Service, Esoterically Understood: A Compilation

Esoteric understanding of the word ‘service’ as applied in the writings of Djwhal Khul and Alice Bailey.

 

How do we define the word “Service”? 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.

Source: Esoteric Psychology I

 

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.

Source: A Treatise on White Magic

 

The Law of Service is the expression of the energy of a great Life, who, in cooperation with Him “in Whom we live and move and have our being”, is subjecting the human family to certain influences and streams of energy which will eventually do three things:

1. Awaken the heart center in all aspirants and disciples.

2. Enable emotionally polarized humanity to focus intelligently in the mind.

3. Transfer the energy of the solar plexus into the heart.

This unfolding of what we might call “the consciousness of the heart” or the development of true feeling is the first step towards group awareness. This group awareness and this identification with the feeling aspect of all groups is the quality which leads to service – a service to be rendered as the Masters render it, and as the Christ demonstrated it for us in Galilee.

Source: Esoteric Psychology I

 

[…] Service is not a sentiment or an ideal, but that it is an effect and a scientific procedure at the same time.

Source: Esoteric Psychology II

 

Where the emphasis is laid upon service to one’s fellowmen and the trend of the life force is outward to the world, then there is freedom from danger and the aspirant can safely meditate and aspire and work. His motive is pure, and he is seeking to decentralize his personality and shift the focus of his attention away from himself to the group. Thus the life of the soul can pour through him, and express itself as love to all beings. He knows himself to be a part of a whole and the life of that whole can flow through him consciously, leading him to a realization of brotherhood and of his oneness in relation to all manifested lives.

Source: The Externalization of the Hierarchy

 

[…] the immediate goal must be well recognized, if lost effort is to be avoided and real progress achieved. Many well-intentioned aspirants are prone to give undue time to their registered aspirations, and to the formulation of their plans for service. The world aspiration is now so strong and humanity is now so potently orienting itself towards the Path that sensitive people everywhere are being swept into a vortex of spiritual desire, and ardently long for the life of liberation, of spiritual undertakings and of recorded soul consciousness. Their recognition of their own latent possibilities is now so strong that they over-estimate themselves; they give much time to picturing themselves as the ideal mystic, or in deploring their lack of spiritual achievement or their failure to achieve a sphere of service. Thus they become lost, on the one hand, in the vague and misty realms of a beautiful idealism, of colorful hypotheses, and of delightful theories; on the other hand, they become engulfed in a dramatization of themselves as centers of power in a field of fruitful service; they draw up, mentally, plans for world endeavor to see themselves as the pivotal point around which that service will move; they frequently make an effort to work out these plans and produce an organization, for instance on the physical plane, which is potentially valuable but equally potentially useless, even if not dangerous. They fail to realize that the motivating impulse is primarily due to what the Hindu teachers call a “sense of I-ness”, and that their work is founded on a subjective egoism which must – and will – be eliminated before true service can be rendered.

Source: A Treatise on White Magic

 

Service is another word for the utilization of soul force for the good of the group. Where this impulse is lacking, energy may pour into the bodies, but – lacking use and finding no outlet – will tend to over-stimulate the centers, and produce conditions disastrous to the neophyte. Assimilation and elimination are laws of the soul life as well as of the physical life, and when this simple law is disregarded serious consequences will follow as inevitably as in the physical body.

Source: A Treatise on White Magic

It will be apparent to you from the above [see prior post] that the mode of handling world affairs, states of consciousness and conditions in the three worlds is one in which the disciple and initiate work from above downwards. The method is in reality a repetition of the involutionary arc in which – like the Creator, from advantage point of exterior direction – energy, force and forces are directed into the world of phenomena and produce definite effects upon the substance of the three planes. This is a point which should be most carefully remembered; and it is for this reason that the Technique of the Presence must always be employed, prior to all other techniques. It establishes contact with the directing spiritual Agent and enables the disciple to assume the attitude of the detached Observer and an agent of the Plan. When this technique is correctly followed, it brings the intuition into play and the world of meaning (lying behind the world of phenomena) stands revealed, thereby dispelling illusion. Truth, as it is, is seen and known. Forms in the outer world of phenomena (outer from the angle of the soul and therefore encompassing the three worlds of our familiar daily living) are seen to be but symbols of an inward and spiritual Reality.

Source: Glamor – A World Problem

 

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.

Source: Esoteric Psychology II

 

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.

Source: Letters on Occult Meditation

 

The service rendered today is what it is because the response of men to these new Aquarian influences is being registered at present in the astral body and is working out through the solar plexus. This accounts for the emotional nature of most of the service rendered in the world at this time; it is responsible for the hatred engendered by those who react sensitively to suffering and who, because of their emotional identification with suffering, lay the blame for the distressing conditions encountered upon a person or a group of persons. It is responsible also for the generally unsatisfactory nature of much of that which is now being done to relieve conditions. It is unsatisfactory from the higher angle of the soul.

When, however, the service rendered is based upon a mental response to humanity’s need, then the whole problem is lifted out of the veil of illusion and out of the valley of the world glamor. Then the impulses to serve are registered in the heart center and not in the solar plexus, and when this is more generally the case, then we shall have a happier and more successful demonstration of service.

Source: Esoteric Psychology II

 

Service is usually interpreted as exceedingly desirable and it is seldom realized 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 endeavor 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 realizing that primarily this help is offered because we ourselves are made uncomfortable by distressing conditions, and must therefore endeavor 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 feels 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 one 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 endeavors, 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; service brings one friends; service is a form of group activity, and frequently brings far more to the server (in a worldly 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; it is becoming responsive to this new law and is learning to react to the steadily imposing will of that great Life who informs the constellation Aquarius, just as our solar Logos informs our solar system and our planetary Logos informs our earth planet.

Source: Esoteric Psychology II

 


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