SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT
(1) When the work of the doctor and the surgeon in relation to the physical body is recognised as essential and good, when the analysis and conclusions of the psychologist supplement their work, and when the power of right thought comes likewise as an aid, then and only then, shall we enter upon a new era of well-being . . .
At present there is little coherent and integrated work done in unison by the four groups:
1. Physicians and surgeons - orthodox and academic.
2. Psychologists, neurologists and psychiatrists.
3. Mental healers and New Thought workers, plus Unity thinkers, and Christian Scientists.
4. Trained disciples and those who work with the souls of men.
When these four groups can be brought into close relation, and can work together for the release of humanity from disease, we shall then arrive at an understanding of the true wonder of the human being. We shall some day have hospitals in which the four phases of this one medical and remedial work will proceed side by side, and in the fullest co-operation. Neither group can do a complete task without the others; all are interdependent.
It is the inability of these groups to recognise the good in the other groups striving for the physical well-being of humanity, which makes it almost impossible for me to do more specific teaching, and more direct talking on these matters. Have you any idea of the wall of antagonistic thinking and speech against which a new or pioneering idea has to batter itself? Have you ever seriously considered the aggregated and crystallised thought-forms, with which all such new ideas (and shall I call them hierarchical proposals) have to contend? Do you appreciate the dead weight of preconceived and ancient determinations which have to be moved before the Hierarchy can cause a new and needed concept to penetrate into the consciousness of the average thinking (or again should I say, unthinking?) public? The field of medicine is a most difficult field in which to work, for the subject is so [Page 353] intimate, and fear enters so strongly into the reactions of those who must be reached. The gulf between the old and established, and the new and the spiritually demanded, needs much long and careful bridging. A great deal of the difficulty is, curiously enough, to be found fostered by the newer schools of thought. Orthodox medicine is slow, and rightly slow, in adopting new techniques and methods; it is at times too slow, but the case of the new mode of treatment or diagnosis must be rightly proven, and statistically proven, before it can be incorporated in the medical curriculum and method; the risks to the human subject are too great, and the good humanitarian physician will not make his patient the subject of experimentation. However, within the last few decades, medicine has advanced by leaps and bounds, the science of electricity and light therapy, and many other modern techniques and methods, have already been added to the various other sciences of which medicine avails itself. The demands of the intangible, and the treatment of the nebulous - if such peculiar terms are in order - are being recognised increasingly, and are known to play an orthodox and recognised part in the newer approaches to disease.
The approach of the mental schools and cults, as they erroneously call themselves, has not proceeded so helpfully. This is largely their fault. Schools of thought such as Mental Science, New Thought, Unity, Christian Science, Chiropractic enterprise, the efforts of Naturopaths, and many others, hurt their cause, owing to the large claims which they make, and to their unceasing attacks upon orthodox medicine, and other channels of proven helpfulness, and upon the knowledge (acquired over centuries of experimentation) of the academic schools of medicine and surgery. They forget that many of their claims to success (and they are often irrefutable) can be classed under the general heading of faith cures, and this can be done correctly or incorrectly. Such cures have been long recognised by the academic thinker, and known to be factual. These cults which are in fact the custodians of needed truths, need above everything else to change their approach, and to learn the spiritual nature of compromise in these days of evolutionary unfoldment. Their ideas cannot come into full and desired usefulness apart from the already God-given knowledge which medicine down the ages has accumulated; they need also to keep a record of their numerous failures, as well as the successes which they loudly proclaim. I would here point out that these successes are in no way so numerous as those of orthodox medicine, and of the beneficent work done by the clinics of our hospitals, which - in spite of failures, and often gross stupidity - greatly ameliorate the pains and ills of the masses of men. These cults omit to state, [Page 354] or even to recognise, that in cases of extreme illness or accident, the patient is physically unable to affirm or claim divine healing, and is dependent upon the work of some healer who works with no knowledge of the karma of the patient. Many of their so-called cures (and this is the case also with orthodox medicine) are cures because the hour of the end has not yet arrived for the patient, and he would have recovered in any case, though he often does so more rapidly, owing to the remedial measures of the trained physician.
