Pain and Conflict in Time and Space

Robert S. Webb, Hawaii

    The root cause of pain and conflict in the present realm of time and space in which we live is very simple. Tiny material particles exist as constituents of atoms. Space is a three dimensional expanse in which material particles are located. Time is a sequence of moments in which events occur. Physicists have shown that no two material particles can occupy the same space in the same moment of time. At the macro level, when any two bodies attempt to occupy the same moment of space-time, conflict will be automatically generated--which will bring pain.

    Conflict comes into being from disagreement between parties, variance in opinions, aggressive intent, incompatibility, etc. Pain may arise from physical or emotional causes that bring mental distress. Pain and conflict is a natural component of the environmental realm in which we live and function. Pain may cause us to take action, to evaluate situations, even to make decisions on ethical values. It may cause us to grow in our affections, to develop, to learn, may even initiate our desire to seek ultimate perfection.

    As agondonters, we triumph over insuperable difficulties when alone. As agondonters, we believe without seeing, we persevere when isolated. We actually need to live in a realm of possible conflict situations. These are essential for our progress towards perfection. But conflict can also make us depressed and confused, depending upon how each of us handles conflict and pain in living experience.

   The realm in which we live was purposely created so no two material particles can occupy the same space and moment of time. In trying to do so, conflict and pain may be generated. This realm of time and space also helps us to become aware of the pain and conflict that exists in the lives of our brothers and sisters. It creates the opportunity for us to minister to them during their time of suffering and torment. If we never had conflict and pain in our own lives, how then would we understand the pain and conflict existing in the lives of others?

    If we lived in a universe where particles never conflicted in time and space, would this be perfection? And if it was so, would we know it? Could we know true pleasure and happiness if we had no experience of conflict or pain with which to make comparisons?

    The Urantia Book tells us that the greatest affliction in life is never to have been afflicted. The physical realm of time and space, as it exists in our experiential universe, provides the opportunity for that affliction. Surely this is related to the fact that no two physical particles can occupy the same space at the same moment of time, thus providing the basis for all conflict and pain to occur.

    The physical time-space universe in which we live was created by God--and there is purpose to that creation. In time, we have past, present, and future. We can learn from our past experience, look forward to future experience, and dwell in the present. We live to seek God, to learn to live in his presence, ultimately to become perfect as he is perfect. The time-space element of pain and conflict is a great learning experience. We should be grateful for the opportunities it provides.

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