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II. The Seven Laws of Soul or Group Life - Part 2

 

It would be well to remember that we are not considering here that aspect of the second ray which is peculiarly concerned with form, and which constitutes the cohering, magnetic [110] agent in any form, whether atom, man or solar system.  We are not here concerned with the relation between forms, even though due (as is essentially the case) to second ray energy.  Nor are we occupied with considering the relation of soul to form, either that of the One Soul to the many forms, or of an individualised soul to its imprisoning form.  The laws we are considering are concerned entirely with inter-soul relationship, and with the synthesis underlying the forms.  They govern the conscious contact existing between the many aspects of the One Soul. I have expressed this phrase with care.

This Law of Magnetic Impulse governs the relation, the interplay, the intercourse, and the interpenetration between the seven groups of souls on the higher levels of the mental plane which constitute the first of the major form differentiations.  These we can only study intelligently from the angle of the seven ray groups, as they compose the spiritual aspect of the human family.  This law governs also the relationships between souls, who, whilst in manifestation through form, are en rapport with each other.  It is a law, therefore, which concerns the inter-relation of all souls within the periphery of what the Christians call "the Kingdom of God."  Through a right understanding of this law, the man arrives at a knowledge of his subjective life; he can wield power subjectively, and thus work consciously in form and with form, yet holding his polarisation and his consciousness in another dimension, and functioning actively behind the scenes.  This law concerns those inner esoteric activities which are not primarily related to form life.

This law is of major importance because of the fact that Deity itself is on the second ray; because this is a second ray solar system, and therefore all rays and the varying states or groupings of consciousness, and all forms, in or out of physical [111] manifestation, are coloured and dominated by this ray, and therefore again finally controlled by this law.  The Law of Magnetic Impulse is in the soul realm what the Law of Attraction is in the world of phenomena.  It is, in reality, the subjective aspect of that Law.  It is the Law of Attraction as it functions in the kingdom of souls, but because it is functioning on those levels where the "great heresy of separateness" is not to be found, it is difficult for us—with our active, discriminating minds—to understand its implications and its significance.  This Law governs the soul realm, to it the Solar Angels respond, and under its stimulation, the egoic lotuses unfold.  It could perhaps be best understood if it is considered as—

a. The impulsive interplay between souls in form and out of form.

b. The basis of egoic recognition.

c. The factor which produces reorientation in the three worlds.

d. The cause of the magnetic rapport between a Master and His group, or a Master and His disciple.

It has an occult name, and we call it "the Law of Polar Union."  Yet when I say to you that this implies the binding of the pairs of opposites, the fusion of the dualities, and the marriage of souls, I have uttered meaningless words, or words which—at the best—embody an ideal which is so closely tied up with material things in the mind of the aspirant, and so connected with the processes of detachment (at which disciples work so strenuously!) that I despair of presenting the truth as it concerns souls and soul relationships.

This law governs also the relation of the soul of a group to the soul of other groups.  It governs the interplay, vital but unrealised yet as a potency, between the soul of the [112] fourth kingdom in nature, the human, and the soul of the three subhuman kingdoms, and likewise that of the three superhuman kingdoms.  Owing to the major part which humanity has to play in the great scheme or Plan of God, this is the law which will be the determining law of the race.  This will not, however, be the case until the majority of human beings understand something of what it means to function as a soul.  Then, under obedience to this law, humanity will act as a transmitter of light, energy and spiritual potency to the subhuman kingdoms, and will constitute a channel of communication between "that which is above and that which is below."  Such is the high destiny before the race.

Just as certain human beings have, through meditation, discipline and service, most definitely made a contact with their own souls, and can therefore become channels for soul expression, and mediums for the distribution into the world of soul energy, so men and women, who are oriented to soul living in their aggregate, form a group of souls, en rapport with the source of spiritual supply.  They have, as a group, and from the angle of the Hierarchy, established a contact and are "in touch" with the world of spiritual realities.  Just as the individual disciple stabilises this contact and learns to make a rapid alignment and then, and only then, can come into touch with the Master of his group and intelligently respond to the Plan, so does this group of aligned souls come into contact with certain greater Lives and Forces of Light, such as the Christ and the Buddha.  The aggregated aspiration, consecration and intelligent devotion of the group carries the individuals of which it is composed to greater heights than would be possible alone.  The group stimulation and the united effort sweep the entire group to an intensity of realisation that would otherwise be impossible.  Just as the Law [113] of Attraction, working on the physical plane, brought them together as men and women into one group effort, so the Law of Magnetic Impulse can begin to control them when, again as a group and only as a group, they unitedly constitute themselves channels for service in pure self-forgetfulness.

