What is the Field of Service, and why do we call it a Science?
The next point to consider is the field of this service, and its nature as a science. The field of service, first of all, demonstrates as the life of the Spirit, working within the region of a man’s own nature. The first thing the soul has to do when contact has been made and the man knows it in his brain consciousness and owing to the active impression of the mind, is to make the man aware that he is a living principle of divinity, and then to prepare the lower threefold nature so that it can automatically submit to the Law of Sacrifice. Then it will offer no impediment to the life which must and will pour through it. This is the first and hardest task, and with this task the aspirants of the world are at this time engaged. This indicates, does it not, the point of evolution reached by the majority? When the rhythm of this law has been imposed and the natural impetus of the man in incarnation is to be an expression of the soul, and when this rhythm can be established as a natural daily expression, the man begins to “stand in spiritual being” and the life which pours through him, gently and naturally, will then have an effect upon his environment and his associates. This effect can then be called a “life of service.”Too much emphasis has been laid upon the process whereby the lower nature is to be subjugated to the higher Law of Service, and the idea of sacrifice, in its worst implications, has been developed. This idea emphasizes the necessary and inevitable clashing between the lower nature, working under its own laws, and the higher aspects as they work under the spiritual laws. Then the sacrifice of the lower to the higher assumes great proportions, and the word becomes quite suitable. There is sacrifice. There is suffering. There is a painful process of detachment. There is a long effort to let the life flow through, whilst steadily the personality throws up one barrier and obstruction after another. This stage and attitude we can view with sympathy and understanding, for 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.
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 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 neighborhood. 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 colored 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, will 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 true 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 recognized; then the imitative quality of the personality, its monkey nature, and the eagerness 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.
The need for an increasing subtlety of discrimination is constant, and all dedicated students are urged to take stock of themselves at this time. They face a new cycle of service and must avail themselves of a new day of opportunity. There is a great need to stand in spiritual being; where there is this poised standing, there will be no need for others to incite one to service. Let the “Forces of Light” flow through, and the ranks of the world servers will be rapidly filled. Let the “Spirit of Peace” use the lower nature as an instrument, and there will be peace and harmony within the personal field of service. Let the “Spirit of Good Will” dominate our minds and there will be no room for the spirit of criticism and the spreading of destructive discussion. It is for this reason and in order to develop a group of servers who can work along true and spiritual lines, that there must be increasing emphasis upon the need for Harmlessness. Harmlessness prepares the way for the inflow of life; harmlessness dissipates the obstructions to the free outpouring of love; harmlessness is the key to the release of the lower nature from the grip of the world illusion and from the power of phenomenal existence.
We have expressed our belief that one of the major sciences of the coming age will be built up around the active rendering of service. We have used the word “Science” because service, as a spiritual quality, will rapidly be recognized as the phenomenal expression of an inner reality, and along the line of a right understanding of service will come much revelation as to the nature of the soul. Service is a method of producing phenomenal outer and tangible results upon the physical plane; I call your attention to this as an evidence of its creative quality. By right of this creative quality, service will eventually be regarded as a world science. It is a creative urge, a creative impulse, a creative momentous energy. This creativity of service has already been vaguely recognized in the world of human affairs under varying names, such as the science of vocational training. Recognition of the impetus coming from a right understanding of social relations and their study is not lacking. Much is also being studied along this same line in connection with criminology and the right handling of the youth of any nation and national group.
Service is, par excellence, the technique of correct group relations, whether it be the right guidance of an anti-social child in a family, the wise assimilation of a trouble-maker in a group, the handling of anti-social groups in our big cities, the correct technique to be employed in child guidance in our educational centers or the relation between the religious and political parties, or between nation and nation. All of this is part of the new and growing Science of Service. The imposition of this soul law will eventually bring light into a distracted world, and release human energies in right directions. It is not here possible to do more than indicate this briefly. The theme is too large, for it includes the awakening of the spiritual consciousness with its responsibilities, and the welding of the individual into an awakened group; it involves the imposition also of a newer and a higher rhythm upon world affairs. This constitutes, therefore, a definitely scientific endeavor and warrants the attention of the best minds. It should also eventually call forth the consecrated effort of the world disciples.