In cases of serious accident, where the injured person will bleed, the cultist (no matter what his cult may be called) will perforce avail himself of the methods of the orthodox physician; he will apply a tourniquet, for instance, and take the measures which orthodox medicine enjoins, rather than stand by and see the injured person die because these methods are not used. When he is face to face with death, he will frequently turn to the tried and proved methods of help, and will usually call in a physician, rather than be charged with murder.
All the above is said in no spirit of disparagement, but in an effort to prove that the many schools of thought - orthodox, academic, ancient, material or spiritual, new, pioneering or mental - are interdependent; they need to be brought together into one great healing science. This will be a science which will heal the whole man, and bring into play all the resources - physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual - of which humanity is capable. Orthodox medicine is more open to co-operation with the newer cults, than are the neophytes of the science of mental control of disease; they cannot, however, permit their patients to be turned into guinea pigs (is not that the term used in these cases, brother of mine?) for the satisfaction of the pioneering cultist, and the proving of his theories - no matter how correct when applied in conjunction with what has already been proved. The middle way of compromise and of mutual co-operation, is ever the wisest, and this is a lesson much needed today in every department of human thinking. (17 - 253/7)
(2) Each point made by me could form the basis of prolonged discussion, but (in this treatise) that is not possible, for I seek only to give indication of future possibilities. I seek also to foment distrust in the present approach of the metaphysical world to this subject of disease and its cure, and to undermine - if I may use so drastic an expression - the confidence of the public in so-called New Age modes of healing, in the methods of Christian Scientists, of Mental Science, and all those schools of thought which deal with healing from the angle of affirmation - affirmation of [Page 355] man's divinity and the claim that that inherent and innate divinity guarantees his healing. This claim is a glamour and a delusion, as I have oft sought to show. (17 - 558).
(3) Mental Science is right in its recognition that it is the emotions of men (as expressed in that feeble imitation of reality which they call thought) which are responsible for much disease. They are right in their effort to make the patient change his emotional attitudes, and to react to life and circumstances and people along a different line. But they are hopelessly wrong in believing that that is sufficient; in their ignoring of all scientific procedures connected with the etheric body, they have nothing which relates the emotional nature to the physical vehicle, and therefore there is a gap in their reasoning, and a consequent fault in their technique. This renders their activities futile, except from the character angle. When they do bring about a healing, it is because in any case the patient was predestined to recover, but they have served a useful purpose in correcting a character condition, in which he was in constant danger of disease. They have not wrought a cure, and in claiming it, both the healer and the patient are deceived. All deception is dangerous and hindering. (17 - 560/1).
(4) At present, in the modern world, there is no true system of spiritual healing taught to would-be healers. There is instead an effort to base the whole procedure, plus the techniques employed, on purely mental levels, on systems of affirmation, modes of prayer, stimulation of the patient's will-to-live, and occasionally the use of magnetic or hypnotic passes in relation to the etheric body; various forms of applied subjective thinking are taught, but no true formula for an intelligent and expected cure, only the vague faith of the healer and of the patient and a blind autosuggestion as to what the recognition and affirmation of divinity ought to produce (17 - 644).
(5) The agents of the second ray started their preparation around the year 1825, and moved outward in force soon after 1860. From that date on, great concepts and new ideas, and the modern ideologies and arguments for and against aspects of the truth, have characterised modern thought and produced the present mental chaos, and the many conflicting schools and ideologies, with their attendant movements and organisations; out of all these, order and truth and the new civilisation will emerge. (13 - 678/9).
(6) You do not need to identify yourself with any particular school. Each of them embodies the attempt of the human mind to understand, subjectively and objectively, the nature and purpose of man's evolution. All of them are partially right in their conclusions and largely wrong; all of them [Page 356] are only preparatory to the new and coming school of psychology which will be the distinguishing attitude of the New Age. (5 - 644/5). See also: (17 - 279/81).
