Joseph J. Weed
Much has been written about Service and all of the Great Ones recommend a life of Service as a sound and sure approach to enlightenment. But even so, this is not yet well understood.
Most people think of Service as servitude. This is natural because every one of us has spent more than one lifetime as a slave or a low cast servant and the habits of thought thus acquired are difficult to shake off. With these habits goes a certain servility and obsequiousness to power which are not proper in any human being and least of all in one whose feet are already upon the Path. Avoid this error.
The Teaching says : "The grayish twilight of servility has brought on a wretched conception of life !" Even in the present day we do not regard all men as equals in spite of our high sounding declarations. Examine yourself and be honest. Do you not consider some men your betters and others inferior to you? Do not be ashamed if you find this so --- and by all means do not try to deceive yourself. There is no need for a feeling of guilt. It is not your fault that your thinking is enwrapped by a powerful thought form that has dominated the creation of every human social structure for the past twenty thousand years. Very few are able to transcend its powerful influence. Very, very few people can actually see others as equals and know that no one is either superior or inferior except in the degree of expansion of their consciousness.
Please understand this. We do not encourage a light minded approach to our Elder Brothers. Only in solemnity of thought and dignity of action is it fitting to approach these Awakened Ones for They are Great Flames in the Cosmic Fire. But then each human is also a spark from this same Cosmic Fire and as such worthy of dignity and respect. Only man can debase man but the time has come when this fear of superiors and contempt for inferiors must cease. Man must learn to face every other man eye to eye as an equal. This is the order of the new day. And those that fight it with threats and glamour and fear do the work of Darkness.
No, Service is not servitude, and servility has been marked for extinction.
We have been called to Service by the Master. "Not for revelations but for Service did I summon thee" says the Teaching. There is a distinction between this Great Service and human service, yet both have their place. There is a dignity in human service which is as yet only dimly recognized but in days to come the many simple acts which are presently looked upon as menial will take on a new stature and significance. The setting of tables and the making of beds, the shining of shoes and the pressing of clothes, the cutting of hair and the carrying of luggage will all come to be recognized as the essential activities they are and those who do this work will be accorded the same dignity and importance in the social scheme as the construction worker or the airline pilot. The airline stewardesses, for example, represent a remarkable bridging over to this new viewpoint. Their main responsibility is to serve food and beverages and otherwise care for the comfort and needs of the passengers. Yet they are not labeled as waitresses. They are looked upon as important and responsible employees and their jobs are regarded as glamourous and desirable. In such a manner will all of the so-called service trades be elevated in days to come to new recognitions and a dignity truly proportionate to human worth.
But this is not the Great Service. This is human service wherein time and effort are expended and just compensation in the form of money and honor is received in return. The Great Service is something different. Actually the Great Service involves sacrifice. Sacrifice may be described as the giving, or giving up, of something physical, or emotional, or mental in order to achieve something higher or better. There is pure sacrifice and impure sacrifice. Pure sacrifice is where the giving is complete with no thought of return or reward, where there is not even desire for self-approval. Only the greatest souls, or mortals in their greatest moments, are capable of pure sacrifice. For us the Great Service involves sacrifice, but sacrifice which is usually tinged with some form of self-interest. There is nothing wrong or shameful in this. It is the best most of us can do at this stage of our development. The important thing is that we make the effort and sincerely try to do our best.
The Masters frequently refer to the Great Service as labor. For example, the Teaching says "By labor you unlock the Gates to the Land of your Striving" and again, "That labor is of worth which is performed with one's own hands" which means that part of the reward is the lesson to be learned in the actual experience. This experience can only be had when the Service is performed directly by ones self and not through an agent. The Master Jesus frequently spoke of the "laborers in the vineyard" and said "the laborer is worthy of his hire", meaning he would not go unrewarded. In the same manner those engaged in the Great Service are sometimes referred to as workers --- one who has faithfully stood the tests of time is called a co-worker --- and they do not go unrewarded.
Those who accept the call to the Great Service must know that it will cause, nay it will demand, a great change in their lives. Usually this change is internal, a change of viewpoint or outlook, but occasionally the change is all-embracing and a complete up-rooting takes place. Most important for the aspirant is for him to understand what is happening. He has turned his steps from the broad highway of custom and habit and struck out upon a new Path, a narrow Path which goes steeply up the mountainside. This is an allegorical statement describing what takes place when one starts to devote himself to the Great Service. From this comes the often heard phrase "on the Path". Thus, we see that dedication to the Great Service leads one onto the Path to Illumination or Cosmic Consciousness.
A great many students cannot understand the association of service with the idea of Cosmic attainment. They ask "What is the connection?" The answer is that here again is another of the great suggestions or advices that have been given us by Hierarchy. We are told to serve not because They need or want our service but because by serving or even attempting, to serve, we help ourselves. A clue is given in the statement "The means of achieving expansion of consciousness are innumerable, but inherent in all are the ideas of honesty (truth) and self-sacrifice". True service involves a straightforwardness, an honesty with ones self and others, and above all a willingness to sacrifice, always sacrifice. To start right out to sacrifice this and give up that is impractical. It is foreign to our nature and to our motor mechanisms. But if we try to be of service, our attention is gradually weaned away from ourselves by the needs of others and one day we awaken to the fact that we are actually making great sacrifices of time, energy and self-interest with no thought or desire of return.
The selfless giving of oneself to help others stirs the heart center into activity and this evolves into an actual love for humanity which is so needed today. Not love for a particular person, nor a particular group, nor even a particular nation, for this is normal human love, but an open-hearted love for all humanity is the crying need. To see all men as souls, to understand and forgive them their errors, to magnify the good in them and minimize the evil is the sign of an awakening heart. Then we are well upon the Path. Then we are performing the Great Service. Step by step we have been led away from our old habits of thought and conduct, one by one we give up our recreations and our playthings, gradually we become adult in our thinking and outlook. Each day we find ourselves doing less and less of what we want to do and more of what we ought to do. We work harder, we accomplish more, and we are astonished that we feel better and have more energy than heretofore. By forgetting self we are beginning to widen the doorway to the Cosmic, to our Higher selves, and a correspondingly greater flow of psychic energy is available to us. For the first time since childhood we experience joys, joy in doing, joy in being and, wonder of wonders, there is promise of more.
O workers in the Great Service, I offer you this prayer
"O Lord, give strength to my heart and power to my arm.
Because I am Thy servant.
In Thy Rays I shall learn the eternal truth of Being.
In Thy Voice I shall listen to the Harmony of the world.
My heart I give to Thee, O Lord.
Sacrifice it for the sake of the world."
Joseph J. Weed
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A Rosicrucian Speaks
Joseph J. Weed
Copyright: The Chatsworth Press
Last Modified on: January 19, 2014