I sometimes bemoan God for alloting us both consciousness and suffering. One would be tolerable. Consciousness with no suffering would be great. Suffering with no consciousness would be acceptable too.
Someone shared this quote on Instagram: “Heartache, loss, love, healing, adventures, friends, family...I’d rather feel it all than feel nothing.” How we answer the question, “Would you rather feel it all or feel nothing?” may depend on what we are experiencing at the time.
In 1993, Lois Lowry wrote a novel, The Giver. In 2014, it was made into a film. The Giver is about a utopian community without war, pain, suffering, emotions, differences or choices. The community is a colorless world of conformity and contentment. It lacks memory, climate and terrain in order to maintain serenity. Like a tree, the community lacks full consciousness of reality, therefore the people miss out. But a young boy learns from an elderly man about the pain and pleasure of the real world. The man shows the boy powerful visions of heartache, laughter, evil, goodness, grief, beauty and wonder.
That begs the question: Are beauty, goodness and peace stripped of their meaning and potency without the presence of their opposites?
Someone said, “The end result from pain, sin and death entering the world is far better than if they never did. In the end, we have the most desireable set up."
The idea behind that is that redemption exceeds perfection- that pain and loss necessitate grace, which is sweeter than utopia or placid equilibrium.
OK, but I still sometimes protest our setup, which we did not choose. God did not ask us if we wanted high level consciousness coupled with pain, then death. God did not ask if we wanted to be a oblivious like a tree or star. Or, above suffering like an angel.
In a way, humans have the least desirable and most desirable position in the universe at the same time. We experience pleasure like no other. We experience pain like no other. We see, feel and experience potential like no other. We see, feel and experience the loss of that potential like no other. We think and feel things in our hearts about ourselves and loved ones, but our fate stamps out these visions. We are hardwired to believe we are immortal, but our bodies betray us. This is an atrocity.
Enter the Triune God who promises to treat both our bodies and minds. God appears to be our foe- the one who consigned us consciousness and allows pain and death- a horrific combination. But in the end God will eliminate our mortality and accentuate our consciousness. This is a best case scenario.
In the end, this beats placid utopia or unconsciousness. I just wish there was an easier way to bring these things about. God probably does too.