Why grief exists?

Some innocent souls tortured to benefit others
" My friend responded in a commanding voice , “it is not torture, it is experiment - scientific sacrifice of animals to achieve holy results”."
" My friend responded in a commanding voice , “it is not torture, it is experiment - scientific sacrifice of animals to achieve holy results”."Special arrangement

It was unusual for Jammu - the sun was cold. The plummeting mercury left localities shivering but I being a Kashmiri was a bit immune to such cold weather for I had seen worse.

It was probably February, I don’t remember exactly, when my friend took me to his lab where he performed some experiments that he thought were beyond my comprehension. He was doing masters in pharmacology.

After a brief walk in light deficit corridor we entered a room with grim appearance and rancid odour. It was my nose that first noticed the existence of his lab before my eyes did.

I saw small white mice in cages, which looked innocent and anxious. Their eyes had something that crystallised sympathy and love in me for those caged creatures and my hibernating spirit of justice awakened which commanded me to open the cages and let those poor souls free.

As I was engrossed in my mental valour, my friend yelled, “what are you thinking, it is in these labs that greatness is born”. I retorted,“ indeed, by torturing the innocent souls.” My friend responded in a commanding voice , “it is not torture, it is experiment - scientific sacrifice of animals to achieve holy results”.

I being fizzle with his behaviour responded in a thick voice, “ you torture the poor creatures, nothing else”. He laughed like a tyrant and didn’t give much heed. Instead he claimed, “I take this trouble to benefit humanity”. I, for a little while thought may be he is right, but what will be the poor mice feeling all the time. Isn’t it obnoxious that some innocent souls are tortured to benefit others.

We encounter such situations around us where our reason deserts us and we start to suspect the divine scheme. And yes, His plans and other esoteric things attributed to Him.

I too for some time thought why Allah created sorrow and pain? He is all powerful and is able to create and do anything, why he created grief ? Why not only joy? After witnessing the plight of those albino rats all these questions mushroomed in my mind.

Long after the incident, I happened to a book - Man's search for meaning. And all these vexing, yet profound questions were answered for me. Victor Frankl in the book beautifully drives the point home that some situations in life cannot be understood by humans for to understand those situations one needs to be God. And God, humans can’t become, come what may.

Imagine you ask that helpless mouse in the cage, “what you think about the man who works in this lab” the answer shall be, “ he is a cruel fellow who derives pleasure by inserting needles into my weak body and everyday he does it mercilessly.

I don’t understand what wrong have I done to him. I am a poor soul that nibbles on kitchen waste. How I wronged him? What would he get by torturing my poor soul”. Painful isn’t it? Now think, can this mouse ever understand why is it happening that happens with it? No it can’t.

To understand the process, the mouse should first transform into a human. It takes a human brain to understand the purpose of experiments done on lab animals. Countless animals are cut open to study drugs and their effects, before they are used on mass scale on humans.

Toxicity tests, safety tests of various drugs are done and vaccines and other medicines are first tested on animals before being used for human purpose. How can you make a mouse understand that his sacrifice in a cage is for the betterment of humanity and he shall die a heroes death? No you can’t. No matter how intelligent a mouse is, it cannot find a purpose in suffering.

Now, let us take an example of a human child who has lost his parent or a patient diagnosed with cancer or a parent who lost his child. In all such situations one finds divine scheme of things to be nothing but an acrid song of tyranny with helplessness and torment clasping the life.

One's reason bites dust  and shorn of hope life turns bitter. In such circumstances, what extract of meaning can the sufferer get from the bitter fruit of life? Nothing but bewilderment and pain.

Weaned from reason one finds rudder pointing towards chaos and meaninglessness just like the situation of that poor innocent mouse in the cage being pricked and cut every now and then.

Verily, man more often than not finds such recondite situations in life but remember there is some divine meaning to it that a man may not get but verily God knows.

There is a meaning in the meaninglessness of life. It is just we cannot understand for we are no God.
Never lose hope nor be sad.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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