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Chapter 5
Spiritual Trends In Personal Conduct
DOUBTLESS you have walked down Broadway during the busy hour, or at least
you have been in an auto at a time when there was great congestion of traffic. And
under such circumstances you found that you had no great difficulty so long as you
kept step with the procession. So long as you walked no faster nor slower than those
about you, or so long as your car went no faster nor slower than the other cars on the
street, there was no great cause for discomfort. But if you slacked your pace you were
jabbed by elbows and shoved in the back, or if in an auto, there were loud honkings
and harsh words from those you thus impeded. And if you tried to move faster than
the crowd, the angry glances, the words of those you passed, and the general
remonstrance increased in direct ratio to your hurried efforts.
Life, also, is like that. So long as the neophyte keeps in mental step with those around
him, no opposition is likely to develop. But the more backward individual is always
shoved and buffeted about. And when the neophyte begins to step out mentally and
spiritually, when he begins to move faster in his progress than those about him, he is
apt to arouse a storm of disapproval.
If the person hurrying down crowded Broadway stops to argue with every person
who makes it plain he believes such speed is uncalled for, he is apt to spend so much
time and effort in verbal combat that he really makes no more headway than the
crowd. Instead of this, if he meets displeased glances with a smile, he is neither
delayed nor so greatly impeded. And this is true also in the neophyte's efforts to make
the greatest progress. It is seldom that violent arguments convince anyone, and they
are all too apt merely to increase antagonism and arouse discordant emotions.
After all, people think as they do because of their experiences. And they have a right
to a hearing as to their views if you are trying to convince them of something. In fact,
unless you do permit them thus to present all their objections to your ideas, they will
feel that you are unaware of these objections, and that you believe as you do because
you are ignorant of them. Furthermore, in addition to making it plain to the individual
that you thoroughly understand each of his points as he presents them to you, you
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should make him feel that you are friendly disposed. Certainly, one of the surest
indexes to smallness of character is the inability to be friendly with someone with
whom you disagree on some matter of politics or religion. You can be friendly, and
make the other individual feel that you continue to be friendly, even though you do
not agree with all he says.
Debates Do Not Convince
--The neophyte can hardly contribute his utmost to universal welfare unless he tries
to make this a better world, and tries to help people gain optimum living both while
on earth and after they have passed to the inner plane, through getting as many as
possible to become familiar with and accept The Religion of the Stars. As with
everything else that should be done, there is a poor way to go about it, and a right way.
The poor way is to try to cram your opinions down the other fellow's throat by
aggressive argument.
No matter how sound your argument may be, or how weak his, you will never
convince him unless you can keep him in a friendly and non-combative mood. Any
attempt to overcome his opposition by arguments forcefully delivered, hoping to
overpower and route those he presents, will give his ego the feeling that if he admits
you are right it will concede to you a superiority and to him an inferiority. His ego,
because the power urges are the strongest of all mental factors, will never permit the-
development of such a feeling of inferiority; and no matter how sound your
arguments may be they will only succeed in stimulating him into seeking additional
reasons to disagree with you.
Public debates, for this reason, seldom convert anyone to a different opinion. Those
who attend such debates have their minds made up before they go, and thus identify
themselves with the speaker, or speakers, who express their views. It is thus a matter
of combat, in which their ego will not permit them to admit defeat by a change of
views, because to do so would result in a feeling of inferiority. What they attend the
debate for is to see their opponent defeated. Nor will either side admit such defeat.
All go away with the same opinions, strengthened by the heat of conflict.
In making converts to The Religion of the Stars there are four principles that should
be understood and as often as possible applied.
1. You should be thoroughly familiar with the truths you are trying to get the other
person to accept.
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2. The interchange of thoughts should remain at all times friendly. Whatever doctrine
of The Religion of the Stars you are trying to get some other person to accept, the next
requisite to understanding it yourself is to bring the matter up between you on terms
of friendly interchange of thought, and not as something you are attempting to thrust
upon him. And it is essential to see to it that this friendly feeling of interchanging
views is maintained throughout; for should it develop even in a small degree into a
contest, that implication will cause him to reject arguments no matter how plausible
they may be. Even though verbally he admits them to be reasonable, his ego will
continue to reject them to maintain its own self-esteem.
