Universal Brotherhood Path – March 1903


Those who worship the gods go to the gods, and those who worship me come unto me.

Desire conjoined with that spiritual colorless force called will, brings to us either the gifts of gods or of demons. It brings good or evil in strict accordance with the quality of the desire. In truth, desire and will are to a certain extent one and the same, for there can be no desire that does not even unconsciously enlist in its service a certain amount of will. But the faintest spark of desire may, by an intentional and conscious application of will, be fanned into a flaming fire.

It is in strict harmony with ever merciful divine law that we should to a certain extent be able to gain that which we ardently desire, whether it be good or evil. If we have a desire for what is low, false and degrading, we shall in the main be gratified, and the pain and destruction that result from the working out of these desires contain the lessons we need. If we desire only what is true and pure, we shall surely gain truth and purity, and just in proportion to the amount of will we conjoin with our desire, is the amount of force with which we endow it.

Now the great question for us to ask ourselves today is: what desires shall we endeavor to kill out and what shall we cultivate by applying to them that divine potency, will!

There are those who, consciously or unconsciously, are in the ranks of certain powers that are always opposing good, and who, standing in high places, know something of the working of law and would take advantage of their knowledge for their own selfish purposes. They desire, perhaps, to destroy the good work of others. This may be done, but only to a certain extent, only within the circle of law. But whether the missiles of the enemy only make havoc among evil doers, or, true to their aim, retard in a measure the work of the righteous, they are sure to rebound upon those who send them forth.

It is passing strange that those who know so much of law should yet know so little. They know just enough to work their own destruction and never the destruction of the righteous. They are blinded by their own selfishness. They are maddened by their own passions. "Whom the Gods would destroy they first make mad." The delusions of the iniquitous are more than childish, they are imbecile. Yet there was a time when they took the first step on this downward path. It may have been in an unknown race of the distant past, or it may have been amid the luxury and temptation of a recent civilization, but this first false step rendered each succeeding one easier until now, with discrimination gone, it would seemingly require the trumpet blast of all the heavenly hosts to awaken them from their delusions and warn them of their danger.

All this seems very dreadful, and we are inclined to think that we bear no relation to it. But just where do we stand? Where does the humanity of today stand? Have we taken no fatal step downward? Have we not traveled on the road of delusion until we need a rude awakening? Surely at some time we must have done so, and the great law is now warning us of our danger in the throes of the very earth on which we stand, in the raging of the destructive elements of nature, in the recoiling upon ourselves of the subtle forces with which we toy in our vain-glorious self-conceit, and in the wails of human misery that rise up from every land. All these danger signals are but the natural result of wrong desire and wrongly directed will in the past. They are the natural and inevitable bursting forth on the physical plane of accumulated forces generated by avarice and selfishness on the mental plane, for the physical is the final outlet for all force from higher planes. As long as our desires and our will are centered on the physical plane just so long shall we reap all the ills of that plane. As long as we worship the gods of Gold, Power and Self-glory, just so long shall we dwell with those gods and share their deadly wages. We not only must have been worshiping such gods in the past to bring about present horrors, but it must be plain we are now continuing in the same course that so little mitigation of evil results are yet apparent.

Does not this terrible general condition of things implicate us individually? It certainly does. We share in the destiny of the race because it is also our individual destiny. We are, each one of us, here and now just where we belong in the environment of our own creation, and each ego of the present civilization should feel responsible for the errors of brothers throughout the world in addition to its own.

While we would be very sorry to class ourselves with the dark powers, yet we, the best of us, are only, as yet, in the early dawn of that new day which is coming, for the New Day surely is coming. It is heralded by the victories that already have been won in the cause of Brotherhood against the evil and selfishness in the world. This brighter day will be hastened by us if we are true helpers, and it will come in spite of us if we are traitors, for the law that makes for righteousness is greater than we.

If we desire to become agents for good to others and thus incidentally insure our own salvation, we have much work to do and it is only intelligent work that counts. In our ignorance and blundering we can work harm, even with best intentions. It is our own desires and will that we should control, not those of our neighbor. Vicarious work is opposed to evolution. The great harm that is effected by such work is so mixed with the little good, it is so subtle, so imperceptible to those who have no knowledge of man's complex nature, that knowledge of a true science of being is the only remedy. The votaries of the various schools that appeal to man's selfishness or play upon his ignorance would seemingly require a greater shock than has as yet been given us to awaken them from their self-complacent lethargy. But among them those who are pure in heart and with an open mind towards truth, will at length awaken. Knowledge will rend the fetters that bind them, while the impure, the selfish will, with equal justice from the law, gain their emancipation slowly and painfully. The watchword, "Eternal Vigilance," should be emblazoned on every page of our lives, that no unworthy desire may grow upon us unawares, that no misapplication of will may lead us astray.

Knowledge of law and application of that knowledge to our everyday life, right thought and right action, not mere negative goodness or even active but ignorant goodness, will serve us. Intelligent practice of Brotherhood alone will change the downward trend of our present humanity.

Universal Brotherhood Path

Theosophical University Press Online Edition