Suffering on Principle

In Article Of The Month, Suffering on Principle by wjjhk

So much of the correspondence that comes into DKF-K now is written from a place of barely concealed distress.


On a planet that we are overheating and despoiling, in a world in which suicide is now the most common cause of death amongst Western teenagers, and in which if we are not ourselves going mad, our leaders surely are, how dare we expect to take pleasure in our lives? “How dare we…” We have heard that accusation quite a lot recently from young Greta Thunburg.

So how do we move around the distress and the guilt tripping to take pleasure and find the value in our life and opportunities?

There is a clever answer and a more practical answer.

The clever answer is to understand that the realities of the world we live in represent just one of seven levels of Truth accessible by human consciousness. It is the fourth level (third degree of separation) -- things do not look the same on the third, second and first levels. Indeed, on those levels they do not look bad at all.

On the fourth level, our noses are rubbed in the consequences of how we have been thinking and how we have been reacting to the past.

We are living our own script within a stupendous system which is largely dependent on us. It has survived – and benefitted – from aeons of human folly because it is the job of humanity to get it wrong, individually and collectively, so that we learn what right looks like and can impress that association upon an evolving collective consciousness.

Our souls know another level of truth, if, amid the pressures of modern life, we can remember that we have souls. The truth of the human soul is not of the highest level, but it is higher than the fourth, and if we access it, we will understand what the planet really needs. Conservation forgets that our planet has its own developmental requirements. It too must move on and evolve.

It is the clever answer because it will sound feckless, even offensive to many who are upset and reacting with anger and fear to the statistics and to the climate change documentaries, but it is offered because this awareness needs to be out there. Since the New Age has lost its vitality, we no longer have the same level of encouragement to think in larger wholes, and are being consumed by detail, statistics, anxiety and guilt, all of which have a part to play but none of which tell the whole story.

The more practical answer is that regardless of whether the planet needs our efforts to control climate or not, we need to make these efforts to shift our awareness, individually and collectively, onto a higher level.

If, through intelligent initiatives, assumption of responsibility, and willingness to make sacrifices in line with how we are explaining situations to ourselves, we can remove a degree of separation from our relationship with truth, we can, from this different vantage point, start seeing the possibilities that we can realise and not simply the damage we have done. It is the self–centredness of the fourth level that makes us see everything as our own doing, which is not at all the same thing as saying things can carry on as they have been.

The point of pain is to inform our consciousness of the presence of something undesirable in our bodies and lives, and to invite us to consciously try to make a different relationship with what we perceive as the cause.

When the suffering of the world is causing us to suffer then we have a different relationship with it.

This is not about feeling or not feeling pain, which is part of the condition of sensate beings on this planet, but about where to go with it.

We are between spiritual cultures now.

Devotionalism’s disciple feels he should suffer along side the suffering and fears to look insensitive or behave in a non-empathetic way. This suffering on principle is unnecessary suffering but we do it as a gesture of compassion when faced with the pain of the human, the animal and, increasingly, the planetary kingdom. But this can also mean – and so often does – that there is collusion in helplessness.

There are other more effective gestures we should be making now in addition to that of empathy. Spiritual evolution does not ask us to lose our sensitivity or sense of compassion but to add to it, balancing helplessness with a sense of empowerment.

The Initiate Planetary Server knows that the point of Individuality is to be a conscious conduit for Spirit to find its way into our world. The gesture to Spirit involves offering our best in whatever we do because Spirit does not recognise half–hearted-ness, pragmatism and expediency. It wants a commitment in the present to the continuation of life which can then flow on, in the memorable words of DH Lawrence: kindling the life quality where it was not. This is Truth’s third level.

We can do this in our work and with our very being, every day that we are alive. But it is not served by hand wringing and self-flagellation, tearing ourselves apart with unsettling details that we don’t need to know. Nor is it served through distressing ourselves because we don’t understand the big issues properly and do not know how to position ourselves within them. This contributes nothing but negativity.

If we will get rid of these learned but inadequate responses, we can start making an authentic relationship with the world, including its pain, and deal with it intelligently, consulting the person we can trust which should be ourselves. We can then put out into our troubled world the best that we can offer creatively while feeling alive and aware of opportunity. Whatever form our contribution takes, it can be the vehicle for positive energy. Life is a flow onwards and Spirit is its agent. Pain is a fact of life, but suffering means being caught up in intellectual constructs and is a choice.

Whenever we feel upset, stuck and muddled, we should tidy or clean something within our own living space. Put something to rights, doing so to the very best of our attention and ability and let that experience communicate to us. It is so empowering. Cleaning the kitchen well might not count on a planetary scale, but a greater appreciation of how to organise our self may grow from it.

These recommendations are also offered for consideration.

  • Spiritual aspirants with Sun in Houses 1-4 should just get on with their own lives and activities not in an unfeeling way but because they perceive that life goes on and must go on. It is what they know how to offer, and indeed from the angle of Spirit, it is the best.
  • Those with Sun in Houses 5-8 should explore the ways in which they can make a different relationship with it, considering what they can reasonably contribute mentally, emotionally and physically to specific issues. It would be an intelligent and considered assessment that reflects the truth of themselves as beings in the world. What they contribute in this way must be balanced by an investment in the positive opportunities that present themselves their own lives. Life must go on; we must fulfil our own potential.
  • Those with Sun in Houses 9-12 should join forces with others and figure out how to lessen the suffering. Their conviction that they are tackling major problems and issues comforts and inspires them. Their ability to handle large issues requiring large solutions is unique because they can think in larger wholes. From this group come those who have a true vision for the human family, which is not the same thing as saying that leaders will always come from this group or that those who do so will always have vision.

So much of the pain in the world now comes from forgetting how to look up into a bigger and higher world; forgetting to use our intelligence and discrimination to assess for ourselves the way to respond in any given situation and feeling impotent; forgetting how to enjoy our lives; and forgetting to teach our children to value their own opportunity when in incarnation. This, in itself, is a planetary crisis.

Suzanne Rough
October 2019