with Specific Notes on the Task of the Zelator
By Frater 493
On the Nature of the Oaths
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
It is important for each Aspirant to establish their lifestyle according to the Will, in this new Aeon, and adamantly refuse any interference. This is the path of ShYN, and the way we chose to live must be under will and is an expression of the Khabs within our Khu. A quote from the Hagakure, a treatise on the Samurai of Japan, “Every religion must find its culmination in our practical life and not in our abstract speculation. Yet we must seek a philosophic basis of conduct.” The philosophic basis is Do what thou wilt. Fear alone is what blocks us from putting this to practical use.
It is also written in the Hagakure that one should burn books after reading them. This is also specified in the Comment to Liber AL. This is an injunction to put our beliefs into practice and work according to the Law, and not spend all our time theorizing.
We must come to understand more thoroughly how magick is a 24/7 practice. How do we come to know ourselves? Through our interactions with the world around us: friends, family, coworkers, strangers, etc. This is the temple wherein we cause change in conformity with our Will. It is also where we learn about ourselves through the situations, reactions, responses, and feelings- when engaged in the common activities of life. Further, everything we do or say must have intent behind it- all must be love under will. Everything must be intentional and purposeful and not a blind, sleepy reaction. The will is a bit like a moral compass and the foundation of all action is “Do what thou wilt.”
We are a part of the ALL. In our daily life we interact with aspects of this ALL. The so-called mundane tasks are an opportunity to congeal the soul, which is to learn about ourselves, build character, and build the habits of thinking and feeling that we will. The Nephesh wants to fulfill its desires (pleasure) and it is up to the Ruach to make this happen under will. The Neschamah rejoices when the Being as a whole functions harmoniously and under will, as it is from Binah and the Supernals generally, that the Will descends. Therefore, we should not neglect the animal desires, but act intentionally and chose when and how to fulfill those desires.
We must participate in the world- we cannot be hermits and withdraw from the world. We cannot be robots either. All acts must be an expression of the will. The world around us is our temple where we work our Magick. This is just as holy as being in one’s physical temple doing a Star Ruby. It is active initiation vs. passive initiation.
We may find, in our self-investigations, that we have somewhat of a rebellious nature. Do not think that this is a negative trait. It is the resistance against any who would try to repress us or tell us how to live our life. When we are young, we rebel because everyone is telling us how to formulate our lives- once we reach a certain age, our rebelling should be over as we successfully built our lifestyle and our Kingdom, as we will. At that point, our duty is to protect what we have built. Of course, some may never reach this stage, and the act of building the kingdom may never have an end, al la Liber LXV. The building and the maintaining, or protecting, is a continuum. It travels with us and undergoes the metamorphosis with us.
The following supplements are reflections on the Oaths of the AA
To obtain a scientific knowledge of the Nature and Powers of my own Being
Personal integrity involves setting a standard of honesty with yourself and others, and striving to align your lifestyle and common affairs with your personal moral principles. Developing this degree of integrity requires self-observation and self-analysis, as well as determining, at either the outset or adapting as we advance, our personal value system. What is it that is important to us? What is our motivation for doing good work? We must take conscious steps to live according to our principles and develop personal integrity. Compare this with the work of Carlos Castaneda and G.I. Gurdjieff.
Here are some loose guidelines for developing our character:
Identify aspects of your behavior that require change. Meditate upon your interactions with others in the workplace, at home and in social situations to determine specific areas in need of improvement. For this, one could make a list of all positive and negative personality traits. Continue to add to this list as you observe you behavior and interaction with Nuit.
Determine your reasons for not behaving with greater personal integrity. For example, you may be underachieving in your place of employment, or staying in an unfulfilling or unhealthy relationship. Some main reasons for failing in some of these interactions may be fear, delusions, fantasy, ego, embarrassment, self-consciousness, etc. These things prevent us from having fulfilling interactions with others.
Face the obstacles that cause you to lie or violate your moral code. This might involve finding a more suitable job, facing your fears about how others may perceive you and/or seeking out counseling to address emotional challenges and insecurities. The AA recommends at least six months of psychiatric counseling to assist one is discovering the nature of these obstacles, and the means of overcoming them.
