Roy Masters from ‘How To Be At Peace With Your Problems’
Through knowledge of all kinds we attempt to justify ourselves and escape from our inadequate feelings. These inferior feelings come entirely out of our bad reactions to life, and our foolish attempts to compensate for this weakness, instead of correcting it.
Unfortunately, most people who seem to be immensely religious, good, successful, or superior on the surface are, in reality, failures of the kind described. They have missed the delicate mark of Truth, and they continue to miss the boat in their futile labors towards compensation, instead of correction.
In other words, we tend to feel our weakness when we become upset and impatient. Instead of being able to see our weakness and search for the answer, we refuse to admit this error, and that we are wrong. In that moment of error, our ego refuses to own up to weakness, proceeding to justify the act, or to manufacture a new concept or condition of its own making, in order to prove to itself that it is not weak.
The compensation for our lack of true virtue is our hunger to gather religious data.
People are always trying to prove something to themselves. They shall always be doing this, because whatever proof they gather will soon be eroded by that uncorrected error when they are faced with another trial that will bring out the thistles and thorns of weakness, fear and guilt.
The religious fanatic is observed Piously massaging wordy scriptures back into his mind through poetic sermons.
It is the little, unexpected moments of Truth that are most precious to, and for, real life. Love and virtue are not grown in one moment; they are developed from the little seed. Grace and character unfold like flowers in those myriads of little, patient, moments-of-kindness that no one really sees.
“Weakness and evil spring up in us when we fail to meet life properly in each little moment of grace.”
In a similar way, weakness and evil spring up in us when we fail to meet life properly in each little moment of grace.
The confusion grows more ripe through our excuses, and the many attempts to prove our own righteousness. The witness to our weakness is the inward Presence, ever-present, who gives us conscience, guilt and fear.
We have a growing fear because of guilt; we have a growing guilt because of conscience; we have a growing conscience because of Presence—and more of all these things because of unrepentant excuse-making!—and that is the persecution of the soul.
Fortunately, the fear will be quenched when we learn to live out of the excitement of what our repentant conscience will one day perceive.
When we fail to meet life correctly, on time, we all feel guilty, inadequate and afraid. Then comes the pageant of thoughts and plans with which to prove our righteousness, which is only greater unrighteousness, leading to newer and bigger blunders in each precious moment.
Some interesting attempts at compensation for all this may be seen in methods used by: (l) overprotective mothers, (2) those brave souls who seem to accomplish daring feats, and (3) bullies and dictators.
Now, how can over-protective mothers, brave men, cowards and dictators all be included in one category?
The thing which they have in common is their creation of a danger that is not really present. They create their hallucinatory dangers so that they might retrieve, in a sense, their lost courage.
In other words, they are creating situations which they think, in their hearts, they have the capacity to meet; in which they might claim back a semblance of that true virtue which —without wisdom—they have lost only moments before.