Why is there poverty and suffering in the world?
This week’s video post deals with the question of why there is so much poverty and suffering in the world and what responsibility we each have, if any, to do something about it.
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Most, if not all, of the problems on this planet are caused by people. Or, could be solved by people, at least… the vast majority of people it would seem don’t really do very much, if anything, at all. The average person’s world outlook is about finding happiness for themselves and those immediately close to them… I think there should be less complaining about what other people are or aren’t doing and more doing… Every single person on Earth can make a difference.
Everyone has that potential within them, and if they have that love and determination like you say, they can invoke that spiritual energy through The Twelve Blessings and send it out.
[Mark] I think you can answer that question on various levels. I saw a cartoon on Facebook that I think began to shed some light on this question strangely, and it was a man speaking to God and saying “God, why do you allow all these terrible things that go on?” And God said back to the man, “Well, it’s funny I could ask you the same question.”
And although that doesn’t completely answer the question from a philosophical point of view, I think it does put it in perspective that most, if not all, of the problems on this planet are caused by people. Or, could be solved by people, at least.
And, there are some evil people in the world who go out of their way to cause suffering for whatever twisted reason they may have. And you have some good people who really try hard to help people in all sorts of ways whether it’s spiritually per se, or maybe materially. It’s all good stuff that’s helping the world. And it’s wonderful how many different ways there are to help that suit different abilities, personalities, ideologies et cetera. But in between those two extremes, you have the vast majority. And the vast majority of people it would seem don’t really do very much, if anything, at all. And most people, even nice people, maybe our next door neighbor who we get on really well with who is very sweet and charming and kind if you needed a favor… But in terms of the average person’s world outlook it is about finding happiness for themselves and those immediately close to them.
[Darren] It’s as if everyone seems to imagine that it’s someone else’s responsibility that there’s all this poverty and suffering, rather than our own as individuals and what we can do about it.
[Mark] A common get out is blaming governments. And governments, I’m sure, to a large extent do deserve that blame, but I often think when people are criticizing politicians, I think “Well, I’d like to see you try and do that job. It’s not an easy job. We’re a democracy. You could try and get elected. You could change all these things that you’re complaining about rather than working 9:00 to 5:00, with no scrutiny at all except maybe from one boss, then going home and watching TV.”
Whatever you think of politicians, they have a lot of responsibility – a lot of pressure. Now, maybe they fail in that but they do have it. They do face that challenge, whatever the motives may be. Sometimes they’re good. Sometimes they’re not good. Sometimes they’re probably mixed. But I think there should be less complaining about what other people are or aren’t doing and more doing.
[Darren] More taking responsibility for making a difference.
[Mark] Exactly, because we can all make a difference. Every single person on Earth can make a difference. I was going to say it doesn’t matter how much money you have or how clever you are. It does – because if you have a lot of money or you’re very clever, you’re in a position to do more good. However, everyone, regardless of their wealth, regardless of their intelligence, can make a massive difference.
And at the end of the day, someone with a good heart, determination and the right intentions is going to be a hundred times more valuable than the richest, cleverest guy in the world if that guy is not interested in helping others.
[Darren] Actually one of the things that I loved about The Twelve Blessings, and actually any spiritual practice that you can do to help others, is that there are no barriers in terms of who you are and where you come from, how much money you have… Everyone has that potential within them, and if they have that love and determination, like you say, they can invoke that spiritual energy through The Twelve Blessings and send it out.
[Mark] Well, discrimination in its negative sense is an entirely manmade phenomenon. God does not distinguish between nationality, color, even religion. God does not discriminate on the grounds of religion. The only discrimination there is if you can call it that, is how much someone really wants to do good and how much effort they put into that. That is the only thing that matters. And if you really want to do good you will be given a way to do good.
But I feel I haven’t really addressed the question from a philosophical point of view. One of the main reasons why there is suffering in the world is because life is about experience.
It’s about learning lessons through karma, and whatever experience we’re going through we have an opportunity to become better people – wiser people.
We don’t always take that opportunity but we have it. Every single second of our lives gives us an experience, which, if taken in the right way, can take us closer to God realization.
Sometimes the experience might be pleasant, and sometimes it might be unpleasant. Often, the more unpleasant the experience is though the greater it is as a teacher. I think probably we can all relate to that a bit. It’s the times we’ve maybe felt very alone, or depressed even, that ultimately have given us the strength to improve later on in life.
One of the main reasons why there is suffering in the world is because life is about experience… Whatever experience we’re going through we have an opportunity to become better people – wiser people… Often, the more unpleasant the experience is though the greater it is as a teacher.
This series features Mark Bennett and Darren Ball. Mark Bennett is an International Director of The Aetherius Society, and co-author of Prayer Energy and the award-winning title Gods, Guides and Guardian Angels. www.markinfo.co.uk
Darren works as a volunteer for The Aetherius Society and is the creator of The Twelve Blessings website. You can learn more about Darren here.
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