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Service and the disciple
by Benjamin Creme

A look at the central role of service in the spiritual evolution of all who aspire to express themselves as souls in incarnation.


The basic impulse behind all evolution is that activity of the soul which we call service. Service is nothing less than the demonstration in relationship of the law of love. It is the love of God for Its creation which impels the Logos Itself to take incarnation and to demonstrate Itself through a planetary form. We are part of that planetary form. We are thoughtforms in the mind of the Logos. As the Christ so beautifully put it, "we are His dreams". He brought us into manifestation, and in the same way can take us out of manifestation. We owe our whole existence and conscious awareness to His act of service on behalf of the solar Logos. He, in His turn, has created His body of manifestation, the solar system, in relation to His awareness of the Plan of "the One about whom naught may be said" at the centre of our galaxy. We are related to that same impulse every time we serve. Every impulse of the soul leading to service is a demonstration at our own quite small level of an impulse initiated many countless light-years away and light-years back in time by the Logos at the heart of our galaxy.

That is how important and how unimportant we are: how unimportant we are as individual personalities, and how important we are as active exponents of our soul’s nature. As we serve, we grow in service and we grow in love. As we grow in love, we grow into more service and into more love. It is the nature of God to love and to serve. We are living in a 2nd ray solar system (this is an esoteric truism). That means that in this solar system God is love. The 2nd ray of love-wisdom is the basic, synthesizing ray of the whole system. Whatever other ray may be demonstrating, whatever other ray quality might be ours either as souls or as personalities, standing behind them all is the 2nd ray of love-wisdom. Every other ray, including the 1st and 3rd, is a sub-ray of the 2nd ray. We are made in the image of God as love, and the nature of God as love is to serve. There is only one impulse in the whole of cosmos, demonstrating in multi-faceted ways: the impulse to serve. Hence the importance of service in the evolution of the individual, and, specifically, of the disciple.

The disciple has, at some level, dedicated himself to serve the Plan of evolution of the planet in so far as he has made himself aware of that Plan. At any given moment he can be aware only of a tiny fragment of the Plan but his purpose in incarnation is to demonstrate his knowledge of that fragment to the best of his soul’s ability.

The aim of all disciples, therefore, should be to see above and beyond the limited view of the personality to the broader, more inclusive view of the soul and to work from the soul level. Our difficulty in working together and relating to each other is to do with the differences of our ray structures. It is that which keeps us apart. So long as our personality, which has a limited sense of the whole, is dominating and potent, we will find resistance from other equally dominant personalities governed by different rays. It is this which creates the friction in every group and every international conference. Humanity today is so disparate, so proud of its differences, so proud of its individuality. This is a direct result of the influence of the last two 2,000 years of Pisces. So successful has been that influence that a large section of humanity is now demonstrating a powerful, self-assertive individuality. This is a necessary preliminary step — in order to give it up. You cannot give up what you do not already have. To give up your individuality you must have individuality. Humanity is beginning to demonstrate the potency of Leo. Leo is the sign of the potent, self-loving, self-oriented, egotistical personality. All of which is necessary in order to move into Aquarius and demonstrate the server.

From Leo to Aquarius

Leo and Aquarius are polar opposites. Leo is in the bottom half of the zodiacal chart and Aquarius is at the top. They are absolutely, diametrically opposed. You move, eventually, from Leo into Aquarius; from the man or woman dedicated to serving his/her own separate personality, to the world server. It is necessary, first of all, to serve your own separate personality to become potent in personality expression. Because if you are not potent in personality expression, the soul has nothing to use. You are the vehicle for your soul and the soul needs an integrated, potent personality through which it can pour its energy and carry out its plans and purposes. The difficulty for the soul is that it tries to do it through inadequate material. That is what the process of evolution is about. It is, first of all, about evolving an instrument, a personality apparatus with a powerful, focused mental body, a purified astral body and a strong and healthy physical body. With that threefold personality the soul eventually creates a vehicle through which its own nature can powerfully be expressed. Leo serves his own personality.

