SERVICE AND THE GOLDEN RULE (Seekers’ Lesson 7)
Erle Frayne D. Argonza
Let me articulate at this juncture the last of the 7 Ray Lessons that I wish to stress: Serve God and His Creations! I will begin with some reflective notes on the sociological ‘law of reciprocity’ which the masters made known to us through the ‘golden rule’. I will incorporate in the discourse the reflective notes on libertosophy that I elaborated in my book Libertosophy and Freethought: The Path of Illumination for Libertarian Freethinkers.
Sociologists and anthropologists alike discovered the ‘law of reciprocity’ across cultures. In philosophical sense, this law is an axiological standard and is at the core of ethical teachings. On the positive sense, it is stated: “Do for others what you want others to do for you.” In the negative sense, it is stated: “Do not do unto others what you don’t want others to do unto you.”
In libertosophy, I outlined three core principles regarding the liberation project: (1) to be able to attain liberation, one must liberate others; (2) only the free can set other people free; and, (3) liberation must be done within the context of the social world (never in isolation from people). They are all inter-connected and mutually reinforcing.
The Teaching is clear that one must practice yoga (union) and attain union by (1) immersing in the social world, (2) observing mutual devotion with your fellows, and (3) doing mutual service unto each other. In no way should one opt to attain nirvana via a total detachment, by meditating inside caves, by retiring in monasteries early in life for successive lives, by a prayerful attitude and yet manifesting anti-social behavior towards fellows. Only under exceptional cases should one do yoga in isolation, such as when one has been exhausted due to over-immersion in the social world for successive lives. In which case, one will be allowed to meditate in isolation by your Mahaguru (e.g. Christ) for an incarnation or two.
But after some times in isolation, your Mahaguru will again remind you to go back to the social world or ‘lifeworld’. At the minimum, one might be allowed semi-isolation, through a monastic life, in which case one is in the company of a group and can then conduct service with a team of monks. At the maximum, one must immerse fully “with the crowd”, practice a profession or business for a while, and then retire early so as to do the work of a Teacher. Another option would be, based on good karma in past embodiments, to incarnate you in a wealthy family so that you need not have to work for a living. For the latter experience, you as an advanced yogi-mystic can catalyze your ascent to Master status and become a Teacher early in life, such as Paramahansa Yogananda and his teacher Sri Yutekswar Giri, both of whom came from wealthy families.
Among the current gurus of financial success is Robert Kiyosaki, writer of best-selling Rich Dad, Poor Dad. In his books, Kiyosaki emphatically reiterated the need to do service unto others, by sharing your graces to others. He said succinctly that “the more you give, the more you receive.” Without need to mention, the trait of stinginess speaks of negative backlash. But very graphically, Kiyosaki did stress the dangers of becoming greedy as this would lead to disasters in one’s financial life. Though Kiyosaki is no yogi, couples of core wisdom lessons were articulated by him that reverberate the wisdom of the ancient masters.
Let it be clarified that there is not one fixed form of service. The 6th Ray gets manifested in diverse forms. By praying for others, whether singly or as a team, one does service to others. By extending financial gains to the less fortunate ones such as the clients of a hospice, one does service. By doing relief works for those affected by calamities, one does service. By washing the feet of priests during special occasions, even if such priests are dogmatic and sinful, one does service. Who is without sin anyway? “He who is without sin will cast the first stone,” declared Jesus Christ.
In the emerging contexts, service as a manifestation of deeply divine principles has been steadily increasing. So powerful is the subtle force behind the 6th Ray that even capitalism itself has been transformed from the greedy money-bag capitalism of yesteryears, which has no moral philosophy whatsoever, to that of ‘corporate social responsibility’ capitalism or ‘compassionate capitalism’. Many young executives are turned off by purely money-making concerns, even as some other top echelon executives demand that, prior to their appointment as CEO of a huge conglomerate, CSR must be considered first and foremost. The noble CEO Mr. Licuanan, who steered the Ayala Group for sixteen (16) years, whose leadership led the said conglomerate to grow to multinational scale, made such a demand on the corporate patriarch Don Jaime Zobel de Ayala who empathically listened to him and granted his demand. Look at the enormous stride in the growth of the Ayala Group with CSR at its core principle of operations, which has diversified its investments from
to overseas. Manila
Many other young executives, fresh from MBA, choose to shy away from the corporate world altogether. Rather, they opt to serve the NGO sector, or the Non-Profit Associations. In a recent research conducted by me lately about international consulting think-tanks, I was amazed at the trebling of numbers of such young executives who serve international aid organizations and non-profit think-tanks, risking their lives in the poor regions of the emerging markets. This trend is bound to grow exponentially as the years go by, rest assured.
