Vigilance is of the Essence in the Art of Living
Carlos Cardoso Aveline
All that glitters is not gold.
Not everything that is presented as esoteric philosophy is so in fact, and not all that seems to be information – really informs.
An old handbook of military strategy – published by the middle of twentieth century – defines something that should be important to every journalist and citizen. It defines “information”, from the point of view of strategic affairs.
It says that “information is that knowledge which leads one to make better decisions”. All the rest can be variously classified as half-information, pseudo-information, disinformation, or even mere “noise”.
What the spiritual pilgrim needs is that kind of information which will allow him to make the best decisions he is innerly entitled to make. For that, he must observe the bits of “information” around him. Some of them will be toxic to his efforts to self-knowledge and self-liberation. Some will be useful. Different parts of them may be indifferent, slightly harmful, and moderately helpful.
Philosophy includes Life as a whole. There must be a philosophical view for every aspect of the world, and the philosophy of information tells us that we must pay attention to the amount and the quality of the news and reports which surround us, so that we can assess their real nature.
That information which awakens our inner and higher Self is like water in the desert. Its sources must be preserved.
Yet to this there are challenges. From UFOs to TV shows, from new movies to the latest facts in international politics, there are all kinds of “novelties” and “spectacular facts” around every citizen at each minute. These are ways by which outer life will lead one astray and distract his mind, if he but allows that to happen.
Consciousness, collective and individual, is a battleground where information, disinformation and noise serve different purposes and projects in life. Warfare at its causal level takes place in one’s consciousness, which is not and could not be separate from the consciousness of other beings. Vigilance is of the essence. Victory occurs in silence, and leads one to an intelligent life.
Epictetus – whom H.P. Blavatsky admired and quoted a few times – taught:
“Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle. Some things are within our control and some things are not. It is only after you have faced up to this fundamental rule and learned to distinguish between what you can and can’t control that inner tranquility and outer effectiveness become possible.” 
What is under our control is our own inner life, our actions – and the way we discharge our duties. That includes our duty to our immortal soul, our conscience, our monad, our higher self, to whom in fact we belong.
Childish souls believe intensity of life is in externalities. When the soul comes of age, though, it knows better. Self-responsibility leads one to take real decisions in life, based on solid information, and working with data whose quality has been tested and verified in each item.
 “The Art of Living”, Epictetus, a New Interpretation by Sharon Lebell, HarperSanFrancisco, 1995, 114 pp., see p. 3.