THE PRINCIPAL OF MAN’S PASSIONS

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The passions were given to man and woman to use and when they are kept under control they give strength and beauty to us, but once they gain the mastery they will surely wreck and ruin the soul they were to serve.
Every person should understand that these powers have their origin in man and woman’s nature, but they are not evil of themselves; for it is only by indulging in a baneful manner or to excess that they become evil, for excess implies a perversion of the will. But the principal of all of man’s desires have been given to man for his good, that they may spur him unto the accomplishment of great things. It is only their abuse that does harm. No person should give himself up to sensuality, for unnatural venereal desires and unholy passions are like a horse that is useful when under control, but dangerous when it obtains the mastery. A passion, or desire, becomes pernicious the moment when you cease to govern it, and when it causes an injury to yourselves or to others.
The passions are levers that increase man’s powers tenfold, and aid him in the accomplishment of the designs of Providence; but if, instead of ruling them, he allows himself to be ruled by them, he falls into every sort of excess, and the same force which, held well in hand, would have been useful to him, falls upon and crushes him. All passions have their source in a natural sentiment or a natural want. They are, therefore, not evil in themselves, since they constitute one of the providentially appointed conditions of our existence. What is usually meant by “passion” is the exaggeration of a need or a sentiment. But this exaggeration is the excessive action of a motive power, and not the power itself; it is this excessive action which becomes an evil and leads to evil consequences of every kind.
“Every passion that brings man nearer to the nature of the animal takes him further from the spiritual nature.”
Every sentiment that raises man above the nature of the animals is evidence of the predominance of his spiritual nature over his animal nature and brings him nearer to perfection. Ordinarily a slight effort upon one’s part suffices to enable him to vanquish his evil tendencies. Indeed, very slight effort is often all that is needed if man will only use his will power, but it is sad to state that very few make any serious effort whatever to vanquish their evil passions, for if they would make but slight effort they would obtain efficacious help from the action of their own wills. The good spirits will also certainly come to his aid, for it is their mission to do so. The action and force of the passions are never so strong and violent that man or woman will be unable to overcome them or be powerless to withstand them. There are many who say “I WILL,” but whose will is only on their lips and who are not sorry that what they declare themselves to be an action of will does not take place. When a man is unable to vanquish his passions, it is because, through the defilement of his soul, he takes pleasure in yielding to them.
He who controls his passions comprehends his spiritual nature; he knows that every victory over them is a triumph of his spirit over the flesh.

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