No reason really. We are here to simply experience…to play is another way to put it. There is suffering because challenges and antagonists are needed to make a good play (to make it more entertaining and fun).
There is no meaning or purpose to life beyond living it. Any reasons or purposes given are mental fictions and imaginations we attribute to life. When there is no thinking, you see no purpose or meaning…it just is as it is.
Pain is a part of life. We have a nervous system. The body can be injured and the nerves let us know where we are injured. You cut your finger and it hurts. Then you tend to the wound and it heals without getting infected. If you had no nervous system to feel pain, injuries would go un-noticed and become infected or worse. Like what happens to people with leprosy (or other nerve damage).
With our advanced human brains, we can also create a bunch of mental anguish (i.e. suffering). This is the dark side of having such advanced brains, but there are potential advantages and opportunities with having such advanced brains. When untrained (mentally) or uninvestigated, we can create a prison of thoughts, beliefs, and feelings that cause much misery. We really do it to ourselves when it comes to suffering (hurting which is not from the nervous system of the body). Another possibility is that we could just cease suffering and remain content regardless of circumstances.
Let us get back to my original short answer…in reference to play. Think about your favorite movies. Was there not pain and suffering? Was it not the overcoming of pain and suffering that made it such a good movie? Was it not the troubled or difficult past one of the very things that made it so great when the good guy wins in the end? Was it not the overcoming of challenges that kept the movie moving and entertaining?
Now image a movie in which there is no pain, no suffering, no challenges or obstacles of any kind…everything is perfect. There are no villains or troubles (fires, accidents, storms, etc.), so there are no heroes. There are no bad guys, there are only good guys who do what they should do – which isn’t much because no one really needs help. All needs and desires are taken care of. People don’t die (or even grow old) nor ever are injured. There is absolutely no pain or suffering of any kind. Now, would you pay money to see this film in the movie theater? It is a long movie…12 hours long, so how long would you keep watching it before you just get up and leave the theater?
I don’t know about you, but I would never go see such a movie. It would be very boring. We watch movies for the drama, action, suspense, etc. This only can occur because of difficulties…because of pain and suffering (or at least the possibility of it). If everything was perfect, we wouldn’t watch it…but we think we want to live it?
Let’s think about this another way. Perhaps you like board games or card games like I do. Would you play a game in which you always win? If there was no possibility you could lose and you never lose, would you continue to play such a game? Would it be fun for you? Don’t you continue to play because you could lose and there is some challenge involved?
Think about the games that are the most fun for you. For me, those are the games in which I win sometimes and I lose sometimes. My victory is not assured. In fact, I continue to play games even if I lose most of the time…if the game requires skill and the more I play the better I get (thus increasing my chances of winning more often). However, the games that I win every time…I find boring and have stopped playing. There are some games that I am bad at and lose almost every time; and I have stopped playing because it is boring. Why do you play the games that you play? Do you keep playing games you never lose at?
Lastly, in dreams, it all comes from your own mind. Even in dreams there is pain, suffering, and drama. You created it. Why? Even with the drama, don’t you enjoy your dreams? The world is the dream of the Self (so to speak), and so this too is all from you…the Self. As it all came from you…maybe I should ask you…why are you here in the first place and how come there is suffering?