Take away thy opinion, and then there is taken away the complaint “I have been harmed.” Take away the complaint, “I have been harmed,” and the harm is taken away.
—Marcus Aurelius, A.D. 150
In coming into metaphysical thought, we look upon life from another standpoint. The same conditions exist that have always existed, but our point of view is changed. Previous to our acceptance of metaphysical teaching we looked for all harm, or evil, and all good to come from the external. So have we expected to remedy all evil and enjoy all good, in the external.
But what is our conclusion today? We now know that all evil, or harm, and all good come from within, and all remedy for evil or enjoyment of good also come from within. So we are told to “take away the 'opinion' and the ‘complaint’ is taken away.”
If I take away (put out of mind) that “I have been harmed,” the difficulty is removed. Give up our “opinions”! We can all reach a point where it is impossible for us to be unhappy, when we rid ourselves of all resentment, and do not wish to hold to our opinions. Opinions do not belong to the spiritual of us, truth is not an opinion.
“And I affirm that tranquility is but the good ordering of the mind.” Tranquility of mind is the result of overcoming: it is the “good ordering of the mind.” A mind to be tranquil must have a consciousness of spiritual things. It must look upon the external as transitory, changeable. It must know that all that is real is unchangeable, eternal. It must know that all power is from within. It must have gotten through with finding the cause of evil or good in externals. Let us set about and maintain a “good ordering'' of our minds. This is tranquility. Peace I give unto you. Not as the world giveth, give I unto you. —Bible.
“Peace I give unto you,—not as the world giveth.” Here also is the thought that we must not look to externals for peace. “The world,” as we think of it, is the external. We are told that we will not find peace there. We can find this great truth told us in so many different ways. It has been proven to be the truth by all ages. Our own Emerson tells us the same thing in his way,—that we must get rid of all thought of self before we gain peace or happiness.
Let us cultivate the “good ordering” of the mind,—let us be tranquil. Let us live constantly and consciously in the “peace that passeth understanding.” We can do it, and do it now. We need not delay. The power is within each one of us. It only remains for us to really desire it, and then to maintain our position after once taking our stand.
Our determination to realize peace and tranquility is the only effort required. Make up your mind in which condition you wish to live, —whether you enjoy constant irritation or unhappiness, which result finally in illness, or whether you desire tranquility and happiness, which result in health. The peace which makes for good is yours, to be recognized.
“Peace that floweth as a river.” “Great peace have they that love thy law, and nothing shall offend them. “Peace cannot be found in externals, in change of conditions. We must live with confidence in the principles. Lack of peace is lack of God understood.