Holger: In my naivety and ignorance I did not understand suffering, and for a very long time felt intimidated by it; even assuming that it had to do with Christianity and God. What an enormous relief -- beyond words -- to understand, feel and experience that it can drop away without harm. Maybe it was like a cocoon..?
Thinking and feeling on behalf of an assumed separate-self. Suffering is attitudinal and can completely drop away.
One half: guilt, blame and pride.
Other half: expectations and attachment to outcomes, worry and anxiety.
WIth gratitude to Roger Castillo for his elegant and simple, but bone-deep teaching about suffering and peace of mind in practical daily living.
Happiness is simply the absence of suffering.
"This world" is lost in the never-ending struggle of changing circumstances: seeking pleasure and avoiding pain, while overlooking the real source of fulfilment, peace of mind.
Happiness is available for the human being in this lifetime, if we are willing to see the mechanism of our suffering and bravely examine and feel its psychological implications.
Suffering is a tricky guest, because strangely enough it gives us a sense of familiarity/identity, which we prefer over uncertainty; but at one point we make the decision that we had enough suffering.
At the root of suffering
...is our sense of 'self' that is entangled in thinking/feeling an assumed outer world.
We grow into an erroneous sense of doership, revolving around "me" as an autonomous and separate-self, in need to control circumstances.
This "me" feels to be either diminished or aggrandize by circumstances, myself or "others". Instead to address and fix uncounted symptoms, it is much easier to explore and address the root cause: my erroneous sense of self, seemingly separate and apart from God.
Being Born = Identifying With One's Origin
Born from below
We grow up learning, knowing and relying only on what our senses report and our mind can process.
We base our reliance on thinking/feeling, second-hand knowledge, unexamined assumptions and our animal instinct of wanting to survive in our social environment.
We develop an identity of "me" as the doer of "my" life, based on a sense of a separation apart from God/Life/Love.
Born from above
Through suffering we awaken the seeker in us and hopefully discover the nature and limitations of our own mind.
Instead to follow the same patterns of hiding and pretending behind ego -- now spiritualized -- we somehow embrace the opportunity of radical openness.
Our own suffering becomes our welcomed guest who exposes to us our own faulty thinking and feeling on behalf of the "me" that lived in separation, for decades.
The story of Jesus can be a powerful foundation and Presence while we understand the letting go of our childhood dependency on circumstances.
Christ = the natural, effortless wisdom and power of God, available to everyone who acknowledges and invites the Presence, here and now.
Our relationship with God
If we liken God to Water, then we are like an ice cube in warm water: we cannot help to lose our familiar shape and clunkiness, but reacquaint ourselves with our true nature -- in this example water.
God, being infinite, eternal Consciousness, we Being individualized Consciousness -- localized Awareness.
All words as concepts, as concessions to the limitations of language and thinking.
Life Takes Care Of Life
At one point we can easily discern in ourself the "natural man" who lives isolated in his/her head -- by the sweat of the brow -- and the effortless "I am" as myself in harmony with Life, joint-heir to all the heavenly riches, living by grace.
Kingdom = simply our natural and effortless state of dominion and power;
Being connected and in sync with Life/Source/Core.
Prayer = spending time with Self, in the Presence and stillness beyond the mind; effortless Being aware of Awareness; without expectation or attachment.
Father = Consciousness, infinite and eternal; God, the cause of the phenomena of life.
The Lord is the absence of your own ignorance, inside of your Self. You maybe don't like to hear this, but please don't run away and instead prove me wrong. It is a win-win if we share in love.