ESOTERIC TENETS
HUMAN SHORTCOMINGS (5):
Irritation and fanaticism
by Aart Jurriaanse
A momentís thought will bring the student to the recognition that
irritation is purely a reaction of the emotional body -- evoked by
friction of some kind. The degree to which the disciple still exhibits
irritability will therefore be an indication of the extent to which the
astral body still retains control.
Irritability is exemplified by explosive tempers, hasty words and
actions, by criticism and misunderstandings, and every effort should
therefore be made to gain control over the emotions -- without such
control very little progress can be made along the Path. It must also be
obvious that irritation must have a decidedly adverse influence on
manís relationships, and will automatically disqualify him for
harmonious group work, as irritability also has a contagious or
reciprocal effect. Such a man is therefore also irresponsible and cannot
yet be used as a dependable instrument in the hands of the Masters.
This disease -- for that is what irritability amounts to -- can only be
ended by a close guard over the emotions, and by focusing the life in
the head and heart.
A clear distinction should be drawn between irritability and mental
sensitivity. Where irritability refers to emotional reaction, mental
sensitivity refers to the reactions of the mind, and more particularly to
subjective impressions and influences as registered through the etheric
vehicle. Consequently, as the disciple evolves, so his irritability will
decrease, to be replaced by a corresponding increase in sensitivity to
impressions from higher spheres.
Fanaticism
Disciples in training should always guard against any trend towards
fanaticism, which indicates imbalance and is therefore most
undesirable in whatever form it is evinced.
Although the fanatic may not be aware of it, he usually is a bewildered
man entertaining some potent idea, but not yet knowing where and how
to integrate it into its correct relation to other life circumstances. The
mind of man is constantly subjected to a phantasmagoria of thought-forms,
and to retain some sense of reality and discrimination it is
essential that a proper sense of balance and perspective be preserved.
The outlook should never be allowed to become limited and warped by
focusing the attention too rigidly on only a single narrow line of
thought, and leaving the many related aspects out of consideration.
Therefore ever remain open to new visions and ideas, and be prepared
to try fresh approaches. When brighter light has been procured, and
after all relevant facts have been duly considered, do not hesitate to
discard that which has served its purpose and become redundant, and
then to supersede and amplify it with something better and more
comprehensive.
A devoted fanatic may cherish high ideals, but owing to his unbalanced
and narrow outlook, which often leads to irresponsible and intolerant
action and separativeness, such a man cannot be used by the Masters
as a dependable instrument for service. A fanatical approach to any
subject, whether basically considered good or bad, is always
dangerous, for such a person can only see one side of a question and
finds it impossible to appreciate other points of view. Although
originally the fanatic might have been motivated by high ideals, his
approach lacks realism and discrimination by rushing after some half-formed
version of the truth.
Many of the reactionary groups which are so typical of present day
world conditions, have founded their premises on principles of the
highest integrity but, owing to their limited vision, they have
degenerated into merely idealistic fanaticists who may end by doing
more harm than good.

Aart Jurriaanse, wrote a number of compilations from the books of Alice A. Bailey. Among these are: Of Life and other worlds; Prophecies; Ponder on this; Serving Humanity; The Soul; The Quality of Life; and he is also the author of Bridges which is a Commentary on these teachings.   

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"Love is an active force which transforms. Love which does not act is hardly love at all. Love in action is the essence of love. It is an ability to love the world and all that is in it which is the capacity of Maitreya. The deepest desire of the heart of the One who can do that is to unify all. He looks into the world and sees 5.6 billion people: suffering, striving, competing, all the different actions, some positive, some deeply negative. He sees all of that and His urge, His deepest desire, the outflow of His spiritual heart's need, is to bring all of that together, to unify it all." Benjamin Creme, in Maitreya's Mission Vol. III


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