Service in life

We are given this life

Remember that we are given this life. Our life is a gift. No one can honestly say that they made life, nor invented their existence. So remember this always – our life is a gift. My life is a gift. I was given this life. First of all, give thanks to your mother! But also give thanks to Mother Earth. Next, give thanks to the power of Great Mystery, which brought all existence and life into being.

But let us keep returning to this realization that we have been given this life. And it's fine to enjoy life. Make the most out of life. Enjoy life. The Giver would not have bothered to give the gift, if it was not hoped that it be enjoyed. And also learn from life; for surely we are here to learn. But also we are here to give something.

We are here to give, as well as to receive. This is how we can reciprocate our life. We are given this life, so let us return something of value back to life. Let us give back to life. Essentially, if we truly realize that we are given this life, then we will want to give back to life. We will want to give value back to life, or we will want to help the world and everyone in it. We will want to help everyone in the world have more love and more enjoyment and be more fulfilled.

Breathe-in to breathe out

One half of the Path is to do with deeper spiritual realization. This is the inner side. The other half of the Path is to do with spiritual expression, or outer service, which is to express love and do good.

Gaining spiritual realizations and bringing in spiritual energies into our being is like breathing in life. Outer spiritual expression and service is like the outbreath of life. This is the outbreath of God, the outbreath of Divine Compassion and creative beauty. Remember that we are the hands and minds of God. So our giving is the outbreath and expression of Divine Love. This can also be called service – meaning to be of service to the Divine Expression.

Yet in order to breathe-out love, we first need to have this energy of love. We need to first be full (or fulfilled) with the energy of Love and the Compassion of God. So first, be filled with Divine Love. Breathe it in.

With love and beauty, there is no spiritual gluttony. In the physical world, it is not good to take too much, but in the spiritual world take in everything that is available. In the physical world, moderation is good, but in the spiritual world receive with unrestrained gusto. Take and receive all that you can of spiritual energies, of love, of healing, and of beauty. The spiritual resource of love and beauty is unlimited, so take more and more. In fact, the more you take, the better you are, the more healing you have, and the more everyone else will gain from this. For the more you receive of divine love and beauty, the more you can naturally share.

So receive and take in all of the love and spiritual energies that you need. There is no reason to hold yourself back from this. Take it all in, whatever you need. The Divine Reservoir of love is ever full. Let yourself be loved. Let yourself receive all of the love, all of the energy, and all of the healing that you need. Breathe it in, then breathe it in more, until you are completely full of love and good energy. And store it up, as well.

This is the receiving side of spiritual love. So always set aside enough time for conscious receiving, allowing yourself to receive. This is just as important as the giving side of spiritual loving. Then from this fullness (this fulfilled-ness), breathe-out love, compassion, and healing.

Breathe in any spiritual energy that you need – healing, joy, peace, creative inspiration, or any other spiritual quality. Breathe it in, so that you can breathe it out. Breathe in what you need, so that you are fulfilled with this quality; so that you have this to breathe out. Breathe in – to breathe out. Spiritual energies are really everywhere, pervading all space everywhere, because the Divine Presence is really everywhere. And we can connect with and receive from this Divine Presence through conscious breath. Thus, we can breathe in any spiritual energy-quality from all directions. Then breathe this out, through your heart, into the space around you.

Balancing the in-breath and the out-breath is the key to overall spiritual harmony. Receive all you need, but then give all you can. Breathe in all you need, of healing and spiritual energies, so that you can breathe this out to others and the world. Breathe in health and love, so that you have this to breathe out. Breathe-in love in order to breathe-out love. Breathe-in to breathe out. This then becomes our service – whatever good we can breath-out.

The meaning of service

Spiritual teachings will often speak about the importance of service, or the 'path of service'. Yet first remember that service is a word, and words are sometimes ambiguous in meaning. For some people the word service is appealing while others find it off-putting; this depends on what connotations and understanding is given to the word. We use it in these teachings in a very general meaning, and with many possible ways to be of service. Thus, many kinds of self-expression and action can be regarded as being service; if done with givingness, generosity, kindness, charity, or care.

