Over Troubled Waters


polarbearWE emphasized in a recent post how important our thoughts are, and how compassion can lead to far-reaching, practical results.

When the Inner Ruler, our immortal Self, is actively engaged no achievement is beyond our reach. Yet, an elevated state of consciousness is only the first step.

Krishna required of his disciple Arjuna (who is everyman), that he be a “man of action,” not merely a right thinking one.

An Earth Day Message

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Yoga,” Krishna taught, “is skill in the performance of actions.” This seems very different from the image of a yogi sitting cross-legged, hardly breathing, with eyes closed.

Carlyle

Carlyle

Krishna’s teaching is exemplified in the high inspiration of Carlyle:

“The end of man is an action and not a thought, though it were the noblest.”

The Global Oneness Project

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A Law of Service

Practically speaking, what are these “actions” we should take? What exactly are we doing for ‘others?’ It would seem they should be not just efforts to achieve personal self-enlightenment, but to perform service. “Self-knowledge is of loving deeds the child,” according to The Voice of the Silence.

Enlightenment and loving service to others, by this account, are bound together in an endless, spiritual feedback. “Compassion is no attribute,” says the Voice again, “It is the LAW of LAWS.” Teacher Annie Leonard took practical action to help herself, and the entire planet with what has become a national campaign titled “The Story of Stuff.”

The Story of Stuff, with Annie Leonard

What’s Good for Others

Judge

Judge

This is the road less traveled, the “small old path” spoken of by all true Masters.  Those who seek this path unselfishly, have “many duties to perform,” says W. Q. Judge:

“His duty to mankind, his family – nature – himself and his creator—but duty here means something very different from that which is conveyed by the time and lip-worn word, Duty. Our comprehension of the term is generally based upon society’s or man’s selfish interpretation. It is quite generally thought that duty means the performance of a series of acts which others think I ought to perform, whereas, it more truly means the performance of actions by me which I know are good for others, or the wisest at the moment.” (Am I My Brother’s Keeper?)

As important as good intentions are, hell is famously paved with them. A great theosophical Master was adamant in his assertion that “motives are vapours, as attenuated as the atmospheric moisture.”  And like steam fed into an engine, “the practical value of good motives is best seen when they take the form of deeds.”

The Universe – A Living System

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Higher Calling

Julia Butterfly Hill

Julia Butterfly Hill

“Among many ideas brought forward through the theosophical movement,” says William Q. Judge, “there are three which should never be lost sight of.”  In Judge’s first idea we recognize what is meant in the repeated phrase of Blavatsky, “theosophy pure and simple.”

“The first idea is, that there is a great Cause — in the sense of an enterprise — called the Cause of Sublime Perfection and Human Brotherhood.

This rests upon the essential unity of the whole human family, and is a possibility because sublimity in perfectness and actual realization of brotherhood on every plane of being are one and the same thing.”

Practical Theosophy, in this broader sense, Blavatsky writes, ” is not one Science, but embraces every science in life, moral and physical. …

“It may, in short, be justly regarded as the universal ‘coach,’ a tutor of world-wide knowledge and experience…”

Vanishing Glaciers

Tom Gaylord’s glacier photos tell a story, in pictures, about Alaska’s beautiful but dwindling glaciers. The rapid retreat of glaciers throughout the world is an undeniable observation, and that human activities are the major reason for this is a scientific fact.

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When we elevate our inner thought life, this naturally leads to a focus on service to others, not for oneself alone. H. P. Blavatsky defined this highest duty as that which is owed to all men:

Blavatsky

Blavatsky

Duty is that which is due to Humanity, to our fellow-men, neighbours, family, and especially that which we owe to all those who are poorer and more helpless than we are ourselves.

This is a debt which, if left unpaid during life, leaves us spiritually insolvent and moral bankrupts in our next incarnation. Theosophy is the quintessence of duty.” (The Key to Theosophy, p. 229)

Three Areas of Oneness

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Whether you are moved to selfless service through the precepts of Krishna, Buddha or Jesus, or any other great teacher, makes no difference.  These teachings are universal, and what is more, not confined solely to the human kingdom.

“Brotherhood,” Theosophy teaches, “is a fact in nature.” And if humankind is inseparable from the whole of nature, as the ancients teach, our duty towards other kingdoms is self-evident.

Thoreau

Thoreau

“One thing is certain – that we had best be doing something in good earnest henceforth forever—that’s an indispensable philosophy.”

-Thoreau

From our last post:

“It is this action and interaction, this true brotherhood and sisterhood, in which each shall live for all and all for each, which is one of the fundamental Theosophical principles that every Theosophist should be bound, not only to teach, but to carry out in his or her individual life.”

H. P. Blavatsky

Jataka Tales

The Jataka Tales are short stories depicting reincarnations of the Buddha, in various animal forms. A fascinating, and soul-instructive journey — but that will appear as a separate article.

However, one Tale in particular is related to today’s post:

The Monkey Bridge

Jataka Tales

Jataka Tales

The Global Oneness Project is exploring how the radically simple notion of interconnectedness can be lived in our increasingly complex world. Since 2006, we’ve been traveling the globe gathering stories from creative and courageous people who base their lives and work on the understanding that we bear great responsibility for each other and our shared world.

An Ongoing Revelation

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Related posts:

Thoughts That Count

Not An Island

bridgeA Bridge Over Troubled Water

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When you’re weary, feelin’ small,
When tears are in your eyes, I’ll dry them all.
I’m on your side oh, when times get rough and friends just can’t be found.
Like a bridge over troubled water, I will lay me down.
Like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down.

When you’re down and out, when you’re on the street,
When evening falls so hard I will comfort you.
I’ll take your part, oh, when darkness comes and pain is all around.
Like a bridge over troubled water, I will lay me down.
Like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down.

One response to “Over Troubled Waters

  1. O GOD,FILL MY HEART AND MIND WITH THE SENSE OF SYNTHESIS SO THAT I CAN DO MY DUTY WITH GLADNESS AS I PROCEED WITH MY LIFE.

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