“Although sometimes,” I go on, “we need to be strangers to ourselves. Then the hidden light in our souls will illuminate what we need to see.”
What if we were able to train ourselves to desire only things that are firmly within our control? Then, in a very real sense, we’d always get what we want, and never get what we don’t want. Our happiness would never spill, since the cup of our desires is reliable and holds firm.
Massimo Pigliucci and Gregory Lopez, A Handbook for New Stoics: How to Thrive in a World Out of Your Control—52 Week-by-Week Lessons [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library]
We seek truth in all human experience, principally because we want security; we want that certainty that we are not deceiving ourselves. The question is, how do we know when we have attained truth? To most of us, truth consists of the substantiation of our ideas.
Who may know his complete likeness, so much being hidden? The Astrals, Elementals, Mind, Soul? We realize something of the body’s mechanism and of the affectiveness of the whole; at its interrelations we may only guess. Every fact gleaned shows us merely greater ignorance of ourselves. Therefore, speak not of God, speak for yourself alone, for when you know yourself you will know your gods.
Austin Osman Spare, The Logomanchy of Zos
We should therefore attempt to remove all external impediments which are in the way of our spiritual development and live in a state of purity. Our thoughts should be continually directed inwardly and within ourselves; for within ourselves is the element of consciousness, knowledge, and power. Nothing hinders us to develop and exercise our own powers, except our misconceptions, imaginations, and external desires. Therefore the divine influences will only come to him who liberates his soul of all such hindrances, carnal desires, prejudices, and hallucinations. A diseased eye cannot bear to look at the light; an impure soul is repulsed by the divine light of truth.
Franz Hartmann, In The Pronaos of The Temple of Wisdom
We confuse ourselves, believing that evidence is the master of truth when really evidence is only the servant of truth.
I can only imagine how much a meditation class in high school, even as an after school activity, would have helped me with my significant childhood anxiety. We receive no formal training in emotional regulation, ability to focus, healthy forms of relaxation, nor in a dozen or so skills that would be invaluable to ourselves and society.
In an important sense, soulmaking is just the creative seeking and expression of extrarational truth. It’s what we do when we dialogue with the parts of ourselves that usually go unheard—whether it be our heart, our guides, or our genius.