It is the natural right of every human being to be happy to escape all the miseries of life. Happiness is a normal condition, as natural as landscapes and seasons. It is not natural to suffer, and it is only because of our ignorance that we suffer. Happiness is a product of wisdom. To reach perfect enlightenment, to fully understand the purpose of life, to fully realize the relationship of human beings to each other is to put an end to all suffering, to escape from all the evil and evil that afflicts us. Perfect wisdom is deep joy.
Why do we suffer in life? Because, in the scheme of nature, we are being forced to move forward in evolution, and we lack spiritual enlightenment, which, by itself, can light the way and allow us to move safely between the obstacles that stand before us. Usually, we don’t even see or suspect the presence of problems until it suddenly leaps at us like a hidden tiger. One day, our family circle is complete and happy.
A week later, death came and went, and joy is replaced by agony. Today we have a friend. Tomorrow he will be an enemy, and we don’t know why. Not long ago, we had wealth and all material luxuries. There was a sudden change, and now we have only poverty and misery, and yet we are looking in vain for a reason why this should happen. There was a time when we were healthy and active, but both left and no trace of cause appears. In addition to these significant tragedies in life, countless things of minor importance continually bring us small miseries and small hurts.
We sincerely wish to avoid them, but we never see them until they strike us, until, in the darkness of our ignorance, we run over them. What we lack is the spiritual enlightenment that will allow us to look everywhere, discovering the hidden causes of human suffering and revealing the method by which they can be avoided. If we can achieve enlightenment, the evolutionary journey can be made comfortably and quickly. It is as if we should go through a long, dark room, filled with furniture scattered promiscuously. In the dark, our progress would be slow and painful, and our injuries would be many. But if we could press a button to turn on the electric light, we could make the same journey quickly and with perfect safety and comfort.
The ancient method of education was to store the mind with the most considerable possible number of facts or supposed facts that could be accumulated and to give a particular external polish to the personality. The theory was that when a man was born, he was a complete human being and that all that could be done for him was to load him with information that would be used with more or less skill, according to the fundamental ability he was born with.
The theosophical idea is that the physical man, and everything that constitutes his life in the physical world, is only a very partial expression of the self; that in each one’s ego there is practically unlimited power and wisdom; that these can be expressed in the physical world, as the physical body and its invisible equivalents, which together constitute the sophisticated vehicle of the ego’s manifestation, are evolved and adapted to the objective; and that, in the exact proportion that conscious effort is given to this self-development, spiritual enlightenment will be achieved and wisdom achieved. Thus, the light that leads to happiness is lit from within, and the evolutionary journey that everyone is taking can be stolen from their suffering.
Why does death bring misery? Mainly because it separates us from those we love.
The only other reason why death brings grief or fear is that we do not understand it and understand the role it plays in human evolution. But the moment our ignorance gives way to understanding, that fear disappears, and a serene happiness takes its place.
Why do we have enemies whose words or deeds we suffer from? Because, in our limited physical consciousness, we do not perceive the unity of all life and we realize that our wrong thoughts and actions must react on us through other people, a situation from which there is no possible escape unless we stop thinking about evil. And then, patiently waiting for the moment when the causes we have already generated are entirely exhausted. When spiritual enlightenment arrives, and we no longer stumble on the night of ignorance, the last enemy will disappear, and we will not do it forever again.
Why do people suffer from poverty and disease? Only because of the blatant ignorance that makes their existence possible for us, and because we do not understand their meaning and their lessons, nor do we know the attitude to assume towards them. If we had the wisdom to understand why they reach people, why they are necessary factors in their evolution, they would not bother us anymore. When the lesson of nature is fully learned, these dumb teachers will disappear.
And so it is with all forms of suffering that we experience. At the same time, they are reactions to our mistakes and ignorant instructors that point the best way. When we understand the lessons they teach, they are no longer needed and disappear. It is not by the external acquisition of facts that men become wise and great. It is developing the soul from within until it illuminates the brain with that flood of light called a genius.
The Mental Attitude
Success is in the blood. There are men whose destiny can never remain calm; they march forward joyfully and take by divine right the best of everything that the land offers. But its success is not achieved through Samuel Smiles-Connecticut policy. They do not wait, nor plan, nor doe, nor seek to adapt their candles to catch the breeze of popular favor. Still, they are always alert and alive for any good that may arise, and when that happens, they appropriate it and do not delay; they move forward continuously.
Good health! Whenever you go out, pull your chin, raise the crown of your head and fill your lungs to the maximum; drink in the sun; greet your friends with a smile, and put your soul into each handshake.
Don’t be afraid of being misunderstood, and never waste a moment thinking about your enemies. Try to fix what you would like to do firmly in your mind, and without driving violence, you will go straight to the goal.
Fear is the rock on which we part, and I hate the school where many barks are trapped. When we are afraid, the judgment is as unreliable as the compass of a ship whose hold is full of iron ore; when we hate, we disembark the rudder; and, if we ever stop to meditate on what the gossip says, we allow a spy to spoil the screw.
Keep your mind on the great and splendid thing you would like to do. Then, as the days go by, you will find yourself unconsciously taking advantage of the opportunities necessary for the fulfillment of your desire, just as the coral insect takes the elements it needs from the current tide. Imagine in your mind the capable, sincere, and useful person that you want to be, and the thought that you keep is constantly transforming you into that particular individual that you so admire.
Thinking is supreme, and thought is often better than doing.
Preserve a correct mental attitude, the attitude of courage, frankness, and good cheer.
Darwin and Spencer told us that this is the method of Creation. Each animal evolved the necessary and desired parts. The horse is a fleet because it wants to be; the bird flies because it wants to; the duck has a web foot because it wants to swim. All things come through desire, and every sincere prayer is answered. We become like what our hearts are fixed on.
Many people know this, but they don’t know him thoroughly enough for it to shape their lives. We want friends, so we plan and chase many people after influential people, and we expect good people or supposedly good people who hope to be able to get attached to them. The only way to guarantee friends is to be one. And before you are fit for friendship, you must be able to do this without it. That is, you must have enough self-confidence to take care of yourself and, from the surplus of your energy, you can do for others.
The individual who longs for friendship and still desires an egocentric spirit will never be short of friends.
If you have friends, cultivate loneliness instead of society. Drink in ozone; bathe in the sun, and in the silent night, under the stars, say to yourself again and again: “I am part of all my eyes!” And then you will feel that you are not a mere intruder between Earth and heaven, but that you are a necessary part of the whole. No harm can come to you that does not reach everyone, and if you fall, you can only be in the midst of the destruction of worlds.
Like the old Job, what we fear will undoubtedly come upon us. By a wrong mental attitude, we trigger a series of events that end in disaster. People who die in middle age of illness, almost without exception, are the ones who prepare for death. The acute tragic condition is simply the result of a chronic mental state, culminating in a series of events.
Character is the result of two things, the mental attitude and the way we spend our time. It is what we think and what we do that makes us what we are.
By grasping the forces of the universe, you are secure with them. And when you realize this, everything else is easy, because in your arteries will travel red corpuscles and, in your heart, the determined resolution to do and to be born. Take the chin and the crown of the head up. We are gods in the chrysalis.