Christmas is a season when a lot of people start talking about the importance of kindness. But what really is kindness – and is kindness enough to change the world?
If you google “kindness” you will see the definition: “friendly, generous, considerate.” When I hear the word “kind”, I picture the smiling face of an honest person – let’s call him Bob – perhaps putting some change into a charity collection box, or picking up his neighbor’s kids from school. Someone who is giving, trustworthy and good-natured.
In other words, someone who goes out of their way to help others without wanting anything back in payment. But on a small scale.
If someone – let’s call him Patrick – sold a luxury property and moved into a small house, donating all the surplus money from the sale to a worthy charity – I wouldn’t use the word “kind”, I would say something like “outstandingly generous virtually to the point of sainthood.”
Bob is kind, but may not be anything like as generous as Patrick. And conversely Patrick may not be kind – at least not on a personal level. He may be stingy with Christmas presents and refuse to do even the simplest of favors for his closest friends and relatives. He may be unfriendly and far less pleasant to be around than Bob, but nevertheless he has demonstrated a degree of spirituality vastly outshining anything that Bob has ever dreamt of doing.
A world in which more people were kind like Bob would definitely be a much nicer world. But the fundamental problems of this plane of existence would still exist. Kindness, as defined above, will not eradicate poverty and will not stop war. It will help – but it is not enough. A dollar or two in a collection box, and a few favors for friends and relatives, cannot possibly be enough to really change the world.
Why? Because Bob, at the end of the day, however nice he is on a personal level, is still fundamentally selfish. Even when he looks after his friends and family – the motive is still essentially his own well-being. He looks after them because he likes them; because he wants them in his life; because he wants their happiness to reflect on him. Naturally looking after those dependent on us is a duty which none of us should shirk, but it is not enough to bring about a fundamental and lasting change to the world as a whole.
Perhaps if literally everyone on Earth were a Bob, the world really would change. But – let’s face it: that isn’t going to happen. A huge proportion of the world’s population is nowhere near as good as Bob.
This being the case, the few Bobs that there are, are going to make little difference to the numerous serious problems which much of the human race on Earth currently faces – dire poverty, wars, unnecessary disease, political tyranny etc.
It is the Patricks of this world who are the heroes of our time – who virtually give their all to help others, at great personal cost. This is real compassion. These are the people who will help to bring about a spiritual revolution – a revolution of peace – upon Earth.
Towards the end of the Fourth Freedom, Mars Sector 6 says this:
The Freedom – ENLIGHTENMENT, is the fruit which can be cultivated in the Spiritual garden of terrestrial man – if he tends it with sufficient care, sufficient kindness, sufficient patience, sufficient tolerance. If he tends it with intelligence; if he tends it by manipulating his Karmic pattern through the right Service, this will grow, blossom and will bear all fruits.
So kindness is definitely on the “to do” list of the path to enlightenment, but it is only one of several things – of which Mars Sector 6 saves the most important until last: “the right service” – which entails personal sacrifice for the sake of the whole world, not just the people you like, as revealed in the words below.
Mars Sector 6:
Judge a man by results.
Judge a man by his detachment.
Judge a man by his love for all.
Judge a man by his acceptance and knowledge of Oneness.
Judge a man by his wisdom.
Judge a man by his Cosmic logic.
Judge a man by his sacrifice – not for himself, not for his wife, not for his family – but for the whole world, YOUR world.
At the end of the Ninth Blessing, the tone of the Master Jesus is rather different. He says this:
Be good, be tolerant, be kind, be merciful, be gentle, be humble and you will be great. Then you will be helping the Sacred Ones…
The “Sacred Ones” refers to the Supreme Lords of Karma – great Cosmic Gods far above our conception, never mind our appreciation. And yet, by being good, tolerant, kind, merciful, gentle, and humble, we can actually help them. What an amazingly inspiring thought!
The question, though, at this point is: what does the Master Jesus mean by being kind? It is safe to deduce that he certainly doesn’t mean that it is enough to be like Bob. His teachings go way beyond the Bob-level of generosity. Here’s an example from the Third Blessing of the themes of complete sacrifice and impersonal, unconditional love:
These Ones possess naught—for they have given it ALL to their brothers.
They can love not themselves, for they have given the very seed of their hearts to those whose hearts are empty. Whose hearts yearn to be filled.
They can think naught of their own Salvation, for even this, these great Ones, these Holy Ones, these Everlasting Ones, have cast at the feet of God.
They have taken from their bowed heads their Crowns of Triumph, their Crowns of Achievement and cast these in Holy sacrifice at the root of the Throne of their own Salvation.
Thrice Blessed—aye and seven times Blessed—and seven again—are these Ones, for such sacrifice as this can only come from the hearts of the Cosmic
They love not any man—because they love ALL.
One of the most interesting statements of all about kindness is the following quotation from a Transmission given by The Master Aetherius on August 22nd, 1964:
Let me make this plain, please, and I now speak to humanitarians and students of Truth: if you devote your life in the service of mankind, if you devote your life to the Masters so that you may be used as a tool to help mankind, you are only performing your ordinary duty. You are not being kind. Such an action as this is purely your duty before yourself, your soul, your Spirit, and your Maker.
Devoting our lives to the Masters to help mankind is nothing more than our “ordinary duty”. This is a disturbing thought to most of us, if we are really honest with ourselves; but a concept as inescapable in its logic, as it is profound in its importance.
To the Master Aetherius, a man like Bob doesn’t even come close to being kind, in fact nor even does Patrick.
The fact that my first instinct in describing kindness as being “friendly, generous and considerate” on a small scale – says more about me than it does about kindness. It is very revealing about the way I, as an ignorant terrestrial, think about things – compared to how a great Master like Aetherius thinks about things. To the Master Aetherius, complete dedication to humanitarianism is the minimum – the lowest level of the ladder – for any decent sentient being. Being kind – is something above that.
This in turn could make us re-evaluate what Mars Sector 6 and the Master Jesus may have meant by being “kind”, as per the quotations above.
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In conclusion, I will try to answer the question: “Is kindness enough?”
As far as normal terrestrial conceptions of kindness are concerned the answer is definitely: no – kindness is not enough; it is better than nothing, but it is not enough.
It is not enough to be a Bob. And in fact to the Master Aetherius a man like Bob is not kind – on the contrary, he is a man who is not even performing his “ordinary duty”.
This outstanding teaching gives us the opportunity to raise the bar of our understanding of what kindness really is; to see it as a stage above even dedicating our whole lives to humanitarianism; to see it, in its highest sense, as the ultimate path to evolving to God-consciousness.
As we, flawed and self-centered beings that we are, struggle even to perform our basic duty, let us marvel – in loving, reverent awe – at the Cosmic Masters to whom kindness is something so great that to us it is literally an alien concept! And yet, a concept which one day each and every one of us will fully understand – and truly live.
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About the author
Mark Bennett is the co-author of two books, both of which he wrote with international bestselling author Richard Lawrence, namely Prayer Energy and Gods, Guides and Guardian Angels, which was voted “best book on spirituality 2007” by readers of Kindred Spirit magazine. He is the youngest International Director of The Aetherius Society, whose teachings he chose as his spiritual path at an early age.