"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." (A Treatise on White Magic, p. 70)
"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." (A Treatise on White Magic, p. 101)
"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 spiritualized 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, and works and influences, asking nothing for the separated self." (A Treatise on White Magic, p. 188/9)
"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 live 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." (A Treatise on White Magic, p. 538)
"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 preforce to deal is, that though there is no question as to willingness and desire to serve, the characters and temperaments are such that wellnigh inusperable difficulties are presented. Through these aspirants we have to work, and the material they present gives us much trouble frequently." (A Treatise on White Magic, p. 622)
"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 by influenced subjectively by love of personal power, individual ambition, jealous 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." (A Treatise on White Magic, p. 625)
"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 call forth the soul's best endeavour; or a realisotion 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 desice to serve the Great Ones, in physical plane activities will come the working out.
c. A realisation next of one's innate ar 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 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 existis 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 on, a stable foundation for the divine wisdom. Wisdom supersedes knowledge, yet requires knowledge as a preliminary. You must remember that the server passes through the Hall af 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 . . . The negative stillness of the emotional body, makes it receptivve 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 judgement. It is the part of wisdom in all who serve, neither to rate themselves too highly, no 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 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 approbaation 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." (Letters on Occult Meditation, p. 243/9)
" '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." (Esoteric Psychology, Vol. I, p. xix)
"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 personal growth or development, not 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." (Esoteric Psychology, Vol. I, p. 111)
"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 evolutionaly process." (Esoteric Psychology, Vol. II, p. 125)
"(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." (Esoteric Psychology, Vol. II, p.125)
"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. . . . 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." (Esoteric Psychology, Vol. II, p.126)
"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." (Esoteric Psychology, Vol. II, p.128)
"What effects does service have upon the mind, the emotions, and the etheric self?
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 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:
'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, aand 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." (Esoteric Psychology, Vol. II, p.133/5)
"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 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?" (Esoteric Healing, p. 372), (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I, p. 582)
"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." (The Rays and the Initiations, p. 760)
"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." (The Externalisation of the Hierarchy, p. 325)
"Work not under strain or with effort. Bring ease and effortless expression into your daily relations. . . . Conservation of energy and increased 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." (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I, p. 417)
"Some people are so constituted that they become servers and centers of light publicly before their fellow men. Their influence and their power are great. Others work (with equal power) from a quiet center of relative retirement, and they wield, if I may again repeat myself, an equal force." (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I, p. 434)
"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." (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I, p. 574)
"Work is done by action and not by talking." (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I, p. 590)
"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." (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I, p. 609)
"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." (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I, p. 612)
"In our work there is no great or little task, only obedience to the next duty, whatever that may be." (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I, p. 613)
"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." (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. II, p. 448)
"The problem of all disiciples 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." (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. II, p. 572)