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Service – Oneness – Joy


Selflessness lies at the heart of true happiness. In his booklet on this subject Dr. George King wisely stated:

You have heard many vague references to happiness coming from within. Well, we know that it must, but you have to plant it within. Strangely enough, you will not be able to plant it within while you enclose yourself in a tight little box of selfishness. You can only plant spiritual happiness within yourself by giving of yourself…

The Importance of Commemoration and Spiritual Happiness

The Divine Spark and the oneness of all life

Within us all is a Divine Spark. God is our essence. This essence exists within all things. Therefore all things – all life – is one. This realization lies at the very heart of what spirituality really means.

The greater our realization of oneness – the greater our love for all. And the greater our love for all – the greater our desire to serve.

Consider these words of the Cosmic Master known as the Master Aetherius through the unique trance mediumship of Dr. George King:

Love is an ardent belief in Oneness.

Cosmic Voice – Volume 1, December 3rd, 1955

The logic of service in the light of oneness

If everything is one, hostile competition becomes an absurdity. Just as absurd as if your right hand starts fighting your left hand. By “hostile competition” I don’t mean the kind of competition you might find in a friendly game of table tennis. I mean real competition, where one side is hell-bent on the failure of the other. Consider these words of the Cosmic Master Mars Sector 6:

Competition is foulness in its worst, most subtle aspect.

Cosmic Voice – Issue No. 22, May-June 1960, August 19th, 1959

Conversely, in the light of oneness, compassionate service becomes the only logical way to live and act – as logical as your right hand and left hand working together to help your whole being.

Oneness leads to joy and sacrifice

Realization of oneness brings joy – in fact, arguably, realization of oneness is what joy really is. But, sooner or later, the compassionate desire to serve, which inevitably accompanies this joy, will at times compel us to do things which we do not like.

For example, if you feel tremendous compassion for the homeless of Mumbai, this compassion may drive you to leave behind a comfortable life in the West and put yourself to work helping these people. While you may be genuinely happy to help them, you will still go through difficult times – times of stress, strain, and sadness at the suffering you are confronted with.

In other words, the joy of oneness will inspire you to sacrifice that joy, to some extent at least, in order to serve.


The law of karma states that action and reaction are opposite and equal. Therefore, the karmic reward for this sacrifice will be an even greater realization of oneness. This will mean greater joy. And it will also mean an even greater desire to sacrifice that joy in service. And so it goes on ad infinitum – literally to the end of time.

Now let’s look at the opposite scenario.

Consider these words of the Cosmic Master known as Jupiter 92:

In the coldness of your spiritual aloneness, oh friends, reach outwards, upwards and yet more subtly inwards for the light which burneth there…

Cosmic Voice – Issue No. 26, July-August 1962, February 2nd 1962

And, similarly these words of the Master Jesus in prayer:

Oh Mighty God, let Thy Wondrous Power flow through all the Earth children now, so that, they may be risen up. So that they may be made strong enough to overcome their grief. Oh Mighty God, let your wondrous Power flow through the minds and hearts of these dear sweet ones, now, so that this Power in Its warmth may overcome the cold of their aloneness. So that they may feel again, their affinity with Thee.

Cosmic Voice – Issue No. 25, November-December 1961, September 24th, 1961

Someone who does not realize the fact that within them is a Spark of God, and who does not realize oneness, is in a state of psychological isolation from God; a state of psychological isolation from what they really are, and from all other life. They are, in short, in a state of “grief” at this absence of “affinity” with God; they are suffering the “cold(ness)” of spiritual “aloneness” – referred to by both Masters. They are not really isolated from God, because that is impossible, since God is all; but their consciousness functions as if it is isolated from God. This apparent isolation is delusion – an aspect of maya. Or, to put it very simply: it is ignorance.

Compassionate service to others seems pointless to such a person. They feel no empathy. They seek only pleasure for themselves. This pleasure-seeking is in itself driven by the despair brought about by their apparent isolation from God. They seek to null the pain of this isolation by indulging in selfish pleasures, perhaps even to the point of cruelty. This gives them a false and temporary sense of fulfillment.

Therefore the spiritual person may experience great sadness – in the short term – as they sacrifice their joy in service. And the selfish person may experience considerable happiness – in the short term – as they indulge their basic nature. But the karmic result of selfishness will be an even greater feeling of isolation, or separation, from God. This will mean more despair, and an even greater desire to indulge in selfish pleasures. And so it goes on – until eventually the individual in question realizes the futility of it all, and turns to selfless service.

