Tribulations are important in helping an entity determine their spiritual orientation. Without tribulations, there would scarcely be any progress in this regard. Why would their be, as in times of comfort and plenty, when there is essentially no stress or competition, it is not difficult to get along. One can see this every day. Children at play, who all have the same toy, engage themselves in playing with the toy and ignoring the others. But give only one or a few the toy, and place the others in want, and a drama ensues. Some entities decide to enjoy the toy vicariously, reveling in the enjoyment the other is having. Some entities, consumed with envy, plot how to secure the toy for themselves. Some entities, having learned how to manipulate social situations, may wail and cry, seeking what they term justice. Where this is a simple example, one every adult can relate to and sees everyday, most tribulations are born in silence and are hidden from view. This does not change the nature of the action, however.
Serious tribulations, such as a debilitating disease, also have an effect on the entities spiritual growth, and not altogether a negative effect, either. The debilitation affects others, too, such that they are moved to care for and sympathize with the afflicted one. In the Service-to-Other orientation there are two parties involved, the giver and the receiver. Learning how to receive is just as important, surprisingly, as learning how to give. When one is in Service-to-Others, they do not serve well if they simply give the other whatever is desired. What the other wants may not be in their best interests. Likewise, when one is in a position to receive, this can be done effectively, in a matter of fact manner, or detrimentally, seeking an enslavement of some kind of the giver. Who has not seen a debilitated human dominate the household? Likewise, tribulations such as difficult job situations or an appearance that turns others off contribute to growth on all sides.
Where an entity is growing toward the Service-to-Self orientation, tribulations have the effect of speeding this process. The firm decision can, in fact, be made in an instant. Given a situation where the self would have to sacrifice to a small degree to help another in dire straits, or more particularly where the other would have to be drastically sacrificed to improve the lot of the self to a slight degree, the tribulation can result in a decision to become Service-to-Self in a flash. It is simply clear to all concerned where the self stands, and is most particularly clear to the self. For the self to have made this decision, the orientation is clearly Service-to-Self. Should the reader feel that many times the entity may be vacillating, and have serious regrets afterwards, let us say that this in fact does not occur. Vacillations occur were a decision has not been made and a series of half hearted actions, in this direction and then in that, ensue. Where a firm decision has been made, there are no regrets afterwards, only insight into what the future holds.