There is a movement in the world to love everything. Love the hard times, love the challenging moments, love the brutal tests of patience and endurance. Just love it all and you can avoid suffering!
If you can find the joy in every moment, the love in everyone, this movement asserts, you can escape suffering.
The assumption behind this philosophy is that suffering is bad. Suffering is to be avoided, denied, and pushed away.
You can’t deny the appeal of such a philosophy. After all who wants to be a “Debbie Downer”? Nobody!
But where does it say that suffering is bad?
Granted, suffering is not fun. But is there no value in suffering? What is your suffering trying to tell you?
I have found the following wisdom to be extremely effective in escaping suffering. It does not deny it or try to paint a happy face on suffering. This wisdom recognizes that suffering exists and that it must be faced, or else it will dominate you:
Your first objective, then, is to face your suffering directly, and by this I mean you must face suffering without judgment. If you are present with suffering, it cannot affect you. But if you are reacting to suffering or trying to change it, it can overtake you at any time. Those who fight suffering will become enslaved, for they are responding to it. It is capturing them because it is a habit and an addiction. It is something that claims people in spite of their good intentions. – Wisdom from the Greater Community, “Escaping Suffering”
So, no one seeks out suffering. And denying it, or calling it something else, or trying to find the love in everything in order to avoid problems in life is not the solution. Suffering must be faced despite our good efforts to be happy and to make the world a brighter place.
This wisdom goes even further and suggests that suffering is a key to finding meaning in our lives. Suffering will exist for as long as we are not engaged in our meaningful work.
It is the goal of life to find real work in the world. It is what is meaningful that is lacking, and that is why people suffer. When meaning becomes your foundation—true meaning—then that will be the source of your happiness, and you will be able to take it with you wherever you go, regardless of circumstances. – “Escaping Suffering,” Wisdom from the Greater Community, Volume I
Lack of meaning in life will produce suffering. A life of meaning greatly reduces it. Escaping suffering is possible.
Why are you here? What is the purpose of your birth? What is the meaning of your existence? Why do you seem to be separated from other people and yet share so much with them? The New Message revelation “The Separation” has a lot to say about this:
These questions are important, but ultimately the answer must be found within your own experience beneath the surface of your mind. Stay at the surface of your mind, acting and reacting to the world, and you will never understand any of these things even though they hold the ultimate value and purpose of your life and the meaning of your existence in this world, at this time, under these circumstances, no matter how troubling they may seem.
So, the meaning of your existence is not found in NFL football games on Sundays. The meaning of your life is not found in what is going on in social media. Watching sports and surfing Facebook are not evil activities and they can be a nice break from the hard work of life. But these diversions, and many others, distract us from the deep voice of truth inside us and the bigger reality of our life.
Why you do not want to hear the greater voice that God has put within you, the voice of Knowledge, the voice that resonates through your deeper nature, which is still connected to God? Why do you reject this? Why do you avoid this? Why do you want to live out in the world and be lost there, consumed by your interests, your hobbies and your dilemmas? Why do you run away from that which will redeem you?
The Meaning of your Existence is the Source of your Redemption
OK. Maybe you get it. But redemption? Why do you have to be redeemed? It’s the same reason why we seek distractions and hobbies and fulfillment in our work.
We are not satisfied with life: just waking up, eating, working and having children (possibly). We can’t be like the animals just surviving, finding food and shelter. We suffer from the memories of our past and we are anxious about our death in the future.
For a sentient being, the awareness of the future and the regrets from the past are an immense burden and source of suffering and misery. Only a greater purpose in life can utilize the past and the future for a greater purpose, thus relieving you from the suffering and the anxiety that it would otherwise produce in an overwhelming way. – “The Separation“
So, it is engagement with your greater purpose, the meaning of your existence, that saves you from the misery and anxiety of living.
Sorry. New clothes, technology, movies, TV and hobbies are all enjoyable, but they will not save us from the burden of consciousness, the pain of knowing that our lives are finite.
OK. So HOW do you find that greater purpose, the meaning of your existence, which will redeem you?
It is like the treasure is in the temple, but it is locked deep inside, and you have to go find it. That in part is why God has sent a New Revelation into the world—to provide the Steps to Knowledge in the clearest possible form that can be translated into any language and studied directly, powerfully, without human commentary and without the weight and the corruption of history oppressing it.
- “I need a job so that I can be free from poverty.”
