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Our Philosophy of Living

 
Learn to learn: Learn through experience that life is a school.
Recognize and appreciate that the existence of error and evil push you
towards the love of truth; pain and suffering make you search for the
secret of happiness; social inequality drives you to altruism;
hardship and disappointments teach you about courage; insecurities and
uncertainties urge you to hope; the ego and its follies pull you
towards unselfishness. You could not dynamically choose the divine
life if there were no self-life to forsake. There is correction in
suffering; have faith that the entire universe is friendly to you in
spite of all appearances to the contrary.

Be strong: Allow the pressures of life to develop your character. You
cannot perceive spiritual truth until you feelingly experience it, and
many truths are not really felt except in adversity. Human beings only
learn wisdom by experiencing tribulation. Strive to more faithfully
give God your sincere co-operation, more cheerfully endure the tasks
of his emplacement, more faithfully carry out the program of his
arrangement, more patiently go through the trials of his selection,
more persistently and cheerfully tread the path of his choosing, and
more humbly receive credit that may accrue as a result of his
ceaseless endeavors. The disappointments hardest to bear are those
which never come.

Learn to love: Learn to love your fellows by getting to know their
motives and sentiments. If you can only fathom the motives and
sentiments of your associates, how much better you will understand
them. If you can only know your fellows, you will eventually fall in
love with them. To become acquainted with one's brothers and sisters,
to know their problems and to learn to love them, is the supreme
experience of living. Learn to love even your enemies. Devote your
life to proving that love is the greatest thing in the world for love
is the ancestor of all spiritual goodness, the essence of the true and
the beautiful.

Love like a father: As a father, a real father, a true father, loves
his children, so the Universal Father loves and forever seeks the
welfare of his created sons and daughters. Begin to look upon people
as God looks upon his creatures so that you can love human beings as
God loves them. Show mercy, promote peace, endure persecutions, and
throughout all of these trying situations love even unlovely mankind
with a fatherly love. But the love of God is an intelligent and
farseeing parental affection – farseeing fathers also make provision
for the necessary discipline, guidance, correction, and sometimes
restraint of their young and immature offspring. Divine love is not
that shortsighted affection which would pamper and spoil the children
of men.

Love truth above all else: That which is old and also true must abide.
Likewise, that which is new but false must be rejected. But that which
is new and also true, have the faith and courage to accept. It is not
the purpose of true religion merely to bring peace but rather to
insure progress. And there can be no peace in the heart or progress in
the mind unless you fall wholeheartedly in love with truth, the ideals
of eternal realities. The more truth you know, the more truth you
are, the more of the past you can understand and of the future you can
comprehend.

Cultivate the inner life: Take time to share the inner life with God.
Depend upon the ultimate guidance of the God within you. A worshipful
practice brings relaxation which renews the mind; illumination which
inspires the soul; courage which enables one bravely to face one's
problems; self-understanding which obliterates debilitating fear; and
consciousness of union with divinity which equips one with the
assurance that enables one to dare to be Godlike. In addition, the
relaxation of worship, or spiritual communion, relieves tension,
removes conflicts, and mightily augments the total resources of the
personality. This inner life of man is truly creative. You can choose
as to whether this creativity shall be spontaneous and wholly
haphazard or controlled, directed, and constructive.

Be Patient:  Knowledge can be learned but truth can only be
experienced. Those who are not interested in discovering the truth
must be allowed time so that the trials and difficulties of life
create an appetite for wisdom and higher learning. You cannot reveal
God to those who do not seek for him; you cannot lead unwilling souls
into the joys of salvation – the spirit concept cannot be mechanically
forced into the mind. You cannot teach the deep things of the spirit
to those who have been born only of the flesh; first see that they are
born of the spirit before you seek to instruct them in the advanced
ways of the spirit. Human beings must become hungry for truth as a
result of the experiences of living, or they must desire to know God
as the result of contact with the lives of those who are acquainted
with the Creator. The argumentative defense of any proposition is
inversely proportional to the truth contained.

Be tolerant: Until the human race progresses to the level of a higher
and more general recognition of the realities of spiritual experience,
many will continue to show a personal preference for those religions
of authority which require only intellectual assent, in contrast to
the religion of the spirit, which entails active participation of mind
and soul – personal experience. There are no religions on earth that
could not profitably study and assimilate the best of the truths
contained in every other faith, for all contain truth. You would do
better to borrow the best in your neighbors’ living spiritual faith
rather than to denounce the worst in their lingering superstitions and
outworn rituals. Refrain from all efforts to take something out of the
hearts of those who seek salvation; instead, labor only to put
something into these hungry souls. Lead them into the kingdom, and the
great and living truths of the kingdom will presently drive out all
serious error.

