The Purpose of Pain and Suffering

White Eagle was my spiritual teacher for more than 40 years, and during that time I learned to trust and respect his teachings.  At that time I was often plagued by the pain and suffering of others, because I believed they were victims, and did not understand why God/The Universe/the Creator was allowing it, so I searched…and searched for answers that resonated within me, that made ‘sense’ to my rational mind, that ‘let it be O.K. even though it hurt so badly… White Eagle’s answers gave me the peace I was seeking, so I compiled these comments from his books, which were channeled by British Medium, Grace Cooke. White Eagle books are available through The White Eagle Lodge and on  As always, please take what rings true, in your heart or solar plexus, and leave the rest. I hope it helps you during this very difficult time.


“Whenever difficulty crosses your path, try to look within.  Examine the self, and you will find the reason.  The greater your knowledge, the sooner the Law of Cause and Effect takes place.  Does your brother man offend, hurt, ill-treat you?  Look within, and you will see why; and if the mirror within be clean, you will suffer no hurt, for then you will have found freedom from suffering and no man will have power to hurt you. No man is wrong, save only thyself! These things we say come from the heart of love, the heart, which longs to give, beloved, both joy and freedom.”


“A question, which arises in many minds, is why God permits apparent undeserved suffering in the world.

Answer: Because human and spiritual evolution is governed by absolute justice. Without the experience of feeling suffering on any plane either physical, mental or spiritual, there would be no expansion of consciousness, there would be no growing from the unconscious to the self-conscious, and from the self-conscious to the Christ-consciousness. Until a soul experiences suffering, it is unconscious of suffering; it is unconscious of the feelings of its brother/sister soul; it is unable to bind the wounds and administer healing. Pain brings illumination, understanding. Man learns through pain and suffering as well as through happiness and joy.”



“Some souls who pass to the spirit world apparently escape retribution for their sins and shortcomings. They appear to live in comfort and happiness, much as many people dwell comfortably and complacently down here on Earth. Their past actions, and how they affect the whole community, apparently bother them not at all; but consider – whatever a man soweth in laziness, in complacency, in indifference to the sufferings of others, he will experience himself. Perhaps not in this incarnation, perhaps not in the spirit world during his soul’s period of rest, or in the intermediary state between one life and another; but as sure as night follows day, men, nations and races meet that which they have meted out to others either by active evil, or cruelty through neglect, which later might be called inactive cruelty. A vast total of suffering results from man’s inaction, because of men and women not being sufficiently interested in the welfare of others.

Through the suffering, which the soul is forced to meet at some time, in some life, it eventually learns to feel for the troubles of others. Through such feeling its imagination is awakened. Because so great a lack of imagination exists, the only way that the soul can learn to understand others is for that soul to undergo similar experiences. The child does not know that fire burns until it has itself received a burn, then, it will not forget.

This is the answer to the many who ask, “ Why? Why? Why? – what have I done that this trouble should come – to me?”  All we can reply is that we have, either done something, refrained from, or needlessly neglected, some opportunity to serve, or to express kindness to our fellow men. This is why the suffering came. Even if your physical brain cannot remember, your deeper consciousness knows well that it has earned the experience.”



“All souls have to learn from experience, and law governs life, spiritual law, and no man or woman suffers unjustly. Injustice may be apparent because you cannot see the whole of the picture, but only a very small part. You do not see what has led up to the suffering of the present day. You do not see the cause of that suffering or the result. A brother, one who would belong to the Universal Brotherhood, must recognize the Divine Law of Justice, which works in perfect precision and never fails. Justice governs all life and where there is apparently innocent suffering, remember that there is a cause; and if you cannot see the ultimate goal, remember that there is an ultimate goal, and that, that soul who suffers today will enter into the harvest of heaven tomorrow. Rich and glorious will that harvest be.

You may ask, `Does this mean that I take no notice of the suffering of my brethren?  If divine law controls all life I need not interfere with my brother (sister); I can let him/her suffer and God will put it right?’

