First of all, the immediate goal must be well recognized, if lost effort is to be avoided and real progress achieved.
Many well-intentioned aspirants are prone to give undue time to their registered aspirations, and to the formulation of their plans for service. The world aspiration is now so strong and humanity is now so potently orienting itself towards the Path that sensitive people everywhere are being swept into a vortex of spiritual desire, and ardently long for the life of liberation, of spiritual undertakings and of recorded soul consciousness.
Their recognition of their own latent possibilities is now so strong that they over-estimate themselves; they give much time to picturing themselves as the ideal mystic or in deploring their lack of spiritual achievement or their failure to achieve a sphere of service. Thus they become lost, on the one hand, in the vague and misty realms of a beautiful idealism, of colourful hypotheses, and of delightful theories; on the other hand, they become engulfed in a dramatisation of themselves as centres of power in a field of fruitful service; they draw up, mentally, plans for world endeavour to see themselves as the pivotal point around which that service will move; they frequently make an effort to work out these plans and produce an organisation, for instance on the physical plane, which is potentially valuable but equally potentially useless, even if not dangerous.
They fail to realize that the motivating impulse is primarily due to what the Hindu teachers call a “sense of I-ness”, and that their work is founded on a subjective egoism which must—and will—be eliminated before true service can be rendered.
This tendency to aspiration and to service is right and good and should be seen as forming part of the coming universal consciousness and equipment of the race as a whole. It is steadily coming to the surface owing to the growing strength of the Aquarian influence which (from about the year A.D. 1640) has been gaining in potency and is producing two effects: it is breaking down the crystallised old forms of the Piscean age, and is stimulating the creative faculties, as they express themselves in group concepts, and group plans. As all of you well know, this is the cause of the present disturbed conditions, and these conditions can be summed up in the words: impersonalization wherein the state, group or groups are regarded as of more importance than the individual and his rights; amalgamation, which is the tendency to fuse, blend, and cohere and to produce that interrelation which must eventually mark the intercourse of humanity and produce that “synthesis of all the single men”, which Browning so truly remarks is the goal of the evolutionary process and marks the conclusion of the journey of the divine prodigal; and sensitive intercommunication between units, groups and combinations of groups, both on the subjective and objective sides of manifestation. In these three words—impersonalization, amalgamation, and intercommunication—you have summed up for you the outstanding phenomena which are appearing among us at this time. Students are urged to consider the plan as it is thus expressing itself, and to study these growing tendencies in human affairs. The fact that they are so prominent will appear, if the student will take the trouble to consider the panorama of history; he will then note that even the history of five hundred years ago will reveal to him the fact that at that time great individuals were the prominent factors, and that history is concerned largely with the doings of powerful personalities who cast their spell over their time and age; then isolation and separateness governed human affairs and every man fought for his own land and every man forgot his brother and lived selfishly; then there was little interrelation between different races or between human families, and there was no real means of communication, except that of personal contact, which was frequently impossible.