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Finding Joy in Service

wutaishancloudtempleIs service always joyful? Often it is seemingly not. Tackling a problem of humanity, whether it be feeding the hungry or educating the children or something else can be overwhelming to say the least. Is there a deeper meaning to the word service?

Alice Bailey defines service as the “spontaneous outflow of a loving heart and an intelligent mind; it is the result of being in the right place and staying there.” This suggests that service pours to us from a higher place.  It is not just something we do for others.

Does a focus on the spiritual realms minimize acts or deeds performed to those in need in the world? No, indeed. A True Server learns to combine the urges received from his awakened soul with his physical plane activity.

How does this happen? When a person first treads the spiritual path, he experiences an increasing flow of energies circulating throughout his body. His daily life is charged with new insights and revelations. Through developing a self-forgetfulness, he finds a constructive way to channel the newly found energies into his environment. The path of initiation is an esoteric training, a time when these several important subjective and objective changes happen.

Service, then, is the spontaneous effect of soul contact.

Often, our soul is shouting to contact us but we fail to hear the message. Our little ego or selfish personality has not become spiritualized. Through training the personality to be obedient, the server encounters the true tests of worthiness. He discovers that virtue, love and intellectual mind are the keys to making revelation possible. He leaves behind any selfish need to be famous or find fortune and stands securely in spiritual being.

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” — (Mahatma Gandhi)

The Mind – Slayer of the Real?

WTS-Murugan_by_Raja_Ravi_VarmaMost of us are led to believe that our mind, or intellect, is a powerful tool, our ally and our friend. A refined intellect can serve a person well in life when it is sharp and trained. But in the esoteric path, students are taught that the mind is not always our ally? Why?

In the Book of Golden Precepts, H.P. Blavatsky writes:

“The Mind is the great slayer of the Real.”

“The Real” that she refers to is spiritual reality.  This saying confronts the esoteric student with one of the more baffling spiritual truths about the mind. It suggests that the mind, on its own accord, is not capable of apprehending higher truths. True knowledge, in the spiritual sense, resides in the soul, the spirit, or the higher self.

Even so, the intellect is a subsidiary aspect of a higher mind consciousness and a partial expression or extension of the soul so it has its use. The eventual function of the mind might be said to develop the ability to mirror “The Knower” or higher self and transmit and adapt the messages at the intellectual level.

What can go wrong? The mind becomes the creator of illusion when the personal egotism gets in the way. The student becomes the center of his own mental universe and forgets to align with the higher spiritual realities.  He does not remember the difference between “The Knower” and the thoughts of the egotistical self.  It is as though the sculptor were identified with his chisel.

To believe that anything can be controlled to remain seemingly perfect forever is always just a wishful illusion. This illusion blocks realization of the heart or soul aspect, of higher consciousness. When the intellect usurps all the power it also blocks love and spiritual intuition.

So, how do we make the mind our ally? Put simple, training the mind is a matter of choice.

Annie Besant writes about the mind and thinking:

“The only question we have to decide is whether we will do it beneficially or mischievously, feebly or strongly, driftingly or of set purpose. Here lies our choice, a choice momentous for ourselves and for the world: Choose well; for your choice is brief and yet endless.”

The Soul is Calling



31841601_1615848978511750_201543217265508352_nWhat does it mean to be “called”? The idea implies that when a person is ready, he or she will receive an inspired message, have the experience of an epiphany, or suddenly awaken to the soul’s potential. We are all familiar with the saying “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

But can it be that simple? Is it wrong to be waiting for an inspired message to tell us what to do? What does it mean to become an agent of transformation in the world?

In the Agni Yoga teaching we read:

“One must fulfill one’s obligation to Earth by promoting the foundations of evolution. In this way one achieves the highest cooperation with humanity.”

From this perspective, a “calling” amounts to more than one “aha” moment. It is more than some glorified individual achievement. For the seeker, it means ongoing tests and a spiritual journey of continual purification and refinement. It is a path of challenges, where he or she confronts illusions about cherished beliefs and personal choices. It takes courage to enter the truth of a vast and mysterious universe.

