ESOTERIC TENETS
HUMAN SHORTCOMINGS 
Material desire
by Aart Jurriaanse
Probably one of the most potent channels through which selfishness,
and therefore also evil, finds expression is through material desire. It
has its origin in the desire for satisfying the fundamental needs for
physical existence -- for food, clothing and protection. Over the ages,
with manís emotional and mental growth, and the development of
communal living, his basic demands have also grown, but these have
often been far exceeded by the exigencies of the desire life. Selfishness
as expressed by greed, or the selfish desire for an ever larger and
disproportionate share of worldly goods, coupled with a craving for
power which usually attends such urges for acquisition, has proved to
be one of the main causes of contention between men, and therefore
also between nations. As long as this desire is allowed free rein, no
peace and happiness will ever be found on Earth.
This desire must therefore be seen as one of the fundamental
weaknesses of humanity. Money is its symbol and the well known
proverb states quite rightly that ďthe love of money is the root of all
evilĒ. Human thinking and relations at practically every level of modern
social existence is mainly controlled and dominated by the power of
money. Money is but the physical manifestation of manís desire for
possessions, for material comfort, and for the equipment which forms
the basis for further production of goods and weapons for mutual
menace and destruction. This selfish desire for possessions and power
has a strangling effect on human relationships, and is pulling man into
the abyss of self-destruction.
But fortunately all this must be regarded only as a phase through which
every human being, every nation, and also humanity as a whole must
pass, until all are eventually brought to the recognition that happiness is
not to be found in material possessions, in riches or power. Luckily
there are already large numbers of human beings whose lives are no
longer ruled by the love of money, and who are realizing that there are
higher objectives to strive for. These men and women have discovered
that it is the spiritual life which really matters, and that the physical
body in which the soul temporarily happens to be incarnated is but of
passing importance, and merely serves the purpose of gaining some
particular experience, or else that there is some special duty that should
be fulfilled.
Though these men do not love money, they will still need it for the
work that has to be done; they have been caught up in a system where
money has become the symbol of creative energy, and has thus become
an essential part of existence. So they too will have to earn sufficient to
pay for their needs, and above that for the work that has to be
accomplished on behalf of humanity. But they will not cherish the
desire for more money or possessions over and above their minimum
requirements -- they abhor money for power, or to pamper artificial
needs of luxury; money to waste on voluptuous and sensual pleasures,
whilst their brothers are dying of misery and starvation! What the
world needs is a total reassessment of values.
When considering the history of human development, it becomes
obvious, however, that desire should not be regarded purely from its
negative aspects. It is desire in its many facets of expression which has
served to drive man along his evolutionary path, constantly shifting
from one planned satisfaction to the next, until the stage is reached
when the desire for the material is transmuted into aspiration and a
yearning for the spiritual life and for serving his fellow man.
Personal ambition
Ever remain on watch for inclinations towards personal ambition -- the
striving for public recognition and self-glorification, which is an
inherent quality of every developing human being. Ambition for power,
position and status is but another expression of self-centredness, and is
closely related to arrogance. It must unavoidably lead to competition
with others displaying similar tendencies, and invariably results in all
kinds of unsavoury practices to outwit and get the better of all
opposition. It causes strife on various levels and as a rule only ends in
disappointment and frustration. Ambitious striving is essentially based
on glamour and illusion, so often leading to disenchantment when the
contender eventually achieves his objective, only to find his attainment
to be an empty shell.
As a rule the striver will continue on his path of conquest until he
becomes aware of the futility of all attainments which only gratify the
desires of the personality, and that ultimately all that matters are those
spiritual aspects giving expression to the presence of the soul. The
recognition of these lessons may, however, be delayed till later
incarnations. For each and every individual the life must inevitably
dawn when he will become aware of the existence of higher values,
thus gaining his first vision of the Path of Light.
Even the well intentioned disciple is sometimes caught up in the snares
of ambition; in his aspiration to serve, potent forces may be generated
and in some instances these may serve to fan into flame latent seeds of
ambition, which may then beglamour him and temporarily divert him
from the path he intended following. The true server should take his
eyes off his own accomplishments, except perhaps to use them as
stepping stones to even greater achievements in his service of humanity
and the Plan.
In fulfilling his part in the greater work, whether large or small, the
disciple should therefore forget about himself as the personality, only
striving to encompass to the best of his ability what is demanded of him
under the circumstances in which he has been placed. During this
process he should ever retain his humility and sense of proportion,
irrespective of the results that are achieved.
Pride
Often even well advanced disciples have to fight against an exhibition
of self-satisfaction and the glamour of pride when some task has been
satisfactorily completed, or a difficult objective has been attained. He
should always remain on the lookout not to be serving himself instead
of humanity. In this respect he might be able to mislead others, but
never his own soul!

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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