Wisdom of the Ages, by George A. Fuller, , at sacred-texts.com
Then spake Neontu: Oh, Master, I would seek the easier pathway. My feet are torn and bleeding, and my heart is sore from many a dagger thrust. Why labor for others to make their pathway easier while ours lies over the untrodden fields and up the steep and trackless ascents? The multitudes are but slaves that bow and kiss the hands that oppress whilst they either spurn or strike the hand outstretched to bless and assist them. Why not go on our way, as thou hast already taught, alone, and leave them to stumble along as best they may?
When Neontu ceased speaking, the Master turned toward him with a smile, and said: Oh, Neontu, how canst thou have ease of mind without freedom and self-government?
[paragraph continues] And how canst thou obtain these unless thine every duty is performed? If the smallest duty is neglected ease cannot come to thee. The man who governs himself is the one who is willing to forego much of the so-called pleasure of the world provided that thereby his life may prove a blessing unto others. No man is self-centred and consequently self-governed unless he heeds every dictate of the soul. The soul speaks not merely for the one, but for the all.
No man can afford to have plenty while poverty is all about him, neither can a man afford to be negatively good and pure because he keeps himself away from all that is unclean and impure. The pure can touch and handle the impure and unclean and not be polluted thereby. Thou mayst infuse the best qualities of thy life into those who are impure and unclean, and thus be able to lead them step by
step away from all that impedes the upward journey of the soul.
Can thy soul be at ease in any other walk of life than that which it prompts thee to take? Certainly, I did say, thou must blaze out thine own path, but whilst thou art doing that, nothing hinders thee from becoming a light unto others. Thou mayst lead them to a knowledge of self. Thou mayst lift the clouds that hang over them, and reveal the fire that burns forever on the altars of their souls. Thou canst not make the path for their feet to walk in, neither canst thou compel them to walk in any especial path. Thou mayst show them a more excellent way and thus become a means that leads to their advancement.
In the doing of good and also the leading of others to do good, thou wilt find ease thou canst not find, search as thou wilt, in any other way.
Thy feet torn and bleeding! If thou findest thy rightful path thy feet will not longer press upon thorns and jagged stones. If thou art only self-centred and self-governed, the poison arrows of malice and envy will no longer pierce thy heart. Thou art too firmly centred in thine own selfish desires to rise to those altitudes where malice and envy can harm thee no longer. Do the good and right not because thou expectest to be rewarded for thy services with the smiles and kindly words of the recipient, but because the doing of the good and right brings its own reward in the satisfaction it causes to permeate thy whole being. Stop not to think what others may say or do, for thou canst never find valid excuse for doing wrong in the thought that the multitudes love that which is evil.
Rise, oh, Neontu, to that sublime height
of the soul where thou wilt no longer feel the waves of contention and strife rolling over thee, but by thee and around thee and through thee shall sweep the breath of Omn on its eternal way, bearing the message of peace and love to all souls who have conquered the lower nature and have attained the freedom that is that of the self-governed.