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The Externalization of the Hierarchy - Section IV - Stages in the Externalization
1. The Inertia of the Average Spiritually-Minded Man

The average aspirant, man of goodwill, or disciple, is constantly aware of the challenge of the times and the opportunity which spiritual events may offer. The desire to do good and to accomplish spiritual ends is ceaselessly gnawing away within his consciousness. No one who loves his fellowmen, who has a dream of seeing the Kingdom of [620] God materialize on earth, or who is conscious of the awakening of the masses - slow though it may be - to the higher spiritual values, but is thoroughly dissatisfied. He realizes that what he contributes of help to these desirable objectives is little indeed. He knows that his spiritual life is a side issue; it is something which he keeps carefully to himself and which he is frequently afraid to mention to his nearest and his dearest; he tries to dovetail his spiritual efforts into his ordinary outer life, struggling to find time and opportunity for it in a gentle, futile and innocuous manner. He finds himself helpless before the task of organizing and rearranging his affairs so that the spiritual way of living may dominate; he searches for alibis for himself and eventually rationalizes himself so successfully that he ends by deciding that he is doing the best he can in the given circumstances. The truth is that he is doing so little that probably one hour out of the twenty-four (or perhaps two) would cover the time given to the Master's work; he hides behind the alibi that his home obligations prevent his doing more, and he does not realize that - given tact and loving understanding - his home environment can and must be the field in which he triumphs; he forgets that there exist no circumstances in which the spirit of man can be defeated or in which the aspirant cannot meditate, think, talk and prepare the way for the coming of the Christ, provided he cares enough and knows the meaning of sacrifice and silence. Circumstances and environment offer no true obstacle to the spiritual life.

Perhaps he hides behind the alibi of poor health, and frequently behind that of imaginary ills. He gives so much time to the care of himself that the hours which could be given to the Master's work are directly and seriously curtailed; he is so preoccupied with feeling tired, or tending a cold, or with fancied heart difficulties, that his "body consciousness" steadily develops until it eventually dominates his life; it is then too late to do anything. This is particularly the case with people who have reached their fiftieth year or over; the trouble then is predominantly with women. It is [621] an alibi which it is hard not to use, for many feel tired and ailing and this, as the years go by, is apt to get worse. The only cure for the creeping inertia is to ignore the body and take your joy in the livingness of service. This leads to a longer life. I speak here not of definite disease or of serious physical liabilities; to these right care and attention must be duly given; I speak to the thousands of ailing men and women who are preoccupied with taking care of themselves, and so waste hours of the time which could be given to the service of humanity. I ask those who are seeking to tread the Path of Discipleship to release those many hours spent in needless self-care into the service of the Hierarchy.

Still another alibi leading to inertia is the fear people have of speaking about the things of the Kingdom of God to others; they are afraid of being rebuffed, or of being thought peculiar, or of intruding. They therefore preserve silence, lose opportunity, and never discover how ready people are for the discussion of realities, for the comfort and hope which the thought of Christ's return can bring, or for the sharing of spiritual light. This is essentially a form of spiritual cowardice, but it is so widespread that it is responsible for the loss of millions of hours of world service.

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