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Good Will in Action, No. 12: Cooperation

Problems as Messages

More and more people sense the inner unity of all life, and the urge increases to cooperate with others. We learn to cooperate in partnership and family, in the daily work, through collaboration in an association, a social, religious or political organisation. The contributions to cooperation cannot be measured only in money, they can also be of physical, psychical or mental nature. We cooperate with others in a large number of ways and in this way train ourselves to harmonize ourselves with the surrounding and with subtler activities.

Often however conflicts interfere in the cooperation. We have presumptions about what others do or think about us and let us get influenced by this. There is friction with people with whom we disagree and who are unpleasant for us. Expectations in our children and friends suffer disappointments. Problems with a partner who doesn’t cooperate make home a hell. Normally we tend to see the causes for our problems in others, but the problems are in ourselves. We have excellent mechanisms to attract the problems. Thus in the outer life-mate a problem is reflected we have with our inner life-mate: The partner who doesn’t cooperate and doesn’t go with us is a message that in ourselves the cooperation between personality and soul doesn’t function, for from a higher point of view the personality is the wife of the soul. You can divorce from the outer mate, but personality and soul are not separable from each other. Without the personality the soul can’t do anything. We have to settle the differences so that we don’t live continuously in a fight with ourselves.

Friendly Relations

A friendly relation has to be established between soul, mind and body, because friendliness is the basis for a good cooperation. Where there is authority, there is hidden working behind the back. The soul loves freedom and doesn’t want to be under dictates. The personality needs certain things, the soul needs others. If we try to lead an austere, monastic life, the personality opposes. It is not an enemy, but it wants to help us. However, we cannot withhold everything from it and say: “But you must do work for the soul!” Then the personality says: “Thank you, good-bye!” We also have to be friendly with our body, feelings and thoughts, then they cooperate with us. A good relation is the result of giving and taking.

We build up a friendship by making compromises and making agreements. We should give the personality what it needs – now and then also “sweets”, otherwise we get into a “monastic monotony” as Master Morya calls it. The body is like the younger brother, who cannot decide on the program of the elder one, but who can be won over to cooperation by friendliness. If we don’t use the body correctly, it causes us problems in form of discomfort, diseases, decay and death. However, even the diseases wait and cooperate with us, when we work for the purpose of life: They are delayed until the hour strikes. This is a truth each spiritual disciple should know. However, we shouldn’t aim at perfect health, for it doesn’t exist. Even healthy people have ailments, in the form of sorrow, anxiety or pride. These are worse than discomfort on the physical plane.

When soul and personality cooperate well, this leads to a cooperative behaviour towards others and to a loving understanding of their problems. Friendliness and love create trust, which is the prerequisite for a good cooperation. We cannot demand cooperation, if we ask for it, it won’t come. At first we must cooperate well with others, without waiting for their cooperation. The best way to gain the cooperation of others is to support others before you expect cooperation from their part. To wait until we find people who collaborate with us, is a weak will. The life of the great ones shows that they followed the divine Will and didn’t rely on something outer to manifest their work. They carried out their work, and people joined to help, like water joins on the way of a river. Through this kind of self-rule you become magnetic, in order to gather from objectivity what is needed for the work.

Friction and Rounding-Off

There are always people gathering around a disciple with whom he doesn’t agree, so that friction and rounding-off can take place. It is a paradox when we have serious difficulties among ourselves in groups of good will. The Master thinks: “These children!”, but he doesn’t condemn our behaviour, because he has compassion with us. In the garden of the Master all are welcome, nobody is turned back. He sees the One in all that he comes across, even in every strange behaviour. We may agree with the behaviour of another or not, but we can agree with the One in the inner of the other. That means we meet the soul in the other and don’t burden ourselves with his personality. Master E.K. used to say: “The group is the master. Don’t do anything that conflicts with the interest of the group.” Otherwise you are liable to fall out of the group.

A group of disciples isn’t obliged to do the same kind of work and in the same manner. They have committed themselves to work under the inspiration of their souls, and this is strengthened through the contact with the master and among each other. They are connected with each other through similarity of their vision and vibration, through mutual respect and above all through complete freedom. The master doesn’t say: “Do this or that”. The disciple has to realize through reflection where his cooperation is needed and thus the Plan develops. For this work complete freedom of criticism is needed. Criticism destroys cordiality, silent non-cooperation undermines the bases for common service. We therefore have to learn to be cautious with criticism and opinions about others. It needs also a reasonable measure of flexibility so that a natural cooperation in freedom and cordiality can come about in a voluntary community. With friendliness things can be done much faster and better.

Cooperation with the Devas

Energy is streaming in acts of good will. Devotion and enthusiasm at service keep us in a state of flux and multiply the impact. In every service for the greater whole we receive inspiration and guidance through the masters of wisdom and the devas, the subtle intelligences of Nature. The devas are pleased to cooperate with us for the Plan. We might not be able to perceive what happens behind the curtain, but when we are conscious of the spontaneous cooperation, their blessing is increased. If however we think that the energies come out of ourselves and we develop pride, we fall out of the presence and deviate from the path. The awareness of the presence enlivens the cooperation with all that surrounds us and gives fulfilment to our lives.

Sources used: K.P. Kumar: Saraswathi – The Word / seminar notes. E. Krishnamacharya: The Book of Rituals / Music of the Soul. The World Teacher Trust / Dhanishta, Visakhapatnam, India (