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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

"Furnace of Affliction" Some thoughts about suffering and a new video

I made a video titled “Furnace of Affliction”.    Just click the title it goes to 'Dimensions' my YouTube channel. It took longer than it should have to settle on a title.  I finally decided to use the bible verse I had included in the video.  Isaiah 48: 10.  You can read the entire chapter here.  It is set in a specific historical context but the meaning I draw from it has little to do with the historical  or current context.

I interpret this passage in a spiritual way enabling an expanded vision to appear.  While reading the chapter I remembered how in the New Testament it is written that Jesus spoke truth to the church authorities with verses like this.  He showed them no quarter and declared them dead wrong and dangerous.

I had been fascinated by the references in the bible using fire as a means of describing God’s being. The bush burning mysteriously in the desert, and God's spirit  is described as a flame of fire. Fire has a mystical as well as practical side. It is that consideration of fire I'm thinking of.

Think about the flame.  What you are seeing ceases to exist upon your seeing it.  The flame is what happens during a change of state.

What we see in the writhing flames is the struggle for extinction. The top of the flame is the end of the game for the flame... poof' its gone.

However if you look down to the fire below it seems to be much the same and if you look back to the top, there it is, about to extinguish itself.

What's going on?
Why does flame rush continually toward extinction,
but there is always more flame?

Along with this inexplicable activity of the flame I have also been wondering about 'human suffering'.  Many have wondered about this, some have given up their religion as a result of God not responding to their suffering in a way they felt God should with endless questions such as "If God is a God of love, why did this happen, why did that happen..." " Why?" becomes the biggest and toughest question ever asked.

Here's how I understand it. Life is supposed to hurt.  It's not supposed to hurt because that's the way God intended it, it's supposed to hurt because reality demands that it hurt. It's hard to buck reality.  Can you imagine life in a society created by an economic system built on interest / debt and taxation that did not hurt? So it must hurt.  Those are the rules.

Both Jesus and Buddha  recognized the universal problem of suffering. Both provided an unlikely antidote to suffering.  In this antidote you are set on a course of self discovery.  

The parables of Jesus are a deep mine of spiritual treasure. You can read them here. CLICK

There is a short book of wisdom attributed to the Buddha.  The Dhammapada.  The Dhammapada  can be read here.  CLICK.  Upon reading these two works of spiritual insight you will realize their, Jesus and Buddha's, approach to the endurance, end and experience of suffering is unexpected to say the least.  Their ideas are quite similar none the less. Each teacher maintains that being transformed by a radically different conception of self identity is the only way out.

The apostle Paul describes the solution as a mystery.  

"to make all men see
what is the fellowship of the mystery
which from the beginning of the world
hath been hid in God,"

The art and video was made by myself.  I wrote the article.  
Links to external sites are links to information other people have provided I make no claim to ownership.

David H. Roche (C) 2013

a Clear Running Water state of mind

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A practitioner of the art of living with the intent of learning how to die without fear.