Thursday, September 8, 2016

More Isn’t Always Better: Spiritists Value Suffering But Do Not Seek It

More isn’t always better. Ironically, whether it’s a natural human tendency or more of a widespread cultural norm, we so often think that just because something is good in some way, it then behooves us to seek more of it. That is simply not true, but perhaps this is why there is sometimes a misconception, among those who make hasty assumptions without understanding well the teachings of Spiritism, that because Spiritists emphasizes the role of suffering in facilitating our spiritual progress we then seek out ways to suffer as if intentionally.

Just to set the record straight, Spiritists seek happiness, not suffering. This is what we are striving for. The more we study Spiritism, the better we understand how suffering helps our spirits, in the long run, to overcome barriers to the attainment of that happiness we so desire. Suffering educates, awakens, motivates, and inspires, yet the suffering we value is the suffering that finds its cause somewhere in our past, whether in this lifetime or before it. For those circumstances, we are then enlightened by Spiritism regarding the purpose of suffering, as well as what is required on our part to take advantage of its benefits. 

In no way do we seek further suffering as if in attempt to “capitalize” on it and reap its “greatest possible benefits”. This, in fact, would be contrary to divine law! Our ultimate goal is actually to minimize our suffering and maximize our joy, until the latter grows and swells like an ocean wave approaching the shore line, ready to wash away any remaining imprints from our painful past.  

Reflecting on this understanding, I am reminded of the famous Serenity Prayer, by Reinhold Niebuhr:

   God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, 
   The courage to change the things I can, 
   And the wisdom to know the difference.

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Would you like to know more about the Spiritist understanding of suffering?  Here are a few resources for you to explore more:

Watch my talk entitled Understanding Suffering:

Read about The Meaning of Suffering on this webpage:

Check out these articles regarding suffering on the NW Spiritism blog:

Thank you for reading!
Blessings to all, today and always