During the early 17th century, pamphlets proclaiming the existence of a mysterious Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross caused a sensation in Europe. Yet, few, if any, were actually accepted into the Brotherhood (if it existed as such), despite a number of public petitions.
It is difficult for us to imagine why this was such a big deal. Today, we are flooded with choices — choices of movies, bars, restaurants, and shops, etc. Likewise, spiritual “traditions,” groups, Orders, sects, and so on, have sprung up in abundance. And if there’s nothing that really suits us, we can just pick from a few traditions, mix them together, and make our own tradition. Continue reading “Planting Too Many Seeds”
As soon as we have a goal, we begin to make promises to ourselves. Once the conditions are right, we will work towards our goal. It will be next month when things die down. Or I’ll start as soon as I’ve saved up for the best equipment. Or it will be at the beginning of the new year. And so on.
These timeframes won’t help you. Things won’t quiet down. Unless you’re already accomplished in a particular field, you don’t need the most expensive equipment. And new years come and go with most people quitting their “resolutions” by the end of January. Continue reading “Forming The Habit of Self-Development”
The intellect is a curious thing. We talk about ideas spreading like viruses throughout society, or even across societies. (And note how, every few months, we see a sudden burst of moral outrage — around some antiquated symbol — flaring up in different states and countries only to die out like so many health scares. The moral outrage, the idea, literally spreads.)
But, although marketers and social media campaigners want to spread their particular “idea virus,” typically, we try to avoid catching actual viruses. But the term is a good one. Ideas not only grab hold of societies, they can become malignant in individuals themselves. Good intentions can pave the road to hell, to paraphrase a well-known proverb. Ideas can metastasize. Continue reading “The Optimism of the Will”