Practice truthfulness. Consider that human can potentially lie or tell half-truths thousands of times per day, either openly to other people, or silently to ourselves. Being honest with ourselves is a major step to Adepthood. Sometimes, also, we find that gossiping is a way we try to bond with others. It is easy to have that interaction with someone when you are banded together against a weaker person, even though we may not agree with bullying people.
Refrain from causing harm. Understand when it is appropriate to tell someone the “brutal truth” and when it would be more beneficial or practical to exercise our power of Silence. Truthfulness is not the same as emotional confrontation and this brutal honesty. The Power of Silence. Knowing when to remain silent and let someone fall of his or her own accord. We are no one’s savior; it is not our responsibility to save everyone from themselves. In addition, indeed, why should they need saving, anyway? We are not the God of Truth and it is not always appropriate to tell people the bottom-line no matter how much we feel they deserve the brutal truth.
Make a list of tasks and behaviors in which you will become more trustworthy. To begin, make a list of all your current promises and obligations. The list might range from basic tasks, such as taking out the trash as promised to repaying large sums of money in a timely manner. Sometimes we may fall behind in our practices and in our list of things to do. We may find it difficult sometimes to do things that have not yet become habits. We must work towards fulfilling our simple promises, and if we tell ourselves that we are going to do something, even a small thing, we must be sure to do it to the best of our ability. The problem here is sometimes making promises rashly, with either no intention to do it, or later realizing that we do not wish this thing promised.
Listen to and respect the opinions and decisions of others. Thelema teaches that each human being is a Star; each has a life and an orbit unique to them. Respecting diverse thoughts and decisions is a sign of open-mindedness and integrity. Some may find this very easy to do, however we must work on widening our point of view. We must study and understand the points of view of other Stars, and while we have obstacles to our interaction with these other stars, how can we hope to fulfill this important instruction of Nuit?
Assess your progress. Developing personal integrity is a trial and error process that requires persistent effort. Ask yourself on a daily or weekly basis if you are making progress.
To Control the Nature and Powers of my own Being
Choose a set of rules, morals, or principles that you believe will lead fulfillment of your Will. The moral commandment for the Aeon of Horus is Do what thou wilt.
Look at the choices you have made in your past, and observe how much you have or have not lived by those principles. We can’t regret any of our choices or behavior. We can only learn from them. We must assess how close they were to the ideal, and how we may improve that aspect of our personality. Again, the bottom line is “Do what thou wilt.”
Decide what you must change in your behavior to align your life more closely to what you believe to be your Will. This means working toward molding your lifestyle to be more in accord with your will. For example, your home, the clothes you wear, food you eat, friends you keep, the entertainment you prefer, the rituals and seasons you observe and similar things that all go into the retort that is your soul. Further, these are the obstacles that get in the way of a fulfilling interaction with Not-I: the fear, the insecurity or self-consciousness. People also tend to get frustrated with their bad choices and then fall into an anti-social funk because of it. One thing causes the other. When we are pleased with ourselves because we have been pursuing our will, we are happier and more confidence, and thus have more meaningful interactions with others.
Be conscious every day of the decisions you make, however big or small, and how close they bring you to being the person you really want to become. Obviously, magick is an all day, every day practice. This also means that we must be vigilant in our self-observation and self-analysis. We must hold fast to our principals and not let emotions cause us to fall back into unwanted behaviors. The small acts of magick fill up a much larger bucket. The small routines and small acts of magick bring us slowly closer to the final goal. Work toward replacing your bad habits with good routines and habits.
To control the Foundations of my own Being
Maintain neatness in your personal appearance, your home, your vehicle, your workplace and environments. This is an outer reflection of our state of mind. If we are mentally cluttered and confused, so will be your surroundings. Also, poor hygiene is an indication of depression and lack of confidence, and also a cause of these things. Taking pride in our appearance leads to confidence and more meaningful interactions with others, fulfilling Nuit’s instructions.
Get in the habit of keeping promises. This is a mark of personal integrity and involves keeping one’s word. We should make an effort to follow through with even the smallest Word that we give. If we tell someone we will call them later, we should call. If we promise to go shopping, we go. If we make a statement of intent, we must follow through, otherwise do not speak.
Keep track. Notice when you stray from personal integrity, and recommit to getting back on track. This relates to being honest with ourselves, and being truthful in our observations, especially when we are alone.
