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|Esoteric Psychology I - Section One - II. Certain Questions and their Answers|
|We have two more questions to consider now, and they are as
Question 5. What is the significance of the outstanding soul qualities such as sentiency, consciousness, awareness, and light? 
Question four is of importance on account of its vital practicality. In the last analysis, definition conveys mental satisfaction but is no criterion as to applied knowledge.
Above everything else, it is necessary that the aspirant be practical. The days of a mystical and dreamy consciousness are rapidly passing away, and as man, through understanding of psychology, comes to a more accurate knowledge of himself he will begin to act with precision and with intelligence; he will know with exactitude the way that he should go, and will comprehend the forces in his own nature which will lead to specific action when brought into touch with the forces of his environment. Aspirants should endeavor to make practical application of the imparted truths, and so minimize their responsibility. Where there is acquired knowledge and when no use is made of it there exists a condition of danger and subsequent penalty.
Much has been given in previous books which awaits your adaptation and useful service. Much will be given in the present volume, but students need to remember that they themselves evoke and call forth the teaching they receive. The position between me and those who are reading is not that of a teacher imposing a system of knowledge upon a group of waiting pupils. The group is simply the channel through which a particular aspect of the Ageless Wisdom can reach a waiting world. I do not regard you as a body of good men and women, who, because of your point in evolution, are deemed worthy to receive something esoteric and unusual, and hence withheld from the rest of the race. I regard you as sincerely interested in the spiritual life, as concerned with the endeavor to be intelligent, and as willing (more or less) to try to live as souls, and to use as much of the imparted teaching as can be understood. What use students make of it is entirely their own affair. But the value of any group of aspirants and disciples consists  in this: They can - if they so choose and if their united aspiration is strong enough - draw forth the teaching, and so form a center through which that teaching may go forth and begin its work of molding human thought, of throwing light upon the problems of psychology, and of so expanding the point of truth (anent the seven rays, an ancient septenate, but little comprehended) that a new realization may be evolved and a new science of psychology may be launched upon its career.
You ask, therefore: What must we as a group do that we may be of service, and so constitute a good channel for the helping of humanity?
First of all, you must see to it that your attitude towards all teaching is that of willing service, with no thought of self. The growth in spiritual realization and the lifting of humanity is that which is of moment, and not your own personal growth or development, nor your own satisfaction at receiving special and new information. You will grow, and your soul will take increasing hold upon its instrument, when your mind and effort are turned towards group service, and when your tongue is rendered harmless, through the inflow of Love.
Secondly, let not your mind be occupied with idle speculations as to the identity of the teacher. What matters it who he is? Can you prove his identity in one way or another? And of what value is it to accept the statements of any fellow student who may claim to be informed on the matter, be he who he may? You cannot prove him right or wrong, and therefore it remains a waste of time which could well be given to more fruitful service, to closer study of the life-essentials, and to meditation.
What is taught should matter. The aspects of truth which I present to your consideration should count; the measure of help which I can give and the spiritual and mental stimulation which I may impart are of moment to you. The training  of the intuition to recognize spiritual truth should be the subject of your effort. The sole authority is the teaching, and not the teacher; upon the rock of authority many schools have foundered. There is but one authority - each man's own immortal soul, and that is the only authority which should be recognized.
Learn to grasp the teaching correctly, and see it for what it is. Some of it is written for a distant time, and the true significance of this Treatise on the Seven Rays will begin to emerge as part of the general knowledge of humanity only towards the close of this century, unless the imminent outpouring evokes greater change than is now deemed possible by the watching Hierarchy. Some of the teaching is of immediate usefulness to all of you. Some of it will throw light upon the problems of modern psychology, and link the many aspects of the science of the soul. Disciples grow these days by finding out the reservoir of their soul's nourishment; they will discover that the source of their strength is to be found in group teaching and in group endeavor. We are training men to live as souls and not as children to be nursed and cared for in a protected nursery run by rules and orders. As souls, men derive their life from the ocean of the universal, and not from the tiny well of the particular. Carrying their little pitchers, they find their way to that ocean, and for themselves they draw into that receptacle that which they need. In the light of your own intuition and illumined mind (developed and brought to usefulness through meditation) take that aspect of the teaching which suits and aids you, and interpret it in the light of your own need and growth.
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