A toxic substance to be transformed
When you are distressed,* it is as though you had been injected with a toxic substance, and you must not just accept it and do nothing about it. Instead of waiting passively for the torment to disappear, you must work either to get rid of it or to transform it. A true magus is someone who has learned to treat every event that happens to him as raw material that he must craft. This is what makes him strong and powerful, whereas those who submit passively, without reacting, will face a lifetime of defeat. Our instincts and selfish impulses also represent raw material, and we must not just leave them in their primitive state; we must add a spiritual element to them. As matter is nothing but a condensation of energy, it is up to human beings to transform that energy. In doing so they enter the realm of alchemy and magic.
* Related reading: