Lessons In Truth - Lesson 1 - Annotation 1
What is the primary cause of suffering?
1. The primary cause of suffering is that we have lost sight of our innate divinity, our spiritual origin. We have forgotten that each one of us is a spiritual being, a son of God, an heir to all the ideas that inhere in God-Mind.
We have forgotten that, as spiritual beings, we have dominion and authority over our thoughts and feelings. We have used our formative power of thought in wrong ways and have based our thinking on negative reports that were the result of wrong use of the five senses. Because of this we have built up negative beliefs in our consciousness, such as fear of old age, lack, and sickness, and we are suffering the effects.
Sometimes, in our ignorance, we have believed that it is God's will for us to suffer, and have hoped thereby to discipline ourselves into being good. What we need to know is that as spiritual beings we are already "good," being of the same nature as our Father. If we have been guilty of thoughts and acts unworthy of our true nature, we must voluntarily make the change and begin to think and act in accord with our divine nature.
The primary cause of suffering, which is forgetfulness of our divine nature, has in turn caused the wrong thinking that has produced mental images of fear, guilt, anxiety, failure, and frustration. These have reproduced "after their kind" resulting in lack, sickness, and suffering of all kinds. We may outline the primary cause and the secondary causes of suffering as follows:
(b) Secondary causes:
(1) Wrong thinking, which has built up a belief in separation from God. This has led to fear that we stand alone, and the feeling that our ability to meet the challenges of our daily life is inadequate.
The remedy for suffering is to realize that we are spiritual beings; then to do all that is necessary to base the activities of thinking and feeling (our formative power of thought) on Truth, so that only true words, actions, reactions, and conditions may result.
There are those who have felt, and still feel, that suffering of itself turns us to God. This is not true. It is rather our desire to be free from suffering that can cause us to turn to God. On the other hand, if we do nothing about the desire to be free, the suffering may cause us to be filled with feelings of bitterness, frustration, discouragement, so that we continue to suffer in mind, body, or affairs, resigning ourselves to what we believe is God's will.
The lessons that follow will show us the steps that we need to take in order to come into the realization of our true nature, so that we may free ourselves from the suffering that many human beings experience. Then we can express all the loveliness, beauty, and dignity of our own divine nature, here and now.
Following Entry: What is the Fountainhead from which we draw all our good, such as joy, strength, peace, health, and abundance?