Resignation is the outcome of the soul’s evolution, for it is the result of either love or wisdom. In the first place, a person has a free will, but their power is too small in comparison to the all-mighty power of God. The will of God may be expressed through more powerful individuals, or conditions that cannot be helped, or through many other things. Resignation does not mean to give up a thing. Resignation means to be contented in giving up; to be resigned means a satisfaction in self-denial. Self-denial cannot be a virtue when it comes as a result of helplessness and culminates in dissatisfaction. The nature of an unevolved ego is to resent everything that comes up in life as a hindrance on the path of accomplishing a certain object. When a person accepts becoming resigned in the face of a difficulty, and, at the same time, it gives them satisfaction, they, without having accomplished their purpose, have risen above it. In this way even the defeat of a truly resigned soul is in truth success.
Resignation is a quality of the saintly souls. It is bitter in taste, but sweet in result. Whatever be the power and position of a person, they have always to meet with a more powerful will, in whatever form it manifests. In truth, this is the Divine Will. By standing against the Divine Will, a person may break themselves, but by being resigned to the Divine Will they make a way. For resignation has the manner of water. If there is anything standing in its way, it takes another path, yet it runs along and makes its way so that it meets the ocean in the end. Such is the way of the saintly souls, who tread the path of resignation, yet keep self-will alive. That will has the power to make its way. A person who is resigned by nature becomes in the end a consolation to themself and a happiness to others. Resignation is not necessarily weakness or laziness or cowardice or lack of enthusiasm. Resignation is only the expression of mastery over oneself. The tendency to resign to the will of another, or to conditions, does not always work to the disadvantage of the resigned one. It sometimes may prove to be profitless, but the benefit of such a virtue is realized in the end. It is the lack of the power of endurance that causes souls to not be ready to resign, for they cannot endure their pain, they cannot sustain their loss.
Resigned individuals practise resignation even in the small things of everyday life. They avoid using unnecessarily the power of will in every little thing they do. Resignation is passivity, and it shows sometimes as being disadvantageous in the life of an active person who has an object before them to accomplish. However, it may be understood that continual activity with power and energy given to it very often results in disaster. Every activity is balanced by passivity. A person must be active when it is time to be active, and passive when the conditions necessitate passivity. It is in this manner that success in life is attained, and happiness, which is the seeking of every soul, is gained.
The truth of this can be seen in the life of the child as it can be seen in that of the grown-up person. As soon as the child becomes attracted to an object, they know that they want it. If they are denied that object, the child is dissatisfied. As the child grows, they learn resignation through their evolution in life. That is the difference between an un-ripened soul and a soul advanced in the path of wisdom. The ripened soul shows in its nature the power of resignation that has been developed.
August 4, 1923
CW 1923 Vol. II, pp. 288-290.