Aquarius serves the world. That is the movement from the potent, self-loving, self-serving personality to the world server. Let me quote the Master DK quoting from the Old Commentary (Leo, the self-server, is the lion, of course):

"The lion begins to roar. He rushes forth, and in his urge to live, he wields destruction. And then again he roars and, rushing to the stream of life, drinks deep. Then, having drunk, the magic of the waters works. He stands transformed. The lion disappears, and he who bears the water pot stands forth and starts upon his mission."

The lion, Leo, the self-serving, potent personality, changes and becomes Aquarius. He becomes the ‘water carrier’. The destruction which the lion wields is precisely the destructiveness of the self-loving, self-serving, potent individual. If you are not potent as a personality, you neither destroy nor create very much. One has to become potent in the personality sense. By that I do not mean become a domineering, dominating personality, but an effective, potent one.

The aim of the evolutionary process then is, first of all, to create the integrated personality, the Leo characteristic, to demonstrate an effective, active personality expression in which the physical, the astral, and the mental processes are integrated, synchronous in their vibration. It is all to do with synchronicity of vibration. Under the law of love, like attracts like. It is the magnetic, cohesive, attractive force of love which brings together the atoms of matter to create the building bricks of life. That is the function of the energy which we call love, the 2nd ray of love-wisdom. By its action we come into being. By its action the creative process develops, the forms are built. Without that action there would be no forms. The Christ Principle, the energy of evolution per se, governs the creation of the matter aspect. The little building-bricks of matter are formed by the cohesive energy which we call love, holding together the tiny particles of substance to create all that we see, and of course all that we do not see as well. That cohesive force works through synchronicity of vibration.

Service is the key. Eventually, the soul (which really brings us to the first initiation — it is the first Master) looks down and sees its vehicle ready for the first time in thousands of incarnations, and brings its instrument, ourselves, into meditation of some kind. It repeats this in every subsequent incarnation until you may have a whole life dedicated in a really powerful way to some meditation process. So the soul works, gradually ‘gripping’ its vehicle. Meanwhile, the Masters watch this process. They work cooperatively with the soul and give various stimuli to the disciple as he approaches initiation. They stimulate energetically the vehicles and higher chakras of the individual. They may stimulate the heart centre, seeking to evoke the energy of love, to awaken the heart or love nature of the individual. (The heart is almost always the first of the chakras to be opened.) They work by stimulus and by testing, and most importantly of all by the provision of a field of service to the individual.

This is itself a test. The soul wants to serve. The Master helps this process along by providing a field of service. If he is not in direct touch with his Master, the Master does it through the person’s out-of-body experience. The aspirant will want to serve in some way (he might want to serve for a few incarnations and do nothing about it, but he will want to serve). It is the soul who is demanding service because that is its nature. The Masters call Their work "the Great Service". Their existence on this planet is to do with Their desire to serve. They are not here for any other reason than to serve the plan of evolution of all the kingdoms.

As you serve, you change. A most extraordinary thing happens. The aim of the disciple is to shift from the integrated, self-serving Leo to the world server in Aquarius. The lion of the Old Commentary disappears and "he who bears the water pot stands forth and starts upon his mission". The self-serving, separative, potent individual in Leo becomes the integrated disciple, the world server, the water-carrier in Aquarius.

The Christ comes today to serve the world, to act as the Agent of God, the Avatar, the World Teacher for this age. He says, "I am the Water Carrier". He brings the Waters of Life , the new livingness which He releases on all planes. He brings a new potency to our life, on the physical, the emotional and on the mental and spiritual planes. We are entering into an entirely new kind of livingness such as only the very advanced initiates can possibly be aware of up until now. This will become the reality for the vast majority of people. The race as a whole will make this tremendous step forward into becoming the world disciple.

The paths of the individual disciple and the world disciple are parallel. You move through service. Coming out of the herd as the separate and potent self-serving personality in Leo, and, in Aquarius, sacrificing that hard-won separate individuality, one places it at the service of the soul and therefore of the world. That is the Law governing the evolution of disciples.

