Or the Ability to Give Up
The Sources of One’s Suffering
Carlos Cardoso Aveline
Repentance implies being able to change the direction  of one’s actions
It is not too often that one can find a text on, or a reference to, the practical usefulness of repenting. [1]
The act of repentance could be defined as the ability to identify, acknowledge, observe, learn from and abandon – sometimes in disgust – one’s own mistakes. This is an important function in theosophy. It also demands a degree of courage.
A quick rejection of one’s own mistakes must take place as soon as they are identified, in order to be able to learn and to make progress.
Repentance has nothing to do with self-punishment or negative feelings about oneself. It is their opposite in fact. It requires a healthy and reasonable amount of self-confidence and confidence in life to be able to look at the sources of one’s suffering – and give them up.
The process of repenting belongs to the world of action: it includes the ability to change for the better the direction of one’s existence and actively compensate one’s mistakes. Human beings are ever surrounded by opportunities to learn and to renew their lives, and that includes the occult path. An Eastern Master of the Wisdom wrote:
“Any Fellow [of the theosophical movement] who truly and sincerely repents ought to be taken back.”[2]
The practice of giving up one’s errors can be developed on a daily basis. Both the Pythagorean tradition and theosophical teachings invite their students to make a daily examination of their actions, during which they make a decision to abandon the wrong actions while expanding and persevering in the right ones.
[1] See for instance the article “Learning From the Feeling of Remorse”, which can be found at our associated websites.
[2] “The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett”, T.U.P., Pasadena, 494 pp., see Letter CVIII (108), at p. 444.
An initial version of the above article was published at the May 2012 edition of “The Aquarian Theosophist”, p. 9.
In September 2016, after a careful analysis of the state of the esoteric movement worldwide, a group of students decided to form the Independent Lodge of Theosophists, whose priorities include the building of a better future in the different dimensions of life.