As is well known in esoteric circles, service is the hallmark of activity as the influence of Aquarius gradually impinges on the consciousness of humanity. To give of oneself in selfless service is merely the result of the promptings of the soul as it increasingly takes dominion of its lower reflection, the personality. Yet, what does it truly mean to “be of service?” The Tibetan has defined service as “the spontaneous effect of soul contact.” Such pronouncement is indisputably wise, yet it does beg the question — how does one recognize this “effect” as it plays out in our day-to-day lives? What are the internal and external indicators that reveal the subtleties of soul consciousness? With respect to internal cues, the answer to this question can only be grasped through introspective analysis. One must examine his/her thoughts to see if some perceptual alteration has transpired. Recognition of such is often quite elusive. The difficulty relates to the pace of the soul’s integrative influence over the personality. The expansion of consciousness, due to soul infusion, occurs gradually, usually after several years of disciplined meditative work. Such change is nearly imperceptible, therefore recognition of it is likewise gradual and inconspicuous. Invariably, such a shift will entail a sense of perceptual expansion as the soul increasingly colors one’s mental processes. The result of such expansion leads one to see beyond appearances. Gradually, the disciple begins to discern the spiritual underpinnings of events. It represents a perceptual shift from the content of an event to its spiritual context. It is the ability to behold quality where only appearance was previously witnessed. Yet to truly “be of service,” this broader consciousness must also be reflected in one’s outer activity. It must be remembered that outer actions and reactions represent externalized reflections of internal states of consciousness. It is in this recognition that one begins to truly see what service really entails. For if we examine the subtleties of soul- conditioned activities, a common characteristic begins to emerge; it is the quality of upliftment.
The power of upliftment is central to all soul-defined actions. It represents the ability, in any situation, to convey a more inclusive idea, so as to free the environment from the outmoded thought-forms that constitute the foundation of its current actions. As the soul interacts with its receptive personality, it leads the lower-self to see all events from a spiritual reference point. The soul-infused personality sees beyond the multiplicity of objective forms to the subjective oneness that interconnects those forms. Thus, the disciple is able to discern the spiritual causes of outer events, and in so doing, sees solutions to problems not commonly recognized. It is here that service can be rendered through the power of upliftment. The disciple, seeing a spiritual truth not grasped by those within the immediate environment, directs his/her will toward elevating that environment to a heightened level of understanding. This s/he does by presenting the broader principles that can serve as new guiding paradigms of conduct. It represents the ability to give to one’s immediate surroundings the secret to its next step toward further awakening.
It is important to recall that all avenues of human expression are spiritual in nature, though not always in conduct. The world of politics or business is no less spiritual that the domain of religion. All human expression is spiritual and is in need of upliftment. Therefore, the question to be asked is not “where” to uplift but “when and by what means?” As to the issue of “when,” timing is crucial. The disciple must be able to ascertain the degree of environmental receptivity to the evolutionary ideas needing to be expressed. A poorly-timed delivery can completely negate the transformational effects of the idea being presented. Regrettably, there is no simple formula that the disciple can use to answer the “when to” question. Suffice to say, one must once again be guided by the higher promptings from within for such discernment. With respect to the method of uplifting others, endless are the possibilities. Though we often think that presenting new ideas is done by way of verbal or written conveyance, such is not always so. Some of the most transformational teaching is done not through word but by deed. The way a disciple acts and reacts to the day-to-day requirements of life are always scrutinized by those curious as to the truths s/he [disciple] lives by. The old adage that “actions speak louder than words” conveys much truth. The environment’s receptivity to an enlightened message is enhanced when the disciple can reveal how such wisdom can be applied to the mundane aspects of life. This can only be accomplished through a life of demonstration.
One of the greatest challenges facing esotericists today deals with the issue of penetration. To what depth is one able to penetrate the human kingdom, uplifting it with higher principles? It is clearly evident that people vary in their levels of readiness with respect to esoteric truths. What represents profound wisdom to one may be embryonic to another. Yet all are one and must be reached. All have a “next step” to take. The challenge of the esotericist is to be willing to uplift those who require the longest downward reach. It is comparatively easy for the disciple to communicate the Ageless Wisdom to those who are already conditioned by it. Without question, we are our own best audience. Esotericists revel in discussion of lofty principles and the nature of septenate energy. We teach each other well. Yet service is also about teaching those who see the world quite differently. For most people, such discussions are quite foreign and can even be threatening. It is crucial that disciples keep this ever-present in mind. For the majority of humanity, deliberation on the intricacies of esoteric wisdom is often counterproductive. Discussion of the antahkarana, the guiding influence of Sirius or the role of Shamballa in world events are topics viewed by most as fantasy or illusion. Esotericists tend to teach in terms of the grand picture, while what people are in need of is to simply integrate a “bigger” picture. Naturally, the perception of “bigger” is only meaningful with reference to where one currently stands with respect to their vision of reality. All is relative. Disciples need to first intuit the stage of development of his/her audience. This assessment can then provide the disciple with an access point to upliftment. To uplift another is to first identify with his/her view of the world. It is the ability to see the level of truth and wisdom that forms the foundation of the neophyte’s perceptions of life. If esoteric wisdom is indeed the greater truth, then it must not deny the lesser truth. Find the kernel of truth at the core of another’s perspective and from that point work outward. Speak not with terminology foreign to another, for this leads to separateness and isolation. The broader principles of the Ageless Wisdom are wordless at their source. The ability of the disciple to uplift is largely contingent upon his/her skill at finding terminology that is congruous to the mind-set of the listener. The key is to teach within the framework of the environment one seeks to uplift.
