The definition of this word is not easy. There has been too much attempt to define it from the angle of personality knowledge. Service can be briefly defined as the spontaneous effect of soul contact. This contact is so definite and fixed that the life of the soul can pour through into the instrument which the soul must perforce use upon the physical plane. It is the manner whereby the nature of that soul can demonstrate in the world of human affairs. Service is not a quality or a performance; it is not an activity towards which people must strenuously strive, nor is it a method of world salvage. This distinction must be clearly grasped, or else our whole attitude to this momentous demonstration of the success of the evolutionary process in humanity will be at fault. Service is a life demonstration. It is a soul urge, and is as much an evolutionary impetus of the soul as the urge to self-preservation or to the reproduction of the species is a demonstration of the animal soul. This is a statement of importance. It is a soul instinct, if we may use such an inadequate expression and is, therefore, innate and peculiar to soul unfoldment. 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.
Neither theory nor aspiration will or can make a man a real server. How then is it that there is so much activity in service demonstrating in the world today?
Simply because the life, words and deeds of the world’s first Great Server, of the One Who came to make clear to us what service essentially is, has necessarily had an effect, and men today are earnestly attempting to imitate His example, little realizing that imitation does not net them the true results, but only indicates to them a growing possibility.
All these laws of the Soul (and the Law of Service is no exception) manifest inevitably in two ways.
- • First, there is their effect upon the individual. This occurs when the soul has been definitely contacted and the mechanism of the soul begins to respond. Evidence of this should work out now among the esoteric students, scattered over the world, for they have reached a point where the true server can emerge from their ranks, and give evidence of an established soul contact.
- • Secondly, these soul laws are beginning to have a group effect in humanity itself, and to influence the race of men as a whole. This effect is somewhat in the nature of it reflection in the lower nature of a higher consciousness, and therefore today we have much running after service, and much philanthropic effort. All of it is, however, deeply colored 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. May I beg those of you who respond to these ideas and are sensitive to soul impression (oft-times misinterpreting the truth, being biassed by personality ends) to lay the emphasis upon soul contact and not upon the form side of service. Activity of the form side lays stress upon personality ambition, veiling them with the glamor 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.