SENSE OF HUMOUR
(1) May I in all earnest offer to you the paradoxical injunction to work with utter earnestness, and yet at the same time to refuse to work with such earnestness, and not to take yourself so earnestly? Those who stand on the inner side, and study the work of the world aspirants today, see an almost pitiful distress of individual deficiency, a sustained and strenuous effort on their part to "make themselves what they ought to be", and yet at the same time a distressing lack of proportion, and no sense of humour whatsoever. I urge upon you to cultivate both these qualities. Do not take yourself so seriously, and you will find that you will release yourself for freer and more potent work. Take the Plan seriously and the call to serve, but waste not time in constant self-analysis. (4 - 635).
(2) There are two things that every disciple must some day learn, my brother. One is to cultivate the ability to "sit light in the saddle" (to use an old proverbial injunction) and the other is to develop a sense of humour, a real (not forced) capacity to laugh at oneself and with the world. This is one of the compensations which comes to those who can succeed in working in the light upon the mental plane. (5 - 414).
(1) I have pointed out to you that the basic qualities for which we look, are sensitivity, impersonality, psychic capacity and mental polarisation . . . What exactly is sensitivity? It does not mean primarily that you are a "sensitive soul" - the connotation of which usually means that you are thin-skinned, self-centred and always on the defensive! Rather do I refer to the capacity whereby you are enabled to expand your consciousness so that you become aware of ever-widening ranges of contact. I refer to the ability to be alive, alert, keen to recognise relationships, quick to react to need, mentally, emotionally and physically attentive to life, and rapidly developing the power to observe upon all three planes in the three worlds simultaneously . . . The sensitivity which I want to see developed is alertness [Page 357] to soul contact, impressionability to the "voice of the Teacher", an aliveness to the impact of new ideas, and to the delicacy of intuitional responsiveness. These are ever the hallmark of the true disciple. It is spiritual sensitivity which must be cultivated. (5 - 47).
(2) This growth in sensitivity is difficult to understand. The members of a Master's group and of His Ashram have to become increasingly sensitive - sensitive to the Master and to His pledged workers. You cannot be made sensitive or be rendered sensitive by some type of process or ordered training. Men and women are sensitive, only they do not know it, being so preoccupied with other matters, with form life and objective things. Let me put it this way: What you say to yourself and to others - through your spoken words or your life - is so noisy, that it is not easy to be what you are, and to be recognised as a spiritual being. The Master is guided by what He knows of you in your quiet moments of aspiration, by what you have demonstrated for years to be your fixed life tendency, and by the manner in which you react at moments of crisis or tension. The task of the Master is to stimulate the disciple to be at all times what He knows him to be at his highest times . . . Many have reached the point where they may become sensitive if the loud assertions of personality are dimmed, and the light of the soul is permitted to pour through. Then the Master can be known and contacted. When you can get away from yourselves and your personal reactions, your own interpretations, and your personal demands, you will discover for yourselves how and in what manner the Master is seeking to impress you and the group with which you may be affiliated. You will become sensitive to that impression. (5 - 710/1).
Serenity and peace are not identical. Peace must ever be temporary, and refers to the world of feeling, and to conditions susceptible of disturbance. It is essential to progress, and an inevitable happening that every step forward is marked by disturbances, by points of crisis and chaos, replaced later (when successfully handled) by periods of peace. But this peace is not serenity, and a chela is only permitted to dwell within the Master's aura when serenity has been substituted for peace. Serenity signifies that deep calm, devoid of emotional disturbance, which distinguishes the disciple who is focussed in a "mind held steady in the light". The surface of his life may be (from the worldly angle) in a state of violent flux. All that he [Page 358] cherishes and holds dear in the three worlds may be crashing around him. But in spite of all, he stands firm, poised in soul consciousness and the depths of his life remain undisturbed. This is not insensitivity or a forced auto-suggestion, neither is it a capacity to exteriorise the consciousness in such a manner that individual events and happenings are ignored. It is intensity of feeling transmuted into focussed understanding. When this has been attained, the chela has the right to live within the aura of the Master. There is nothing now in him which will require the Master to sidetrack His attention from vital efforts to the unimportant task of helping the disciple. (5 - 750).
