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A Treatise on White Magic - Rule Three - Principles and Personalities
A principle is that which ensouls a statement dealing with the highest good of the greatest number. That a man should love his wife is a statement of a principle governing the personality but it must later be transmuted into the greater principle that a man must love his fellow men. Principles are of three kinds and the higher must be reached via the lower:

a. Principles governing the lower personal self, dealing with the actions or active life of that lower self. They embody the third aspect or the activity aspect of logic manifestation and form the basis of later progress. They control the man during his little evolved state, and during his period of thoughtlessness and might be comprehended more easily if I were to say that they are embodied in the commonly accepted rules of decent living. Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, have to do with a man's active life, with the building up of character.

b. Principles governing the higher Self and dealing with the love or wisdom aspect. It is with these that we are now concerned and half the troubles in [117] the world at present arise from the fact that these higher principles, having to do with love or wisdom in all their fullness, are only now beginning to be apprehended by the rank and file of mankind. In the quick recognition of their truthfulness and the attempt to make them facts, without previously adjusting the environment to those ideals, comes the frequent clashing and warfare between those actuated by the principles governing the personality and those governing the higher Self. Until more of the race are governed by the soul consciousness this warfare is inevitable and cannot be avoided. When the emotional plane is dominated by the intuitional, then will come universal comprehension.

The first set of principles is learnt by the man through grasping, and the subsequent disaster that results from that seizure. He stole, he suffered the penalty and he stole no more. The principle was wrought into him by pain and he learnt that only that which was his by right and not by seizure could be enjoyed. The world is learning this lesson in groups now, for, as its revolutionaries seize and unlawfully hold, they find the stolen property suffices not but brings sorrow. Thus in time they learn the principles.

The second set of principles is learnt through renunciation and service. A man looks away (having learnt first principles) from the things of the personality and in service learns the power of love in its occult significance. He spends and consequently receives; he lives the life of renunciation and the wealth of the heavens pours in on him; he gives all and is full to completeness; he asks nothing for himself and is the richest man on earth.

First principles deal with the differentiated unit and with evolution through heterogeneity. Principles such as the race is learning now have to do with groups; the [118] question is not "What will be best for the man?" but "What will be best for the many?" and only those who can think with vision of the many as one, can state these principles satisfactorily. They are the most important, for they are the basic principles of this love system. The trouble today is that men are confused. Certain first principles, the lower activity fundamentals are ingrained and inherent now, and a few of the higher egoic or love principles are seeping through into their bewildered brains causing in apparent momentary clashing of ideas. Therefore like Pilate they say: "What is truth?" If they will but remember that the higher principles deal with the good of the group and the lower with the good of the individual, mayhap clarity will ensue. The lower activity of personal life, no matter how good or how worthy, must eventually be transcended by the higher love life that seeks the good of the group and not of the unit.

All that tends to synthesis and divine expression in collections of units is approaching closer to the ideal and approximating the higher principles. In thinking out these ideas may come some helpfulness. You have an illustration of what I say in the fact that many of the struggles that arise in organizations are based on the fact that some worthy people follow personalities, sacrificing themselves for a principle, yes, but a principle governing the personality life. Other, dimly glimpsing something higher and seeking the good of the groups and not of a person, stumble onto a higher principle, and in so doing bring in the force of the ego. They are working for others and aiming at the helping of their group. When egos and personalities clash, the victory of the higher is sure; the lower principle must give way to the higher. One is concentrated on what seems to him to be of paramount value, the fulfiling of the wish of the personal life, and (at this period) is only secondarily [119] interested in the good of the many though he may have moments when he thinks that is his primary intent. The other cares naught for what becomes of the personal self and is only interested in the helping of the many. It boils down, to use an apt expression, to the question of selfish or unselfish motive, and, as you know, motives vary as time speeds by and the man nears the goal of the probationary path.

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