The gaucho author Alvarina Nunes , 74, delves into a profound reflection on the torments that plague humanity in her most recent book ‘Why does humanity suffer?’. Witness to climate change, technological advances and geopolitical crises, Nunes confronts inertia in the face of broken promises and explores themes such as madness, sin and human insensitivity. In the midst of an era marked by technology, it highlights an existential void that persists, even with technological advances. By drawing parallels between global calamities and spiritual separation, the author invites readers to reflect on the causes of these tragedies and find paths to hope and rebirth.
How have your observations of climate, technological, and geopolitical change over the years influenced your perspective on the human condition?
I have been reflecting deeply on the intricate relationship between humanity and the environment we share. Growing awareness of the effects of human activities on the global climate has highlighted the pressing need for a more sustainable and responsible approach to our natural resources. Humanity is facing a crisis that it itself caused. Most scientists agree that humans are responsible for global warming. This increase in temperature has already changed the Earth’s climate and has brought disastrous results, such as these: increasingly frequent and extreme weather events, heat waves, droughts and storms. This, in turn, is causing more flooding and fires. Melting ice and glaciers in the Arctic. Rising ocean level. Climate change is affecting all four corners of the Earth. The New York Times analyzed the situation in 193 countries and declared: “The planet is crying out for help.” The climate crisis has caused so much death and suffering that the World Health Organization has said it “is the greatest health threat facing humanity.” But we have reasons to look to the future with hope. The Bible always warned us that the things we are seeing today would happen.
In your book “Why Does Humanity Suffer?”, what themes do you explore?
The calamities facing the world these days. The Earth groans. We hear all the time on the news around the world about wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes in different places at the same time, cyclones, landslides, glaciers rising and others melting, hunger, lack of jobs, pestilences, overwhelming diseases, epidemics such as Covid-19, which has killed millions of people around the world. In short, a variety of tragedies that make us reflect better on the causes of all this.
How do you approach the issue of “spiritual blindness” and what is its relevance in the contemporary context?
Of all the physical senses, I suppose we agree that sight is the most valuable and precious. The blind person is in physical darkness and cannot see objects no matter how bright the sun is. But there is another type of blindness that is worse than physical blindness, it is called “spiritual blindness.” This is the beginning of an infinite number of sins, often serious, but it is, in itself, a very serious evil. It comes from the will hardened by evil. A spiritually blind person does not feel anything, falls into indifference, disbelief, cannot see the light of the sun, even if he is surrounded by its brilliant rays, nor can he see the light of God in his life. As the apostle Paul said, “What communion has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6.14). And Isaiah adds that those who do not have the vision of eternity have a limited temporal vision, that is, they are still blind, spiritually speaking.
You highlight an apparent contradiction between technological advancement and existential emptiness. How is this topic explored in your book?
We currently live on the cusp of next generation technologies. Now everything is easy. In our homes, machines do almost everything, from the washing machine to the electric stove, which cooks our beans by itself in just a few minutes, while before our grandmothers dedicated almost a morning to this task. So now there should be more time to worship God, right? Big mistake! And don’t even think that all this tranquility brought joy to humanity. People have a house full of good things, but their hearts are empty. Our intimacy with God has been damaged and corrupted and, therefore, everything around us is confusing and tumultuous. You and I are responsible for the distance we are from God. If you are far away, full of problems and nothing seems to work, it is not God’s fault. We are responsible for all this. If we really want heaven, we need to regain our intimacy with God.
What contemporary calamities do you relate to people’s drift away from genuine spirituality?
During one of his sermons, Jesus Christ announced what is called the “beginning of sorrows,” saying, “And because iniquity abounds, love will grow cold from almost everyone.” Matthew 24:12. And, as love grows cold, we have seen violence increase every day. Nowadays it is common for the news to report violent crimes, children killing their parents, crimes of passion and massacres, among others. They question the authorities and do everything they want to do evil. But know this: in the last days difficult times will come, because men will be selfish, covetous, boastful, arrogant, blasphemous, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, irreverent, disaffected, implacable, slanderers, without self-control, cruel, enemies of good. , traitors, bold, boastful, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. Greed for power and callousness separate humanity from God.
