Illness as a spiritual emergency
I was recently sitting by the bed of a very ill patient who had suffered a major stroke wondering why? Why is it that such a good life ends in such unfair and unimaginable suffering?
The idea dawned on me that perhaps there is some residual suffering that is self inflicted. Just think, today the body fails and the personality becomes angry, disappointed, disillusioned and blames their body, blames God and existence for their pain and this happens in every generation.
Life can be very painful with injuries and illness to body and mind, so if it is correct as Buddhist and Hindus claim that reincarnation is a fact of our human existence, then perhaps some of our suffering is self inflicted.
When the body fails,
one blames the body setting up an internal conflict
which carries over into the next life
Suffering is a part of life which can be overcome, most typically by forgiveness. Like the Middle East war, many of us are at war with our bodies, wanting it to look good, to be strong and healthy while we stuff it with unhealthy food and it becomes the bodies fault when it breaks down.
As the owner of our own bodies, if we take loving care of it and learn how to meet it's needs for optimal health, vitality, and forgive it when it fails as it does with the occasional viruses and illnesses make their rounds, the chances of carrying residual or karmic suffering and a tragic death may be reduced.
Unfortunately today we are seeing an increase in terminal suffering as drugs keep people alive perhaps beyond their years and perhaps unless the afflicted person forgives and lets go of all their suffering, this may remain as a perpetual cycle of birth, life and suffering.
“Normally we believe that solving the suffering and problems of our present life is most important, and we dedicate our whole life for this purpose. In reality, the duration of the suffering and problems of this life is very short; if we die tomorrow, they will end tomorrow. However, since the duration of the suffering and problems of future lives is endless, the freedom and happiness of our future lives is vastly more important than the freedom and happiness of the one short life. With the words ‘You should know sufferings’ Buddha encourages us to use our present human life to prepare for the freedom and happiness of our countless future lives. Those who do this are truly wise.” — Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “The New Heart of Wisdom”