Contemporary English Version The lifestyle of good people is like sunlight at dawn that keeps getting brighter until broad daylight. Good News Translation The road the righteous travel is like the sunrise, getting brighter and brighter until daylight has come. Holman Christian Standard Bible The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, shining brighter and brighter until midday. International Standard Version The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn that grows brighter until the full light of day.
NET Bible But the path of the righteous is like the bright morning light, growing brighter and brighter until full day. New Heart English Bible But the path of the righteous is like the dawning light, that shines more and more until the perfect day. Aramaic Bible in Plain English But the way of the righteous ones is like the shining light, and the light progresses until the day is established. JPS Tanakh But the path of the righteous is as the light of dawn, That shineth more and more unto the perfect day. New American Standard But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.
Jubilee Bible But the path of the just is as the light of the morning star, that shines more and more until the day is perfect. King James Bible But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shines more and more unto the perfect day. American King James Version But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shines more and more to the perfect day.
American Standard Version But the path of the righteous is as the dawning light, That shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
Brenton Septuagint Translation But the ways of the righteous shine like light; they go on and shine, until the day be fully come. Douay-Rheims Bible But the path of the just, as a shining light, goeth forwards and increaseth even to perfect day. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :.
Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. The Path of Perfection by Bahram Elahi. In his latest work, Prof. Bahram Elahi, M. Presented as a handbook of what he has termed "natural spirituality. Elahi sets forth in astonishingly simple and straightforward language answers to such perennial questions as: What is the m In his latest work, Prof. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages.
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Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Path of Perfection , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about The Path of Perfection. Still he is absolutely unscrupulous. Anyone who happened to get in his way he would brush aside with far less consideration than we should give to a mosquito. But to a man who did not stand in his way he might be quite a good friend, and there is not necessarily any active evil in his composition.
He is not at all a monster of evil, but he is a man who has struck out a line for himself, and is following it at the cost of all that to us means progress. That is all we have a right to say against him. We are confident that he will end in great disaster; he is not so sure of that, and in any case he is willing to face it. As a rule these people are sufficient unto themselves, and they distrust and despise everybody else. That is always characteristic of anyone who is on the dark path; he is right and everybody else is wrong.
He looks down on everybody else. People talk sometimes about a black brotherhood. There is no such thing. There could not be any true brotherhood among them, but they do occasionally join together in face of an imminent peril or when something threatens any of their plans. At best it is a very loose alliance, formidable only because of the tremendous power that some of them possess. It does happen now and again that?
They cannot touch our Masters — I think that must be very irritating to them — but they sometimes get hold of one of Their pupils, and so cause Them a little trouble or some disappointment, if we can suppose that a Master would feel disappointment. The reason of all the warnings given to us to beware of these people is that we shall find them trying sometimes to mislead us. Madame Blavatsky, who knew a great deal about them and had a wholesome respect for them, rather gave the impression that they were tempting demons who exult in evil for its own sake.
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This would be true only of those at a lower level; the more powerful of them would consider it quite undignified to exult in anything; but their plans, which are always entirely selfish, may sometimes involve a great deal of harm to certain people. They are as calm and self-contained and as passionless as any disciple of the Master; in fact, they are more so, because they have killed out all feeling intentionally.
They would not injure a man merely for the sake of doing harm, but, as I said before, in pursuit of some end of their own which his existence interferes with they would not hesitate to sweep him out of their way. Those whose work it is to assist people astrally sometimes come across their victims, and in that case the man who tries to help often brings down upon himself also the determined opposition of the black magician. To return to our main topic. Many people are very much disturbed by the sight of the suffering of others, but if they do not actually see that suffering they forget it.
Many of the richer people in a city like London, for example, when taken to see the terrible misery in the slums, are very much affected, and will at once do all they can to relieve the particular cases that they see; yet the same people will go off to their hunting and fishing and pleasure, and absolutely forget that there is any misery.
