The Nature of Stress

Roy Masters

The animal hardens itself against environment by growing stronger than the stress.

The human being must reverse this process, and not harden himself against the stress of the Truth; instead he must allow himself to be absorbed by that Truth, progressively responding to it.

This is man’s completion unto himself, and a cessation of evolution. 

It is the nature of the animal to become stronger than the stress, or to die. It is not our nature to overcome the Truth, but instead, to emotionally be conquered by it.

As Paul said: “My strength is made greater in weakness.” 

All this is merely a reversal of relativities—by choice. If we keep evolving, without Truth, we find no completion within ourselves.

When we seek and see Truth, we are enabled to do that which no creature can do; that is, to allow a response to, and to be overcome by the One who is greater. 

Man must determine the correct relationship with his environment. The animal has no need for this, for its relativity with its environment is always correct.

Whether he runs or fights, lives or dies, these roles are always right and proper for him. 

The animal cannot choose to be wrong, but for that very reason, neither can it be righteous.

The animal’s response is fixed to its existence, in a mechanical way; and whichever way it reacts becomes the pre-determined contribution to life. Therefore, the creature that does not react with greater strength, cunning or speed falls prey to the aggressor; but this is also correct.

"My strength is made greater in weakness."

We call this principle “survival of the fittest,” the loser being food for the victor.

There is a similar war waging for the soul of man, the loser succumbing to one of two powers, the weak becoming absorbed into a cruel conspiracy or the cruel one becoming the strength of the wise. 

Reaction is the response to danger; but it is through reaction that we are enabled to become strong.

Danger is a call to that reaction, and that reaction is a call to strength. Without adversity, there is no call to life.

When you remove the stress factor, you remove, as well, the “natural life” factor. Truth is a threat to the wicked—the wicked are a threat to the wise. 

In our own lives, we observe ourselves struggling to remove the stress factor; in fact, our entire existence is dedicated towards this foolish goal.

This stress factor is provided in various forms: perhaps in the nagging of the children, humiliation by a wife; or the cruelties of a husband, a boss, or merely people in general. 

All of us, without love, are trying to improve our relationship with others, but in the wrong ways—as we try to change the conditions, or the people around us.

Perhaps we may frighten people into being good, or we may lure or bribe them into being nice.

Usually, the motive behind all our actions is to sterilize our existence, so as to cut off those reactions that we do not know how to conquer.