By Richard Kieninger
“Great problems evolve great people; worthy challenges elicit growth.” Such seems to have been the guiding philosophy of the Angelic creators of our planetary environment. We find ourselves continually having to work in order to grow and survive. No picking bananas off the trees for us!
Fortunately, we as humans have developed an effective and apparently essential means for meeting the challenge of evolving ourselves to cope successfully with life. We call it civilization. The basics of security and the fulfillment of bodily and emotional needs are provided only by interaction and interdependence with others. Civilization enables the social linkages with others that we seem to crave; linkages of affection, compassion, shared goals and shared beliefs. A highly developed society provides the opportunity for the social interactions that are essential to our spiritual advancement.
Among the many essential requirements for forming a civilization, one is an attitude of personal responsibility. An individual who has assumed personal responsibility for what is occurring in his environment will immediately recognize other individuals who have also assumed responsibility. Only such as these can truly co-operate. Only such as these have any concept of the meaning of the word trust.
And what then is the definition of responsibility? It is closely related to the word, ownership. Responsibility is perhaps best seen as an attitude toward oneself and one’s environment. Responsibility implies awareness of events and forces in the environment. It implies an appreciation of those things that are most important to attend to in relation to those things of less importance. Responsibility is the ability to establish a hierarchy of importances for decision-making and action in the flow of environmental events. Such an awareness and ability requires Discernment, Precision, Courage, Efficiency and Patience. Responsibility therefore implies the practice of the twelve Great Virtues as an individual relates to problems and to other people in the environment.
A responsible person says; “Now I will do this”; and then he actually does it. He will confront an error of his own or any other person’s as a problem to be solved. He will say, “I did it;” and then he will fix it. The responsible answer to any error is—“fix it.” Self-blame and the blame of others is a distortion of responsibility.
A responsible person is someone who deals with his environment as though he had ownership of it. Not exclusive power over it, but stewardship of it. A successful farmer does not stomp on his crop if it is poorly, nor does he blame his neighbor and curse the weather. He tends to his crop, he helps his neighbor, he bows to the weather and he attempts to steer his course in as serene a tone as possible. The earth has taught him this. A responsible person does his work and co-operates with others in mutual endeavors like a successful farmer deals with farming.
The benefits to be enjoyed from the co-operation of responsible people await us as we continue to evolve ourselves; since co-operation is a more civilized, more harmonious, and more happy way to be than are the currently prevalent political struggles.
(As an exercise, test the validity of the following statement in various areas of your life: “A person cannot be denied control, either operating or co-operating, of that part of his environment for which he or she is willing and able to be responsible.” Where does this seem to be true and where not? Why not?)
The most crippling disease known to man, which most surely blocks any hope of spiritual evolution, is the lack of love. Human beings are social creatures because of their dependency on each other for the love which nurtures the emotional aspect of their Egoic minds. Our psychological make-up purposely was created with this need.
Striving for power or material gains becomes a substitute for love for some persons, but the majority suffer a malaise of spirit which keeps them from being successful at anything. A sense of unworthiness dogs the person who experiences no love, and this results in depression and defeatism.
It is difficult to learn how to love and be loved if one enters adulthood without having acquired a loving nature in early childhood. However, many grown persons have determinedly managed to learn how to love. Acquiring this ability is intimately tied to one’s achievement of emotional maturity and mental health. The crux of the problem lies with the fact that most babies are given no love because their parents are incapable of loving. There is a far cry between a person fulfilling their paternal/maternal instincts and being able to love their child.
A child is intended to take in love along with his mother’s milk, and he quickly learns to love in return at a tender age. The emotionally mature, loving parents rear children who learn how to love by example, and the children come to expect that the world is a loving place. Such children are a delight because of their own loving nature, which is a reflection of their environment. They are well on their way to becoming capable, confident, outgoing youngsters who will engage with life in a zestful, creative manner and be able to cope successfully with the problems of life. Moreover, these healthy-minded people develop a sense of acceptance of themselves because their successes engender a sense of personal worth as well as the ability to love themselves. When a person is feeling on top of the world, when he can find joy in everything he does, and when he finds good in everyone he knows, then he expresses love in the most expansive terms—he loves God and man and needs not hoard his or her love.
We all tend to envy the loving person because he is so attractive to others. How, then, does one learn how to love and thus attract even more love into one’s environment? The key lies in developing self-worth, and this depends upon performing and accomplishing in accordance with one’s higher ideals; so we are talking about an aspect of emotional maturity again. Acquiring the Great Virtues, being recognized for one’s contribution of skills, practicing love of Christ, and accepting responsibility in serving others are the paths to self-worth and self-love; and these in turn eventually allow one to give love and become an open channel for it. Love supplants fear and hate; and inasmuch as bodily ills, insanity, bigotry and warlike tendencies spring from fear and hate, the loving person is free of these destructive, crippling conditions. Indeed, he or she becomes attuned to Christ’s work for mankind’s spiritual evolution.
