Saturday, 16 June 2018

Astrology: Summer Solstice - June 21 2018


Retro Cool Summer

The Spring season really ushered in a whole new phase as volatile Uranus in Aries shifted to Taurus, marking the end of a turbulent seven year passage.  Moreover, Chiron has moved into Aries, after a six-year stay in Pisces.:
Uranus enters Taurus (May 15th) (last in Taurus from 1935 – 1942). 1. Challenges and transformation of our values, including our self-value. 2. Radical innovations of our financial system on a personal and collective level.3. A shift from external ‘security’ props to internal security. 4. The breakdown of inauthentic false values in the collective. 5. A radical change in our understanding of beauty. 6. Innovations in taking care of the resources on our planet. 7. Major changes in the concept of ‘home’ and ‘housing’.8. Changes in our relationship patterns. (Cosmic Intelligence Agency)
 
Chiron in Aries (April 17th – June 2026): ( last in Aries from 1968-1977) understanding and integrating gaps in your sense of personal empowerment, engaging with your inner fears in a courageous manner, taking chances, in spite of your fear and healing energetic blocks that are connected to the planets that Chiron aspects in your chart during his travels through this sign. (Cosmic Intelligence Agency)
 
Morever, due to retrogradation, Saturn is still at the beginning of Capricorn:
Saturn in Capricorn:  conservation, restrictions, and boundaries to be put in place. […]- Saturn gives you what you deserve and no more. There will be no easy way or shortcuts up the career ladder as Saturn transits Capricorn. Only concentrated and steady progress will bring you the rewards that you deserve. (Café Astrology)
 
The more difficult aspects from the outer planets have faded, leaving three easy aspects, according to Café Astrology:
Jupiter trine Neptune: idealistic and humanitarian goals or impulses surface now. Making connections with others from a different background may figure. Widening our minds through unusual or different experiences can be part of the picture. Generosity and compassion increase and our faith is boosted. We more easily make personal sacrifices.
Saturn trine Uranus: This can be a time of firsts in the primary structures of our lives. Changes we make tend to be deliberate or calculated, but possibly also quite quick. Original ideas may take form, or they might be developed quite successfully now. There is an opportunity to combine stability and improvement or excitement with good results. The same can be said of innovation and tradition.

and the ever-present Neptune sextile Pluto. This is a whole new deal and although the spring quarter saw its share of turmoil, overall, the level of intensity and conflict seems to have mellowed.

 
Retro Cool Summer
At the solstice, four outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Pluto) are retrograde and by the end of the summer, six planets will be retrograde; add Mars (June 26-August 27) and Mercury (July 26th-August 19). Retrograde motion can signify revisiting past experiences that are linked to the planets domain and also revealing elements pertaining to that planet’s energy that were not properly processed, causing a slowing of forward movement. It’s an ideal period for reviewing and fine tuning, and so after the brisk rush of the new spring energies, it’s a good time to slow down and evaluate how the new direction is going as well as dealing with loose ends and unfinished business from the previous turbulent periods. Here’s a quick breakdown, courtesy of Astrology King:
Jupiter retrograde (March 9- July 10) represents a time of philosophical or spiritual introspection and reflection. This year the main theme of Jupiter retrograde is poisoning of your personal value system and morals that affects your physical health.
Saturn retrograde(April 18-September 6) is a double dose of karma. The lessons associated with Saturn retrograde 2018 relate to your thoughts and words. Saturn retrograde 2018 will be especially challenging if you have a history of teasing or verbally abusing people. Gloomy thoughts, bad news or loneliness could have a negative effect on your mental well-being.
Neptune retrograde (June 18- November 25) is the ideal time for spiritual self-development. The grand trine aspects and fixed stars involved make Neptune retrograde 2018 especially good for undertaking a spiritual quest to seek the truth.
Pluto retrograde Pluto (April 22-October 2) this is ideal for taking a direct, even aggressive approach to dealing with your Pluto retrograde power and control issues.         
 
Mercury-Neptune-Jupiter water grand trine
A grand trine brings strong, stable, beneficial energy. This grand trine brings happy, warm, optimistic, idealistic feelings, with intuitive, creative thinking – good vibrations!
 
