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A Treatise on White Magic - Rule Fourteen - The Treading of the Way
2. Obey the inward impulses of the soul. Well do the teachers of the race instruct the budding initiate to practice discrimination and train him in the arduous task of distinguishing between:
  1. Instinct and intuition.
  2. Higher and lower mind.
  3. Desire and spiritual impulse.
  4. Selfish aspiration and divine incentive.
  5. The urge emanating from the lunar lords, and the unfoldment of the solar Lord.

It is no easy or flattering task to find oneself out and to discover that perhaps even the service we have rendered and our longing to study and work has had a basically selfish origin, and resting on a desire for liberation or a distaste for the humdrum duties of everyday. He who seeks to obey the impulses of the soul has to cultivate an accuracy of summation and a truthfulness with himself which is rare indeed these days. Let him say to himself "I must to my own Self be true" and in the private moments of his life and in the secrecy of his own meditation let him not gloss over one fault, nor excuse himself along a single line. Let him learn to diagnose his own words, deeds, and motives, and to call things by their true names. Only thus will he train himself in spiritual discrimination and learn to recognize truth in all things. Only thus will the reality be arrived at and the true Self known.

3. Pay no consideration to the prudential considerations of worldly science and sagacity. If the aspirant has need to cultivate a capacity to walk alone, if he has to [586] develop the ability to be truthful in all things, he has likewise need to cultivate courage. It will be needful for him to run counter consistently to the world's opinion, and to the very best expression of that opinion, and this with frequency. He has to learn to do the right thing as he sees and knows it, irrespective of the opinion of earth's greatest and most quoted. He must depend upon himself and upon the conclusions he himself has come to in his moments of spiritual communion and illumination. It is here that so many aspirants fail. They do not do the very best they know; they fail to act in detail as their inner voice tells them; they leave undone certain things which they are prompted to do in their moments of meditation, and fail to speak the word which their spiritual mentor, the Self, urges them to speak. It is in the aggregate of these unaccomplished details that the big failures are seen.

There are no trifles in the life of the disciple and an unspoken word or unfulfiled action may prove the factor which is holding a man from initiation.

4. Live a life which is an example to others. Is it necessary for me to enlarge upon this? It seems as if it should not be and yet here again is where men fail. What after all is group service? Simply the life of example. He is the best exponent of the Ageless Wisdom who lives each day in the place where is the life of the disciple; he does not live it in the place where he thinks he should be. Perhaps after all the quality which produces the greatest number of failures among aspirants to adeptship is cowardice. Men fail to make good where they are because they find some reason which makes them think they should be elsewhere. Men run away, almost unrealizing it, from difficulty, from inharmonious conditions, from places which involve problems, and from circumstances which call for action of a high sort and which are staged to draw out the best that is in a man, [587] provided he stays in them. They flee from themselves and from other people, instead of simply living the life.

The adept speaks no word which can hurt, harm or wound. Therefore he has had to learn the meaning of speech in the midst of life's turmoil. He wastes no time in self pity or self justification for he knows the law has placed him where he is, and where he best can serve, and has learnt that difficulties are ever of a man's own making and the result of his own mental attitude. If the incentive to justify himself occurs he recognizes it as a temptation to be avoided. He realizes that each word spoken, each deed undertaken and every look and thought has its effect for good or for evil upon the group.

Is it not apparent therefore why so few achieve and so many fail?

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