3. It must be recognized that the human mind is not so constituted that it can readily
accept a number of new viewpoints at once clearly. Therefore, when the time arrives
when you are permitted to present your own views on the subject, always select only
one or two of the most important and convincing points.
4. Be sure you have his attention, and then present the point or points you have
selected as most significant positively and forcefully, but in a friendly manner. If
your friend interrupts you with new argument while you are clearly presenting your
views, you may be sure he is thinking of means to combat, rather than to understand,
what you are saying. With the utmost friendliness insist that he hear your side of the
matter. And without antagonizing, see that he understands it. Repeat it positively
until you are sure it has registered. But present only the most important of your
material.
Your acquaintance on the street car, for instance, voices disapproval of astrology.
Find out what he knows about it. Ask him questions to get his views, and show him by
further questions that you understand his arguments. Do not, however, start to refute
him; for this will place him on the defensive against an aggressor. Then, after he has
told you all he really knows about it, tell him convincingly that the professors who
scoff at planetary influence have never seriously investigated the subject, do not
know how to erect and progress a chart of birth, and have no real evidence on which
to base their opinion.
Then cite concrete examples of birth-chart portrayal of character traits, natural
aptitudes and predispositions toward types of events and types of disease, and cases
in which the event or disease indicated by its progressed constants have actually
taken place or developed at the time the progressed constants were present. In a
friendly manner keep on relating authentic facts that afford concrete proof that
astrology actually works. Do not scatter about, trying to answer all his previous
arguments, but get him to see the central idea you are endeavoring to present, in this
case the actual proof that astrology does the things you claim for it. And if you have
not aroused antagonism you will thus have made as strong an impression as possible
toward getting him to accept your views.
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Or suppose he sneers at the possibility of those who have passed from physical life
communicating with those still in the flesh. Get him to tell you about his
unsatisfactory experiences with mediums. And where you can agree with him, so
agree; and where you cannot agree, for a time let him talk. Then in a friendly manner
get hold of his attention long enough to explain first, that numerous universities have,
under test conditions, demonstrated that telepathy, the nonphysical communication
of mind with mind, is a fact. Then tell him of the painstaking manner in which various
outstanding scientists have investigated this matter and have come to the conclusion
that the personality survives the tomb and sometimes communicates with those yet in
the physical. Then go on to tell him of experiences of your own, or other persons,
experiences, that tend to substantiate these scientific findings. See that he gets this
central idea clearly, and that telepathy is now accepted by science, as forcefully as
they can be given without arousing antagonism, and you will have done all you can to
give him a better understanding of the relation between those on the two planes of
life.
This method of convincing another follows strictly the laws of psychology. But it
must not be supposed that every person one meets is in a state of development where
such convincing is possible. The emotional elements, built by childhood religious
training, often are too strong to be overcome even by first hand and irrefutable
experience. Neither facts nor logic can get past a sufficiently powerful emotional
block.
Yet at least one part of the sound psychological formula can be retained, even when
people violently antagonize your views and your progress. You can still smile and
still give them to understand that you feel friendly toward them. Their antagonism
and their efforts to hinder will be lessened by a friendly manner, and under no
circumstances will the opposite course aid in converting them to your views.
However, I am not suggesting that there should be any backwardness or hesitancy,
when it will serve a constructive purpose, in presenting facts which will aid mankind
to a better understanding of life and its problems. The withholding of information
which will help others is cowardice or gross selfishness. I am not merely suggesting
that there is a right time, but also that there is a right place and a right manner for their
presentation. Untimely effort, or effort directed athwart sound psychological laws, is
not only wasted, but often stirs up strife that prejudices against the later acceptance of
progressive views.
As illustrated by the hindrance to your movements when you try to travel a crowded
street swiftly, you will find that the faster you attempt to travel spiritually the more
opposition to your progress you will meet. And there is a wrong way and a right way
to handle such hindrances. The wrong way is to feel irritated, to incite antagonism,
and to engage in heated arguments. The right way is to be well informed, and to plan
carefully how you can do the thing which spirituality requires with the least conflict
with others. If real spirituality, if righteousness, demands conflict, there should be no
hesitancy about taking a firm and aggressive stand. But as a rule firmness can be
combined with kindness in such a way that conflict will not prove necessary.