Inner planet pandemonium
Although the Moon is sextile to Venus and Trine to Mars making for an outgoing sociability, there are four heavy oppositions, and they actually form five T-squares, which are very difficult and powerful aspects. This could mean a day marked with a lot of minor tensions, conflicts, and mishaps. Perhaps this foreshadows the upcoming three summer eclipses, which should shakes things up. (a partial solar eclipse on July 13,  a total lunar eclipse on July 27–28, and a partial solar eclipse on August 11). Below is a brief look at the major oppositions:
Mercury opposite Pluto -  Intellectual conflict, resolving issues, introspection, one-track mind
Mars opposite Venus – Sexual tension (the Mars-Uranus square will  continue to add tension this summer, due to Mars retrograde)
Sun opposite SaturnRestlessness, inhibition, isolation
On the more mystical side, the cross formed by the Sun/Pluto and Moon/Chiron oppositions is suggestive (although it is not quite a grand cross).
 
So there is a new sense of optimism and cooperation in the air, but the fallout from the sweeping changes of the previous period can still require considerable attention. The rebuilding process now slows down for the next four or five months as we progress in the vivacious early phase of a new direction. This can be a period akin to shaking the house to see if the new foundations are strong. Things will gradually pick up speed during the fall, more so when Jupiter enters its ruling sign of fiery Sagittarius  on November 8.
 
References:
Robert Hand, Planets in Transit
https://cafeastrology.com/

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Through the Gates of Gold Chapter 4 The Meaning of Pain, Part 2b


Once perceiving this sense of responsibility, derived from the awareness of the awesome potential of our divine nature, we begin to realize our power to act on human society. With this comes the practical realization that we reap what we sow (Karma or Nemesis).
The man of the world, pure and simple, is by far the best practical observer and philosopher with regard to life, because he is not blinded by any prejudices. He will be found always to believe that as a man sows so shall he reap. And this is so evidently true when it is considered, that if one takes the larger view, including all human life, it makes intelligible the awful Nemesis which seems consciously to pursue the human race, — that inexorable appearance of pain in the midst of pleasure. The great Greek poets saw this apparition so plainly that their recorded observation has given to us younger and blinder observers the idea of it.
 
One should be aware of the suffering of the body versus the suffering of the soul. The body may suffer, yet the inner or the soul has the power to move beyond the suffering of the body.
There is the inner man — the soul — behind, using all these mechanisms; and this is as evidently the truth with regard to all the existences we know of as with regard to man himself. We cannot find any point in the scale of being at which soul-causation ceases or can cease. The dull oyster must have that in him which makes him choose the inactive life he leads; none else can choose it for him but the soul behind, which makes him be. How else can he be where he is, or be at all? Only by the intervention of an impossible creator called by some name or other.

It is again emphasized that the key is to accept responsibility for one’s own destiny and not rely on the illusions of outside powers to justify one’s limitations; growing up and putting aside one’s superstitions as it were; and one does this by recognizing one’s own immortal, divine inner nature.
...for the soul of man is of that order of life which causes shape and form, and is unaffected itself by these things, — of that order of life which like the pure, the abstract flame burns wherever it is lit. This cannot be changed or affected by time, and is of its very nature superior to growth and decay. It stands in that primeval place which is the only throne of God, — that place whence forms of life emerge and to which they return.

Then one can focus on the heart of one’s being, and from that center, undertake a balanced development of all the radiating lines of one’s being. One reaches the Golden Gates by the process of the gradual recognition of the god in oneself.
That place is the central point of existence, where there is a permanent spot of life as there is in the midst of the heart of man. It is by the equal development of that, — first by the recognition of it, and then by its equal development upon the many radiating lines of experience, — that man is at last enabled to reach the Golden Gate and lift the latch. The process is the gradual recognition of the god in himself; the goal is reached when that godhood is consciously restored to its right glory.







 

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Through the Gates of Gold Chapter 4 The Meaning of Pain, Part 2a


This chapter introduces the idea of the inner god. It begins by comparing humans to a kind of tree of knowledge of good and evil.
If we carefully consider the constitution of man and its tendencies, it would seem as if there were two definite directions in which he grows. He is like a tree which strikes its roots into the ground while it throws up young branches towards the heavens. These two lines which go outward from the central personal point are to him clear, definite, and intelligible. He calls one good and the other evil
 
However the simplistic notion of going to heaven or hell is challenged. It is as hard to go to ‘hell’ as to enter the Gates of Gold. Even if one is determined to pursue self-destructive debauchery, one finds that one is checked by the divine light within oneself, the mental pain caused by one’s conscience.
But it is not so easy to go to hell as preachers declare it to be. It is as hard a task as to find one's way to the Golden Gate. A man may wreck himself utterly in sense-pleasure, — may debase his whole nature, as it seems, — yet he fails of becoming the perfect devil, for there is still the spark of divine light within him. He tries to choose the broad road which leads to destruction, and enters bravely on his headlong career. But very soon he is checked and startled by some unthought-of tendency in himself, — some of the many other radiations which go forth from his center of self.
 