Furthermore, there are also businesses whose nature is to help others in their financial lives. Among these enterprises, network marketing is the fastest growing form. It is among the least understood enterprises, because people are fixed to the old ideas of doing business: pure old capitalistic profit-seeking. Per my own research, network marketing socializes teams of marketers to help out each other, via the adage “the rising tide will lift everybody up.” The members of a team can’t afford to claw at each other like crabs, for the demise of one could redound to the demise of the entire group. The team members observe the lesson that you must help yourself first, and when you gain profits than you can have the extra income to help the less fortunate. It makes a lot of sense, this network marketing.
It surely pays to listen to the new gurus of success including those who brought network marketing to maturity such as Jim Dornan of Network 21. They first of all stressed on the power of the team approach, and the norm of helping each other out. In the process, network marketing and related modalities are very potent at deconstructing the ‘crab mentality’ in the lifeworld. Converging with CSR at some junctures, the new modalities for ‘compassionate capitalism’ may lead to some other modalities in the future, and reformat the world from old-world capitalism to altruistic or ‘community economy’ within a broad context of Information Society.
Understood in another sense, the lessons say “do not hoard what you have, learn to be self-sufficient but when resources permit, share your blessings to others.” Among the various thinkers in the scientific community, it was the Erich Fromm who discoursed on the dangers of the principle of hoarding. He articulated this well in his books, such as the Art of Loving. Hoarding is among the counterproductive traits, and the greater we hoard in life the more we become objectified or depersonalized. Liberation becomes expressed, among other things, in more productive behavior such as loving, sharing, or those related to “being” that make us all more ‘human’ in the process.
The creation of a ‘compassionate society’ has been the obsession of many thinkers particularly those on the Left. “Serve the People!” declared Mao Zedong, who secretly was an engaged seeker and was no atheist. This society, in their mind, should also be a ‘rational society’, so that the cognitive principles of ‘rationality’ should harmonize with the non-rational axiological principles or value-based rules. They envisioned integrated societies, where the detached rationality of modernity would harmonize rather than clash with the value-based axioms of the ethicists and spiritual masters.
At this point, let me stress the narrative of Mother Theresa of contemporary
. This great soul is the
exemplar of a saint or master who ascended to the level of a Mahatma or
Ascended Master via the Path of Service. It pays to contemplate and meditate on
her wisdom adages regarding service and love. She counseled us all to do
service no matter what response (indifference or sympathy) would be exhibited
by the recipient of your altruism. Even if the recipient hates or scorns you
for your behavior, love and serve them just the same, quipped this indubitably
holy being. No wonder that she won a Ramon Magsaysay Award ( India Asia’s
Nobel prize) for service, which she truly deserves.
We sorely need the likes of Mahatma Theresa today, and we miss her so much. But we need not worry much, as her likes left the world with large cadres of Godly servants who are referred today as Lightworkers. The increasing presence and influence of the Lightworkers is changing the social landscape of the planet. Every institution of society will more or less be transformed in the decades ahead, as the numbers of Lightworkers increase all the more and their altruism becomes the sacrosanct standard behavior.
One last point that I need to stress is the distinction between the “service-for-self” and “service-for-others”. Because altruistic service had become pervasive for the last successive decades, there are those hoarding-oriented or egotistical types who rode the wave by exhibiting “service-for-self” behavior. In this case, one does service so as to be noticed by others. It isn’t serving others due to a “call of the heart” but rather due to selfish pursuits. It is service that won’t allow you to ascend for sure.
After our periodic conduct of service, it would be fruitful if we meditate on the service that we have delivered. We can make self-assessments whether the service is egotistical or altruistic. It would also be great if some sensitive souls among our fellows (seekers, mystics, masters) would help us in our self-assessments. It should be the job of a spiritual Teacher to be a seeker’s mirror or feedback-giver and self-development counselor, but with the reality that we have a scarcity of teachers this option is equally scarce. If one is already well connected to one’s Inner Guide, then the guide can be a surrogate for the teacher and can share the feedback through dreams or intuitive thoughts.
To conclude, let us all be like Mahatma Theresa, and let’s hasten the construction of the ‘compassionate society’. Let us serve God, our Fellows, Mother Nature and her biological endowments, and show the greatest respect for all life forms around us including minerals. Who knows, the 6th Ray could be the last lingering alchemical agent that could make one ascend to the next level of soul evolution. Try it, amid risk, for God Almighty provides the blessings in your Path and protects you along The Way.
Tat Sat Om.
[Writ 23 October 2007,
, MetroManila] Quezon City