Contentment Lead to the Victory
* One should not be too soft or too hard, with oneself or
the others. Both an excessive kindness and a constant severity tend to throw
life off balance. A certain amount of hardship is necessary for one to keep
realistic. A degree of comfort is also welcome to the path of wisdom, if
combined with moderation, austerity and voluntary simplicity.
* Trying to supress or forget the past is both vain
and brainless. On the other hand, having a personal detachment regarding the
past constitutes a decisive factor in being effective in whatever we do. One
needs to look at the past with full independence, in order to take lessons from
it, so as to build a better future in the short term and long term alike.
* No one can instantly attain perfection. However, all
beings improve themselves in due time. We can always learn from our mistakes
and do our best in the right direction.
* The true source of social peace is silent. It can be
found in the soul of each one but cannot be produced by mere propaganda. External
conditions can only - in the best scenario - accept the energy of the soul and
adapt to it. An evolution of society in the right direction depends on the
state of the inner being. The landscape that matters is the landscape of the
soul, and this is closely related to the natural environment around us.
* Our collective
loss of contact with the rhythms of nature has accelerated since the last
decades of 15th century. It got worse after the industrial revolution of the
19th century. One hundred years ago, Paul Carton emerged as a strong
Pythagorean voice teaching the need for a new cycle of natural health and close
friendship with natural environment.
* In the 21st century, as the Western civilization
faces growing problems, each of us can expand his physical and spiritual
friendship with the trees and the living spaces that have resisted the cycle of
urbanistic destruction. The result of such a practical decision is peace.
* Strengthening our personal closeness to nature, and
more especially to the trees, is a powerful source of well-being and
contentment for all. It can be put in practice here and now, in accordance with
our daily reality and circumstances. The consequences are always beneficial.
The Key to
* Personal desires open the door to confusion, while
austerity and contentment lead to lasting victories. Lao-tzu said:
* “Earth is below and does not struggle for height, so
it is secure and not dangerous. Water flows downward and does not struggle for
speed, so it is not slow. Therefore sages grasp nothing and so lose nothing,
contrive nothing and fail at nothing.” 
* Spiritual beauty flows above short term
considerations. A knowledge of the Law enables the pilgrims to invisibly
transcend external circumstances, while physically remaining where they are.
* A Master of the Wisdom wrote:
* “It is he alone who has the love of humanity at
heart, who is capable of grasping thoroughly the idea of a regenerating
practical Brotherhood who is entitled to the possession of our secrets. He
alone, such a man - will never misuse his powers, as there will be no fear that
he should turn them to selfish ends.” (Letter XXXVIII, p. 252, in “The Mahatma Letters”.)
A Small Practical Action
must be applied to daily life. Look away from the above text and mentally examine
those ideas from it which are more important for you. Write them down in a paper
notebook, highlighting that which is useful to you at the current moment.
 “Wen-tzu, Further Teachings of Lao-tzu”, translated
by Thomas Cleary, Shambhala Dragon Publications, 1992, see Chapter 47, page 47.
The above article
was published as an independent item in the associated websites on 23 September
2022. An initial version of it - with no indication as to the name of the
author - is part of the October 2020 edition of “The Aquarian Theosophist”, pp. 21-22. The note “The Key to Progress”,
also written by CCA, is reproduced from p. 16 in the same edition.