Find solitude and commune with God: Go apart by yourself to engage in
periods of solitude to survey the problems of living and seek for new
stores of wisdom and energy to meet the demands of life; to quicken
and deepen the supreme purpose of living by actually subjecting the
total personality to the consciousness of contacting with divinity; to
grasp for possession of new and better methods of adjusting yourself
to the ever-changing situations of living existence; to effect vital
reconstructions and readjustments of your personal attitudes which are
so essential to enhanced insight into everything worthwhile and real;
and to do all of this with an eye single to the glory of God-- to
breathe in sincerity and pray, "Not my will, but yours, be done."
Fear not: Do not make the mistake of fighting your enemy with its own
weapons. Fear and anger weaken character and destroy happiness. Love
your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse
you, and pray for those who despitefully use you. Be not overcome by
evil but rather overcome evil with good. The measure of the strength
of your character is the ability to resist the holding of grudges and
your capacity to withstand brooding in the face of deep sorrow.
Impatience is a spirit poison; anger is like a stone hurled into a
hornet's nest.

Strive for Stability: Learn to let pressure develop stability and
certainty. Stability is the product of balanced energies and
personality unification and is wholly and always proportional to
divinity. Such levels of spiritual stability are immune to
disappointment. Stability of personality can be experienced only by
those who have discovered and embraced the living God as the eternal
goal of infinite attainment and have transferred their goals from time
to eternity, from earth to Paradise, from the human to the divine.
They are regenerated, converted, born again as a re-created child of
the divine spirit. Develop an ideal that is true, final, infallible,
eternal, universal, absolute, and infinite.

Be ambitious: Some people’s lives are too great and noble to descend
to the low level of being merely successful. You have begun an
endless unfolding of an almost infinite panorama, a limitless
expanding of never-ending, ever-widening spheres of opportunity for
exhilarating service, matchless adventure, sublime uncertainty, and
boundless attainment. Be humble as you seek for goals of spiritual
wealth—for God – and you will not have to wait for rewards in a
distant future; you are rewarded now. Find the kingdom of heaven
within your own heart, and you will experience happiness now. When you
search for god, you are searching for everything. When you find god,
you will have found everything. God is the greatest experience in
human existence.

Remain Positive: Bear your responsibilities well and carry on in the
face of disappointment. Bear up bravely when your plans are thwarted
and your purposes temporarily defeated. Remember that your most
disappointing disappointments often become your greatest blessings,
just as the planting of a seed necessitates its death so that it can
be reborn to bear the fruit of new life and new opportunity. Learn to
suffer less through sorrow and disappointment. Make fewer personal
plans for other personalities and accept your lot when you have
faithfully performed your duty. Be faithful and earnest and, withal,
cheerful. Accept challenges without complaint and face difficulties
and uncertainties without fear. If you fail, rise indomitably to try
anew. If you succeed, maintain a well-balanced poise-- a stabilized and
spiritualized attitude. Be fair and just even in the face of
injustice.

Stay Vigilant: Idealism can never survive on an evolving planet if the
idealists in each generation permit themselves to be exterminated by
the baser orders of humanity. In all attacks which might be made upon
your person, try first to determine whether or not the aggressor is a
son of God; if you determine that the aggressor does not possess moral
judgment and spiritual reason, you are to unhesitatingly defend
yourself to the full capacity of your powers of resistance, regardless
of consequences to the attacker. Shrewd, wicked, and designing men are
not to be permitted to organize themselves for the exploitation and
oppression of those who, because of their idealism, are not disposed
to resort to force for self-protection or for the furtherance of their
laudable life projects.

Develop a long distance viewpoint: Surrender the gratification of mere
transient and present desires for the entertainment of those superior
longings that offer the more abundant satisfactions of progressing
toward permanent goals. Lighten your burdens of soul by speedily
acquiring a long-distance view of your destiny, a universe expansion
of your career. Order your life as to provide for your present joy
while you also make certain of your future enjoyment of treasures laid
up in heaven. Be not deceived by the tempting rewards of dishonest
achievement; be willing to toil for the later returns inherent in
honest endeavor. Remember to plan for the achievement of a higher and
distant goal of idealism while you toil earnestly for the attainment
of the nearer and more immediate goal of necessity.

Work as a team: It is difficult for religion to survive as the private
practice of isolated individuals. This has ever been the error of the
religious leaders: Seeing the evils of institutionalized religion,
they seek to destroy the technique of group functioning. There is a
real purpose in the socialization of religion. It is the purpose of
group religious activities to dramatize the loyalties of religion; to
magnify the lures of truth, beauty, and goodness; to foster the
attractions of supreme values; to enhance the service of unselfish
fellowship; to glorify the potentials of family life; to promote
religious education; to provide wise counsel and spiritual guidance;
and to encourage group worship. The weak indulge in resolutions, but
the strong act. Life is but a day's work—do it well. The act is ours;
the consequences God's.

