The true philosopher should think of his struggle as a moral battle.
The field of morality includes all those latent powers that are trying to emerge but are unable to do so, because they need our decisive and willing support. Morality is the sum of all our virtues, the combination of all our powers, active and latent; it is the armour and the weapons with which we enter the battle of life, from which we want to emerge victorious.
Morality, then, is the union of our physical, energetic, emotional, intellectual and spiritual potentials in their positive aspects.
Ours is a moral struggle to achieve the conquest of our human values. The effort and struggle that precede any victory, whether great or small, are especially evident on the innermost planes of the personality.
There is no doubt that many efforts require the active participation of the body and the energy. But the root of that physical effort is always to be found in the things we know or the things we want; the forces of wanting and knowing are powerful motivations.
It is clear that the most fearsome struggles take place in the emotions and the mind. Bodies undergo great pain when they suffer; but it is not comparable to the intensity of pain in the subtle bodies, for which there is no quick and easy remedy.
Calm is expressed as serenity, as peace.
Many brave fighters know how important it is to remain calm in the midst of battle.
When the goal has not yet been reached, when we are still following uncertain paths with many byways and hidden traps, it is not advisable to lose control of ourselves or of the external circumstances.
The destabilizing element of aimless emotions, confused ideas and actions without continuity is the enemy that stands in the way of victory.
It is at these times that we are most in need of self-control. We have to know how to moderate the passions, clarify our ideas; we have to measure the movements of the body; we have to connect our actions. Everything must have an aim and, to ensure that the aim does not disappear from view, we need serenity.
Serenity does not imply insensitivity. It makes room for the best sentiments and enjoys them as long as they are expressed within ethical and aesthetic channels. It enables us to work with the best ideas because there is space, there is light and there is time to understand and develop them.
Serenity is a state of the soul which is very close to victory, even if it is not the great victory.
As regards peace, it was honoured on ancient altars as the deity that followed in the wake of victory. Victory gives rise to peace.
Our peace, for now, will be achieved by controlling our opposites. Calm victory, like all victories, cannot avoid inner struggles.
WE NEED TO KNOW THE TRUE NATURE OF SACRIFICE.
Sacrifice is not about pain, but about courageously exercised willpower.
Without looking very far, there is one well known explanation: sacrifice as self-denial, as the ability to put one’s own desires aside and place oneself at the service of others. But in addition to self-denial we have the concept of sacrifice as sacrum officium, a sacred duty, a sacred action or offering. Altars, now and at all times, are those places where there is an opportunity for worthy and useful work. Sacrifice as a sacred offering is about creating more space in the soul.
The sacrifice that leads to victory has a lot to do with purification: leaving behind the residues and rubbish that obstruct the personality; it is impossible to move forward if our feet are stuck in the mud. It has a lot to do with generosity: possessing in order to give; only one who possesses can give and only one who is capable of giving possesses. It has a lot to do with mysticism: seeing what is hidden behind the appearances, perceiving the laws of nature in every action, understanding the purpose that moves the universe and all living beings.
This is the victory we must achieve. The victory that rises up like fire after the dross has been burnt. The ever-burning fire on the altars has a base of wood, a fuel that sets it alight and a star that attracts it.
Extracted from her book The Path to Victory
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