This thought embodies the opportunity immediately before all groups of aspirants and allied men of good will in the world today.  If they work together as a group of souls, they can accomplish much.  This thought illustrates also the significance of this law which does produce polar union.  What is needed to be grasped is that in this work, there is no personal ambition implied, even of a spiritual nature and no personal union sought.  This is not the mystical union of the scriptures or of the mystical tradition.  It is not alignment and union with a Master's group, or fusion with one's inner band of pledged disciples, nor even with one's own Ray life.  All these factors constitute preliminary implications and are of an individual application.  Upon this sentence I ask you to ponder.  This union is a greater and more vital thing because it is a group union.

What we are seeking to do is to carry forward a group endeavor which is of such moment that, at the right time, it could produce, in its growing momentum, such a potent, magnetic impulse that it will reach those Lives Who brood over humanity and our civilisation, and Who work through the Masters of the Wisdom and the assembled Hierarchy.  This group endeavor will call forth from Them a responsive and magnetic impulse, which will bring together, through the medium of all the aspiring groups, the overshadowing beneficent Forces.  Through the concentrated effort of these groups in the world today (who constitute subjectively One Group) light and inspiration and spiritual revelation can be released in such a flood of power that it will work definite changes [114] in the human consciousness and help to ameliorate conditions in this needy world.  It will open men's eyes to the basic realities, which are, as yet, only dimly sensed by the thinking public.  Humanity itself must apply the necessary correctives, believing it can do so in the strength of its own sensed wisdom and strength; yet all the time, behind the scenes, stand the grouped world aspirants, working silently, in unison with each other and the Hierarchy, and thus keeping the channel open through which the needed wisdom, strength and love can flow.

There are, therefore, to be found in this great task the following relations and groupings.  These must be considered, and are as follows:

1. The Forces of Light and the Spirit of Peace, embodied Lives of tremendous group potency.

2. The Planetary Hierarchy.

3. The Buddha.

4. The Christ.

5. The New Group of World Servers.

6. Humanity.

You will note that the Buddha focusses in Himself the downpouring forces, whilst the Christ focusses in Himself the outgoing demand and the spiritual aspirations of the entire planet.  This makes a planetary alignment of great potency.  Should the needed work be accomplished, the needed adjustments in the world can be made.  The success or failure lies largely in the hands of those scattered but spiritually aligned men and women whom we call the New Group of World Servers.

In the above tabulation, there is portrayed a little of what is implied in the words "The Law of Polar Union."  The whole process concerns consciousness, and the results worked [115] out in consciousness, with the subsequent physical plane happenings, dependent upon the conscious realisations of the men of good will in, or out of, the New Group of World Servers.

This work, carried forward successfully and intelligently, should make it possible to inaugurate a new relation between the Hierarchy and mankind.  This effort could mark (and let us hope it will) the beginning of a new type of mediatory work—a work carried forward by a salvaging group of servers, who are in training for the establishing of that group which will eventually save the world under the Law of Sacrifice.  This mediatory work, however, involves the recognition of the Law of Magnetic Impulse, and a desire to understand it, and to cooperate with Those Who wield it.  Through its medium and the right understanding of the Law, it should be possible to establish the needed union between the liberated souls (who are in themselves the symbol of the Soul in all forms) and the souls in prison.  Much of the success of this planned endeavor depends upon the intellectual grasp of the members of the New Group of World Servers in connection with the necessary technique.  It will depend also upon their willingness to accept the idea of the opportunity, and upon their readiness to work along the indicated lines.  They have no guarantee as to the accuracy of claims made regarding the importance of this period, nor have they any personal knowledge of the situation as it is here described.  Some do not even know that there is a watching Hierarchy, but they are consecrated and selfless souls, and as such, belong to the New Group of World Servers.  If they can aspire, pray, meditate and serve, focussing always in unison with all other servers, the salvaging of humanity will go forward with much greater speed than heretofore, and to this call many will respond.

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For the individual disciple, the significance of this Law of Magnetic Impulse and the corresponding relationships in his own life might also be shown in tabulated form:—

1. The world of souls on the higher mental levels.

2. The Master of his group.

3. The solar angel.

4. The aspiring disciple on the lower mental levels.

5. The personality, integrated and often troublesome.

6. The aspirant's environing associates.

It is useful for students to have these analogies in mind, for they can often arrive at release from the limitations of their lives and at a truer comprehension of the larger issues, when they see that their little, unimportant lives are only the reflection of greater and more important factors.

