Life is a struggle and it should be: struggle is part of the divine scheme. What use would there be in living if we were born perfect? It is the growth of the soul, the unfolding, the effort to attain perfection, that is the incentive. The well-balanced know that every temptation is heralded in one's mind; that no evils come up and press in upon us and force us to action unpreceded by the warnings and reminders of conscience.
Hence the importance of our first thoughts upon waking. If one rises in the morning in a mood through which the Soul can express itself, one is at peace during the whole day. Remember how great is the creative power of the imagination; build with it, upon waking, a picture of hope and joy; lay aside all that belongs to the lower, and going up into the temple of the heart, dedicate the day to self-purification — and you invite an invasion of the Gods. But rise with the brain-mind dominant, and a day of perplexing difficulties awaits you.
Do not obscure from your vision the glory of your tomorrows by brooding on the gloom of your yesterdays! The brightest of us undervalues his powers. One half of our battles are defeats because we have so cultivated fear that we dread to undertake them: the human mind, conscious of its unworthiness, enters the path half afraid and with hesitation, and is eternally looking towards the goal instead of taking each day as it comes with affectionate determination. There is a great lesson to be learned from these experiences: dealt with in time they often lead to splendid victories.
So, if you are looking for rest and relief and peace, or for the love of your friends, find what you desire by giving it forth out of the treasure-chambers of yourself. Thought is of little value unless it generates thought: by the power of imagination create within yourself the Divine Warrior. Begin to fashion your tomorrows by shutting out your yesterdays' weaknesses; go forth into the day and its duties with mind open to the light and trusting in the God within, the Divinity at the heart of things: saying to that Higher Self, I will arise and go to my Father; and to the lower, Get thee behind me, Satan!
There must be shadows, but we have the power to dispel them. When discouragement comes, and doubt and lack of faith, that is the time to bring imagination into play, to invoke the power of silence, to dig into the inner depths of one's own nature and discover there the beauty and grandeur of life, the glory of the Law. Had we no difficulties we should make no effort. Had we no temptations there would be no need for self-control. Had we no trials there would be nothing to call forth our patience and trust. Trust in what? — In those universal Divine Laws that hold our life in their keeping. They are there, and all existence is governed by them; and therefore those who base their living on law and order are on the path of progress whether they know it or not.
One of the greatest obstacles on the upward path is extremism: where the brain-mind has fashioned the way and the method and worked out its comparisons and put forward its severe criticisms of life. There is always a danger in such cases of the dogmatic attitude, and of finding oneself in a rut instead of swinging out into the universal thought and moving forward along the broad road of spiritual effort. The strain that exists upon the body and mind of the extremist is terrible. Though no motive may be behind to do wrong or get away from the true, where there is that intense impulse to be doing something — to be getting a result without learning how, or bringing about some quick action contrary to one's better judgment — there at once the whole make-up begins to deteriorate; and in weeks perhaps, or months, something may happen that will cause its complete undoing. This extremism becomes in time a mania — a kind of insanity; and the brightest minds are often caught in the reaction.
Safety lies in keeping to middle lines. Do not look for phenomenal occurrences, nor expect any startling manifestation through or for yourself. The Divine Laws do not work that way, but in silence in the inmost part of our being.
A new life must come to humanity, else it will surely go down in darkness. We must go forward in the knowledge that we have within ourselves divine potentialities, and that to serve is to do what our souls long to do, so that all mankind may behold a brighter day.
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