The Spirits' Book
Book Three - Moral Laws
Chapter V - IV. Law of Preservation
Voluntary Deprivations – Mortifications
726. If the suffering of this world elevates us, depending on how we bear it, are we elevated by that which we voluntarily create for ourselves?
“You can only be elevated by natural suffering, because they come from by God. Voluntary suffering is worthless when it is not useful to others. Do you think that those who shorten their lives by superhuman hardships, as practiced by the bonzes, fakirs, and fanatics of various religious groups, advance their progress by doing so? They should spend their time focused on doing good for their fellow human beings. They should clothe the naked, comfort those who cry, work for the disabled, and deprive themselves for the sake of the unfortunate, and then their lives will be useful and pleasing to God. When your experience voluntary suffering for yourself alone, it is selfishness. When you suffer for others, it is charity. These are the commandments of Christ.”