It is the natural right of every human being to be happy to escape all the miseries of life. Happiness is the ordinary condition, as natural as the landscapes and the seasons. It is unnatural to experience and it is only because of our lack of proper knowledge that we do suffer.
Happiness is the product of wisdom. To accomplish ideal wisdom, to comprehend completely the cause of life, to know totally the relationship of human beings to each other, is to put an end to all pain, to escape every ill and evil that afflicts us. Perfect wisdom is unseasoned joy.
Why do we suffer in life? Because in the structure of nature, we are being enforced forward in development and we lack the spiritual enlightenment that alone can light the way and allow us to move steadily among the obstacles that draw out before us.
Usually we do not even observe or expect the existence of trouble until it unpredictably leaps upon us like a hidden tiger.
One day our family circle is complete and happy. A week later death has come and gone and happiness 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 hopelessness and yet we look for in futile for a reason why this should be. There was a time when we had health and strength; but they have both departed and no hint of a reason appears.
Aside from these greater tragedies of life many things of minor significance repeatedly take to us little miseries and minor heartaches. We most honestly desire to keep away from them but we never see them until they hit us, until in the darkness of our unawareness we mistake upon them.
The thing we need is the spiritual illumination that will allow us to look far and wide, finding the invisible causes of human pain and enlightening the method by which they may be avoided; and if we can but get to illumination the evolutionary journey can be made both happily and punctually.
It is as though we must pass through a long, dark room packed with furniture promiscuously sprinkled about. In the darkness our progress would be lethargic and throbbing 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 positive exterior shine 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 fill him up with information that would be used with more or less skill, according to the native capability 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 incomplete expression of the self; that in the ego of each there is nearly unlimited power and wisdom; that these may be brought through into appearance in the physical world as the physical body and its unnoticeable counterparts, which together consist of the complex vehicle of the ego’s manifestation, are evolved and modified to the purpose; and that in accurate quantity that careful effort is given to such self-development will spiritual illumination be achieved and knowledge 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 agony.
Why does death bring misery?
Mostly because it separates us from those we love. The only other cause why death brings sorrow or fright is because we do not understand it and recognize the part it plays in human evolution. But the moment our lack of knowledge gives way to comprehension such fright vanishes and a serene happiness takes its place.
Why do we have enemies from whose words or acts we suffer?
Because in our limited physical awareness we do not perceive the unity of all life and realize that our wrong thinking and doing must contradict upon us through other people a situation from which there is no possible escape apart from ceasing to picture evil and then patiently awaiting the time when the causes we have already generated are fully exhausted.
When spiritual illumination comes, and we no longer stumble in the night of unawareness, the last enemy will fade away and we shall make no more forever.
Why do people suffer from poverty and disease?
Only because of our clumsy ignorance that makes their survival possible for us, and because we do not realize their meaning and their lessons, nor know the attitude to imagine toward them.
Had we but the knowledge to identify why they come to people, why they are vital factors in their evolution, they would trouble us no longer. When nature’s lesson is completely learned these silent teachers will disappear.
And so it is with all forms of agony we experience. They are at once reactions from our ignorant blunderings and instructors that point out the improved way.
When we have comprehended the lessons they teach they are no longer mandatory and disappear. It is not by the superficial accomplishment of facts that men become wise and great. It is by developing the soul from within until it illuminates the brain with that flood of light called genius.