A great person is one living a destiny to its full, whereas a good person is simply unselfish, generous. Both amount to a life of service: one serving spirit and the other others. Rarely do they coincide: a great person needs all the energy they can garner so are often selfish and manipulative, whereas a good person often doesn't have the spirit for destiny and so settles on helping others.
Hope – this desire for a better future – can only transpire through sacrifice. This, if there is one, is the secret. And this is practice – the sacrifice of time and energy for the sake of realisation. The logic of sacrifice stems from the understanding that anything held onto holds me back, including understanding.
We use tension, primarily, to keep ourselves in the world yet separate from reality. And this is our all important distinction: the world as the set of all objects and their interactions, and reality as the energetic continuum that contains all worlds. (Reality always trivializes the worlds it contains.) Spiritual endeavor aims to experience reality, to relax into the continuum, to eventually leave the world and melt into the real. Our principles are just devices to help us achieve this.
"Imagination becomes reality." This phrase of Liang's, which my teacher objected to so strongly, perfectly sums up the rôle of thought in most of our lives – it strives to find a way of making fantasy real. Meditation, on the other hand, aims to relax the mind of thought so that energy rather than fantasy (imagination) can become the dominant medium for our mind and body.
Hope is an attitude – an openness – to that aspect of reality we call the future. It comes from a realisation that God's will, especially on the short term, is so easily obscured by my own coarse cupidity and anxiety. Hope is no hankering after reassurance, quite the opposite: hope simply offers the best environment for a destiny to unfold.