Painful Life Experiences
I was rummaging around in my Word documents and found this article, by ‘accident’, from 2007,..and it resonated with me so strongly that I thought it might be helpful to you, too. We all have times when life feels overwhelming, when we feel alone, and hopeless. This article helps me cope with those days, so I hope it will help you, too. Please remember to take in what rings true for you, and leave the rest! And..if in reading it, you begin to feel ‘worse’..then dump it..Stop reading…and move on! Mrs. Cook was a Chicago pastor and trance medium. Lloyd Kenyon Jones transcribed her channeled messages from shorthand, and The Wm T Stead Memorial Center published it in 1919! It had to be a work of love and truth because you can still purchase the complete book (reprinted) on Amazon.com.
Painful Life Experiences
God’s World, by Mrs. Cecil Cook
Experience and Development: Chapter Sixteen (XVI)
“Our purpose on earth is to gain experience. It is through such experience that we must develop.
What makes some people successful and others failures? What brings distinction and fame to a few and nothing but hopeless woe to many? Why do some make the best of their talents and others waste the talents which God gave them? What is it which carries some persons to the ends of the earth, bringing them adventure, guiding them through narrow escapes, bringing them into contact with strange people and strange conditions?
It is guidance, and it is the working out of that fundamental principle of mankind: Experience.
Some of our experiences are for the purpose of paying debts that we owe. And in the very payment of a debt that has never been obliterated from the ledger-page of the Law of Compensation, there are new experiences – new gains – for the debtor.
We find some lives as drab and event-less as a somber day. Others we find filled with light and sunshine and purpose. Some we discover tinged with the deep stain of tragedy. Many show all of the hallmarks of determination or duty, and others are as restless as the rustling of dead leaves.
Every moment throughout the world, the drama of life is undergoing changes. Into some earth lives, there comes very little that is either new or interesting. Some people pursue the course of their earthly careers with perhaps only one real experience. Therefore, experience is more than the mere process of living in the flesh.
Doting and overcautious parents have so hemmed in their children that experience seemed impossible for the offspring. How many times do we find the girl who has been reared in a home of ultra-protection going out into the world without foreknowledge of the dangers that beset her? She is like the hot-house plant that is placed in the open prairie to grow and battle with the elements it has never known. And there are times when these young and unprepared lives are crushed. But the very process of crushing – the very thing that seemed destructive – might have brought a wealth of experience that could have been gained in no other way.
The soul refuses to be defrauded out of its experiences. No matter how difficult earth-life may seem, how harassed or disconsolate a mortal may be, the soul has an inner reassurance that all is well, and that the very penalty that is being paid will be regarded some day as a rare privilege.
We cannot see in life’s experience the education of the spirit. We sometimes refuse to believe that the earth-world is a school and that we are receiving only the lessons we require. We encounter some characters who are apparently taking a post-graduate course, who are simply rounding out the experiences through which they have been in previous incarnations. We find others into whose lives sweep the tempests and storms that are apparently unending. But we are attracting and demanding, whether we think so or refuse to believe, the very experiences that we need to make us that which we would be.
The time must come when we shall pass into spirit, as many of us have passed before. And when we enter the spirit-world, there will come to us the cumulative memory of all that we have lived – not merely in the compass of two, twenty, forty, or sixty, or a hundred years, but since God gave us individual being. And then we shall look back upon the life we lived in the flesh. We can laugh at our hardships then, and we can thank God that he has been good enough to open the way for us to feel the heartaches and the hunger-pangs and the disconsolate days and nights when hope seemed crushed within us. Then we shall know that all of our earth-experiences were blessings, and that he who has experienced most has most to be thankful for. We cannot see those things now, and the spirit-world realizes that we cannot see with that clear vision that does not belong with carnal things.
We live according to our needs. The events through which we pass in this world bear the same relationship to the development of our souls as food bears to the nutrition of our bodies. We shall have the food we require and never too much or too little. We are like the fruit on the tree, and our experiences are like the sunshine and the rain that will ripen us until we are ready to be plucked and taken home.
Experience cannot be thrust upon us. Only as we feel the lesson that each new experience brings, are we the gainers. What man has a right to say what our experience shall be? This is God’s laboratory, and it has many workers, many ingredients, countless formulas, and God alone can determine those that are the best for each of us. Can the parents select successfully the future groom of their growing daughter? Can they rob their boy of experience by insisting that he must be something toward which he does not incline?