Hence, if we acknowledge our divine nature we have to acknowledge that we are the cause of the pleasure and pain we experience, we are therefore responsible beings and should not rely on some outside divine power that creates blind fatalism.
It is because man is so idle, so indisposed to assume or accept responsibility, that he falls back upon this temporary makeshift of a creator. It is temporary indeed, for it can only last during the activity of the particular brain power which finds its place among us. When the man drops this mental life behind him, he of necessity leaves with it its magic lantern and the pleasant illusions he has conjured up by its aid. That must be a very uncomfortable moment, and must produce a sense of nakedness not to be approached by any other sensation. It would seem as well to save one's self this disagreeable experience by refusing to accept unreal phantasms as things of flesh and blood and power.
Not so, if man is regarded from a loftier standpoint than that we generally occupy. If he is looked upon as a powerful consciousness which forms its external manifestations according to its desires, then it is evident that physical pain results from deformity in those desires. No doubt it will appear to many minds that this conception of man is too gratuitous, and involves too large a mental leap into unknown places where proof is unobtainable. But if the mind is accustomed to look upon life from this standpoint, then very soon none other is acceptable; the threads of existence, which to the purely materialistic observer appear hopelessly entangled, become separated and straightened, so that a new intelligibleness illumines the universe.
 
Therefore pleasure and pain are the results of our experiencing the working out of our desires. As William Q Judge has observed,
The causes of reincarnation are desire and ignorance. We have what we term "will," but our will is moved into action by desire, and our acts spring from the desire to bring about pleasure or to avoid pain. As long as we are ignorant we constantly fix our desires upon enjoyment or the avoidance of pain, and thus lay the ground for the operation of Karma in another body. (The Necessity for Reincarnation)
 
Granting, then, for the sake of this argument, that man is a powerful consciousness who if his own creator, his own judge, and within whom lies all life in potentiality, even the ultimate goal, then let us consider why he causes himself to suffer.
If pain is the result of uneven development, of monstrous growths, of defective advance at different points, why does man not learn the lesson which this should teach him, and take pains to develop equally?
It would seem to me as if the answer to this question is that this is the very lesson which the human race is engaged in Learning.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Sufism: Ibn Arabi - What the Seeker Needs 1



Extracts from a classic text: Book of the Quintessence Concerning What Is Indispensable For the Spiritual Seeker (transl. - Tosun Bayrak)

Muhiyy ad-Din Ibn 'Arabi
 
Basic Life Style
1- Be accepting, approving, forgiving, serving, and loving to everyone and everything.
Look upon the whole creation, and above all, humankind, with good will - accepting, approving, forgiving, serving, and loving. Make that your nature in your dealings with the world. Listen to your conscience. Cleanse your heart. In that clean heart, keep up prayer for your faithful brothers. Help and serve, as much as you can, the people who hide their misery, who are content with their poverty, the travelers on the path to truth. Do not attribute to yourself virtue, goodness, and graciousness because of your service to the creation. Consider that you owe other people thanks for having humbly accepted your help. It is incumbent upon you to lighten the load of those who are burdened. If people whose pain you have helped to alleviate cause you pain in return - if their responses, their ways, their habits are dark and cast shadows upon you - show patience and forbearance. Do not forget that Allah says:
...surely Allah is with the patient. (Baqara, 153)
 
2- Do not waste time; try to be as helpful as possible.
Do not spend your life in empty endeavors and your time in idle talk. Instead, reflect and remember Allah, read the Qur'an, guide the misguided to the enlightened path. Help others leave evil and turn to doing good. Mend broken friendships. Help others to help others.
 
