In life, we get a variety of experiences. We may consider some experiences as “good” while others as “bad”. In spirituality, all experiences are actually considered good. Let me illustrate this with a story.
There was a father with two sons. This father got drunk, did not go to work, and did not look after the family. He was totally irresponsible. Then, when the elder son grew up, he also got drunk, did not go to work, and did not look after his family. He was also totally irresponsible. When people asked him why he behaved like this? He said, “With a father like mine, how do you expect me to behave?” Then, when the younger son grew up, he did not drink, he worked diligently, and looked after his family well. He was totally responsible. When people asked him why he behaved like this? He said, “With a father like mine, how do you expect me to behave?” He further elaborated that when he saw his father’s behavior and how it caused pain to others, he vowed that he would behave exactly the opposite so that he would bring joy instead of pain to others.
So, the elder son followed the “bad” behaviors, while the younger son because of the “bad” experiences actually followed the exact opposite of the “bad” behaviors. Hence, there are no “bad” experiences, only “good-bad” experiences (i.e. “bad” experiences put to good use). This is why in spirituality all experiences are considered good. For this reason, in the eyes of the Divine, everything is perfect. We can therefore learn to be good either through “good” experiences or “good-bad” experiences. Either way, we become good which is the main objective of any spiritual practice.
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