It is wise always to remember that on the plane of soul existence there is no separation, no "my soul and thy soul."  It is only in the three worlds of illusion and of maya that we think in terms of souls and bodies.  This is an occult platitude and well known, but the re-emphasis of the well known truth will sometimes serve to bring home to you its exactitude.

The second illustration which may perhaps make clearer the meaning and purpose of this law, and which will be of deep interest to esotericists, is to be found in connection with the symbol that specifies this law in the sacred records and in the archives of the Lodge.  It is the symbol of the two balls of fire and the triangle.  This has not only a planetary and cosmic significance, but has a very definite relation to the individual unfoldment (in the physical body) of the spiritual life of the disciple.  Let me put it very simply.  Students know that there are in the head two centres, the ajna centre and the head centre,—two balls of fire, symbolic of the fiery [117] consciousness of the soul, and not of the animal consciousness of the body.

These two centres (externalised by the two glands, the pineal gland and the pituitary body) become vibrant and alive and intensely active, through service and meditation and right aspiration.  A line of contact between them is eventually set up and established with increasing potency.  There is also another line of outgoing fiery power toward the top of the spinal column.  As the life of the soul gets stronger, the radiance of the centres increases, and the periphery of their sphere of influence is set up, creating a dual magnetic field.  Speaking esoterically they are "magnetically impelled towards each other" and towards the stored up energy to be found in the spine, and localised in the five centres up the spine.  Eventually the interplay is so powerful that a triangle of force appears within the radius of the magnetic field, and this triangle of light, of living fire, links the three "laya centres."  The symbol is then completed, and the indication is that the disciple is now controlled by the subjective side of his nature.  He is now governed by the Law of Magnetic Impulse (as the linking of the head centres demonstrates) and the two aspects of his nature, higher and lower, which constitute the two poles with which he is concerned, are now united.  The polar union has been brought about.  The subject of this magnetic interplay offers food for thought and indicates the way of group, and of individual service.  As the individual aspirants lose sight of self in service, and as they arrive at the stage of indifference to personality claims and happenings, they learn to cherish a spirit of confidence, of joy and of love, deep and lasting, for each other; they learn to work together whole-heartedly for the helping of the world and the assistance of the Hierarchy.

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3. The Law of Service

 

No.

Exoteric
   Name

Esoteric
  
 Name


Symbol

Ray Energy

3.

Law of Service.

Law of water
and the fishes.

A man with a
   pot of water

Outpouring  
Energy Sixth Ray.
  . Vivifying Life

 

We come now to the consideration of the third Law of the Soul, which is intended to govern all soul activity.  It is the Law of Service.  However, before we elaborate this theme, there are three things which I seek to say and which merit our careful attention.

First, is the fact that the result of all contact achieved in meditation and the measure of our success, will be determined by the ensuing service to the race.  If there is right understanding, there will necessarily be right action.

It has previously been pointed out that the three great sciences which will come to the fore in the New Age, and which will lead humanity from the unreal to the real, and from aspiration to realisation are

1. The science of Meditation, the coming science of the mind.

2. The science of Antaskarana, or the science of the bridging which must take place between higher and lower mind.

3. The science of Service, which is a definite technique of at-one-ment.

We shall now consider the broad outlines of this science, for it is the major releasing factor in the disciple's life.

Secondly, this Law of Service is something which may not be escaped.  Evasion brings its penalties, if that evasion is conscious.  Ability to serve marks a definite stage of advance upon the Path, and until that stage is reached, spontaneous [119] service, rendered in love and guided by wisdom, cannot be given.  What is found up to that time is good intention, mixed motives, and oft fanaticism.  This we will later elucidate.

This law is the imposition upon the planetary rhythm of certain energies and impulses which emanate from that sign of the zodiac into which we are steadily moving.  Therefore, there is no escape.  It is the effect of this force which, in some countries, is regimenting the masses in such a way that the individual serves the group by a forced negation of his personal self.  His own ideas, his own personal well being and his own individuality are subordinated to the whole, and he is rendered relatively futile from the angle of his soul unfoldment.  He is forced to conform, willingly or unwillingly to group conditions.  This is one of the lowest manifestations of the impact of this law upon the human consciousness.  In its highest expression, we have the service rendered upon the planet in all the kingdoms of nature by the Hierarchy of Masters.  Between these two extreme expressions, there is a vast distinction, but both are equally brought about by response (the one consciously rendered and the other unconsciously directed) to the Law of Service.

