H U M A N R E L A T I O N S H I P S
Selections from the Agni Yoga Series
Presented before the Agni Yoga Society, February 4, 2014
1.Why is it necessary to be awkward? Why is it necessary to create an impression of ignorance? Why must those who adhere to Us be neglectful? Why must they adopt a quarrelsome manner when a dispute is going on? Why must they prattle without end? Go around unwarranted dirt. You see how necessary it is to emphasize each detail; otherwise the customs of Our Community will not be strengthened in you.
The discipline of freedom distinguishes Our communities. Not only is the spirit disciplined, but also the qualities of external actions. It is not Our custom to grieve too much. It is not Our custom to censure too much. It is not Our custom to count on people too broadly. It is not Our custom to expect too much. It is needed to be able to replace a complicated plan with a simpler one--never the reverse--for Our adversaries act from the simple to the complex. Ponder how to strengthen your friends.
2.Do you feel the actual harm caused by erroneous actions? Do you not perceive that the harm brought by your egoism first of all touches you directly? But in the plan of actions you are not alone, and each step of yours also concerns those who are responsible who proceed in self-sacrifice. Much that is irreparable is done during light-minded gatherings. The Teaching has pointed out many times the bond of the collective. It is needful to safeguard those who run risks for the hastening of results. Mentally beware of pernicious, harshly clouded moods. Furthermore I ask, “Have you learned to read the books of the Teaching? Is there a desire to anchor your thought to one pillar?” We are very fond of beautiful parables but we forget that in each of them is contained the cost of a life.
In connection with the evening gatherings, it is ingenious to note unusual contents of speech or a very strange expression. But reflect: does there not hang on each letter of this expression a great number of lives? To each one must flash the consciousness of the importance of the hour for which he has been called. When long ago light-mindedness was spoken about, it was necessary at once to take into the consciousness the seriousness of the moment and to compel oneself to accept a feeling of responsibility. Outside of current affairs, outside of individual and group achievements, it is needful to sense evolution with all its peculiarities. Thus, think clearly. Strive to improve your gatherings.
3.Whoever makes assertions about his devotion to the real and the authentic must particularly welcome the discernment of reality. Not hypocritical stammering before the method of a recognized authority, but the struggle and burning in quest of reality. Verily irresistibly, verily unalterably, in such vehemence of striving that neither lofty mountain nor small hill hides space.
In upward flights we learn the great gift of patience. Radiant, creative patience does not resemble the murky cloak of non-resistance to evil. Stooped non-resisters sit like unsuccessful fishermen. Their stake of a length of yarn cannot check the dance of the elements. Creative patience holds the key to the New World; therefore, patience creates a power which is intensified with each hour of reality.
Non-resistance is like a long-opened flask of perfume, but creative patience is like old sealed wine.
Watch the intensity of creativeness in each social structure. True is that structure wherein manifold creativeness is given wings. If it becomes burdensome for creativeness, this is a true sign of error in the structure. Do not let these errors build nests. Summon masons, re-lay the walls, until the song will resound again freely.
4.The power of authority is not demonstrated by a flow of instructions that are pleasing to both the one who gives them and those who receive. The Teacher must be sure that the actions taken lead in the right direction--though they may take manifold forms. Just as a courageous captain can save his ship by jettisoning the cargo, or by cutting down the masts, so does the Teacher with full power of authority lead his disciples to victory.
Is it possible to avoid the burdensome currents? Of course it is better to face them head-on in battle than to zigzag to evade them. But the decision to engage in battle is the responsibility of the leader. The joy of battle is known to those who are aware of its purpose, to those who know the necessity of victory.
Now you know that the battlefield is rife with possibilities…. Straight-knowledge needs both direction and goal. Not knowing the goal leads to a piling-up of confusion. Fallen leaves nourish the black soil, but each seed brings an explosion of energy into the world.
Agni Yoga, 650
5.Do not allow outsiders to criticize and condemn any of your co-workers in your presence. Always try to find worthy words with which to stop evil-speaking and condemnation--for this you will receive respect. Remember that as long as you are united you will be able to pass through all obstacles, but the least disunity in your actions will create a rift to the very foundation. And what structure can be built upon a cleft foundation? The first storm would ruin such an edifice. Come closer together and strive to fulfill the smallest Indications of the Teacher. This is the only way to victory.
Letters Of Helena Roerich I, 17 December 1930
6.We are experiencing a difficult time, but we shall recall it with joy, as only in difficult action can strength be developed. The technique of a musician also develops only through constant exercises after which all the fingers ache.
Letters Of Helena Roerich I, 11 September 1929
7.We have already learned to love the obstacles, and we know that "the obstacles which produce weakness of spirit will produce failure, while the obstacles which call forth all the fire of spirit to battle act like a creative element." The ancient wisdom says: "Welcome the day of battle; do not turn away from obstacles."
Letters Of Helena Roerich I, 15 January 1930
8.Personal responsibility is not only connected with the broadest cooperation, but, truly speaking, this cooperation or collaboration is the basis of personal responsibility. The Cosmos is built upon cooperation; and man, being part of and a reflection of the Cosmos, cannot exclude himself from this law if he does not wish to destroy himself. Each institution, with one of the co-workers at the head of it, must cooperate as much as possible with all other departments or institutions. All the sections work according to the same plan, and we must see that they work together like the fingers of the same hand, not disturbing, but helping and complementing each other.
Letters of Helena Roerich I, 24 June 1930
9.Again I must write and ask you to pay double attention to everything that was said regarding responsibility. We are looking forward to a time when the correct comprehension of this idea will be assimilated by the human consciousness, and only then will commence true, successful, creative work. I have already written many times that responsibility is correctly understood only by those who manifest in their daily lives the greatest cooperation. Each one who is in charge of a certain department has a personal responsibility for its creative fulfillment. However, every director must understand that he is but one member of a whole organization and that he must collaborate with the other members harmoniously, in order not to interfere with the normal growth of the organization and thus harm his own vital capacity. Each one, with all his attention, must guard the general development. Of course, "it is ridiculous for seven people to carry one chair," as N.K. has said, but it is necessary to discuss together where this chair should be placed, as only by general agreement will it be placed in such a way that none of the co-workers will break his nose against it.
Letters Of Helena Roerich I, 17 June 1931
10.Two sailors were shipwrecked and cast away on a desert island. Both nearly perished from hunger and terror, for they considered themselves forever cut off from the world. A ship picked them up. And later there was erected on the island a strong light-house. These same two sailors remained at the light-house, to save the other perishing ones. Now their frame of mind was altered. They were happy, directing the light of rescue and no longer feeling themselves cut off from the world. This means that realization of communion with the world and of usefulness to others completely transforms people. Work in common is a pledge of success.
11.Can there be in the community associations of women, men, and children? Assuredly there can. True associations can be formed following many categories--of age, sex, occupation, and of thought. It is necessary that such branches grow healthy; and not only should they not impede the strivings of people, but they should help each other--and this assistance should be voluntary. One should contribute to the success of each sensible act of unification. Indeed, when cooperations are of varied nature, then blossoming becomes especially possible…. Thus, above the transitory will stand out the signs of Eternity.
12.When calculations become complex and Infinity is obscured, then will be remembered anew the simplest principle; from heart to heart--such is the law of fraternity, community, fellowship.