SERVERS AND SERVICE
(1) Out of duty, perfectly performed, will emerge those larger duties which we call world work; out of the carrying of family responsibilities will come that strengthening of our shoulders which will enable us to carry those of the larger group. (4 - 70).
(2) Thus humanity serves, and in the development of a conscious aptitude for service, in the growth of a conscious understanding of the individual part to be played in the working out of the Plan, and in the rendering of the personality subject to the soul, will come the steady progress of humanity towards its goal of world service. (4 - 101).
(3) The Master looks not at a worker's worldly force or status, not at the numbers of people who are gathered around his personality, but at the motives which prompt his activity and at the effect of his influence upon his fellowmen. True service is the spontaneous outflow of a loving heart and an intelligent mind; it is the result of being in the right place and staying there; it is produced by the inevitable inflow of spiritual force and not by strenuous physical plane activity; it is the effect of a man's being what he truly is, a divine Son of God, and not by the studied effect of his words or deeds. A true server gathers around him those whom it is his duty to serve and aid by the force of his life and his spiritualised personality, and not by his claims or loud speaking. In self-forgetfulness he serves; in self-abnegation he walks the earth, and he gives no thought to the magnitude or the reverse of his accomplishment, and has no pre-conceived ideas as to his own value or usefulness. He lives, serves, works and influences, asking nothing for the separated self. (4 - 188/9).
(4) I urge upon each and all. . . the necessity for renewed effort to fit themselves for service by a conscious and deliberate effort to develop the intuition and to achieve illumination. Every human being who reaches the goal of light and wisdom, automatically has a field of influence which extends both up and down, and which reaches both inwards to the source of light, and outwards into the "fields of darkness". When he has thus attained, he will become a conscious centre of life giving force, and will be so without effort. He will stimulate, energise, and vivify to fresh efforts all lives that he contacts, be they his fellow aspirants, or an animal, or a flower. He will act as a transmitter of light in the darkness. He will dispel the glamour around him, and let in the radiance of reality.
When large numbers of sons of men can so act, then the human family will enter upon its destined work of planetary service. Its mission is to act as a bridge between the world of spirit and the world of material forms. All grades of matter meet in man, and all the states of consciousness are possible to him. Mankind can work in all directions, and lift the subhuman kingdoms into heaven, and bring heaven down to earth. (4 - 538).
(5) This call to service usually meets with a response, but that response is coloured by the personality of the aspirant, and tinctured with his pride, and his ambition. Need is truly realised. The desire to meet the need is genuine and sincere; the longing to serve and lift is real. Steps are taken which are intended by the aspirant to enable him to fit in with the plan. But the trouble with which we on the inner side have perforce to deal is, that though there is
no question as to willingness and desire to serve, the characters and temperaments are such that wellnigh insuperable difficulties are presented. Through these aspirants we have to work, and the material they present gives us much trouble frequently. (4 - 622).
(6) It is easy to be glamoured by the beauty of one's own ideals and vision, and by the supposed rectitude of one's own position, and yet all the time be influenced subjectively by love of personal power, individual ambition, jealousy of other workers, and the many traps which catch the feet of the unwary disciple.
But if true impersonality is cultivated, if the power to stand steady is developed, if every situation is handled in a spirit of love, and if there is a refusal to take hasty action and to permit separation to creep in, then there will be the growth of a group of true servers, and the gathering out of those who can materialise the plan, and bring to birth the new age and its attendant wonders. (4 - 625).
(7) In rendering service, three things are of moment: . . .
