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From Bethlehem to Calvary - Chapter Seven - Our Immediate Goal - The Founding of the Kingdom
We are all so ready to take love. We are all so eager to be loved, because we realize, unconsciously if not consciously, [267] that love means service, and we like to be served. The time has come when that selfish attitude to life must change, and we must learn to give love and not to ask love, to go out in service to all whom we contact day by day, and expect and exact nothing for the separated self. When this spirit (which is outstandingly the spirit of Christ and of those who know Him best) becomes more general, then we shall see a more rapid consummation of the desired changes. Theologically, we have said that "God is love," and then have interpreted Him in terms of our own hatreds, our own limited ideals, our narrow theologies, and our separative attitudes. We have recognized Christ as the great Server of the race, and have pointed to Him as the example of what is possible. But we accord no general service, and that quality is not yet the motivating power in the life of the world. It is motivating life more definitely than ever before, but the efforts that are now being made - twenty centuries after Christ left us with the command to follow in His steps - only serve to show how slow we have been, how much remains to be done, and how desperately men need to be served by those who have vision and the love of God in their hearts. It is obvious how little love there is used in the world at this time. The essential thing to remember is that the reason we can recognize God as a God of love is that we are ourselves, basically and potentially, Godlike in quality. This in itself constitutes a problem, for unless the divine in us is somewhat awakened it is difficult for us to interpret love correctly, and it is impossible for the masses of men, who are yet upon the path of becoming, and in many cases are scarcely human beings, to understand the real significance of love.

The understanding of love and the expression of love are strictly personal matters. Love can remain indefinitely a theory or an emotional experience. It can become a motivating factor in life and something which we contribute to the whole. If each would think out for himself the meaning of love in his life, and if all would decide to give love and understanding (not emotional reactions, but steady, [268] steadfast, understanding love), then the tangles in this troubled world of ours would straighten out, and it would be an easier place in which to live. The present chaos and turmoil would then more rapidly disappear. Love is essentially the realization of brotherhood. It is the recognition that we are all the children of the One Father; it is pity and compassion and understanding and patience. It is the true expression of the life of God.

If the first requirement of the man who seeks to prepare himself for the Mysteries of Jesus is obedience to the highest which he can sense and know, and the second is the practice of love, the third is the development of that sensitivity and inner attention by means of which he can arrive at the significance and the condition of inspiration. This is not in any sense the development of psychic faculty as usually understood; it is present among God's children in many forms, from that of attention to the inner voice of conscience and duty (two of the lowest forms of inspiration) to that high spiritual attainment which finds expression in the inspired scriptures of the world.

Unless there is this inspiration, it is not possible for a man to enter into the temple and to commune with That which is introducing him to the subtle processes of initiation. The first Initiator is the soul itself, the divine self in man, the spiritual man, who stands behind the screen of the outer man, and who struggles to control and work through the outer personality. It is that soul or self which opens to man the door of inspiration and reveals to him the nature of his divine consciousness, attuning his ear to catch the sound of that "Voice which speaks in the silence" - when a man has quieted all the outer voices.

The attainment of the faculty of inspiration is essential to any progress upon the path of initiation, and it presupposes a development of intelligence which will enable a man to make the necessary differentiations. True inspiration is not in any sense the welling-up of the subconscious self or mind; nor is it the releasing in man of the flood of ideas and [269] thoughts which are his - racial, national or family; it is not the tuning in on the world of thought which can so easily be done by those in whom a certain quality of telepathic rapport is developed. Nor is it listening to the many voices which can make themselves heard when a man succeeds in becoming so utterly negative and so emptied of all intelligent thought that the sounds, the ideas and the suggestions of the world of psychic phenomena very easily intrude. This happens usually when the standard of intelligence is of a relatively low order. Inspiration is something entirely different. It is a penetration into the world of thought and ideas to which Christ listened when He heard a Voice, and the Father spoke to Him. It is the intuitive response of an intelligent mind to impressions coming from the soul and from the world of souls. The speech of the kingdom then becomes familiar to us. We are in touch with those liberated souls who are functioning in that kingdom, and the waves of thought and the ideas which they seek to impress upon the minds of men find their way into circulation through the attuned minds of the disciples of the world. This is inspiration, and this is the faculty for which aspirants everywhere should begin to train themselves, and which must be attained in the world of everyday living. It is a power which is generated through the processes of right meditation; it is an expression of the soul, working through the mind, and thus actuating the brain with impulses which are purely spiritual. Inspiration is responsible for all the new ideas and the developing ideals of our modern world. The age of inspiration is not gone and past; it is present here and now. God still speaks to men, for this world of ours still provides adequate facilities for the development of those qualities which are characteristic of the Christ in the human heart, the soul, the son of God in incarnation, dwelling in this vale of tears, or as it has been called, this "vale of soul-making."

But to achieve this definite and conscious soul contact, the aspirant has to learn obedience through the things which he [270] suffers, and he has also to practice the task of loving. This is not easy. It calls for discipline, for ceaseless effort and striving, for that conquest of self which means a daily crucifixion, and for that close attention which never takes its eyes from the goal, but which is always conscious of purpose, of progress and of orientation. The wonder of the process is that it can be carried forward here and now, in the situation in which we find ourselves, without demanding the least deviation from the place of duty and responsibility.

Such is the goal for the man who seeks to stand with Christ in the founding of the kingdom, thus fulfiling the will of God. There is no other objective worthy of man's attention, nor one which will so absorb every power he has, every gift and talent he possesses, and every moment of his being. Today the call is going forth for Servers of the race, and for men and women who will work at the task of perfecting the self in order that they may be better equipped to serve their fellow men and God in man.

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