through self-discipline

In some degree much of mankind is searching for freedom from the trials and limitations of human existence. And although this search may not always consciously be for a greater spiritualization of thought, it must eventually turn in this direction, for true happiness and peace of mind can be gained only through a spiritual understanding of God, Spirit, and of man as His beloved son.

This spiritual understanding of God and man may come through revelation, but it is firmly established through a conscious, disciplined effort to put it into practice. In fact, self-discipline plays an indispensable role in our lives, since each of us has the God-bestowed capability to govern our individual lives harmoniously. God does not, however, do it for us! We must individually put the ability that God gives into practice through expressing spiritual qualities such as perception, intelligence, decisiveness, and so on. This takes self-discipline. In fact, we can quickly agree that little is accomplished in any endeavor without disciplining oneself. Yet even though many of us will affirm the need for controlled thinking, isn't it true that the very thought of self-discipline can have the connotation of restriction or a giving up of one's freedom to do what he wants to do when he wants to do it?

What does it actually mean to practice self-discipline? One dictionary says self-discipline is "planned control and training of oneself for the sake of development." Disciplining oneself is more likely to be a freeing experience than a restrictive one.

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Calming a Campus
February 16, 1974

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