S I N C E R I T Y
Selections from the Agni Yoga Series
Presented before the Agni Yoga Society, February 16, 2010
1. Someone may say, “I address myself with all my strength to the Lord, but it does not reach the Lord.” Ask, “Was it sincere?” This quality of invocation is as necessary as Light. Each one may cast his eye into his heart and inspect the small corners of a decrepit world. Without sincerity there will be no current. Therefore strain all your forces and elect pure striving of the heart.
2. Acceptance of the commissions of the community is shown by certain signs. Let us look at sincerity and pity. Sincerity is nothing but the shortest attainment. Vainly do sentimental people load sincerity with romantic tatters. Sincerity is a concept real and invincibly acute. That sincerity is similar to a properly directed spear thrust and is not a diffused goodness can be shown by example. Each doubt lessens the power of the blow. Therefore, for Us sincerity is the shortest attainment.
3. …Begin to think about the heart so that you can remember about it and then hearken to its call. The magnet of the heart grows with sincerity and striving. There is nothing abstract in this because all the finest cosmic energies pass through the heart—all the finest energies, the most powerful and creative ones. But in order to attract these creative energies one must kindle one's own fires. Thus, build up all your fires! But do not mistake sentimentality, that weeping kindness, for the severe, wise manifestation of the heart. Remember what the Teaching says about compassion and pity.
Letters of Helena Roerich I, 13 October, 1929
4. In Agni Yoga, even the most abstract concepts become tangible and real. Sincerity, usually called honesty, becomes irreplaceable. Test the quality of sincerity in communications to far distances; and then observe the difference when personal feelings of impatience or irritation are allowed to intrude, or, worse, preconceived ideas or deliberate distortions. These deprive the result of its value, and can cause irreparable harm. But true sincerity is a purifier, bringing about a crystal clarity, which enlightens the consciousness just as fuel gives flame. Thus, one can contribute to success by applying what is called honesty.
Agni Yoga, 556
5. One must observe in a simple manner the different ways in which psychic energy is manifested. It can be either a liberator or an enslaver, depending on the impulse that directs it. For its direction no special formulas are needed; only sincere striving is necessary. But recognizing sincerity is not easy, because what people call sincerity is often quite a different quality. They can justify any wrongdoing as having a sincere motive. But where is the self-denial that purifies the action? Evil is connected with hypocrisy and the personal ego. No magic formulas are needed; the purifying of consciousness alone will propel the psychic energy in the right direction.
Agni Yoga, 483
6. All manifestations of energies are creatively saturated when the impulse which moves them issues from the source of the heart. That which in the Cosmos is considered to be the true impelling force, in the laboratory of the heart is called striving. That which in the Cosmos is called the Source of Truth, in life is called sincerity. That which in the Cosmos creates, that which has been fierily affirmed in life, is the flame of the heart…. No meditation but heart-feeling results in the revelation of the spirit. Only that which has been lived can be outlived. Only the heart which has been kindled by all fires can cognize the beauty of the higher life. The future leads to realization of these higher unities.
Fiery World III, 207
7. Some may ask why I speak of a Leader and not of a Ruler. The difference between them is enormous. The conception of Ruler presupposes the present and the ruling over something already existing, but the Leader manifests the future in the very significance of the word…. If the burden of the Ruler is great, then the responsibility of the Leader is still greater, and therefore the Highest Powers affirm their Altar there, where there are signs of such Leadership. Precisely the Leader must discriminate between hypocrisy and sincerity. The manifestation of the virtue of the heart differs greatly from a forced servility. The Leader has the power to discern this quality.
Fiery World II, 48
8. An Arhat is obliged to sense with the heart, spiritually and chemically, the correlation of approaching combinations. Thus one can avoid many unnecessary frictions. The flaming heart can sense where is contained true correlation or mutual supplementations. Such requirements should be demanded of every leader. He must have a heart open to heaven and to earth. Let us also affirm ourselves in the thought that we shall establish friendly relations with all people. One of the conditions of existence is sincerity, or, to use another word, heartiness. If this foundation is not sufficiently developed, one can strengthen it by turning to the heart.
