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On the purpose of suffering
Hi everyone, this is my first time to post on CSS. My name is Marty, I'm in my early 50s, and my first ctb attempt was in 1993. I have suffered 35 years from schizoaffective disorder, and no, Im not dangerous to anyone else, only myself.
Introduction aside, I would like to explain this theory I have on the purpose of suffering and the afterlife. Like most Buddhists, I believe that the purpose of life on earth is to suffer until one attains enlightenment. I also believe that every being on this planet has a soul or spirit that survives physical death. After this life on earth, those who have not experienced enough suffering have to come  back for another round on this rapidly dying planet. I believe there are countless other planets in the universe that contain life - forms similar to those of humans. I think some planets are nirvana-like, some contain unusual but not too unpleasant challenges that instruct and enlighten us, some planets, though, like this one, are just plain hellish and stupid. i believe that all humanoid life is structured so that each individual must learn the lessons taught by the various planets. On some planets, I think one acquires supreme knowledge, on others, on others, ultimate truth, on others, perhaps, one learns unusual and powerful ways of healing. There are countless lessons for us humanoids to learn wherever we go. On earth, the lesson is about suffering and why does it have to exist. Now obviously on earth, some people suffer a whole lot more than others, who acquire ingenious ways of avoiding it-such as by inflicting it on others, Oh well, it just means they will have to come back here until they have suffered enough.  When someone has suffered enough to understand what true suffering is, I believe they go on to some other planet where suffering really isn't much of an issue. The more one suffers in this life on earth, the better the next lifetime somewhere else will be. I believe I have suffered enough on earth that I will have a great place to go to after this. I have spoken with god every day of my life, and over the past 2 years he has been telling me that I have already suffered enough to get a really great planet and "job placement" next time around. He told me I could choose to ctb anytime I want, for I have learned enough already. Perhaps I am suffering in this life so much because I have not known terrible suffering in so many incarnations that I had forgotten what it's like, and thus lacked the appropriate amount of empathy for  others. Now that I have been reminded, god told me, I can go for a while to a Nirvana-type planet and really appreciate it. I think Nirvana-like planets must have started to bore me, and I just needed a good dose of very bad and painful existence for a while. My theory, I believe, explains quite a lot - like why do some people starve to death in 3rd world sewer-slums and refuge camps, and why some, like us, suffer from horrific and intractable depression even when basic survival needs are met., If, before being incarnated into human form, you are given this choice: you can either have 20 lifetimes on earth as a rich and happy banker,  or 20 years on earth in some desperately poor refugee camp, then you get 20 lifetimes on a much better planet, what would you choose? Maybe those folks in places like Haiti and in American state hospitals for the mentally ill aren't as bad off  (in the long run) as we think them to be.
So much for my beliefs, as best as I can explain. I'd really like to know what ya'll think. Martymouth
I find comfort in your view. Will respond more later when I have more time.
I like the thought that the amount of suffering in this life is proportional to the relief we'll experience in the next. I'm Buddhist too but I get a different message from the teachings. Seems like the Buddha said there isn't really a purpose so much as cause and effect. Ignorance leads to desire, which is the forerunner of consciousness, sense, birth and ultimately suffering. Once desire and aversion are eradicated, then the causal chain stops. I struggle with trying to have faith in his teaching and enlightenment. I wasn't raised in any faith so I have a hard time believing what I cannot see and experience for myself. Of course Buddha says that you must directly experience what he's talking about by yourself, not take it on faith, but it does require some amount of faith to put forth the effort and diligence.
For me, there is no purpose to suffering. It just is. Shit fucking happens.  Sad
"I want to thrive, not just survive." - Thrive, Switchfoot

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