Just as our personal spiritual evolution requires attunement to love, as well as a firm sense of personal responsibility for the direction of our development, so too the advantages of self-discipline need to be clearly in mind in order to overcome lifetimes of Edenic procrastination.
Without making an investment in emotional discipline, one cannot enjoy peace of mind; without training oneself to achieve self-excellence, one is bound to mediocrity; without fortifying oneself against the demands of life, one is cast about helplessly by it. Self-effort and self-disciplining are the keys to achieving the truly worthwhile advantages life has to offer. Indeed, no one has ever achieved Initiation in the Brotherhoods by waiting for his innate potentials to bloom of themselves. Enlightenment must be fought for, and victory over one’s smugness and laziness is universally hard won.
The person who earnestly seeks to improve himself attracts the assistance of the Brotherhoods. When he really begins to make headway over his shortcomings, he begins to encounter circumstances to test him and make him grow. The more successful he becomes in acquiring the techniques of self-advancement, the more strenuous are the challenges to stretch his growth in a more accelerated way. However, the extent of the difficult circumstances brought into the aspirant’s life is limited by design to effect optimum growth and to not crush or break.
The challenges presented to those who would achieve Initiation into the Brotherhoods are not harsh but they are exacting. When a man or woman becomes a Brother, the devotion expected of him or her is total. The Brotherhoods know that one who has been selected as an Initiate can carry out assignments and will not deviate from the work for which he is made responsible because he has proven himself many times over.
The task of returning true civilization to our planet is complex and the timetable precise. Failure to preserve civilization at this critical time could mean the loss of the opportunity for further advancement of hundreds of millions of deserving Egos. The battle against evil entities demands unwavering strength and faith in every Brother, and Melchizedek has ever been wont to expect that a Brother give everything to this most important of all programs—establishing the Nation of God. There can be nothing more vital to mankind. As Christ, Melchizedek frequently called for His followers to give up family and comforts and even to risk being martyred for God’s work. The main purpose for creating the Brotherhoods thousands of years ago will come to its consummation in our lifetime. The efforts of millions of Masters who have studied the successes and weaknesses of man’s every attempt at civilization are being focused upon the Great Program at hand. This vast concerted power of the Holy Spirit now being brought to bear upon the problems of preserving mankind became possible only through the dedication and discipline of its Members.
Every person who would like to control his own destiny, emotions and environment is really seeking to bring order into his or her life. This requires that he comes to understand himself and his relationship to others in the context of his society, but first of all he must make the effort to study himself and analyze his situation.
(As an exercise, list ten essential factors for building and maintaining an environment which would lend itself to enhancing the evolution of your maturity, wisdom, consciousness, creativity and ability to love. Using this list of essential pre-requisites, how would you describe the active process of spiritual evolution in your life?)
Egoic growth is the accumulation of knowledge by the Ego over many, many incarnations. The sum of this knowledge, which must be acquired by actual experience, is referred to as the soul. An Ego is created by God with all the mental attributes needed to acquire knowledge and to retain the essence of all he learns. An Ego is eternal, and his or her soul is built by knowledge. An Ego’s character is acquired through the practice of the virtues by his own efforts. The mind is the exclusive agency of Egoic soul growth. The Ego is individualized mind, and conscious mentation is the tool for his self-enhancement. The physical world and our physical bodies have been contrived by our Creators to impose growth-engendering experiences upon us from infancy on, and these experiences are the opportunities and avenues for acquiring knowledge about ourselves and the Universe. But it is not those experiences themselves which provide soul growth but rather how we respond to those experiences and what we think about them. This knowledge survives the mortal vehicles we occupy, and therefore such growth is spiritual as well as a function of a given brain’s memory. Spiritual growth, soul growth, and Egoic growth are identical and proceed exclusively from conscious awareness and analysis. The bringing into balance one’s mentality, practicality and ideality is a measure of one’s spiritual evolution.
A key to rapid Egoic advancement is one’s development of self-esteem by becoming demonstrably and self-evidently useful, needed, and important to the Great Plan. The acquisition or realization of self-esteem opens channels to the power of Love emanating from God. This indeed is like opening a magic door to human insight and oneness with God. The Christ Consciousness Within spoken of by the great Masters is simply the ability to receive Love, to let it flow through one’s Egoic being, and to become a concentrating focus of Love, which naturally involves redirecting it. Therein lies the ability to truly love one’s fellow men and feel the joyful emotions which love engenders as it manifests through one’s mind. Those persons who have opened the channels of Love find all other powers naturally and easily added unto themselves. Their practice of the Great Virtues ceases to be a struggle. Those who have acquired a Christ Consciousness no longer need laws imposed from outside of themselves, for they do not do hurtful or selfish things to another person or allow themselves to leave Christ’s Work undone.