The first rule says:
The Road is trodden in the full light of day, thrown upon the Path by Those Who know and lead. Naught can then be hidden, and at each turn, a man must face himself.
At every turn a disciple makes - in order to serve - he or she faces their own shadow cast by the light from those ahead on the Path. This shadow is the obstruction to the Light resulting from the imperfections in the disciple’s own service expression. Perhaps this shadow-casting is the reason why service is said to be the way of advancement. No clearer way of seeing one’s own faults could exist.
However, it is said that if "one proceeds with one’s face permanently to the light, one is blinded to the affairs of man, and to the affairs of the lower threefold man." Service becomes impossible. The Road is trodden in the full light of day. The road is clear if the disciple’s eye is open. The light radiating from those ahead is a beacon to those following.
"Naught can then be hidden:" hidden from whom? Any senior executive in a company would assess a junior by looking mostly at the average level of achievement, rather than the individual peaks and troughs. Similarly the Masters and those ahead of us on the Path would assess our capabilities for service by the steady level of light we produce. But they are not responsible for us; we carry our own responsibility. Nothing in ourselves can be hidden from ourselves and we have to make the needed changes in ourselves. We have to become good travelling-companions of those travelling the Road with us as well as equipping ourselves with the qualities necessary to meet the challenges of the Road.
The idea of Turn brings to mind the changing orientation of the disciple as he or she treads the spiral upwards. Each point on the spiral provides a basis for comparison with the corresponding point on the spiral above and below and also to one-half turn back. Turn also recalls the movement around the astrological wheel where each sign presents a fresh angle or viewpoint, and a fresh opportunity for service. Turn implies a succession of states and a chain of cause and effect.
In one of the books this idea is presented: "A clear vision of yourself is needed, and at each turn upon the Way you have to face three realities:
- The little or lower self.
- The Dweller upon the Threshold.
- The Angel of the Presence.
Many pass much time and thus slow down their active spiritual expression by an undue interest and a too intent focussing upon the liabilities and limitations. Recognise this and then pass on."
We must learn the lessons of the past but not be stuck in the past. We must become alive to the possibilities of the future but not be blinded to the present. We serve where we stand.