If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.
Suddenly it came to me, as a kind of new light, that I would no longer resist and struggle; I would accept the unavoidable. If it was in the nature of my disease, what else that was wise could I do? At first the torment, ravaging unrestrained, seemed even worse than before. It consumed me utterly. But I had a glimmering sense that I was at least playing a voluntary part in my own destiny; that, somehow, I was substituting reason for blind, involuntary, fear-driven resistance. This effort I continued through the greater part of one terrible night, failing often, unable to yield completely, driven by red-hot scourges into the old resistances. At dawn, in spite of the best medication the doctors knew, I was exhausted, but I began to feel that I was on the way toward what might be, for me, a new method. This I practiced faithfully and with increasing confidence for some time. I no longer resisted the inevitable! I am not sure that there was a great decrease in the actual physical suffering; I do know that the period of the paroxysm was reduced, since resistance seemed merely to prolong it. But the great reward was in the mind: in my own ability to command myself in the face of such a catastrophe; to preserve my equanimity; to rest securely upon reason when panic might so easily overwhelm me. I had moments in the midst of such paroxysms during the earlier nights when I was so secure in mind, so tranquil, that I felt it did not much matter what happened to my body. Nothing could touch me.
I have heard with admiring submission the experience of the lady who declared that the sense of being well-dressed gives a feeling of inward tranquility which religion is powerless to bestow. [Miss C. F. Forbes, (1817-1911).]
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)
Source: Lectures and Biographical Sketches. Social Aims
He who believes in God is not careful for the morrow, but labors joyfully and with a great heart. "For He giveth His beloved, as in sleep." They must work and watch, yet never be careful or anxious, but commit all to Him, and live in serene tranquility; with a quiet heart, as one who sleeps safely and quietly.
In every pain let this thought be present, that there is no dishonor in it, nor does it make the governing intelligence worse. Indeed, in the case of most pains, let this remark of Epicurus aid thee, that pain is neither intolerable nor everlasting - if thou bearest in mind that it has its limits, and if thou addest nothing to it in imagination. Pain is either an evil to the body (then let the body say what it thinks of it!)-or to the soul. But it is in the power of the soul to maintain its own serenity and tranquility, and not to think that pain is an evil. . . . It will suffice thee to remember as concerning pain . . . that the mind may, by stopping all manner of commerce and sympathy with the body, still retain its own tranquility.
Is your cucumber bitter? Throw it away. Are there briars in your path? Turn aside. That is enough. Do not go on and say, "Why were things of this sort ever brought into this world?" neither intolerable nor everlasting - if thou bearest in mind that it has its limits, and if thou addest nothing to it in imagination. Pain is either an evil to the body (then let the body say what it thinks of it!)-or to the soul. But it is in the power of the soul to maintain its own serenity and tranquility. . . .