The initial question was, I am sure: Why do I hurt?
The initial question was not, I am equally sure: Why do I smile? for happiness is its own answer, and raises no questions.
Yes, I am convinced that were there no suffering in this world, neither would there be religion; there would be no need for that balm.
Perhaps I can even extend this to: Were there no suffering in this world, there would be no Philosophy, nor Science—for who would be curious about anything in a world of bliss?
Human beings want to know why they are unhappy and rarely, if ever, wonder why they are happy. I believe that the concept of problem preceded and spawned the concept of curiosity. Be that, however, as it may: once curiosity (about our suffering lot) had indeed risen, and once it had gained a firm hold as a human endeavor, it soon proliferated and branched off into its three main paths of discovery: Science, Philosophy, and Religion.
Still, the initial question was, I remain sure: Why do I hurt?
Today, as we look back over this journey of discovery, we see these three paths each lay claim to its own territory and uniqueness—although Science now and then (and more often of late) attempts to commandeer the other two and subordinate them to its (obviously, in its own view) only right way to go about things.
If anything, all paths of discovery fall under the much wider umbrella of philosophy, the all-encompassing love of truth, for is it not the truth, after all, that we all seek?
Isn’t that what Science claims as its goal?
Isn’t that what Religion aims for?
Isn’t that what Philosophy loves?
Perhaps, though, when we look at what Science discovers on a daily, if not hourly (minutely, secondly) basis, our first conclusion is that there must be not one truth, but a thousand, a thousand thousand, and a thousand thousand thousand truths, with more added every moment as more little truths are discovered (or dreamed up).
But, surely, this is tracking water upstream; tracing it toward finer and finer tributaries. A thousand thousand thousand tributaries finer and finer every day.
For what, ultimately, feeds all tributaries, and where do all tributaries ultimately return to?
Whether you follow the river of Science, Philosophy, or Religion, you will, eventually, find yourself at the one truth that ultimately gave birth to them all: The Ocean. The One Ocean—whence water rises, to then fall on the earth, to there form tributaries that form the rivers of Science, Philosophy, and Religion.
Water is water, gravity is gravity, truth is truth.