QUESTION: The last 38 years were quite tough for me (I am 38 years old now), but there is this little source, this little fire inside, that provides me with love and trust and a very gentle assurance that everything has its deeper sense, but right now I am (still) too ignorant to get the point. I am so grateful for this inner source. I can not force this feeling nor get it by my will; it is a kind of grace. All right, that was my epilogue.

The subject that bothers my mind is the following: I have been reading some lectures held by Eva Pierrakos for the last four years. When I saw that she died quite young, I wanted to find out how she died, so I started to search on the Internet. It took a while. The date of her death was written everywhere, but not the circumstances. She died of cancer. I know by now that this was a shock for the community. How could someone be a channel for such a wise and pure and light entity, and than die of cancer for God's sake? How could the guide allow that? 

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I read Dialogues avec l'ange by Gitta Mallasz. Same here: it takes place during the World War II in Hungary, there are these four friends, three of them Jewish. Hanna, one of the Jewish women, starts to hear a voice from an entity. They write the words down. An unbelievably strong document this is, it really shaped me as a person, but Hanna, Lili, and Joseph, the Jews, died under brutal circumstances, just Gitta survived and was able to publish this very important document in France in the 1960s.

While I was reading it for the first time and saw that the three died, I could have smashed the book against the wall. I was so angry with the angels and their wise but merciless teachings. I was cursing all the time and asking myself: "All right then, what do you guys want from us? You want us to trust, you want us to be strong, you want us to lean our existence on you and God and love, but when we do so you allow life to smash us?" I do not get the point - when we need to be active and when we need to be passive. When to act and when to surrender? What is so wrong about the will to survive?

Why must they have died so young, so brutal, even though it is known by other survivors of the camp that Lili prayed for staying alive and promised to dedicate her live for the work and the good if she would stay alive. How is it possible that someone gets in touch with so much light and suffers such darkness? All the teachings and their possibilities seem to be truth but for these few wonderful people.

Dear Abdi, I would be so glad if you could write some thoughts of yours.

ANSWER: I am both truly sorry and happy that the last 38 years have been tough for you. I am sorry, as I know well that suffering is difficult business. Anyone with a sufficiently open heart will suffer greatly on this plane. No two ways about it. The feeling of being separated and alienated is brutal. The fact that you have “this little fire inside”, that provides you with all that you describe, is wonderful. Of course, what you perceive as a little fire is, in fact, the most blazing sun, which is our true nature. Keep looking, sitting, and listening with it until that truth is revealed to you. That is the reason I am happy for your suffering. We all have that fire inside, but it is mostly through pain and suffering that we finally and sincerely turn inward to befriend it. 

Ah, the age old question that our egos ask: how can I gain permanence (really, our egos want to be immortal) in this life? If I access some kind of power, some spiritual truth, will I then not suffer? How can I escape the cruelty and horrors of this world? Good and honest of you to ask. The answer is you can not. No one can. That is the nature of this realm. Eva Pierrakos channeled some detailed psychospiritual information (and some tainted with her personality’s prejudices, I might add), but that did not save her from cancer. But there are also what many consider fully enlightened beings, such as Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj, who died from cancer. These bodies die. That is what they do. When both these masters were asked not to die by grieving disciples, their answers were similar: “I am not the body”. What does that mean? Not in your head, but in your heart. Investigate.

There is a great danger with mixing up the spiritual and the material. Many sensitive people will look to the spiritual, as the material world is too brutal for them. Nothing wrong with that, as long as one always remembers that the currency of spiritual understanding does not necessarily translate into the currency of physical reality. With due time and much hard effort, one might be able to cope better with the nature of duality. But that also is no guarantee. The promise of total transcendence is not an immediate reality. Initially the path can make one even more sensitive to all the suffering inflicted on this realm.

The function of spiritual teachings and practice is to allow the bigger picture to come into focus. Reread Dialogues avec l'ange (Talking With Angels) by Gitta Mallasz, that is what that work is all about. Investigate your reality. People have been horrific to one another since the beginning of time; there is nothing new in that. Selfishness is the root cause, the “I” and its wants over all else creates chaos and pain. That is why we are where we are. No news there either. However, it is worth examining in our own lives and how it creates nothing but hunger and pain.

We all need to face our death while alive. It is only through facing our impermanence that we can be fully here. And work on giving up any illusion of these bodyminds being anything but the meat puppets they are. That truth will give us the understanding to both live more fully as well as investigate deeper.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind and gentle to your heart. Smell the roses along the way. There is also a lot of beauty hidden in plain sight. Seek it out as you do your inner work. Be involved in the world without getting lost in it. All this pain is guiding us back to our true nature that knows no birth nor death.