It seems that the thought... "I want to serve"... is a dangling intention within the vocabulary of many people these days.. It is dangling because the action, which must follow every thought, is a mystery to the many people who are waking up to their soul consciousness.
As a retreat facilitator, I have had a unique position. It is as if I have the opportunity to put my finger on the pulse of the collective whole and feel the degree at which we are evolving. More and more people are coming forward, saying "I want to be of service." This is indeed an encouraging statement, but when I ask my retreat participants "what do you want to serve, why do you want to serve, and how can you serve?" ... there is a definite pause within the flow of their energy. When an answer arises it usually takes the form of "I don't know, I just want to help... that is why I am here...to find out!" There are answers to these questions. But first, let's look at some ancient wisdom and find out why we are at this place in the evolution of the human race.
One of the main objectives of the last 2000 years, known as the Piscean Age, was to "ready" the human race for service. We were to learn certain virtues such as tolerance, impartiality, kindness, unselfishness, discernment, and the many other virtues of the many religions. When a human has to some degree attained these virtues, he or she "wakes up" to the idea that they are greater than the"me" that has been leading them around. These virtues are common to the soul, but not to the personality. When we can integrate and actively use these soul traits in our daily life, so that they become as habits, we are soul infused rather than personality infused. There is a period, a cusp period, where we get a glimpse of what we are and what we are becoming. It can be a dangerous period, if we loose patience and move to quickly in our desire to "help." This is the transitory period in which many humans are finding themselves. Be patient. You have all heard the saying, "a little knowledge can be more dangerous than none at all." Rest assured that we are ALL moving in the same direction, simply not at the same pace. Remember the virtues of patience and tolerance and discernment?
We are now into the beginnings of the Aquarian Age where for the next 2000 years we are evolving as a race into "service." The requirements are now more stringent, because humanity is more capable of responding in alignment with the energies of the New Age. More of the mysteries of the soul have been graciously given out to those who have prepared and purified. These mysteries once understood and integrated into the personality become great responsibilities. With knowledge comes responsibilities. You don't get one without the other. If you act irresponsibly, the law of karma takes over, and what you put out comes back equal to or greater than.
Intention or motive is of supreme importance to our new times. The veil or excuse of unconsciousness is no longer valid. Your motive "what am I going to do with this thought or action" must be analyzed so that the truth is separated from the false and the spiritual is separated from the selfish. Motive is one of the first attributes that are studied in esoteric schools. If operating from the personality, the motive is self-fulfilling. If operating from the soul, the motive is expanded to the best of all. When a student of the soul says, "I want to serve," ask yourself first:
What or whom do I want to serve? (the plan)
Why do I want to serve? (motive)
How can I serve? (ability)
If you cannot get past these questions you may well be in the probationary period, the cusp period, or the purification period. The veil is lifting ever so slightly and you are recognizing that a Truth is emerging. Meditate and contemplate these three questions until you have clarity. In this science of the Soul and in the greater Plan, none of us get to skip a grade. We will all get there and along the way, we will stretch out our hands to those who are ahead of us in the great scale of the life process and to those who need our aid to reach the place in which we now stand.
The desire to serve comes from a sense of responsibility. This sense of responsibility comes from "the ability to respond" which occurs when the soul is awakening to the fact that it is a part of a larger whole and it wants to serve the whole and not just the self.
Humanity is finally awakening to the fact that we ARE our brother's keeper or that we are all related and that all kingdoms depend on each other for a healthy and balanced life. What happens in this growing awareness is that a group soul whose mission is love and inclusiveness develops and service is the mission. This desire to grow and serve will continue through the ages because love is limitless.
It is important to now ask the three questions of whom or what are we serving, why are we serving, and how do we serve.
Whom do you want to serve?
We want to serve God and God's will or God's plan. If we are clear as to whom and what we are willing to serve, our attempts will not be futile or frustrating.
Why do we want to serve?
The natural progression of our soul's growth has brought us to the point of awareness that we must take responsibility for what is happening in the world and that we take action to apply that responsibility.
How do we serve?