Thirdly this Law of Service was expressed for the first time fully by the Christ two thousand years ago.  He was the forerunner of the Aquarian Age, and hence His constant emphasis upon the fact that He was the "water of life", the "living water" which men needed.  Hence the esoteric name of this law is that of "water and the fishes."  The Piscean age slowly, very slowly, prepared the way for the divine expression of service, which will be the glory of the coming centuries.  Today, we have a world which is steadily coming to the realisation that "no man liveth unto himself", and that only as the love, about which so much has been written and [120] spoken, finds its outlet in service, can man begin to measure up to his innate capacity.

The sign for the Aquarian Age is that of a man, carrying on his shoulders a jar of water so full that it pours over to all and sundry, and yet it diminishes not.  The sign for this Law of Service is very similar, but the difference lies in this; that the man stands, perfectly balanced in the form of a cross, with arms stretched out and with the water pot upon his head.  In this difference there lies much of real significance.  The jar of water, posed upon the shoulders, is a sign of the burden of service.  It is not easy to serve.  Man is today only beginning to learn how to serve.  The jar of water upon the head of the man, who has been upon the cross of sacrifice for so long a time that the position has become to him perfectly natural, indicates that the cross, which has upheld him for so long, has now disappeared.  The man with the water jar upon his head indicates to us poise, equilibrium and balance.  For this balance, the understanding of the Law of Magnetic Impulse has prepared him.  That is the Law of Polar Union and its symbol is the originator of the zodiacal sign for the constellation Libra—balance and service.  These are the two expressions of Divinity which are, today, man's next great objective.

Service is usually interpreted as exceedingly desirable and it is seldom realised how very difficult service essentially is.  It involves so much sacrifice of time and of interest and of one's own ideas, it requires exceedingly hard work, because it necessitates deliberate effort, conscious wisdom, and the ability to work without attachment.  These qualities are not easy of attainment by the average aspirant, and yet today the tendency to serve is an attitude which is true of a vast majority of the people in the world.  Such has been the success of the evolutionary process.

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Service is frequently regarded as an endeavor to bring people around to the point of view of the one who serves, because what the would-be server has found to be good and true and useful, must necessarily be good and true and useful for all.  Service is viewed as something we render to the poor, the afflicted, the diseased and the unhappy, because we think we want to help them, little realising that primarily this help is offered because we ourselves are made uncomfortable by distressing conditions, and must therefore endeavor to ameliorate those conditions in order ourselves to be comfortable again.  The act of thus helping releases us from our misery, even if we fail to release or relieve the sufferers.

Service is frequently an indication of a busy and overactive temperament, or of a self-satisfied disposition, which leads its possessor to a strenuous effort to change situations, and make them what he feels they should be, thus forcing people to conform to that which the server feels should be done.

Or again, service can grow out of a fanatical desire to tread in the footsteps of the Christ, that great Son of God Who "went about doing good", leaving an example that we should follow in His footsteps.  People, therefore, serve from a sense of obedience, and not from a spontaneous outgoing towards the needy.  The essential quality for service is, therefore, lacking, and from the start they fail to do more than make certain gestures.  Service can likewise be rendered from a deep seated desire for spiritual perfection.  It is regarded as one of the necessary qualifications for discipleship and, therefore, if one is to be a disciple, one must serve.  This theory is correct, but the living substance of service is lacking.  The ideal is right and true and meritorious, but the motive behind it all is entirely wrong.  Service can also be rendered because [122] it is becoming increasingly the fashion and the custom to be occupied with some form of service.  The tide is on.  Everybody is actively serving in welfare movements, in philanthropic endeavors, in Red Cross work, in educational uplifts, and in the task of ameliorating distressing world conditions.  It is fashionable to serve in some way.  Service gives a sense of power; service brings one friends; service is a form of group activity, and frequently brings far more to the server (in a worldly sense) than to the served.

And yet, in spite of all this which indicates wrong motives and false aspiration, service of a kind is constantly and readily being rendered.  Humanity is on its way to a right understanding of services; it is becoming responsive to this new law and is learning to react to the steadily imposing will of that great Life who informs the constellation Aquarius, just as our solar Logos informs our solar system and our planetary Logos informs our earth planet.

