Rosicrucian Writings Online


 By H. Spencer Lewis
[From Essays of A Modern Mystic]
BEFORE we speak of the ill effects of jealousy or how jealousy in the heart and mind of an individual can produce illness, let us analyze jealousy itself as an emotion or passion. First of all, we realize that it is not something that we can attribute exclusively to human beings. Jealousy, like love, is found among various species of animals. In some animals jealousy becomes a very treacherous thing or leads to the most treacherous of actions, breaking down all of the highly developed attributes in the animal which it has acquired through years of training at the hands of animal experts. In fact, animal trainers have told me that they have little fear of the most ferocious of animals so long as jealousy is never born in their hearts or minds and that once the emotion of jealousy is awakened all of the fine development of the higher qualities of the animal are annihilated. The animal returns in all of its mental activity and emotional expression to the most primitive state of its forebears.
There seems to be something of a destructive, explosive, uncontrollable, poisonous nature in the emotion of jealousy that knows no law, listens to no reason, and will not be restrained even when the effects are self-destructive. It is, therefore, one of the most powerful of all the destructive emotions possessed by animals who have the ability to do any form of reasoning or thinking. Jealousy is born out of desire and, therefore, is accompanied by or dependent upon some degree of analytical reasoning. But the reason is always erroneous, for it is based upon a false premise and is obsessional in its effect.
The desire out of which jealousy is born is the desire to possess. It is a strange fact that the highest emotion known to man and animal alike is that of love. The greatest good done by man is done through the impulses of love. However, love itself can create expressions of two very opposite passions, namely the passion to give and to share what one loves, and the passion to own, possess, and control that which one loves. The one passion is wholly unselfish, finding its pleasure and happiness in the joy and happiness of others. The other is purely selfish, even to the degree of being miserly and seeking no happiness or pleasure out of the desire but being willing to see others suffer and even to bring suffering upon oneself in order to satisfy the desire to possess.
We see in these facts that one form of love is purely harmonious with Cosmic law. Undoubtedly the highest and most sublime emotion of the divine consciousness of God is that of love. His love for men, His love for all things created by Him, has resulted in the establishment of laws and the action and reaction of these laws in a beneficial and bountiful manner whereby continuous blessings and benedictions are bestowed upon man. It is through God's unbounded love that we have life and all of the rich heritage that is ours throughout the universe. There is not the least restriction upon the dominating action of love throughout the universe. When this divine emotion reflects itself in the heart and mind of man it makes him unselfish, sympathetic, and joyful, for he too finds the greatest happiness in life through loving and sharing that love and by encouraging in others the desire to love and to share love.
In the material affairs of life this action manifests itself in the very broadly human tendency to want to have others love what we love and enjoy that which brings us happiness and creates love in our hearts. Most of the beautiful things created by man have been conceived and produced under the impulse of love--because of man's desire to share with others that which he loves that others may also love the same things.
Jealousy, on the other hand, is just a reversal of all this. It is born of a selfish desire to possess and to keep to oneself that which is loved or enjoyed or valued. The fire of jealousy is fanned into greater heat by the very thought that the thing which is loved is likely to be shared or enjoyed by others. Therefore, jealousy is not a part of love or the true opposite to the emotion of love. Hatred is the opposite of love, but even hatred will not have the reaction upon the individual physically and mentally that is sure to result from the harboring of jealousy in the human breast.
A person who is affected by the emotion of jealousy is constantly throwing the entire psychic and physical system of the human body out of harmony with Cosmic rhythm. This alone would be sufficient to produce ill health. But the continuation of this emotion leads to many forms of mental reactions and these reactions tend to break down the mental stability and integrity of the objective mind and brain functioning so that in addition to the effect upon the purely physical standard of the body the mind is also weakened in its integrity and resistance. To be jealous and to hold within the human breast the emotion of jealousy and allow it to express itself in any form (which it inevitably does) is surely to start the process of destruction in the physical and mental body of man. It is an insult to the object desired and to the love that is supposed to be the foundation of the jealousy.
When jealousy begins to manifest itself in destructive ways outwardly as, for instance, in attempting to destroy the object that is loved in order to remove any further expression of jealousy, the mind begins to weaken in its rationalism and in its ability to comprehend things in their true light. From this moment on the jealous person is "possessed of evil spirits" (by this we mean, that in truth he is controlled and dominated by one of the darkest forces of the world of evil). Real love is gracious and kind, bountiful, generous, and ever seeking to be harmonious with the universal love of God. It seeks not to possess the object of its love nor to limit it and restrict it in being loved and enjoyed by others, but finds happiness and peace in the knowledge that all enjoy that which is worthy of being loved.
Undoubtedly there is some degree of sincerity back of every expression of jealousy. It is most certainly true in those human relations in which love and jealousy are generally involved. When a man loves a woman deeply enough to have the emotion truly classified as love there can be no jealousy, for love is kind and harmonious and always unselfish. If the man seeks to own and control, possess and dominate the object of his love and becomes jealous because he cannot hold unto himself exclusively the object of his love, he is transmuting the goodness of his love into the evil of his selfish desires.
Any attempt to restrict love by dominating it and limiting it will be sure to destroy it, for love is extensive and ever-increasing. But it must be unselfish to remain free of the destructive elements. The same is true of a woman's love for man. These great emotions operating within the human body are always of two classifications: those which are harmonious with and a part of the Cosmic laws and principles and those which are contrary to them and are of the worldly kingdom. Until man rises above the one and attains glorification in the other, he cannot be truly happy and approach a spiritual kingdom.

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