Universal Brotherhood Path – March 1903


To help men and women to realize the nobility of their calling, and their true position in life. — First Object of the International Brotherhood League

This is a proposition that touches upon one of the highest universal truths of nature, and to make a practical application of it requires a knowledge of the philosophy of life. A student of Theosophy can understand more readily the lessons that can be drawn from right occupation and devotion to duty.

In order to help others to realize the nobility of their calling, it is necessary for oneself first to understand one of the simple laws of nature, which is the basic principle of existing things. This law, to begin with, teaches us that each human being is an integral part, or unit, of the aggregate whole of the Universe; and that whatever work one may be engaged in is the outcome of causes which emanated from him in actions of the past, and which are now converged to the point where certain duties devolve upon him as effects. This was the law referred to by the Nazarene, when he spoke of measure for measure, judgment for judgment.

It is a regrettable thing, indeed, to see the greater portion of society look upon certain work as being disgraceful, and shun those whose duty it is to perform such.

How many consider that the performance of this work adds to the world's wealth which supports them in luxuries not partaken of by those performing such service? This tends to lead the working man to find nothing elevating in his occupation; his inclination tends rather to the finding of fault with his lot than to the study of its noble purpose. It is the path that leads men and women to despair, lacking as they do, that knowledge which shows to them the relation of these particular duties to Universal Law and Justice; which if they were taught to understand it, would show them that no honest work is disgraceful and that to regard it as such was evidence of a perverted mind. They would also understand that the main value of this work does not lie in the fact that it goes to make up the world's wealth, but that it has a direct bearing upon the evolution of the one performing it.

There is no such thing as inaction. Each thought, each deed, performed, like the bread cast upon the waters, returns, though it may be after many days, to have its effect upon the performer. If the thought be good, the deed noble and in accord with duty, the result will be good. If contrary, the opposite. There is nothing lost, no force, no matter. Nature in her divine economy takes care and preserves us all, recognizing no large, no small, no rich, no poor, but regarding all as units of the one Universal essence.

As human beings we are affected by events as much as we permit ourselves to be by attachment either through pleasure or pain, and this will continue as long as the attachment.

The physical body which most people call man, is but the temple of the real man, the soul, and its five senses as many servants.

The world exists only for the experience and training of the soul, which is an integral part or unit of the one Divinity. Therefore it should matter not what one's duties are that are to be performed, the attitude of mind only should be considered as it will determine the merit or demerit as well as the experience each one may get out of it. All duties should be approached without prejudice and performed cheerfully, with intense application, without attachment to their results if we would learn therefrom the lessons they have to teach which will fit us for higher occupations.

A duty performed unwillingly stays the harmony which would result from the right performance of it. All should seek to faithfully perform their duties of whatever nature they may be. Whatever is has grown out of our actions of the past, but by our actions now we can make the future. Finding fault with one's duty or oneself profits nothing and is but a waste of energy and useless thought, for there is no human being who does not wish for that he has not. We should desire only those things that have stability. Temporal ones however painfully acquired, cease to be desired when once attained. Only one thing is real, the soul, the inner man, and must be sustained by that whose nature is like its own. If we say that one work of a class is higher than another, we state a truth one-sided only. Either all work rightly done is noble, or none is. The lowest rung of a ladder is as necessary as the highest. All are relative.

Nature teaches us a higher aspect of man's calling: her higher kingdoms must aid and uplift the lower, for only so can there be progress for the whole, and only so can the higher ones advance. We find this in the human kingdom. As man contacts the elements of the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms he imparts to the atmosphere of these lower kingdoms something of his own natural good or bad, and it is his responsibility that he shall uplift them in their evolution. And how great the responsibility of man for his fellow man! Upon reflection, we can see that it is a natural law which governs this process of evolution, and if men and women would cooperate with it, it would cause them to turn to those who are in the rear of life's journey and assist them to rise to higher and broader views of life and wider opportunities. It is one of nature's laws that the more is given out the more flows in. With each act of self-denial will that much of our grosser nature fall away shedding more light from our divine nature, which will enable us to render noble service to all humanity, and aid in the establishing of that greater harmony throughout Nature that is akin to godhood, and which it is everybody's duty to assist in bringing about.

When this is done man will have realized the nobility of his calling and taken up his true position in life. This can be accomplished by any one who chooses to become master of his own household. The first step is with self. When self is mastered it becomes the instrument of the real man — the soul — in the redemption of his fellowmen, for it has been said by a great Teacher that a man's foes are those of his own household.

Universal Brotherhood Path

Theosophical University Press Online Edition