The Rules of the Road; V

The fifth rule says:
"Each Pilgrim on the Road must carry with him what he needs: a pot of fire, to warm his fellowmen; a lamp, to cast its rays upon his heart and show his fellowmen the nature of his hidden life; a purse of gold, which he scatters not upon the Road but shares with others; a sealed vase, wherein he carries all his aspiration to cast before the feet of Him Who waits to greet him at the gate-a sealed vase."

 

Rules 1,2 and 3 can be looked at as general statements about the environment of the Road and the relationship between the travellers on the Path. Rule 4 looks at certain hindrances or difficulties of character which the disciple has to eliminate before much progress can be made. Rule 5 looks at certain positive qualities which the pilgrim on the Road must cultivate. The rule does not say that these qualities are for the pilgrim’s own benefit but rather that they are to benefit others on the Road.

What are these qualities?

"A pot of fire, to warm his fellowmen." How do we warm people? We can make fiery speeches which inflame them with passion to do something but is this what is indicated? The last part seems to show that it is not - "a sealed vase, wherein he carries all his aspiration, ... , a sealed vase." It is not required that we try to convert everyone to our particular way of thinking or walking on the Path. It is not even required that we warm ourselves with our aspiration, that curious mixture of personality longings and hopes. We must lose sight of ourselves in the greater need.
So what might be this pot of fire? The idea of a reservoir or inner store comes to mind. This store is of inspiration from higher levels. There are three ways in which energy is transferred; radiation, conduction and convection. The sun is the obvious example of radiation, the energy passing through apparently empty space to warm us; in the same way, the soul as the reflection of the spirit within us radiates and warms our fellow-travellers. Conduction is the passage of energy through a non-circulating medium. An example here might be the transmission of energy throughout an aligned group at the time of the full moon. We are all familiar with convection in the form of the convection heaters in our houses. Here, the energy is transferred to air molecules which circulate and spread the energy. Disciples also act in the same way, taking the energy from the full moon alignment for example and then spreading this energy through service. Joy is a soul quality and reflects itself in happiness. Joy is certainly part of the pot of fire.

"A lamp, to cast its rays upon his heart and show his fellowmen the nature of his hidden life." This is how the hidden is revealed; the Pilgrim allows and assists a complete disclosure of all the qualities brought to the Path, the good and the bad, the developed and those so far undeveloped, the strengths and the weaknesses. Each of us has certain ray energies which condition our various bodies; these present certain opportunities for service but will also indicate that certain lines of work are not for us. A true awareness of the energies available allows groups to come together and perform useful work in service. The aspirant becomes a lamp and illumines the way for others. Only in this way can the light within be fanned to a flame and be used to light the aspirant’s own path. The lamp emits the rays of mental light to illuminate all humanity and is therefore the channel for the world soul.

"A purse of gold, which he scatters not upon the Road but shares with others." Our responsibility covers all energies with which we come into contact, including one of the most concrete - money. Scattering means that we are not looking at the complete chain of energy distribution, we are just getting rid of what we have. Scattering means that while some of the energy of money might end up assisting useful service, some will certainly end up assisting wrong actions or promoting wrong causes. It is very easy to give 50 kroner to every cause which is put in front of us; it is hard to say no, I only support a certain carefully chosen number of causes. It is even harder to choose the best ways of using this money energy from the many good ways possible. We are to share with others - this might be to share money but it might also be to share responsibility for ensuring that needed work is done, including the financial aspect. The will which drives the movement of money is more important than the money itself. The Bible has a story which shows this, the widow’s small coin was worth spiritually more than the gold pieces of the rich.

Finally, "a sealed vase, wherein he carries all his aspiration to cast before the feet of Him Who waits to greet him at the gate-a sealed vase." And magically, when the aspiration has been carried to the gate in the sealed vase, it is found to have been transformed. It is no longer composed of a mass of emotional and mental longings but is now redeemed substance. It can safely be released. We have done our small part in the lifting of matter, that matter particularly associated with us. We can now be trusted to work in deeper ways since we have demonstrated that we can work safely with our fellow disciples.