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    In an essay called “Ethical Qualifications of the Seeker,” from the book Instructions For Spiritual Living, PB offers the following helpful counsel:

“The exercise of calmness under all circumstances is a definite aid to the student’s progress on the path. Out of this unruffled calmness there will come naturally an accurate discernment of values and a balanced judgment…One of the targets of the philosophic aspirant in the endeavors for self-improvement is liberation from all emotional prejudices of a personal and communal nature that divide, antagonize, and retard progress…It is not that we should reject emotion from our attitudes (as if we could), but that we should not form the attitudes solely in terms of emotion. The emotional appeal is not absent from philosophy, but it is an appeal to our higher and not to our baser emotions. Philosophy does not sterilize emotion but spiritualizes it. .…It is not that we are to eliminate feeling from our life, but that we should control and discipline it, to keep it in its proper place.” (Instructions for Spiritual Living, chap. 5, p. 90)

He further encourages us to face situations calmly and steadily.

    PB has much to say about calmness and detachment throughout his works.  In PB’s Notebooks, Volume 15, Category 24, The Peace Within You, we find an entire chapter entitled, “Be Calm.” A chapter titled “Practice Detachment” follows where several ancient teachings honor the importance of calmness and detachment. The Psalmist’s advice, “Be still and know that I am God,” is one example of the continuous state achieved by emptying the mind for all time of agitation and illusion.  PB writes in these chapters: “Towards this end the cultivation of calmness amid all circumstances makes a weighty contribution.” (Category 24. Chapter 2. Para 27 = 24.2.27)

“…The Gita enjoins unconcern about the results of activity not only because this leads to calm detached feelings as the large general result, but also because it leads to better ability to keep meditation continuously going on in the background of attention as the special result.” (24.3.90) “Chinese wisdom verified Indian experience. ‘Perfect calm with gentleness makes Tao prosper,’ wrote Tze Ya Tze.” (24.2.29)

“Those who try to grasp Tao, lose it,” declared Lao Tzu. “Half of India holds this faith, burns its sweet-scented incense before the firm conviction that the search for inner calm and emotional freedom is the highest duty of man.” (24.2.28) “The Persian Sufi Attar’s advice to the quester to ‘go thy way in tranquility’ amid all his fortunes and frustrations on this venture is very practical, and not only very sensible.” (24.2.35)

    “If you try to hold to the thought that all this turmoil is after all an idea and to be valued accordingly, it will be easier to find your inner calm. If you can look on upon the present era with the detachment with which you look upon the Napoleonic era, the trick will be done; but of course, humanly speaking, it is impossible to do this except by minute-to-minute effort and day-to-day practice carried out over a period of years to discriminate what is real and what is merely an idea. It is this long-continued striving which really constitutes gnana yoga, and it eventually brings success in the form of a settled and unshakeable understanding of the truth behind life.” (24.3.188)

“He must learn to keep the equable detachment of his mind undisturbed and the clear sight of his intuition unclouded.” (24.3.180)

    There are so many inspiring thoughts in these writings. Some which have been particularly meaningful to me are, “Here, within this delicious calm, he will find the inspirational source of such diverse qualities as courage and benevolence, poise and honesty.” (24.2.112)

Another is, “When one knows that the Real always is and that all disappear back into it because there is nowhere else to go, then one ceases his or her terrific hurry to get somewhere and takes events more calmly. Patience comes with the fragrance of the eternal. One works at self-improvement all the same, but there need not be any desperate bother about the task. There is plenty of time. One can always do tomorrow what one needs to do today.” (24.2.188)