Exercise control over your instincts and passions, master yourself, and resist the myriad temptations that constantly confront you. A strong character will allow us to carry out and manifest our will, while also dealing effectively with setbacks. When confronted with ill fortune, instead of despair, we rejoice in yet another opportunity to exercise our self-control and fulfill our will.
Seek the truth. Do not let the emotions usurp the reason. A strong character will separate the fact from the emotion and will examine the facts using reason. Avoid being influence by your sensation and emotions.
Be neither a pessimist nor an optimist, but a leader. There is a lesson in all experience, and there is spiritual sustenance in positive experiences and negative experiences. A strong character will not favor either, but will be ready to embrace whatever may come, knowing that they are in control of their actions and will excel even in the face of extreme difficulty.
Guard against irrational impulses. Aristotle and Aquinas considered that there are seven human passions: love and hatred, desire and fear, joy and sadness, and anger. While good in themselves, these passions can bypass our intellect and cause us to indulge in the wrong things: eat too much food, fear things irrationally, or become overwhelmed in sadness or by anger. The answer is found in always looking before you leap and in practicing good habits to free yourself from the enslavement of your own passions. Inordinate, sensual appetites are the marks of a weak character; the ability to delay gratification and practice self-control is a sign of strength.
Be brave enough to take calculated risks. The hotter the battle, the sweeter the victory, and the joy associated therewith. Neither be cowardly, nor aloof, nor evade your rightful duties, but be courageous so as to contribute your part to the progress of humankind.
Dismiss external suggestions contrary to the resolution you are fixed upon. Every individual is the center of their universe, whether consciously or unconsciously. Remain in this awareness of your identification with the Sun, and march on in your course with pride and confidence. Do not allow others to infringe upon your will, or to force their beliefs on you.
Learn to master your feelings. Avoid the expression of negative emotions. Also, observe those thoughts that keep you repressed. Often, we feel a particular way because we think in a particular way. If we are depressed or sorrowful, it may just be that we are hanging onto thoughts of that nature. We must make a mantra of the work of the magical Knife, and tell ourselves, “Cut it out!”
Be calm in all things. Equanimity enables us to concentrate and collect our thoughts into one focus. This brings clarity of mind. This is a further expansion of the above injunction to master our feelings. We cannot hope to have any clear thoughts if we are easily carried off by our emotions.
Have patience. An individual with a strong character will not quit when faced with obstacles, but will persevere to the end and overcome all obstacles. Learn to delay gratifications in life, learn to wait, and learn that time is your friend. It also helps to know which battles are worth it, and when to let things rest; sometimes letting go is more important than clinging to a sinking ship.
Conquer all fears. Timidity is an obstacle to success. Entertain no superstitions based upon superficial observations, but accept facts based upon solid reason. Avoid building your foundation upon sand, preferring instead to build upon a rock. Once you overcome fear, you will have the strength of character to think, to have resolve, and to act victoriously.
Finally, excel wherever you are, and do your best in whatever you do. Work, and earn your repose. Work hard and avoid idleness. Appreciate quality leisure time for its ability to rejuvenate and inspire you to return to your good deeds.
Do physical exercise to train your endurance. The mind and the body interconnect. So train your physical endurance to strengthen your mental endurance.
Have discipline and self-control. Flee from bad impulses (including destructive works or actions that one regrets later) – and compulsive-obsessive behaviors that become a habit and deform character.
On the Task of a Zelator
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
As Zelators, part of our Task is to obtain control of the foundations of our own being. This instruction has been discussed a great deal on the internet and is something that one must contemplate and meditate upon often. One of the obstacles to the fulfillment of this is the difficulty we may have putting theory into practice. Another obstacle is the difficulty shutting off the rational left-brain and allowing the intuitive right brain to experience the world. This is the fourth power of the Sphinx: Silence.
The flesh itself is the foundation of the body, it is the gross container of our chemical body, and the only body we can be aware of is that one that appears to us in our mind. We cannot grasp the gross material objectively as it is identical to the material of earth itself and to the gross physical garment of all animal life. The Bubble is not the sphere of water in the ocean, but the air that is trapped within.
This view reflects this author’s own experience with medical issues. How we perceive our body is obviously extremely subjective compared to what is actually taking place, which the doctors can determine through various tests and procedures. Regardless of how well or ill we feel, the tests may show an entirely different picture. The world of Malkuth, then, is precisely this chemical realm of elements that one begins to understand in the grade of Neophyte and is further explored via astral travel.
