There is a state in which one realises that the effect of things, circumstances, all the movements and actions of life on the consciousness depends almost exclusively upon one’s attitude to these things. There is a moment when one becomes sufficiently conscious to realise that things in themselves are truly neither good nor bad: they are such only in relation to us; their effect on us depends absolutely upon our attitude towards them.
The same thing, identically the same, if we take it as a gift of God, as divine grace, as the result of the full harmony, helps us to become more conscious, stronger, and truer. In contrast, if we take it — exactly the very same circumstance — as a blow from fate, like a bad force wanting to affect us, this constricts us, weighs us down and takes away from us all consciousness and strength and harmony.
And the circumstance in itself is exactly the same — of this, and I wish all of you had this experience, for when you have it, you become master of yourself. Not only the master of yourself but, in what concerns you, the master of the circumstances of your life. And this depends exclusively upon the attitude you have. We were saying the other day that it is only his friends whom God treats with severity; you thought it was a joke, but it is true.
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Only those full of hope, who shall pass through this purifying flame, will be given the conditions for attaining the maximum result. And the human mind is made in such a way that you may test this. When something extremely unpleasant happens to you, you may tell yourself, “Well, this proves I am worth the trouble of being given this difficulty; this proves there is something in me which can resist the difficulty.”
And you will notice that instead of tormenting yourself, you rejoice — you will be so happy and so strong that even the most unpleasant things will seem to you quite charming! This is a very easy experiment to do. Whatever the circumstance, if your mind is accustomed to look at it as something favourable, it will no longer be unpleasant for you.
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