The meaning of service is should involve the importance of working for a greater purpose, beyond narrow self-ego purposes or desires. So service means serving something greater than one’s little self; serving a greater purpose, serving humanity or the planet, or serving God. The meaning of service originated with the idea of serving God, God’s Purpose or God’s Will. Yet to serve God, we must serve the creation, the world of God, which is this world of humanity and the ecology of nature. Service always involves helping to fulfill greater life purposes or ideals; such as goodness, love, beauty and truth. So, service is any activity or expression that helps to further these ideals. Any positive, good influence or effect we can bring to the world is service.

In general, service includes any behavior, expression or action that is positive and beneficial to others or the environment. It is making some positive or beneficial effect in the world. Most often this means doing whatever needs to be done, fulfilling the needs of the moment and the place at hand. Thus, service could involve doing some special work in the world, but it could also mean doing quite ordinary work. Serving life might be a simple act of cleaning the bathroom or bringing order to a room. On the other hand, one might be working on a larger and complex project, requiring a larger span of time and various stages of work.

Service is any form of expressing love or doing good. Service is loving others. It is making another person feel they are loved. Service includes any form of helping others, or helping make the planet a nicer, cleaner and more beautiful place. Helping to heal someone or helping to teach someone are forms of service. Creative art and even entertainment can also be forms of service, by providing enjoyment or other kinds of aesthetic experience. Sometimes, the simple act of sharing quality time with others is service.

Service and givingness often means helping others, or being generous with love and help. Yet a caveat of caution should be remembered, because we should not feel spiritually (or morally) obligated to fulfill every single request asked for by others. We don’t want to become mere servants of ‘people users’, nor mere servants of dictators. We must always be cautious of people (or groups) who are too often requesting our time and energy, to the point where we become over-exhausted and over-used. Also to remember is that spiritual service is about fulfilling real needs, rather than every little desire of other people’s egos.

Also to remember is that oneself is worthy of being served, just as much as others. So one needs to take care of oneself as well by also serving and fulfilling one’s own needs. This requires a delicate sense of balance between taking care of oneself and giving of oneself, between fulfilling our own self needs and fulfilling other’s needs. Sometimes mutual fulfillment is possible and thus there is no conflict of interest between the needs of oneself and the needs outside of oneself. Win-win situations are always ideal. But sometimes there are real conflicts of interest, or feelings of conflict, in which case we should apply the moral principle of balance.

Service, though, does demand some degree of a self-sacrificing ‘stretch’ (or ego-desire sacrifice), which is not always spontaneously forthcoming, nor always what we might 'feel like doing'. Remember that the ego-desire wants to be served, rather than serve others or serve what appears to be outside of its self-interests. So one needs to be cautiously self-observant about the ego tendency of 'service-avoidance', which includes some kind of rationalization or self-excuse for not helping others, or perhaps the tendency to demand being served rather than the other way around, or the tendency to want others to give to one's own wishes rather than one giving to others. So consider and self-observe these possible tendencies of our self-ego.

The higher-rational part of oneself might see, though, that service and givingness to that which is outside of our usual ego-wishes is a useful spiritual practice for breaking the chains of ego-bondage and transmuting the mechanical ego-energies of oneself. Nonetheless, we each have real needs, so we do need to take care of our own needs too.

Who do I serve?

Who am I serving? We usually divide an answer to this into four possible alternatives. God, life, others, or myself. Sometimes we can clearly distinguish which one of these is being served. But they are not necessarily different, so it is not always an either/or alternative. Moreover, the serving of oneself, known as self-serving, is not necessarily a lower or evil alternative. The spiritual view should not simply be: all instances of self-serving are bad, or, I’m not being spiritual if I am self-serving or treating myself, or, to be spiritual one should give up one’s own desires or goals in order to serve other people (that is, other people’s desires and goals).

We should be spiritually cautious about the ego’s tendency to be primarily self-serving while ignoring (or even opposing) the needs of others or of life in general. Yet, there is nothing morally or spiritually wrong about self-enjoyment, or fulfilling our own desires and dreams. It would seem to be quite ironic if we thought that serving the desires of others is somehow more spiritual than fulfilling our own dreams and desires. How are the desires of others more important than our own?

It makes more sense to view other's desires on equal footing with our own; otherwise, we will become mere foot-stools for other egos. However, the big spiritual step is to really treat the hopes of others on equal footing as our own. In other words, do not simply treat one's own desires as more important than others. The ideal, of course, would be that our self-enjoyments and fulfillments are mutually symbiotic with other people’s enjoyments and in harmony with all natural lives. Usually though, most people need to work more on the giving attitude than the getting attitude.

So how can we serve God? Inwardly we serve God by our love, devotion, and gratitude. And this can deepen more. Consider that we serve God in this way. Then, outwardly, we can serve God by serving others and the planet which serves us.

Most important is the attitude in service. It has to be selfless and not merely for self gain. It’s not real spiritual service if the reason for doing it is to get something for oneself, like money, pleasure or praise. You might indeed get something out of it for yourself, but this should not be the motivation for the activity.

We also need to discern spiritual service from just any kind of “service”. There is good service and not so good service. For example, it isn’t God’s service to serve a dictator or to serve a business that harms the planet, or serve someone who is bad or just thinking of themselves. If one is serving just a materially wealthy elite, so that they can indulge in evermore selfish gains and pleasures, then this might not be God’s service. It might not be a spiritual service.

So a good attitude is – serve whoever and whatever we can, as long as we are serving for God’s good.

Finding our way of service

A major purpose for being here, of our soul incarnating into physical existence, is to serve, to give, and to somehow make the world a better place – by bringing some light of wisdom to humanity, by helping to educate and evolve society, by healing the wounded and the suffering, or by some other way to give to life and bring love and goodness into the world.

Every soul, which is each and every one of us, is here on a mission, here for a purpose. But we need to discover what this is. This might become, though, somewhat frustrating when we do not know what exactly to do. But be patient in learning what to do, and maintain an attitude of being in a learning process of exploration. Then, a vision or realization of particular goals and steps will gradually be understood.

We are each here to serve or give in some way, so we need to figure out how to do this. Some people think that each soul already knows what exactly it is meant to do in this lifetime, or that each soul already has a definite plan for how to serve life. This isn't really true. A soul does not incarnate with some kind of definite blueprint of what to do. Nor does a soul already know its exact work in the world, let alone how to get there.

Instead, each lifetime is a new adventure in a context never exactly-seen before and in an existential situation of uncertainty. Each soul has general purposes and goals, but not 'specific' ones already defined or planned. Generally, it is an open question for the soul as to how to serve life, and so we are here working out the answer to this question, then hopefully doing something to fulfill that purpose.

By meditating within our soul (or within our heart) we can first realize a deep feeling of having a purpose, a purpose to serve or give to life. It is as though we (the soul) have come from another world, a divine-enlightened world, and we have come to this world of earth to serve and give to it in some way. We feel this impulse within us, this deep desire and caring. This is a general feeling, which then leads to a realization of having a purpose, yet the knowledge of this purpose is general and not usually specific.

Next, meditate on how to express this purpose to serve, or how we might specifically give to humanity and the planet. This usually requires some thought or intelligent use of the mind, in conjunction with the essential heart desire to serve. Then, we may come to a vision of how to serve, and maybe also realize a plan. Next we make a commitment. Then finally, we take the steps to do what we can to fulfill this goal. In other words, we need to first realize our essential purpose, which will be realized in a fairly general way. Then, we should meditate on how to make this more specific – seeing how we can fulfill this purpose in some specific way. Then, with a strong commitment, we need to embark on the steps to actually fulfill this.

Throughout our meditation and exploration on this, and even throughout the manifesting steps, there are two important themes. One theme is a linking relationship with others who are also on this conscious path of service. We need to link up with all of our brothers and sisters who have the same essential soul-impulse or soul-purpose to serve. We can do this inwardly in feeling, and we can do this outwardly as well. In this way, we are strengthened by the whole group of world servers, and we also strengthen the group of servers (on the inner level). And on the outward level we learn how to cooperatively work with others towards the same goals.

