"It is only from the belief of the goodness and wisdom of a supreme being, that our calamities can be borne in a manner which becomes a man."
— Henry Mackenzie
Plato called thinking, "The talking of the soul with itself." When was the last time you had a little talk with your self, the real you, within you? Do you think of yourself as a spirit or soul, or are you in the habit of thinking of your self as your role in life, your physical body or appearance, or any of the external labels that society uses to define you? The world would prefer that you not have this quiet inner dialogue with your self. It will go so far as to label you as insane if you wish to have a quiet chat with your self, or your Creator. Don't let that discourage you. It is between you and your self, and is nobody else's business. Do not let anyone try to block, interfere with, or ridicule your inner spiritual connection. It is your spiritual lifeline. And, it is nobody else's business.
For many people, life is hard, then you die. Suffering, hunger, poverty, and exploitation are the norm throughout the world. Why is there so much suffering and persecution, especially for those who seek the truth and connection with the Divine within them? If life is hard, what must we persevere at, and what must we forgo? Do we abandon our spiritual reality and accept the physical-material level as the true and proper focus of life? Is the "solution" to our problems to embrace life in this world, to strive to rise above others, to accept and enjoy everything and everyone, to be shaped into a creature of the world like clay is molded of the earth? Or, is the solution to find and hold strongly to one's inner spiritual being and principles, and to reject the pervasive pressure to fit in or to take the easy way? In this world, evil is often the easier choice. It is hard to persevere in what is right. It is hard to find the truth.
Some people persevere in what is right, good, and true; others persist in what is wrong.
Evil has its staunch defenders. As we have observed, those who are evil see evil as good, and good as irrelevant. Goodness, conscience, and spiritual development are an unwanted constraint on their thinking and behavior. Evil people, especially demons, are relentless in their pursuit of evil. In their minds — in their incessant ambition, their endless lust, their craving for attention, position, authority, or power — evil is what they feel compelled to persist in. They think that their tenacity in evil is good; and it does not matter whether they think or proclaim they are doing good, they are not. Those who persist in following evil will not fare well in the end. Those who embrace this world and everything in it, who say, "Oh boy, sports," "Oh boy, sex," "Oh boy, money," have truly failed; they have found a worldly solution to what is essentially a spiritual problem. All of the people and things of this world which merely serve to distract you from looking for the Highest Good, within you, defeat you. Perseverance is opposite to denial. It is a willingness to seek and live in Truth and Light, no matter what. Denial is a choice to refuse to acknowledge, admit, or come to the Truth and Light, no matter what. One is spiritual victory, the other defeat.
Abraham Lincoln, the greatest American statesman, had the deepest faith in a Supreme Being. He lived and died trying to free all Americans from their worldly bondage. Though he had failed at most things in his life, including earlier attempts to run for public office, he persevered spiritually, won the presidency, and won his battle to end slavery. He fought the dominant, corrupt, unseen, special interests, as did John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated by them, as well. But, they had their victory in changing the consciousness and thinking of their time. Clearly, there is something in this society, this world, that simply cannot tolerate the spiritual values of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. It cannot tolerate Truth and Light. And, if you are a Good being, you need to understand that this same dark force will try to intimidate, belittle, block, defeat, tempt, seduce, oppress, buy, or destroy you — in this time. It has not gone away; it is both more subtle and more obvious, today. Realize, you have that same spiritual battle to fight in your life, of Good versus Evil. If you sell out to this world, seeking only personal gain, trying to prove that you are better than others, measuring your success in material terms rather than spiritual terms, you may lose that battle.
No true spiritual being has an easy life, unless he or she is totally asleep or sold out to the world and its spurious agenda. The world is saturated with problems, negativity, injustice, and evil. Do not give in; do not compromise. Unless you have perseverance — and learn to draw upon this quality within you — the incessant bombardment of negativity, evil, exploitation, corruption, abuse, and oppression may put out your Light. Perseverance must come from the true inner being, deep within you. You cannot and must not try to draw some kind of pushiness or stubbornness from your ego, emotions, programming, ambition, desires, culture, or common religious dogma and indoctrination. These will fail you. The real key to perseverance is, ironically, detachment. It is possible to withdraw from what oppresses you and regain your true center, rather than continue to be reactive to, displaced by, or stressed by everything and everyone outside you. You do not have to stop doing what you are doing to detach. Detachment is a spiritual state, a state of mind in which you do what you do in the world without ego or emotion, from a place of balance, perspective, conscience, and true vision. Detachment never means doing what is wrong and being "detached" from your conscience or the truth.
You have to realize what to hold on to and what to let go of. It does you no good to stubbornly hold on to illusions. It does you no good to define your success in terms of externals, but only in terms of what is within you. In other words, perseverance is a connection with and affirmation of the true inner being, the real you, and the rejection of all that is not true to you: ego, emotion, worldly desire, and so on. How many people mistakenly spend their whole lives pursuing some financial goal, or some imagined happiness in retirement, or think that having some goal is the same as being happy, now? How many people proudly, egotistically, fixate upon their material desires, and imagine they will find spiritual contentment? How many mistake being lost in the illusions of this world for "success"? Is that the true spiritual quality of perseverance, courage to see the truth, willingness to be corrected along your path — the self-less desire to align with a Higher Good, without any thought of personal reward? Perseverance is more of a surrender of self-deception, a forsaking of worldly ambitions, for the sole purpose of doing what you know to be right, in your heart. It has little to do with worldly accomplishments.
