Is struggle necessary?

There are times when the sincere student of mysticism may find themselves making the following remarks:

“I am tired of struggling and cannot understand why it is necessary to go through all of this! Haven’t I been through enough?”

“Why does humanity have to go through so many struggles in life? What is the purpose of it all!”

“Isn’t there a technique I can use to bypass all of this? Isn’t there an easier way to reach my goal?”

We may even be tempted to use artificial means such as hallucinatory drugs to reach this elevated state of consciousness that we yearn for.

It seems that humans are forever seeking shortcuts to the mastery of life.  Yet the path of evolvement is difficult.

A shortcut to evolution

In trying to escape personal struggle, many have tried hallucinatory drugs and other kinds of arti­ficial stimulants to quicken their psychic development. However, they have found out through personal tragedy that drugs are not the answer.

Not only are drugs not the key to personal evolvement, but they are most harmful to one’s psychic being.

While it is not the intent of this post to pass judgment on one’s personal lifestyle choices, from a spiritual point of view, the use of hallucinatory drugs to attain some form of spiritual evolution will inevitably lead to transient and impermanent results as it involves no real application of the mind or personal effort toward accomplishment.

True mystics do not allow any artificial means to interfere with their state of development. They know that true worth lies in their perpetual striving, in their constant efforts, and that any reliance upon some artificial means to speed up their progress is a delu­sion that engenders weakness of character.

Alone, on their very own, humans must struggle if they are to become the true mas­ters they are destined to be.

After a while, people who rely upon the use of psychic stimulants become addicted to them, to the point where they lose the ability to act or think for themselves. It is then that such individuals sadly fail in the school of life and become slaves to these stimulants.

They do not realise that with every new struggle, a new achievement is also waiting.

Role of the Mind

The mind is one of the most sacred gifts from the Cosmic, and, as long as it can function of its own accord, it should never be tampered nor interfered with.

It must be remembered that it is the wilful active use of the mind in man that brings evolution – not the passive, artificial manipulating of the mind, which is what these artificial methods amount to.

Perhaps you are all familiar with the story of the man who was looking for a place where there was no struggle. Led to a land of perfection where there is no striving, he first experiences sheer felicity. There, he finds perfect love and perfect friends. Per­fect beauty reigns everywhere.

However, the novelty soon wears off and his soul begins to yearn again for challenge.

He therefore decides to go through the excite­ment of a fishing trip. But, here again, there is no struggle, as the fish put up no fight and allow themselves to be caught willingly. Greatly disappointed and still seeking chal­lenge, he sets out on a hunting expedition. However, once again the challenge is nil, as the deer offer no resistance whatsoever. “Everything comes too easily,” he com­plains to his companion.

He is then taken to a perfect village where everything and everybody is perfect but all alike! People do not need to work, for without effort on their part, food is avail­ able according to their wishes; and houses are there to satisfy their needs. All flowers are exactly alike and, although they are per­fect in every way, after a while their same­ ness spells boredom and monotony.

This state of inactivity is too much for the man who once tired of struggle and dreamed of perfect peace.

Now he realises that it is the overcoming of struggle that brings peace-not the lack of it.

People need challenge to evolve and grow; they need to make mistakes in order to learn. Struggle is one of the core attributes of the human experience, as it gives the impetus to overcome and, thereby, the opportunity to grow into higher beings.

It strengthens the character and ennobles the soul.


Clash of Opposites

When we look around, we witness per­petual struggle on the stage of the universe: the struggle of light against darkness; of good against evil; of beauty against ugliness; of knowledge against ignorance; of truth against falsity; and so on.

Throughout nature, the struggle for survival is forever being waged-from the tiniest insect to the largest animal. Without struggle, everything would be static and inertia would prevail; no progress would occur.

This is not to say that we must all seek out struggle and become permanent martyrs in life. Life is a wonderful experience and is absolutely meant to be enjoyed. However we cannot deny that as long as we are on this earthly plane there will always be an element of struggle. It is a necessary tool of evolution, stirring us to action.

We must therefore react in a positive manner if we are to unlock those higher experiences and gain a better mastery of life as well as a strengthening of soul.

Whenever necessary, we must get involved.

The student on the path must not evade, nor flee from, the vicissitudes of life, as these are encountered for a definite pur­pose.

We must not remain passive and let action pass us by, as this is the path of least resistance. We must not remain indifferent to all that is happening at home and around the world, and take refuge in a self-created heaven of complacency.

We must be con­cerned and become active participants in helping our fellow beings wherever and whenever we can.

Struggle is not something to run away from and it is not something we can ever truly avoid. Yet once overcome, the strength and wisdom gained are truly invaluable tools for our spiritual evolution and the progress of humanity as a whole.


Adaptation of “Is Struggle Necessary?” by Michelle Ziebel, F.R.C. published in Rosicrucian Digest March 1989.

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