Why Conscious Exploration Entails Suffering

"The magnitude of the benefits of spiritual and personal development are equal to the suffering it causes."

This is the beauty of personal development. You become free to choose the degree of your happiness. If you are not yet fully present and content with existence, you are not enlightened yet. Than you know you have not yet gone through enough spiritual suffering. The suffering on the spiritual path usually comes up during meditation as distractions in the form of memories of your life.

In meditation you want to still the mind and turn awareness in on itself.

Step by step you are discovering that non of those things were ever actually you. You continuously detach from the identification with the illusory self. That means to dis-identify with what you previously thought was you. That is painful as it can feel like you are step by step dying. But at the end of that process or in an instant you will realize your true self and die into the whole of existence.

That process has an in-flexion point, where the emptiness inside turns into all of existence. A realization will happen where you see that you are in fact larger than the entire universe. But until then, the spiritual journey can feel painful, because it is a process of continually letting go of false believes, which make up who you currently think you are.

How can you enjoy this process of self discovery, if it entails so much suffering? 
Because suffering is the byproduct of discovering your own delusions, that are actually the root cause of your suffering. A deep interest in the truth will over-shine the falling away of attachments to the illusory self. Pulling out the illusions reveals their full depth. It will reveal to you how you are pushed around by their emotional force.

But, because delusion is what the false self is at it's core, discovering those very deep truth is a painful process of self-transformation. The self wants to remain as it is. You right there, you want to maintain the status quo of who you are. Revealing the delusions in yourself is like cutting away parts of yourself, with the intention to discover that you never were those parts to begin with. Or rather that you never were those parts exclusively. Finally you will come to understand that your illusory self is part of the mind of god, which is the unchanging ever present emptiness that you are. 

The Irony Of Reasoning

"Consciousness is in its fundamental nature always one. I want to say: the total sum of all consciousnesses is always only one."  
- Erwin Schrödinger

Being able to reason and make rational decisions is one of our great strengths as human beings. Our mental capacities have developed from purely reacting to the environment to making plans and decisions based in a deeper understanding of the processes behind our experiences. Among many other circumstances, this ability has allowed our species to increase in numbers beyond what has formerly been possible. Our ability to reason has undoubtedly great practical benefits. This goes hand in hand with our faith in the scientific method for explaining the world. 

Cosmic Art - Fractals
When we encounter mystical, religious and spiritual texts, we still apply this analytical mindset that we are so used to. We are unable to tap into the mental abilities which are necessary to make sense of them. Not seeing that the essence of these teachings lie outside of what can be understood with reason, we still try to fit these texts into conceptual thinking. The habit of dividing the world into individual parts which can be explained by their interaction with other parts, keeps us from realizing the oneness that spirituality can lead to. 

What is the fundamental fault in reasoning?
If we would follow back our reasoning to its origin with the same analytical mindset that we apply in science, we could discover that reasoning itself is always paradoxical at its core. There will be a point in every line of reasoning that cannot be explained with reason. Always continuing to ask the question "Why?" will lead to a fundamentally mystical and therefore unanswerable question. It would therefore be possible to disproof the effectiveness of reasoning, as a means to explain the nature of all existence, by consistently applying the principles of reasoning to itself. 

Science itself has discovered this within the model of quantum mechanics. Within that framework it has shown that it is impossible to explain the fundamental mechanisms of matter/existence without a paradoxical and therefore unreasonable statement. If you are someone who has grown up with this scientific, materialistic world-view, it can be a revealing endeavor to study quantum theory. At some point your current world-view has to break down in order for you to grasp what this theory points to at a fundamental level. 
One trap must be avoided here. It is false to think that our world-view has already changed, because we, as a society, are able to apply the mathematical equations from quantum theory to create functioning technology.

If you want to reason yourself to death, a good place to start is this article on the Interpretations of quantum mechanics. A shorter version can be found in part 5 of the main article about quantum mechanics.

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