Divine Bliss and human suffering


“How can the individualized soul that continually experiences infinite bliss suffer bodily ailments and be susceptible to ordinary heat and cold?” one may ask.

It is true that illusory things, one and all, individual and collective, local and universal, cease to exist even as illusion when man once becomes God-realized, the Perfect One, eternally conscious of his own infinite Oneness. Whether the gross, subtle and mental bodies of such a Perfect One remain or drop, they DO NOT EXIST for him. There is nothing in illusion that exists for him—yet he exists for all things within the illusion of ignorance and his abundantly overflowing Godhood takes care of them, including his body. Until dropped, the physical body of the Perfect One remains immune to ailments, and is unaffected by heat or cold because these are automatically neutralized through his own all-pervading God-consciousness.

A Perfect One very rarely becomes a Perfect Master, as did St. Francis of Assisi, returning with God-consciousness to the realm of illusion. When he does, he is fully conscious of his physical body and of one and all the spheres of illusory existence, without experiencing a break in the infinite bliss of the indivisible Oneness of his being.

In short, the God-realized or Perfect One has God-consciousness with no consciousness whatever of anything else, as nothing other than God exists for him. The Perfect Master has God-consciousness plus consciousness of illusion.

It is the complete and absolute unconsciousness of his body (as of all other illusory things) that keeps the body of the Perfect One untouched by environmental conditions and effects, whereas it is the regaining of consciousness of the body which makes the Perfect Master susceptible to its ordinary ailments and sufferings.

Not only do Perfect Masters not use their divine power to avoid or alleviate their own physical suffering which they consciously experience as illusion, but they take upon themselves physical suffering in order to alleviate the spiritual ignorance of others who are in the bondage of illusion. St. Francis of Assisi suffered such excruciating headaches that he had to dash his head against stone, although others could be healed by the touch of his hand. Jesus Christ suffered the tortures of crucifixion to take on the suffering of the universe. Being simultaneously the Father and Son, His own infinite bliss was not interrupted by the cross nor did this status intervene in the bodily agony which He suffered as an ordinary human being. The sublime difference in individual suffering lies in the fact that an ordinary man suffers for himself, Masters suffer for humanity, and the Avatar suffers for one and all beings and things.

-Life At Its Best, p69

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