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Work not easy


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[1 of 17] Abba Philimon (c. 3rd century, Egypt): primary subject "Work, summary/overview" (search under Outer Life/Religions, Ways)": detail "From the ‘A Discourse on Abba Philimon’"
You have to struggle. The heart has to strive and to suffer. Things worth striving and suffering for do not come to us if we sleep or are indolent. Even earth's blessings do not come to us without effort on our part. If you want to develop spiritually you must above all renounce your own will; you must acquire a heart that is sorrowful and must rid yourself of all possessions, giving attention not to the sins of others but to your own sins, weeping over them day and night; and you must not be emotionally attached to anyone.

[2 of 17] Amiel, Henri Frédéric (1821-1881, Switzerland): primary subject "Work, summary/overview" (search under Outer Life/Religions, Ways)": source "Amiel’s Journal": detail "November 25, 1861"
Every man is a tamer of wild beasts, and these wild beasts are his passions. To draw their teeth and claws, to muzzle and tame them, to turn them into servants and domestic animals, fuming, perhaps, but submissive — in this consists personal education.

[3 of 17] Anonymous (3000 BC-current, World): primary subject "Work, summary/overview" (search under Outer Life/Religions, Ways)"
To coerce oneself in every respect, that is the way of God.

[4 of 17] Anonymous (3000 BC-current, World): primary subject "Work, summary/overview" (search under Outer Life/Religions, Ways)": detail "Proverb"
The way to see Divine light, is to put out your own candle.

[5 of 17] Philo of Alexandria (c. 15 BC - AD 50, Egypt): primary subject "Work, summary/overview" (search under Outer Life/Religions, Ways)": detail "From a monkish manuscript"
One should practice being contented with a little, for this is being near God; but the contrary habit is being very far from him.

[6 of 17] Boehme, Jacob (1575-1624, Germany): primary subject "Work, summary/overview" (search under Outer Life/Religions, Ways)": source "Incarnation of Christ": detail "Part II, chapter 8 para.11"
Thus is it also with man. When he is in the anguish of enmity and the sting of death and anger rages within him, so that he is anguishful, covetous, envious, angry and hostile, he ought not to remain in this evil nature; otherwise he is in the forms of death, anger, wrath and hell-fire. If the water-fountain were not in him in connection with flesh and blood, he would be already an enkindled devil and nothing else. But he must reflect and in his evil anguish draw another will to go out from the covetous malice into the freedom of God, where there is always rest and peace enough. He must sink down into death, into patience, willingly give himself up to the wheel of anguish, and draw a thirst for the refreshment of God, which is freedom; in this way he sinks down through the anguishful death into freedom. When then his anguish tastes freedom, that it is such a still gentle life, the anguish-source is terrified; and in the terror the hostile grim death is broken to pieces, for this terror is a terror of great joy and a kindling of the life of God. And so the branch of pearls is born; it is found now in trembling joy, but in great danger, for death and the anguish-source is its root; and it is encompassed therewith, as a fair green branch that grows up out of a stinking dunghill, out of the fetid source, and acquires an essence, smell and quality other than its mother has, out of which it was born; and indeed the source in nature has such a property, so that out of evil, i.e. out of anguish, is produced the great life.

[7 of 17] Hesiod (c. 700 BC, Greece): primary subject "Work, summary/overview" (search under Outer Life/Religions, Ways)"
Vice may be had in abundance without trouble; the way is smooth and her dwelling-place is near. But before virtue the gods have set toil.

[8 of 17] Hilton, Walter (c. 1340-1396, England): primary subject "Work, summary/overview" (search under Outer Life/Religions, Ways)": source "Scale of Perfection": detail "Bk. 1 ch. 42"
This is a task for the spirit, hard and sharp in the beginning for anyone who will work vigorously in it, for it is a labor in the soul against the ground of all sins, small or great; and this ground is nothing but a false disordered love of a person for himself.

[9 of 17] Maneri, Sharafuddin (1263-1381, India): primary subject "Work, summary/overview" (search under Outer Life/Religions, Ways)"
 Unfit for the King is a self-conceited man:
 It is grief of heart that is pleasing to God.
 Along this way, self-conceit is never laudable:
 One's body should be lean, and one's heart broken!

