The Theosophical Forum – May 1949

THE SPLENDOR OF SERVICE — Douglas Kingsley

The light of man's Inner God is forever shining into the darkness of his lower self, its radiance prevented from presentation by a consciousness of selfish interests.

Splendor is exceeding brilliancy of emitted or reflected light. A consciousness busy conferring advantages on others deprives the personal selfish portion of man's composite nature of subsistence, and the dark clouds of self-ness, for want of this consciousness which is necessary for its maintenance, prove to be only the baseless fabric of a vision which vanishes, leaving not a rack behind, under the splendor of the rays of man's Spiritual Sun.

Service is the act of helping another or of promoting his interests in any way.

True Service does not consist in meting out to another that exact measure of assistance which we think and decree his merit. This is a reasoning of the human intellect which erects its own little and narrow notions of what is effectual Service and measures off something with its own little tape-line, and calls that Spiritual Service.

Service confined to intellectual computation and performed according to the rigid rules of legal right tends to thicken the veils of selfhood, because it is not Splendor creating Service, but becomes selfish indulgence.

Splendor of Service is that brilliancy occasioned by any work done for the benefit of another.

A liberal spirit, generosity, and earnestness to be of any kind of Service are the marks of the one whose inner Splendor has been evoked by acts of Service. He is not careful to return no more than he receives. He serves to the limit of his ability to give to others all they desire and refuses to inquire to what purpose the recipient has set the bestowal. Not content with the duties found along the path of his everyday life, he goes out to find them, not only willing, he has a signal longing to find the deepest opportunities where he may serve. The natural work of such a man is practical life. Love of generosity and Service, as the swabhava of his Spiritual Monad, must appear in the life marked by these qualities. That is the only operative decree of the Ancient Wisdom.

The Service performed for another may not astound the world; even the beneficiary may deem it as inadequate; but this is no concern of the dispenser. He has only one examination to conduct, that of the motive in his heart. When the motive has been one of pure generosity, the results of his conferral are not investigated, the consequences of his motives and actions are regulated to Karma for continuance of action, and where these altruistic motives are present the irrevocable Law is that Splendor will be displayed to him who has fulfilled his duties of unselfish Service.

The contemplation of Spiritual Splendor implies that of its opposite, Darkness. When the Spiritual Self is held to be Splendor, it is not because Darkness is non-existence, but because Darkness is not included in the Swabhava of man's Inner God, it being a condition of Cosmic consciousness-substance with its own swarupa or characteristic vehicle, which is Splendor. This does not mean that Darkness has a separate and independent existence, but that man, corresponding to all other Beings and connected with all in the Cosmic Unity, has both natures, that of an active cause which is the Principle of Light that comes from the ethereal substance that composes the active cause, and that of a passive cause which is the Principle of Darkness that comes from the earth or the gross matter which composes the passive cause.

A departure from the subtilties of Logic will lead to more familiar ground, where the Splendor of Service is reduced to its simplest terms. The fulfillment of the Law is a common observation. They who have lived a life of Service are radiant with the Splendor which comes only with the enjoyment of pure happiness; they who have lived a life for self and worldly acquisition can attest for themselves to the absence of Light.


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