- “I need political equality to be free from oppression.”
- “I need to tell the truth so that I am free from guilt.”
- “I need to release my anger so that my heart is free.”
All these desires satisfy basic needs to escape oppressive circumstances, but they don’t explain the meaning of freedom. What is the purpose of freedom? What is freedom to be used for? What is the driving NEED for freedom?
Usually, these questions go unanswered simply because the concept of freedom is so valued.
Wars are justified in the name of freedom. Soldiers give their lives in the name of freedom. Governments are toppled in the name of freedom. Freedom is such an esteemed virtue that we rarely consider the meaning of freedom.
Because the meaning of freedom is not examined and considered seriously, freedom is often squandered, taken for granted and eventually rendered meaningless to people who seek it so fervently and mindlessly:
Freedom without purpose is quite meaningless. What is the value of freedom if there is no purpose? It is only license to be chaotic. But the true meaning of freedom is so that true purpose may continue to be discovered and expressed. To have this freedom, you must learn to live in Knowledge and to use Knowledge. – Wisdom from the Greater Community, Volume I
This passage from the New Message from God explains the purpose of freedom: to discover Knowledge and to follow Knowledge and to live it in one’s life. Knowledge is your True self that contains your life’s purpose.
Since freedom is rare and difficult to achieve, once it is achieved, it must be used vigorously! Freedom must not be squandered – it must be squeezed for every last drop to discover and express our purpose for being in the world.
Freedom must be used and not taken for granted in order to give meaning to your life! There is a reason why freedom is hard won: it is gives you the greatest opportunity to fulfill your purpose in life.
Why do we search for meaning in our lives? Why does it seem like we have a spiritual fire burning a hole in our souls?
Really, why should we do this? It holds no immediate gratification to find meaning in life and yet many people still yearn for it, search for it and work towards it.
What is this drive, this spiritual fire that pushes us into unknown territory, beyond the expectations of our family and culture? From where does it come?
Why do people hear a calling to serve others or to seek out new discoveries in science and art? Where does altruism come from and the desire to improve the human condition?
Animals don’t have this drive, this burning need to find meaning and contribution in life. Sadly, many humans who are oppressed by economic circumstances and religious dictates also don’t search for it because they have more pressing needs of the moment to attend to.
Only the person who has achieved a certain level of financial independence, and who can provide for their own needs of food, water, shelter and clothing seek this journey of meaning.
What is this burning need to find something greater than Earthly pleasures of comfort, distraction and entertainment?
The New Message from God calls this burning need “The Spiritual Fire”:
As a creature of the earth, your heart will continue to beat; your body will work. But these things cannot produce the desire to create, the desire to establish true relationships, the desire for meaning and the search for meaning. These must come from a deeper incentive that lives within you, deep down within you. This comes from the fire. – The Spiritual Fire
Consumer Goods Attempt to Satisfy our Spiritual Fire
So, we all have this Spiritual Fire. But BEWARE . For the person who has achieved a basic level of comfort and security, the mental environment is constantly appealing to our spiritual fire and attempting to drain and weaken it.
The advertisements running in the mental environment – on television, radio, and online – also know what is spiritual fire inside us. The advertisements speak to our deep yearnings for meaning, relationships, service and purpose in life.
Whether its a car or a toothpaste or an article of clothing, the promise of all advertisements is that we will be happier, filled with meaningful relationships and confidence with these products. Look at any advertisement and you can know this is true. They are appealing to our spiritual fire in a slightly dishonest way:
But no amount of possessions or purchases can satisfy the spiritual fire. It burns and drives us forward in search of that meaning and the truth of our lives:
This is your freedom, you see, for nothing in the world can extinguish this [spiritual fire]. It remains pure within you. Even if your life has been defiled; even if your life has been misspent; even if your life is currently under suffering, under subjugation or oppression by others, the fire is pure within you. It will give you the eyes to see and the ears to hear and the strength to look at life objectively. It will restore you from your obsessions and addictions, for it is more powerful than they.
Have the courage to see the messages behind the messages in our culture: the ads, the offers, the inducements which entice us to substitute our real life meaning for trinkets of short-lived pleasure. You need this spiritual fire; the world needs this spiritual fire. What is spiritual fire if not the ultimate truth of our reason for being in the world?
What’s the first thought or feeling that comes to you when you think of “work”?
For me, it was first dread and then excitement.