We can serve from the point at which we have developed. We cannot give what we do not have. This is not said with the intention to belittle or take hope from any soul. Every soul is helping now at the point from which he or she has developed. It is important to recognize where you are in your development. As you know, there is certainly a scale or hierarchy of development amongst us. You recognize a self realized person when you are in the presence of a great teacher or yogi. They have something which we have not yet attained. However, they will tell us that we will attain this state of Grace, for it is already inside. This is what I am saying. Do not ever be discouraged, for it is all happening. But, just as a lay person cannot perform heart surgery without the proper training, we cannot attain this state of self realization without proper training. There are steps to spiritual efficiency just as there are steps to graduation. There is a natural hierarchy to our cosmos of as above, so below. There are Laws of Degree in our evolutionary scenario.
To serve one must be both loving and wise. Many people who want to serve become frustrated in their attempts or find that their actions are inefficient. This is due to the server being too emotional or too sensitive to others' reactions. We can get caught up in the trees and never see the forest! The server must learn to look down the road to the bigger picture. Sometimes pain and distress must be overcome before the good ultimately is recognized. Service must always be unselfish and not to promote one's own growth. The motive is always the alleviation of suffering and ignorance and not one's own promotion on the Path. The beauty is that in the unselfish act of service one's own path is incidentally helped. Our personal growth is directly attached to that of all others.Growth in consciousness and the overcoming of ignorance is simply the expansion of the sense of awareness and the ability to include. Inclusiveness is the mark of an initiate. If we are saturated with the desire to serve the Creator's Plan and service is so automatically rendered attempts will not be futile.
A true server's inner life is very intense and self examination is ongoing. The server is effective when she has achieved the power to contact at will the higher group of lives and the lower. The server must be able to function in both directions to the kingdoms above and kingdoms below. The Human Kingdom is in a very unique place. We are the fourth of seven kingdoms. Three above and three below. We have a duty to bridge the upper and lower.
There are Signs that the one who wants to Serve is ready:
1. Letting go of the past: There is no more remorse about failures, no more victim consciousness, no more flag waving over successes. Amends are made if possible, and the eyes are fixed upon the goal. Time is a commodity to be used efficiently, never hurried, yet not wasted.
2. The realization that the Teacher is in one's heart: If we cannot stand before our own soul and work and serve in the light which streams from that Presence how can we hope to stand before the greater Presence who admits us as conscious souls into the kingdom of God? The growth of the soul is an evolutionary process and we can only progress step by step in order to be effective disciples.
3. The rejection of Fear: When one has a solid connection to one's soul one is invulnerable! A true sense of divinity is felt and we realize that the soul is omniscient. There is no looking back for there is nothing to fear and the soul's only desire is to be liberated for service.
4. No condemnation: Nasty gossip, harmful thoughts of another, defamation of character, the imputation of evil motives, the desire to shine at someone else's expense, silence that may hurt another's character, the feeling of superiority over others, digging up someone's undesirable past are all methods of the ego. As long as we operate in this fashion we are handicapped by the past and will one day have to make good (karma). All that can harm must come to an end, so that all of our energy is directed to service. This is the hardest sign to pass through and warrants much effort, but is also the most freeing when accomplished.
5. Immersion of the entire life into the art of Service: This includes hourly acts and attitudes. It means that all we do is in reverence to the creative force that is given to us. The littlest things we do are an act of consecrated helpfulness... during work, relaxation, amusement, hard physical labor, sleep! We are striving for spiritual efficiency!
6. Joy from Service: This is felt automatically when the above is rendered through right action. The sacrifice does not feel like sacrifice. Instead, a joyful understanding is known, that tells us action brought on through intelligent discernment and animated by selfless love is the reason for our life.
7. Understanding the soul's return to the Light: Through true service that is rendered though right action and intelligent discernment, the server recognizes that a conscious ascent is the only way to the threshold of the Light. In the soul's desire to return home, we recognize that service is liberating and is really not a sacrifice.
I hope that these signposts will help the many humans who are opening to soul consciousness and are feeling the deepening response to serve God's Plan. If you study these seven signs with humbleness you may find the area in which you need to work harder in order to make your service to the Creator's Plan more effective and "soul fulfilling."