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Esoteric Psychology II - Chapter I - The Egoic Ray - The Seven Laws of Soul or Group Life
It is not our intention in this Treatise to deal with the development of the unevolved and undeveloped man in connection with these Laws of the Soul. I seek only to clear the way of the highly intelligent man, the aspirants of the world and the world disciples. The progress of the undeveloped and the average man can be covered by the following statements, taken sequentially and describing the stages of his progress under the promptings of desire:
  1. The urge to experience, to exist, and to satisfy the instinctual nature.
  2. Experience, grasping, existing, followed by renewed demand for more satisfying compliances of fate or destiny.
  3. Cycle after cycle of demand for satisfaction, a period of satisfaction of a temporary nature, and then further demands. This is the story of the race.
  4. Experience, steadily sought and pursued upon the three planes of human evolution.
  5. Then the same experience, but this time as an integrated personality. [157]
  6. Demand met until satiety is reached, for in time all men do eventually achieve that which they demand.
  7. Then comes the demand for inner spiritual compliances, happiness and bliss. The "heaven wish" becomes powerful.
  8. A vague realization that two things are needed; purification and the power to choose aright, which is right discrimination.
  9. A vision of the pairs of opposites.
  10. The realization of the narrow path which leads between these pairs of opposites.
  11. Discipleship and the repulsing or repudiation (over a long period of time), of the not-self.

Such, briefly and inadequately stated, is the story of man as he searches for happiness, for joy and for bliss, or (expressing it in terms of realization) as he progresses from the life of the instincts to that of the intellect, and then from that intellectual apprehension to the stage of illumination and final identification with reality, when he is henceforth freed from the Great Illusion.

Two things determine the rapidity with which he can - upon the Path of Discipleship - bring the Law of Repulse into play. One is the quality of his motive. Only the desire to serve is adequate to bring about the necessary reorientation and subjection to the new technique of living. The other is his willingness, at all costs, to be obedient to the light which is in him and around him. Service and obedience are the great methods of release, and constitute the underlying causes which will bring the Law of Repulse into play, thus aiding the aspirant to attain the longed-for liberation. Service releases him from his own thought life and self determination. Obedience to his own soul integrates him into the larger [158] whole, wherein his own desires and urges are negated in the interest of the wider life of humanity, and of God Himself. God is the Great Server and expresses His divine life through the Love of His heart for humanity.

Yet, when these simple truths are enunciated and we are urged to serve our brother and to obey our soul, it seems to us so familiar and so uninteresting that it can evoke but little response. If we were told that the following of a prescribed form of meditation, the practicing of a definite formula of breathing, and regular concentration upon a specific center would release us from the wheel of life and identify us with the spiritual self and its world of being, gladly and willingly and joyously would we follow out instructions. But when, in the terms of the occult science, we are told to serve and obey, we are not interested. Yet service is the mode, par excellence, for awakening the heart center, and obedience is equally potent in evoking the response of the two head centers to the impact of soul force, and unifying them into one field of soul recognition. So little do men understand the potency of their urges! If the urge to satisfy desire is the basic urge of the form life of man, the urge to serve is an equally basic urge of the soul in man. This is one of the most important statements in this section. It is as yet seldom satisfied. Indications of its presence are ever to be found, nevertheless, even in the most undesirable types of human beings; it is evoked in moments of high destiny, or immediate urgency, and of supreme difficulty. The heart of man is sound, but oft asleep.

Serve and obey! These are the watchwords of the disciple's life. They have been distorted into terms of fanatical propaganda and have thus produced the formulas of philosophy and of religious theology; but these formulas do, at the same time, veil a truth. They have been presented to the [159] consideration of man in terms of personality devotions and of obedience to Masters and leaders, instead of service of, and obedience to, the soul in all. The truth is, however, steadily emerging, and must inevitably triumph. Once the aspirant upon the Probationary Path has a vision of this: (no matter how slight it may be), then the law of desire which has governed him for ages will slowly and surely give place to the Law of Repulse, which will, in time, free him from the thralldom of not-self. It will lead him to those discriminations and that dispassionate attitude which is the hallmark of the man who is on his way to liberation. Let us remember, however, that a discrimination which is based upon a determination to be free, and a dispassion which is the indication of a hard heart, will land the aspirant in the prison of a crystallized shell, which is far harder to break than the normal prison of the life of the average selfish man. This selfish spiritual desire is oft the major sin of so-called esotericists and must be carefully avoided. Therefore, he who is wise will apply himself to serve and obey.

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