Remain Humble: Realize that you increase your burdens and decrease the
likelihood of success by taking yourself too seriously. When you feel
important, you lose energy to the wear and tear of ego dignity so that
there is little energy left to do the work. Self-importance, not work-
importance, exhausts immature creatures; it is the self element that
exhausts, not the effort to achieve. You can do important work if you
do not become self-important; you can do several things as easily as
one if you leave yourself out. Remember that though the source of
mind is divine, mind as you know it on your world can hardly become
the object of great admiration, much less of adoration or worship. The
contemplation of the immature and inactive human intellect should lead
only to reactions of humility. Those who aspire to greatness must
learn to humble themselves.

Develop a sense of humor: One of the functions of humor is to help all
of us take ourselves less seriously. Humor is the divine antidote for
exaltation of ego. When you are tempted to magnify your self-
importance, stop to contemplate the infinity of the greatness and
grandeur of your Maker. Upon doing so, your own self-glorification
becomes sublimely ridiculous, even verging on the humorous.
Remember to rest and play: Learn how to step aside from the rush of
life—escape the harassments of material existence—while you refresh
the soul, inspire the mind, and renew the spirit by worshipful
communion. Life should be equally divided between work and play. Work
should alternate with play; religion should be balanced by humor.
Profound philosophy should be relieved by rhythmic poetry. The strain
of living-- the time tension of personality-- should be relaxed by the
restfulness of worship.

Do Something Well: Ability is that which you inherit, while skill is
what you acquire. Life is not real to one who cannot do some one thing
well, expertly. Skill is one of the real sources of the satisfaction
of living. Ability implies the gift of foresight, farseeing vision.
Strive always to be a producer as well as a consumer. Utilize the
energy of the spiritual drive to turn the mechanism of material
achievement. Effort does not always produce joy, but there is no
happiness without intelligent effort.

Be willing to cooperate and compromise: Adjust your aspirations to the
commonplace demands of the human occasion. Live the heavenly life
while you continue on with the earthly existence. One of the most
important lessons to be learned during this life is teamwork.
Civilization is better promoted by intelligent co-operation,
understanding fraternity, and spiritual brotherhood.
Become good at problem solving: Learn to think and begin to profit by
experience. Successful living is nothing more or less than the art of
the mastery of dependable techniques for solving common problems. The
first step in the solution of any problem is to locate the difficulty,
to isolate the problem, and frankly to recognize its nature and
gravity. The wise and effective solution of any problem demands that
the mind shall be free from bias, passion, and all other purely
personal prejudices which might interfere with the objective survey of
the problem to be solved. Remember that the solution of life problems
requires courage and sincerity. Only honest and brave individuals are
able to follow valiantly through the perplexing and confusing maze of
living to where the logic of a fearless mind may lead. Only a brave
person is willing honestly to admit, and fearlessly to face, what a
sincere and logical mind discovers.

Fight against prejudice and ignorance: Prejudice is inseparably linked
to selfishness. Abandon prejudice, it blinds the soul to the
recognition of truth. Prejudice can be eliminated only by the
abandonment of self to the satisfaction of service to a cause that is
not only greater than self, but even greater than all humanity, that
being the search for God and the progress toward perfection. Strive to
let go of long-cherished conceit, envy, and deep-seated prejudices.
Ignorance breeds suspicion, and suspicion is incompatible with the
essential attitude of sympathy and love. Grudges and vengefulness are
held in direct proportion to ignorance of the inner nature and true
longings of your fellow beings.

Grow in grace and maturity: The evidence of maturity consists in the
transformation of human desire to the point that it constantly seeks
to realize those values which are highest and most divinely real.
Discouragement, worry, and indolence are positive evidence of moral
immaturity. Mature people look upon all other mortals with feelings of
tenderness and with emotions of tolerance. Mature men and women view
immature people with the love and consideration that parents bear
their children. The immature individual arouses the antagonisms of his
fellows; the mature person wins the hearty co-operation of associates,
thereby many times multiplying the fruits of their life efforts.
Develop tact and tolerance: The emancipation of the mind and soul
depends on intelligent enthusiasm. Only the lure of some great and
noble ideal can motivate you to solve difficult material problems and
overcome intellectual conflicts. Even when effectively armed to meet
the difficult situations of life, you can hardly expect success unless
you are equipped with wisdom and charm to help you win the hearty
support and co-operation of your fellows. You simply cannot hope for a
large measure of success in life without tact and tolerance.