Universal Brotherhood Path – April 1902


In life, Law and Order rule, for no matter how determined is the defiance of law or how prolonged is the opposition to Divine Will, the controlling hand is over all and prevails when it wills to do so. To understand the working of the Law of Life it has to be studied in a living way; facts are no use to us unless they become a part of our nature; for this study is not a dead study of words, but a living study of deeds.

The Law works for the Perfection of man, and with him of all creatures and worlds. A perfect man is the embodiment of love and truth; so his whole life is eternally devoted to Universal Brotherhood which, when fully understood, will achieve the Perfection of Mankind.

To be on the side of Law and Order, is to be on the side that will prevail, and to be with the Law as an active worker and co-partner it is necessary to study its methods of working.

The process by which man becomes perfect is by self-evolution, hence he learns by his own deeds, for all thought is expressed in acts sooner or later, unless rejected, and counteracted by thought of an opposite nature.

So the mind is really the great battlefield, on which the victories and defeats of self-evolution are decided. For if a man dwells in thought on an idea, and desires, that is, likes or dislikes it, when opportunity occurs he will do it; and the opportunity will occur sooner or later, for he has set the law in positive motion by his thought and desire; the only preventative being other thoughts and desires in an opposite direction. So at these moments of opportunity, which occur all day long, all depends on our decision which we will give life to and make a part of our nature, with tendencies for or against self-evolution.

As nearly all people have constant alternations of good and bad thoughts and desires, their self-evolution, or self-destruction is very slow; for one counteracts the other, and if you subtract the good from the bad there is only a fraction of profit or loss one way or the other. So in a general way it takes hundreds of incarnations, that is lives in physical bodies, to make any decided progress or retrogression either in self-evolution or self-destruction.

But when we consciously take up the duty of always trying to decide for the Right, and work intelligently with the Law, which works for Perfection, then a steady effort of a few years will show real progress and in this is the demonstration of its truth. Now all good and bad acts and thoughts, however great or small, can be summed up into two principal divisions, one for the Right and one for the Wrong; and these two great divisions of the Light and the Dark, the Sunlight and the Shadow, are Selfishness and Unselfishness. So we see the motive of our thought and act is of the greatest importance, in fact is the determining factor whether in the Book of Life our account is entered on the Right or the Wrong side of our ledger.

For we may appear to do right for selfish motives and we may appear to do wrong for unselfish motives. I say appear only, for it is the motive that really makes them bad, that is, for or against the work of Universal Brotherhood.

A practical illustration will make this clearer: Say a surgeon takes a knife and cuts a brother's body, his motive being to extract a malignant growth and so save the body from destruction; and this may seem a bad act, to be cutting a man's body with a sharp knife, if you did not know what his motive was, but it is really a good act, though painful to the body. On the other hand, an assassin may use the same knife and cut the same body in the same place, but his motive is to destroy the body. So it is a bad act because it is done from an unbrotherly motive. If we take this lesson to heart it alone should make us refrain from condemning others for any act they may do when we do not know the motive.

When we condemn others wrongly the Law turns our condemnation upon ourselves, and we have to go through the same experience to teach us the truth. Therefore, the wise Teacher, Jesus, said, "Do unto others as ye would they should do unto you."

Where Law and Order rule demonstration of the truth is possible; hence it is within the power of man to know and prove that he is an immortal soul. As law is that which is laid, set or fixed, and as law rules in the spiritual world, that world of soul is established on certain eternal principles which, when known and made use of as the bases or foundations of our thought and action, will become the ruling factor in our lives and demonstrate to us our divinity. Just as a blind faith and unreasoned belief will lead one to trust in that which is false, so will true faith and reasonable belief on the eternal principles of spiritual life lead one to the knowledge of the truth. So blind belief or vainly imagining one is saved by the sacrifice of another is worse than folly, it is positively vicious: for what more degrading idea is possible than to seek to gain good at the expense and suffering of others, and what is as bad; it is positively untrue. For the whole principle and hope of man's salvation lies in self-evolution and self-effort, unselfish devotion to the welfare of others, not by himself but with others.

It is true many Saviors have sacrificed themselves and their sublime devotion to the cause of Universal Brotherhood to help their fellow men, but it is not true that we can profit by this sacrifice unless we ourselves carry on their work: working on the same principles, on the same plan and with the same unselfish devotion for the good of all, the benefit of the people of the earth and all creatures.

Universal Brotherhood Path

Theosophical University Press Online Edition