The Good Fight
Letter 4, from “Living the Life,” The Friendly Philosopher
While situations are not always agreeable, or what we would choose, yet they are the very apparatus by means of which we learn discrimination; you know that. Seeming misfortunes turn into blessings if taken right; this must be true if the purpose of life is to learn. Everything that comes is a part of life, and when it comes to us, it is a part of our life; so all must be right for us if our object is to learn. If people could only look at it in that way, they would learn more, get through with less friction, be happier, and, in reality, have fewer difficulties to surmount; the necessity for learning ceasing, no means are drawn to us for that purpose. It is Karma, all of it, and as students we should realize and benefit by the knowledge. But it takes time for most to do so, and opportunities are lost and energy uselessly expended in the meantime. Our work is with ourselves, however, and we can do only what we can for others, giving them such opportunities as are beyond us to take; then they must choose. W. Q. J. said there are two things needed—to hold on firmly, and to have perfect confidence. I think therein lies the door to a safe refuge. (He used the words “hold on grimly”—which is more expressive of determination.)
It is true that when we are relying on other things, we are not relying on the law. Yes, it looks a good deal darker than it really is. We have to grow accustomed to another kind of light, and we shall then see as plainly, or more so, than before. The very sacrifices made to relieve the trials of others are also tests for ourselves, and means of growth, growth coming from the sacrifice of the lower to the higher in every way, as well as on every plane of being. It is spiritual fire that burns out all the dross. At no time is the way easier, but it is sure, and the refining goes on. If we must go down, it will be with our flags flying, fighting to the very last. That is the worst that could happen, and even that is not very bad for us, though others might suffer because of our removal to another field. We may now regret the possibility, but then we would not, because no more could be done.
Also, your thought that we are not deserted must be right. Too often we think all depends upon our effort and continuance; yet we must know that all these things are provided for, and there are always those who are near us, who see and know, and will never fail us, even though we have to go through the gates of death to get a wider vision and understanding. All the trial and training tend to pull us out of one place in order that we may lay hold of another and better one, when we determine to “suffer or enjoy whatever the Higher Self has in store for one by way of discipline and experience.” It is the Higher Self that pulls us into places and conditions that the personality would run in affright from, if it alone were acting. It shrinks from the unknown like the steed, but the rider by spur, bridle, and encouragement makes it carry him where he desires to go, for he knows where food, shelter, and rest await both.
In this work natures are intensified; good and bad come to the surface, but the cleansing process is gradual. Each must do his own work of elimination where such is seen to be needed; it is a process of purpose and discrimination, and events bring us opportunities. Wise are those who take advantage of opportunities and examine motives in the handling of events.
The Law works in strange ways at times; it is never idle and it makes no mistakes. Let us rely on IT, for there is nothing else on which we may. If I were utterly worthless, your love and faith and courage would bring results to you just the same, and your sacrifice to an ideal bring out in you all that the ideal holds. And when it is Truth itself we seek and serve, nothing can dismay us or turn us aside. It is much to have gained this understanding—worth its cost ten thousand times.