Austerity and Contentment
Lead to the Victory of Peace
Carlos Cardoso Aveline
* 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 Progress
* 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
* Theosophy 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.
* On Listening to the Trees, by Hermann Hesse.
* The Shock Doctrine, by James Richards.
* Other writings of Carlos Cardoso Aveline.
Helena Blavatsky (photo) wrote these words: “Deserve, then desire”.