The idea of service is, at this time, the major idea to be grasped for (in grasping it) we open ourselves wide to the new incoming influences.  The Law of Service is the expression of the energy of a great Life, who, in cooperation with Him "in Whom we live and move and have our being", is subjecting the human family to certain influences and streams of energy which will eventually do three things:—

1. Awaken the heart centre in all aspirants and disciples.

2. Enable emotionally polarised humanity to focus intelligently in the mind.

3. Transfer the energy of the solar plexus into the heart.

This unfolding of what we might call "the consciousness of the heart" or the development of true feeling is the first step towards group awareness.  This group awareness and this [123] identification with the feeling aspect of all groups is the quality which leads to service—a service to be rendered as the Masters render it, and as the Christ demonstrated it for us in Galilee.

a. SOME QUESTIONS ON SERVICE

Therefore, the service rendered today is what it is because the response of men to these new Aquarian influences is being registered at present in the astral body and is working out through the solar plexus.  This accounts for the emotional nature of most of the service rendered in the world at this time; it is responsible for the hatred engendered by those who react sensitively to suffering and who, because of their emotional identification with suffering, lay the blame for the distressing conditions encountered upon a person or a group of persons.  It is responsible also for the generally unsatisfactory nature of much of that which is now being done to relieve conditions.  It is unsatisfactory from the higher angle of the soul.

When, however, the service rendered is based upon a mental response to humanity's need, then the whole problem is lifted out of the veil of illusion and out of the valley of the world glamour.  Then the impulses to serve are registered in the heart centre and not in the solar plexus, and when this is more generally the case, then we shall have a happier and more successful demonstration of service.

In this Treatise I seek to be intensely practical, for this new science of service must be based on right foundations and on sound understanding.  Perhaps the simplest way in which I can handle a theme so new and yet so hackneyed is by formulating certain questions and then answering them as fully and as concisely as possible.

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1. How do we define the word "service"?

2. What is the field of this science and why do we call it a science?

3. What are the characteristics of the true server?

4. What effect does service have?

a. On the mind?

b. On the emotions?

c. On the etheric body?

5. Does this science prove that the seven key or ray types employ distinctive methods in their service?

The consideration of these questions will enable me to do three things:

1. Show in my answers to each question that service is not a sentiment or an ideal, but that it is an effect and a scientific procedure at the same time.

2. Indicate the need today for the right understanding of a technique which, when applied by the New Group of World Servers, will lead humanity into the world of true meaning and of real values.  I will seek to show how the New Group of World Servers will work.

3. Give some idea of how certain groups of the Masters of the Wisdom serve upon our planet at this time.

In answering these questions, we will proceed to take them one by one.

How do we define the word "Service"?

The definition of this word is not easy.  There has been too much attempt to define it from the angle of personality knowledge.  Service can be briefly defined as the spontaneous effect of soul contact.  This contact is so definite and fixed that the life of the soul can pour through into the instrument [125] which the soul must perforce use upon the physical plane.  It is the manner whereby the nature of that soul can demonstrate in the world of human affairs.  Service is not a quality or a performance; it is not an activity towards which people must strenuously strive, nor is it a method of world salvage.  This distinction must be clearly grasped, or else our whole attitude to this momentous demonstration of the success of the evolutionary process in humanity will be at fault.  Service is a life demonstration.  It is a soul urge, and is as much an evolutionary impetus of the soul as the urge to self-preservation or to the reproduction of the species is a demonstration of the animal soul.  This is a statement of importance.  It is a soul instinct, if we may use such an inadequate expression and is, therefore, innate and peculiar to soul unfoldment.  It is the outstanding characteristic of the soul, just as desire is the outstanding characteristic of the lower nature.  It is group desire, just as in the lower nature it is personality desire.  It is the urge to group good.  It cannot, therefore, be taught or imposed upon a person as a desirable evidence of aspiration, functioning from without and based upon a theory of service.  It is simply the first real effect, evidenced upon the physical plane, of the fact that the soul is beginning to express itself in outer manifestation.

Neither theory nor aspiration will or can make a man a real server.  How then is it that there is so much activity in service demonstrating in the world today?

Simply because the life, words and deeds of the worlds first Great Server, of the One Who came to make clear to us what service essentially is, has necessarily had an effect, and men today are earnestly attempting to imitate His example, little realising that imitation does not net them the true results, but only indicates to them a growing possibility.