No. The duty of the brother/sister is to be loving, sympathetic, courteous, kind and helpful. At the same time he/she recognizes that the brother/sister is learning valuable lessons and will reap the benefit in due course.

A perfect parable is that of the Good Samaritan. The Good Samaritan did not leave his brother at the road-side, saying to himself: God will take care of him, he has earned his suffering. The Good Samaritan poured oil on the wounds and took the sufferer to the Inn. The Inn stands for Sanctuary, a place where the soul can receive refreshment and healing. Therefore the Good Samaritan does not prevent the sufferer from learning the lesson, but does all in his power to show him where he can find sanctuary and receive the ministrations of the landlord. The landlord is a very kind Father.”


“Question: Human suffering, human sadness – is that the sum total of man’s life, and is man created to suffer thus?

Answer: Friends, man does indeed suffer. We admit that. All the world is suffering at the present time….with the exception of a few who have a wider vision of the whole, a more universal outlook, and who have found the key within their own innermost being,  which unlocks the heavenly mysteries.

It is true that man has to suffer, and why?  Because man clings to material conditions of life which he thinks essential to his happiness, exactly as a baby will cling for all its worth, to some rattle or play-thing. The wise parent may want to take it away – to give the child something better. But no! That child wants its toy and will kick and clutch and scream. When finally the toy is removed, the child is in a paroxysm until its attention is attracted somewhere else. Do you not see how like this is to your life?

All the sorrows and the terrible things which bring so much unhappiness – those things which rob the soul temporarily of something, which it feels it must have – come because the soul has not learned the wisdom of the love of heaven. When that soul can say “Thy will; Thou knowest; Thou art Father, blessed Mother, Thou knowest what I really need better than I can know myself. If it is Thy will that this condition is taken away from me, well then, Thou knowest.

This means the attainment of inward peace, and peace means the birth of happiness in the life. When once the soul can realize that when God wants to remove something from the life to which that soul clings, and will accept what is happening as being the wisest thing for it, what happens? Why, there is no more fear, no more hurt.

We remind you once again that even in cases of catastrophe, and when terrible problems arise in human life – when loved ones are snatched from each other – when there are all kinds of afflictions, remember that God is merciful, as well as just, and that you can see only one side of the picture. For you do not know the compensations on the other side. You do not know because you have not traced that wonderful love which comes to souls called upon to go through the depths of the shadow. It is through those very experiences that those souls find and feel the loving Father….

So when you look upon man’s sufferings, remember in your heart, the compensation of love, and the mercy of God, Who sends His ministering angels to every soul when in pain and suffering, even though brought on by its own ignorance and sin (sin means suffering). Those souls are compensated, loved and cared for.”



“Many people torture themselves because they hear of, or witness the suffering of others; asking why god permits this, that, or the other, cruelty, agony or injustice, or why the Masters have allowed the present war (WWII) to continue for so long.  At such times, although people strive to keep their confidence in the wisdom and love of god, they are appalled at the agonies man undergoes; naturally they ask why this should be.

We answer – because man’s natural and spiritual evolution is governed by a law of absolute justice.  Without suffering, without the personal experience of pain, which alone can give understanding on any plane, physical, mental or spiritual, no expansion of consciousness develops. Until a soul itself experiences pain, it is of necessity unconscious of the suffering of others and cannot know the feeling of its fellows.  To suffer pain brings an understanding of pain.  Man learns through pain as well as through happiness and joy.

This leads us to the heart of our Brotherhood teaching.  Man is laid upon a cross  (of pain) during his physical life, but as a result of crucifixion there is born with him the fragrant Rose…a Rose which symbolizes Christ – the flower of Christ blossoming in the heart. Would you withhold from humanity this wonderful blossoming had you the power, when you know that the crucifixion of man can bear this heavenly flower and fruit?