In addition to identifying the causes of tragedies, what are the paths of hope and rebirth that you propose in your work?
There are some things that will never change. One is that there are no more debts owed to you. If you have accepted Christ as your Savior, when God looks at you, your transgressions have been covered; He doesn’t see them. He looks at you and sees a much better person than the one you see when you look at your reflection. This is divine grace poured into our lives. And for all this to happen, you just need to get closer to God. The power of salvation is the grace of God. It provides us peace and tranquility. This is the secret to a prosperous and blessed life. God created heaven and earth, and then he created us, and saw that everything was good! He wants the best for all of us, because we are His creation. But as it is written: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man, the things that God has prepared for those who love him. (1 Corinthians 2.9)
How does your experience as a chemist influence your approach to spiritual and existential issues?
Well, I worked as a chemist for years, but reading and writing have always been a separate passion. Chemistry is science, it was also created by God, it is part of wisdom. “In Nature nothing is created, nothing is lost, everything is transformed”, Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier. Lavoisier was right: nothing is created, because the Creator of everything was God. But it has the power to transform elements of nature, through chemical reactions. This wisdom also comes from God. “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains knowledge; for their merchandise is better than things of silver, and their gain is greater than the finest gold. She is more precious than rubies and anything you could wish for cannot be compared to her. In your right hand is the life of many days; and to the left, riches and honors. His ways are paths of delight, and all his paths are peace. It is a tree of life to those who take it, and blessed are all who cling to it.” (Proverbs 3:13-18)
In your third book, how do you balance the narrative between reflecting on the causes of human suffering and offering hope to readers?
By looking at the causes of human suffering, we can see: Many today are defeated, unproductive, complex, and driven to move on because they are carnal and disobedient to God. How many people have everything to be happy, but are depressed, have lost the pleasure of living, live in rebellion against God, against their family, against the government and against themselves? All because they ignore that we have more than eight thousand promises in the Word of God, which He has graciously made available to us throughout our lives. If we are not receiving God’s best, I can assure you: it is all our fault. But we were called to freedom “ Therefore, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8.36). Whenever a need arises we have a providing God, there is an entire pantry at our disposal. Look at what the Bible says: “My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). Own the promises of God!
What role do you attribute to genuine spirituality in your vision of the future of humanity?
Inquisitive thoughts often come over me when I begin to contemplate scenes I see frequently. On Sunday mornings, churches are filled with Christians emotionally singing about their immense love for God and their commitment to Him. It scares me, because many parishioners have never truly given their lives to Jesus. See: “They come to you as the people do, and sit before you like my people, and listen to your words, but do not put them into practice; because with their mouth they profess a lot of love, but their heart only desires profit. Behold, you are to them like one who sings love songs, who has a sweet voice and plays well; because they hear your words, but they do not put them into practice.” (Ezekiel 33.31-32). We need to improve our intimacy with God.
How do you hope readers receive your reflections and proposals for spiritual rebirth in “Why Does Humanity Suffer?”
My greatest motivation will always come from the Word of God, the Holy Bible, the Book of books. I like to look around me to see how I can be an instrument of God, bringing the good news, building bridges through the ministry of the Word, between the lost sinner and the Savior Jesus; tell my experiences with God to build the faith of those who have lost hope. My greatest motivation is to build lives for eternity. I bring my readers a spiritual awakening. A reflective look at the times we live in. Today I believe that we are facing the most diverse calamities. The earth groans. We hear all the time in the news around the world about a variety of tragedies, which makes us reflect better on the causes of all this: the fulfillment of biblical signs. These events will show the reader that it is time to watch, to keep our lamps full of oil, since the Bridegroom could arrive at any moment.
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