LETTER XI - THE RESULTANT LIFE OF SERVICE.
THE RESULTANT LIFE OF SERVICE.
1. Motives for service.
2. Methods of service.
3. Attitude following action.
THE RESULTANT LIFE OF SERVICE.
September 16th, 1920.
I seek to give you today, in closing this series, something of general use. I wish to speak to you anent service and its perfect rendering. What I give you in this connection may be of vital use. Remember always that material gain in knowledge for the individual causes stagnation, obstruction, indigestion and pain, if not passed on with wise discrimination. Food absorbed by the human body, if not assimilated and passed through the system, causes just the above conditions. The analogy is correct. Much tuition comes to many these days, but it is for the use of a needy world, and not for their own exclusive benefit.
In rendering service three things are of moment:—
1. The motive.
2. The method.
3. The attitude following action.
With wrong motives and methods I deal not. To you they are known. I indicate the right, and by adjustment of the life of service to my indications comes correction and inspiration. A life of much service opens up to many these days; see, all of you, that it commences right. A right beginning is liable to eventuate in continuous correctness, and helps much in the endeavour. Where failure follows in such a case, all that is needed is readjustment. In failure where the beginning has been at fault (an inevitable failure), the need is for the renewal of the inner springs of action.
1. The motives for service.
These motives are threefold in the 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 the 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 those 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 balks 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 no 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 (through accident or the recurrence of inherited physical disability) 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 a 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 is exists 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 still 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 on 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 sequential 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. From the Silence of the Absolute was projected the universe. From darkness issued light, from the subjective emanated the objective. 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 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 his 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 and women, or the Great Ones Themselves) prove content or 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 seem to work in the dark and is conscious of little result from his labours, provided the inner light increases and his conscience has nought to say.
To sum it all up:—
The motive may be epitomised in these few words:—The sacrifice of the personal self for the good of the One Self.
The method may also be shortly put:—Wise control of the personality, and discrimination in work and time.
The resultant attitude will be:—Complete dispassion, and a growing love of the unseen and the real.
All this will be consummated through steady application to occult Meditation.