3- Find good friends of like mind.
Find the right friend, who will be a support for you, a good traveling companion on the path of truth. Faith is a seed. It grows into a tree with the beneficent watering and sunshine of faithful friends. […]
 
4- Look for a good teacher
Look for a perfect teacher who will lead you on the straight path. In your search for a guide, be sincere, because sincerity distinguishes the true seeker. It is certain that if you cling to sincerity and truthfulness, the Lord will manifest His attribute of the Ultimate Guide upon you and will guide you to a perfect teacher.
 
5- Be sincere
Sincerity in the seeker is such a blessing that when it is present, Allah will even turn the accursed devil himself and the seeker's personal devil, his ego, into angels of inspiration serving him. Sincerity is such a catalyst that it turns lead into gold and purifies everything it touches. […]
 
6- Be light-hearted and low maintenance
To advance in this path, in the footsteps of the prophets (peace and blessings be upon them), you have to be light - light in worldly goods, light in your concerns about this world. An unmistakable sign of the heaviness that will prevent you from advancing is to be a burden on people. Neither be a freeloader nor let others carry your load. Particularly, do not accept goods and favors, either for yourself or for others, from people whose hearts are dead, submerged in the sleep of heedlessness.
 
7- Don’t be overly materialistic; earn your living modestly.
In what Allah permits you to gain as your sustenance - in all your actions, behavior and words - fear Allah. Do not seek comfort and luxury, especially when you have not worked hard for it. Lawful sustenance is obtained by working harder than is demanded of you. A clear sign of the lawfulness of one's gain is that it will not permit you to be either stingy or a spendthrift.
 
8- Be detached from worldly things.
Take care, since if the love of this world takes root firmly in your heart, it constricts your heart, and it becomes exceedingly hard to pull it out and throw it away. This world is a trial ground; do not seek comfort and riches in it.
 
9- Have meditation periods to review your actions.
Cleanse and beautify your days and nights with worship. […] It is to be hoped that only good deeds and actions befitting a Muslim are done between the times of prayer.
 
10- Do your work with devotion.
Most people complain that this world, their work to secure their sustenance, and their work as householders for their families, take time away from their worship. Know that work done heedfully, with consideration for others, in accordance with proper behavior, for the pleasure of Allah, is also worship. [...]
 
11- Organize your life to give maximum time for spiritual efforts.
Use these to gather as much of your sustenance as possible in the minimum of time. If possible, secure in one day your week's sustenance. […]
 
12- Sunrise and sunset are strong spiritual moments.
After you perform your morning prayer, stay with your Lord until sunrise, and after your afternoon prayer stay in His presence until sunset. These are two periods of time when spiritual powers and enlightenment flow in abundance. Keep your heart tied to Allah in humility and in peace. […]
 
13- Eat, sleep and dress sparingly.
Do not sleep until you are unable to stay awake. Do not eat until you are hungry. Dress only to cover your body and to protect it from cold and from heat. […]
 
14- Read slowly and conscientiously.
Read without haste, slowly thinking of the meaning of each word.
 