That kind of sympathy is a poor thing — it is not real sympathy at all. When we fully realize the suffering of humanity we gradually lose sight of our own. We forget that we have Personal sufferings because we see that the sufferings of humanity are so great, and we realize that that which falls to our lot is after all only our part of the general burden.
A man who can get into that state of mind has already very largely transcended his personality. He sorrows still for humanity, but no longer for himself; he has become incapable of tears as far as his own personal joys and sorrows are concerned. It is not an easy matter to regard the sufferings of others accurately. The President and I some years ago investigated the question of the influence of pain upon different people undergoing what from the outside would be regarded as the same physical suffering. We found that in an extreme case one person was suffering perhaps a thousand times more than another, and that in ordinary life one might quite often feel pain a hundred times more than another.
If one. It may not be the case. We looked into the question of the amount of suffering which was inflicted on different people by the ignominies of prison life; to some persons they meant practically nothing, to others the most intense mental and emotional suffering.
TALKS ON THE PATH OF OCCULTISM- VOL. 3
I have found that many things which do not matter in the least to me may nevertheless cause serious pain to others; whereas it has been quite the reverse as regards other things, such as unpleasant sounds, for example which often cause acute suffering to those who are developing their finer senses.
I have seen our President in a condition of positive agony when a great ammunition wagon went clanging by the house where we were staying in Avenue Road, in London. This does not mean, of course, that she lost control of her nerves. She has often explained that while the disciple must increase his sensitiveness he must also control his nervous system, so as to bear without flinching whatever pain or disturbance may come to him.
Before the ear can hear it must have lost its sensitiveness. If they think and speak well of him he is not to be elated; if ill, he is not to be depressed. Yet at the same time he must not be indifferent to the opinions of others as they affect the people who hold them. He is not, therefore, to be careless with regard to the impressions which he makes upon others, for if he repels them by his conduct he loses his power to help them.
The disciple, in the course of his progress, develops his psychic powers, and so becomes conscious of what others are thinking about him; he is then living in a world in which he may hear everything said about him, and may see every criticism in the mind of another. He reaches this point when he has risen above all criticism, and is not affected by the opinions of others.
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Some people are very anxious to develop clairvoyance before they have reached this stage, but if they realized this fact the astral consciousness which they so much desire would lose its attraction. He does not pick out one particular cicada and listen to its tone alone, nor does he single out the thought or the word of any one person who is saying something silly.
We must all try to reach that stage. When we have reached that attitude the next step is to think of the bad karma these people are making in thinking or speaking wrongly about us. We may then regret it for their sake, and for that reason it is well that we should endeavour not to give more cause than we can help for foolish and depreciatory remarks — not in the least because they matter to us, but because they make bad karma for the people who indulge in them.
Before the voice can speak in the presence of the Masters it must have lost the power to wound.
In the earlier stages he has to learn to eliminate from his speech all that can give pain — not merely harsh criticism or unkind language, but every form of word that hurts another by implying disparagement or drawing attention to a fault in his character. It is true that some people are in a position in which it is their duty sometimes to point out his fault to another; but it is a mistaken view that he is justified in inflicting pain while doing so.
When the fault is pointed out in a perfectly friendly manner, the element of wounding is not present. Whenever the speech wounds it is due to some imperfection in carrying out the duty; the would-be helper has failed to identify himself with the person addressed; he is giving advice only from the outside, and therefore it hurts.
If it is your duty to criticize another and you find that it wounds him, look into yourself to find the imperfection that caused the wound. If we are to lose the power to wound, the separate individuality must go; when we feel ourselves as one life, it becomes impossible for us to inflict suffering upon anything, as it is part of ourselves.
The way to reach that point of evolution is to begin by gradually purifying the speech, taking the more salient faults first. But there is still the possibility of wounding unintentionally and unconsciously, on account of want of sensitiveness.
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As we go further and raise our consciousness to a higher level we shall more and more understand how things strike others. Those who have been practising meditation for many years will notice that they have become more sensitive, have made a certain amount of progress towards unity, and therefore they understand the people about them just a little better than those who have not made such an effort.