Another important theme is sacrifice. Sacrifice is a difficult theme to digest. But we will have to see and accept that sacrifice is necessary along this path. Sacrifice is difficult because the personality ego is out to get whatever it can for itself. And so there is often a struggle between the soul, which is unselfishly wanting to serve, and the personality ego which is wanting to serve just itself. Thus, we need to keep in mind the need for sacrifice of the personality ego and of selfishness. And we need to keep returning to our soul purpose and commitment.

The personality self needs to look to the soul and to divine purpose, and also connect with others who are in line with the greater purpose of life. Then, once in soul-consciousness, the soul needs to work in the world below, to bring love and goodness into the world. Along the Way, though, we might fall from the soul to the personality ego. We get caught in the ego, and in the struggles and distractions of the world; whereby our soul is forgotten. Our purpose is forgotten. Somehow we need to then remember our purpose, and re-connect in our soul. Then, from the soul, we can again work outwardly to serve and give with love to the world around us. Indeed, it is beautiful to be in the soul and live from the soul, serving and giving to the world at hand.

Yet being of service is not to discount the enjoyment of life. We all want to enjoy life. The soul itself wants to enjoy life. But the soul seeks to enjoy life while also serving life. The personality ego just wants to enjoy, but cares not for serving life. It wants everything and everyone to serve its own enjoyment, yet it cares little for other's enjoyment. But the soul seeks enjoyment through service. The soul seeks to merge service with enjoyment, so that they are not opposing or contradicting. Thus, the soul's purpose is both service and enjoyment, but without contradiction.

Wish to be of service

Wish and ask inside to be allowed to be of service – to be given opportunities and abilities for service. Look to where you can serve, to where there is some degree of allowing receptivity in others or in a place, to where possibility for healing or other help exists. Be awake to what is in front of you, what you know and feel as needed to do. Be awake to what comes your way and respond to this need of the moment, because it has come to you with a purpose or a need. As you commit yourself to service everyday, the synchronicity of magnetic attraction will present to you the opportunity of service, and new abilities will come forth from within you to meet the need at hand. Intensify your commitment to life and your commitment to service, and life will present fascinating opportunities and new adventures.

Helping others or a situation in life requires some degree of receptivity and willingness with the recipient, due to free will and right timing, so it is intelligent to consider the openness or the allowingness involved in any effort of service. It is not good to attempt any work or healing without listening to what is being asked in that situation. If we ask inside who or what is asking for help, then this will come our way and we can possibly do some good. In order to help others we need to be receptive to them and listen to what they are inwardly asking. We need to understand them. As in any work we need some understanding and knowledge of the situation in order to be of help.

Remember that we are here on earth for a purpose which involves others, as well as ourselves. We are here to love and awaken love. We are here to help and to be healers in the world. We are all potentially healers, and healing can occur through any kind of service, because healing is essentially a result of love in action. We are each an incarnation of the Divine Mercy, the healing breath of the Divine Presence. This is both a gift of glory and a personal responsibility. We are each the source of hope for the world.

We do not need to be perfect to be healers. Nobody is perfect or perfectly pure within the Divine Grace, yet each of us can give something to eachother and the planet at any one moment and place. There is always something we can do or help, however handicapped we are. Everyone is a little dis-abled at least, but whatever we are able to do can lead others and the planet toward greater love and wholeness of Spirit, and these loving attempts to help is the healing work of service.

Healing is to come back to wholeness, and whenever we go out of our small self-ego, to care for the greater field of Self around us, we are coming into wholeness ourself and awakening a wholeness, an interconnecting love in others. The layers of pain, loneliness and fear in ourself and in others begin to fade away as we give of ourself to service and loving activity. Service is an attitude to life, which comes about through the conscious death of the limited ego into a greater field of beingness. Turn yourself inside out to the world and to this moment, and sacrifice your life to The Life that never dies.

As one consciously travels in the way of service, all the resistances of self conditioning begin to come up, the resistances to sacrifice for the greater good, the resistances to wholeness, to healing. The commitment to service will bring up every negative emotion, every selfish thought and every denying force within the subconscious conditioning. In fact, it is only through a commitment to service that the self conditioning can be transformed, for the ego will always hide certain tendencies which can only be known as we put ourselves into the challenge of unselfish service in the world. This is why most people do not want to hear these things or even consider a life of service.

But service is not all that bad. It’s not a life of constant drudgery and suffering. Those who have come into the commitment to service know the inner joy and adventure involved. It is painful and stressful at times, but so is the life devoted to pleasing selfish desire. Through service and helping life toward a greater aim, one becomes a greater being, having a greater consciousness of self. We come to know that The Life is our life and the world is within us, so we respond accordingly.

The key is to give and keep on giving whatever we can. Challenge yourself to go out of your way to give, go out of the way that you want to go and give some time to the need of the moment. This can be difficult. It requires an attitude of surrender and a courage to risk our self in interaction. It requires an attitude of sharing our honesty and love in interaction. We can notice in ourself the fear of new interaction and the inner difficulty of risking our self in service. We have the tendency to avoid risk, and avoid doing anything which does not necessarily reward us.

It is very hard to give and put our self out into interaction without a sense of reward. It is very hard to stop judging others or the situation at hand in terms of what we want to receive back. Our tendency is to only involve our self when it is seen as beneficial to us. We want to get something from others, from life, and we have the tendency to always be taking from life, rather than being in the attitude of giving to life.

This is a very subtle thing, and one can only understand what I am speaking about through self-study in interaction with others. You are walking down the street and you only give attention to what you like, to what is pleasing and you are constantly taking. But if you reverse this tendency, turn inside out and are giving to the need around you, then you will experience a completely new way of being in the world. This is the path of service. One must be in the attitude of giving, and it is often a complete reversal of the conditioned tendency. This does not mean that you do not receive or enjoy the life around you, but there is no more use in thinking about this until you have made some conscious attempt in this direction.

Becoming love and goodwill

Become and assume the virtuous quality of goodwill. This is our divine purpose and who we are meant to be. Practice this quality of good will, firstly by imagining oneself to be this quality. For instance, say to yourself "I am goodwill." Meditate on what goodwill is and on its importance. This is reflective meditation, using the power of thought and understanding. But also useful is to feel what this is. Feel what goodwill is. Then feel how it is to be goodwill, or to be a good will.

In a similar manner, meditate on being love. Ask yourself, what is love and why is love important. Reflect on this for some moments. Give it some reflective thought. Then next say to yourself, "I am love." Then feel what this is. Feel how it is to be love and goodwill. Feel how it is to be an outpouring of love and goodwill to everyone, to all humanity, and to all to all sentient beings. So first know what love and goodwill is, both with thought and with feeling. Know the feeling of these qualities, and then be it. To be goodwill is to be a microcosm of the Divine Good-Will.

Furthermore, this active quality of goodwill is the quality of Christ. In fact, the return of Christ is the return of love and goodwill into the hearts of men and women on earth. Jesus is not going to descend from the sky to save us from our stupidity or take over as a world king. The return of Christ is not like this at all. Instead, the return of Christ will be through a spiritually awakened portion of humanity – those whose heart's awaken in love and goodwill. This awakening of hearts is the new re-incarnation of Christ. Thus, Christ will come through many persons, not just one. Then Christ (who is also Maitreya) will gradually unfold eventually through all humanity.

This is an unfoldment of the love and goodwill that is spiritually inherent in our hearts. And it is also a gradual annihilation of any hatred, selfishness, or bad-will in people's hearts; as spiritual love and goodwill gradually dispel energies of the false-self. Understand that the true heart of all men and women is a spiritual heart of love and goodwill; but this is too often covered over by layers of societal conditioning and the self-centered desires of personal ego.

So the return of Christ is an individual awakening and transformation. It is the awakening of love and goodwill that is spiritually inherent within us. The way of Christ is to be love radiant. So be the radiant light of love, in synergy with other people of goodwill working together in the purpose of love. May Christ return to earth!