Goethe wrote, "As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live." Perseverance means continuance along a spiritual path, a path in life that will take you higher, a path that is true to you. There is no possibility of acting from your true inner being with perseverance, until you know what is right and reject what is wrong, know what is good and reject what is evil, know what is true and reject the lie. Discern; think for your self. Do not mindlessly follow the world's agenda, and feel a misguided sense of loyalty to your programming and conditioning, your culture, your country, your religion, or your illusions. Aesop wrote, "Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow."
The world — while perpetrating the most incredible abuse, now and throughout history — wants you to assimilate, to put your energy into propping up its most unworkable and exploitative institutions as "solutions." Serving to uphold the system, indentured servitude, or economic slavery, is not truly making a difference. To a true spiritual being, perseverance means overcoming, not becoming like everyone else. It is overcoming and getting free from the wrong and evil that encumber you. It is solving problems by getting free from what oppresses you, rather than becoming part of the problem. The world, and society, wants you to accept the status quo, the prevailing thinking, common desires and ambitions, conditioning, programming, ego, emotion, culture, tradition, and ideology.
It is better to not hold on to the world, as the solution to all your problems. The Answer is beyond this world, it is in another realm entirely. Find the strength of conviction to trust God, to trust your self, and to see beyond this world of problems. Understand, nothing good is ever lost. And, whatever Good there is in this world, will find Life in the next. The rest is not worth worrying about. You can stop making your happiness dependent upon anyone or anything of this world. You can stop trying to make the world or others fit your expectations. You can stop your search for meaning and goodness in the outer world; it is sufficient to find them within you. The more you look to the world to satisfy your "needs," the more you are falling into the Illusion and rejecting the Truth. If you cannot bear to let go of anything or anyone of this world, you are falling for a lie. Such undue attachment is like a lead ball chained to your ankle, mentally, emotionally, physically, financially, or spiritually. It is not "perseverance" but denial that shuts our eyes to the Truth, and causes us to stubbornly remain stuck in the grip of wrong or illusion. This worldly role you have assumed is not you; it is not who you are. And, it will surely pass.
Remember who you are, spiritually. Let go of the Illusion; come closer to Reality; and learn to release yourself from this world of suffering. Perseverance does not mean continuing to bang your head against a wall. Mentally releasing yourself from all of your erroneous attachments is of enormous spiritual value; it is known as spiritual surrender. You don't surrender to wrong, or just give up; but rather, you surrender to God, and forsake everything not of the Highest Good. You give up ego, the delusion that you know better than God what is best. The basis of true Perseverance is surrendering to the Highest Good in all things, not having a bigger ego. The purpose of all of the many negativities, injustices, and misfortunes that are experienced through life is to defeat you, to destroy your very will to go on, to reduce your faith in the Divine Being that can and will help you. No matter how many times you fall down, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep going. If you keep going, you cannot fail. If you refuse to give in to the insignificant, the Infinite awaits you.
People have lived the hardest lives imaginable, and suffered beyond anything you have ever suffered — and they persevered in their faith and belief in a True God. It is the greatest work of evil to try to get you to forsake God, to no longer believe in God because you have suffered, been disappointed, or had your spirit crushed in life. Do not let Evil win. Do not let evil cause you to be despondent, depressed, or feel forsaken. What you need to do is to reject evil; reject that thinking of evil; reject that plan of evil. And quietly ask for the Light and Truth in your heart. Close your eyes, and ask humbly. Open your heart to the Divine, the One that has always loved you, that will always love you, that will never forsake you. Ask for that Love and Light in your heart. It is between you and God, and no one else.
For all time, mankind has lived in hope of something more, something beyond this world. This has required faith in an unseen God. What is important to know is that there is a God. There is a True God. And, there is a Way out of this mess. There is a realm of Light and Purity beyond this world of suffering; it awaits those who persevere spiritually, who reject evil and cherish Good. Look within you, find that place where Truth and Light and Goodness are welcome. Ask for, welcome, unfold, and accept that, within you. Find it in your heart to sacrifice everything of this material world, for the sake of coming to the Light. The truth is, you give up nothing of value and gain everything of value, when you surrender to the Highest Good. It does not matter what you call that Highest Good, whether you know it as the Supreme Being, or God, or Christ, or the Divine Mother, or the Light. Let others argue about the name. What matters is not the name, but what is in your heart.
This is your spiritual lifeline. Let go of whatever burdens you are carrying, put them aside for now, and quietly seek that inner Truth and Light, which knows and recognizes a Higher Good, which seeks to reconnect with and return to its Source. Ask, sincerely, and it will be given.