2 The Overcoming Of Life's Difficulties
The true object of life is that man may attain wisdom through experience. This cannot be accomplished by giving in to the difficulties of life, but only by overcoming them. The promises of God are not made to those who fail in Life's battle, but to those who _overcome_. Neither are there any promises that man shall have an easy time and be happy ever afterwards. Yet, it is after this that the majority of people are for ever seeking--an easy life, a good time, freedom from suffering and care. But, in spite of all their seeking, they can never find that which they desire. There is always a fly in the ointment of their pleasure, something that robs them of true happiness; or, possibly, combinations of circumstances conspire to upset all their plans.
Life is a paradox; the true object of life is not the attainment of happiness, yet if we attain the true object of life we find happiness. Those who are ignorant of Life's true purpose and who seek happiness high and low, year after year, fail to find it. Like a will-o'-the-wisp, it for ever eludes them. On the other hand, those who recognize the true object of life, and follow it, attain happiness without seeking for it.
In times past, people have made God a convenience. They have thought they could drift through life, learning none of its discipline and then, when in trouble, or things were not to their liking, they could pray to God and have the unpleasant circumstances taken away. The same idea is prevalent to-day. People have left the old orthodoxy and look to various "cults" and "isms" to get them out of their difficulties. They do not believe now that they can curry special favour with God by prayer, but they firmly believe that they can get what they want from the Invisible by demanding it. They think that by this means they can have their own way after all. By this they mean having a good time, with no unpleasant experiences, trials, difficulties, adversities. They are, however, merely chasing rainbows. The easy life they seek constantly eludes them, simply because there is no such thing. The only life that is easy is the life of the strong soul who has overcome. His life is not easy in reality, but appears relatively so because of his strength.
It is impossible to have an easy life, and, if it were possible, then life would be not worth living, for the sole object of life is the building of character and the attainment of wisdom through experience. Life to all of us must always be full of difficulty, and it is to help those, who, hitherto, have found life rather too much for them that this book is being written. What the majority are seeking for is an easy life (which they will never find, but precisely the reverse) and for them I have no message. But to those wise and awakened souls who are seeking for Truth, no matter from whence it may come, and who desire to overcome life and its difficulties, instead of weakly giving in to them, this book, it is hoped, will bring a message.
At this stage we cannot go into the subject of why we should meet with disasters and adversity in this life, nor why some people should have, apparently, a smoother life than others.  We must therefore be satisfied to know that we have to meet trouble and overcome difficulty, and that it is only by so doing that we can attain wisdom and build up character. The question, then, is not _whether_ we shall meet the trouble and adversity or not, but rather, _how_ we shall meet them. Shall we be victorious or shall we be submerged? Shall we overcome Life's difficulties or shall we give in to them?
This book is copyright-expired and in the public domain.