Initiative and Personal Freedom

LETTER NO. 20 - July, 1912

What do you think is the main point in last month's lesson? It is not MY experiences, although students have attached a great deal of worth to them, but in reality they are insignificant save as they serve to convey teaching of benefit part from them. The greatest value of that which was recorded in last month's lesson is the reiterated and emphatic insistence on absolute PERSONAL FREEDOM in the Rosicrucian Fellowship.

In this respect the Western Mystery Teaching differs most radically from that given to the younger souls of the East, where each has his Master--a despot whom he slavishly serves in all things as "Kim" did the Guru he followed, for there is considerable truth and fact in Kipling's story. There, absolute and unquestioning obedience to the command of the EXTERIOR Master he sees and serves physically is the means of spiritual advancement; the pupil is entirely without choice or prerogative, but neither has be responsibility.

Among the older souls of the WEST who aspire to spiritual growth, there can be no Master or Guide. We are to learn to stand alone. We may not like it; we may be afraid, and want a Master or Guide to free ourselves from responsibility. In that fact lies the reason, I think, why so many intelligent and cultured people have joined spiritualistic circles and societies promulgating Eastern teachings. Advanced beyond normal Western development, they sense the Great Beyond, and it draws them as the wide expanse of blue sky draws the nestling, despite fears, to trust its untried wings; but the inward urge compels; and, fearing to trust themselves, they grasp eagerly at the hand of "Masters" or "Spirit Guides" in the hope of attaining spiritual power by their help. But the baby must crawl and fall; it must rise, fall again and hurt itself. The experience is unpleasant but unavoidable, and far to be preferred to the consequences of tying the infant to a chair to save it from falling; then its limbs would become useless. And so do the latent spiritual powers of the unfortunates who come under the (to Westerners) baneful domination of Spirit Guides and Eastern Masters.

The Western Teacher is more like the parent bird which pushes the young off the nest if they do not go themselves. We may hurt ourselves, but WE DO LEARN TO FLY. Take my own case: Pushed out in the world with the Rosicrucian teaching and told to spread it, you may be sure I have held by breath many a time as the realization grew of what a gigantic undertaking it is, and how insignificant Mrs. Heindel and I are. Often, when the work seemed about to swamp us, we have prayed and prayed for help, but as we look back we can see what lessons we have learned by the struggle. Sometimes frined have remarked: "Oh, how we wish the money would be forthcoming to build the Ecclesia and schools, so that the work might be carried into the world with greater effect"; but we realize that there are other lessons before us, and that when we are ready, the means for further extension will come; until then, our wings need more training.

It is the same with every associate of the Fellowship. We are to learn the lesson of working for a common purpose, without leadership; each prompted alike by the Spirit of Love from within to strive for the physical, moral, and spiritual uplift of all the world so the stature of Christ--THE LORD AND LIGHT OF THE WORLD.