Put away wisdom and abandon knowledge, then the people will be a hundred times happier.
Put away philanthropy and abandon justice, then the people will return to being loving parents and children.
Put away subterfuge and abandon acquisitiveness, then there will be no more thieves and robbers.
Renounce these things and never be content with outward appearances.
Instead, I will show you what you need to do. See yourself in your original simplicity and maintain your original purity. Have little egoism and few desires.
Tao Te Ching chapter 19
With its few remaining shreds of the original life, humanity is lost in the dark dungeon of the nature of death, trying to make the best of things with philanthropy, justice, familial love and patriotism. Although these methods are ineffective in terms of the ultimate results, and can therefore never lead to a real solution, they must nevertheless be regarded as the only way for humanity to express its potential for goodness.
Tao was neglected — and we have looked at the various consequences, some of which you will have experienced for yourself. Our findings brought us to the conclusion that there is only one solution: to use the cords being let down for your sake into the pit of death, and, with their help, to follow the path of return. This path begins with the rebirth of the soul, which straight away admits the soul into a state of peace. This path of return has various aspects, all of which you need to take into account. We have often mentioned the fivefold universal Gnosis, a process which corresponds with your vital fluids:
insight, which involves the blood;
yearning for salvation, which involves the hormonal fluids;
self-surrender, which involves the serpent-fire;
the new way of life, which involves the nerve-fluid; the actual rebirth of the soul, which involves the astral fluid.
For many years, every effort has been made to give pupils of the School of the Rosycross sufficient insight into their condition. The same can be said about yearning for salvation. When a person has some insight, he begins to yearn for the new life-field. For years we have been telling you almost daily that the self-surrender of the I, the I-less state, is the key to the new life-field. And you know that these three paths — insight, yearning for salvation and self-surrender — are connected with electromagnetic radiations which are present and can be experienced in the powerfield of the School.
After a number of years, a new electromagnetic force emerged in our powerfield, which caused us to speak about group unity and the new way of life. This is a force that works primarily on your heart, a force that awakens you to action, to outward proof of the pure state of your pupilship. This force generated an avalanche of changes and developments in our School, changes which, on the one hand, filled us with gratitude and joy, but on the other hand also brought sorrow, because the knife of purification and liberation had to be used with such relentless courage. One of our Temple Songs puts it this way:
New attitude to life requires
wise and clear reflecting.
Those who depart for the new life make a new beginning.
Day by day, come what may, always I-denying;
with the group uniting.
We made the preparations for the new beginning, and those who still cherished the I and its delusions and therefore stood in the way of the journey excluded themselves from the group.
For now, though, let us assume that you have started out on that journey by accepting the new approach to life; that you are willing to accept the consequences of making that journey. Even then, there will still be various problems that arise, and they will have to be solved, for if we cannot solve our problems, our normal cheerfulness will give way to melancholy and fanaticism. What we mean is that, besides the broad directives regarding the path, which you know and accept, and besides a basic way of life in keeping with those directives, there are practical, day-to-day aspects of one's approach to life that have to be considered.
When you focus your attention on the aim of the School, you know what is expected of you. But during your everyday life you also have to contend with ordinary situations, with all their ups and downs, and you are often at your wits' end. In this way you make mistakes, and they often affect your fate in quite an undesirable way. That is why, in everyday situations, too, a pupil needs to adopt a carefully chosen approach to life. You may not take the attitude that: ‘Ordinary life does not interest me. I have nothing to do with it. I am finished with it.’
It would be foolish to talk like that, because the fact that you are here in this earthly existence proves that life has not yet finished with you. That is why, whatever your circumstances, you should also choose what behaviour patterns you will follow when faced with situations on the horizontal plane. Lao Tzu tells you how to do that.
So, firstly, in ordinary life, you need to put away wisdom and abandon knowledge. You only need to radiate your soul-light. This means that if you approach your fellow human beings bursting with all the gnostic knowledge and wisdom you have acquired, they will find you insufferable. You will awaken feelings of hatred. You will arouse opposition. You will start a war. But you will do wonders with a little knowledge of human nature, a bit of understanding and some love, supported by the new light of the soul. In this way, you will make the people around you happy. In such an atmosphere of harmony and happiness people will be more open than ever to your spiritual approach to life.
That is why Lao Tzu says: Put away wisdom and abandon knowledge. Behave as naturally as possible. Then the people will be a hundred times happier. Then you will be following the path of least resistance, and that is exactly what will enable you to dissolve all resistance.
This approach is also important when one is confronted with all the turmoil created by the human struggle to achieve justice and humanitarian values. There are countless movements trying to help humanity on the dialectical level by campaigning for certain legislations or providing humanitarian aid. Think of the many religious, humanitarian and political movements. The world is rife with their debates and publications. They have their publicity methods and their organisations. They call and beckon you from every point of the compass, all with their own points of view, and all with the good intention of transforming the chaos of the dungeon into order, and if possible, divine order.
Do not belittle these people. And do not attack them, either. Do not try to impose your point of view on them. View their efforts with great respect, for they are doing what they can. Only, do not join in the controversy. Do not allow yourself to be drawn into it. And whilst you should not expect anything lasting from such efforts, you should remain ready to respond to the needs of the moment. If there is any group that can have an influence on the world situation it is a gnostic group, because of its radiation- field. If the Spiritual School frees itself as a group from this tremendous worldwide turmoil, then it will make a significant contribution towards the ultimate restoration of the unity of the great human family. Then humanitarian efforts on the horizontal level will be replaced by reality. Then we will hasten the coming of the period known as the millennium.
This process must be carried out by the Spiritual Schools of the sevenfold World Brotherhood. That is why Lao Tzu said:
Put away philanthropy and abandon justice, then the people will return to love.
This development is only just beginning, but if you are willing to participate, you will discover how important all this will become. We have been talking about the social para- graph, which concerns the pupil's relationship to society, and we have discussed his relationship to his fellow human beings. But this paragraph has more aspects we need to consider.
Put away subterfuge and abandon acquisitiveness, and there will be no more thieves and robbers.
What does this sentence mean? Let us apply it first to the School, and second to your own individual state. Suppose your motives in the School were impure in any way. This impurity would obviously stem from the fundamental impurities of your heart. Then you are carried along by the flames of your desires.
With the techniques of subterfuge, which you have learned during the course of your life, you try to achieve your aims. You try to gain something that, in fact, is not meant for you. You try to force something that would eventually come anyway when the time was right. So you act like a thief or a robber, and obviously this will invoke all kinds of forces and vibrations that are in keeping with your actions. In this way the School is hindered and its field of work disturbed. In such a situation an unholy radiation would emanate from the School that would be destructive rather than redeeming in its effects. So in a Spiritual School, especially, you should set aside all that desire, subterfuge and acquisitiveness.
Try to apply this point of view in your everyday life as well, consciously and consistently. Dare to do that! Then your development on the path towards peace of the soul will be influenced very much to the good. Haven't you summoned rather a lot of thieves and robbers in your own respiration-field? And what a lot of difficulties this has created in the lives of others! It does not help you and it destroys others. So: Put away subterfuge and abandon acquisitiveness, and there will be no more thieves and robbers. Put this approach to life into practice.