1. The motives for service.
These motives are threefold in order of their importance:
a. A realisation of God's plan of evolution, a sensing of the world's dire need, an apprehension of the immediate point of world attainment, and a consequent throwing of the total of one's resources into the furtherance of that end.
b. A definite personal goal of achievement, some great ideal - such as holiness of character - that calls forth the soul's best endeavour; or a realisation of the reality of the Masters of the Wisdom, and a strong inner determination to love, serve, and reach Them at all costs. When you have this intellectual grip of God's plan, coupled with a strong desire to serve the Great Ones, in physical plane activities will come the working out.
c. A realisation next of one's innate or acquired capacities, and a fitting of these capacities to the need appreciated. Service is of many kinds, and he who wisely renders it, who seeks to find his particular sphere, and who, finding it, gives effort gladly for the benefit of the whole, is the man whose own development proceeds steadily. But nevertheless, the aim of personal progress remains secondary.
2. The methods of service.
These are many and varied. I can but indicate the ones of paramount importance.
First and foremost comes, as I have often inculcated, the faculty of discrimination. He who considers that he can attempt all things, who baulks not at aught that happens his way, who rushes wildly in where wiser ones refrain, who considers he has capacity for that which arises, who brings zeal but not brains to bear on this problem of service, but dissipates force; he renders oft destructive action, he wastes the time of wiser and greater ones in the correcting of his well meant mistakes, and he serves no end but his own desires. The reward of good intention may be his, but it is frequently offset by the results of foolish action. He serves with discrimination who realises wisely his own niche, great or small, in the general scheme; who calculates soberly his mental and intellectual capacity, his emotional calibre, and his physical assets, and then, with the sum of the whole, applies himself to fill the niche.
He serves with discrimination who judges with the aid of his Higher Self and the Master, what is the nature and the measure of the problem to be solved, and is not guided by the well meant, though often ill-judged suggestions, requests and demands of his fellow-servers.
He serves with discrimination who brings a realisation of time into action, and comprehending that each day contains but twenty-four hours, and that his capacity contains but the expenditure of just so much force, and no more, wisely adjusts his capacity and the time available to each other.
Next follows a wise control of the physical vehicle. A good server causes the Master no anxiety from physical causes, and may be trusted so to guard and husband his physical strength, that he is always available for the carrying out of the Master's requests. He does not fail from physical disability. He sees that his lower vehicle gets sufficient rest, and adequate sleep. He rises early and retires at a seemly hour. He relaxes whenever possible; he eats wholesome and suitable food, and refrains from heavy eating. A little food, well chosen and well masticated, is far better than a heavy meal. The human race eats these days, as a rule, four times as much as is required. He ceases from work when . . . his body reacts against action, and cries out for attention. He then seeks rest, sleep, dietary precautions and necessary medical attention. He obeys all wise instruction, giving time for his recovery.
The next step is steady care and control of the emotional body. This is the most difficult of the vehicles to tend, as is well known. No excessive emotion is permitted, though strong currents of love for all that breathe, are allowed to sweep through. Love, being the law of the system, is constructive and stabilising, and carries all on in line with the law. No fear or worry or care shake the emotional body of the aspiring servant of all. He cultivates serenity, stability, and a sense of secure dependence on God's law. A joyous confidence characterises his habitual attitude. He harbours no jealousy, no cloudy grey depression, and no greed or self-pity, but - realising that all men are brothers, and that all that exists is for all - he proceeds calmly on his way.
Then ensues the development of his mental vehicle. In the control of the emotional body, the server takes the attitude of elimination. His aim is so to train the emotional body, that it becomes devoid of colour, has a still vibration, and is clear and white, limpid as a pool on a summer's day. In fitting the mental body for service, the worker strives at the opposite of elimination; he seeks to build in information, to supply knowledge and facts, to train it intellectually and scientifically, so that it may prove, as time goes no, a stable foundation for the divine wisdom. Wisdom supersedes knowledge, yet requires knowledge as a preliminary step. You must remember that the server passes through the Hall of Learning prior to entering the Hall of Wisdom. In training the mind body, he seeks therefore orderly acquisition of knowledge, a supply of that which may be lacking, a sequen- [Page 362] tial grasp of the innate mental faculty accumulated in previous lives, and lastly, a steadying of the lower mind, so that the higher may dominate, and the creative faculty of thought may be projected through the stillness. . . . The negative stillness of the emotional body, makes it receptive to impression from above. The positive stillness of the mental body, leads to the higher inspiration.
