|Picture Red & White Checked by Enokson|
There are 3 childhood friends now adults, they get together every Friday night around at the Red Checked Square Cafe sitting on a red checked square table playing cards.
All of them when to the same religious catholic conservative schools, from primary to high school, where 'classical' catholic teachings of faith and salvation was drilled into them every day. Yet somehow all three of them ended up with different beliefs, convictions and outlook on life now that they are older.
Chris still holds his traditional Catholic views, he goes to church every weekend. Aron becomes an Atheist, and is of a view that life should be celebrated to the fullest. Ben becomes somewhat of a modern day Buddhist practicing compassion, meditation, mindfulness every day. Ben owns the Cafe.
'God damn it!' Aron the atheist says after getting a real poor hand of cards.
Chris the Catholic gives him a look of death...
'What?' Aron exclaims!
Chris replies 'I really don't like it when you take the Lords name in vain!'
Aron says 'Yes if there is a God indeed...'
Ben the Buddhist rolls his eyes and and mutters 'Here we go again!'
John face turns red in an instant 'Well you know what happens to non-believers like you, they go straight to hell'
Aron replies 'Yes if there is a hell, tell me something Chris, if there was a God, why is there so much suffering in the world?'
Chris is stuck for words, turns to Ben and says 'maybe you can enlighten us on this, dear sir lama'
Ben smiles and answers:
So there are two parts to the question, one is there a God? second if there is, why allow so much suffering in the world?
On the first part, the fact that the world exists, you exist, and this complex ecosystem that sustains us exists out of many millions of planets and suns, can't be just chance and coincidence. At the same time I don't like to conceptualize what God is, because my thoughts, my imagination, my concepts are temporary, are limited and they change depending on my mood, hence what ever I think cannot be the truth...
On the second part I think there is two types of suffering, one is based on circumstances, but secondly, more important is our reactions to the circumstances. Unlike our circumstances our reactions to it, in the second layer of suffering, is something we can do something about, with persistence and will nothing is impossible to change. The second layer is our habits, our impressions, our attitude. The reason why there is so much suffering is predominately because of a lack of training and positive role models on second layer I feel.
Aron says 'What about those who can't help themselves'
Ben replies 'if one cannot help directly, one should at least feel their pain, if one cannot feel their pain, at one should at least pray for them, is it not the most basic humane thing to do?'
Aron replies 'I do feel for them, I just can't understand why circumstances are as they are? why there is so much unjust, evil and unfair things that happens in the world, and yet people seem to get away with it'
Ben replies 'Well there is this thing called Karma, it is like the law of gravity, it works whether you like it or not, wether you believe it or not, its much to complicated to try to understand, but it does help me understand why things are the way they are, but that is the subject of another conversation'