In this World we shall have Tribulation
Percy Richards (1920)
There is indeed one royal road to final success, if by success we mean conscious union with God and nature, and that is the road of what we commonly call suffering. Only through suffering shall we overcome suffering itself and death: First suffering for our own ignorance and mistakes, then suffering for those of others. The world shrinks from this road (the way) and tries to “deny” it or not notice it for it seems to spell utter annihilation and injustice. Men reason thus: Give up my life’s ambition, to be considered a “failure,” a slacker in the community’s activities, appear as a day-dreamer, a weakling, Why! I should say not. Am I not God’s child? Are not this world’s possessions and goods my birthright to acquire just as well as his or hers? What wrong have I done that “success” should not be mine? My friend, you have the right and you can surely get it, but you have also a privilege far higher.
Nevertheless, that privilege you would gladly give to your janitor for nothing, for it seems to you of no profit, a contradiction of your very constitution. The privilege of renunciation appeals not to the western world. It is but considered destruction, a blameable missing of opportunities, a convenient excuse for laziness, a punishment for those who fail to survive with the fittest. People are not to be blamed for this point of view; it seems so plausible, such commonsense. Yet their spiritual eyes are not opened, even if they lead otherwise exceedingly respect able and useful lives.
The princely road of renunciation and suffering is “the narrow way” marked with the footsteps of forlorn spiritual super men, whom the world continues to laugh at and pity not knowing what it is doing. “Think good thoughts and success and good things (material possessions) will be yours,” say Christian Science and New Thought.
Think good thoughts and renounce their material equivalent, for the benefit of others, says the real Christ. But even such a religion “of this world” as Christian Science with its evergreen smiles and theatrical show of happiness and success says: “Suffering is a sign of God’s care.” Did the scientists reflect about that line in their text book? “In this world ye shall have tribulation,” but over such tribulation hovers a consciousness of union and bliss so sacred that it needs no smile for its expression.