The Temple of Blessedness lies beyond the outer courts of suffering and humiliation, and to reach it the pilgrim must pass through the outer courts. For a time, he will linger in the outer, but only so long as, through his own imperfect understanding, he mistakes it for the inner. While he pities himself and confounds suffering with holiness, he will remain in suffering, but when, casting off the last unholy rag of self-pity, he perceives that suffering is a means and not an end, that it is a state self-originated and self-propagated, then, converted and right-minded, he will rapidly pass through the outer courts, and reach the inner abode of peace.
Suffering does not originate in the perfect, but in the imperfect; it does not mark the complete, but the incomplete: it can therefore be transcended. Its self-born cause can be found, investigated, comprehended, and forever removed.
It is true, therefore, that we must pass through agony to rest, through loneliness to peace; but let the sufferer not forget that it is a "passing through;" that the agony is a gateway and not a habitation; that the loneliness is a pathway and not a destination; and that a little farther on he will come to the painless and blissful repose.
More from James Allen
James Allen was a little-known philosophical writer and poet. He is best recognized for his book, As a Man Thinketh. Allen wrote about complex subjects such as faith, destiny, love, patience, and religion but had the unique ability of explaining these subjects clearly and in a way that is easy to understand. He often wrote about cause and effect, sowing and reaping, as well as overcoming sadness, sorrow, and grief. For more information on the life of James Allen, click here.