The phrase, “Might is right”, can just as well be written the other way around.
For centuries it was taken for granted that God was on the side of the strongest, richest nation. Surely, it seemed, if a country was poor or downtrodden, it was because God had made it so.
Such ideas literally held people in chains, fostering slavery and other inhumane practices. The same unfortunately applies to the Eastern concept of nirvana, and to the Christian idea of heaven. Both have been used by those in power to hold down the masses of people, to justify shoddy and inadequate living conditions by promising future bliss in the world after death.
There are many differences between the ideas of nirvana and heaven, but each has been used not only to justify suffering, but also to teach people to seek pain. The idea has been that the more persecuted and maligned a person is, the greater will be the reward in a future existence.
I want to avoid concentration upon esoteric practices in this book, but they do sometimes impinge upon the subject matter at hand.
The ideas of penance, fasting to excess, the personal abuse of the body, such as self-flagellation – all of those practices are conducted in the belief that suffering is something to be sought in itself. In such a way pain becomes a sought-after goal, and pleasure becomes subverted into pain.
Quite ordinary people often believe, then, that suffering itself is a way toward personal development and spiritual knowledge. In matters of health, such beliefs can have most unfortunate results. They are often responsible for needless sacrifices of physical organs in imprudent operations.
Some individuals become anxious and worried if they think they are too happy – for to them it means that they are not paying sufficiently for their sins. They may be threatened by some undeniable danger, until finally in one way or another they seek out their own punishment once again – wondering all the time why they are so frequently besieged by poor health or disease.
This kind of syndrome can affect individuals, families, and to some extent entire nations. They mitigate directly against man’s health, survival, and exuberance.
Constant fears about nuclear destruction, or such other catastrophes can also fall under this classification.