But it's not a matter of waiting for Christ to return. Nor is it a matter of believing and praising the Lord. Don't wait for Christ to return; because Christ is waiting for you! Christ is waiting for more people to awaken in love and to serve life through love. Become the one you worship! Become a living radiance of Christ. Become a disciple of Christ consciousness and love, a living expression and representative of the Spiritual Sun. We each may not yet be as spiritually pure and loving as the Christ, but we can nonetheless approach this, as best we can.

Even the battle between good and evil, as some evangelical Christians anticipate, is primarily the subtle battle within each person, which is the self-battle between the spiritual will of Christ-within-us and the will of our personality ego and its desires. Though on the outer physical level there is a battle between those with goodwill towards others vs. those who merely try to get whatever they can from others. This is the battle between those with a truly compassionate heart of goodwill vs. those who continually work to economically exploit others for their own benefit and try to cheat others of their freedom and opportunities.

So, on the path of service, we need to walk a fine line between unconditional love and discernment of what is right. Our inner work and transformation is to become an expressive consciousness of love. In this way we help transform the whole world with love. But in the outer world and in our outer work, we must sometimes confront selfishness and negativity from others. We have to be realistic about this. In the outer world there are people, groups, and companies without goodwill in mind – who are working for their own benefits at whatever cost this may be to others. So we cannot simply trust everything in the outer world, and nor should we simply accept everything as it is without questioning and helping to change what feels to be wrong.

Thus, there are times and circumstances whereby we have a spiritual responsibility to struggle against – to make struggle for the sake of spiritual rightness, fairness, and truth. Just as we each have a spiritual responsibility to struggle against the egotism, selfishness, or negativity within our own self.

Serving the future right now

Please know that there is something for you to do. You are valuable. We all are. You have a place of service in the overall purpose of life. Whatever place it is, wherever you are and whatever good you can do is extremely valuable to all of us and to the whole future. Do not believe those who sit complacently in a presumed “spiritual mind” and say that God's destiny will prevail. Don't be a passive idiot. There is no divine destiny without you and I doing our part. The future is not pre-ordained. The future is made by what we do.

Part of our purpose here on earth is to serve the future to come, to make some kind of contribution to the future generations and prepare the world for the future. This does not mean we need to be involved in planetary politics or start up a new world religion. We each can contribute to the future good in many small ways within our local sphere of relationships, and these small contributions are not insignificant. Even our own personal work at transformation and the love we share with others has a very profound effect on the whole world, which carries over into future generations. Every small step taken toward truth, goodness and beauty prepares the world for greater Divine possibilities.

Our own preparation for the future means that we are better prepared to help others through the changes as they arise. As the world in general accelerates in its transformation, there is bound to be decay of the old conditioning and thus the pain of change. There may be major difficulties as the world awakens from its slumber, though we hope these difficulties will not be too drastic. Those who have the love, the courage and the prepared abilities to deal with pain and change will need to “pick up the pieces” and lead others onward. This does not mean to 'wait for something to happen', because the future is coming in now!

The path of service is the path of helping our brothers and sisters and the planet itself; not just later, but now, in whatever way possible. The future arises from what we do in the now. So the need is now, because now is what we have and now is the only time there is to do anything about the future.

We are each here at this particular place and moment of time to serve this place and moment of time. Once we really get here, right down here on this earth, being conscious and alive as an expressing presence of the Divine, we can see the needs of this moment, this place in time. The conscious human being always sees need at hand and potential value to be expressed.

Life is continually presenting us with opportunities to serve in this moment and bring greater value to life on earth. We fulfill the opportunities of life through our presence and the abilities we have acquired through knowledge and effort. The opportunities and abilities are ultimately given to us by destiny and grace, but it is up to us to be present here for this and willingly committed to give of ourselves to the need at hand according to our present capacity.

Life often presents us with many opportunities for service, many more than we can actually take on, but the needs most in front of us at this moment are the most important, because there is no one else to do it but us, and the opportunity may pass quickly if we do not act precisely in the moment of need. So, we are asked to fulfill what only we ourselves can fulfill at this unique place in time. When we are truly here in the moment, we are flowing with the moment and are able to act in the right moment.

