On our journey to the Kingdom you will learn that you cannot go far with your eyes and mind fixed on the personalities of your fellow travelers. For always will you see in them things that will hold you back. In some mysterious yet very true way, you will be shown by the loving Guide within qualities in them that are but reflections of qualities still existing in your own self. This is so because on this journey Love leads, and if the human mind and its thoughts are permitted to be distracted by appearances, and are not centered upon seeing the Light within your companions-their Christ-Selves-you will be thus shown every thing within yourself that prevents the unfolding of the inner sight and hearing, and you will stay out in the shadows, wondering why you cannot progress as your soul longs to do.
It is hard for many to believe that what they see in others is because of what still exists in themselves. But that is only because they are still more interested in judging others than in listening to the Loving One within, Who always seeks to draw their thoughts to Himself, that He may open their hearts so they may feel there His love, and thus may see with His eyes the souls of their fellows, shining in the darkness of mortal consciousness, ever seeking to be free, even as their own souls long to be free.
The way to the Kingdom is within-where personalities do not exist. On that journey therefore they must be left behind. No one may expect to drag personality along and get very far. For the earnest ones-the true Disciples of Christ-have speeded on ahead unhampered by the load others are attempting to carry.
The Disciple is one who has been a Prodigal Son, one who has traveled in a far country and has wasted his substance in wrong living. But he has gained much experience thereby, and with it much knowledge of what the world does not and cannot supply. For with that knowledge has come an understanding heart and a compassion for his fellow men whom he sees wasting their substance and who are still engrossed in the things he now knows to be of no value. And therefore, because of his own former weaknesses, he makes allowance for the weaknesses of his brothers who do not understand. So he does not judge and condemn as he formerly was to do, but somehow sees right through the personality the souls of others who are wandering in the darkness of his own former state, seeking everywhere without for the Light that all the time shining deep in the midst of them, and they do not know it. It is thus that the Disciple's inner eyes are opened; compassion and understanding lift the veil of self and enable him to see through into the souls of his fellows, and thus to know his oneness with them.
A Disciple learns early not to deal with men and women, but with souls. Gradually he becomes more concerned with the effect upon himself than with what others say and do to him. He seeks earnestly to learn what weakness or in harmony in himself drew forth such unkind words or harmful acts that hurt and caused his soul disquiet or trouble. By thus noting such and asking the Loving One within to point out the cause, he gradually learns to avoid and eliminate all such weaknesses and tendencies. Likewise in dealing with others it is not so much what the personality says or does, as what the soul is and seeks to be that interests him. Knowing that intrinsically their Higher Selves are one in Christ and that therefore their purpose is one-that they may come forth and express their real nature, often the conscious Disciple will enter into a secret conspiracy with the Higher Self of the other to foil the other's personality in its every attempt to exercise its lower nature. Such are occasions for real inner growth and unfoldment.
If you would be a Disciple and would feel the joy of entering into such a conspiracy, seek through the eyes of love to see the soul of your brother; for in it you will see the Beloved One, your Christ-Self-the Light which lighteth every man-and He will show you how to foil the selfish, thoughtless self of both you and your brother.
There are probably some who are impatient at what they think to be the slowness of their progress and who wish to be put to work, evidently not recognizing that very definite work has already been given them to do in the two preceding chapters.
Such may not be the work they are looking for-it may seem to them too simple, even unnecessary, not yet glimpsing that the work they later will be called upon to do is mental work and of an extremely difficult kind-to those who have not learned to concentrate and to control their thoughts, to shut them off at will and to direct them upon any desired subject.
All such must learn that to be of real service to the Master within they must be able to hear His Voice when He speaks, and that cannot be until hey have learned to become quiet and to turn their thoughts within for the definite purpose of finding and getting acquainted with Him. That is plain enough, is it not?
We wish to help every earnest seeker to accomplish this, but before that is possible mind-control must be attained. This is only stating in another way what has been told several times already, and it will be repeated again and again until all realize the necessity of regular and systematic meditation-for the twofold purpose of training and discipling the mind until it becomes a perfect instrument for the Master's use, and of learning to find and to know Him. In doing this you will soon realize that you are fulfilling the wishes of your Higher Self-by His approval shown in the results attained, and you will surely learn Who is the Master. Also you will learn thereby why this is not inconsistent with what was said above about no one being able actually to hasten the process of Spiritual growth.