Many people wonder why there is so much difficulty in life. If we make a life plan before incarnating, why do we plan on so much suffering?
The reason is that the earth school is not just a school where one learns facts. For example, you cannot learn to play the piano from a book. You must develop skills from actually trying to play a piano. But the purpose of the earth school is more complex than that. In the earth school, one does not just learn facts and skills. In the earth school, one has experiences that change one's character in ways that make him fit for the higher levels in the spirit world.
In our earth life, we find that people can become qualified intellectually for a position of high responsibility and sometimes people who are qualified for such a position are not morally or ethically qualified. For example a district attorney may prosecute someone whom he knows is innocent. A doctor might perform unethical medical experiments on people. The leader of a country might oppress his countrymen in order to obtain political power and economic benefits for himself.
This type of thing cannot happen in the spirit world because qualifications needed for positions of high responsibility in the spirit world are not just intellectual, they are also spiritual, moral and ethical.
These qualifications are developed through experiencing the difficulties of the earth life.
It is necessary to experience unpleasant situations in life and to be unaware of the purpose of those situations in order to develop spiritually. If every thing was easy and pleasant in your life, you would become lazy, stupid, and selfish. If you knew the purpose of your life plan, you could do what you knew was necessary to complete it without really believing it was the right thing to do. That is exactly what the earth school is intended to prevent. The lessons of the earth school will teach you to do what is right because your experiences have developed your character, not because you know what you are expected to do.
There are many reasons suffering is necessary for this to happen. Suppose a spirit wants to become a manager of a geographical area in the spirit world. He must develop the character traits necessary. In some incarnations he might incarnate as a leader or government official in his earth life. But also important to his education is incarnating in a place where there is bad government. The best way to learn to hate evil and love goodness is to be a victim of evil. If you hate someone, you would not want to be like him. If you hate a dictator because your life was hard living under a dictatorship, you would not want to be a dictator too.
(This is also why it is a mistake to judge people who seem evil. Someone must play the oppressive dictator so that spirits can develop distaste for dictatorships.)
This is also why spiritual entities do not intervene to prevent people from doing evil to each other. If there was some mysterious force that prevented people from stealing, no one would ever learn not to steal. We learn from the consequences of our actions that good actions have good consequences and bad actions have bad consequences. We have to have to be left to experience these things for ourselves in order to learn. We have to have the freedom to be evil in order to learn to prefer good.
A good way to understand how your earth life develops your character is to consider the person you were when you were half your current age. Now consider who you are today. Which person would you prefer to go through the rest of eternity as? The person you are today or the person you were when you were half as old as you are now?
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