We hear someone make what we think an unfortunate remark, in all good faith and without noticing that there is anything wrong with it and that they have wounded somebody. We who have sharpened our senses just a little by thought and study and the endeavour to live the higher life feel instinctively how the third person will take that remark. We can see that it is an unfortunate one, and wish it had been put in some other form.
A Master could not possibly say anything that would hurt another. He might find it necessary to give something in the nature of a rebuke; but He would manage to put it in such a way that the man would not be wounded by what He said. Sometimes a disciple finds it in the line of his duty to act sternly, and he is tempted, through his own feeling of sympathy, to avoid the task.
But if the Higher Self asserts its dominance he will, if it is absolutely necessary speak sternly, but also calmly and judicially, and without indignation. Before the soul can stand in the presence of the Masters its feet must be washed in the blood of the heart. It has to do with the teaching of sacrifice, which still appears in different religions in various forms, though they have generally lost its true meaning. The expression used here is connected with what is sometimes called the blood-sacrifice and the blood-covenant, of which the strangest traces are to be found among the tribes which are descended from very ancient races.
In looking up past lives we came across an incident which may be told to illustrate the idea behind the blood-sacrifice and covenant. Very long ago He who is now the Master Morya was a great king; he had an only son who was H. One day, when the boy was alone with the captain, some conspirators who had plotted to slay him rushed in and would have killed him, but the captain threw himself in between and saved the boy at the cost of his own life. The youth was only stunned, but the captain lay upon him dying, and as the blood poured from his death-wound he touched it with his finger and placed it on the feet of the king.
In sacrificing the life of the body the captain made a tie which gave him the true life which the disciple gains from the Master. I mention the story because it illustrates a great truth; just in proportion as we are strong enough to sacrifice whatever to us is the life, to pour out the life-blood of the lower at the feet of the higher, is the life really gained, not lost. All evolution of young humanity is made by the voluntary sacrifice of the lower life to the higher; when that sacrifice is completely made, it is found that life instead of being lost is made immortal.
The outer sign of the sacrifice helped persons to understand the principle more readily, and drew attention to the fundamental truth that it is only when the lower life is sacrificed to the higher that it finds its own true fulfilment of evolution. On that truth the sacrifices which are found in many religions were originally based; that is how what is called the blood-bond is really made.
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The lower life is sacrificed for the higher life, and the higher accepts the lower and lifts it up by the bond that is never broken. The disciple must wash his feet in the blood of the heart. He must make a complete offering of everything, that he loves and values, of what seems to him his very life; but he loses this only to find his higher life.
It is not usually an actual shedding of blood that is required, though that does become necessary sometimes; it is symbolically the shedding of blood always so far as the pupil is concerned at the time, because he feels the loss. He does literally sacrifice what to him amounts to life, and it looks as though he were giving it up completely, without any future possibility of regaining it.
If the disciple is not strong enough to do that he is not ready to stand in the presence of the Master. But if he can completely throw away everything that he knows as his life, then all the testimony of the past and the truth of the law declare that he will find that life again in a life stronger and higher than that which be laid down. It is only when that sacrifice is made that the disciple finds himself in the higher life, standing in the presence of the Masters.
Then the degree of his strength is the extent of his power to make the sacrifice without feeling it. That is a general law of life. The little child takes great pleasure in playing with its toys; soon it grows up into boyhood, and the lower playthings have been outgrown and put aside, in order that proficiency may be gained in the higher kind of sports. When the youth goes to college he will many a time perhaps give up a game in the fresh air, which he would very much prefer, in order to work at his books. At other times he will put aside something he would very much like to read, in order to slave at Greek verbs or other apparently uninteresting and not very useful studies.
If he goes into training for a race, or for rowing, he has to sacrifice the enjoyment of good dinners, and live in a frugal and rigid way until the race is over. On the occult path many pleasures connected with the outer world are seen to be a waste of time. There may be cases when it is a real effort to part with them, when there is a call from the higher life, and the aspirant responds to that call at a certain amount of cost to the lower nature.
