The Aspirant (4)

There are two major paths to spirituality in the world today and we may, for convenience, designate these as the Western Way and the Eastern Way.  The latter is suited to the Eastern mentality where the objective is attained through passivity, fatalism, surrender and sometimes austerities, with a minimal amount of organisation, executive control and ritual.  The Western Way leads to spirituality through activity, non-surrender and a continual struggle with self and one’s environment.  The motivations of the Western cultures may appear to be materially oriented, and of course they are, but it is the refinement of these motives, their elevation to a height transcending selfishness and pure materiality, that provide the Westerner with his great spiritual opportunities.

The challenge to Westerners is to reconcile the requirements of the soulpath with prevailing opportunities of a material and largely non-spiritual world.  Mastership and mercantile success, the aspirations of spirituality and the ambitions of materiality, are not irreconcilable.  In fact it is in this reconciliation that the greatest achievement lies.

To develop spirituality it is not necessary to seek for opportunities outside one’s own family circle, daily environment and circumstances.  Spirituality is developed through the meeting of commitments, the acknowledgement and performance of duty and the acceptance of responsibility.  It comes with the surmounting of the tests and trials of daily life, with an increasing awareness of one’s strengths and weaknesses and the ability to deal positively with the latter.  It is not the adoption of outwardly spiritual attitudes, nor the display of spiritual trappings.  It arises from within and depends largely upon facing and overcoming not only the great tests of life, but also the everyday minor ones.  The man who is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in that which is great.  This maxim should be a guideline for the daily life of the true wayfarer on the path to spirituality. 

Many people can rise cheerfully to the greater challenges of life, but capitulate before the lesser tests of daily living.  Aspirants should be aware of this tendency of human nature and should look for their tests and challenges in the normal fabric of everyday life.  They should be prepared to accept what comes with equanimity.  Knowledge of the place that choice has in the daily round is necessary to ensure that all choices are the right ones.  Motives should be closely scrutinized and a strict check kept on originating impulses.  Causes and effects, as they operate in the framework of daily life, should be studied carefully. 

The Aspirant will be in conscious control of his physical, mental and emotional activities and throughout the day will keep his speech in check.  This is an easy statement to make but one difficult to put into practice; conscious control over what is spoken is indeed a great achievement.  Not to be confused with this is the inarticulate, morose and reticent speech of a person whose voicelessness often indicates an unevolved personality.  What is referred to here is the controlled use of words to affect certain ends. 

It may seem strange to some people that control over speech should be linked to spirituality, but the time has now come for the acceptance of a much wider perspective of the concept of spirituality.  The narrow view many people take in relation to it is indicative of their lack of development.  Speech is important and communication should be encouraged, but all unkind, carping, unnecessary or wasteful words should be eliminated.  Study the effects of words spoken both by you and others, and to the best of your ability trace these back to the originating impulses.  Study the actions that particular words initiated.

Those who are self-centered tend to talk only about themselves, their interests and their immediate associates, to the exclusion of wider matters.  The spiritual person is guarded concerning himself or herself.  The wise man does not flaunt his wisdom.  Only in the company of immediate associates can any latitude of speech be accepted.  There are times when it is well to speak and others when it is prudent to remain silent.  However, when assembled with others in a consolidated group, that group may best be served by speaking up when appropriate. 

When working in group situations there may be egotistic abrasiveness or other disturbing influences which counteract the compatible frequency exchanges and congenial relationships.  Therefore Aspirants should work diligently to strengthen their grip on their personality, so that egotistic displays are eliminated.  The imposition of strict self-discipline is sometimes necessary.  Always look to your own inadequacies before criticizing those of your group associates.  The truly spiritual person operating within a group will be respected for his or her normalcy and for steadily conforming to the group regulations and to whatever is best for the group.

The Aspirant may be called upon to make great sacrifices.  He will often be required to lay all that he holds dear or worthwhile upon the altar of altruistic service; he may even offer his life as a final sacrifice.  Although his efforts may be rejected by those he has served and scorn thrown upon him he knows that the energies he has generated will, in due course, bring his plans to fruition.  He knows, too, that the Great Beings who watch over the affairs of men and know what transpires within their minds will have taken notice.

Much of the work of Aspirants relates to things which are substantial on a higher plane and not on the physical plane, but a link between the two planes exists in the continuity of consciousness which the Aspirant has developed, and this enables the physical brain to become acquainted with happenings upon the subjective planes of life.

It is possible to reach the stage where nothing that occurs can ruffle the inner calm, where total content and peace reign, because the consciousness is centered in the ego which is unassailable by worldly considerations.  Where poise is experienced and the whole is in balance, for the Knower within holds the reins of government and permits no disturbance from the lower self.  Where bliss itself is reached, which is based not on outer physical circumstances but on the inner realisation of existence apart from the purely physical, an existence that persists when time and space, and all that is contained therein, are no more.  This stage is reached when all the illusions of the lower planes have been experienced, transmuted and transcended, and endures when the little world of human endeavour has dissipated. 

Such experience is for all those who persist in their high endeavour; who steer a steady course through circumstances, keeping their eyes fixed upon the vision ahead and their ears attentive to the inner voice; who plod resolutely along the soulpath with hands held out in assistance to those who may straggle or stumble; whose whole life is dedicated to a chosen cause.  They will be distinguished by their self-control, their adherence to high principles and will be an inspiration to others. 

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