Friday, 25 May 2018

Collective Aspects of Karma and Reincarnation

Since both of William Q. Judge’s 1888 articles on Karma and Reincarnation deal with more collective aspects of reincarnation, i.e. reincarnation with family and friends and hereditary factors, I thought it would be appropriate to include extracts from both:
Hence, if the soul that we do love inhabits another physical frame, it is the law--a part of the law of Reincarnation not often stated or dwelt on--that we will again, when incarnated, meet that same soul in the new tenement. We cannot, however, always recognize it. But that, the recognition or memory of those whom we knew before, is one of the very objects of our study and practice. Not only is this the law as found in ancient books, but it has been positively stated, in the history of the Theosophical Society, in a letter from an Adept addressed not many years ago to some London theosophists. In it he asked them if they imagined that they were together as incarnated beings for the first time, stated that they were not, and laid down the rule that the real affinities of soul life drew them together on earth.
To be associated against our will with those who lay upon us the claim of mother, father, brother, son, or wife from a previous life would neither be just nor necessary. Those relations, as such, grew out of physical ties alone, and souls that are alike, who really love each other, as well as those who harbor hate, are brought together in mortal bodies as now father and now son--, or otherwise.
So, then, with the doctrine of Devachan we have the answer. In that state we have with us, for all practical purposes and to suit our desire, every one whom we loved on earth: upon being reincarnated we are again with those whose souls we are naturally attracted to.
By living up to the highest and best of our convictions, for humanity and not for self, we make it possible that we shall at last recognize in some earth-life those persons whom we love, and to lose whom forever seems such a dreary and uninviting prospect.
(Respecting Reincarnation The Path, August, 1888)
This is the general view. Heredity is a puzzle, and will always remain one so long as the laws of Karma and Reincarnation are not admitted and taken into account in all these investigations. Nearly all of these writers admit--excepting those who say they do not know--the theological view that each human being is a new creation, a new soul projected into life on this earth.
If these two doctrines should be accepted by the supposed legislators, it would follow that no such law as I have adverted to would ever be put on the books; for the reason that, once Karma and Reincarnation are admitted, the responsibility of each individual is made greater than before. Not only is he responsible even under his hereditary tendency, but in a wider sense he is also responsible for the great injury he does the State through the future effect of his life--that effect acting on those who are born as his descendants.
The necessity for recognizing the law from the standpoint of ethics arises from the fact that, until we are aware that such is the law, we will never begin to perform such acts and think such thoughts as will tend to bring about the required alterations in the astral light needed to start a new order of thoughts and influences. These new influences will not, of course, come to have full effect and sway on those who initiate them, but will operate on their descendants, and will also prepare a new future age in which those very persons who set up the new current shall participate. Hence it is not in any sense a barren, unrewarded thing, for we ourselves come back again in some other age to reap the fruit of the seed we had sown.
The impulse must be set up, and we must be willing to wait for the result. The potters wheel continues to revolve when the potter has withdrawn his foot, and so the present revolving wheel will turn for a while until the impulse is spent.
(Is Heredity a Puzzle? The Path, November, 1888)

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Giuseppe Mazzini on Universal Brother/Sisterhood


Giuseppe Mazzini (1805–72) is today largely remembered as the chief inspirer and leading political agitator of the Italian risorgimento. Yet Mazzini was not merely an Italian patriot, and his influence reached far beyond his native country and his century. In his time, he ranked among the leading European intellectual figures, competing for public attention with Mikhail Bakunin and Karl Marx, John Stuart Mill and Alexis de Tocqueville. According to his friend Alexander Herzen, the russian political activist and writer, Mazzini was the “shining star” of the democratic revolutions of 1848.[…]Mazzini was an original, if not very systematic, political thinker. He put forward principled arguments in support of various progressive causes, from universal suffrage and social justice to women’s enfranchisement. Perhaps most fundamentally, he argued for a reshaping of the European political order on the basis of two seminal principles: democracy and national self-determination. these claims were extremely radical in his time, when most of continental Europe was still under the rule of hereditary kingships and multinational empires such as the Habsburgs and the ottomans.[…]Mazzini’s ideas had an extraordinary appeal for generations of progressive nationalists and revolutionary leaders from his day until well into the twentieth century: his life and writings inspired several patriotic and anticolonial movements in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, as well as the early Zionists, Gandhi, Nehru, and Sun YatSen.[…] It was Mazzini’s conviction that under the historical circumstances of his time, only the nation state could allow for genuine democratic participation and the civic education of individuals. to him, the nation was a necessary intermediary step in the progressive association of mankind, the means toward a future international “brotherhood” among all peoples. (Stefano Recchia, A Cosmopolitanism of Nations: Giuseppe Mazzini's Writings on Democracy, Nation Building, and International Relations, 2009, Princeton, p. 1)
From The Duties of Man, Chapter Four – Duties Toward Humanity
Humanity alone, continuous in  existence through the passing Generations, continuous in intellect through the contributions of all its members, is capable of gradually evolving, applying, and glorifying the Divine Idea.
Life therefore, was given to you by God in order that you might employ that life for the benefit of Humanity, that you might direct your individual faculties to aid the development of the faculties of your brother men, and contribute by your labour another element to the collective work of Progress, and the discovery of the Truth, which the generations are destined slowly but unceasingly to promote.
Your duty is to educate yourselves, and to educate others; to strive to perfect yourselves, and to perfect others.
It is true that God lives within you, but God lives in all the men by whom this earth is peopled. God is in the life of all the generations that have been, are, and are to be.
Passed generations have progressively improved and coming generations will continue to improve the conception which Humanity forms of Him, of His Law, and of our Duties. You are bound to adore Him and to glorify Him wheresoever He manifests his presence. The Universe is His Temple, and the sin of every unresisted or unexpiated profanation of the Temple weighs on the head of each and all of the Believers. […]
The only lasting hope for you is in the general amelioration, improvement, and fraternity of all the peoples of Europe, and through Europe of humanity.
Therefore, my brothers, in the name of your duty, and for the sake of your interest, never forget that your first duties — duties without  fulfilling which, you cannot rightly fulfil those towards your country and family — are towards Humanity.
Let your words and your actions be for all men, as God is for all men in His Law and Love. In whatsoever land you live, wheresoever there arises a man to combat- for the right, the just, and the true, that man is your brother. Wheresoever a man is tortured through error, injustice, or tyranny, that man is your brother. Free men or slaves, you are all brothers.
You are one in origin, one is the Law that governs you, and one in the Goal you are destined to attain. Your faith must be one, your actions one, and one the banner under which you combat. Say not : the language we speak is different, Acts, tears, and martyrdom, are a language common to all men, and which all understand. Say not : Humanity is too vast, and we are too weak. God does not judge the power but the intention. Love Humanity. Ask yourselves, as to every act you commit within the circle of family or country : If what I now do were done by and for all men, would it be beneficial or injurious to Humanity, and if your conscience tell you it would be injurious, desist: desist, even though it seem that an immediate advantage to your country or family would be the result.
Be you the Apostles of this faith : Apostles of jthe fraternity of Nations, and of that Unity of the human race which, though it be admitted in principle, is denied in practice at the present day. Be such, wheresoever and howsoever you are able. Neither God nor man can require more of you than this. But I tell you that by becoming such, and even — should more be impossible — by becoming such to yourselves alone, you will yet serve Humanity. God measures the stages of education lie permits the human race to ascend, by the number and the purity of the Believers. When the pure among you are many, God, who numbers you, will disclose to you the way to action.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Through the Gates of Gold Chapter 4 The Meaning of Pain, Part 1





