According to the Flesh

"For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die." Paul (Romans, 8:13)

To the one who lives according to the flesh, that is, in conformance with the inferior impulses, the station of terrestrial struggle is no more than an empty series of events.

At each moment, limitation shall be an incessant phantom to him.

An overwhelmed brain due to negative concepts will encounter death at each step.

For the conscience that had the misfortune to hold on to such dark concepts, the human existence will not be more than a sad comedy.

Through the suffering, the cause of despair will be identified.

Through the work, destined for his spiritual purification, he feels the climate of revolt.

He will not be able to rely on the blessing of love, because, in face of his own personal appreciation, the ties of affection are simple mechanical accidents of his eventual desires.

Pain, which is the benefactor and preserver of the world, becomes intolerable; discipline becomes a prison of anguish, and service to others a difficult humiliation.

He is never forgiving, nor does he know how to renounce. He hates to cede to anyone, and when he is helpful he expects the servitude of a slave in return.

Wretched is the individual that lives, breaths, and acts according to the flesh. The conflicts of possession torment his heart for an indefinite length of time, with the same heat of savage life.

But "woe be unto him" because the renovating hour will always resound! If he escaped the atmosphere of immortality, if he asphyxiated the aspiration of his own soul, if he evaded the healthy exercise of suffering, if he increased appetites and pleasures by absolute integration with the "inferior side of life," what could he expect at the end of the physical body, except the grave, shadow and impossibility into the cruel night?

XAVIER, Francisco Cândido. Our Daily Bread. By the Spirit Emmanuel. Spititist Alliance for Books, 2003. Chapter 78.