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Yet for Stellarians, spirituality does demand where ever it is possible that seed shall
be sown that will grow into interest in The Religion of the Stars. Every opportunity to
get people familiar with Stellarian teachings should be grasped. But the seed thus
sown should be watered with kindness and tolerance so that it will grow.
Thus to be able to plant the seeds of interest, and to stimulate their growth into a
serious desire to learn the doctrines of The Religion of the Stars, each Stellarian
should not only be familiar with the general ideas set forth in Brotherhood of Light
lessons, but he should at all times have at his ready command both the questions and
the answers that are most significant in the tenets of The Religion of the Stars. So that
he may at any time explain these facts to others, and thus give them an accurate
overall picture of The Religion of the Stars, and so that he can use any one of them
convincingly in getting others to accept the Stellarian viewpoint, each Stellarian
should learn to use the following questions and answers with facility.
The Stellarian Questionnaire
--As in The Church of Light there are 50 degrees of initiation leading to absolute
human perfection on the earth plane, the endeavor has been to formulate 50 of the
most important questions and their answers, the last one, of course, crowning all, as
does the united sun and moon at the apex of The Church of Light emblem, indicating
exactly how every Stellarian should try at all times to live.
The Roman numeral following the answer indicates the Brotherhood of Light
course, and the Arabic numerals indicate the pages in that course, where a more
complete explanation may be found. The booklet lessons, as well as the cloth-bound
books, of each course may be referred to with facility according to the pages
indicated; for each booklet contains exactly 32 pages, and their consecutive place in
the course is indicated by a letter on the upper right hand margin of the cover. Also by
consulting a Lesson List the serial number and the consecutive place of each lesson in
a course may be ascertained. Its serial number is located on the upper left-hand
margin of the cover of each booklet. [The arabic numbers refer to pages from the
hardbound, black with gold lettering edition of the courses. This format has been
replaced and these arabic numbers no longer apply.]
1. What is the ego? Its ego is the indestructible spark, or emanation, from Deity which
is the potentiality activating every soul. II. 103-105; V. 9-16.
2. What is the soul? The soul, or character, or unconscious mind, is the inner-plane
organization of the ego's total experiences up to the present time. II. 105-122; V. 5-27.
3. What is the purpose for which the soul is brought into existence? The soul is
brought into existence and undergoes such experiences as are necessary to train it to
become a constructive workman in the realization of God's Great Evolutionary Plan.
V. 9-16; XIV. 8-24; XIX. 135-138.
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4. What are the three drives which the soul, both while it has a physical body and after
the dissolution of the physical form, at all times strives to realize? The drive for
significance, the drive for nutrition, and the drive for reproduction. V. 135-137;
XII-II. 5-8.
5. How is the soul attached to the physical form it occupies? By psychokinesis.
XII-II. 238.
6. What determines the species of life-form to which the soul is attached? Its ability
gained through experience while attached to less complex life-forms. XIX. 18-24.
7. What enables the soul after the dissolution of one physical form to attach itself to,
and have experiences through, the form of a higher species of life? Its increased
ability gained through experiences in the form it left. XIX. 14-26.
8. What are the functions of pleasure and pain? Pain has but one function; to inform
the soul that a destructive condition is present. Pleasure has but one function; to
inform the soul that a favorable condition is present. The purpose of pleasure is not to
reward, and the purpose of pain is not to punish. XIX. 111-118.
9. What is the universal law of compensation? The universal reward of effort is
greater ability XIX. 143-149.
10. What part has freedom in the evolution of the soul? Every step in evolution is
toward greater freedom. XII-II. 237-245.
11. Why, after occupying and gaining experience in the form of man, must evolution
and still more complex experiences be had, not on earth, but on the higher-velocity
inner plane? The chief function of life in the human form on earth is to confer self
consciousness. Physical life has its limitations. The experiences necessary in training
the soul to become a constructive workman in God's Great Evolutionary Plan cannot
all be had on earth. They require conditions that can be had only on a higher-velocity
plane than that of earth. XX. 307-312.