Then he must cast aside the lower in order to have the higher; but later on the attraction of the lower will have disappeared entirely. When a mart once fully realizes the higher, the lower simply ceases to exist for him, but in many cases he has to cast aside the lower before he really enters into the glory and the joy and the beauty of the spiritual life. I have known many whose opportunities were good but who shrank back just at that point, and failed because they were not ready to give up all that they had previously enjoyed, and apparently receive nothing in return for it.
Sometimes a man is afraid to let go of one thing until he can grasp the other, and so he holds fast to the lower; but it does not satisfy him, because he has glimpsed the higher. Many have worked for years and years, and wonder why they do not attain, why they are not among those whom the Master is able to draw very close to Himself. The reason is always the same; it is the personality in some form that keeps them back. The person who is going to succeed will feel that there is nothing else for him to do but to make the great renunciation when the moment comes.
Kill out. It is important not to misunderstand it. There are two ways of getting rid of or killing out an evil thought, an evil habit or an evil act. Let us consider the thought first, because when that has been removed the other two very easily follow. He finds that it tends to repeat itself. Then his first inclination is generally to fight with it to throw his energy against it and violently turn it out, just as he would deal with a physical enemy. He wants to get it out of the mind, so he takes it by the shoulders and flings it out.
That is not the best way. It ignores the great law, which works throughout nature, that action and reaction are equal and opposite. Take a ball and throw it against a wall; it will rebound and strike you, gently if you have thrown it gently, but with great force if you have flung it violently. The same principle is true everywhere.
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Suppose you turn a thought out of the mind with violence; there will be a decided reaction. The recoil will give you a definite sense of exhaustion, and the thought may come back to you with increased force. The strength that you have put out has then taken form as thought, and has come back to you again, and you have to repeat the struggle. In that way a man may in some cases fight for weeks and months and even years, and yet be none the better for it.
Still, in time it is possible to kill out evil thought by this means, though with it you will also kill out a large amount of your own force and energy, of your thought-power, so that a certain hardness and lack of responsiveness of some area of the mental body will be the result of the struggle. The other way of killing it out is to substitute for the bad thought a good thought of exactly opposite nature. You first deliberately study the matter and decide what is the opposite, the exact antithesis, of the evil thought.
You formulate the new thought quietly in your mind, and then, at the very moment when the evil thought comes into your mind, you substitute for it the opposite good thought. Thus for pride you might substitute kindness, for anger affection, for fear admiration, and for low material desires thoughts of purity, dignity, honour, and the like; or you might dwell with devotional thought upon the mental image of the Master as having the good quality, and forget yourself in thinking of Him.
The human mind cannot concentrate on two separate things at once; so when you give your attention to the good thought the result is that the evil thought is expelled without your directing any force towards it. Thus no mental energy is wasted, no vitality is lost. The good thought soon gains strength, and the mind becomes impervious to the attacks of the bad thought, and irresponsive to its kind; so you have practically killed out the evil by intensifying and vitalizing the opposite good.
It is as if we sucked the life out of the bad thought, and left it a mere shell. Bad thoughts are most effectively killed by such devitalization. We have thus two ways of killing out; the former on the line of death, the latter on that of growth. One is the plan which is chiefly used by those who are beginning to tread the left-hand path, who are turning against the way of the divine Will. The other is that of evolution in accordance with the divine Plan.
We are free to choose which we will follow of these two great roads. All the things of the world are in evolution, moving on one or the other of these paths. Those parts of the world in which Ishvara is developing His Image have a certain free will, which consists-in their being able to work with the divine Will or away from it as separate individuals.
Those who work with Him ultimately tread the right-hand path, but those who deliberately choose the separated self are preparing themselves to tread the left-hand path. People of the left-hand path kill out sympathy, affection and love, because they find that those qualities bring misery, and also stand in the way of their gaining power. The killing out process is generally taken therefore by those who want to gain power and the other things that they consider desirable in this life, for the firm establishment and the enjoyment of the separated self, careless of the good of the whole, entirely bent upon their own individual progress and gain.
