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Esoteric Psychology II - Chapter I - The Egoic Ray - The Seven Laws of Soul or Group Life
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. [121]

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 [122] 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.

The idea of service is, at this time, the major idea to be grasped for (in grasping it) we open ourselves wide to the new incoming influences. 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 [123] 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.

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