That is one of the things karma does – it reacts upon someone on a selfish path to make them eventually see that it is the wrong path to have chosen. Karma therefore is not a punisher, but a guide, and force, compelling us back to the natural order of things; the natural order of things being, of course, living and acting in the light of oneness. In Dr. King’s words:

Karma is pressure towards conformity…

Cosmic Voice – Volume 20, Spring Issue 1999

Not conformity with the ridiculous standards of “normality” upon this Earth, but conformity with natural Divine law – which has selfless service at its heart.

Do we know how close we are to God realization?

Most people will not be very conscious of their degree of “affinity” with God.

Someone inspired to great humanitarianism may have no conscious concept of oneness, or the Divine Spark within. They may even reject all notion of Divinity – on a conscious level. But deep down, although unexpressed in words, a truly committed humanitarian acts in service because this realization of Divinity – of oneness – is dawning. It could not be otherwise.

Conversely, the selfish person will almost certainly not have any inkling of their feeling of “coldness” at their psychological separation from God; it will be unconscious, or repressed to the point of unconsciousness.

What about people like you and me?

What about the average person – the person who is neither completely selfless, nor completely selfish?

The answer is that we experience both of the above scenarios, but to a lesser degree. Our compassion and service to others comes from our dim realization of oneness, and our selfishness comes from the fact that the realization is so dim. Therefore we have contrasting motivation – the desire to do good for others, and the desire to indulge our own selfishness – at the same time.

When we do good, we will probably have to make sacrifices, which might cause us some unhappiness in the short term. And when we indulge ourselves, we might feel some happiness, in the short term. Ultimately, however, according to the law of karma, selfless service will yield joy, and selfishness will yield misery – though this may take quite a while in some cases. All of God’s creation works through time – if it did not, the universe as we know it could not exist. (Ref. – The Seven Dimensions of Creation)

Service as the path to joy

As the great humanitarian Albert Schweitzer famously said:

“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.”

Just as the joy of oneness inspires us to serve, service brings as a karmic result the joy of oneness.

So the selfish person who changes, and starts being of service, will be taking a first step towards the joy of oneness. But this will come at a price. By using their energy in service, they will not be able to use that same energy in their former selfishness. So their selfish desires will go unfulfilled, causing them some distress, in the short term. They will have to persevere in this, or they will never experience spiritual joy. When the joy is attained, the selfish desires will fade. Likewise: when the selfish desires fade, joy will be attained.

Avoiding the loss of joy

Our relationship with spiritual joy is a little bit like our relationship with a girlfriend. There are three pitfalls which are sure to doom the relationship:

1) Neglect – if you neglect joy by paying more attention to selfish desire than to her, you’re in trouble.

The more a spiritual person indulges their selfish desires, the more they will alienate themselves from the joy of oneness. This is not the same as sacrificing this joy in service, because the karma will be the reverse. Sacrificing spiritual joy in service will have the karmic result of greater spiritual joy in the future. Indulging selfish desires will have the karmic result of less spiritual joy in the future.

2) Clinginess – you cannot expect to stay with joy 24/7, or you will lose her.

A spiritual person who experiences the joy of oneness cannot simply remain in this state. If they try, they will lose it.

In other words, we must use the inspiration we get from joy to motivate ourselves in service – so others can experience this same state. We should not linger in a state of joy while others suffer, because this is a failure to use this state for its correct purpose. Lingering in a state of joy for too long means that it ceases to be something truly spiritual; we are in effect taking something spiritual and turning it into a selfish indulgence.

3) Self-centeredness – you cannot expect the relationship to last if it’s all about you to the exclusion of all else.

If you serve others purely and simply in order to experience the pleasure of spiritual joy – or purely to advance yourself along the path – you will fail. Service has to be unselfish for the magic to work.

We see this idea expressed by the Ascended Master Saint Goo-Ling immediately prior to the Master Jesus delivering the Third Blessing:

Try to be so detached from surroundings that you can be a worthwhile instrument in this metaphysical and highly Spiritual Operation.

If you do this to the best of your ability, you will advance very much, even though this is not your motive. In fact—I would say not to have this as a motive.

The Twelve Blessings, August 10th, 1958

Service is greatness

Some so-called spiritual teachers advocate detachment from the suffering of others in order to focus exclusively on joy within oneself. This is illogical and ultimately doomed to failure, as discussed above. It is also downright selfish – you don’t have to be a great Master to work that out!

There are times when going within is highly beneficial – or even essential. But service has to be the priority. If it is not, we will fall from the path. In fact, if service is not the priority, in a sense we already have fallen from the path.