12. What evidence is there of an inner plane on which life continues? Extrasensory
perception and psychokinesis operate according to nonphysical laws, and thus imply
the existence of an inner plane. I. 45-47.
13. What evidence is there of extrasensory perception, telepathy and psychokinesis?
Millions of trials conducted by university scientists prove that such psi phenomena
take place. XII-1. 46-47; XII-I. 204-212; XII-II. 201-214.
14. What evidence is there the personality survives the tomb? Many of the world's
greatest scientists have investigated psychical phenomena and have concluded the
phenomena prove such survival. I. 176-179.
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15. If good karma and bad karma are responsible for man's condition in the present
life, as creatures lower in the evolutionary scale have no sense of morals, what
determined the condition of a life-form at its first incarnation as a human? The soul's
past experiences, which are neither moral nor immoral, in lower forms of life. And
these, together with its human experiences, determine its condition when it passes to
the next plane. II. 217-222; X-I. 71-72.
16. What actually determines the birth-chart of an individual, and therefore the
condition and events toward which he is predisposed? He is born at the time the
inner-plane (astrological) weather corresponds to the thought-cell organization
which constitutes the character of the individual then born. I. 116; X-I.72-73.
17. How can the individual best find out if the inner-plane weather conditions
mapped by astrology actually and profoundly influence his life? He should erect the
birth-charts and work the progressed aspects of himself and his friends, and check on
character traits, and the events that have happened in the past, and observe the type of
events progressed aspects indicate for the future. VIII; X-I; X-II.
18. Does the outer-plane environment or the inner-plane environment have more
influence over man's life while he is still on earth? Their influence is about equal.
XII-II. 214-219; XII-II. 229-236.
19. What are the three types of inner-plane energies that have an influence over man
both while he is still on earth and after he has passed to the next life? The character
vibrations of objects, the thoughts of other people and entities, and the inner-plane
(astrological) weather. XII-II. 215.
20. Do progressed aspects indicate inevitable physical conditions or events? No, they
only indicate the influence of inner-plane weather of a particular type and harmony
or discord. XII-II. 230-235.
21. Is there a god of whim and prejudice such as the Old Testament pictures? No. But
there is an all-pervading Super-Intelligence Who operates through undeviating law.
XVII. 136; XII-II. 221-222.
22. Why is vicarious atonement impossible? No one can gain knowledge, ability,
character or spirituality for another. XII-II. 190-191.
23. What are the only four possessions an individual can take with him when he loses
his physical body? Knowledge he has acquired, ability he has acquired, the
organization of his finer form (character), and his dominant vibratory rate
(spirituality). XII-II. 191.
24. Is there a static heaven and hell? XX. 46-52.
25. What determines the spiritual level on which the individual functions both while
he occupies a physical body and after life on earth is done? His dominant vibratory
rate. XX. 18-32.
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26. Should one's religion be based merely upon belief? People have found in other
than the religious affairs of life that if they believe what they are told without
demanding proof they will be exploited and cheated. XII-II. 12-19.
27. Why is the Stellarian Religion called The Religion of the Stars? Because
astrology affords the best possible road-map for guidance to the most effective and
highest type of life. XII-II. 229.
28. Why is materialism on its way out? Because irrefutable evidence has been
obtained by widespread university experiments that man's mind does not operate in
accordance with physical laws. XII-II. 229.
29. Why is orthodoxy on its way out? Because evidence is fast accumulating that
man's life on the inner plane is not as orthodoxy has pictured it. XX; XII-II. 199-206.
30. Why should research be conducted to bring extrasensory perception under
control? Because it can benefit man by enabling him to acquire valuable information
he otherwise could not get. XII-II. 206-212.
31. Why should research be conducted to bring psychokinesis under control?
Because psychokinesis can heal the sick and assist man to have freedom from want.
XII-II. 212-214.
32. Just what does religion strive to do? Religion consists of the effort to employ
nonphysical means to find on earth more ample satisfaction for the drive for
nutrition, the drive for reproduction and the drive for significance, and to continue to
find satisfaction for these three drives for as long a period as possible on the inner
plane. XII-II. 8.