Once in the moment, one can “expand in time” and know the need of the future, as well as this moment. Consciousness is not limited by time, and within the moment is potentially all time. This is really beyond my ability to explain, but as one evolves in being present, one is able to know the possibilities of the future and the needs that require our effort to fulfill. Future work must begin now in order to be fulfilled at some time, so the future presents its need in this moment if we expand our consciousness of time.

When we can see time coming towards us, we can better prepare for it and help it to unfold. We can see the future coming into the moment, as we receive it and move forward to it. We see the needs of the future as destiny to be fulfilled. The future is arriving as we arrive into it. One can visualize time as coming towards us. The destiny or goal is moving from end to beginning. It is arriving at our doorstep and knocking, but if we are not awake and receptive to this, then it will have to linger in the world of possibility. It is bringing our groceries and we may starve without knowing to open the door. It is the doctor arriving to help us and we may not know our own need for help to let him in. Or someone else may have let him in and we do not know that times have changed. In this sense time does go backwards as well as forwards. Time comes into us and we go into time.

Masters can see far into time, because for them the time is here, the need is already apparent. So things are set into motion now for the future to come. A plan and a mission is set into motion now for many years to come, to be fulfilled through many years of work. The plan is not predestined in the sense that it is bound to occur just the way intended, because we are all growing in understanding and no one can circumvent the free will of man. Future possibility requires the participation of those involved in order for it to be actualized, so there is hazard or uncertainty in any plan however great, which is the uncertainty of free will and the unforeseen reactions of our conditioning resisting change and growth. Knowing that there are great missions and tasks to be fulfilled for the destiny of the planet, we can begin to help with and participate in this work of conscious evolution.

Working together

Those who step into planetary service are never alone, and each can fulfill a part of the overall work. If you feel completely alone in this, and are going about without interaction and cooperation with other groups of people, then most likely you are not really helping the greater plan. We need to cooperate and work together as best we can, even though our perspective of “the way” and what we see to do may be slightly different from others. Each of us need to come into our own conscience of how and what to serve, and to find our own unique place in the greater shared work, yet with a yielding sense of cooperation and receptivity to others.

Find someone or a group of people who are already doing good and evolving in themselves, and help them fulfill their task, and through this group service you will come to realize your own work. Working in and for a group is usually the best use of our potential, because a group purpose has far greater effect than working alone, and many groups are in much need of more people to help. Find someone who has evolved his or her self, who has Divine Presence, knows where to go and what to do, and so can help us develop our being and ability to serve. Great things begin in small ways.

The greater plan requires small beginnings and many small efforts that add up to its greatness. Finding how to serve in a moment, how to spread love and healing wherever we are and wherever we go, is the great work, however small it may seem. So, service fundamentally is doing what we can to help the people and the environment around us, help love and healing, truth and beauty grow, then trying to do it even better, with evermore conscience and consciousness.

Kinds of service work

Now let us consider service work. For sake of classification, there are four general kinds, related to four directions or four pillars. One is teaching, another is healing, another is creative thought, and the other is practical manifestation. These are general classifications and each would include various sub-classes. For instance, there are many kinds of teaching and ways of teaching. Healing can be of the physical, or it can be an emotional or spiritual transformation. Creative thought includes all kinds of artistic work, if it is guided by love or when it seeks to promote real beauty; and creative thought also includes creative new solutions to world problems and visions of a spiritualized world. Practical manifestation includes all kinds of earthy, constructive, social and political work; though in this service meaning, such practical work would have to be good work and helpful work, rather than mere manifestation for the sake of selfish or greedy purposes.

Everyone can be a healer for the world. This does no mean we all need to become doctors or spiritual healers. What is meant here is a general kind of healing work, involving an awakening of spiritual perception and spiritual love in the world. This is fundamentally what the whole world needs, and what everyone needs. For if there is spiritual perception and love, all else comes into its right place. The body heals, emotions are healed, mental confusions disappear, social problems are resolved, and the whole world becomes a more beautiful, more loving place. So if we simply help to awaken spiritual perception and love in the world, even if only in meditation or by prayer, we are doing an important work of service.

