Optimism vs Pessimism


In Tune With the Infinite is a wonderful go-to book written by Ralph Waldo Trine and for the next few days or so I am going to offer excerpts of his wisdom starting today with the Prelude of this great book.

The optimist is right. The pessimist is right. The one differs from the other as the light from the dark. Yet both are right. Each is right from his own particular point of view, and this point of view is the determining factor in the life of each. It determines as to whether it is a life of power or of impotence, of peace or of pain, of success or of failure. 

The optimist has the power of seeing things in their entirety and in their right relations. The pessimist looks from a limited and one-sided point of view. The one has his understanding illumined by wisdom, the understanding of the other is darkened by ignorance. Each is building his world from within, and the result of the building is determined b the point of view of each. The optimist, by his superior wisdom and insight, is making his own heaven, and in the degree that he makes his own heaven is he helping to make one for all the world beside. The pessimist, by virtue of his limitations, is making his own hell, and in the degree that he makes his own hell is he helping to make one for all mankind.

You and I have the predominating characteristics of an optimist or the predominating characteristics of a pessimist. We then are making, hour by hour, our own heaven or our own hell; and in the degree that we are making the one or the other for ourselves are we helping make it for all the world beside.

The word heaven means harmony. The word hell is from the old English hell, meaning to build a wall around, to separate; to be helled was to be shut off from. Now if there is such a thing as harmony there must be that something one can be in right relations with; for to be in right relations with anything is to be in harmony with it. Again, if there is such a thing as being helled, shut off, separated from, there must be that something from which one is held, shut off or separated.

Now, we all know people who are either or optimists or pessimists, including ourselves. As for me, I am always pessimistically optimistic; meaning that that which I desire to materialize will do so with a hint that it also may not.

 

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