Life if difficult.
This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because one we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult — once we truly understand and accept it — then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.

Four tools to solve problems of life:

  1. delaying of gratification
  2. acceptance of responsibility
  3. dedication to truth
  4. balancing

When we love something it is of value to us, and when something is of value to us we spend time with it, time enjoying it and time taking care of it.

Problems do not go away. They must be worked through or else they remain forever a barrier to the growth and development of the spirit.

A general, ’The single greatest problem in this army, or I guess in any organisation, is that most of the executives will sit looking at problems in their units, staring them right in the face, doing nothing, as if this problems will go away if they sit there long enough.’

We cannot solve life’s problems except by solving them.This is because we must accept responsibility for a problem before we can solve it.

The neurotic assumes too much responsibility; the person with a character disorder not enough.

‘If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem.’

Transference is that set of ways of perceiving and responding to the world which is developed in childhood and which is usually entirely appropriate to the childhood environment(indeed, often life-saving) but which is inappropriately transferred into the adult environment.

Truth or reality is avoided when it is painful.

Mental health is an ongoing process of dedication to reality at all costs.

What does a life of total dedication to the truth mean? It is means, first of all, a life of continuous and never-ending stringent self-examination.

The life of wisdom must be a life of contemplation combined with action.

Examination of the world without is never as personally painful as examination of the world within, and it is certainly because of the pain involved in a life of genuine self-examination that the majority steer away from it.

A life of total dedication to the truth also means a life of willingness to be personally challenged.

A black lie is a statement we make that we know is false. A white lie is a statement we make that is not in itself false but that leaves out a significant part of the truth.

To be free people we must assume total responsibility for ourselves, but in doing so must possess the capacity to reject responsibility that is not truly ours.

We therefore not only need to know how to deal with our anger in different ways at different times but also how most appropriately to match the right time with the right style of expression.

You must have something in order to give it up. You cannot give up anything you have not already gotten. If you give up winning without ever having won, you are where you were at the beginning: a loser.

Love is: The will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth.

Desire is not necessarily translated into action. Will is desire of sufficient intensity that it is translated into action.

Falling in love is not an act of will. It is not a conscious choice.

Falling in love is not an extension of one’s limits or boundaries; it is a partial and temporary collapse of them. The extension of one’s limits requires effort; falling in love is effortless.

The misconception that falling in love is a type of love is so potent precisely because it contains a grain of truth.

It is impossible to really see the unity of the universe as long as one continues to see oneself as a discrete object, separate and distinguishable from the rest of the universe in any way, shape of form.

The temporary loss of ego boundaries involved in falling in love and sexual intercourse not only leads us to make commitments to other people from which read love may begin but also gives us a foretastes of (and therefore an incentive for) the most lasting mystical ecstasy that can be ours after a lifetime of love. As such, therefore, while falling in love is not itself love, it is a part of the great and mysterious scheme of love.

The second most common misconception about love is the idea that dependency in love.

When you require another individual for your survival, you are a parasite on that individual. There is no choice, no freedom involved in your relationship. It is a matter of necessity rather than love. Love is the free exercise of choice. Two people love each other only when they are quite capable of living without each other but choose to live with each other.

We all — each and every one of us — even if we try to pretend to others and to ourselves that we don’t have dependency needs and feelings. All of us have desires to be babied, to be nurtured without effort on our parts, to be cared for by persons stronger than us who have our interests truly at heart.

Dependency may appear to be love because it is a force that causes people to fiercely attach themselves to another. But in actuality it is not love; it is a form of antilove. It has its genesis in a parental failure to love and it perpetuates the failure. It seeks to receive rather than to give. It nourishes infantilism rather than growth. It works to trap and constrict rather than to liberate. Ultimately it destroys rather than builds relationships, and it destroys rather than builds people.

Dependency is but one of the forms of behaviour to which we incorrectly apply the word ‘love’ when concern for spiritual evolution is absent.

The only true end of love is spiritual growth or human evolution.

Love is not simply giving; it is judicious giving and judicious withholding as well. It is judicious praising and judicious criticizing. It is judicious arguing, struggling, confronting, urging, pushing and pulling in addition to comforting. It is leadership. The word ‘judicious’ means requiring judgement, and judgement requires more than instinct; it requires thoughtful and often painful decision-making.

Whenever we think of ourselves as doing something for someone else, we are in some way denying our own responsibility. Whatever we do is done because we choose to do it, and we make that choice because it is the one that satisfies us the most. Whatever we do for someone off else we do because it fulfils a need we have.

It is true that love involves a change in the self, but this is an extension of the self rather than a satisfice of the self.

In a real sense love is as selfish as nonlove. Here again there is a paradox in that love is both selfish and unselfish at the same time. It is not selfishness or unselfishness that distinguishes love from nonlove; it is them aim of the action. In the case of genuine love the aim is always spiritual growth. In the case of nonlove the aim is always something else.

Love is not a feeling.
The feeling of love is the emotion that accompanies the experience of cathecting. Cathecting, it will be remembered, is the process by which an object becomes important to us.

Genuine love is valuational rather than emotional.

My feelings of love may be unbound., but my capacity to be loving is limited. I therefore must choose the person on whom to focus my capacity to love , toward whom to direct my will to love. True love is not a feeling by which we are overwhelmed. It is a committed, thoughtful decision.

