Virtue in Action

Dara Eklund – USA

Theosophy DE 2 419

Dara Eklund, beautifully dressed, giving a talk during a meeting of International Theosophy Conferences at Olcott in Wheaton (2012) 

Any action, the thought which ignites it and the motive which fires the thought, are bound up with the Actor. True virtue lies in transforming the inner nature and that nature is the causative factor. If a man wishes to establish true character, it is the inner nature which he must rejuvenate first. The virtues of harmlessness and contentment, for instance, are engendered spontaneously by the man of few desires. The GITA states (in chapter five):

The Lord of the world creates neither the faculty of acting, nor actions, nor the connection between action and its fruits; but nature prevaileth in these. The Lord receives no man's deeds, be they sinful or full of merit.

The body certainly feels the results of our actions. The feelings too, in terms of pleasure, boredom, or pain. Yet above these reactions to acute and limited conditions, the Mind, as that which envisions wide realms of thought, can free us. If we don't bind down the thoughts by giving way to regret, anxiety, ambition or envy, they may become our airy messengers, lit up from within.

How do we go about it, since regret, anxiety, ambition or envy seem to be mentally charged by our thoughts of the past? Perhaps we could think of these tendencies as energies set in motion once, maybe many times by the chooser within. They seem to rise up as patterns of behavior terrible to transform, because formerly inspired by US, given OUR power. But that was Strong Will, blinded by desire, not Free will.

In an interesting discussion of this on p. 40 of THE OCCULT WAY, P.G. Bowen quotes, "Strong Will Achieves conquest through conflict, but Free Will remains at peace in a stronghold that cannot be assailed."

We must then change the current. The will call become FREE in proportion that it works with a Divine Harmony which proceeds regardless of human foibles, and is recognized Karmically by all impersonal poise in meeting all the events of daily life. We might change regret for courage, saying, "This is my own come back to me. The law is expressing itself in my personal Karma, let the debt be paid."

Anxiety might be conquered by asserting: "the causes have been set in motion, the law will handle the result. I may not be wise enough to foresee those results, but I call be the observer and learn how 'nature prevaileth in these'."

Ambition is more subtle. Only a childlike heart call be wrapped in sweet inspiration and aspire harmlessly by guarding the mind from the intrusion of all the world holds dear. The aspiration to truth shall make us fearless enough to withstand any circumstances, full-knowing that Truth may at times need us to step aside and "let the best man win." And envy, the most dire of all, blights the lower mind and throws up to shadow even the sincere aspirant -- how do we still its voice? By the realization that all life, that each man, serves a purpose.

The so-called "little" wills of men reflect lack of vigilance, a sad groan of nature needing intelligent direction. They seem to combat for attention, and we, tossed in the sea of life, are influenced by these currents. This is the time to board a raft, to skim over these grim qualities, with a mind made content through charitable and generous actions, seeding the tide with truthful words to gentle the anxieties of another towards us. How can another combat with us if there is no combative spirit in us?

True virtue lies in returning to our root-nature, ever free from pride, attachment and longing. Intuition is awakened at the root of Life and bonds of sympathy align us with all men. Linked with Universal Mind we cannot but act by our highest principles, for that is the only Nature through which they can be expressed.

Some philosophers define virtue as wisdom or balance in action. This wisdom wells up in a heart eager to serve humanity. In time the love which inspires such a desire is schooled not to rush in where another's duty lies. He may at times need to sacrifice the desire to help, even stand aside and watch suffering take its course. Never must he hasten the orderly process of growth. If his duties are already plainly laid out, his virtuous way is to attend to those lying nearest him.

Why restate these old truths? Because man needs them still.

An ancient Chinese scripture rendered by Manly P. Hall in THE QUIET WAY teaches the following:

Those who live the Quiet Way should benefit all peoples, and the word ALL implies both the many and the one. To serve all peoples is a glorious career, but to serve one person may have the appearance of drudgery. Heaven in its wisdom has provided to each the privilege of service. To some is given the opportunity to serve many, and to others the opportunity to serve a few. Yet the quality of service is the same. Those who serve a few wisely and lovingly earn for themselves a larger opportunity and a greater responsibility. This does not mean, however, that we advance from one to many; rather that we enlarge the one into many. If we obey heaven, we shall never be impelled to serve so many that it is necessary for us to neglect the few. Public service does not relieve us from private duty. Heaven is not so concerned with all its creatures that it neglects the least of them. In the Quiet Way we extend our consciousness so that it becomes more and more inclusive. No matter how many it includes, it never excludes.

True Virtue is the Quiet Way.

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