”I enjoy life and try to spend it in peace, joy, and cheerfulness,” Spinoza wrote to a correspondent.
What is newer than a new dawning day? What a chance it offers for the renewing of life too! And how better to do this than to take a positive affirmative Declaration like, I Am Infinite Peace! as the first morning thought, and to hold it, and hold on to it, for those first few minutes which set the day’s keynote? Then, whatever matters there will be to attend, or pressing weighty duties to be fulfilled, we shall carry our peace into the midst of them.
Make it a matter of habit, until it becomes a matter of inclination, to be kind, gentle, forgiving, and compassionate. What can you lose? A few things now and then, a little money here and there, an occasional hour or an argument? But see what you can gain! More release from the personal ego, more right to the Overself’s grace, more loveliness in the world inside us, and more friends in the world outside us.
He cultivates a more joyous attitude, this man on the Short Path, for remembrance of the Overself, which he practises constantly, reminds him of the glory of the Overself.
… He will not hurt others unnecessarily. He feels that one of the best pieces of advice he can give others is: ”Be kind.” In this way you abrase your own egoism and show forth something–just an echo–of this love which emanates from the indwelling spiritual self…
If you live inwardly in love and harmony with yourself and with all others, if you persistently reject all contrary ideas and negative appearances, then this love and this harmony must manifest themselves outwardly in your environment.
Because the Short Path is an attempt to withdraw from the ego’s shade and to stand in the Overself’s sunshine, it must be accompanied by the deliberate cultivation of a joyous attitude. And because it is so largely a withdrawal from the Long Path’s disciplines, it must also be accompanied by a sense of freedom…
The more he behaves with kindly qualities towards others, the more will their behaviour towards him reflect back at least some of these qualities. The more he improves his own mental and moral conditions, the more will his human relations bring back some echo of this improvement.
We shall secure personal happiness only to the extent that we unfold ourselves to the light of the impersonal Overself.
There is great profit in the coinage of spiritual self-growth waiting to be picked up at every turn. The method is a simple one. Consider every person who makes an impact on your life as a messenger from the Overself, every happening which leaves its mark as a divinely-sent teacher.
You are to hate nobody but to extend to everybody the sincere hand of goodwill, to bless all because in your own heart the conscious presence of the Overself has itself blessed you…
Why not apply creative imagination to these testing periods? When you know that you are about to enter one of them, imagine that you will pass through it quite successfully, see yourself in your mind’s eye measuring up to ideal conduct.
The man who wins is the man whose dice are loaded with invincible optimism, with unfailing effort, and with creative thought.
… Every time he patiently crushes a wrong or foolish thought, he adds to his inner strength. Every time he bravely faces up to a misfortune with calm impersonal appraisal of its lesson, he adds to his inner wisdom. The man who has thus wisely and self-critically surrendered himself may then go forward with a sense of outward security and inward assurance, hopeful and unafraid, because he is now aware of the benign protection of his Overself…
The more successful type of Quester is the one who can keep his interest, enthusiasm, and practices in a stable, unwaning condition.
It is not only a path to be followed but one to be followed with good humour and graciousness.
Every test is a teacher to guide us to a higher level, a providential friend to give us the quality we most need.
So far as past errors are concerned, forget them and start afresh, as if it were your first day in this body; but so far as your present contacts are concerned, be kind to them, as if it were your last day in this body.
The past has furnished its lessons, so why need there be regrets? Drink, sex, ambition, money, travel—they were all stations on the way to understanding. If they robbed, they also gave. If they disappointed, they also trained you. If the past showed weaknesses, it also showed you could tear them out.
Suppose you knew that this was to be your last day on earth. How would you behave towards others? Would you not sink all short-range attitudes and rise above the petty selfishness, the pitiful enmities, and the harsh discords which may have marred your past? Would you not try at least to feel goodwill toward all men? This is how philosophy bids you behave at all times and not merely on your deathbed.
… He must go on with the faith and trust that obstacles are not for all time, that fluctuations on the path are inevitable, and that his own inner divine possibilities are the best guarantee of ultimate attainment. The trials of the path, as indeed the trials of life itself, are inescapable. He should endure the tribulations with the inner conviction that a brighter world awaits him; hope and faith will lead him to it.
He should make his mind the host to beautiful thoughts and fine moods and thus keep it ready as a place where the soul can enter untroubled.
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