Rosicrucian Writings Online
The Imperator's Monthly Message[By H. Spencer Lewis]
[From The Mystic Triangle May 1926]
I OFTEN wonder how many of our members realize that the true aim, and perhaps the only mission in life, of any real teacher or leader in the field of mysticism is to point out the way, to cast light on the path, and to extend a helping hand to those who want to make the start?
No man or woman can take an adept to the goal; no one can take the neophyte further than he himself has gone. We are not all created alike except in regard to the divine essence that infuses our beings, and we do not come into this world alike in essence or comprehension, understanding and development. No matter how many of us may start on the path together, there will be those who forge ahead, by reason of their previous development, and those who will lag behind, regardless of their determination, sincerity and endeavor. No master or leader is as great or as profound or as learned, even, in the great laws and principles as will be many of those who are following him and rising under his guidance. Eventually, there will come a time, therefore, when some of the pupils will far excel the teacher, when a few who follow will advance beyond the point on the path where the master dwells, and the procession will be broken up into those who lead, those who rest awhile to help the others, and then those who are struggling to attain.
The more one studies and delves into the mystery of life and the laws of the universe, the more one comprehends his inability to grasp all the knowledge in one lifetime, and the more humble he becomes in the light of the great knowledge still unknown and the infinitude of his attainment. This applies to the greatest of masters, the most advanced of the teachers and leaders, and especially to those who have had cast upon them the responsibility of staying their own progress for awhile to lend a helping hand to those who are asking for light and assistance.
All of us have left our schools of childhood and we recall the days when we thought that our teachers, and the principal of the school, and the professors at the college, were wise beyond our comprehension, almost divine in their mastership of fundamental laws, and unapproachable by us in the profundity of their learning. As we studied under their tutorship and grasped more and more of the facts they revealed to us, we came to look upon them more like companions and equals, until at some time we believed that we knew almost as much as they knew. Today some of us have possibly reached a point in knowledge and understanding, proficiency and efficiency, where we have gone beyond the capabilities, the mental prowess, and the mastership of our once admired and adored teachers, and we forget, in our present state, to give thanks, in our thoughts, to those teachers, and we even look back upon their lives and their knowledge as having been mediocre and perhaps unworthy of our admiration. Such is the fate that awaits every teacher, every leader. Such is the loss of esteem as a consequence of his own devotion to his pupils and his duty to mankind. There are exceptions, of course, notable and wonderful. What is true of the teachers in schools and colleges is true in the lives of the greatest of the mystics of the past and those of today. To devote one's life to the uplift, guidance and assistance of others has no other reward than the joy of doing, and he would be an unwise teacher and leader, indeed, unlearned in the laws of human nature and the tendencies of man, who did not realize that there will be those in his classes, in his school, in his circle of intimates and friends, who will some day advance beyond him in power, in knowledge and understanding, and to whom he may in turn look some day for that guidance, that help, that he is extending to others; and he would be ignorant of the greatest laws if he did not realize that no matter how wonderful his own illumination, his own grasp and understanding of the laws and principles of the universe, there must be others near him, perhaps unknown to him, who will some day excel him in the very work that he now deems his mission in life, and who will take up the reins where he must leave them go, and start on the higher path where he must stop, and carry on under a new banner, or a larger banner, the work that he now thinks is his and his alone.
And so I suggest to our members that they keep in mind that not only the hours of study and the periods of devotion to our work will bring essential success and mastership in our work, but that there are those among you who have the joy of previous development, or previous attainment, and who may even now be ready to take up a greater work, greater than the writer or any of his acknowledged superiors or associates could ever possibly do. Such thoughts bring at times a note of sadness in the life of every great leader, but, on the other hand, there is this one great consolation, that if the work is worthy of doing and is truly deserving of devotion and endeavor, then the fact that it will be carried on by others more efficiently and more nobly is joyous and encouraging and proves the law that man will advance, helping man and leading while God inspires.
However, in every instance where we find that a sincere and devoted pupil has excelled his master and become a great leader, we note that the new leader has never lost his appreciation of the efforts expended in his behalf by his master and has never failed to pay homage and tribute to his Alma Mater. We note, also, that the truly great leaders in all ages and all times, whether they were born to lead or trained to lead at the hands of a great teacher, were those who never expected to become leaders and certainly never planned or schemed, to the injury of any one else or to the detriment of their former associations and instructions, to bring about a high position for themselves. In every instance we find that such leaders were the most humble and were discovered by those higher than themselves, and whenever we find one posing to be a great leader, or a great teacher, by self-appointment, we generally find a lack of the real qualities essential for such work.
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