Treading the Path


Ma Lin Painting

Ma Lin Painting ~ 13th Century


Treading the Path
in the Light of Your Own Soul


A little over two years ago, in an article entitled “The Release of Light into a Darkened World” we included a section on the New Group of World Servers — the worldwide group of awakening souls who share (in some measure) a common vision of the one humanity and seek (in their chosen lines of service) to better the lives of others.  This group is “comprised of ‘all who truly love their fellowmen and…serve them with sacrifice and selfless understanding…’”[1]

The hallmark of members of this group is the urge to serve and to build a better world.  The impulse to help, which moves them to ‘make a difference’ in the lives of others, can manifest in a multitude of ways, but when it is present, it is a definite sign that the individual or group involved is coming under the influence of the soul, and is part of ‘the wave of light’ that is being released into the world in preparation for the new era.  In Esoteric Psychology, II the Tibetan Master, Djwhal Khul explains:

"If the urge to satisfy desire is the basic urge of the form life of man, the urge to serve is an equally basic urge of the soul in man."[2]

The fact is that when you find yourself helping others, you are — even without realizing it — actively engaged in bringing the life of the soul into living expression on earth.  The soul is the part of ourselves that seeks to do good.  It is not an abstraction and not a far-off ideal.  It is an integral part of who we are as human beings.  It is the indwelling spirit and the moving force behind ‘the better angels of our nature.’ Though this phrase has been quoted in recent times, these words were initially used by President Abraham Lincoln in his first inaugural address:

"The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."

“Mystic chords of memory…stretching…to every living heart…” is a potent phrase, which carries hidden meaning.  To students of the Ageless Wisdom “every living heart” could be seen to allude to the group of ‘awakened souls’ on earth who have been ‘born of the spirit’ — who have come in touch with the reality of the True Self.  The life thread of the soul (the sutratma) is, after all, anchored in the heart, and when the light and love of the soul flow freely through the heart, the livingness of the soul can be sensed by others.  The sutratma is the ‘living cord,’ which connects the better angel of our nature (the soul on its own plane) with its instrument in the outer world — the physical body.  And, not surprisingly (as the Tibetan Master assures us in Esoteric Psychology), the mode, par excellence, for awakening the heart”[3] is service.

Service is the clear and unambiguous keynote of members of the New Group of World Servers.  Yet there is another spiritual principle alluded to in the Ageless Wisdom, which is of equal importance in the lives of those within the New Group who tread the spiritual path.  It is the capacity to receive impression — to be guided by the soul — via the connecting thread or life channel mentioned above.  This life channel or sutratma (the thread of atma or spiritual will) is described in the scriptures as “the silver cord.”  In the New Living Translation of the Bible it is called “the silver cord of life.”  It is one and the same as the cord of living energy described by the Tibetan, which connects the soul to its physical instrument:

“The life thread…is anchored in the heart during incarnation.  There is the seat of life.”[4]

The seat of life for the human being is the heart.  From that midpoint within the vital body the soul “energises and preserves in livingness all [seven]…centres in the body.”[5]  Yet the soul is anchored not only in the heart, but in the head as well, for the soul-thread is a dual thread[6], and “the consciousness of the soul” (the consciousness thread of the soul) is seated in the crown… “anchored in the head.  There is the seat of consciousness.”[7]

The human being is both alive and conscious.  We possess a heart and a head, and are intended both to serve and to be guided in that service through impressions received from the higher self — the soul — that dwells within.   Thus, it behooves us to understand the mechanism by which this may be accomplished.  Service, as has been said, is the “mode par excellence” for opening the heart, and is the key to taking one’s place within the New Group of World Servers — as a conduit of the light and love of the soul.  What, then, we might ask, is the key to opening the centers in the head?  What will awaken the ‘seat of consciousness’ in the crown and ajna centers, in one who strives to  consciously tread the Path?  The answer may be surprising to some.  It is “obedience.”

"Service and obedience are the great methods of release…[which will aid] the aspirant to attain the longed-for liberation."[8]

There are those who might be taken aback by the word obedience, yet obedience, as used in the Ageless Wisdom, does not carry the usual connotation.  Obedience on the spiritual path does not imply adherence to the dictates of another.  It means, instead, obedience ‘to the light which is in you and around you.’  It implies obedience to the light of your own soul, which shines forth and leads you on the way of return to spirit.[9]  It is obedience to your own soul, which guides you, the aspirant or disciple of truth, in acts of loving service as a vital member of the worldwide group.

The Guides of the Race, to Whom we refer as the Custodians of the Plan, are wise and loving beings.  They are fully aware that the men and women of today are highly mental in nature and cherish “the freedom of the human will and consciousness.”  They realize that spiritual seekers of our time would object to the imposition of authority, to “having to obey.”[10] 

And, as the Tibetan has told us, it is not obedience to the Masters that is required on the spiritual Path, but “obedience to the Plan,” which the Masters know and serve.  An excerpt from Discipleship in the New Age highlights this fact:

"The obedience required is obedience to the Plan.  It is not obedience to the Master… The obedience which is asked of you is based on your growing recognition of the Plan for humanity, as it emerges in your consciousness through the processes of meditation and through definite service, based upon a growing love of your fellowmen.

The obedience demanded is that of the personality to the soul as soul knowledge, soul light and soul control become increasingly potent in the mind and brain reactions of the disciple."[11]

Obedience to the light of the soul and loving service to one’s fellowmen grant access to the Kingdom of Souls in which the true self dwells.  They transform individuals on the Path into conscious participants in “the greater life” in which we dwell.  By these practices, we  can enter that place in consciousness “where there is no separation…where life’s inherent unity is perceived — unity of essence, origin, and destiny,” and where “all of life is inseparably interrelated, interdependent, and intertwined.”   These words, from an article entitled The Soul of Humanity and The New Civilization,[12] describe well the shift in identity that awaits each of us who successfully treads the Path of Return to its end — in the light of our own souls.


[1] Alice A. Bailey, The Externalisation of the Hierarchy, 392-93.

[2] Alice A. Bailey, Esoteric Psychology, II, 158.  Italics added.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Alice A. Bailey, Education in the New Age, 146.  Italics added.

[5] Alice A. Bailey, Esoteric Healing, 622.

[6] From one angle the soul thread is dual, comprised of the life and consciousness threads.  From another angle it is triple in nature, when ‘the creative thread’ is added to the other two.

[7] Alice A. Bailey, Education in the New Age, 146.  Italics added.

[8] Alice A. Bailey, Esoteric Psychology, II pp. 157.  Italics added.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Alice A. Bailey, Discipleship in the New Age, I pp. 686.

[11] Ibid., 686-87.

[12] This article, by Nancy Seifer, appears in the November 2017 issue of Kosmos Journal.

Martin Vieweg
October 2017