This is epitomized by the words of Mars Sector 6 in the Third Freedom:

One person who is rendering true Spiritual SERVICE—not self-delusion, but true Spiritual SERVICE to those who need it, is worth ten who retreat from the suffering of others in order to bring about a state of joy and peace within themselves.

This declaration do I throw into every mental realm. I would inform those aspirants, who, in total disregard of human needs, retreat into the wilderness: ‘Come you hence, for you are fools!’

SERVICE, my friends, is greatness.

Serve and be great! Nay—be everlasting.

The Nine Freedoms, February 22nd, 1961

Similarly, we are told by the Master Jesus in the Sixth Blessing that inner peace cannot be attained without service – inner peace being inextricably linked with spiritual joy:

I say unto you, man—he who in total disregard of universal suffering does search in these days for Peace, will find it not. For alas, ye are commanded even now, as ye were yesterday, to spread yourselves in sacrificial action throughout your suffering World.

The Twelve Blessings, August 31st, 1958

At the end of the Seventh Blessing the Master Jesus encourages us to find peace; he is not against peace. But that peace must be primarily, if not entirely, for the sake of service. And sooner or later it will have to be sacrificed for the sake of service:

Oh my adorable children, seek within, find Peace and then leave it. And then give it to those who have not found it—and you will be great, for you will be suffering so that others may pick the fruits of Wisdom. This is the true measure of the greatness of either man or God.

The Twelve Blessings, September 7th, 1958

Service and joy – the chicken and the egg

I would like to end with a quotation from a Transmission given by the Master Aetherius:

Be not sad, my friends, for you have nothing to be sad about. Be joyful, be full of Spiritual happiness and the fetters of your Karma will fall from you.

Cosmic Voice – Issue No. 25, November-December 1961, September 24th, 1961

On the surface this may seem strange. You might expect it to be the reverse: (serve and thereby) get rid of the fetters of your karma, and then you will joyful. But here we are told the opposite: if we are truly joyful, (we will serve, and thus) the fetters of our karma will fall from us.

It’s a bit like the chicken and the egg. Do we serve and therefore experience spiritual joy, or do we experience spiritual joy and therefore serve?

Such are the mysteries of life – but rather than theorize over subtleties that surpass our understanding, let us instead be assured of the great dual-poled truth that:

Service ultimately inspires us into a state of joy, and a state of joy ultimately inspires us into service.

About the author
Mark BennettMark 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.

All the blogposts written for are written by experienced Aetherius Society personnel and approach themes relating to the teachings, practices and ideals of the Society. However, they also contain personal opinions, insights and interpretations that are not necessarily representative of the Society as a whole, or all of its Members as individuals.

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  1. Diane Ramsden on January 24, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    Brilliant clearly explained and very uplifting, as usual from Mark.

    • Reiko Mori on January 24, 2017 at 4:56 pm

      Yes, indeed!

    • Sam Roebuck on January 25, 2017 at 3:04 pm

      Hi Diane. Fancy seeing you here. 😛

  2. Paul W White on January 24, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    Great Blog Mark and especially thoughts regarding happiness and depression put the issues in proper perspective -thank you for sharing this and which will certainly help those searching for truth.

  3. Humphrey Sherwood on January 25, 2017 at 1:37 am

    That is really inspired Mark. Thank you.

  4. Mark on January 25, 2017 at 11:50 am

    Many thanks for your positive comments!

  5. Sam Roebuck on January 25, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Thank you for this, great read. Sam X

  6. Katrina Ure on January 27, 2017 at 1:12 am

    Great blog Mark

  7. Isabel Fernandes on January 27, 2017 at 7:13 am

    “Service ultimately inspires us into a state of joy, and a state of joy ultimately inspires us into service.”

    I agree with this, for we know that, it is in giving that we receive.

    Thanks Mark!

    • Darren on January 27, 2017 at 10:54 am

      Simple words that could change the world if enough people lived by it. Thank you, Isabel!

  8. Joanna Laurence on February 4, 2017 at 6:25 am

    Thank you so much for this blog Mark, illuminating and enlightening. And thank you for all the videos you make every week. I first saw you on the Big Question one Sunday morning and then again heard of you on Radio 4 and that was my introduction to the Aetherius Society over a year ago. Since then I have not looked back and find everything I read/view inspirational.
    Thank you.

