I don’t know why but I’ve been regularly thinking about something I heard, ‘that we often act out our subconscious, then try to retrospectively justify our actions’, or something along those lines. I’ve also been thinking about the question, ‘if God exists, how can they allow so much suffering?’ The link between these two back of the envelope thoughts is free will.
Now, this is a big call… I think suffering and freewill are intrinsically linked. They are almost one in the same. And strangely, as much as it may be to you, it is to me, this link adds clout to the existence of, or rather disproves the notion that because there is suffering, that there cannot be a God interfering with our lives. I think if you believe in God, I’m not saying I necessarily do, but if you do, I think one logical conclusion you can make is that the cost of freewill is that suffering must exist. And that its operation is beyond the control of God. This then leads me to believe, that God plays no part in this universe and can only operate outside it. Because, if a divine power were to intervene, even once, consequently freewill would no longer exist. It would be forever plagued by such an intervention.
This means, if you do believe in God, to whatever extent, you believe they control everything, including you – freewill doesn’t exist. Or alternatively, God exists outside the influence of this universe, and they have NO bearing on our lives – freewill exists. I guess the question then becomes, do you believe in freewill? And, hence suffering? Honestly, I don’t think you can look me straight in the eye and say suffering doesn’t exist. So, it’s option 2 I think most of us are taking… that freewill and suffering exist and due to this God has no influence over our lives.
Now what did that resolve? Freewill exists because there is suffering, and God can only exist outside the confines of this universe because if they didn’t, their purpose would be the removal of free will.
I did say it was a big call….
I’m not going to pretend there aren’t massive gaps in my logic. Those mostly being what happens outside the time-period we have free will. Before we are born or after we die. There is some kind of void, most prevalent in our lack of knowledge on the subject. No-ones truly ever died and come back to tell the tale, so how can we weave a narrative of the afterlife? Or beforelife for that matter? How does this factor in?
Perhaps God is most prevalent within the confines of such unknowable realms. As I have pointed out, I think he is devoid of this universe but beyond it? I can’t pretend to know what could lie beyond. One great thing I did hear on the subject, was that before we are sent ‘here’, wherever here is anyway, we are given a choice. God bestows all his wisdom, and we know and grasp the answers to everything and anything. Then we are given a choice; to be born into existence; to forget everything we know; and live out our own suffering; to only return to the ‘heavens’ to be judged on our actions when we have lost ‘sight’ of the truth. Or we can stay in heaven, with true sight but nowhere to perform an action of freewill.
Here’s another curly perspective. Perhaps after we die, we are the judge and jury. We are God. We are tasked with judging our own past life’s performance. And we deduce we must be sent back to repeat the cycle again and again, until we see the error in our ways, until we are pure of body and mind.
Then perhaps once this rinse and repeat cycle reaches its ultimate goal, we leave this place (this universe) once and for all. What’s on the other side? Well, I guess, freewill would be removed, hence the elimination of suffering. Then perhaps we enter a perpetual state of peace and understanding and fly around other dimensions on a magic carpet, in the lotus position with rainbows firing out of our third eye. I don’t know ha.
For me the question of, ‘does God exist?’ naturally translates into, ‘if they do, why does it matter?’ Considering the variables of suffering and freewill – I think the two biggest considerations when entertaining God’s existence – I think one leads to the other and eliminates the necessity for an omnipresent God. Suffering is evidence of freewill, because to truly be free means you have the capacity to do harm. Hence what is God’s purpose in the universe we find ourselves? To make sure the wind blows, flowers blossom and the galaxies keep spinning? I don’t think any of these things require guidance from God, and in there lies a substantial amount of beauty.
Something may be watching over us somewhere but, in the world we inhabit and live out our lives, God’s existence isn’t necessary. Does that mean praying and going to church, no matter your religious constitution, is pointless? I don’t think so. Who knows the benefits and resulting chain reactions that only manifest by putting your concerns, triumphs, and mistakes out into the ether? What better habit is there to reflect on your past actions and plan for the future? If praying to God for their blessing and forgiveness works for you, more power to you.
In short, I think we are the vessels of judgement. We carry our consequences to the bitter end. Most of us willingly enter into suffering in one form or another and that’s the price of freewill. Perhaps when we reach the end of the maze, we are lifted out of the obstacle course and scored on our winnings and losses. But until then, I don’t think God has any influence over our lives. Who better to judge us than our true selves?