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'What you call "suffering" I would call overcoming adversity. I see that as the key to spiritual evolution.'

That's a great observation, and is much easier to accept than the idea of endless suffering.

Still, I would like to hope that every spirit eventually reaches a point where adversity comes not from mighty struggles and slogging through brutal challenges, but in smaller, more meaningful moments. As an example, I frequently use a computer program to animate videos, and have been doing so for years. I've figured out how the program works and the limits on what it can accomplish, and am now more focused on learning little tricks to find workarounds of those limits. Those tasks, while occasionally frustrating, are still enjoyable, and provide a great sense of satisfaction when I learn something new.

Perhaps the spirit world is the same way: As my father is fond of saying, 'the closer you get to perfection, the more obvious a flaw becomes.' Once we learn the big stuff (we're all interconnected, the importance of helping others, self-control, etc.) from mortal lives, our adversity comes not from major challenges, but in refining the little things until, at last, we reach the finish line, become one with God, and presumably then turn around and help others along the same path.

Thanks Michael for the interesting post. The comments on Rose Barrington are a timely reminder (for me anyway) that it’s important to read the original material before forming a view.

@ Ian - very interesting observation, I think you’re probably right. The only minor observation I’d make is that I suspect the idea is that we help others along the way all the time we progress, and that in fact, such aid is necessary for us to progress spiritually. I do like reading Silver Birch and one of his oft used phrases is that “Service to others is the coin of spirit”.

I suspect the ‘smaller moments’ are often as, or perhaps even more important than the big things.

I’m not sure suffering or adversity is necessary for progress but I am certain it can be used as a basis for development if we can adopt the necessary mindset. Sometimes this is easier said than done of course and takes a while....

Thank you for the links and commentary re: Marcus Arvan's thinking!

Nice post, Michael!

I really enjoyed Barrington's "more general caution against hyper-skepticism." Succinct, perfect analysis!

\\"I’m not sure suffering or adversity is necessary for progress" - Paul//

Suffering and adversity evoke emotion, and the more emotional the experience the more powerful and long lasting the memory it creates.

This life has to be the way it is in order to overcome those feelings of oneness and connectedness and lack of time and space so often described in near death experience descriptions. Otherwise we'd have no identity of our own and would just be pure consciousness with no thoughts of our own or our own identity. Sort of like the gametes in our parents bodies before they united to create a separate unique individual.

We have to experience enough duality and separation, time and space, and what it was like to be embodied and the parameters of that body so that after we cross back over into "heaven" we can relate to and understand those concepts in a place where they don't really exist, or at least in the same way they do here.

The physics of heaven, as described by near death experiencers, is very different from the physics we experience here and we simply come here to learn the things that can't be learned in the place we call heaven. The place we call heaven seems to be very similar to the physics that Michael Talbot described holographic film having.

Emotion and memory

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