Upliftment can be viewed as the process of bringing an individual to a conscious recognition of knowledge s/he already possesses unconsciously. The soul of the neophyte is well-versed in matters of esoteric truth. It is his/her personality that forms the great barrier to enlightened perception. The process of upliftment is therefore to assist the neophyte’s personality in its ability to recognize the promptings of its own Inner Master. This can be facilitated when the esotericist can not only find the language needed to arrest the full attention of the neophyte’s personality, but also reveal the concrete application of such knowledge. As is well-known by esotericists, the structure of the personality is primarily based upon the perception of separateness. A personality will therefore tend to judge new ideas from a form-based perspective. Herein lies a fundamental problem facing the disciple. S/he must be able to relate abstract wisdom into concrete application. By so doing, a clearer pathway of recognition is created, thus making the neophyte’s personality more receptive to the promptings of its own Master Within.
As the disciple matures in his/her competence at environmental upliftment it becomes increasingly apparent that s/he is also transformed by the experience. As stated earlier, to teach often requires that one find concrete application of the higher truths being revealed. It is in this process that the disciple expands his/her understanding of the Ageless Wisdom. For now s/he is truly able to see the divinity in all things. Seeing the oneness of all things physical is the most difficult level of inclusiveness to behold. Yet, it is in the process of uplifting others that the disciple actually sees this oneness with greater clarity. By forcing oneself to seek concrete application of the “Mind of God,” one discovers Divinity Immanent in all forms. Service to humanity provides the means for such depth of divine recognition. In essence, by teaching others we too are taught. The teacher becomes the student. To uplift the environment is to uplift oneself. Such is the nature of service.
This bi-directional nature of upliftment is also the force that breaks down the perception of separateness. Upon close scrutiny, it can be seen that built into the typical teacher-student relationship is division. This separateness is based on different role identifications. To teach is to convey knowledge, while to learn is to receive knowledge. This role differential tends to create an undercurrent of separateness. It is true that these are mere personality reactions, yet they can adversely color an interaction and must be arrested. For the disciple to allow such distortion to exist would completely contradict the principle of inclusion so foundational to the Ageless Wisdom. However, with humility of heart the disciple can nullify such perception. This s/he does by being the student as well as the teacher. We all have wisdom to give each other. From the unevolved human to the ranks of the adept, all are teachers of truth. Being versed in esoteric matters provides no exclusiveness to wisdom. And as alluded to earlier, the grounded application of the vision bestowed is the lesson the student conveys to the teacher. To uplift each other is to break down role distinctions allowing Light to be exchanged without barrier.
Perhaps the most challenging aspect of service relates to the subject of “recognizable effect.” In one’s yearning to serve, a disciple will often seek confirmation that an impression has been registered by those s/he is trying to uplift. We often seek some form of feedback (verbal or non-verbal) that indicates success in our attempt to “shed light into dark places.” However, such motive is personality based, for the soul requires no such evidence. In truth, it is the lower-self attempting to enhance its image as it gazes back onto itself with fondness. A cautionary note is here well advised, for often such personality motives are subtle and difficult to recognize. If not mindful, the disciple’s personality can create the illusion that a “recognizable effect” is evidence of soul-inspired upliftment. One must be ever-vigilant, knowing that that which appears as selfless intent may be personality desire cleverly disguised. In short, the personality wants to believe itself to be the soul rather than an instrument of the soul. This it does through an act of self-deception by masquerading itself as the soul. It is crucial that disciples therefore assess their motives, and the motives underlying those motives. The distinction between the prompting of the soul and the spiritually disguised personality can be quite difficult. One’s ability to make this distinction is enhanced when s/he remembers that personality motivations are always self-referencing at their core. Complete discernment of soul intention from personality pretense is the goal all disciples are working toward, and is a measure of placement upon the Path. When the personality is operating in its rightful place, the disciple need not see results of his/her service. S/he understands that the function of upliftment is that of sowing seeds, and that any desire to see results will only serve to distort the message being conveyed.
As one gradually begins to discern his/her soul’s intent, it becomes increasingly clear that upliftment is an inescapable aspect of soul-directed service. The soul, working through its pliable triple-sheath intends to transform the environment (mental, emotional, and physical) into its own likeness. That is to say that the soul seeks to condition the environment with its essence; a thing defined by the Ray line to which it resonates. It has been said, “to find the Path one must become the Path.” Such an idea conveys much wisdom, and can only be fully recognized when the disciple lives a life of demonstration. To serve is to demonstrate in day-to-day events the higher truths one lives by. This, coupled with the power to teach, is what will ultimately transform the world through the force of upliftment. Such is the service we can render.
© 1997 William Meader
Biographical Information: William Meader is an author, teacher and counselor. Much of his work is focused on the subjects of Spiritual Creativity, the Evolution of Consciousness and the Astrology of the Soul. He is also an experienced teacher of various meditation practices. At present he is teaching in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. He resides in Oregon, and can be contacted through his website – meader.org.