The Wisdom Teaching tells us that it is possible for all aspirants and disciples to participate in this effort to a renewed spiritual life, and to dedicate themselves to the task of service. It also says that it will not be easy.

What is the soul calling us to become?  The following mantram gives a clue to the hidden potential within all of us. 

The Affirmation of the Disciple
“I am a point of light within a greater Light.
I am a strand of loving energy within the stream of Love divine.
I am a point of sacrificial Fire, focussed within the fiery Will of God.
And thus I stand

I am a way by which men may achieve.
I am a source of strength, enabling them to stand.
I am a beam of light, shining upon their way.
And thus I stand.

And standing thus, revolve
And tread this way the ways of men,
And know the ways of God.
And thus I stand.”

                                — Alice Bailey

Thinking in the Heart

love-580248_960_720Many of us have heard the saying “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” What does it mean and how is it important to the disciple?

For most of us, the rational mind is more developed than the intuitive heart awareness. We are therefore inclined to believe in the illusion of separation instead of the eternal truth that we are intimately connected to everything in the universe. Our belief in separation has created in us a deep spiritual loneliness. We seek out love, unfortunately, in all the wrong places.

Our advanced teachers tell us that it is love that opens the door to clear perception. It is not always easy to understand that our unity with others arises, not from being loved, but by loving others. Mind speaks to the brain with spoken or written words. However, heart speaks to heart in more powerful ways that cannot be written or spoken.

As the Bible says: “the love of God is shed abroad” in the human heart. Most of us have felt the magnetic, transforming and healing power of love. We are taught that it is the organ of the energy which brings about inclusiveness.

The Wisdom Teaching says the heart is essential for the reconstruction of the world and for the establishment of the new world order. We are taught the heart center corresponds to the “heart of the Sun,” and therefore to the spiritual source of light and love. The most profound of all occult mysteries are therefore open to us in the secrets of the heart.

All disciples are asked at this time to ponder and reflect upon the unfolding of the heart. An illuminated consciousness is an experience of the heart.

Why does it matter? Alice Bailey writes:

“The heart is the organ for the distribution of hierarchical energy, poured out via the soul into the heart center of all aspirants, disciples and initiates; in this way this energy is made available and brings about two results: 1. The regeneration of humanity through love. 2. the relationship, firmly established, between a rapidly developing humanity and the Hierarchy.” ~ (Esoteric Healing)

The “Soundless Sound” of Soul

1awareness-be-one-buddhism-268073Are the two poles of speech and silence antagonistic? We live in a world that seems to depreciate the value of silence and glorify the constant chatter of technological distractions. It seems difficult to reconcile the current state of our noise pollution with the perennial wisdom of a silent path. Many have lost memory of the silence of the Divine and of our inextricable oneness with it. Alas, we decline to hear it and, in consequence, look without for that which is within.

What is the inner sound? Where can we find this “voice of the silence?”

Perhaps we can look for answers in the exemplary lives of those who have gone before us. They have demonstrated that through silent meditation, consciousness can be kept at a high point of awareness. This is a spiritual attitude of being true to ourselves—the essential prerequisite for any spiritual journey. We are told that the sublime voice of the silence is a “ringing radiance.” It is called the soundless sound because it is beyond the range of acoustical frequency.

How may the inner sound be realized if it is beyond acoustic frequency?

H.P. Blavatsky states by a gradual unfoldment of inner faculties and various stages of meditation, something transformational can be experienced.

She says: “He who would hear the voice of Nada, the soundless sound, and comprehend it, he has to learn the nature of Dharana.”

To comprehend ideas and truths larger that the ordinary, takes a new kind of mental effort. Dharana is a Sanskrit word which means that you have achieved the ability to bring the mind into focus and to hold the concentration on a single point. In true dharana all body-consciousness and restless thoughts cease.

Thus, we see that silence and speech are not antagonistic. The highest form of silence is that achieved and maintained through contemplation. After mastery of such practice, our words carry this energy of the Divine into manifestation and our daily lives. Each of us is the “voice of the silence?” or “word incarnate.”