One essential practice for world healing is to hold everyone and the whole world in our love, in our being of love. And we do this without any judgments about who is good or bad, or who is better or worse, or who deserves or who does not deserve. For this is an unconditional love. It is a love that is full of forgiveness, with no blame and no judgments. In fact, one might realize that anyone who may be doing harm in the world is just spiritually ignorant, or possibly ill emotionally or morally.

If we see that any humanly caused problems are caused by either ignorance or illness, then what they actually need is spiritual perception to undo their ignorance and love to heal their sickness. For if the problem is ignorance, then someone needs to awaken them. The ignorant cannot awaken themselves, and most likely they do not even realize they are ignorant; like someone who only knows life in a certain village full of war and strife, but has no clue that there is a garden utopia across the mountains.

Someone has to help these people. Or if the problem is emotional or moral sickness (insensitivity to other’s pain), then someone needs to help heal them. Someone needs to heal them with light and love, the light of spiritual perception and the love of divine belonging.

Remember that the world is in real need of help. Sickness and ignorance are still in the world. The sick need help to be healed, and the ignorant need help to know Truth. Left to just themselves, how would they emerge from these states? So we who are consciously connected with God, Truth, Divine Power, need to help, heal, and guide those who are still asleep, or in delusion, or in pain. We need to be healers and teachers and artists, for God to work through.

So hold everyone and the whole world in love. It doesn’t have to be in ‘my’ love; for this can just be a holding everyone in Love Itself. Or realizing everyone in God’s Love. One might begin by holding everyone in one’s own love; but the next stage is a disappearance of the ‘my’ (or the I) in this love. So, experience everyone and the whole world in this Love, immersed in pure Love, the Divine Love Itself, and also immersed in the Divine Light. Remember that Light and Love are the two fundamental Qualities of Divine Being, and they are actually two ‘sides’ of the Same Reality. And remember, this IS the Reality.

There is also an esoteric kind of service work. It is esoteric because it's work is invisible, yet still effective in its results. This is the spreading forth of light, love, goodwill, and other spiritual essences, by way of the mind and heart. There are a few possible modes in any esoteric service work. One mode is to send out and pour forth the Love and Light to all others and to the world in general. Another mode is to be the Love and Light, and thus radiate and share this with everyone. Another mode, which is very esoteric, is to bring the whole world to God, to raise everyone into the Love/Light, the One Being, the One Consciousness. These are different modes, depending on one’s state at the time; but each is significant and we should not value just one mode as being necessarily better than the others. A balanced way is work with all these modes, and let them come about naturally.

Serve love and those who serve

Serve those who serve, or work cooperatively with those who serve. This is why Krishna says to serve God’s devotees. Krishna is a wonderful personification of God as Love. Krishna says serve Me by serving my devotees. A devotee is one who knows how to serve and who is service. The true devotee is one who has become selfless devotion and service. His inner consciousness is completely in devotional service to God, Krishna, and his outward life is in service to other devotees of God. The devotee also serves others who might become devotees, and the devotee should also serve the planet which serves all life.

The greatest way to serve God is by devotion to Love. The true devotee of Krishna is inwardly and outwardly serving Love – which is God. So devotion itself can be a service to God. Our love for God, our love of God, is itself a service. Our devotion to love is also service to God, because Love is God.

The devotee can also serve his or her Teacher – who is the Greatest known Devotee of God, who serves God inwardly by complete selfless devotion and who serves God outwardly by helping his/her devotees develop their own devotion and service. The Teacher will often give devotional and service tasks to the devotee students – in order to develop their service attitude and capacities. The devotee also uncovers spiritual love within, and develops this love, by way of loving and serving the Teacher. This is the tradition.

The beginning devotee may not yet know how to serve God in the best outward manner, so he or she does best by serving the Teacher and the Teaching. Unless one knows their best unique service in the world, it is best to serve the known servants of God. Thus, the best outward service of a devotee is usually to serve a Greater Devotee of God, which is the Teacher.