Self-Development and the Way to Power

L. W. Rogers
Self-Development and the Way to

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Title: Self-Development and the Way to Power
Author: L. W. Rogers
Release Date: August 9, 2004 [eBook #13142]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)
E-text prepared by Juliet Sutherland, Keith M. Eckrich, and the Project
Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team


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"We may be either the suffering slaves of nature or the happy masters
of her laws."

It is the natural right of every human being to be happy--to escape all
the miseries of life. Happiness is the normal condition, as natural as the
landscapes and the seasons. It is unnatural to suffer and it is only
because of our ignorance that we do suffer. Happiness is the product of
wisdom. To attain perfect wisdom, to comprehend fully the purpose of
life, to realize completely the relationship of human beings to each
other, is to put an end to all suffering, to escape every ill and evil that
afflicts us. Perfect wisdom is unshadowed joy.
Why do we suffer in life? Because in the scheme of nature we are being
forced forward in evolution and we lack the spiritual illumination that
alone can light the way and enable us to move safely among the
obstacles that lie before us. Usually we do not even see or suspect the
presence of trouble until it suddenly leaps upon us like a concealed
tiger. One day our family circle is complete and happy. A week later
death has come and gone and joy is replaced with agony. Today we
have a friend. Tomorrow he will be an enemy and we do not know why.
A little while ago we had wealth and all material luxuries. There was a
sudden change and now we have only poverty and misery and yet we
seek in vain for a reason why this should be. There was a time when we
had health and strength; but they have both departed and no trace of a
reason appears. Aside from these greater tragedies of life innumerable

things of lesser consequence continually bring to us little miseries and
minor heartaches. We most earnestly desire to avoid them but we never
see them until they strike us, until in the darkness of our ignorance we
blunder upon them. The thing we lack is the spiritual illumination that
will enable us to look far and wide, finding the hidden causes of human
suffering and revealing the method by which they may be avoided; and
if we can but reach illumination the evolutionary journey can be made
both comfortably and swiftly. It is as though we must pass through a
long, dark room filled with furniture promiscuously scattered about. In
the darkness our progress would be slow and painful and our bruises
many. But if we could press a button that would turn on the electric
light we could then make the same journey quickly and with perfect
safety and comfort.
The old method of education was to store the mind with as many facts,
or supposed facts, as could be accumulated and to give a certain
exterior polish to the personality. The theory was that when a man was
born he was a completed human being and that all that could be done
for him was to load him up with information that would be used with
more or less skill, according to the native ability he happened to be
born with. The theosophical idea is that the physical man, and all that
constitutes his life in the physical world, is but a very partial expression
of the self; that in the ego of each there is practically unlimited power
and wisdom; that these may be brought through into expression in the
physical world as the physical body and its invisible counterparts,
which together constitute the complex vehicle of the ego's
manifestation, are evolved and adapted to the purpose; and that in exact
proportion that conscious effort is given to such self-development will
spiritual illumination be achieved and wisdom attained. Thus the light
that leads to happiness is kindled from within and the evolutionary
journey that all are making may be robbed of its suffering.
Why does death bring misery? Chiefly because it separates us from
those we love. But when
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