If he catches himself criticizing his critics, being indignant with those who oppose him or despondent because others have denounced him, he ought to pull himself up sharply. Instead, let him enter into their shoes for a few moments to understand why they dislike or attack him as they do, and then to give their attitude his mental sympathy for these few moments. Their statements about him may be totally false or quite true, somewhat exaggerated or wilfully distorted. Nevertheless, let him continue to step imaginatively into their shoes. This attempt will not be easy and an inner struggle will probably be unavoidable before he can bring himself to make it. He is not asked to endorse their attitude or approve the emotions which give rise to it, but only to practise this useful exercise for developing tolerance and diminishing egoism. Even if the others have tried to bolster up their own egos by deriding his, the activity may seem pleasant but will prove unprofitable. For not only does it break any harmonious relation with him, but it poisons their own psyches. Thus they punish themselves. Why should he let resentment drag him into the same error? On the contrary, they offer a chance to deny his ego, to exalt his ethical outlook, and to shift his emotional centre of gravity from the negative pole to the positive one. Let him regard them as his tutors, possibly his benefactors. Let him take these episodes as chances both to do needed work on himself and to refuse to identify himself with negative emotions. They are to be used for present instruction and future guidance. Thus he lifts himself out of his personal ego, actually denying himself as Jesus bids him do.
Until it becomes perfectly natural and quite instinctive for him to react in this philosophic manner to every provocation, temptation, or irritation, he needs to continue the inner work upon himself. He needs to drill himself every day in those particular qualities in which he is deficient. Each new problem in his relations with others must be accepted also as a problem in his own development, if the foregoing is to be practised. But after that has been done and not before, since it is an indispensable prerequisite, he may dismiss the problem altogether and rise to the ultimate view, where infinite goodness and calm alone reign and where there are no problems at all.
-- Notebooks Category 6: Emotions and Ethics > Chapter 5: Spiritual Refinement > # 359