Spiritual Traveler: Why Must There Be Suffering?

by stewart

Show me someone

Whose life has been easy?

And I will show you

Half a person.


For the spiritual traveler every day life problems offer an opportunity to learn and move forward along the Path.  Potentially running late to work, not having enough money to pay for gas and wondering whether the kids are coming down with a cold, all stressors- at some point on a spiritual level- offer the opportunity to go deep within our selves.

Once the problem passes and/or is resolved, the traveler wonders: why is life filled with so many ups and downs? Why must there always be clouds to cover the sun?


Problems are placed before you

So you may overcome them.

-A. Hussain

Searching for a personal answer, the traveler looks about and sees others who are in pain and suffering from a seemingly endless variety of physical ailments. Gradually the heart begins to ask: to what purpose is all this pain and suffering?  To this mystery, the Teaching offers there is both a short and long answer.

Also this is one of those areas where the mind or every day consciousness asks the question and the heart or inner spiritual awareness, ponders and answers only through life itself.  The every day mind is not capable of completely figuring it out; in fact, that is not its job- its job is to ask so the heart might respond.

One of my teachers used to say, daily problems, suffering and pain serve as a friction which pushes the traveler onward searching: pain and suffering is the great teacher.  Further if this life were all joy, laughter and sunshine, many would have no need of the Light, travel further and experience what lies beyond suffering and sunshine- the Oneness.

In answering this personal question- why is life filled with problems and suffering- to fully comprehend the lesson, you must have your own experience. As the Light Wills, ask and one day you shall be ‘illuminated.’  In the meantime, it is good to consult the Books, Religions and experts: part of the answer is presented there as well.

Consider why the soul comes to this realm: to experience the fullness, serve and be co-creator.  In order for there to be darkness, there must be Light to compare it with; and beyond them both is the Oneness.  This Oneness is perceived through love and asking; in order for this personal spiritual experience to occur, you must put aside for a time preconceived notions about what you have been taught and your judgments about Deity.

In one of my books, which specifically addresses this dimension to life; why travelers suffer and are born only to have terrible illness? We go into this from the perspective of an entire family that faces life long mental illness (in the younger son) and eventually Alzheimer’s disease (in one of the parents). It is the second book in Journey of Light: Trilogy and is entitled: Teddy’s Last Swim in Paradise Land. This story offers the ancient teaching: some souls come here to take on the mantle of suffering and illness so they might spiritually advance and help others around them learn and question.

This answer is offered as a possibility to Teddy (main character) and he is asked to not immediately reject or accept, but over time let the potential be fully considered.

As the Light Wills, may your journey through life be glorious and all your questions have answers.

Just as water must undergo change

To become snow,

So we must undergo

A process of alteration.


Slowly, this world of the senses

Must be taught to give way

To the world of the soul,


Then the change is complete.


*          *

No one’s life is easy;

To each is a struggle.


Only the perfected ones

Are able to look at their pain and laugh.

To them, joy and sorrow fade

In Realization of the Beloved.



Check-out my two books: Sufism for Western Seekers: Path of the Spiritual Traveler in Everyday Life and The Ferryman’s Dream.  Both books are also in Kindle format and available on Amazon.com or local bookstore.

If you are interested in learning more about this subject, universal mysticism and Sufism contact: drbitkoff@yahoo.com.





{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Alaysia April 26, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Beautiful quotes Stewart! Thank you!


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