) in the realm of choosing what is best for “the All”.  The initial sense of separation within all known earthly creations allows them to experience life and make choices based on a limited motivation as to what is best for “me”.  So this sense of separation, allows us to first make selfish choices and as we grow into an awareness of our oneness to later make choices that are more and more for the greater good of everyone everywhere.

Secondly, if we came into being deeply knowing the power of the source that is within us, then we would never place limits upon ourselves.  All of our choices would come with an awareness of the power of the Divine within us to create whatever it is we desire. However, our ignorance of our power allows us to make choices that limit our abilities.  When we believe that we cannot do something or are not worthy of something, then we are placing false limits upon ourselves and exhibiting a type of free will choice that would otherwise be unavailable to a creation that knew its true power.

Ultimately then, our experience of pain, suffering and “evil” comes from our choices made based on this limited perspective of ourselves.

A perspective that sees oneself as an individual human who is separate and apart from all other humans and lives a “time limited” life on earth can become attached to the aspects of its human life story.  Things, experiences and people come into its life and bring joy.  Then those things, experiences and people to whom we are attached move on (as all things are temporary and must pass) and we suffer. Even our individual lives eventually release this temporary form bringing us suffering as we contemplate our “death”.

A perspective that sees oneself as an individual human who is separate and apart from all other humans tends to live a life in competition with others.  We compare our appearances and seek to become more appealing to others.  We compare our earnings and our possessions as we seek to obtain more “stuff”.  We compare our earthy experiences, our sexual partners, our intelligences and so much more with those of other humans in some kind of “life score card”.  No matter where we compare ourselves, we always find something where we have a perceived “less” than some other person leading to an experience of suffering and pain.

A perspective that sees oneself as an individual human who is separate and apart from all other humans tends to be more open to making choices that inflict pain on others.  We feel the need to protect what is ours and to take what others might have.  We lie, we steal, we rob, we rape, we go to war, we practice genocide. We justify our actions of causing suffering on others because we believe we are in a “dog eat dog” world where we have to be the “top dog” and if we’re not causing the suffering on others, they would be causing us to suffer.

We might even consider that our evolutionary past as a separate entity has developed pain mechanisms to protect our forms from harm so that we may reproduce and evolve.  Our identity with our humanness and its form allows us to still feel the pain of physical harm.  This pain is something one may be able to transcend when we let go of our attachment to our form and identify with our spiritual truth. There is evidence of many spiritually advanced people who have done just that by learning to let go of the feeling of bodily pains.

Ultimately, so long as we cling to a belief that we are these bodies, that we are these individuals separate and apart from everyone else, that our individual lives are time limited, that only this physical world is the real “reality” and as a result make all of our choices based on that belief, then we will continue to make choices that create pain, suffering and the experience of evil for both others and ourselves.

When we all begin to make choices based on our spiritual truth…..that we are eternal beings that all interconnected in a state of oneness…..that there is no separation, only unity…..that we are not these physical bodies but that we are spiritual beings…..then our choices that are made on these truths will eliminate our experience of pain, suffering and evil.


NOTE:  This article is a part of our Spiritual Philosophy Series.  THIS ARTICLE describes the series’ intention. To view the entire series, CLICK HERE.