Each of us lives his own life, assisted by his own guides and with a destiny determined by God.
We see families of our youth who occupy positions of wealth and influence. The years pass-the frost of tragedy touches that home and blights it. The children go out into the world, and years later we find them poor and struggling. If money and power could have shaped the destinies of those growing boys and girls, they would have carried the family fortunes to higher levels. Their experience was to be something different.
And how many times does the waif, whose only life has been the city streets, whose only knowledge of his fellow-beings has been abuse, rise above the narrowness and hopelessness of his environment, and leave his name inscrolled in the hall of human progress?
But to each of us is left a large measure of selection. Perhaps the thing we fight for and wish to gain will never be ours. Perhaps time and time again we must fall and bruise ourselves and get back on our feet bewildered, only to learn that what we thought we were working for was simply a mirage leading us on and on, to some better course and some greater purpose.
We may ask why so many honest persons struggle vainly all their lives only to glide down the ways of life into eternity’s ocean, without ever having given evidence that they were repaid for their suffering and their disappointment. We may ask a million kindred questions that would seem to prove the futility of life.
No soul has ever wended the earth-way without gaining something of value that could never be taken away. That soul may have accumulated debts that had to be paid, but in the very payment came new experiences. That spirit may have come back time and time again, but on each journey through this vale of marl and doubt, that spirit was gaining and its gains were being added together.
It is easy to doubt. It is never difficult to complain about life. Nobody seems to be punished for crying out against the hurts of the flesh. But in the face of all these opinions, the earth-world grinds steadily along and even the earth-memories of the old wounds and the old injustices pass into oblivion. But every one of these wounds and injustices must be healed and rectified somewhere, somehow, sometime. Every laugh and every tear, unnoticed as it may be in a hurry and whirl and worry of earth-events, has served its purpose. It has helped teach some soul some lesson, be it ever so small.
We often are reprimanded when we are doing our best. Sometimes we expect compliments and rewards and receive only criticism and rebuke. At other times, we are rebuked when we can see that we have done no wrong. And we realize after a while that only as we see and understand, have we profited. Even the unjust reprimand has helped us.
The mother without love for her baby might punish that infant, when the child could not possibly understand the reason for that punishment. We might say that we have been punished, which means that we have brought punishment upon ourselves, when we could not understand why. Often the experiences that seem like punishment are essential. They are not given to us in order to pay an old debt, but they come to us to prepare us – to strengthen us – for greater tasks that we must meet. We do not know, and it is not easy for us to understand, that our earth-experience that may seem so filled with calamity, with unfairness toward us, with hopelessness, is preparatory not of what is to follow in the flesh in this incarnation, but of what is to come at some future time.
Development, without experience, is as impossible as the growth of a plant with nothing upon which to feed, or as the growth of a mortal body without food. The earth work of one person may be ruling a nation, and of another to grow grain and vegetables. We say that the one is more desirable than the other. Is there more glory in ruling a nation than in helping God’s plants to grow and to feed mankind?
We would all be great. That is human. If we could all be wealthy, we could not be human. Some of our richest lessons are taught by poverty, by disease and by distress. God does not tell us to have those lessons. We select them.
We are very often like the person who hungers for knowledge, and is placed in a great library with thousands of volumes all around him. He wishes to absorb the learning of every one of those books, but he knows that it will take him a long time to master the truth that even the smallest volume would contain. He makes his selection. He may choose the largest book. But whether he selects the largest or the smallest, he has finished with only a small part of the fund of information at his command. Seeing that book, feeling it, weighing it, speculating upon its qualities and purpose, will not imprint its contents in his mind. He must read it, one word at a time, and think of what he reads.
And so in life, while we see experiences and the results of experiences all around us, we must pass through some of them individually before they mean anything to us.
The soul never loses the benefit of any experience incarnate or discarnate. The soul understands. But the soul is operating through a body that belongs to the earth-world. That body is the medium of the soul precisely as much as the spiritualistic medium is the channel for spirit-communication. Your soul controls your body exactly the same as a spirit-control would inhabit and govern the body of a (trance) medium. And while the soul is operating through the mechanism of the earth-body, it absorbs all of the pain and fear and worry of the earth-world. The soul – the real self- is the gainer. And except for the fact that God provided bodies for us to inhabit in this world, it would be impossible to gain the same degree and kind of experience that we pass through, in our earth-lives.”
November 2, 2018