    • Darren on February 5, 2017 at 8:40 am

      Thank you, Joanna, for sharing your story. I hope that the wisdom of the Cosmic Masters and Dr. George King inspires you to live and act in the light of the truth always. Blessings, Darren

    • Mark on February 5, 2017 at 11:39 am

      Many thanks, Joanna – always good to hear people’s stories of how they first heard of the Society! Do come and visit us at one of our centres if you can:

  9. Sanjay on February 12, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    Great article.
    With these considerations may we be masters of every revolution of the (our own) karmic wheel!

  10. Sandra Jacobs on April 19, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Thankyou for this valuable and insightful discussion. The Cosmic Masters often urged us to develop peace; contact the Spark within; the All-knowledge space within; and come out and give the fruits to your bothers. In the lectures on TTB, for instance, the Master makes it clear They were urging us to gain Enlightenment.
    I want to add that on the inner Spiritual Path there are several Initiations (these are published in Tibetan Buddhism and Theosophy for example, and I was taught this by my Tibetan teachers) the first of which is Stream Entry – an inner, transmuting experience which eliminates three fetters: belief in rite and ritual, sceptical doubt and belief in the personal ego, and is an experience of being one with the “stream of life/existence”, which I personally can’t describe as I haven’t reached this stage. In the lineage, no one was allowed to teach until they had attained the First Initiation.
    I suggest this looks like the first definitive/permanent step out of the human state of isolation and absence of “affinity” with God – one that is robust and not easily overturned. In meditation under a teacher this step would be recognised; but I have heard it said (by an Anthroposophist) that it is possible to have this experience without knowing specifically what it is.
    It seems likely (or obvious?) that ordinary people who display much spirituality in their life have had this or further Initiatory experiences in past lives, even though not apparently seeking it in this life. Hopefully they are karmic yogis in this life!
    To my knowledge there are four Initiations (inner transmuting experiences) on the Path before you are ready to raise the Kundalini (under a Master). This will be what is meant by an “Initiate”, as used in the early TMs, e.g.: “It is the duty of every Initiate, who is worthy of the title, to help to push this Wedge of Light into the darkness of your man-imposed ignorance” – [The Master Aetherius, June 14 1955 in CV Vol 1 p11] This is a precursor to Adeptship which I assume is when you raise the Kundalini, opening the Chakras. I haven’t heard our Master delineate the Initiations in his teachings, which are, fairly obviously, part of concentration and contemplation – which states can take people years/decades to attain, but for him were obviously extremely basic, and I suggest he may have even attained Stream Entry in his childhood – being a 4th aspect consciousness…

    • Darren on April 22, 2017 at 9:48 am

      Hi Sandra, Thanks for a thoughtful post, as always. I am not familiar with the teachings and terminology from the lineage you reference so I can’t really comment, except to say that in my experience the simpler you make the path the more likely you are to do it. Mark pointed out to me recently that when Mars Sector 6 says “Serve – and the mighty power of kundalini will rise in natural, unforced fashion and open the chakra jewels in your higher bodies…”, He means exactly what he says…

      As an aside, in Dr. King’s commentary on The Nine Freedoms he says that an Adept is a person who can raise the kundalini fully into the throat center, and a Master is someone who can raise the kundalini fully into the Christ center.

      Many Blessings,

  11. Marian Louise Schroedl on May 19, 2018 at 10:08 am

    It seems that the teachings on this path are so designed as to assist us at exactly the time we are ready for that step.. For example, I am re-reading “The Nine Freedoms” and was just beginning the chapter on Service when I received this blog Ready or Not – you are now. This statement is both challenging and affirming. The excerpt SERVICE – ONENESS – JOY somehow came at exactly the right moment. Thank you to so many who have brought these teaching to us and who stay with us through the journey both in this dimension and from many others as well.

    • Darren on May 20, 2018 at 6:27 am

      Hi Marian,

      Yes! There is definitely a certain magic that happens when you begin to take steps forward on the path and embrace the spiritual opportunities we are all being given.

  12. Bernard Dykhouse (Bernie) on January 6, 2019 at 5:12 pm

    I am restarting my spiritual journey this year and expect that your blogs (this is my 3rd one) will provide me with inspiration and continued desire forward.

    • Darren on January 8, 2019 at 3:02 pm

      Hi Bernard,
      Thanks for writing. We are all indeed fortunate that the Cosmic Masters have given us a message which is simple, profoundly true and full of hope. We could contemplate on it for lifetimes. And we can act on it right now.

      I wish you every success on the spiritual path.

  13. Paul Smith on July 3, 2019 at 3:53 pm

    Mark, you’ve written some really great articles.

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