Why people suffer? – Call for philosophical essays

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Humans are averted to suffering. We do not wish to ache or cry.

Yet, life is full of pain.

Why?

Of what use is that pain?

How could good people suffer while others are spared the day? Is there a plan behind all this or are we just trying to discover meaning where there is nothing to find or say?

Send your essays to Harmonia Philosophica (harmoniaPhilosophica.com) and see them published in our portal. All submissions adhering to the submission requirements will be published, unless you wish not to.

Submission Requirements

  • Minimum length: 50 words.
  • Content: Submissions must be relative to the topic and have a philosophical flavor.
  • Publication indication: Please indicate explicitly in your submission whether you wish us to publish your essay and under what name (could be an alias). Essays that do not explicitly mention these publication details will not be published due to data protection regulations.
  • Deadline: December 2022.
  • Contact info: harmonia-philosophica@hotmail.com

Seek Harmonia Philosophica article ‘Why do good people suffer?‘ for inspiration.

Looking forward to your ideas!

Believing in God. Losing. Being true. (no, He will NOT save you! And that is a good thing!)

Santiago Sanchez Mejia and el maestro Joselito. Faced death many times. Been alive…

People believe in God because they believe He will save them.
Because they believe He will make their lives better.
But God does not do that.
His own son died and suffered.
God simply exists.
And loves us.

Death is here.
Misery is here.
We just have to understand what “here” is…

Losing and suffering is an integral part of life.
Accept that.
Eternal life is here.
All we have to do is see it.

Like the keys to your car,
search for the keys of existence in the most weird places…

Why do good people suffer?

This is one of the greatest problems that troubles philosophers around the world: Why do good people suffer?

I think the problem can be solved if we understand that it is not really a problem. Who are we to know that suffering is “bad”? Who are we to know that being “happy” in this short material life is our purpose on this planet?

The real problem is not why some pious, humble, believing people suffer, but why some do not. The safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.

C. S. Lewis

Are you so certain that you do not need any signposts? How “good” and philosophically beneficial is to never be sick or unhappy, in a life the meaning of which is to allow you a glipse at the eternity of nothingness one day? How “good” and philosophically “proper” is it to never have to think of death in a life which leads directly to it? How can you live without death?

Perhaps suffering is a reminder to turn to personal insight (ενόραση), as Hannah Arendt postulates, in contradiction to the pleasures we all seek in this life. Because these pleasures (e.g. a full plate of spaghetti) make us live through other things and take us away from the One which we all feel when alone. And we surely need more of that than spaghetti…

Pain makes everything more clear. Pain makes us see the things which are really valuable in life. (and guess what: life itself is not among them) Pain drives us to see into our self. And no one likes that…

Denn das Schöne ist nichts als des Schrecklichen Anfang, den wir noch grade ertragen, und wir bewunderen es so, weil es gelassen verschmäht, uns zu zerstören. Ein jeder Engel ist schrecklich.

For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror, which we still are just able to endure, and we are so awed because it serenely disdains to annihilate us. Every angel is terrifying. [1] ~ Rainer Maria Rilke, Duino Elegies

Beauty is the beginning of terror. Love is the beginning of loss. Great emotions are tangled up in our own dissolution or the loss of those we cherish. Life is a vale of sorrow. But sometimes our most sublime experiences happen just at the edge of tears. [2]

Kierkegaard said that pain makes us drive our thought away from this world. And if pain gives true meaning to hapiness in the eternal, then he who is suffering will feel real joy for his pain. (Afsluttende uvidenskabelig Efterskrift til de philosophiske Smuler)

Pain is an inherent integral part of the cosmos. It is connected to being itself. And so God says: There are places in the man’s heart which do not yet exist. And then pain comes into the heart. So that these places can be.

Think about it: Love is leading to Pain.
Sooner or later you will be separated from the person you love.
And not too many people want to go there.
But the only way to reach Resurrection is Crucifixion…

Nikolaj Velimirovic

“[…] in the (concentration) camp it was like this. You sit in a corner and you repeat inside yourself ‘My Lord, I am but dist and ashes. O Lord, please take my soul’. And the Lord uplifts your spirits again. I would give my remaining life for ten more minutes in Dachau”
~ Nikolaj Velimirovic [3]

The sin of Man when he ate from the Tree of Knowledge is that he gained a false knowledge of the existence of Evil even though such thing does not exist. With “knowledge” we forgot that all we see is an illusion. Pain wants to remind us of this Truth. And the more we resist, the more we suffer…

The misfortune of existence makes us wonder.

But wonder we should not.

Ἀρκεῖ σοι ἡ χάρις μου· ἡ γὰρ δύναμίς μου ἐν ἀσθενείᾳ τελειοῦται…

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