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The Science of Service

If care over the essential of service—soul contact—is taken, then the service rendered
will flow with spontaneity along the right lines and bear much fruit.

In 1942, the Tibetan Master, D. K., said that "the three great sciences that will come to the fore in the New Age, and which will lead humanity from the unreal to the real, and from aspiration to realization are

  1. The science of Meditation, the coming science of the mind.

  2. The science of Antahkarana, or the science of the bridging which must take place between higher and lower mind.

  3. The science of Service, which is a definite technique of at-one-ment."2

Today, we so often think of service as a charitable or philanthropic act, such as giving one's time or money to the helping of the poor, sick, or disadvantaged. Religiously motivated service sometimes takes the form of preaching and living as a monk or nun, praying ceaselessly and striving to behave in a manner supposed to be pleasing to God. Any sacrificial effort in the interest of saving the world, improving the conditions of life for all people, or achieving world peace is considered by most people an act of service. Isn't it interesting, then, that the Tibetan should describe the new type of service not as a means of world salvage—in fact, he emphatically denies this—but, rather, as a "definite technique of at-one-ment" and a "spontaneous effect of soul contact"?

The distinction between these two views of service is, of course, in their respectively emotionally- versus mentally-based motivation. The type of service so common today, despite its good intentions, tends to be a personality-centric demonstration of aspiration towards spiritual attainment or the preservation of the planet. It is forced from without and based on a theory of service that credits outwardly visible "good" acts as its sole evidence. It is sometimes even an angry response to the wrongs perceived to be perpetrated by national and economic powers upon innocent masses. Aquarian-age service, on the other hand, is an unemotional and natural "instinct" of the soul and simply the effect of the alignment of the higher and lower selves, no more controllable by the personality than is the instinct to self-preservation. It is both the process of, and the result of, the spontaneous excitation of a tiny quantum of the subtle energies of our planet that occurs when any one of us, an atom in the body of the "One in Whom we live and move and have our being", makes a mental alignment between the personality and the spiritual triad via the soul.

As man inevitably evolves from his emotionally polarized state to a condition of mental focus, so will he mature in his practice of service, moving from a purely philosophical approach to a more scientific one. The following quote from the Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary3 aids in understanding the distinction between theory-based, philosophical, Piscean-age service and fact-based, scientific, Aquarian-age service.

"Science and philosophy, as presently understood, have in common the quality of being speculative, as opposed to religion, which in the West is supposed to be founded merely on faith and moral sentiments. The present distinction between science and philosophy lies largely in their respective fields of speculation. What is known as modern science investigates the phenomena of physical nature and by inferential reasoning formulates general laws therefrom. Its method is called inductive and its data are so-called facts- i.e., sensory observations; whereas deductive philosophy starts from axioms."

It follows from this that Piscean-age service is subject to the limits of the would-be server's understanding of what is good and right. The combination of the inherent self-centeredness of aspiration and the inability of the server to apply the theory correctly to every circumstance leads inevitably to wasted effort and even unintended destruction. Aquarian-age service, on the other hand, cannot be taught from without, but, rather, can only be achieved by intense self-effort to build the antahkarana through creative meditation. And, since creative meditation is an exact and exacting science whose laws can only be understood and effectively applied through the trial and error of individual effort and inner experience, any service that results from it must necessarily be appropriate and measured to the need to which it is attracted.

If service is indeed a new science that humanity is expected to embrace in the coming New Age, then it should be possible to describe its characteristics analogously to those of the already well understood sciences. We should be able to show that service has its own distinct body of knowledge and an associated field of practical application. The tabulation below demonstrates not only that such a characterization is possible, but also that the science of Service is a natural next step in the exploration of the universe and in humanity's search for meaning and purpose.

Science Domain of Knowledge Application
Mathematics Magnitude, relationships
between figures and forms;
relations between quantities.
Measurement; symbolic
communication of
Physics Matter and energy in
terms of motion and
Harnessing of electro-
magnetic energy for
physical-plane power,
safety and comfort.
Psychology The mind and mental
states and processes;
human nature.
Improvement of mental-
emotional quality of life
and achievement of
Service At-one-ment; creative
urge, creative impulse,
creative quality; the
awakening of the
spiritual consciousness.
Production of
phenomenal outer and
tangible results upon the
physical plane from soul

1 Esoteric Psychology, Vol II, by Alice A. Bailey, p. 126
2 Esoteric Psychology, Vol II, by Alice A. Bailey, p. 118


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