9. Good deeds are like different flowers in a meadow. Among the healing ones there may be others which are quite brilliant but poisonous. Among the wonderful manifestations there may be found extremely deadly ones, but only by experiment is it possible to make a just selection. Insincerity contains a destructive poison. It can be observed that a construction built upon falsehood degenerates into hideousness. Much is being spoken about good deeds, but they must be truly good. Let people search the depths of their hearts as to when they have been good.
10. The least insincerity in devotion and in one's acceptance of the foundations of renewal can affect the state of one's health. Such insincerity can nest deeply in the crevices of the consciousness. Insincerity is exceedingly contagious, affecting the emanations of others…. Thus does human downfall result from the bite of the tiniest adder of insincerity. One must warn, but one cannot change others. A steed jumping the precipice cannot be halted.
Agni Yoga, 116
11. It is difficult to develop or awaken straight-knowledge in oneself, yet there is no other criterion. Full discrimination comes only in this way. And the main difficulty is that straight-knowledge is not awakened in us while the feelings of selfhood, conceit, hypocrisy, or insincerity predominate in our heart. Only when these vipers are ejected does the voice of the heart take their place, and straight-knowledge becomes clear and infallible. Believe me, if someone is striving sincerely, he shall meet his earthly teacher and recognize him. But very, very rarely do these occurrences take place on our Earth.
Letters of Helena Roerich II, 12 July, 1938
12. When self-renunciation and striving are affirmed in the heart they will become as second nature. The application of the Teaching to oneself and in the life of every day will become joyous, and then progress and even achievement of the sacred aim is assured. But one must ask oneself, and answer with full sincerity, whether there is really such fiery striving and self-denial, or whether there is some secret selfish desire to achieve greater knowledge for covetous purposes. The slightest signs of such hidden desire will be the greatest obstacle on the path of spiritual progress. For success one must have understanding, as well as readiness to practise podvig—the great self-denial—in life.
Letters of Helena Roerich II, 29 August, 1934
13. In the same way that we study the nature of the astral world, let us clarify our attitude with regard to Rosicrucian, Masonic, and other organizations devoted to the General Good. Many Mahatmas have participated in them. And when we remember the original altruistic principles of these organizations, we must not turn away from them. When it concerns sincere motives, then all workers for the General Good must accept one another, especially when the spirit is developed and the consciousness is awake.
Agni Yoga, 473
14. It is necessary to remember that by approaching the Teaching and the Elder Brothers of Humanity we unfold (due to unfailing occult laws) our true nature much more quickly. Certain characteristics come to the surface which otherwise might remain dormant until the next incarnation. Remember what is said in the Chalice of the East: “As the shower cannot fructify the rock, so the occult teaching has no effect upon unperceptive minds; and as water develops heat in caustic lime, even so does the Teaching awaken every unsuspected potentiality latent within the disciple.”
This is an immutable law in the domain of the occult; the more serious and sincere the aspirant and the more he realizes the significance of his task, the stronger is the action of this law.
Letters of Helena Roerich I, 18 June, 1935
15. Of course you are right: first of all one must personally apply the Teaching in life and must perfect oneself. Otherwise how can we attract sincerely striving souls? Each one who has approached the Teaching is obliged to spread the seeds he received. But will such sowing be successful if we ourselves are not able to appreciate and to test the seeds entrusted to us? Will there be many who will value our seeds?... Long ago it was said, “Faith without deeds is dead.” Thus, the Teaching without application to life will bring no benefit.
Letters of Helena Roerich I, 26 April, 1934
16. Sincerity and simplicity are two powerful magnets. The great art of human relationship is based on them. Very few realize the importance of this art, which is the foundation of all constructiveness and evolution! This forgotten art, which requires so much sensitiveness, alertness, and synthesis of the spirit, must be introduced into life without delay. It is the most essential accomplishment; and how can we build the New World of beauty and powerful cooperation without it?
Letters of Helena Roerich I, 24 April, 1931