33. How does knowledge of astrology assist in developing moral attributes both in
children and in adults? It indicates toward which specific weaknesses they have a
predisposition, and the means to overcome these specific weaknesses.
XII-II. 227-248.
34. How does knowledge of progressed aspects assist the individual to live according
to the tenets of his religion? It indicates the periods in which temptation will be
strong, and what precautionary actions to take not to succumb to it. XII-II. 248.
35. How does knowledge of astrology enable the individual to select the vocation in
which he can most benefit himself and most benefit society? It indicates his natural
aptitudes and the environment in which he can employ them most fortunately.
XII-II. 249-250.
36. How does knowledge of astrology enable the individual to remain in good
health? It indicates the diseases toward which he has a predisposition, the periods
when each is apt to develop, and the precautionary actions to take to prevent them
developing XII-II. 250-252.
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37 How does knowledge of astrology assist the individual to avoid unfortunate
events and to attract events which are more fortunate? It indicates toward which
unfortunate, and toward which fortunate, events there is a predisposition, and the
periods when a certain type of event is likely to occur. And it indicates the
precautionary actions to take to avoid or mitigate the unfortunate events and to take
the utmost advantage of those which are fortunate. XII-II. 253-254.
38. How does knowledge of astrology assist individuals and nations to live together
in peace and harmony? It gives them a clear understanding of each other, and of the
periods when they are apt to behave in a certain manner due to the impact of
inner-plane weather. XII-II. 255.
39. Is it more sensible to judge what God wants by his actions, as observed in nature,
or to judge what he wants by some person's opinion who is ignorant of nature? It is
better to judge by observing what takes place in nature. XII-II. 255-256.
40. What has been the means orthodoxy has employed to enslave the people of the
West? It has taught reward in heaven for doing as the priesthood dictated, and
punishment in hell for those who did not do as the priesthood dictated.
XII-II. 188-192.
41. What has been the means orthodoxy has employed to enslave the people of the
East? It has taught reward in a future life on earth for doing as the priesthood dictated,
and punishment in a future life on earth for not doing as the priesthood dictated.
XII-II. 156-160.
42. What is the difference between the means orthodoxy has employed in the West
and the means orthodoxy has employed in the East to keep people enslaved? The
reward for obeying priestly commands and the punishment for not obeying priestly
commands in the West has been promised for a future life on the inner plane, and in
the East has been promised for a future life on earth. XII-II. 160.
43. Why is freedom of information and freedom publicly to discuss any and all facts
essential for the progress of the world? Because only thus can people learn the truth,
and only when they learn the truth and act upon it can they make satisfactory
progress. XII-II. 18-19.
44. What is the Universal Moral Code? A soul is completely moral when it is
contributing its utmost to universal welfare. XIX. 179-180.
45. Why must religion never remain static? Because it should be based upon as many
outer-plane facts and inner-plane facts as possible, and thus include new facts as fast
as they are discovered. XII-II. 11.
46. Why is The Religion of the Stars the world religion of the future? It is because as
fast as the are discovered and properly verified, each new significant outer-plane fact
and each new significant inner plane fact is added to it in its proper relation to all facts
already known. XII-II. 204.
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47. Why can truth alone make men free? Only when they have the truth and act upon
it, instead of upon error, can men be free from want, free from fear, have freedom of
expression and have freedom of religion. XII-II. 12-22.
48. Why are those who permit their emotions, thus conditioned in childhood, to
determine their religion, like European lemmings? Both instead of following the
dictates of reason based on facts, permit emotion to guide them into disaster.
XII-II. 12-14.
49. Why is it so important properly to recondition the emotions? Because they are the
tools man must use to get what he wants, and if they are not reconditioned they will
get him what he does not want. XII-II. 15.
50. In what way does the Stellarian try to handle each and every problem with which
he is confronted? He tries to handle it in the manner that will contribute as much as
possible to universal welfare. XXI; Chapter 1.