Three very important principles govern the evolution of disciples. They are steadfastness (determination to keep to it utterly, without moving and never backsliding, steadfastness to the Plan, to the pledge of the disciple), service and sacrifice . These are governing principles. Of course they are inter-related. You cannot serve in fits and starts. True soul service is a steadfast expression. The soul never has desire for rest, for change (except for a change of vehicle when the old one runs out of steam). The disciple, to progress at all, must show steadfastness; he cannot become a disciple if he does not. He must not just desire to serve, but must actually serve. Otherwise no progress can be made. I am approached by many people who say, "I’m longing to serve! For years and years I have longed to serve. I have a deep feeling that I was born to play a very important role in helping the starving millions of the world. Can you tell me how to start?" I have actually received that kind of request not once, but many times. I am always meeting people who say, "I am working on myself in order better to serve — of course I can’t serve until I get myself really together and healthy". And they mean it. I do not say this in any cynical way — they believe it. They really feel that if they had a better body they would obviously be able to serve better. Which is true, but it does not mean that they would serve better but simply that they would have a better capacity.

Some of the best servers I know of have been ill all their lives. We have instances in the past of great disciples like Helena Blavatsky and Alice Bailey who were ill for many years. Alice Bailey was ill for goodness knows how many years. Only the continuous activity of her Master kept Madame Blavatsky in the body for the last 13 or so years of her life. She had a number of illnesses which would have killed off any other entity; but she had a will and demonstrated that will in service. The will to serve, the sacrificial will of the soul, is the power which impels these great disciples, notwithstanding the limitations of the physical body, the tiredness, the fatigue, the fools with which they must have been surrounded if history can be believed — notwithstanding all of that, the drain on their attention, their energy, their goodwill, their patience — they served as few serve in the world. That is true of all the great ones.

As you serve, you change. Why do you change? Because service works in you to perform a miracle. It is literally a miracle; a transforming process takes place. Your soul makes you serve, and you begin to serve in whatever small, limited capacity. The nearer you are to the field of service, the quicker you get on with it. It need not be at the other side of the world, although that might be your calling. You can start right where you are now. The aim is to shift out of a totally self-serving, centralized situation. We are all centralized; we are all living as the centre of our world. That is the psychic experience of all of us, if you think about it. That is the action of the desire principle. And of course it is a stage. It is not something wrong or evil, but it is a necessary stage to get out of. As you serve you shift your point of focus. You identify with what you serve. You identify more and more with that which you serve, until, without your even being aware of it, you lose consciousness of yourself, you forget yourself, and as you forget yourself you get healthier, more potent, more energetic.

The process is one of decentralization. As you relate to those whom you serve, you become more and more decentralized. You identify with a wider and wider sphere of life, until you can, if you become a Master, identify with all of life. The Master has no sense of Himself as a separate individuality at all. He has no personality feeling. He has no sense of "I". There is no sense in the Master’s consciousness of a separate being. He has only group consciousness. We do not know what it is, we cannot even imagine it, but it is what inevitably will be developed over this coming Age of Aquarius, as we move from the Leo into the Aquarian experience; as we move from the self-server in Leo, to the world server in Aquarius, and become the water-carrier.

The Christ works through us. He brings the Waters of Life "in abundance", as He says. And He says, "I seek to channel these Waters of Life through you". As we become the water-carriers, the world servers, we act as channels for these Waters of Life, and through us the Christ transforms the world. Through us He builds the forms, the structures, the consciousness of the new age.

The role of service in the evolution of the disciple is the nature of God working through the disciple. Hence its importance and hence, of course, its effectiveness. It is not like a tool which might or might not work. It will work, it is inevitable that it will work, because it is the nature of God Itself. And as we demonstrate the nature of God through service, we become gods. We actually become gods. From being human beings, men and women, we become living, creative divine beings. Service is the key to that whole process and provides the disciple with the lever for his evolution. Service is the lever of the evolutionary process.


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First published April 1999, Last modified: 15-Oct-2005