We begin to accept and understand that everything begins and end with the body. Especially through the Zelator’s study of Alchemy, we realize the meaning of the phrase, “To make gold, one must have gold” This is to say that in our body (the vehicle) is already contained the three essentials of Salt, Sulphur and Mercury. We are not creating anything or changing anything in any way. We isolate our essential elements, purify them, and put them back to together again… similar to the way a mechanic may restore a classic car or rebuild and engine… similar to the way a surgeon may repair a fatal wound. The Alchemist must begin with the gross physical matter and in the end, imbibe the Salt, the purified body, with the other two essential elements of Soul and Spirit.
The subtle energies that enliven the body and control its processes provide the necessary support to our psychic life. This is related to Yesod and the etheric matrix in which we all function. It is the entrance to the mental space, the astral plane, where the Ruach is Lord. At the beginning of this realm we receive the immediate impressions from the body, and as I stated earlier, this is specifically our perception of the body, not the physical matter itself, yet science has also shown us that the activities of the body of which we are not able to perceive indeed have their affect on our conscious state. An unknown tumor on our brain may cause drastic shift in mood and sense perception. Even in cases such as these, however, all we really know is the subjective reality. We may not have any idea about vasodilation, but some of us can indeed feel when our blood pressure is elevated. Because of the fact that we are the same as the chemical world around us, we cannot fight against Nature and admonish our own genetic makeup. We are an integral part of the earth, and whether we die today from a car crash, in five years from cancer, or live to be a hundred matters little. We are vital to the Earth and the World, yet there is no personal investment in our well-being.
That being said, we must take a personal interest in the foundations of our being, and strive to control them as much as possible. Once we can get a handle on the most effective way to operate at these grosser levels of Malkuth and Yesod, we can relinquish some of that control and constant conscious attention to our lower vehicles, confident that we have trained them properly to take care of things. First, a proper diet is integral to the spiritual life. If our goal is to separate our essential elements, purify, and recombine, as an inner, spiritual pursuit, wouldn’t it be wise to begin with the most healthy and purified body we can?
The food we eat has a direct impact on our vital energies, which in turn affect our mental and emotional processes. To this end, we may wish to adopt a diet that consists of as many “whole foods” as possible- fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean animal meat (mostly on Thelemic Holy Days) and periodic fasting. Keep a very close eye on what you put into your body. By over-eating, or even just consuming more calories in a day than are burned, we create a subtle lethargy that distracts us from our work. Our medical conditions create an even greater need to maintain a healthy diet. Humans in the modern age have an increased risk of many types of cancer as well as diabetes because of the foods we eat and the medication we take each day. A body with extra weight makes asana and pranayama quite difficult as well. The long-term effects of an unhealthy diet are widely known in our society. We need not go into the myriad of health risks to being over-weight or eating an unhealthy diet.
The most obvious ways to control our Foundation is through Asana and Pranayama, which are both the foundations of meditation, the vital processes, and the control of prana. Pranayama is an exercise that affects the body through regulation of the processes of respiration, circulation, and digestion. A large number of scientific studies detail the benefits of controlled deep breathing. Pranayama, however, also allows one to form a link between the processes of the physical body and the processes of the psychic body. See the essay called Liber Occultum Aurum for a more detailed account of this.
The paths leading from Yesod to Hod are Resh and Shin. Resh is the Path of the Sun and represents vitality, self-confidence, the zeal of the Zelator. It results from the bringing to light of self-delusion and fantasy. This Zeal is treated at length in Liber Gnavitas vel CXXXIII.
Shin is the consolidated religious thought. How have we established our lifestyle in the new aeon? On the inner planes, we may be struggling to concretize our will. First, through much contemplation, we need to figure out just what are our beliefs on spirituality. Then we need to implant these beliefs firmly in mind and allow them to freely flow into daily life. This is one part of the Obeah and the Wanga. We must match our outer life with our inner life as much as is practical.
