How many times have you said to yourself when struggling with life’s problems: “Why can’t we just change?”…“Why does the world have to continue on this way” Thousands of years of human history and we still seem to be making the same old mistakes of warfare, exploitation, and now global climate change brought on by our inability to live more harmoniously with Nature. At an individual level we may on occasion ask ourselves this question as we inevitably stumble and fall along the spiritual Path. Then the more immediate question comes, “Why can’t we change?”

Both individually, and collectively as the human family, we are deeply conditioned psychologically by our past habits and have built ‘mental prisons’ from which we are reluctant to escape! We are comfortable in our ‘misery’ and don’t really want to take the necessary steps towards breaking the ‘moulds of mind’ to find a more harmonious life. As spiritual seekers we can spend a lot of time talking about spiritual awareness, but are we prepared to make the necessary changes in our lives to make it a reality for us?

This dilemma is a bit like a man standing outside a restaurant reading the menu and saying how nice it would be to eat the food. The only way to find out what the food is like is to go in and eat it!

Place yourself in the ‘spiritual shoes’ of the man standing outside the restaurant window.  Are we ready to enter the restaurant and order? Do we really want to make the changes that are necessary for the ‘spiritual life’? We are told by theosophical teachers that human beings have free will and the power of conscious choice. Further, they tell us that there is an open doorway at anytime we decide to start the long journey to the next level of higher spiritual awareness. In theosophical terms this doorway is the gateway to the ‘Dhyan-Chohanic kingdom for those who can make the grade, or as Katherine Tingley titled one of her books, ‘The Gods Await’. We are told by our theosophical Leaders that any man or woman who would undertake to ‘Live the Life’ can eventually pass through that door, which is the ‘Ring-Pass-Not’ for most people because we simply chose not to do it!                            

Being aware that the door to the ‘restaurant’ is always open, how do we make a start towards qualifying ourselves to enter and eat? Our former Leader James A. Long made the following illuminating comments on taking this momentous decision based on his own life experience which perhaps we theosophical students should consider each in our own way:

“…What is theosophy anyway? We have heard various attempts at definition, and it actually cannot be defined. But I like to consider theosophy as a system of character building. I have thought of it as that for a number of years. And the first time I thought of it as such was immediately after I had struggled and struggled with what I had filed in my mind to solve the problems of my life, and suddenly realized that I had to face myself and use something other than those facts that I had filed away…I faced myself and assumed the full responsibility of my circumstances and made that determination — and then the gods did stoop down to help, at unexpected times, through unexpected persons, and in unexpected ways. It is a beautiful experience. It was then that I realized what theosophy was to me. It was a system of character building, with a purpose — not that I might be a better man so that I could say, I am better than this fellow or that or some other fellow, but a better man and thus better qualified to serve my fellowmen….” – James A. Long – European Tour – 1951 – Munich.

 “It is the duty of every [person] who is capable of an unselfish impulse to do something, however little, for humanity’s welfare.” – Mahatma Letter no. 15