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All these laws of the Soul (and the Law of Service is no exception) manifest inevitably in two ways.  First, there is their effect upon the individual.  This occurs when the soul has been definitely contacted and the mechanism of the soul begins to respond.  Evidence of this should work out now among the esoteric students, scattered over the world, for they have reached a point where the true server can emerge from their ranks, and give evidence of an established soul contact.  Secondly, these soul laws are beginning to have a group effect in humanity itself, and to influence the race of men as a whole.  This effect is somewhat in the nature of a reflection in the lower nature of a higher consciousness, and therefore today we have much running after service, and much philanthropic effort.  All of it is, however, deeply coloured by personality, and it often produces much harm, for people seek to impose their ideas of service and their personal techniques upon other aspirants.  They may have become sensitive to impression, but they oft-times misinterpret the truth and are biassed by personality ends.  They must learn to lay the emphasis upon soul contact and upon an active familiarity with the egoic life, and not upon the form side of service.  May I beg those of you who respond to these ideas and are sensitive to soul impression (oft-times misinterpreting the truth, being biassed by personality ends) to lay the emphasis upon soul contact and not upon the form side of service.  Activity of the form side lays stress upon personality ambition, veiling them with the glamour of service.  If care over the essential of service—soul contact—is taken, then the service rendered will flow with spontaneity along the right lines and bear much fruit.  Of this, the selfless service and the deep flow of spiritual life, which have been demonstrated in the world work of late, is a hopeful indication.

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What is the field of this science, and why do we call it a science.

The next point to consider is the field of this service, and its nature as a science.  The field of service, first of all, demonstrates as the life of the Spirit, working within the region of a man's own nature.  The first thing the soul has to do when contact has been made and the man knows it in his brain consciousness and owing to the active impression of the mind, is to make the man aware that he is a living principle of divinity, and then to prepare the lower threefold nature so that it can automatically submit to the Law of Sacrifice.  Then it will offer no impediment to the life which must and will pour through it.  This is the first and hardest task, and with this task the aspirants of the world are at this time engaged.  This indicates, does it not, the point of evolution reached by the majority?  When the rhythm of this law has been imposed and the natural impetus of the man in incarnation is to be an expression of the soul, and when this rhythm can be established as a natural daily expression, the man begins to "stand in spiritual being" and the life which pours through him, gently and naturally, will then have an effect upon his environment and his associates.  This effect can then be called a "life of service "

Too much emphasis has been laid upon the process whereby the lower nature is to be subjugated to the higher Law of Service, and the idea of sacrifice, in its worst implications, has been developed.  This idea emphasises the necessary and inevitable clashing between the lower nature, working under its own laws, and the higher aspects as they work under the spiritual laws.  Then the sacrifice of the lower to the higher assumes great proportions, and the word becomes quite suitable.  There is sacrifice.  There is suffering.  There is a painful [128] process of detachment.  There is a long effort to let the life flow through, whilst steadily the personality throws up one barrier and obstruction after another.  This stage and attitude we can view with sympathy and understanding, for there are those who have so much theory about service and its expression that they fail to serve and also fail to comprehend with understanding the period of pain which ever precedes enlarged service.  Their theories block the way to true expression and shut the door on real comprehension.  The mind element is too active.

When the personal lower self is subordinated to the higher rhythms and obedient to the new Law of Service, then the life of the soul will begin to flow through the man to others, and the effect in a man's immediate family and group will be to demonstrate a real understanding and a true helpfulness.  As the flow of life becomes stronger through use, the effect will spread out from the small surrounding family group to the neighborhood.  A wider range of contacts becomes possible, until eventually (if several lives have been thus spent under the influence of the Law of Service) the effect of the outpouring life may become nationwide and worldwide.  But it will not be planned, nor will it be fought for, as an end in itself.  It will be a natural expression of the soul's life, taking form and direction according to a man's ray and past life expression; it will be coloured and ordered by environing conditions,—by time, by period, by race and age.  It will be a living flow, and a spontaneous giving forth, and the life, power and love demonstrated, being sent forth from soul levels, will have a potent, attractive force upon the group units with which the disciple may come in contact in the three worlds of soul expression.  There are no other worlds wherein the soul may at this time thus express itself.  Nothing can stop or arrest the potency of this life of natural, loving [129] service, except in those cases wherein the personality gets in the way.  Then service, as the Teachers on the inner side of life understand it, gets distorted and altered into busy-ness.  It becomes changed into ambition, into an effort to make others serve as we think service should be rendered, and into a love of power which hinders true service instead of into love of our fellow men.  There is a point of danger in every life when the theory of service is grasped, and the higher law is recognised; then the imitative quality of the personality, its monkey nature, and the eagerness of a high grade aspiration can easily mistake theory for reality, and the outer gestures of a life of service for the natural, spontaneous flow of soul life through its mechanism of expression.

