Individuality and suffering – Knowledge its antidote


If it were not for individuation, the world would look perfect in its beauty and sublimity. But also without individuation we could not be here to appreciate it. Individuation begets evil, and evil is the cure of individuation at the same time. The heavenly bodies with their eternal motion, the star-bespangled heaven, our own earth with its oceans and rivers, mountains and valleys, its forests and meadows and innumerable creatures going through their unnoticed careers – this would be a perfect picture of bliss made objective, but that our own individual lives are marked by suffering and by ‘a thousand heart-aches that flesh is heir to’.

Thus it is the individual view, the view restricted to the feelings of the ego, the lower self, that sees evil in life, which is there as a hard reminder of our divine nature, our oneness with the Infinite. In manifesting itself as the world the Infinite cannot have omitted to introduce in it the only means to our spiritual salvation, viz., individual suffering.

The greatest mistake is to suppose death to be a punishment or even an evil to the soul; for as it is incidental to all living beings, to plants, animals, and men, it levels down all distinctions of sense and worth, and must not be classed as among good or evil things.

(From: ‘Vedanta and the Science of Reality’, by K.A. Krishnaswamy Iyer)

About amartingarcia

General surgeon (retired). Studied Western philosophy at U of Toronto. Afterwards interest turned to advaita vedanta and non-duality for past 20 yrs, plus a long interlude in Sufism coinciding with that period. Now contributing in ’Advaita Vision’ with regular posts and discussions.
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