Audio version read by Rev. Steven Lane Taylor, B.Msc.
Problems are a natural part of life which, due to their presence, create a necessity for change which in turn acts as a stimulus for spiritual growth. There are times in a person’s life when ordinary problems magnify, so much so, as to seem overwhelming.
Difficult phases may be brought about by one problem, or by a major area of a person’s life that becomes an enormous challenge. Problematic periods may also encompass multiple areas of an individual’s life, each one experiencing significant problems simultaneously. Managing and overcoming difficult times are integral aspects of many people’s lives. It is not likely that an individual will simply glide through physical life without experiencing these challenging stages.
Indeed, philosophically it would almost seem that it is within the nature of things that difficult times will be experienced by everyone, the rich, the poor, the healthy, the ill, the literate, the illiterate. No matter what one’s station in life, it appears to be an inescapable karmic destiny that one born into this physical earth dimension will have to experience difficult periods, inclusive of the highest of spiritual souls, as exemplified by the life of Christ. This in no way implies that God wishes anyone or any soul to undergo punishment.
It is the human identity or personal soul that alone suffers until such time as something new is experienced, when change of some kind has been made, and improvement and growth has taken place. In the case of the few higher-evolved souls that enter the Karmic sphere to lift, in some way, the souls of others, their suffering may be different than others, in numerous ways. In other words, the suffering that may be the greatest for them is that of going through periods where they feel they are not adequately serving God’s Will, or accomplishing what they should due to these difficult times.
The lesser-evolved have to contend only with frustrations of their personal ego. At the other end of the spiritual spectrum, however, the higher soul must contend with the frustration of the difficulty in accomplishing a universal purpose or goal. Each in their own way suffers; it is only a matter of intensity or point of reality and reference of purpose that differs.
Difficult times are, then, something that must be lived through in every human life. No one is immune; from kings, presidents, the wealthy, the famous, and yes, even those who many would envy. In numerous instances, their suffering can be even greater, due to the public interest, scrutiny and the inherent drive within to tear down false gods and idols, which can be unmercifully turned against those in public life, even the most innocent, as again, witnessed in the life of Christ.
Living through difficult times that are affecting one or more major areas of a person’s life can begin to take its toll on an individual. Managing difficult times is minimizing the intensity of such negative factors or effects, along with neutralizing or sublimating them wherever and whenever possible.
Most people today are functioning only at a personal-ego level of consciousness, with little sensitivity to any real spiritual reality. Even those who profess faith are sadly lacking it in any measurable terms related to dealing with their life under ordinary circumstances, let alone during excessively difficult times.
The average person today is a combination of a personal ego-centered identity and a lukewarm knowledge or source of anything truly spiritual. In other words, the individual is imbedded within theological jargon, without the spiritually intuitive sense to separate the wheat from the chaff, or the literal from the symbolical.
The personal-ego level of consciousness is born, or comes into existence, as a result of outer environmental impress. This in turn becomes the battleground in which one attempts to cope with challenging phases of one’s life, or the proverbial meeting the enemy on its own battlefield. It is no wonder, then, that when difficult times befall the average individual today, the person is left at the mercy of their own personal, self-centered, ego-consciousness with which to deal with it.
The way out of difficult times is by going within to the deeper spiritual levels and resources of one’s mind. Managing to cope, as well, if it is to be of any real value, comes from the inner spiritual nature of one’s being. Only by rising above the level of consciousness equal to the problems being experienced, can the problems be left behind.
Managing and eventually overcoming any difficult period, is accomplished more effectively by being sensitive to and aware of the spiritual reality of God’s Presence within oneself as the ultimate giver of peace, wisdom, love and power to manage and overcome the most difficult of times.
Dr. Paul Leon Masters
Text taken from Dr. Paul Leon Masters’ “The Theocentric Way of Life,” Volume 2: Module 34.
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Intro and ending music © “Night Radiance” by Maxim Kornyshev