Part 1

Part One is kind of a short prelude to the next three longer parts; but full of interesting considerations: Pain and despair are always hovering in the background of our lives; we ourselves are the cause of this pain and suffering, albeit unconsciously so; we need to regulate our inner life in order to manage these pains (an anticipation of modern psychology); pain can be used for purposes of healing and harming; we are constantly waging an inner battle between pleasure and pain, at one level; but in reality pleasure and pain are co-rulers, so at a deeper level, the pain we experience is self-inflicted and voluntary; this raises the question as to why we do so, the answer being that it is part of the trial and error learning process of balancing pleasure and pain.
"LOOK into the deep heart of life, whence pain comes to darken men's lives. She is always on the threshold, and behind her stands despair.
What are these two gaunt figures, and why are they permitted to be our constant followers?
It is we who permit them, we who order them, as we permit and order the action of our bodies; and we do so as unconsciously. But by scientific experiment and investigation we have learned much about our physical life, and it would seem as if we can obtain at least as much result with regard to our inner life by adopting similar methods.
Pain arouses, softens, breaks, and destroys. Regarded from a sufficiently removed standpoint, it appears as medicine, as a knife, as a weapon, as a poison, in turn. It is an implement, a thing which is used, evidently. What we desire to discover is, who is the user; what part of ourselves is it that demands the presence of this thing so hateful to the rest?
Medicine is used by the physician, the knife by the surgeon; but the weapon of destruction is used by the enemy, the hater.
Is it, then, that we do not only use means, or desire to use means, for the benefit of our souls, but that also we wage warfare within ourselves, and do battle in the inner sanctuary? It would seem so; for it is certain that if man's will relaxed with regard to it he would no longer retain life in that state in which pain exists. Why does he desire his own hurt?
The answer may at first sight seem to be that he primarily desires pleasure, and so is willing to continue on that battlefield where it wages war with pain for the possession of him, hoping always that pleasure will win the victory and take him home to herself. This is but the external aspect of the man's state. In himself he knows well that pain is co-ruler with pleasure, and that though the war wages always it never will be won. The superficial observer concludes that man submits to the inevitable. But that is a fallacy not worthy of discussion. A little serious thought shows us that man does not exist at all except by exercise of his positive qualities; it is but logical to suppose that he chooses the state he will live in by the exercise of those same qualities.
Granted, then, for the sake of our argument, that he desires pain, why is it that he desires anything so annoying to himself?”