For most of my life, I dreaded work. I mostly hated school (except for gym class). I have disliked most of my jobs which were boring and uninspiring.
But I also have had great passion and success when I worked on my own projects. When I worked in creative pursuits, when I was building something, I could pour hours and hours of immeasurable energy into projects. It was as if everything I could give would be given, and even more than I knew I had to give.
In these circumstances, I felt alive. I felt a tangible meaning in my life. I was not a random mutation. I was not a misfit anymore.
The New Message recognizes this ambivalence of hating and loving work:
What is this work that we speak of? Is it your current employment, which you resist and have difficulty with? … Review how you have responded to work in the past—your desire to work, your ambivalence concerning work and your resistance to work. Recognize how all desire to escape work has really been a desire to discover Knowledge. – Steps to Knowledge
This revealed to me why I resisted school and resisted work. I had to know what my life was FOR before I could begin my true work!
It was not that I didn’t want to work or that I was lazy. I always knew I could work very hard on something when I was motivated.
That was the key for me: motivation! Why would I be motivated sometimes and not others?
Work with Knowledge is True Work
In the past, I didn’t see the point of studying something in school if I didn’t know how I would use it. Yes, some things just need to be learned in order to function in society and be an educated person.
Beyond these essentials of education, I really wanted to know what I was supposed to do with my life. What was the meaning, purpose and direction that I should follow?
If I knew these things, then I could focus like a laser on getting there by learning what I needed to learn and then accomplishing the things I knew I had to do in life. The New Message calls knowing the meaning, purpose and direction of life our “Knowledge.”
Your true work in the world is to discover your Knowledge and allow it to express itself through you. – Steps to Knowledge
In my jobs, I worked hard, but it was never because of money. Yes, money is a very useful thing and sometimes I didn’t have enough which really motivated me to work! But beyond having enough money to live on, very few jobs motivated me if I didn’t feel a meaning and purpose for me to do the job. I needed the money, but I didn’t need the job.
I see this with everyone when I look at the world. If you have enough money to live on, then you need something more to motivate you. You need inspiration; you need Knowledge to guide you to your life’s meaning, purpose and direction:
It is through your work and meaningful activity that you will experience your value—the value of your individual life and the assurance of your true destiny. Your true work guarantees you all things of value and provides you escape from all things that conceal you and render you helpless and miserable. – Steps to Knowledge
If you are searching for meaning in your life, I have news for you: life is what you make it!
At some point in our life, we search for meaning. We ask: where is it? How do I find it? What is the meaning of my life?
And the answer can be boiled down to what you do most often, most consistently, and most naturally. Life meaning is not 100% pre-destined, but we can’t create it either.
The New Message teaches that we’re always practicing something. Every day, every hour, every minute we’re practicing.
Remember that all you can do is practice. No matter what you do, you are practicing something, you are asserting something, you are confirming something and you are studying something. – Steps to Knowledge, Step 340
The trick is to practice the right things, to practice what we know our life is for. We must practice it in order to accomplish what we know we must do.
How can one KNOW what to do in life? How can anyone know that what they are doing is right for their life?
Steps to Knowledge provides a pathway to discover this meaning for every life, everywhere. It is a comprehensive guide for discovering life purpose, meaning and ultimately knowing that life is what you make it.
Currently, students of Steps to Knowledge are celebrating the period 25 years ago when this sacred text for life renewal, life redemption and life fulfillment was brought into the world through the Messenger, Marshall Vian Summers.
For 20 days, every night we gather in person and online to celebrate and to practice our Steps meditation. We listen for the still and ever-present voice that guides our deeper lives.
If those qualities sound like you would like in your life, they can be yours. Just start practicing – every day – what is important to you. If you follow the Steps to Knowledge exactly as they are given, you will know, too, that life is what you make it.
The New Message emphasizes the need of seeing the Big Picture of life in order to understand the meaning of our life. It’s a matter of perspective and understanding our true place in life.
Here’s an analogy: If we only know our local neighborhood, we don’t know what possibilities exist for us beyond it. We won’t know that there are many, many more people than who we know in our own neighborhood. It expands our perspective and understanding to meet people from places we have never seen or visited. It expands our potential ideas for where we can go, who we can meet and what we can accomplish in life.
The New Message asks us to take the same view of our life in the universe with billions and billions of worlds with intelligent races. If we only know of life on this planet, then we don’t really understand the full spectrum of life in the universe and our place in it.
