humanspiritThis is an incredibly complex question and it might have a myriad of answers depending on how a person sees the light of day. We all were raised differently, conditioned by society; we all mature with our own spiritual beliefs and each of us may see situations of loss and challenges differently. Some may see negative situations as an act of God… Others may see bad luck as simply a roulette of statistics and probability.  So, the only way I can answer this question is by the aperture of my own sovereign mind.  My experiences, wisdom and energy are merely opinions; the final answer is yours to accept or reject.

When toying with this quandary, God and fate always seems to be averaged into the discussion. First, it is my opinion God DOES exist as the creator of the Universe – our source of instinctual energy – our connection to everything. The problem that arises with organized religion is that the concept of God is not personal. God is not a he or a she – GOD just is…  and humans just are…. It is the ego and our social conditioning that facilitates this false-self perpetuated by fear, guilt and reliance of blind faith that does not take us smoothly through situations of conflict and loss.

God is the energy that drives our being; our True Nature. Humans are the shepherds of this energy and we have the omnipresent power to make life on Earth a sanctuary of heaven built on love, compassion and forgiveness or we can take this same energy and create a living hell here on earth (which many people unfortunately do). I do believe in karma and power of prayer – quantum physics is now shedding scientific light on these manifestations including an afterlife. Still the law of karma does not govern all actions in life. If someone wants to pick up a gun and shoot children at a school then sadly this is still going to happen. Karma, good deeds and God will not save people from such tragedies. God does not operate at the human level. God allows humans to cognitively and instinctually operate and do as they wish with the energy and autonomy bestowed by cosmic creation. Unfortunately human action is warped and twisted by the complex variables of ego and society that shadows most of us.

It was over 13 years ago that my wife and I lost our first baby… a full term stillborn son who was my namesake. We had to bury our first child; left with no answers…. I asked that same question (why do Bad things happen to Good people?) to the heavens above – I got on my knees, tears welling from my swollen eyes demanding answers to why something horrific like this would happen to good people. My anguish and sorrow soon evolved into anger and then depression. It was not a good time in our lives. I begged for answers….

Then one memorable day in autumn, something happened that changed my life. The sun came out and showered me with warmth. The sky looked bluer, the clouds seemed whiter. The trees and plants all seemed brighter and more colorful. It was if I had poor vision all my life and suddenly began to see clearly for the first time. I experienced an awakening – I stumbled upon the concept of awareness and space and how it related to me. I no longer blamed myself for the loss of my son. I no longer blamed God or the Universe. I no longer blindly demanded answers for this tragedy. My son’s death was an unfortunate circumstance of life. I stopped trying to find God outside me. The essence of God was not looking down upon me; it was inside me all along. God had nothing to do with my son’s death – my son’s death was an inexplicable process of energy passing through the Universe, a bright light that burned out too quickly; a shooting star. I realized I had never been close to God, but once I felt this loss, I came to know how precious life is. This realization brought a new sense of spirituality. God was the love I felt for my son. God was the pain I felt from his loss. And God was the renewed and fiercer appreciation I felt for my loved ones still with me. When I felt God as the love that burned with both hurt and joy in my heart, I knew I had tapped into my True Nature. Connecting to my True Nature gave me the space to experience my grief – I felt love lost and love regained and renewed. God is my True Nature.

Love pulled me from the perils of my depression and anger. After feeling such pain and sorrow, you wonder if you will ever love the same way again. You don’t – you love more deeply….  I visualize my son as an angel looking down on my family and reminding me to see the world with the same level of clarity I felt that day of my awakening. My son’s death showed me how precious life is and taught me that love is the bridge between life and death, between sorrow and joy. He showed me a world of faith, beauty, and happiness. The sun will always shine brightly for me in his memory.

Unfortunately life is unpredictable and unfortunately bad things happen to good people. The sad irony is that when bad things happen to good people we notice it more. The art in life is seeing that we are connected to something magnificent and even in the darkest shadows, there is still light. We are all connected and life and death is merely a Mandala – Birth, Life and Rebirth…  A revolving sphere of energy. The key is how we react to life’s most challenging and enduring situations. Do we create negative energy in light of conflict? Or do we stop, breathe and make positive energy and blanket the negativity with positive ripples of ascendancy – reverberating to infinity – creating your omnipresent footprint; your signature of love and life – indestructible and sublime…

Again, the decision is yours… It is not easy, but love will carve a path to illumination…

John C. Bader

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Image courtesy of — with  Rosemary McChesney.