A friend of mine once commented that we live in the era of pleasure whereas most of past human history was an existence of suffering, or fending off suffering. There was a time, for example, when had to grow our food off the land, which meant hard work. Then we had to store the food to last through long cold winters. By spring time many people were near starvation. Not like today was it when all we have to do to get a meal is get to the nearest supermarket and pick from thousands of choices.
The age of pleasure where any want can be fulfilled, where any desire can be satisfied, where any hankering can be quenched, is really not so cool when we consider that suffering is a major designated agency in facilitating the overthrow of the ego, and in finding the purpose for which we were created. . .in other words, in finding salvation and enlightenment. In light of this it is really a sad and unfortunate circumstance that many more of us in this age are apt to miss the purpose of life than all of those who came in ages before us.
Suffering sharpens the quest to understand ones existence and the reason for pain, leading many to understanding about things important. Pain often leads to the realization of ones errors and points to subsequent correction. Pleasure. . . or the easy escape from pain and suffering, may seem like a cool thing in the short term, but in the end it helps the ego go no where fast. To die in the ego state is to have missed transcendence of the ego, where the eternal arises in its ashes and assures that conscious existence in the next stage of existence.
Wealth, and liberalism where the wealth of others is redistributed to those without, are great alleviators of suffering and pain, and hence are really great enemies of the eternal and secret friend of the ego. Liberalism is the great mother spirit that holds and comforts the little ones and never lets them go. . . never lets them suffer. Only that which is allowed to suffer and learn from its suffering grows in the right way. That which hinders such growth is not real love at all but a smoother love that nurtures the ego even as it suffocates the Spirit.
Love does not seek to protect the ego. . . love exposes it, or allows it to be exposed to all things that bruise it. Love knows that within the hard shell of ego lay the seed of the eternal. All false love seeks to keep the ego intact and whole, helping it to avoid exposure to pain and suffering, and enabling it to remain free of want. Great wealth is a curse to the man who has no character. Liberalism, the champion of the ego self, is a curse to those who are not allowed the dignity to suffer. Are you wealthy? Then live as if you had no wealth to protect you so that you may grow. Are you poor? Then live as if you have no need, that you may find your True Wealth.