The Law of Service

Back to Homepage

Summary: A collection of statements by the Tibetan

"The Law of Service . . . is the governing law of the future . . . In past ages, it was the service of one's soul (with the emphasis upon one's own individual salvation) which engrossed the attention of the aspirant. Naught else was considered. Then came the period wherein the service of the Master and also of one's own soul was considered of dominant interest; the Master was served and duty to Him emphasized, because thereby the salvation of the individual was aided. Now a new note is sounding forth -- the note of growth through the service of the race, and through a cultivated self-forgetfulness." (Discipleship in the New Age-Vol. I, p. 551)

"You will awaken some day to the realisation that the Science of Service is of greater importance than the Science of Meditation, because it is the effort and the strenuous activity of the serving disciple which evokes the soul powers, makes meditation an essential requirement, and is the mode -- ahead of all others -- which invokes the Spiritual Triad, brings about the intensification of the spiritual life, forces the building of the antahkarana, and leads in a graded series of renunciations to the Great Renunciation, which sets the disciple free for all eternity." (Discipleship in the New Age-Vo. II, p. 59)

"The third Law of the Soul is intended to govern all soul activity. It is the Law of Service. 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 results 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.
     . . . The three great sciences which will come to the fore in the New Age, and which will lead humanity form the unreal to the real, and from aspiration to realisation are:

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

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

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

     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 service, rendered in love and guided by wisdom, cannot be given. What is found up to that time is good intentions, mixed motives, and oft fanaticism . . .
     Thirdly, this Law of Service was expressed for the first time fully by the Christ, two thousand years ago . . . 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 love about which so much has been written and spoken, finds its outlet in service, can man begin to measure to his innate capacity. . . . It is not easy to serve. Man is today only beginning to learn how to serve. . . .
     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.
     Service is frequently regarded as an endeavour 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 endeavour 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 over-active temperament, or of a self-satisfied disposition, which leads its possessor to a strenuous effort to change situations, and make them what he feel 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 on 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 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 endeavours, 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; brings one friends; service is a form of group activity, and frequently bring far more to the server (in a worldy 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 . . ." (Esoteric Psychology-Vol. II, p. 118/23)

"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 the 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 neighbourhood. 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, wil 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 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 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 eagernes 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." (Esoteric Psychology-Vol. II, p. 128/9)