Think Kindly
--The Religion of the Stars demands of its neophytes that they do their utmost to help
the life-forms by which they are surrounded. Working as efficiently as possible for
universal welfare is a fundamental creed. Yet no one can do his utmost for others if he
feels irritated or antagonistic towards them. Feelings radiate energy that impinge on
the finer forms of others and have a harmonious or discordant influence upon them.
One need not be sympathetic in the sense of feeling the other person's affliction; and
it is better not thus to take on the afflictions of others. But to do most to assist others
one must feel kindly toward them.
The neophyte, therefore, who aspires to reach the exalted height of adeptship, should
commence to establish the feeling of kindness towards all persons and all other
creatures as a permanent habit-system. Whenever he begins to feel irritated or
antagonistic he should commence to think about some phase of the other person's
life, or about something which is admirable which can, directly or indirectly, be
associated with the person causing irritation. One can have on tap certain thoughts
for such occasions which will lead the mind and emotions to feelings of kindness and
well wishing. There is always something that can be brought to mind that will present
a kindly angle where another is concerned, and which can be substituted for
discordant thoughts.
The habit of thinking kindly toward every other person and creature you contact will
not be developed in a moment, nor even in a year. There are almost sure to be lapses
in which the old feeling of irritation comes to the surface. But, with persistent effort
and proper determination, you can arrive at this very definite state of spiritual
development. Even a slight degree of success in this cultivation of kindness is
eminently worth while. And when you reach a state in which, not mere tolerance, but
an active kindness is felt toward every living thing at all times, you can be assured
you have reached a very important level in your upward climb.
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Be Eager to Learn
--Still another habit-system which every neophyte should acquire is an eternal
eagerness to learn something more. The adept, although he is the perfect man, never
thinks he knows all there is to know. The man who thinks he knows it all invariably is
an ignoramus. The adept realizes, although his horizon is vastly wider than that of
most men on earth, in relation to the vastness of the universe and its multiple planes,
and to other types of universes in the cosmos, that what he knows is minute. No
matter how advanced in knowledge he becomes, he continues to have an insatiable
thirst for more.
The effort to acquire still further and more accurate information should become so
built into the character that it is a permanent habit-system. Alertness to acquire new
perspectives, a keenness for facts that have a bearing on the problems of existence,
and some time regularly spent in study are not merely the marks of a neophyte, they
likewise are traits which distinguish the most advanced men. And the neophyte who
acquires early in his progress these tendencies, and so thoroughly ingrains them into
his makeup that they are essential ingredients of his character, has taken a long step in
the right direction. He is actually following a practice now that he will never have to
discard; for he has made his own a trait which he will continue to employ after he
attains adeptship.
The Habit-Systems of Energy
--There are so many erroneous notions afloat about the kind of life led by a Master
that I should once again point out that a Master does not lead a life of ease, but a life in
which work of importance and magnitude is done for the benefit of his fellow man.
No one who is lazy can become an adept. To scale the spiritual height requires
ceaseless effort.
Some people are sluggish, and with difficulty can prod themselves to make a
moderate amount of effort. Other people are so high-strung that their over-activity
repeatedly impairs their health.
While mental or physical work uses up either electrical or physical energy,
commonly, due to tensions, the exhaustion that results is out of all proportion to the
work actually accomplished. Few people know how properly to relax. To make a
speech in public, to write a letter on the typewriter, to drive a car, to go shopping, to
cook meals, or to do most of the work that needs to be done nowadays requires very
little muscular tension. Yet most people who do these things are muscularly tense.
And it is this unnecessary muscular tension that wears them out rather than the work
they do.
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A tense muscle is an indication of nerve tension. And nerve tension indicates that
electrical energy is being used. Muscular activity requires that certain muscles be
shortened. But when muscles are thus shortened at times when there is no need for
their activity it uses up energy needlessly. But most people have developed a
habit-system of tensing muscles when they think certain thoughts, and of tensing
muscles that are not required to be active in the work they are doing, and thus
unnecessarily wear themselves out.
A ball player or other athlete who keeps his muscles in a constant state of tension is
never a success, and ends up by being muscle bound. To throw a ball with facility and
accuracy, to drive a car through bad traffic without danger, to type with speed and
accuracy, or to think clearly and with facility, the muscles should be relaxed as much
as possible before being called on for whatever work, if any, it is necessary for them
to do.
