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The Reason for Suffering by Silver Birch

SO deep is his conviction, so succinct his interpretation of the law, that at times Silver Birch seems almost indifferent.

“We point to a law that is a law,” he declares, “a law that has always operated, a law that will always operate because the Eternal Mind is responsible for its being.

Live with the law and you have harmony and peace within and without: live contrary to the law and you impose discord and chaos within and without. You are spiritual beings. One day you will have to face this fact.

Better do so now and save yourselves years of needless difficulty.” Such unequivocality could be misconstrued as callousness, especially when an undeveloped soul, or one blinded by the tears of grief, listens to the guide tell of the necessity for suffering and sorrow. But as Silver Birch has explained: “The Great Spirit is infinite love and nothing happens in the whole universe without His knowledge.

All suffering automatically brings its own reward because it touches the soul and, in doing so, gives it a greater awareness of the higher, deeper and more profound aspects of the universe.” He told the circle on one occasion: “Your world does not understand the function of pain and suffering and difficulty and hardship, but all these play an important part in the evolution of the human spirit. Look back in your own lives and see that often the greatest crises, the most difficult problems, the darkest hours, were the stepping-stones that led to greater understanding.

You would not evolve if forever you dwelt in the sunshine, lived free from care, anxiety and worry, where every approaching difficulty was automatically smoothed out so that it never touched you, where there were no rough stones in your pathway, where there was nothing for you to conquer. It is in the facing of, and rising supreme over, trouble that you grow.

“Every experience is part of the pattern of your life,” he told another gathering of the circle. “You try to judge eternity by temporal happenings. You see in matter apparent confusion, but you do not realise that a divine thread runs throughout all your lives.

“In the great universe where harmony is the law, each one of you contributes to the plan. The events in your lives, sometimes of bitterness and despair, of pain and misery, all play their part in preparing the soul gradually for the path that is being trodden.

“The darkness and the light, the shadow and the sunshine, are all but reflections of one whole. Without shadow there could be no light and without light there could be no shadow. The difficulties of life are steps which enable the soul to rise.

“Difficulties, obstacles, handicaps-these are the trials of the soul. And when it conquers them all, it rises stronger, more purified, deepened in intensity and more highly evolved.

“Do you think that the latent powers of the soul, infinite in their possibilities of expression, could realise themselves without difficulty and pain, without shadow, without sorrow, and without suffering and misery? Of course not.

“The joy and the laughter can only be enjoyed to the full when once you have drained the cup of sorrow to the dregs, for as low as you can fall in the scale of life so correspondingly you can rise. The more you have tasted and experienced that which seems the shadow of earthly life, the more you will appreciate, because of it, the greater joys of the sunshine.

“Your experiences are all part of your evolution. One day, freed from the trammels of flesh, with eyes not clouded by matter, you will look back in retrospect and view the life you have lived on earth. And out of the jigsaw of all the events, you will see how every piece fits into its allotted place, how every experience was a lesson to quicken the soul and to enable it to have greater understanding of its possibilities.

“There is no experience that comes to the human soul, which, rightly understood and rightly faced, does not leave you better for it. Can you contemplate a world of matter where there were no difficulties, no trials, no troubles, no pain, no suffering? There would be no evolution. There would be nothing to surmount. You would decay.”

Extract from Silver Birch Anthology

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