The Reason for the Many Different Cults

LETTER NO. 37 - December, 1913

The central through in last month's lesson, and one that we should ponder well is the reason why there are so many different cults. each with its own creed and with the idea that it alone has the truth. The reason for this condition, as shown in the lesson, lies in the fact that the ego has limited itself by entering into a vehicle which separates it from every one else. Because of this limitation, it is incapable of appreciating absolute and universal truth; and, consequently, religions teaching only partial truth had to be given.

The warfare and strife engendered in the world by the segregating influences of creed are not without their benefit either, for were all of the same opinion regarding the great question, "What is truth?" there would be no deep search for light or knowledge; and truth would not leave the strong impression upon us which we gain by the fight for that which we believe. On the other hand, the militancy of the churches shows to those who, as pioneers, are now taking a broader view--who recognize that none have more than a ray of the whole truth at present and who look to the future for enlargement of the cup of their capacity--that sometime they shall no longer see through a glass darkly, but shall know even as they are known.

Knowing that there is a cosmic reason for creed, we should neither seek or force advanced ideas upon those who are as yet limited by the spirit of convention, nor imitate the militant missionary spirit of the churches, but, as the Bible says, give our pearls of knowledge only to those who are tired of feeding on the husks and who long for the true bread of life.

Discourse upon subjects related to this higher knowledge may help those who are aroused from the spiritual lethargy unfortunately so common in our day and age. But argument will never do any good, for those who are in an augmentative mood are not convinced by anything we may say. The realization of truth, which is alone potent to break down the barriers of limitation that engender creed, must come from within and not from without.

Therefore, though we should always be ready to answer the questions of those who wish to know, and be ready to give the reason for our faith, we should also be on our guard so that we may not force our opinion upon others; that, having escaped one fetter, we may not be bound by another, for liberty is the most precious heritage of the soul. Hence the Elder Brothers in the Western World will not accept a pupil who is not free from all other bonds, and they take care that he does not obligate himself to them or any one else. Thus alone can the ring of the Niebelung and the ring of the gods be dissolved. May we all strive to live up to this ideal of absolute liberty, at the same time, of course, taking care not to infringe upon the rights of others.