What influence does our environment have upon us?


Environment and the company we keep are of paramount importance. From early childhood on, through our reactions to our outer environment, our inner mental environment of thoughts and mental habits is formed. Our outer environment, in conjunction with our inner environment, molds our tastes, guides our actions, and controls our life.

Environmental troubles exist because of our actions in the recent or distant past. God does not send trials to us. They are of our own making. We must resurrect our consciousness from the environment of ignorance.

Persons of strong character do not blame others for difficulties that can be traced to their own actions and lack of understanding. They know that no one has the power to detract from their happiness unless they themselves allow the adverse thoughts and actions of others to affect them.

We must fight adverse circumstances even when we think we have done our best and can no longer fight. Every new effort after a failure must be well planned and charged with increasing intensity of energy and attention.

Although happiness depends to some extent upon external conditions, it depends chiefly upon attitudes of the mind. Our senses promise happiness but, in the end, give us only sorrow. Virtues and inner happiness do not promise much but, in the end, always give lasting satisfaction.

Understand and experience the superior joys of the inner life, and you will prefer them to the fleeting pleasures of the outer world.

From Inner Culture, October 1939.