What a brilliant topic! I abmire your ability to express your thoughts and feelings in words, it is really outstanding! You can pinpoint exactly to the bottom of things.
Why does suffering exist to such an extent?
The same questions are bothering me too and although this is a very old topic and you might have already figured out more about it, I’d like to add my thoughts on this.
First, I’d like to use a scenery to show as a summary, what have led me to the same question:
Take for example a little child, which you would like to protect from running into a fire. It has never experienced fire or something very hot, so it would not know, that running into a fire is a really bad idea. As a reasonable parent you could for example hold the child savely and let it go near the fire, so it would feel how hot it is. Or if you want a deeper experience you could pull out a stick that is barely glimming and let the child touch it with a finger.
Now you have, what I would call, a „little“ experience and now you need the childs ability to imagine or to intellectualy understand, that „hot“ can be even „hotter“ and therefor more harmfull and dangerous.
So the child made this experience and understands. It doesn’t need to run into a fire.
At that point I was asking the same, like you did:
Suffering? Yes, we need that as a experience. But why such extent suffering? Why does the rule set or LCS allow such suffering, when less or „normal“ suffering could acchieve nearly the same result?
Here are my additive thoughts on that and again, I start with a scenery:
Take a person, Peter, who was born and raised in a rich family. He had everything he needed and wanted and has a loving and caring family. Now this person heard of people being poor and homeless and mostly they even don’t have a family at all. So he wanted to experience, how it would be, if he were poor and homeless too. He put on some filthy clothes and went for living in the streets with no money, no help, no shelter and so on for some time.
Now I’m asking you:
How deep would this experience be?
Consider, that Peter was raised in a rich family. This has formed the way he feels, he thinks and how he makes and processes new experiences. With his own history he simply CANNOT have the same experience which a person would have, that was born and raised in poor circumstances! Everything Peter can get, is a little glimpse inside this other life.
Either way, if you only make „little“ experiences like the child from the first example or if you only get glimpses of another experience (in this case a „suffering“) and then just imagine or belief/think, what a worse experience would look like – well, then you will never really understand! Not in the depth within you (I’m not sure about this additive statement: ) … and propably not at your being level.
And when you think of Peter: this is a perfect example why we actually have to be totally immersed in this VR (quoting Tom).
This totally immersement also includes the totally experience and this means also the totally experience of suffering.
This leads to my second thought on your question:
It’s only my assumption and opinion, so it doesn’t mean I’m talking about the truth here.
There is this analogy, which says something like that: „You will never now, what darkness is, while the sun is shining“.
In my opinion, you cannot achieve being absolute love during your journey, if you don’t experience really bad things and evil (including suffering). You can only choose the way towards love, when you are deeply aware and understand the other side and its consequences. And this you can achieve by having such bad experiences and only through that way. Only then you have a really FREE choice out of your FREE WILL.
In other words, if the system wouldn’t allow bad things to happen, it would seem that the system only wants to lead (and controll) us to the loving-and-caring side/low entropy. We wouldn’t have having any choice there, so our free will would then be somehow constrained. But free will is fundamental to conciousness. It must not to be constrained or it wouldn’t be a conciousness.
Be aware of that, that we never can share experiences!
(Tom talks about that also, so I won’t go deeper here, this post is long enough *smile*)
Empathic people or people with very good imagination or when they had similar, but minor experiences with suffering, can propably only get a glimpse of what that extand suffering really is causing.
If you watch in News or TV that a person was killed in a car accidend and a direct witness having a mental breakdown – yes, you can imagine, how it would be, if you are this witness. But you are sitting in front of the TV, this situation is so far away. Although you can have very strong emotions and really empathically connect to that person, I don’t think this will be strong enough to cause a mental breakdown in you ;o)
And you could watch hundreds of accidents on TV, but if you actually one day really be this witness yourself – belief me, this is completly different!
But this doesn’t mean, and that is actually good news, that we all have to go through all variations of suffering. If you died, because your carelessness made you fell out of the 40th floor of a large building, then you don’t need to be next time in a flight accidend, being sucked out of the airplane and die after falling over thousends feet to the ground. In this case you would get another opportunity to work on your carelessness in the next life – but it will be a different situation and not necessarily content suffering or dying.
On the other hand, there might be some Individuals, who actually want to deeply study a special kind of „suffering“, so they might try it in several lifes with different circumstances.
reffering to Peter (from my example above), the abused childs and to the lizard and the baby rabbit:
Keep allways in mind, that what you witness, is just ONE life/incarnation out of many lifes of this Individual!
Maybe the IUOC had in a prior life made a wrong decision and was trying to do better and failed.
Maybe it needs to learn a lesson, but in prior lifes it didn’t succeed or wasn’t satisfied with its solution, so the circumstances have had to be much tougher this time.
Maybe be rabbit was prior an predator and wanted to experience the „other side“, being the victim now or vice versa.
Maybe a IUOC have had intentionally or by accident once harm a child and feels guilty about it and voluntary wants to get punishment or to better understand, what it has done there. Although the harm he'd done, might be a minor, this individual wants to suffer to the full extend.
Maybe a child was abused, but wasn’d given the opportunity to help himself, it died too soon or was helped by another person, so his IUOC tries to do that again and his goal might be to help himself now or defend himself or find any other kind of solution.
Maybe the lizard/rabbit was just there for you, to help you see the problem of „extended suffering“ and to make you think about that.
Well, you see, there are so much maybe’s ;o)
What I’m trying to say is, don’t look only at the suffering itself – there might be other reasons, which you cannot know.
Disclaimer: I want to state clearly, that I’m NOT saying, that extand suffering is nothing more than what someone deserves neither for punishment or failure/bad decisions in their past lifes! It is just a possibility among hundreds or thousend or more others!