THE JOY OF SERVICE
Click here for a printable version of this teaching
You live in a world in which many human values have been completely overturned. Nowhere is this more true than in the present understanding of the true meaning of Joy and Service, for in your world today joy has been replaced by pleasure and service by hire and reward. Nevertheless, the very essence of your life is concerned with joy and the very purpose of your incarnation on this planet involves the act of service. On many occasions when I have spoken to you in the past I have said that the purpose of human incarnation on this planet is to learn the lesson of sacrificial service through the power of love. The Race of Humanity has been placed in incarnation on this planet in order to learn to sacrifice the ego-self through service to the whole, to your Creator, using the energy of divine love. So all human activity is a part of this supreme lesson.
Now for many of you the experience of joy and the act of true service are things that you rarely experience. Many people today devote their lives to the pursuit of pleasure without ever being aware of what it is to be joyful. They never experience the joy that comes from selfless service to the Creator of All Life, the joy that comes when you place the ego-self to one side and selflessly give to the world around you. Be aware that pleasure is very different to joy because the source of joy is the spirit whereas the source of pleasure is the ego-self. The ego-self has to plan and to create its pleasures whereas the spirit experiences joy as an inherent part of its being.
Now you can all remember those precious moments in your life when your spirit danced for joy, as the expression goes, but what can you say of your many moments of pleasure? Are they still pleasurable? You cannot plan joy. You cannot wake up in the morning and say to yourself “Today I am going to experience joy”, for joy is of the moment. Joy comes only from oneness with the Creator of All Life. It is something that just happens, rather like a surge of adrenaline, and then it is gone, and if you seek to remember it or to recreate it, then, once more, you have become trapped in the pursuit of pleasure. Joy comes only from the oneness of union with God and of God’s plan for you in this particular incarnation. Joy comes from those deep insights into the real nature of human life. Joy comes from witnessing a true act of selfless sacrifice, such as the birth of a child or the achievement of a spiritual goal in the face of great adversity. Joy comes from watching a beautiful sunset, from being at one with an aspect of Nature be it animal, vegetable or mineral. It is at such moments that you really experience the love of God, the love that passes all understanding.
Joy, therefore, can be defined as a feeling of oneness with the Creator of All Life. If you were a true Master, living as one with your Creator, then you would live in a perpetual state of joy. You would not need to seek the pleasures which so many in your world today seek as a substitute for joy. A Master is always joyful because he or she knows only one purpose in life, namely, to fulfil the Will of their Creator and to serve that great Being in every possible way. It is the knowing and the serving that provides the joy. One can only serve if one is truly selfless, if one serves without thought of the self. A Master also knows that by the very fact of serving the whole, he or she is also serving the self.
Now in your world today it is often regarded as demeaning to be of service, no matter whether that service is given freely or for hire and reward. A misconception exists that by the very act of serving someone you are placing yourself in a position of subservience to the person that is being served. Nothing could be further from the truth. If it is your ego-self that is doing the serving, then, yes, it is quite possible to feel that you are demeaning yourself by being a servant. But if you are serving selflessly, that is from the heart, from the seat of the spirit, from a position of oneness with your Creator, then you recognise yourself not as serving any particular individual but, rather, the aspect of the Creator that resides in that person. If you truly recognise that God or, more accurately, God’s energy is manifest in all things, then, recognise that when you serve anything you are really serving God. You are simply returning to the Source all the love and the energy that has been given to you, and it is the completion of this circle that creates those indescribable feelings of joy.
Now at the heart of all true service is the principle that you serve without expecting or desiring any reward for your act of service. The essence of your service is that you freely give of your energy to the person or the object that is being served because of your recognition of the force of God that is present in them. Have you ever considered the nature of the relationship between a Master and his or her disciples? The disciple does not seek any reward, financial or otherwise, for serving his or her Master. The disciple serves simply out of a love for the manifestation of God’s presence in that Master, and such a love demands no reward. That is a true example of service.
However you should also recognise that very great responsibilities go with any form of service. The Master must at all times be very mindful of the disciple’s point of consciousness and of his or her spiritual needs. The Master must always be conscious of the true nature of the act of sacrifice that is taking place and recognise that it is not they who are being served but the spirit of God in them. Be aware that there should be great humility in the acceptance of any form of service. Indeed, the person who is being served should be more humble than the servant! Compare that with the concept of service that exists in your world today, where many people feel that the servant is somehow inferior to the person that is being served, that to be ‘in service’, as you call it, is a very inferior form of work, reserved for those who cannot find a better form of employment.
I said earlier that true service takes place only when the ego-self is placed aside. How easy it is to say that but how difficult it is to do that in practice, as you well know, for you are all trained to identify with and to develop the ego-self. You are taught to identify with the ego-self at a very early age and that is why so few of you ever experience true joy. It is only on very rare occasions that you have an insight as to what the reality of a life should be, namely, a state of joyfulness. Nevertheless, once you have recognised the reality of God’s love, once you have experienced that moment of cosmic consciousness, then pleasure becomes a poor substitute. Once you have experienced the presence of a being who lives in a state of joy, a true Master, then you realise just how barren is a life devoted to the pursuit of pleasure.
In your world today many people base their whole lives on the principle of self-satisfaction. They serve no-one but themselves. They do not recognise the presence of God in anything or in anybody. They devote all of their physical energies to the pursuit and the creation of pleasure for themselves. As such, they tend to seek only the company of the people, and to work with the aspects of life, which will give them pleasure. They identify the purpose of life as being the pursuit of pleasure. Their relationship with the world around them is based solely on the criteria of what does or does not give them pleasure. But, as those of you who have followed this path well know, pleasure never lasts and, what is more, palls with repetition. The ending of one pleasure simply signifies the beginning of the quest for the next pleasure. The ego-self can never be satisfied, can never be satiated, is always seeking the ultimate pleasure. So how are you to escape from this self-perpetuating cycle? Simply by fulfilling your destiny in life, which is to be of service to all whom you meet as you walk your path in life.