They will kill violently all that side of their own nature the response to which would be an obstacle in the path of power. They will kill out affection also, because it is an avenue of pain, and it is far easier to become indifferent by killing out affection than by becoming more and more sensitive. But the way we have been taught is that of union, the path in which the disciple becomes responsive to every cry of pain, as was so emphatically taught in The Voice of the Silence.
II, pp. Then of course the law will be with him. They want to kill out a certain evil quality, so they set themselves very strongly, angrily almost, against that quality. One result of this is that one stirs up whatever forces exist, inside and outside, which are tending in the opposite direction, into the most violent opposition possible, and the consequence is a serious struggle. If a man is sufficiently determined he will come out conqueror in the end, but in many cases he will waste a large amount of his own force and energy and thought-power, and leave himself much exhausted and depleted.
I can testify that the method of substitution works very much better, for I have tried both. It is a sort of moral ju jutsu whereby you employ the force of the hostile power to help you. You do not so much attack the foe as concentrate all your attention on the opposite virtue. If for example, a man is inclined to be readily upset and disturbed, he should not fight hard against that, but instead should think constantly of calmness, of peace and philosophy. Presently that thought will become established by habit, and he will find that the old worry and lack of calmness have passed away without his making a desperate fight.
We do not want to set one vice to fight another vice, but we want to ignore all these things and work up the opposite virtue; by doing that the effect will be just as good and we shall achieve it with far less trouble. Especially is this true of love and devotion, which one should deliberately cultivate. When a man feels a great rush of such an emotion as these his aura expands: his astral body becomes perhaps ten times its normal size in the case of the ordinary person, and much more than that when the man really knows how to use his higher vehicles.
When the great paroxysm of feeling is over the aura contracts again, but not exactly to what it was before; having been much stretched it remains at least a little larger than before. The first effect of the expansion is a rarefaction of the astral body, but it very speedily draws in more astral matter to fill the larger space, so as to make it up to about its normal density.
The astral body is definitely needed in order that by means of it one may be able to sympathize with people, and also because of its function as a reflector of the buddhic body.
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In the case of a developed person there is no colour in his astral body except what is mirrored from the higher planes; it only reflects and shows the most delicate tints of colour. There are three ways in which the higher Self is connected with the personality. II, p. The higher mind is reflected in the lower.
The buddhi or intuition is reflected a stage lower than the mind, in the astral body. There is also the possibility of connection between atma and the physical brain. The last is the most difficult to understand; it shows tremendous power of will, which moves without consideration of the means by which its object is to be achieved. It is the method of the first ray, to which Dr. Besant belongs. She has that great power of deciding that something shall be done, without stopping to consider the methods to be employed until afterwards.
We do not know the limits of the human will. It has been said that faith may remove mountains and cast them into the sea. I do not know whether there would be any particular purpose to be served in doing that, if it can be done, but I have certainly seen very wonderful results accomplished by the human will and I do not know where the limits of that power are set.
Incredible things are done, more especially on the higher planes, by the mere action of will. When I had to take up the study of materialization, for example, according to my way of progress I had to learn exactly how it was to be done — a complicated process involving a good deal of knowledge of the different materials to be brought together and how they could best be arranged.
But I have known a person, who knew nothing whatever about it, to drive straight in by the tremendous force of will and produce the same result, without gathering together all the complicated things that were necessary, and without in the least knowing how it was done. Such will is one of the divine powers latent in all of us, but in very few does it ever come to the surface and produce such a result without a long course of careful training.
I think that for most people the easiest of the three ways of making connection with the higher Self is to bring together the higher and lower minds, by passing from concrete to abstract thought, or from analysis to synthesis. But I have seen cases in which a person has been able to reach the buddhic consciousness without disturbing the relations between the mental and causal bodies at all. When it can be done, I have heard on high authority that this unification of the buddhic and astral bodies is the shortest of all roads to the goal, but the capacity to do it is gained only as the result of much suffering in previous lives.
