Human beings are complex. One can describe them as having a body, a mind and a spirit, all of which have to be cared for and none of which can afford to be neglected without a resultant disharmony which expresses itself as suffering in the individual and unrest in Society.
“Doing good” in common parlance unfortunately refers only to the physical and, to a lesser extent, the mental planes. It is interpreted as feeding the hungry, tending the sick and pouring motherly oil on psychologically troubled waters. The mental upliftment, the spiritual education of fellow men, which ultimately is what proves to be of real and lasting value, is ignored—to their detriment. That is the first point. .
To do real good involves high ethical and spiritual attainment on the part of the benefactor. Without knowing how their actions are really going to turn out, many well-meaning philanthropists even do a lot of harm. To be a first-class doctor means to possess a large body of detailed knowledge and experience. No one is cured by a tyro, however well-meaning. C. G. Jung stresses that a psychiatrist can only bring the patient to his own level of wholeness and well-being and no further. The second point is therefore that the benefactor’s first duty in the interests of all is his own self-improvement. The measure of his help to others, which amounts to sharing with them useful knowledge which they do not already possess, will be in direct proportion to what he has himself acquired by study and effort.
An important and obvious result of this is that the most effective way of helping others is not rushing around holding their hands and generally being “sociable”. On the contrary, to be for ever talking is a luxury, an uneconomical use of time and energy. The great benefactors in science, art and literature, have not dissipated their strength in this way, but have produced their masterpieces for the good of all from the silence of their laboratories and studios. The brilliant conversationalists of the salons have left us nothing.
It is better mentally to wish everyone well, than physically to hand them gifts. Presents are sometimes given in expectation of future reward or in order to flatter. The existence of telepathy has been established, and it is certain that mental goodwill projected consciously will benefit the recipients. This is all the more true on the spiritual plane, where consciously directed and methodical prayer is the most powerful and transformative force. Many individuals owe their ethical and spiritual progress to the prayers of others. St. Augustine is a case in point.
Materialists scoff at the ascetics, saints and monks who live apart, on the grounds that they escape from the world and do not share its burdens. How little they realise what they owe to the spiritual waves of light emitted by the saints by which the whole fabric of society is sustained. In fact the saints, unseen and unsung, are they who alone really benefit Society. Occasionally one will speak, recalling the spiritual goal to which the spinning universe is tending and proclaiming again the age-old methods to be adopted by men on their way to enlightenment. Attacked, sneered at or ignored, they continue to bless all.
Lo! Here am I, and thou lookest on the rose !—Jami
The Lord is seated in the hearts of all-Git ,
The true sage keeps his knowledge within him, while men in general set forth theirs in argument, in order to convince each other.—Chuang Tze
The true lover of God is he that rests in naughty and bestows on none other more than a thought, from the moment he sets forth to seek until he hath found what he sought—Mansur Hallaj
Beloved, let us love one another : for love is of God; and everyone that loveth is begotten of God> and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.—St. John