THEOSOPHY, Vol. 17, No. 6, April, 1929
(Page 276; Size: 4K)

THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS(1)

THE mere fact that a man appreciates these truths and feels these aspirations is proof that he is on the right road. It is not necessary to be conscious of the progress one has made. In these days we are too prone to wish to know everything all at once, especially in relation to ourselves. It may be desirable and encouraging to be thus conscious, but it is not necessary. We make a good deal of progress in our inner, hidden life of which we are not at all conscious. We do not know of it until some later life. It is best to go on with duty, and to refrain from this trying to take stock and measuring of progress. All of our progress is in the inner nature, and not in the physical where lives the brain. The apparent physical progress is evanescent. It is ended when the body dies, at which time, if the inner man has not been allowed to guide us, the natural record against us will be a cipher, or "failure."

Nor need we be deterred, as some are, by the extreme difficulty of eliminating the selfish desire for progress. That will be the task during many lives, and we should begin it voluntarily as soon as it is known, instead of waiting for it to be forced in upon us through suffering and many defeats. Study the philosophy of life, leave the decorations that line the road of spiritual development for future lives, and -- practice altruism. To endeavor to follow these rules empirically, without understanding the philosophy and without making the fundamental doctrines a part of oneself, will lead to nothing but disgust and failure. Hence the philosophy must be understood. It is the philosophy of Oneness or Unity. It is possible for us to do these things without ... self-interest, and if we are trying to follow the rule of doing our actions because they ought to be done we will at last do only that which is right to be done. If this be our real rule it would in time be impossible for us to do wrong, for constantly thinking thus we grow careful as to what we commit and are always clearing up our view of duty as we proceed. Practical theosophy must enter into every detail of life in our dealings with others and our discipline of ourselves. It reminds us that we should be more critical of ourselves than of others, that we must help all men if we are to be helped ourselves.

Let us, then, extend help to all who come our way. This will be true progress; the veils that come over our souls fall away when we work for others.


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ONE (1) FOOTNOTE LISTED BELOW:

(1) Excerpted from the writings of William Q. Judge.
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