While most of us stick to the moral path when it comes to major wrongdoings like stealing and killing, we do stray from it when we lose our temper. The biggest failing is that of intolerance, the act of not accepting people as they are or accepting things as they happen.
It is difficult for us to contain our tempers, to go about our daily lives maintaining peace at all costs – imagine a situation where you don’t vent your anger at your spouse for an indiscretion, where you don’t shout at the driver of the other car for reckless speed, where you don’t push aside the person who cut across you in the line at the supermarket – the list is endless.
When you begin to lead a spiritual existence, tolerance is demanded under all circumstances. In fact, there is no excuse whatsoever for intolerance, no matter how extenuating the situation.
When you choose to lead a spiritual existence, one that you have dedicated to God, you must free yourself of all earthly desires. And to do this, you must be able to tolerate anything that life throws at you. The first lesson is to tolerate your situation and your fellow human beings. It is hard, but when you reach a level of maturity that allows you to control your emotions, it is easy enough.
Everyone instinctively longs for pleasure. The feeling of joy makes a person cheerful and optimistic, as much as lack of joy makes life dull, gloomy and senseless.
There are many things in life which can gladden man: good food and drink, fresh air, sun shine, beauty of nature and conversation with his nearest and dearest. As man grows, he finds new sources of joy in deeper knowledge of the universe and its harmonious laws, works of art, pieces of music and poetry. Man’s ability to differentiate between what is pleasing and what is not has a vast significance for his physical and psychic development.
However, very soon man finds that physical and aesthetic subjects alone cannot satisfy him completely because he also has some spiritual needs. These spiritual needs are expressed through inner, subconscious longing for good, moral perfection and fellowship with God. This longing creates his spiritual thirst and hunger. If man pays no attention to the thirst of his soul, a feeling of emptiness, discontent and gloom grows day by day.