If God did not permit suffering, He would also withhold the result of suffering: living. For by this you enter into the indescribable joy of the Christ-consciousness, a great gift, which God has ordained for His children.  But you cannot separate the Rose from the Cross.  In the early stages of evolution, the Rose must gradually bloom upon the Cross; and in the advanced stages, the Cross of pain is absorbed

Into the Rose of Joy, and the consciousness of Christ-in-man, of man-in-Christ, is complete.

Therefore, we would guide you to be dispassionate when faced with suffering; do not withhold your sympathy, but keep your emotions under control.  While being compassionate to all, remember that suffering opens a ay to enlight4nment, and that pain will soon be forgotten, except in the quality of consciousness born within the soul as its result.

Someone asks of White Eagle, “Then should it not be possible to attain this consciousness by way of love and happiness?  “Yes, assuredly, he replies, but God has given man free will, and man chose self-will. Therefore, man chose the way of suffering.  But so wise and loving is god that He succors man, blesses man and leads him onward through suffering to joy.”

Buy the nature of your past karma, you have earned the measure of spiritual revelation you will receive in this incarnation. Do not treat it lightly.  Revolution is real and sacred.  Every one in this Brotherhood is in it because (the individual’s) karma permits him/her to be here, but if your karma removes you for the time being and demands your service in the fighting forces or in munitions, then you must face up to your karma and do your appointed work.  All the while you will be making by your innermost thoughts your karma for some future life.  You must do your best in that place to which it has pleased the Lords of karma to call you, knowing that you are working out shadows long accumulated in your soul from its past.

But there is another aspect, which it is well not to forget. No matter what your task you can still serve mankind all the time from your innermost being, because every life is intertwined with other lives so that you cannot live to yourself; your thoughts, your actions today (and in your next incarnation) will affect all those who come within your magnetic field.

We do not like to interrupt our little brother (these words bear reference to a bird singing outside the chapel). His message is as clear to the pure heart as any words of ours. He is rejoicing in his being; he doesn’t reason or question why or wherefore – he just is. The trouble with man is that his reason holds him a prisoner.  We say, use, but also beware of reason, because it can hold man in bondage through many a life.  Reason can even bring about self-destruction – and by this we mean spiritual death.  Therefore, let reason be your sweet guide, but never your master.

Beloved brethren, it is man who makes his own life so complex, who brings upon himself an avalanche of confusion, pain and anxiety; man who is driven by desire and enslaved by intellect.  When men have the way to freedom pointed out by their master within, they will not listen.  They only listen to the voice of self (the little/ lower/ego/desire self/inner child)..and self expresses itself in many ugly ways – self-importance, self-love, the wish to shine before others..these things operate from the lower self; but the God-self, the inner light is ever at peace, for it knows God is omniscient; it knows that there is only one true path – so simple a path that most men pass it by. It knows there is only one truth man needs to grasp – one truth; and al things on earth and in heaven are then made plain.

The one truth is to know God, to be united with God. That is all.

 Men follow involved and intricate byways, losing themselves perhaps for centuries; they endure much…but they need not, for God does not intend man to suffer. You may not believe us when we tell you that all suffering is self-inflicted, not God-inflicted; and while such suffering certainly teaches valuable lessons, it is not the only teacher.

 For every problem, which arises, there IS an answer.  Mystery seems to abound in heaven and upon earth, but in God the greatest mystery of all, there is no mystery.

To get to know God, do not compromise with conscience. It is most unwise. The world often declares that it is best to do as Rome does. But Christ said, “Render to Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and unto God the things which are God’s”. And if you have given yourself to God, you are God’s sons and daughters, and you cannot make any compromise with God.

