The Mystic Path is for Heroes
(from The Mystic Path to Cosmic Power by Vernon Howard)
Noticing our negativities is a curious process. It is like seeing a shadow and taking it as a frightening phantom. If you look closely, you see it as a mere shadow. But refusal to look at it perpetuates the painful illusion of a frightening phantom. This is the awful state unnecessarily endured by millions of unawake people. They suffer without knowing why.
My own early experiences show that advancement to a higher level of freedom is often triggered by a rebellion against the existing lower level. Simply stated, you get fed up with the pain of the lower level. You decide not to live that way any more. You get tired of enslavement to a habit. Everything you have done in the past fails to break the habit. So you dare to try a new way, such as understanding how and why habits are formed. That new understanding breaks the habit.
You must rebel constructively. Do not direct your rebellion against people or conditions, rather, against your own fear of people and conditions. Perhaps someone in your life bothers you. You need not get mad at him or her. But you need to say silently to this person and to yourself, “From this day on, I will no longer sacrifice my natural integrity to you. From now on I am living my life. I will no longer barter my true individuality in order to please you and hold you. Take me or leave me, but you’ll have to take me as I am.”
When silently spoken with insight and without hostility, this speech begins a tremendous transformation within.
In his essay Self-Reliance, Ralph Waldo Emerson declares, “If you are true, but not in the same truth with me, cleave to your companions; I will seek my own. I do this not selfishly, but humbly and truly. However long we have dwelt in lies, now your interest, mine, and all men’s, is to live in truth. Does this sound harsh to-day? You will soon love what is dictated by your nature as well as mine, and, if we follow the truth, it will bring us out safe at last.”
The Mystic Path calls for heroes. To perform deeds of valor on the battlefield is not necessarily heroic. Authentic heroism is inner action, unseen and unapplauded by men. It consists in a willingness to wade, if necessary, through a thousand personal blunders in order to reach the next elevation. The basic heroism is an agreement to higher truth.
Inner Life Exercise
Right Rebellion: When bothered by another person or an event, remind yourself that the problem is internal and requires personal action. Silently say to yourself, “From now on, I am living my own life.”