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Esoteric Psychology II - Chapter I - The Egoic Ray - The Seven Laws of Soul or Group Life
c. The Relinquishing of Gain

This is the basic theme of The Bhagavad Gita. In that treatise on the soul and its unfoldment, we are taught to "perform action without attachment," and thereby lay the foundation for later relinquishing which can be effected without [104] pain and the sense of loss, because we have acquired the power, latent ever within ourselves, to detach ourselves from achieved possessions.

This law works out in many ways, and it is not possible to do more than indicate a few of those general significances which embody the major lessons of every disciple.

First, the soul must relinquish the personality. For ages, the soul has identified itself with the lower personal self, and through the agency of that lower self has gained experience and acquired much knowledge. The time has to come when that agency is "no longer dear" to the soul, and their respective positions are reversed. No longer is the soul identified with the personality but the personality becomes identified with the soul and loses its separate quality and position. All that has been acquired through agelong struggle and strife, through pain and pleasure, through disaster and satisfied desire, and all that the wheel of life, which has turned ceaselessly, has brought into the possession of the soul - All has to be relinquished. Life, for the disciple, becomes then a series of detaching processes, until he has learnt the lesson of renunciation.

The sequence is, first dispassion, then discrimination, and finally detachment. On these three words must all disciples meditate, if they are ever to reap the fruits of sacrifice.

"Having pervaded the worlds with a fraction of Myself, I remain." Such is the theme of the soul's endeavor, and such is the spirit which must underlie all creative work. In this thought lies the clue to the symbol of the Law of Sacrifice - a rosy cross with a bird flying over it. This is the loved cross (rose being the color of affection), with the bird (symbol of the soul) flying free in time and space.

Secondly, the soul has also to relinquish not only its tie and its gain through contact with the personal self, but it has [105] most definitely to relinquish its tie with other personal selves. It must learn to know and to meet other people only on the plane of the soul. In this lies for many a disciple a hard lesson. They may care little for themselves and may have learnt much personal detachment. Little may they cherish the gain of contact with the lower personal self. They are learning to transcend all that, and may have transcended to a great degree, but their love for their children, their family, their friends and intimates is for them of supreme importance and that love holds them prisoners in the lower worlds. They do not stop to recognize that their love is primarily love for the personalities, and only secondarily for the souls. Upon this rock, many disciples are for lives broken, until the time comes when, through pain and suffering and the constant losing of that which they so much cherish, their love enters into a newer, a higher and a truer phase. They rise above the personal, and find again - after felt loss and suffering - those whom now they love as souls. Then they realize that there has been gain and not loss, and that only that which was illusory, ephemeral and untrue has disappeared. The real Man has been gained and can never be lost again.

This is most frequently the problem of parents who are upon the Path of Discipleship, and it is through their children that the lesson is learnt which can release them for initiation. They hold their children to them, and this, being counter to the law of nature, works out disastrously. It is the height of selfishness. And yet, did they but know and see aright, they would realize that to hold, one must detach, and to keep, one must release. Such is the law.

The soul has also to learn to relinquish the fruits or gains of service and learn to serve without attachment to results, to means, to persons or to praise. This I will deal with later. [106]

In the fourth place, the soul has to relinquish also the sense of responsibility for that which other disciples may do. So many earnest servers hold on to their fellow workers, and do not relinquish their hold upon them or upon their activities upon the outer plane. This is a subtle error, for it masks itself behind a sense of righteous responsibility, an adherence to principles as they appear to the individual, and the accumulated experience of the disciple, - which is necessarily incomplete experience. The relation between disciples is egoic and not personal. The link is of the soul and not of the mind. Each personality pursues its own course, must shoulder its own responsibilities, work out its own dharma, and fulfil its own karma, and so answer for itself to its Lord and Master, the Soul. And answer there will be. Does this itself sound of the nature of separation and aloneness? It does, as far as outer activities are concerned. Only as servers cooperate from the standpoint of an inner subjective linking can a united work be carried forward.

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