On the path towards the Universal, all souls will have to learn the lesson of renunciation.  “He who would gain his life must also lose it”. What do these words suggest?  As we understand them, they mean that the heart of man having once seen the glory of its Creator harbors no further desire or possessiveness, because it is filled with one longing, one aspiration, to realize its at-one-ment with God; because it has seen that in this divine Life there is no further separation from loved ones; neither will it experience further disappointment, disagreement, misunderstanding, but only supreme and infinite peace. Therefore, open your hearts.  “Except ye become as little children, ye can, in no wise, enter the Kingdom”



“My dear ones, whatever suffering may come, recognize in it the result of your own failure. When an apparent injury is done to you by another brother, sister, criticize not, nor blame him/her.  Look deep within. Analyze your own thoughts and actions, but primarily your thought. Thoughts re-act with greater rapidity than actions. Therefore, when suffering comes, purge your thoughts with the love of Christ.  In other words, do not dwell upon the injury, do not allow self-pity to possess your mind, but go into the inner place, raise your aspirations to Christ..the Son of God!  He will heal; bitterness will fall away, be melted, consumed in the love of Christ.  All things are working together for good.  Should you suffer, it is because you learn a lesson that suffering alone can teach.

Always be ready to admit you may be wrong. You may not know as much as you think; but one truth can always remain, will never lead you astray..never.  It is love. Love brings humility; the great man knows he is ignorant;’ he knows is not good, that only God is good..only God.”



“This soul of earth evolves through pain and travail. You may not agree because you do not comprehend the full meaning of what is called pain. Pain can be likened to joy. Great happiness, exceeding happiness can prove painful. Pain and joy are akin to each other, being the two separate aspects of the same thing, being light and shade, both springing from the same principle. Through the human unit undergoing pain, the soul first originates, then is strengthened and is built up. Once you know this, you will not shrink from any experience; you will learn to welcome pain when once you understand what pain can do, what pain actually is. For pain is creating, is beautifying the soul, by developing that sixth sense of intuition which will become universal in the new age, and will give vision into other worlds and will bring through into the outer self, a consciousness of universal, of heavenly life.

Should we then shrink from understanding and acceptance, if it be God’s will that man shall experience the Law of Cause and Effect?

To use a simple illustration – if a child puts a hand on a hot stove, it cries in pain – if a man does the same thing, the same result follows. Supposing there was no pain? Perhaps then the hand would burn and burn until there was no hand left….  Pain is a warning bell, because if there were no pain, man would be consumed by his own folly. Pain, it is, which saves us from destruction. There is no corresponding joy without pain.”



“A question has been asked: Is it right in certain circumstances for a doctor to end the life of a suffering patient?

Answer: We do not ask you to accept our answer, but we can only tell you what we believe to be true. No. There are no circumstances in which we could say: “End the Life”. God alone can do that. God gives life – God recalls the soul. From the spiritual aspect, the soul will remain attached to the body until the time decreed by God for it to leave. We doubt if any good purpose is served by the artificial release of the soul from a painful body. Do all you can to alleviate pain, do all you can to help your brother or sister to endure his/her lot, but do not interfere with the divine will. God is all-wise. It is man’s duty to learn about spiritual laws, which govern life, and to endeavor to live in harmony with divine truth. Pain, which the soul draws to itself, is a great teacher. Courageous endurance of pain brings its blessing, and you would not wish to be the means of robbing a loved one of its reward.”


Now a word about CHILDREN:

“When we meet bereaved parents, or those who have watched the suffering of a child, we long to help them to understand. When a child passes over, the child possesses still a pure spirit, and enters the Summerland (here the soul experiences the joy given to others, and feels the ecstasy of their joy…their joy and gratitude intensified – a very wonderful and beautiful experience), where it learns lessons of great wisdom and prepares itself for its next experiment. In the next birth, it will come back better equipped, having the advantage of increased education….for such a soul may return more blessed than one who has perhaps mis-spent a long life on earth.

Those who have watched a suffering child, crippled, or with some other disability, remember that soul passes through a very important phase of development. Although hard to see it suffer, that soul may be (for all you can tell) a very highly advanced ego, gaining an experience to help forward its future life. When we get behind suffering, and witness the Law of Cause and Effect in operation, we see, not sadness or horror, but rather the Father’s love at work, training, educating and preparing yet another soul.”



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