To be able to work with speed and accuracy, and without unnecessary fatigue, the
individual should learn to relax completely at intervals and to call upon his muscles
for action only as such action is needed. People can even wear themselves out sitting
in a chair if they keep tense, and if the tension continues after they go to bed they may
be unable to sleep. When the body is completely relaxed there is no difficulty in
going to sleep.
Practice in relaxation often is quite as necessary as practice in doing the work
required. Thus to relax, lie on your back in such a position that there is no strain on
any muscle of the body. Then give attention to one set of muscles after another,
letting the muscles under consideration go as limp as possible and talking to them
mentally, giving them the suggestion, "let go, relax, let go, relax, relax still more.,,
Start with the toes and work up, devoting several minutes to each set of muscles: the
calves of the legs, the thighs, the abdomen, the hands, the arms, the shoulders, the
neck, the face, and finally the eyelids. And keep giving them the suggestion to let go,
and feel them thus go limp.
Then when you go about your work, as much as possible keep the muscles relaxed.
And as any discordant thought or painful emotion tends to tense the muscles and
otherwise use up electrical energy, take what happens in your stride and harbor only
pleasant thoughts. In this way you will be able to accomplish vastly more, and will
avoid nerve difficulties.
One becomes accustomed to living at a certain speed to which the body and energy
generated gradually adapt themselves. If this speed is acquired at the expense of
tension and nervousness, it is wearing and decreases the efficiency. And if it
cultivates habitual sluggishness and a dread of effort, it affords neither pleasure nor
adequate output. But if tension is avoided the speed of activity can with practice be
accelerated and maintained throughout each day with maximum output.
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To the neophyte who would become an adept there is no escape from much work.
Attainment is ever at the cost of persevering effort. But handled without unnecessary
tension the amount of work involved in arriving at this exalted state, or that involved
in the active, useful life of a Master, need not seriously deter any earnest aspirant; for
as progress is made, the ability to work long and with more speed without fatigue
gradually develops. The relaxed body not only becomes accustomed to maintaining
swift activity, but there is an increasing joy and satisfaction felt in such activities.
Utilizing the Occupation
--Even among those who set their feet resolutely upon the path leading to adeptship,
all too often the occupation is regarded as a necessary evil, endured in order to make a
living. In many cases this attitude is due to the circumstance that the individual
cannot make a living at the things he is best fitted to do. That is, the occupation which
economic conditions force upon him is not the one for which he is really fitted. It is
not along the line of his real cosmic work.
Yet almost every occupation which men are forced to follow offers constant
opportunities for character development and for the expression of the spiritual side of
the nature.
The neophyte will find it excellent discipline for a higher type of work to leave no
stone unturned to discover the advantages and pleasures which can be associated
with the occupation. This does not signify that he should not try to find an occupation
more suited to his ability and temperament; but that, so long as conditions make it
advisable to follow a certain occupation, this circumstance offers him a training
school for developing the pleasure technique.
And in any such occupation there is always opportunity to develop self-expression.
Even in routine work, which appears to be but drudgery, one can exercise ingenuity
to perform it in ways which, more and more completely, will give expression to the
soul's desire to accomplish what it does in the best possible manner.
A little more skill can be developed, lost motion can be avoided, just the proper
amount of energy applied to get the best results. Almost nothing is done in the best
possible manner, and the effort to improve the methods and manner of work builds
factors into the character which, even in the after life, will prove advantageous; for
our attitude towards conditions in the future is determined by our attitude towards the
circumstances we meet before we reach the future.
Furthermore, in addition to using one's occupation to practice developing a
permanent pleasure technique, which may be used in meeting obstacles of the future,
and in developing a constructive and progressive attitude, which will become an
integral part of the character, the occupation also presents the opportunity to develop
refinement, and this means acquiring spirituality.