The need for an increasing subtlety of discrimination is constant, and all dedicated students are urged to take stock of themselves at this time.  They face a new cycle of service and must avail themselves of a new day of opportunity.  There is a great need to stand in spiritual being; where there is this poised standing, there will be no need for others to incite one to service.  Let the "Forces of Light" flow through, and the ranks of the world servers will be rapidly filled.  Let the "Spirit of Peace" use the lower nature as an instrument, and there will be peace and harmony within the personal field of service.  Let the "Spirit of Good Will" dominate our minds and there will be no room for the spirit of criticism and the spreading of destructive discussion.  It is for this reason and in order to develop a group of servers who can work along true and spiritual lines, that there must be increasing emphasis upon the need for Harmlessness.  Harmlessness prepares the way for the inflow of life; harmlessness dissipates the obstructions to the free outpouring of love; harmlessness is the key to the release of the lower nature from the grip of the world illusion and from the power of phenomenal existence.

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We have expressed our belief that one of the major sciences of the coming age will be built up around the active rendering of service.  We have used the word "Science" because service, as a spiritual quality, will rapidly be recognised as the phenomenal expression of an inner reality, and along the line of a right understanding of service will come much revelation as to the nature of the soul.  Service is a method of producing phenomenal outer and tangible results upon the physical plane; I call your attention to this as an evidence of its creative quality.  By right of this creative quality, service will eventually be regarded as a world science.  It is a creative urge, a creative impulse, a creative momentous energy.  This creativity of service has already been vaguely recognized in the world of human affairs under varying names, such as the science of vocational training.  Recognition of the impetus coming from a right understanding of social relations and their study is not lacking.  Much is also being studied along this same line in connection with criminology and the right handling of the youth of any nation and national group.

Service is, par excellence, the technique of correct group relations, whether it be the right guidance of an anti-social child in a family, the wise assimilation of a trouble-maker in a group, the handling of anti-social groups in our big cities, the correct technique to be employed in child guidance in our educational centres or the relation between the religious and political parties, or between nation and nation.  All of this is part of the new and growing Science of Service.  The imposition of this soul law will eventually bring light into a distracted world, and release human energies in right directions.  It is not here possible to do more than indicate this briefly.  The theme is too large, for it includes the awakening of the spiritual consciousness with its responsibilities, and the welding of the individual into an awakened group; it involves [131] the imposition also of a newer and a higher rhythm upon world affairs.  This constitutes, therefore, a definitely scientific endeavor and warrants the attention of the best minds.  It should also eventually call forth the consecrated effort of the world disciples.

What are the characteristics of the true server?

These characteristics can be easily and briefly noted.  They are not exactly what one may have been led to believe.  I am not here speaking of the qualifications required for the treading of the Path of Discipleship or the Probationary Path.  These are well known.  They are the platitudes of the spiritual life, and constitute the battleground, or the Kurukshetra of most aspirants.  We are here concerned with those qualities which will emerge when a man is working under the impulse of the Law of Service.  They will appear when he is a real channel for the life of the soul.  His major characteristics will then be three in number:—

1. He will be distinguished, as might be expected, by the quality of harmlessness, and by an active refraining from those acts and that speech which might hurt or cause any misunderstanding.  By no word, suggestion, implication, innuendo or voiced dissatisfaction will he hurt his group.  You will note that I do not say "will not hurt any individual."  Those working under the Law of Service need no reminder not to hurt any individual.  They often need, under the exuberance of spiritual stimulation and the intensity of their aspiration, to be reminded to demonstrate group harmlessness.

2. The second characteristic is a willingness to let others serve as seems best to them, knowing that the life flowing through the individual server must find its own [132] channels and outlets, and that direction of these currents can be dangerous and prevent the rendering of the intended service.  The server's efforts will be turned in two directions:—

1. To the task of helping others to "stand in spiritual being", as he himself is learning to stand.

2. To aiding the individual to express his service in his chosen field as he desires to express it, and not as the onlooking helper deems that he should do it.

One point might here be made clear.  The task of those who are working under the Law of Service is not exerted primarily with that group in the world today which is working under the effect of that general response to which we earlier referred.  These effects are easily shepherded into those activities which, en masse, work out as philanthropic endeavor, as educational experiments, or social efforts in the life of the community.  The name of those who thus respond is legion, and the will to serve in this particular way needs no impetus.  The remarkable response to the many recent campaigns to good will definitely evidenced this.  But the work of the new type of server is directed towards those who are establishing soul contact and who can therefore work under the new incoming Aquarian Law.  This centres around the capacity to stand, not only in spiritual being, but together with others, working with them subjectively, telepathically, and synthetically.  This distinction merits attention for one can easily waste effort by entering fields already well handled from the point of view of the attainment of the units in that field.

3. The third characteristic of the new server is joyfulness. [133] This takes the place of criticism (that dire creator of misery) and is the silence that sounds.