Those for whom that is the line raise themselves by the intensity of their love of devotion into the buddhic vehicle and effect a junction there, before they have developed the lower mind to anything like a level where it can work in with the higher mind, and before they have developed the causal body itself. Of course these two bodies must be developed, they cannot be overlooked; the aspirant will work upon the lower mind from the astral body, developing it and learning whatever has to be learnt, on account of his love and devotion.
The pupil loves his Master so intensely that for His sake he will learn what is needed, and will thus develop whatever intellect is necessary. He also acts upon the causal body from above, and pours into it the buddhic conception, and so forces it to express that as far as it can do so in its own way.
The undeveloped man is strongly held by the attractions of the senses; he desires physical luxury and bodily enjoyment. He does not feel ambition, which is the desire for power, until the mind is highly developed and the intellectual power has grown strong. It causes the man to feel himself separate, and that invariably leads him to wish to exercise power, because that desire is the self-assertion of the individual soul.
He feels himself superior to all around him, and that shows as a desire for physical authority. From that comes the temptation to seek and grasp social and political power. In the political and social sphere ambition is the great moving force; for the man who by his intellect has gained influence over his fellow-men, stands out as their leader and this is a position which is incense in the nostrils of the proud and superior man.
Then the man begins to despise outer power over the bodies of men, and there comes into his mind the realization of a subtler form of power, which he now seeks to obtain. He no longer wants to lay down laws with physical authority; he has the subtler longing to dominate and rule the minds of men.
That is intellectual ambition — the ambition to be a leader of thought. It is not an ambition which would move anyone who had not a largely developed intellect. Still later, when that desire has been outgrown, ambition reappears in a yet subtler form, when the man passes on into the spiritual life. He thinks of the spiritual progress as made by himself for his own sake, because he wants to grow and understand and progress; the old ambition is really still holding him, and it is more dangerous because it is higher and subtler.
That is why in the note to this aphorism the Master makes the remarkable statement that the pure artist, who works for the love of his work, is sometimes more firmly planted on the right road than the occultist who fancies he has removed his interest from self, but who has in reality only enlarged the limits of experience and desire, and transferred his interest to things which concern his larger span of life. The occultist is no longer confined to the ambitions of his present incarnation, yet his ambition may not be dead. He no longer cares to be a law-giver or ruler of mankind, nor even an arbitrator in the thoughts of men; but he desires to be high in the spiritual world.
He realizes that he is going to live life after life, and his ambition extends to the whole span of that greater life. He is still longing to be first, to be separate, to be what others are not. Yet that too must be overcome. When one speaks to those who desire to be part of the universal life, the very first thing that one must tell them is to kill out that which makes for separateness. There would, however, be no gain in putting such an ideal before the ordinary man.
He cannot leap at once from the worldly life into a spiritual life in which he is in full activity, but nevertheless doing nothing connected with the personal or the individual self. If you tell an ordinary man of the world to kill out ambition, and if he does it, the effect will not be a desirable one, for he will fall into lethargy and do nothing. Suppose a man is further on than that, is on the probationary path; how should he read this rule about ambition?
Most wisely by applying the word kill to the lower form of ambition; he should in fact understand it to mean transmute. He should get rid of ambition for the things of the world, but put before himself something higher for which he can be ambitious. That would be the desire for spiritual knowledge and growth. At this stage a man does not get rid of ambition totally; he enters an intermediate state, and will make great progress if he puts before himself as his goal the attainment of spiritual knowledge and the object of finding the Master and ultimately becoming a Master himself.
Really these are all ambitions, but they will help him to shake off many of the lower shackles which enwrap his personality. This quality of ambition which the disciple has to kill out had its uses in his earlier evolution. In the earlier stages he grew by his isolation. It was then requisite for the evolution of the physical and mental bodies that there should be competition and fighting; all those stages of combat and fight were necessary in order to build up the individual, to make him strong so that he could hold his own centre. He had to have a place defended from outside aggression, in which he could develop his strength.
