Adversity and affliction, like the smith, shape as they strike. They stand as challengers on the pathway to Truth, and test the aspirants for godhood.

Adversity and affliction are to be expected, for they are necessities for the training of man. Therefore, be not bitter at the trials of life or the chastisement of the One God. A father who omits to chastise his children is careless of their welfare.

Calamity ever lurks at the heels of man, it dogs his footsteps wheresoever he turns. It strikes in the dark like those who lay in wait for the wayfarer, it haunts the residences of prosperity and peace. The wise man is ever girt to meet it, in the halls of pleasure he carries a sword.

Adversity operates according to the Law. It is as the fire which sets the pot or the hammer which tempers metal. It divides the weak from the strong and the worthy from the unworthy. It is the grindstone which sharpens the sword of courage. It is the comb which adds lustre to the cloth of virtue.

Man is the child of misfortune, those who never knew calamity have gone. Earth does not unnecessarily oppress man, as the weaklings declare, her role is to instruct and develop, and can this be done without chastisement? There is a time for instruction and a time for play, Earth provides both and she is not unduly harsh. Life contains far more pleasure than pain, far more joy than sorrow. He who wants all play and no labour has no place on Earth. Instruction is rarely wholly a pleasure, nor is learning inseparable from chastisement.

~from chapter 35 of “The Book of Morals and Precepts” within “The Kolbrin”

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