It would be well to ponder on these last words, for their true meaning cannot be conveyed in words, but only through a life dedicated to the newer rhythms and to the service of the whole.  Then that "sounding joy" and that "joyful sounding" can make its true meaning felt.

What effect does service have upon the mind, the emotions and the etheric body?

It must be remembered that it is through its effects that the scientist of the future will begin to deduce the effectual existence of an inner cause, of an inner reality, or of a self or soul.  We have seen that service is not simply an activity of some person or group doing something with good intention for another person or group.  Service itself is definitely the result of a tremendous inner happening, and when that result is brought about, it will be found to have produced a number of creative secondary causes.  These are, primarily, a change in the lower consciousness, a tendency to turn away from the things of the personal self to the larger issues of the group, a reorientation which is real and expressive and a power to change conditions (through creative activity) which is the demonstration of something dynamically new.  As this inner event stabilises into an equilibrised inner condition, the demonstration of the above changes becomes more regular and less spasmodic and the effects of the new forces flowing into the personality to be later used creatively, will be seen in all three bodies.  Thus the true server comes into possession of his instruments for service, and thenceforth creative work in accordance with the Plan can go forward on all three planes.  Thus has God, in His wisdom, chosen to [134] limit Himself, and the work of evolution proceeds solely through the medium of His chosen builders and under the direction—on this planet—of those men whose lives are being transformed through soul contact and creative service, and who constitute the planetary Hierarchy.

When alignment has been effected, when the at-one-ment has been more constantly made, and when the antaskarana (the bridge connecting the higher and the lower) is in definite process of construction, the true nature of service, as practiced by any individual begins to emerge.  The first effect of the inflowing force of the soul, which is the major factor leading to demonstrated service, is to integrate the personality, and to bring all the three lower aspects of the man into one serving whole.  This is a difficult and elementary stage from the angle of the student in the Hall of Wisdom.  The man becomes aware of his power and capacity, and, having pledged himself to service, he begins furiously to serve; he creates this, that and the other channel for the expression of the force which is driving him; he tears down and destroys just as fast as he creates.  He temporarily becomes a serious problem to the other servers with whom he may be associated, for he sees no vision but his own, and the aura of criticism which surrounds him and the strenuous push of the assertive force within him produces the stumbling of the "little ones" and there has to be constant repair work undertaken (on his behalf) by older, more experienced disciples.  He becomes the victim, for the time, of his own aspiration to serve, and of the force which is flowing through him.  This stage will in some cases fan into flame the latent seeds of ambition.  This ambition is, in the last analysis, only the personality urge towards betterment, and in its right place and time is a divine asset, but it has to be rooted out when the personality becomes the instrument of the soul.  In other cases, the server [135] will come into a wider and more loving vision, and, taking his eyes off his own accomplishment, will go to work in silent unison with the groups of all true servers.  He will submerge his personality tendencies, his ideas and his ambitions in the greater good of the whole, and self will be lost to sight.  Perhaps no better suggestion can be made to the man or woman who seeks to function as a true server than to ask them to repeat daily, with their whole hearts and minds behind the words, the dedication at the conclusion of the Esoteric Catechism, which is included at the end of Initiation, Human and Solar.  I would remind such servers that if they revolt or are dismayed by the ideas embodied in the words, that is perhaps an indication of how much they need the impression of this life objective upon their consciousness.  That pledge runs as follows:

"I play my part with stern resolve; with earnest aspiration; I look above, I help below; I dream not, nor I rest; I toil; I serve; I reap; I pray; I am the Cross; I am the Way; I tread upon the work I do, I mount upon my slain self; I kill desire, and I strive, forgetting all reward.  I forego peace; I forfeit rest, and, in the stress of pain, I lose myself and find Myself and enter into peace.  To all this I solemnly pledge myself, invoking my Higher Self."

As the work of learning to serve proceeds and the inner contact becomes more sure, the next thing which will occur will be a deepening of the life of meditation, and a more frequent illumining of the mind by the light of the soul.  Thereby the Plan is revealed.  This will not be the shedding of that light upon the plans of the server either for his own life or upon his chosen field of service.  This must be clearly grasped.  That might only indicate (if it seems to occur) the mental agility of the server to find means for the justification of his own ambition.  It will be the recognition, in the mind, of the Plan of God for the world at the particular time in [136] which the server is existing, and the part that he may play in furthering the ends of those who are responsible for the carrying forward of that Plan.  He then becomes willing to be a tiny part of a greater Whole, and this attitude never varies, even when the disciple has become a Master of the Wisdom.  He is then in contact with a still vaster concept of the Plan and His humility and His sense of proportion remain unchanged.