Sacrificial service is the inherent nature of your being. You were born to serve and for those who resist that planetary lesson this Earth becomes a place of pain and suffering. For until you learn to release the ego-self, until you can freely serve even the least aspect of Humanity which stands before you, your life will be joyless. So see each day as a God-given opportunity for service. Recognise that you are not really serving any one individual but the manifestation of God in them. You, personally, may not feel very comfortable with the personality of the person that you are serving. You may not feel in harmony with the physical role that they are playing. Nevertheless, be aware that you are not serving them but the God in them. True service is simply one aspect of God serving another aspect of God. You are all part of the same Divine Body of Infinite Spirit and so, in one sense, when you serve another you are really serving yourself. Do you expect a reward for serving yourself? No!
Recognise that when you serve another human being you uplift not just yourself and the person that is being served, but the whole Human Race, indeed, the whole planet. The great Law of Karma is all pervading in this respect. As you give, so shall you receive. At this very special time, the ending of a cosmic cycle, many karmic debts are being faced and settled. Be aware that the easiest and the quickest way to transmute all forms of karma is through an act of service. You normally face and transmute your karma on an individual, personal basis, as you lead life after life after life. However, many of you are increasing rather than diminishing your karmic burden and so are ensuring that you will have to return for many, many more lives just to repay your present karmic debts. But there is another way to remove that karmic burden and that is through sacrificial service to the Source of All Life, an act which serves to transmute all things. Be aware that the greater the sacrifice, the greater is the service, and so the greater is the release of karma. That is why there is so much suffering at this time. Many people are being called upon to settle their karmic accounts. So living at this time offers you a unique opportunity, but let us remember that a life of service is not for everyone. Only the meek can truly serve. Only the strong in spirit can truly serve. Only the wise in heart can truly serve. Only the being who is aware of the fact that by sacrificing their ego-self they are losing nothing but are gaining the whole world can truly serve.
The primary role of all the Masters that have incarnated on the plane of Earth has been one of service. They have not come into physical incarnation for themselves. They have not come into physical incarnation in order to transmute their karma or to raise their point of consciousness. They have come as an act of sacrificial service, to give of their spiritual wisdom to the Race of Humanity. They do not need Humanity. It is Humanity who needs them. They come down into physical incarnation, encase themselves in a limiting body of matter, in order to be of service to a race of beings that, for the most part, rejects the very lesson that they have come to teach. Sometimes they are even called upon to sacrifice their lives. But all of this they do willingly, as an act of service to their Creator. They know of no purpose in life other than to serve their Creator and Its divine creations.
So recognise, therefore, especially at this point in time of human evolution, that there is no greater role that you can play than to be a server, a servant of the Lord. Each one of you, as is demonstrated by your very presence in this sanctuary here tonight, has offered yourself as an instrument of service. Each one of you has agreed to incarnate on the Earth and to sound your unique note, to ground your point of consciousness. You all have something of value to give to the Race of Humanity by the example of your being. You were truly born to serve. You know that God is in everything and that when you serve even the least of your brothers and sisters that you are serving your God. You know that there is no separation between God and Humanity. You know that God is present in every human being and that to deny your service to any human being is to deny God. Now you may not know the reality of God, but you are aware of Its creations. Therefore all that you can do is to serve those creations be they Human or Animal, Vegetable or Mineral. Seek and serve the aspect of God that is to be found in every being, in every thing.
At this time, therefore, I would ask you to recognise the nature of the sacrifice that you are being called upon to make. It is to lay aside the ‘I’, the ego-self, with all of its desires and needs, it is to lay aside the constant search for pleasure and self-gratification, it is to lay aside the temptation to live either in the pleasures of the past or in the expectations of pleasure in the future. If you do this, if you really live in the moment and try to be open to the world around you, if you offer yourself as a living sacrifice, ready to serve all that you meet, then you will be fulfilling God’s Plan for you and, as such, you will be filled with joy. Recognise that a joyful person is a true servant of the Lord and touches every thing and every person that they meet. A joyful person uplifts all those who come into their presence. A joyful person transmutes negative energies. A joyful person is a living demonstration of the reality of true union with the Source of All Life.
You all have the potential within you to become Masters of the plane of Earth. You all have beating within your hearts a unique aspect of spirit which is your birthright, your divine inheritance. You can become a god yourself. The only thing that is preventing you from achieving both of these goals is the little ego-self which creates apparent separation between you and your Creator. The inherent characteristic of this little ego-self is that it is self-serving and self-interested. It always places the individual before the universal. It views itself as the centre of the world. But those of you who have begun to open your spiritual eyes are daily becoming aware of the force of spirit which beats within you. You have begun to recognise that the true ‘you’ is not your physical body and its attendant ego-self. You have begun to see both purpose and meaning in the lives of all the great Masters who have walked this Earth. You have begun to experience the first real feelings of joy, of divine bliss, as you learn to serve and to give freely of your own divine being to all who need it. You know that there can be no greater reward than that of doing your Creator’s will, of serving the Source of All Life, the Being that gave you life. The sole purpose of a physical incarnation is to crucify the ego and that is best done through service. Release your identity to the self and you will begin to experience true joy, the joy that is beyond human understanding, the joy that is your birthright.