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Almost anything can be handled in not merely a way which gives better practical
results, but also in a way that in some manner calls forth the finer emotional nature. A
flower on an office desk adds an element of taste. An extra polish on a machine
appeals to the sense of sight and touch pleasantly. Clean cut work, just the proper
amount of embellishment, the development of harmony among those with whom one
must work, all lend themselves to a richer type of existence. There are few lives but
that could be lent an element of grace and beauty. Anything that removes the sordid
and replaces monotony with constructive pleasure is in the direction of the spiritual.
And the neophyte can grasp the opportunities thus presented and use them for his
spiritual gain.
Think Only the Truth
--One of the most disastrous habits is that which psychologists term rationalizing. It
is not, as at first might be thought, the applying of reason to discern the full and
unvarnished truth; but is the process of finding a plausible reason for believing that to
be true which one desires to be true.
It has become an axiom among those who apply themselves to the exactitudes of
material science that the reports of a researcher along some particular line can usually
be accepted unless the results of his research in some manner have a bearing upon his
personal life. When the personal habits and desires, such as the religious beliefs,
customs in eating, personal liberty, or the hobby of the scientific man is in any way
affected by his findings, other scientific men feel at once called upon to challenge his
findings. If you wish an example of this unconscious warping of facts, read the
carefully compiled, yet completely contradictory, reports of the medical profession
on the effects of tobacco and alcohol on the health.
Your college professor may stoutly affirm that astrology is an "exploded science,,
even though he has never set up a birth-chart and does not know how to do so,
because he feels that astrology, in some manner deprives him of free-will. He does
not wish to think that his life is all mapped out for him at birth, and that he has no
power to determine his own future. And while astrology really only maps inner-plane
weather, and makes no such claims, yet the popular idea of it, which the professor has
imbibed, is that it signifies fatality. Consequently he thinks he rejects it because other
scientific men have investigated it, but in reality he rejects it because he has a strong
aversion to being shoved about like a machine by the stars, and he thinks astrology
teaches just that.
Of the many things that come to mind which are thus rationalized I shall, by way of
illustration, call attention to but one other. It appeals to the most powerful of all urges
within the human constitution, the power urges; to those urges which express self
esteem, or when exaggerated, express colossal egotism.
The desire to be important is not destructive. It is a fine impulse. But the desire should
be to be really important through accomplishment for the good of all, and not to
wallow sentimentally in an unearned and unreal sense of importance.
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The very highest position in the cosmos is occupied by the Super-Intelligence
directing it Whom we term God. Therefore the highest flattery an individual can
imagine is to believe himself to be God. And the highest tribute to his colossal
egotism others can give him is to pretend to believe he is God. Kings of old demanded
such homage from their subjects; and through mantrams and affirmations and the
rationalizing of philosophy, certain present-day individuals come to believe
themselves to be God.
The affirmation, or mantram, "Be Still and Know That I Am God..." may be
construed by the use of a comma as merely drawing the attention of God to the
individual. But many persons interpret it, and come to believe, that they are God. And
what could please their egotism more than to believe that they are the rulers of the
cosmos. The ego of man has divine potentialities. Through the development of its
twin souls it may evolve and control, in the illimitable future, a whole universe. But,
even so, there will be other universes. And over all, directing all, still will be the
Super-Intelligence Whom we call God. Man is not God, and will never become God.
However, God has a Great Plan which is in the process of development, and the soul
of man has the power of uniting itself with the intelligence directing this Great Plan.
To the extent that the soul can thus enter into the consciousness of the cosmic
intelligence it can unite itself in consciousness, and in effort, with God. It does not
thus become God, but it unites itself with God through tuning in on the highest level
of spiritual intelligence it can reach. And it does participate in divine powers and
attributes through tapping such an exalted reservoir. This truth is good enough.
Any falsehood accepted by the unconscious mind impedes progress; because before
the soul can make proper adjustments it must have a clear conception of the real
conditions. And the real truth, when the neophyte digs down beneath the rubbish of
appearances, will be found amply satisfying. He will find also that it is a bad thing to
lie to anyone; but quite disastrous to lie to himself.
At all times, and under all circumstances, let him seek the raw truth. His desires, his
previous learnings, his emotional reactions, all will from time to time try to varnish
and sugar-coat the real facts. But as he can act to best advantage only when guided by
the unembellished truth, he should ever seek to discern it as it actually is.