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Self Reliance by Wayne Gatfield

The root of the problems in society today is the absence of any kind of awareness of our true Spiritual nature.  People in general are afraid to think for themselves, as they have been indoctrinated with the idea that they need intermediaries to guide them and to think for them.

This is evident in religion, where billions follow the advice given in a book or some “God” blindly and thoughtlessly.  That is not to say the advice isn’t useful at times, but discrimination is essential as most of the world’s scriptures have been interfered with by lesser mortals and there has to be some solid ground on which to base our thoughts on the subject.  The followers of monotheistic religions like Islam and Christianity show little sign of Spirituality, as the following of the dead letter of a religion merely leads to a mechanical expression of the words. The God that they follow is born from materialistic concepts and is made in the image of man.  This is proved by the fact that this ‘God’ gives in to lower human emotions, which even some atheists have transcended!

A true Spiritual Teacher will always point the way, but never force us to do anything against our will.  They will only aid us to become aware of our Divine Nature and therefore find our own inspiration to guide us on the Way.

 Of course, in every religion there will always be some who do grasp the essential message and at least try to follow the advice given in an intelligent way.  These are the ones who keep the light shining in difficult times.

On another level the mass of people will follow government advice without questioning, even though such advice has no Spiritual benefit whatsoever.  Through this kind of guidance over millenniums the Spirit has been crushed out of society, especially in the West.  This has spread to other countries, like Japan, who gave in to the materialistic pressure of the Occident and slowly lost most of its Spiritual impulse.  HP Blavatsky writes:

“Like a hideous leprosy our Western civilization has eaten its way through all the quarters of the globe and hardened the human heart. “

Truly the human heart has been hardened, because without the awareness of our Divinity we become victim to all the lower emotions and thoughts that are inflicted on us by modern materialism.  This breeds competition and the “survival of the fittest” idea. 

We need Self reliance and by ‘Self’ is meant the Higher Self, not the transitory personal self. Again, HP Blavatsky gives advice on how to do this:

“By the enlightened application of our precepts to practice. By the use of our higher reason, spiritual intuition and moral sense, and by following the dictates of what we call “the still small voice” of our conscience, which is that of our EGO, and which speaks louder in us than the earthquakes and the thunders of Jehovah, wherein “the Lord is not….

To control and conquer, through the Higher, the lower self. To purify himself inwardly and morally; to fear no one, and nought, save the tribunal of his own conscience. Never to do a thing by halves; i. e., if he thinks it the right thing to do, let him do it openly and boldly, and if wrong, never touch it at all. It is the duty of a Theosophist to lighten his burden by thinking of the wise aphorism of Epictetus, who says: “Be not diverted from your duty by any idle reflection the silly world may make upon you, for their censures are not in your power, and consequently should not be any part of your concern.”

How many nowadays are brave enough to follow this advice intelligently?  People in general try to avoid controversy and merely follow the crowd and ‘go with the flow’, as they do not like to feel isolated and different.

To open up to the guidance of our Higher Self transforms our entire world view, as we move out of the mind sets of the majority of the world and see with clarity.  Up to now we have seen “through a glass darkly” but now the world transforms, as we move away from all the areas of thought that have been forced upon us since childhood.  In most cases this has not been done as a result of any malice, but because of ignorance of the True Nature of man and woman.  The majority of people are good hearted and this may be because at times they have glimpses of this True Nature. 

Damodar K Mavalankar expresses it perfectly when he writes: “Words can merely clothe the ideas, but no number of words can convey an idea to one who is incapable of perceiving it. Every one of us has within him the latent capacity or a sense dormant in us which can take cognisance of Abstract Truth, although the development of that sense or, more correctly speaking, the assimilation of our intellect with that higher sense, may vary in different persons, according to circumstances, education and discipline. That higher sense which is the potential capacity of every human being is in eternal contact with Reality, and every one of us has experienced moments when, being for the time en rapport with that higher sense, we realise the eternal verities. The sole question is how to focalise ourselves entirely in that higher sense.”

We see around us the wonderful beauties of nature and yet our lives in the towns and cities are so divorced from them.  People flock to the countryside at weekends, or for holidays, to imbibe some of that beauty and inspiration.  Yet how did we come to be so distant in thought and feeling from nature?  What brought society to the point where it needlessly destroys natural habitats to build railways and roads that are not necessary?  What has made us insensitive to other lives on this planet whether plant, animal or human?  Why do we fight and kill others for what are, in the scale of things, trivial matters?  Why can’t we get on?

I am sure that many civilisations in the past have had a rapport with nature and been careful in building their cities and transport systems, not to cause any unnecessary harm to nature.  We must not forget that our civilisation is relatively young.  There are others that have lasted thousands and perhaps millions of years, that are now completely lost to history.

There are billions of people on this planet, but only one consciousness pervading all.  There is just one BEING in the final analysis, no separateness in reality. One BEING with billions of masks.  What does keep up apart is our ignorance of that fact.  We suffer because of religions, philosophies, education and materialistic rules and regulations that foster this “great dire heresy of separateness”.

True Brotherhood and Sisterhood can only come about when we leave all this divisiveness behind and just realise that there is this ONE LIFE pervading all, and that what separates us is a passing illusion.  As the Diamond Sutra says:

“Thus shall ye think of all this fleeting world:

A star at dawn, a bubble in a stream;

A flash of lightning in a summer cloud,

A flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream.”

Yet we take life far too seriously at times, forgetting our Divine heritage.  When we can raise our consciousness above the mephitic sludge of earthly thoughts then we will become aware of something eternally uplifting and wondrous, that nothing can dim.  It is the Light that ‘never shone on land or sea’ because it is an inner radiance that become our guiding star in time.  It is simple, hidden from us by complexity; which is the one thing that prevents us from awakening.  We need to feel that everything is complicated, because the lower aspects of our mind tell us that.  It’s what it needs to uphold the illusions that have been generated by a misunderstanding of our True Nature.  It is the barrier that prevents us from returning to the innocence and beauty of what we are in Reality.  We have to pass through the portal of words and images to find the Truth that in the end will set us Free!

Wayne Gatfield is the President of the Bolton Lodge of the Theosophical Society, Editor of the North Western Federation Journal, National Speaker, he also writes poetry and stories which can be found at his YouTube channel

Theosophical & spiritual talks:


Published by hermesrisen

writer, theologian and broadcaster, my work can be found at Colyn Boyce is co-editor for Hermes Risen and is a writer, photographer and all round good guy.

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