[10 of 17] Meister Eckhart (1260-1328, Germany): primary subject "Work, summary/overview" (search under Outer Life/Religions, Ways)": detail "From Sermon 102"
I am fond of saying, You must break the outside to let out the inside: to get at the kernel means breaking the shell. Even so to find nature herself all her likenesses have to be shattered, and the further in, the nearer the actual thing. On coming to one, where it is all one, she is the same.

[11 of 17] Meister Eckhart (1260-1328, Germany): primary subject "Work, summary/overview" (search under Outer Life/Religions, Ways)": detail "From Sermons no. 20"
A godly man has to close his heart and outward senses to external things and his inward senses to all mortal cares. He must turn his whole attention into himself. He must be still and listen to what God is saying in him. He must hoist himself up above himself. He has got to be a mirror of divine ideas, to fill his soul with divine forms. He must see the light in the light, foster the light in the light, become the light in the light. He must have in the world no more than his body. He must begin to explore eternity, must always be breaking fresh ground, always cultivating some new perception.

[12 of 17] Philo of Alexandria (c. 15 BC - AD 50, Egypt): primary subject "Work, summary/overview" (search under Outer Life/Religions, Ways)"
If any yearning enters into you, O Soul, of inheriting the good things of God, you must leave not only your ‘country’—that is the Body—and your ‘kindred’—sense-perception, and the ‘house of thy father,’ your Reason, but you must even run away from your Self, go out from your Self, inspired by a kind of prophetic afflatus, like those possessed by the Corybantic or Bacchic frenzy. For the mind in this state of frenzy, no longer in itself, but exalted and maddened by heavenly love, led along by the One … pulled upwards towards Him, while Truth goes in advance and removes impediments so that it may travel along a plain road—behold, this is the ‘inheritance.’

[13 of 17] St. Gregory of Sinai (1260-1346, Greece): primary subject "Work, summary/overview" (search under Outer Life/Religions, Ways)": detail "From ‘On Stillness’"
I have also learnt this from experience, that unless a monk cultivates the following virtues he will never make progress: fasting, self-control, keeping vigil, patient endurance, courage, stillness, prayer, silence, inward grief and humility. These virtues generate and protect each other. Constant fasting withers lust and begets self-control. Self-control enables us to keep vigils, vigils beget patient endurance, endurance courage, courage stillness, stillness prayer, prayer silence, silence inward grief, and grief begets humility. Or, going in the reverse order, you will find how daughters give birth to mothers — how, that is to say, humility begets inward grief, and so on. In the realm of the virtues there is nothing more important than this form of mutual generation.

[14 of 17] St. Hesychius (5th century, Israel): primary subject "Work, summary/overview" (search under Outer Life/Religions, Ways)"
The virtuous life, through which the kingdom of heaven is given us, must be won by forcing ourselves.

[15 of 17] St. Philemon the Abba (4th century, Egypt): primary subject "Work, summary/overview" (search under Outer Life/Religions, Ways)"
I begged him earnestly, saying: "How can I acquire a purity of mind like yours?" He replied: "Go—work; for this requires work and heart-felt suffering. Spiritual blessings, worthy of zealous search and labor, cannot be attained if we lie on our beds and sleep. Even earthly blessings are not acquired without labor. He who wants to succeed must first of all abandon all desires of his own, and acquire constant mourning and uncovetousness. Pay attention not to the transgressions of others, but only to your own, and mourn over them day and night; and form vain friendships with no man. For a soul, sorrowing over its perilous state and wounded by memories of past sins, is dead to the world, just as the world is dead to it; that is, passions of the flesh then become inactive and man becomes inactive in relation to them.

[16 of 17] St. Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510, Italy): primary subject "Work, summary/overview" (search under Outer Life/Religions, Ways)": detail "From the Life"
Observe these three rules: never say I will or I will not. Never say mine, but always ours. Never excuse yourself, but always accuse yourself.

[17 of 17] Meher Baba (1894-1969, India): primary subject "Work, summary/overview" (search under Outer Life/Religions, Ways)"
The path of truth is not a bed of roses.