Extension of ourselves or moving out against the inertia of laziness we call work. Moving out in the face of fear we call courage. Love, then, is a form of word or a form of courage. Specifically, it is word or courage directed toward the nurture of our own or another’s spiritual growth.

The principal form that the work of love takes is attention.

True listening, total concentration on the other, is always a manifestation of love. An essential part of true listening is the discipline of bracketing, the temporary giving up or setting aside of one’s own prejudices, frames of reference and desires so as to experience as far as possible the speaker’s world from the inside, stepping inside his or her shoes.

Courage is not the absence of fear; it is the making of action in spite of fear, the moving out against the resistance engendered by fear into the unknown and into the future.

’The only real security in life lies in relishing life’s insecurity.’

The final and possibly the greatest risk of love is the risk of exercising power with humility.

‘Meekness in itself is nothing else than a true knowing and feeling of a man’s self as he is. Any man who truly sees and feels himself as he is must surely be meek indeed.’

Mental illness is not a product of the unconscious, it is instead a phenomenon of consciousness or a disordered relationship between the conscious and the unconscious.

The problem is not that human beings have such hostile and sexual feelings, but rather than human beings have a conscious mind that is so often unwilling to face these feelings and tolerate the pain of dealing with them, and that is so willing to sweep them under the rug.

We are almost always either less or more competent than we believe ourselves to be. The unconscious, however, knows who wee really are. A major and essential task in the process of one’s spiritual development is the conscious work of bringing one’s conscious self-concept into progressively greater congruence with reality.

‘I once was lost, but now am found, was blink, but now I see.’

The mind, which sometimes presumes to believe that there is no such thing as a miracle, is itself a miracle.

The process of spiritual growth is an effortful and difficult one. This is because it is conducted against a natural resistance, against a natural inclination to keep the things the way they were, to cling to the old maps and old ways of doing things, to take the easy path.

It is through love that we elevate ourselves. And it is through our love for others that we assist others to elevate themselves. Love, the extension of the self, is the very act of evolution. It is evolution in progress. The evolutionary force, present in all of life, manifests itself in mankind as human love. Among humanity love is the miraculous force that defies the natural law of entropy.

For no matter now much we may like to pussyfoot around it, all of us who postulate a loving God and really think about it eventually come to a single terrifying idea: God wants us to become Himself(or Herself of Itself). We are growing towards godhood. God is the goal of evolution. It is God who is the source of the evolutionary force and God who is the destination. This is what we mean when we say that He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.

The idea that God is actively nurturing us so that we might grow up to be like Him brings us face to face with our own laziness.

Each of us represent the whole human race; within each of us is the instinct for godhood and the hope for mankind, and within each of us is the original of laziness, the ever-present force of entropy pushing us back to childhood, to the womb and to the swamps from which we have evolved.

Our personal involvement in the fight against evil in the world is one of the ways we grow.

The development of consciousness is the development of awareness in our conscious mind of knowledge along with our unconscious mind, which already possesses that knowledge. It is the process of the conscious mind coming into synchrony with the unconscious.

We are often most in the dark when we are the most certain, and the most enlightened when we are the most confused.

The path of spiritual growth is a path of lifelong learning.

Spiritual power is not simply awareness; it is the capacity to maintain one’s ability to still make decisions with greater and greater awareness. And godlike power is the power to make decisions with total awareness.

Those who have faced their mental illness, accepted total responsibility for it, and made the necessary changes in themselves to overcome it, find themselves not only cured and free from the curses of their childhood and ancestry but also find themselves living in a new and different world. What they once perceived as problems they now perceive as opportunities. What were once loathsome barriers are now welcome challenge. Thoughts previously unwanted become helpful insights; feelings previously disowned become sources of energy and guidance. Occurrences that once seemed to be burdens now seem to be gifts, including the very symptoms from which they have recovered.

Christ’s assertion ‘Many are called, but few are chosen’ I would translate to mean ‘All of us are called by and to grace, but few of us choose to listen to the call.’

To be aware of grace, to personally experience its constant presence, to know one’s nearness to God, is to know and continually experience an inner tranquillity and peace that few possess. On the other hand, the knowledge and awareness brings with it an enormous responsibility. For to experience one’s closeness to God is also to experience the obligation to be God, to be the agent of His power and love. The call to grace is a call to a life of effortful caring, to a life of service and whatever sacrifice seems required. It is a call out of spiritual childhood into adulthood, a call to be a parent unto mankind.

Saint Augustine wrote, ‘Dilige et quod vis fac,’ meaning ‘If you are loving and diligent, you may do whatever you want.’

The awareness of the existence of grace can be of considerable assistance to those who have chosen to travel the difficult path of spiritual growth. For this awareness will facilitate their journey in at least three ways: it will help them to take advantage of grace along the way; it will give them a surer sense of direction; and it will provide encouragement.

For the journey of spiritual growth requires courage and initiative and independence of thought and action. While the words of the prophets and the assistance of grace are available, the journey must be traveled alone. No teacher can carry you there. There are no preset formulas. Rituals are only learning aids, they are not the learning.

No words can be said, no teaching can be taught that will relieve spiritual travellers from the necessity of picking their own ways, working out with effort and anxiety their own paths through the unique circumstances of their own lives toward the identification of their individual selves with God.

Through grace we are helped not to stumble and through grace we know that we are being welcomed.