The Intellect, the analytical faculty, is a Foundation of being and since Yesod is the first Sephira in the realm of the Ruach, the Zelator must being to study the most effective ways of utilizing this faculty. The Socratic Method and the Dialectic of Plato form a wonderful foundation to the method of thought. We must subject our impressions to the Gnostic dianoesis of the magical Knife. To this end, you may wish to consult the following list of relevant instructions, aphorisms, advice, suggestions, strategy, etc for practicing a form of self-observation and self-remembering that is relevant to the working of the magick Knife, the automatic consciousness, and the Foundations of our own Being. Carry this list with you throughout the day, and begin to observe and analyze your reactions, responses, and behaviors. Plan to follow the development of these habits, and approach it systematically to cover each of these practices in turn, until they become integrated into your psyche as habits, or magically speaking, until this Weapon has been duly consecrated and you wield it with the perfection of the Adept.
The exercise is to observe your feelings and restrain strong responses while strengthening feeble ones. In no way are we advocating the suppression or negation of emotion. Rather, strive to gain control of those strong emotional responses that have most often been expressed unchecked.
The major arena of practice is one’s life at home, at work, and among strangers. Our reactions to the behavior of others will often put us in a terrible mood for the entire day. We may find ourselves generally in a poor mood, frustrated, angry and short tempered as a rule, regardless of what was happening day to day. Once we begin a conscious effort to maintain a silent joy and balanced cheerfulness within, we will notice a strange but pleasant phenomenon regarding this. During the moments of tension and pressure in dealing with stressful situations at work or at home, our inner peace will not be broken. We begin to command and control the intensity of our reactions. When we must act with force and fire, we will wield it well and let it go just as easily. All the while, our inner nature is calm, our spirit is relaxed, which we can gauge objectively by our heart rate and breathing.
We must not expect the control to be perfect, but we will indeed understand how to observe it and how to exercise the control. This function, Equanimity, is applicable during other tasks and situations as well. When interacting with other people, whether family, people we meet, other motorists, etc., we must know when to remain calm and let things go, and when to act. If people are behaving in a way that offends you or annoys you, it is not always a wise thing to get angry and react from an emotional place. Besides, it is our choice to be around people, to be part of the world, and we cannot expect others to behave as we determine they should. The caveat here is that when someone is infringing upon our liberty, our free will, it is our duty to act without apprehension.
Further, understand Equanimity in the context of worry and fear. In certain situations, there may be a consistent expectation for us to exhibit certain emotional responses. Sometimes, however, a base reaction of fear, sadness, anger, etc would be counter-productive. A response of this type would only indicate apprehension, fear, or lack on self-control. By remaining calm and lucid in the present moment, despite what is happening, gives us the best change possible for effective response instead of a mere reactionary exhibition. A similar example could be given regarding equanimity during a fight or flight moment, such as a mugging or a car-accident. However, in these cases, spontaneous reaction without thought is the more effective means to ensuring survival. In these instances, the fear-reaction is based on the moment-to-moment phenomena, not a worry or fear of the future phenomena (such as would be the case with a medical diagnosis). So the question becomes then, how do we prepare our organism to properly function during those instances when we must rely on its automatic responses, when there is no time to analyze our choices? Equanimity is in play here also, however. Calmness and lucidity play a major role in proper automatic-reactions. If one were to completely freak out in the face of danger, one probably would not survive. The Samurai take a similar stance. By remaining calm and lucid and emptying the mind of thought, the Way, the Dao, the Will, flows through our being and responds to the crisis according to our capacity. Therefore, considering the examples, the hearing of dire medical news involves increased thought and intellectual perception, whereas the automatic response to danger involves less thought and intellectual perception.
2. Socratic Questioning
As part of the fulfillment of the work of the Probationer and the Neophyte, keep an expandable list of personality traits (positive and negative) that you feel affect your interaction with the universe. This was explained in Part One of this essay.
You may find it helpful to use the following list of questions to analyze your beliefs and the statements you take as fact. For simple day-to-day observations, it is a fine way to test the validity of your sense perceptions and the way you interpret those impressions. For instance if today (Saturday), you saw a green dog, you may conclude that some dogs are green on Saturday. However, even more meaningful would be to take a theory that you have developed in the course of your self-investigations- any number of self-assumptions. If you run through the list of questions, you may conclude that this is a false assumption that you have made. Once or twice a week, select a specific issue from a list that you have compiled, ask yourself the following questions, and either refute the idea that you possess the particular trait, or come up with ways that you can strengthen that aspect of your personality.
Why do you say that?
Could you explain further?
Is this always the case?
Why do you think this assumption holds here?
Is there reason to doubt this evidence?
What is the counter argument for?
