We receive many letters from students who tell of long years of seeking in different Movements and Teachings, that in this Work they have finally found what they missed in all others-the loving impersonal teaching of the Christ; and given so clearly and simply that all may understand, and which their own Higher Selves had been trying to tell them, but which, because of the purely intellectual concepts with which their minds had been filled, they had not been able to understand clearly and therefore to translate into tangible form for meditation and putting to actual use. Does this not prove that no teaching coming from without is for you unless it thus confirms what you already halfconsciously know within? If so, do not let anything else intrigue you and get you involved in it because of its mystery or its tone of authority. There is only one Teacher for you, and it is on His authority alone we would have you rely. Hence by listening to and following only those teachings that turn you always within to Him for His approval-when in doubt-will you gradually but surely learn to know His Voice and His Will for you with certainty- as you determinedly strive to give over to Him all your old ideas and desires so that they no longer interfere. On the other hand, others write us that they "enjoy" the teachings, but they cannot find much time to study and meditate and do the exercises suggested. These undoubtedly feel in their hearts that there is much of real value awaiting them-when they can compel their minds to take advantage of the opportunity thus afforded. But will they ever do that? Such evidently are not yet ready-are not really in earnest about finding the Kingdom; there is too much without that is still interesting and holding them back from their soul's desire.
We mention these things in order to let you see the different stages on the Path of the various seekers. Some of you who read, perhaps, may recognize yourselves among those mentioned. But know that everyone goes through all these stages, and eventually arrives at the deeply-in-earnest stage of discipleship.
Many wonder what is Spiritual growth-wherein is it different from the so-called intellectual apprehension of truth; and also what causes such growth. That is rather hard to understand, for the greatest growth is not when the personality is striving the hardest, but when it is suffering the most. Even as all vegetation grows fastest during the night time, so in the dark and troublous periods of life the soul grows faster-because during these periods the mind turns inward and comes closer to the spiritual forces moving and controlling the soul, and thereby unconsciously co-operates with them, instead of, as in the bright, smoothsailing periods, hindering them by selfishly choosing only the pleasant paths of life.
When one has learned truly to co-operate with life and nature, a definite and highly important point on the Path has been reached. But before reaching that place many hard lessons have to be learned.
ONE MUST PAY FOR WISDOM
One of the most important lessons to be learned is that life requires one to pay for every lesson it teaches. It plays no favorites and no one can gain wisdom without paying dearly for it. We are speaking of soul knowledge-which alone is wisdom-not of the intellectual knowledge that one can get from books and from teachers. Such wisdom comes only from hard, persistent effort, forced by a determination to gain it no matter what the cost. Such are the efforts of all real disciples. They gain wisdom-for they gladly pay the price.
Strange to say, however, there are many who yearn to serve and to become disciples-even think to find the Kingdom, who seek and accept instructions such as found herein, which their hearts tell them are filled with deep wisdom; yet back in their minds they hope they may not be called upon to pay-either in money, which is the least and easiest thing they can pay, or in the sustained effort of definite mental work, which they certainly not only will be asked but will be constantly pressed to pay-if they continue on their quest with us.
In Spiritual matters as one receives so must one give-one cannot get anything for nothing, but must pay one way or another. A constant receiving without giving is like a pitcher that has become full-no more fresh water can be added until some has been poured out. Yet some wonder why they have gotten nowhere after years of seeking and studying. It is chiefly because they do not give out and apply what they have learned-are always wanting to get and are never interested in giving or using what they have received.
We have gone to these pains to point out the Law in order to show that we have now reached the place where every aspirant should determine for himself if he is really prepared to travel further on this journey. We mean that if curiosity or just casual interest has caused you to stay with us this far, there should be a definite study made of yourself to see if you are willing to pay the full price of discipleship, and if you are sure you truly belong in this, the Master's Work.
All who do belong in this Cause understand the importance of this requirement, and gladly show that they do-for at heart they are His disciples and their souls compel them to respond-even if their minds do not yet fully recognize what it all means. It is by such response that we learn to know our Brothers-those whom He has called to follow Him, who hear His loving Voice within and never hesitate and are always eager to obey.
With these we are always in close touch.