He also needed such worldly position as ambition seeks, just as when you are building a house you need scaffolding. Ambition had many uses in the earlier stages — to build up the walls and make them denser, to strengthen the will, and to help to raise the man step by step. A man in whom ambition predominates also kills out sexual and other lower desires, because they hinder him in his intellectual growth and his search for power, and thus he dominates his lower passions.
In the early stage man thus needs ambition as a means of growth. But when as a disciple the man is to grow into the spiritual life, he must get rid of the walls that he built round himself in earlier stages. Therefore these rules are for disciples, not for the men of the world.
Later on, when he develops intellect, he becomes ambitious for power. Even when a man has transcended the ambition for power and the prizes of this world, and is working selflessly for the benefit of humanity, there still remains very often the ambition to see the result of his work. Many people are devoting their time quite willingly and quite earnestly to doing good work, but they like others to know it, and to say what good and useful people they are.
That also is ambition; mild certainly as compared to some other kinds, but still it is personal, and anything that is personal stands in the way of the disciple. The lower self has to be eliminated entirely. It is hard to do it because the roots are very deep, and when they are torn out the man is left bleeding, and feeling as though all the heart were gone out of him. When we have got rid of the desire to see the result of our work, we still have the desire for recognition in a higher form.
We still, perhaps, are ambitious for love; we want to be popular. It is well and good for a man to be popular, to draw the love of his fellows, because that very fact is an additional power in his hands. It enables him to do more than he otherwise could, also it surrounds him with a pleasant atmosphere which makes all sorts of work easier. But to desire that in the sense of being ambitious for it is also a thing which we must avoid.
We may rightly be happy if love comes our way; that is well and good — it is good karma; but if it does not, we must not be ambitious for it. We have to rise above all these stages of ambition which are still found in the ordinary world. Of what service can I be? What can I do for him? All that we know perfectly well, but we must put it into practice. It seems to be difficult, sometimes, to do that, because there is still a remnant of the lower self to be removed.
If a man has worldly ambitions he cannot be expected at once to drop them all and have nothing to fill their place; that would be scarcely possible for him, and it is even doubtful whether so sudden a change would be good for him. He must first transmute his ambitions. Let him, if he will, at first desire knowledge earnestly, desire to make advance in occultism and progress in unselfishness; let him desire to draw near to the Master, to be chosen as a pupil. Most of us have desires of that sort, but we call them aspirations; the change of name seems to connote a total change in our attitude, but of course they are still desires.
We shall reach a stage when even those desires will disappear, because we shall be absolutely certain that progress depends on our own efforts only; then we shall no longer desire anything. I, Part V, Ch. That is the only line for a man to take, because these things are absolutely in his own hands to do or not, as he chooses. It is a case of transmuting at first. The desire for spiritual growth is a thing that those who are approaching the Path should no longer be encouraging in themselves, but there is that intermediate stage when it is very natural.
We who are students ought to be getting to a stage at which we take our spiritual growth for granted, and fix all our energies on trying to help others. At first a man does need a personal motive; then he gradually comes to forget himself and to make his advancement for the sake of the Master, for the sake of pleasing Him, and eventually he learns that he is simply a channel for the great divine forces, and that he must be a good channel and must have no anxiety whatever about the result.
His one care then is that nothing on his part shall hinder his being an expression of the Divine — as perfect an expression as is possible for him. He does not worry in the least about it; he does not desire that his force may be used in this direction or that; he is simply a tool in the hands of God, that he may be used as arid how and where God wills.
Of course, we can attain that attitude only by degrees; but we should set it before ourselves as the state of mind at which we should aim. We must begin by forgetting ourselves, by rigorously weeding the self out. What if we are not gaining the advancement which we think to be due to us after so many years of thought and study, or what if the people whom we help are not grateful for being helped — generally they are not — all that does not matter. Let us forget ourselves and do the work and let us be entirely indifferent as to any return.
Karma will look after that; we need have no fear.