Can anyone see this another way?
But if ____ happened, what else would result?
How does this affect things?
What evidence supports this idea?
What evidence is against it being true?
What might be another explanation or viewpoint of the situation?
What are the worst, best, bearable, and most realistic outcomes?
What is the effect of thinking or believing this?
What could be the effect of thinking differently and no longer holding on to this belief?
Imagine a specific friend in the same situation or if they viewed things this way, what would I tell them?
This example shows the method and development of this most cherished process. You will experience moments of clarity using this process. The dialogue between your mind and itself is also a great foundation for the most holy Conversation you will one day have with the Augoeides. By learning this series of questions, building them into your khu, they will remain as weapons against Choronzon through your career with the Order. They are the Chain that binds your thoughts.
3. Examine knee jerk behaviors and find out what pushes your buttons.
There are times when we may consider every waking moment to be a knee jerk reaction to something; it is only when we strive to not react that we can see this clearly. Not reacting is not the desired end, however, but by suppressing a tendency, that tendency over-reacts and is very easy to observe. This is another tool to make obvious our behavior- like fasting for a day just to see how hard it is for us to control our consumption. There is no virtue in fasting, just as there is no virtue in non-reaction. It is useful at the moment. That is all.
People tend to apologize more than they rightfully should. They second-guess every interaction with others, thinking what they could have said or done differently. While this is generally a good thing to do, as the Samurai teach, we end up worried that we come across stupid, or rude, or weak and timid. We must, instead, strive to act with confidence at every moment. This is the inner light that we strive to share with the world; the LVX that will radiate from our heart if we only let it. We strive to quell the inner chatter of worry and self-doubt that inhibits free flowing interaction with not-I. The samurai would say that we have too many minds. We mind ourselves, we mind our environment, we mind the other people, and we mind our insecurity. The mind surely gets in the way of things. However, this is not just the mind but also the emotions taking over the thinking process.
In addition, by bringing certain habits to the light of observation, many of them will simply vanish. Note these effects well in your magical Diary.
4. Use your intelligence, work to do well the things you want to do, no matter how insignificant they seem to be.
You may observe in yourself the tendency to rush through tasks that you do not have an interest in. This sounds quite normal and harmless on the surface, and indeed, it probably is quite ‘normal’. However, it is not an expression of Will to perform so many tasks on “auto pilot.” Would it not be better to give our full attention to everything we do and to find the divinity in that work? This is karma yoga. Take for example the act of washing dishes. It is naturally very easy to wash the dishes just good enough, while the whole time thinking about other things… the book we were reading, some essay we are writing, or how unfair it is that we have to wash the dishes!
5. Make peak experiences more likely, get rid of illusions and false notions. Learn what you are good at and what your potentialities are.
Peak experiences are what we consider, in the essay called Becoming Human, the experience of Novelty, to borrow a term from Terrence McKenna. In that essay, we discuss how our exposure to new and exciting experiences eventually leads to a diminished reaction to those experiences. This is similar to the drug user who is constantly searching for the same high they got the “first time.”
6. Balance negative traits through willpower.
The list of personality traits that we have compiled is organized by Element (Earth, Air, Fire, and Water). The negative traits are used in the Socratic Questioning detailed in Item 1 of this essay. The opposite of the negative trait (they are each a side of the same coin) is then used in a positive way through practice, intentional thinking (similar to autosuggestion). For example: you are currently working on your social anxiety. You have analyzed this as per #1 and feel that you have a fair understanding of how it works within your life, and how it is affecting your happiness. The other side of that trait is to be socially adept. To strengthen this characteristic you must practice. You have daily opportunities for this, and you have figured out some ways that you can initiate conversations with people. As it stems mainly from a confidence and insecurity issue, and a fear of not being liked, you have employed a mantra to engrain the positive trait in your mind. So, though this positive thinking and positive action, you will strengthen the desired characteristic.
7. Let your Self emerge. Try to shut out the external cues as to what you should think, feel say and so on and let my experience enable me to say what you truly feel.
We must formulate our own opinions of things, and not just take someone else’s view as our own. Accepting someone else’s point of view is easy, whereas the contemplation and thought involved in forming our own opinion is the truly difficult and yet valuable work. This involves not only saying what we truly feel, but living life on our own terms, and not being afraid to be who we are, despite being unpopular.
Love is the law, love under will.