Each of us is a Word made flesh.

The Pilgrim’s Path: “Rules of the Road”

smallsquare40530784_1792996864130293_6152666730284974080_n (2)Perhaps you’re wondering what exactly is the Pilgrim’s Path and what are the secrets to walking it? A Pilgrim is defined as one who journeys to a sacred place. In the esoteric teachings, the Pilgrim’s Path  is not really a linear path that one walks from A to B, but rather a deepening and opening into the life of the soul. Naught can then be hidden, and at each turn, a man must face himself.

On that path, one of the first lessons learned is that you cannot go it alone. Each Pilgrim, knowing this, presses his footsteps forward, and finds himself surrounded by his fellowmen. This lesson is not easy to remember because often when we begin the esoteric study, we get lost in our “little me” and tend to isolate ourselves.

Eventually, some circumstance will happen that shakes us to our core. As we grow spiritually, we become more in tune with other people and we naturally forget about our own needs and begin to focus on everyone else. The Pilgrim eventually learns that soul consciousness is synonymous with group consciousness. Living as soul involves new duties, new obligations, and new relations to others. The call to service becomes something wider and more embracing.

In the teachings of Alice Bailey, she gives a mystical formula in her six “Rules of the Road.” Each one can be a seed thought for meditation. These simple rules can provide much insight to the Pilgrim in all of us.

I. The Road is trodden in the full light of day, thrown upon the Path by Those Who know and lead. Naught can then be hidden, and at each turn, a man must face himself.

II. Upon the Road the hidden stands revealed. Each sees and knows the villainy of each. (I can find no other word, my brother, to translate the ancient word which designates the unrevealed stupidity, the vileness and crass ignorance, and the self-interest which are distinguishing characteristics of the average aspirant.) And yet there is, with that great revelation, no turning back, no spurning of each other, and no shakiness upon the Road. The Road goes forward into day.

III. Upon that Road one wanders not alone. There is no rush, no hurry. And yet there is no time to lose. Each Pilgrim, knowing this, presses his footsteps forward, and finds himself surrounded by his fellowmen. Some move ahead; he follows after. Some move behind; he sets the pace. He travels not alone.

IV. Three things the Pilgrim must avoid. The wearing of a hood, the veil which hides his face from others; the carrying of a water pot which only holds enough for his own wants; the shouldering of a staff without a crook to hold.

V. Each Pilgrim on the Road must carry with him what he needs: a pot of fire, to warm his fellowmen; a lamp, to cast its rays upon his heart and show his fellowmen the nature of his hidden life; a purse of gold, which he scatters not upon the Road but shares with others; a sealed vase, wherein he carries all his aspiration to cast before the feet of Him Who waits to greet him at the gate – a sealed vase.

VI. The Pilgrim, as he walks upon the Road, must have the open ear, the giving hand, the silent tongue, the chastened heart, the golden voice, the rapid foot, and the open eye which sees the light. He knows he travels not alone.

— “Glamour: A World Problem” by Alice A. Bailey

How is Music a Gateway to the Soul?

39396384_2047651861925996_3623420340039843840_nMusic, when created from the heart and with truth and pure intention, is a spiritual expression of the most universal nature and the highest order.

As Ravi Shankar put it: “The highest form in music is spirituality.”

The impact on our thoughts, our emotions, our subconscious, and even our physical well-being can be quite profound. Music can be one of our most powerful gateways to align in the fullest possible way to our spiritual nature — our divine source — the unseen.  It has the capacity to transport us to other dimensions, and, literally, to open the door to other realities.

Every human being is destined to become the music of his own life. Indeed, the soul’s purpose is to creatively express the sound of its note in order to evolve consciousness ultimately to serve humanity better.  Yet to do this we must realize that deep within each of us are notes of power, light and vibrations, waiting to be expressed, seen and heard. The soul within each of us is seeking to creatively generate melody and harmony and music that has the power to uplift and transform.

“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” — Plato

Is Intuition a Key to Evolution?