Having sought to control and wisely use his personality in its three departments, the lover of humanity seeks perfection in action. No magnificent dreams of martyrdom, and the glorious yet ephemeral chimeras of spectacular service engross his attention, but the instant application of all his powers to the next duty, is the line of his endeavour. He knows that perfection in the foreground of his life, and in the details of his environing work, will cause accuracy in the background too, and result in a whole picture of rare beauty. Life progresses by small steps, but each step, taken at the right time, and each moment wisely occupied, leads to long distance covered, and a life well spent. Those Who guide the human family, test out all applicants for service in the small detail of everyday life, and he who shews a record of faithful action in the apparently non-essential, will be moved into a sphere of greater moment. How, in an emergency or crisis, can They depend on someone who in everyday matters does slovenly and ill-judged work?
A further method of service shews itself in adaptability. This involves a readiness to retire when other or more important people are sent to fill the niche he may be occupying, or (inversely) an ability to step out of office into work of greater importance, when some less competent worker can do his work with equal facility and good judgment. It is the part of wisdom in all who serve, neither to rate themselves too highly, nor to underrate themselves. Bad work results when the non-efficient fill a post, but it is equally a loss of time and power when skilled workers hold positions where their skill has not full scope, and where less well equipped men and women would do as well. Be ready, therefore, all ye who serve, to stay a lifetime in office non-spectacular and seemingly unimportant, for such may be your destiny, and the place you best may serve; but be equally ready to step on to work of more apparent value when the Master's word goes forth, and when circumstances - and not the server's planning - indicate that the time is come. Ponder this last sentence.
3. The attitude following action.
What should this attitude be? Utter dispassion, utter self-forgetfulness, and utter occupation with the next step to be taken. The perfect server is he [Page 363] who does to the utmost of his ability what he believes to be the Master's will, and the work to be done by him in co-operation with God's plan. Then, having done his part, he passes on to a continuance of the work, and cares not for the result of his action. He knows that wiser eyes than his see the end from the beginning; that insight, deeper and more loving than his, is weighing up the fruit of service; and that judgment, more profound than his, is testing the force and extent of the vibration set up, and is adjusting that force according to the motive. He does not suffer from pride over what he has done, nor from undue depression over lack of accomplishment. At all times he does his very best, and wastes not time in backward contemplation, but steadily presses forward to the accomplishment of the next duty. Brooding over past deeds, and casting the mind back over old achievement, is in the nature of involution, and the servant seeks to work with the law of evolution. This is an important thing to note. The wise server, after action, pays no attention to what his fellow servants say, provided his superiors (either incarnating men or women, or the Great Ones Themselves) prove content and silent; he cares not if the result is not that which he anticipated, provided that he faithfully did the highest thing he knew; he cares not if reproach and reproof assail him, provided his inner self remains calm and non-accusing; he cares not if he loses friends, relatives, children, the popularity once enjoyed, and the approbation of his environing associates, provided his inner sense of contact with Those Who guide and lead, remains unbroken; he cares not if he seems to work in the dark, and is conscious of little result from his labours, provided the inner light increases, and his conscience has naught to say. (2 - 343/9).
(8) "Of what real use am I? How can I, in my small sphere, be of service to the world?" Let me reply to these questions by pointing out, that by thinking this book into the minds of the public, by expressing before your fellow men the teaching it imparts, and by a life lived in conformity with its teaching, your service is very real.
This will necessarily involve a pledging of the entire personality to the helping of humanity, and the promise to the Higher Self that endeavour will be made to lose sight of self in service - a service to be rendered in the place and under the circumstances which a man's destiny and duty have imposed upon him. (14 - xix).