We have to understand that we are living amidst a Greater community of worlds and that our life on Earth is a small part of our greater life.
This is seeing the Big Picture of life – not a small and isolated life within one planet or one lifetime. We are on a much larger journey of life, traveling through a vast cosmos of intelligent life on countless worlds, some of which we have been already, some of which we are destined to visit.
Doesn’t this make sense? Some of our deepest inclinations and thoughts don’t originate from this lifetime or planet. Haven’t you wondered how it is that you feel this way? It wasn’t all due to genetics or our environment.
This Greater perspective of a Greater reality in a Greater community of worlds can yield rich benefits of deep insight, knowledge, relationships of destiny and a greater sense of satisfaction in life and confidence about our real self-worth.
The Greater Community will alter how you see yourself, how nations here interact with one another and the whole priority of humanity. Its impact can be extremely beneficial if you can understand it correctly. - from “Entering the Greater Community”
If you aren’t seeing the big picture of life, you won’t be comprehending the big meaning of your life. By remaining focused on this small, but beautiful planet, we remain focused on our small, but beautiful life.
This is why you have come. You did not come to sleep on a beautiful planet, but to help preserve it and protect the human family from decline and from subjugation. - from “Entering the Greater Community”
The New Message is here to broaden our perspective so that we may have a bigger vision, a truer vision of our existence and reasons for being on this planet at this time.
Explore your Greater Reality.
Our ideas and preconceived notions of who we are, what life is about and what we should do in life all get in the way of seeing life for what it really is: simple and loving.
Within this simplicity of life we all have a mission, or destiny to fulfill. This mission usually isn’t complex or complicated. Our minds will want to make it so because the mind feeds of complexity, but really it is simple.
What makes life complex is that people want life to be what life is not, they want themselves to be what they are not and they want their destiny to be what it is not.Then they attempt to gain from life that which confirms their own idealism, and because life cannot confirm this, all becomes distressed, conflicted and complex.The mechanism of life may be complicated in its minute details, but the meaning of life is directly obvious to anyone who looks without the distortion of judgment or preference
Learn more about how to discover your Personal Destiny.
Coming out of the holiday season, some people get depressed and believe that their life is not necessary or meaningful.
Like George Bailey from the Frank Capra movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” we sometimes lose sight of how vital and necessary our life is.
Our job gets us down. The weather can get us down. Our local sports teams can get us down. Even things that normally make us happy can get us down: pets, children, even our favorite food.
I love this film because it reminds me of how necessary my life is and how important everyone’s life is. Steps to Knowledge touches on this truth and goes one step further:
Your life is a necessity. Its importance is not merely for you alone, but for the world as well. If you can comprehend this in truth, this will override any sense of unworthiness or indolence that you may still possess. For if your life is a necessity, then it has purpose, meaning and direction. If your life is a necessity, then all other lives are a necessity as well. In this, you will wish to harm no one but instead will seek to affirm Knowledge in everyone. This necessity, then, bears with it the strength and the direction that you require and provides you with the grace and depth that you must receive for yourself. A necessary life is a meaningful life. – Step 172 from Steps to Knowledge
A Necessary life is a Meaningful life
If we could all see how vitally important our life was and what the purpose of us being here was, there would be no more depression, hopelessness, addiction, or anxiety. Vitality would spring forth effortlessly!
People would be busy living their important lives – not in an ego sense of being better that others – but important in the true sense of living a life they know that MUST live: in service to humanity or in service to the Earth and its living creatures. A necessary life is a meaningful life!
Interested in connecting with your the necessary and meaningful life that you were born to live? Knowledge holds the answers for you. Take the Steps to Knowledge and start to discover your necessary and meaningful life today:
Pablo Picasso understood the meaning of life. He knew that life was for more than temporary pleasures or stimulation.
Picasso knew through his own efforts that the meaning of life was to discover our true gifts and then to give them to the world. How do we realize our gifts? How do we find this meaning?
The New Message advocates stillness as the most direct path to discovering and remembering our purpose:
“Give yourself completely into stillness and silence. Give of your heart and give of your mind. Give all that you realize you can give, for this is a gift to the world. Though you cannot as yet see the result, have confidence that this giving will extend beyond your own mind and will touch all minds in the universe, for all minds are truly joined in reality.” – Read more quotes on Stillness