41370427_1800887206674592_742286901276311552_nWhat speeds us along on our evolutionary path? Perhaps we could say that experience is the great teacher. But “professor experience” presents us with a snail like classroom in which our evolution creeps forward slowly. One truth may take many lifetimes to instill into our soul. Is it the only method? Is there another way?

There is another method which is quicker called the intuition. It is an important tool in our spiritual toolbox. Intuition generalizes from within and not from without through sensing the archetype itself. Intuition transcends reason. It is not mere knowledge. Intuition is lightning- fast.

When we become intuitive, love is awakened. Buddhi is the name in the esoteric teachings given to the faculty of intuition. Buddhi, in truth, manifests the immortality within, for it is a desire for the everlasting possession of the good, the true and the beautiful.

There is something exquisite about having the sensitivity to be attuned to Beauty. Inspirational. Ephemeral. Sublime. This is what we feel when reflecting on unique symbols or art.

What does it require? We have to slow down, breathe in, and let the intuition enter. In those magical moments, there is the soul, there is a sense of significant being, there is an opening to initiation and evolution.

Alice Bailey writes:

“Initiation is never taken unless the intuition is becoming active. Spiritual instinct, the lowest aspect of the intuition, indicates readiness for the first initiation; an illumined mind and spiritual intelligence is the definite sign that a man can take the second initiation; whilst spiritual perception or intuitive instinct signifies preparedness for the Transfiguration, the third initiation.”

Love: The Perfume of the Soul

red-rose-1275807_960_720The rose is a flower that has for centuries held the imagination. Why is this? I think on some level it is rich with deeper, esoteric connotations. It has been said the soul is a symbol of a beautiful flower that radiates the “perfume” of Divine Love.

It is through our attraction to the qualities of soul that we find the upward way. At first, it begins its journey of revelation with tightly closed petals. With each lesson learned another love petal opens. Eventually, a love for higher truth opens the door to clear perception. More doors open until we are literally flooded with revelation, the beauty and grandeur of which is beyond description.

Love is in all our tests, in our chaos and in our aspiration, because this leads to our spiritual growth from individual to cosmic. Humanity must learn in thought, word and deed to live in terms of love. Love serves the great masses of humanity as life giving energy and a protection from any negative forces.

An opportunity is being presented to us now as we enter the Age of Aquarius. We are now being called to open the heart petals and journey into a new field of human exploration and group endeavor. We are poised to enter the domain of love in which more of the mysteries of life will be unveiled.

This idea is reflected beautifully in the Mantram of Unification:

“The sons of men are one and I am one with them.
I seek to love, not hate;
I seek to serve and not exact due service;
I seek to heal, not hurt.
Let pain bring due reward of light and love.
Let the soul control the outer form, and life and all events
And bring to light the love that underlies the happenings of the time.
Let vision come and insight.
Let the future stand revealed.
Let inner union demonstrate and outer cleavages be gone.
Let love prevail. Let all men love.” — Alice Bailey

Pondering the Light of the Soul

Thinking 1One of my favorite Alice Bailey books in called “Ponder on This.”  It is a compilation of short topics concerning the Ageless Wisdom. It’s not a book that you read straight through from start to finish.  Instead, you check out a topic that comes to mind and sit with it.  Brood, hesitate, reflect, meditate, speculate, think deeply.

Why is it important to ponder?  Because in quiet contemplation we learn to see to see through the soul’s eyes.  Motivated by love, the soul aspires to that which is greater than itself, and reaches out to the world of divine ideas.

We are taught that the Planetary Logos meditated, brooded, conceived mentally, and formed the whole world through thought. Within the simple act of pondering is hidden the power of creation. Likewise, a thought or “seed idea” contemplated in the light of the soul produces new vision and mental clarity.

In meditation deep, we discover the immortal, imperishable spark of divinity, the Son of God, which inspires a sense of wonder and unity with all life. Such is the promise of the future awaiting us as the miracle of the Plan unfolds.

A part of a powerful mantra that encapsulates this truth is the Mantram of Unification:

“Let the Soul control the outer form, and life and all events and bring to Light the Love that underlies the happenings of the time.”
– Alice Bailey (Djwal Khul  Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. II)