(9) You must see to it that your attitude towards all teaching is that of willing service, with no thought of self. The growth in spiritual realisation, and the lifting of humanity, is that which is of moment, and not your own [Page 364] personal growth or development, nor your own satisfaction at receiving special and new information. You will grow, and your soul will take increasing hold upon its instrument, when your mind and effort are turned towards group service, and when your tongue is rendered harmless, through the inflow of Love. (14 - 111).
(10) This Law of Service was expressed for the first time fully by the Christ, two thousand years ago. . . . 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 spoken, finds its outlet in service, can man begin to measure up to his innate capacity. . . .
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 of the world. Such has been the success of the evolutionary process. (15 - 119/20).
(11) (Service) is a soul instinct... 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. (15 - 125).
(12) 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 biased 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. . . . 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. (15 - 126).
(13) 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. (15 - 128).
What effect does service have upon the mind, the emotions, and the etheric body?
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 re-orientation which is real and expressive, and a power to change conditions (through creative activity) which is the demonstration of something dynamically new.
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 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, [Page 366] who seeks to function as a true server, than to ask them to repeat daily, with their whole hearts and minds behind the words:
"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." (From Archive XIII of the Masters' Records.)
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. (15 - 133/5).
(15) Let simplicity be your guide, and one-pointed love your major objective. Choose a field of service which has its definite limits (for all disciples are limited and cannot cover a planetary range in their thoughts), and work - mentally and physically - within those limits. The completion of some self-appointed task within the field of karmic limitation and of environment, where your destiny has cast you, is all that is required of you. What are you accomplishing really at this time? Let your service lie within the field of contact where you find yourself, and reach not out over the entire planet. Is there any greater or more important task than to fulfil your task, and carry it to completion in the place where you are, and with your chosen comrades? (17 - 372), (5 - 582).
(16) Let humanity constitute your field of service, and may it be said of you that you knew the spiritual facts, and were a dynamic part of these spiritual events; may it not be said of you that you knew these things and did nothing about them, and failed to exert yourself. Let not time slip by as you work. ( 18 - 760).
(17) Your task is to aid the work which the Hierarchy plans to do, to find the ways and means whereby that service can be wisely rendered, to discover the manner in which world need (not your group need) can be met, to finance that share in the work of the Brotherhood to which you have been assigned by your soul, and to do your part in developing those human attitudes which are needed if true peace is to be found in the world. (13 - 325).
(18) Work not under strain or with effort. Bring ease and effortless expression into your daily relations. . . . Conservation of energy and in- [Page 367] creased inner work will produce a greater magnetic realisation, but less physical plane activity. . . . Work more in the light, and see all people as in that light with you. All that any disciple or aspirant has to do in relation to his fellow men, is to stimulate the light that is in them, leaving them free to walk in their own light and way upon the Path. (5 - 417).
(19) Some people are so constituted that they become servers and centres of light publicly before their fellow men. Their influence and their power are great. Others work (with equal power) from a quiet centre of relative retirement, and they wield, if I may again repeat myself, an equal force. (5 - 434)
(20) You will ask what your service is to be. That, my brother, will grow out of your meditation. It is not for me to tell you what activity your personality must follow; it is your own soul which must do so. (5 - 574).
(21) Work is done by action and not by talking. (5 - 590).
(22) Be balanced, and remember that work for us embraces many things, e'en hours of relaxation, and it most certainly necessitates the use of discrimination in ascertaining the essentials, and separating them from the non-essentials. (5 - 609).
(23) You do not keep your line of service clear. You wander into too many other fields of service which are not yours, and where you are not wanted. (5 - 612).
(24) In our work there is no great or little task, only obedience to the next duty, whatever that may be. (5 - 613).
(25) You cannot possibly do everything that you see needs to be done; therefore, do that which will bring about the greatest amount of good to the greatest number of seeking souls. (6 - 448).
(26) The problem of all disciples today is to achieve successful activity in their chosen task of competent citizenship and life occupation and yet, at the same time, to add to that at any cost a practical life of service. (6 - 572).
See also: (6 - 59).