As the Outward Challenges Multiply,
Occasion Arrives to Find Peace Within
Carlos Cardoso Aveline
A street in the village of “Casal de São Simão”, in Portugal
* True happiness tends to be exclusive to the territory of altruism.
* No bliss belongs to the lower self, although part of it can descend upon the lower levels of consciousness as an unexpected grace and a source of peace.
* Thoughtlessness is a disease of our time, while thoughtfulness opens the door to Yoga. Examining life is exclusive to those whose souls have awakened. The quest for truth constitutes a privilege: it gives people unlimited amounts of inner strength.
* There is no limit to one’s creative possibilities, although people may have a very limited vision of such potentiality. Through moderate efforts made in the right direction, we awaken little by little the infinite power of life present in ourselves.
* Microcosm and macrocosm are One. A long-term patience is an essential tool for the pilgrim, yet every moment counts. A correct view of past and future is necessary in the science of right action. However, life flourishes and unfolds in the Now. The whole Cosmos and its laws must be studied, yet the pilgrim has to watch his every step on the ground of the earth.
* The springtime of the soul takes place when the light of truth shines with increasing strength. A spring is not necessarily comfortable, and truth has no duty to be pleasant in the short run. The spring of the soul unfolds when the sun of the higher Self enlightens the mistakes we must correct, indicates noble actions to be done at last, and highlights long-forgotten tasks which must be rescued from oblivion.
* The source of true contentment is not in seeing one’s desires fulfilled, but in getting free from personal desire, instead. By transcending the narrow horizons of the lower self we attain blessings.
* It is wrong to think that the Universal Law is outside ourselves. Natural or Universal Law, also called “the law of nature”, works in all aspects and levels of the world, including human soul. It is the dharma, the duty and the Karma regulating individual life. The voice of our conscience expresses the Law. The act of being in peace with ourselves allows us to get in syntony with the noble aspects of other beings.
* Goodness can always be found in human consciousness. Selfishness is a dangerous form of self-delusion and gets extinguished in due time. Yet falsity needs to be unmasked, once and for all, before we get rid of it.
* Those who have been morally blinded by the ideology of love for money or power are often unable to see goodness in life. Yet generosity makes the sun rise every morning. Good-will leads the planets around the Sun, and free birds express a joy of living that is shared by all. It is thanks to the sacred presence of altruism that humans help each other in every aspect of our society.
* One thing is clear from the study of the Mahatma Letters and the writings of Helena Blavatsky. The proper way to learn esoteric philosophy includes the conscious building of a “bridge” between the celestial and the terrestrial, between the macrocosmic and the microcosmic, the spiritual and the emotional, the ideal and the fact, the ethical precepts and their daily practice.
* As long as there is a clear and noble goal the key task is to focus our mind and energy in the practice of wisdom and the search for universal truth. This must be done while developing that “second attention” which can identify the divine opportunities surrounding us. There will be doors to be knocked at, and new grounds which one will gradually learn how to tread on.
* He who is not ready to accept defeat will not attain real victory. The pilgrim who does not care if he looks like an idiot to others can have access to eternal wisdom. Anyone who tries to be cleverer than others will have to come to terms sooner or later with his profound lack of intelligence.
* By being quiet, one realizes the best way to use his energies. Through a combination of pure heart and right discernment, the pilgrim can identify both sincerity and falsehood in human minds.
* The illusion of high speed is a hallmark of urban industrialized societies. Physical, emotional and mental hurry are signs of superficiality in decision-making. Before the pilgrim speeds up his march ahead, it is wise to ask himself where exactly he is going.
* We often have to choose between making slow progress towards a valuable goal and going much more quickly, and initially with more satisfaction, to places that are worse than useless. The absence of acceleration preserves common sense, allows people to think by themselves and makes it easier to make wise decisions.
* By abstaining from personal attachment to any particular form of action, one can better identify the right decision to be made any time. An excessive number of automatic reactions inevitably provokes a distortion of reality and facts. It is our perseverance in following the most truthful and accurate view of reality of which we are capable, that effectively helps us in decision-making. In the choice between love of truth and love of psychological comfort, much of our character expresses itself.
* As the outward challenges multiply, occasion arrives to find peace within. Monetary materialism and religious fanaticism – those twin forms of blindness always opposing and complementing one another – make meaningless noise and stimulate superficial anxiety. An unconditional respect for Life and the decision to improve oneself in quiet, almost invisible ways, are two factors which produce equilibrium and well-being. A sense of duty towards the soul paves the way to a happiness that takes place on the permanent levels of one’s being.
* Immediately above that mental territory where thoughts dominate, a form of perception occurs which is too quick, or too subtle, to be transformed in words. As long as this level of perception still associates different ideas and facts, it can be called a form of “wordless thought”. When consciousness gets quicker or more subtle than wordless thought, one’s perceptions transcend specific topics and the understanding becomes effortless. Consciousness above thought is supreme. However, for one to see the plenitude in the void the state of complete concentration must be quietly natural and spontaneous.
* Falsehood is often sweet, and truth, bitter. Yet sweets are something to be avoided along the path to wisdom, and so are artificial flavors, physical or emotional. Truth either is accepted or refused. Accepting truth means changing habit, choosing health – physical and spiritual – and being able to learn.
* New and more accurate views of reality may appear to be aggressive in the way they transform our lives, if accepted by us. In order to deal with strong facts, one must not pretend one knows all things already; one must be a humble learner, an honest seeker.
* As the pilgrim learns to look with respect at his own mistakes, he stops denying his failures to himself and finds it easier to correct them. By being innerly truthful, he establishes peace among his various levels of consciousness. Thus the pilgrim becomes sincere and harmonious with other honest beings. He will inevitably tend to expect sincerity from everyone. For this reason the student of philosophy may look like he belongs to another planet, for those who enjoy acting like liars. Yet he is not an extra-terrestrial being. He is a pioneer of the future civilization, whose foundations include the basic principle of respect for truth.
* The false need to be in harmony with the others at all cost destroys antahkarana, separates the individual from his own soul, leads him to act in irresponsible ways, and stimulates that which should not be stimulated.
* One must be in harmony with the voice of his conscience, first, and then confront the karma of being sincere in a civilization where falsehood is not difficult to find, and hypocrisy is sometimes more easily accepted than truth.
* From sincerity to oneself the feeling of honesty towards others results. Of course, thoughtless individuals see honesty as politically incorrect. While superficial minds are inhabited by passing winds, the deeper levels of mind make the real difference, for they are in syntony with one’s soul.
* The word “transfiguration” is defined as “a complete change of form or appearance into a more beautiful or spiritual state”.  While this is correct, there is also a negative form of “transfiguration”, which makes the morally ugly aspects of an individual become visible. It usually occurs when the outward personality of a student of theosophy – full of sincerity and good intentions – is submitted to the process of probatory fire, and/or to psychoanalytic examination. Positive and negative transfigurations are both useful changes in form and express different moments of cycles in human evolution. They correspond to the springs and autumns of spiritual pilgrimage. Common sense invites the student to look at the whole cycle, which includes all “seasons” of the soul.
Thoughts Along the Road – 33was published as an independent text on 04 July 2019.  An initial version of it, with no indication as to the name of the author, is included in “The Aquarian Theosophist”, April 2017 edition, pp. 14-16. A few short notes written by the same author and anonymously published in that edition of “The Aquarian” were added to form the article.