If we think of responsibility from a soul or more spiritual angle, then we realise that we have spiritual as well as personal responsibilities. Meeting our personal responsibilities to family is, of course, most necessary and apart from the original instinct it is more prominent amongst the more developed of our brothers. Christ said: “Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven and all these things shall be added on to you” our personal responsibilities and duties can work out rightly when they are in or under the larger perspective of our group or soul responsibilities.
This is where wisdom comes in and a realisation of dharma or duty. Responsibility is one of the key words that we all should reflect upon. It involves also the recognition of karma and relates to the right use of time.
One’s spiritual responsibility is, curiously enough, usually the last to be recognised, and action taken on that responsibility is usually slow. Yet, in the last analysis, it is by far the most important, for one’s spiritual influences can be lasting and can carry with it releasing power to those we love, whereas the other responsibilities, being those of personality relationship, always carry with them glamour and that which is not of the kingdom of spirit.
When the disciple starts to see the big picture and realises his role in it, his capacity for love, responsibility and duty starts to increase.
Man’s responsibility in life is determined by the degree of self-consciousness that has been achieved. There can be no responsibility when there is an absence of self-consciousness. Animals therefore cannot be held responsible, and though they suffer pain on the physical plane, they are free from karma on the subtler levels. Man, on the other hand, is self-conscious and therefore becomes responsible for his actions – both good and bad. But all men cannot be equally accountable, because they differ widely in mental development and therefore also in consciousness. Responsibility increases in direct ration to the expansion of intelligence and consciousness, and the undeveloped savage consequently does not carry nearly the same responsibility as the more advanced disciple. The latter is far better aware of the fact when he infringes the law of nature, or the ethical demands of social standards, than is the savage, and his responsibility towards his environment and his fellow human beings is therefore also increased to a corresponding degree. The result is, that for the same trespass, the evolved man will have to pay a much severer penalty than the unevolved, or in other words his negative karma will receive a heavier debit.
Man cannot be relieved of his liabilities by his brother – each individual must shoulder his own responsibilities and acquit himself of these obligations to the best of his ability, but at the same time he should refrain from interference in the responsibility of others. True love therefore sometimes has to stand aside with detachment, having to look on whilst others are learning life’s lessons – like in the way I am watching my children at the moment while they are starting their own families and careers. This at times, may be hard to accomplish, but may be mitigated by rendering moral support and the under-standing of a loving heart.
So, as we can see, responsibility is one of the most prominent characteristics of the soul, and as the soul takes hold of the personality, there consequently arrives the time when the disciple becomes aware of his spiritual responsibilities, which actually far outweigh the physical aspects, which only relate to personality issues. The effect of man’s spiritual influence will prove far more penetrating and of a more lasting nature, than the discharging of physical obligations.
I think once a person realises this, he will think twice in the case of suicide where some people go and take the easy way out to escape from their felt but unrealised spiritual responsibilities. This will give us the reason to motivate some of us to hold on to the end – till there is nothing more left to give to our fellow men.
Thus, we can say that our sense of responsibility develops as we develop our conscience; as we come under soul control. It get expressed first in the way we interact with the members of our family and then works through our progress through religions, schools, colleges, universities, as members of the workforce and as a functioning community. Always helping us to say and do the right thing at the right time to help those around us who are in need or willing to be helped.
There are many ways to accept our responsibility in life and help others without having physical contact with anybody. Just by writing a poem or a book, creating a beautiful piece of music or a painting, you can influence millions, without ever knowing them, for many years after your own death. This is why the artist has no free will, but more a responsibility to do his art and to see to it that, that art, once it was created, gets exposed to the public; it must not be kept hidden somewhere but must be shared with all humanity. The art must give out the vibration that it was created for. This way it helps to make the world a better place and to build the world vibration or thoughtform.
This is also the reason why we who know, have the responsibility, and must, speak out when we see something being done in the world that does not conform to our spiritual values.
It is our responsibility to speak out for those who cannot, or do not know better, when they come under the influence of scrupulous religious or political leaders taking advantage of them.
It is our responsibility to speak out when we see through the game being played by some politicians who want to feed the flames of war and unrest just to feed a hungry military-industrial-complex that has caught them in its power.
It is our responsibility to preach revolution to overthrow dictators and governments ruling against everything that stands for good in this world. Even to become physical in this case if it is for the greater good.
It is our responsibility to speak for the rights of the animals and nature itself when it comes under thread of evil men and industries.
It is our responsibility to speak out when the right to education and the right to live in peace are being threatened.
It is our responsibility to speak out against those who want to do the above solely for their own benefit; who want to consolidate their own power, influence or work for financial gain.
In short, it is our responsibility to help mankind take responsibility and to do the greatest amount of good, for the greatest amount of people.
Our own survival and the survival of every living thing on this planet is becoming the responsibility of every human being. Can we accept this fact and face up to it?
AAB/DK said: You must learn to work through others, awakening them to a sense of responsibility and galvanising them into activity. By the steady power of your own inner radiance, you must hold your workers steady…….Eventually it will be realised that the responsibility for what governments do rests squarely upon the shoulders of the individual citizens who put governments in their position of power. This is a responsibility from which no citizens of any nation are or should be exempt, and to this all national thinking of the right kind is fortunately awakening……. The second thing I would have you all remember is that mankind has marched steadily forward from a state of blind ignorance and unawareness to one of an intelligent preoccupation with life and a growing sense of responsibility. This sense of responsibility, which is awakening in all of you, is—on its present large scale—relatively new and is one of the factors definitely increasing the distress and pain you are all feeling…… The common people are today awakening to the importance and responsibility of government; it is therefore realised by the Hierarchy that before the cycle of true democracy (as it essentially exists and will eventually demonstrate) can come into being, the education of the masses in cooperative statesmanship, in economic stabilisation through right sharing, and in clean, political interplay is imperatively necessary. The long divorce between religion and politics must be ended, and this can now come about because of the high level of the human mass intelligence and the fact that science has made all men so close that what happens in some remote area of the earth's surface is a matter of general interest within a few minutes. Time and space are now negated.
From the Tibetan’s teachings we can gather the following:
The sense of responsibility is one of the first indications that the soul of the individual is awakened. The soul of humanity is also at this time awakening en masse, and hence the following indications:
1. The growth of societies, organisations and mass movements for the betterment of humanity everywhere.
2..The growing interest of the mass of the people in the common welfare. Hitherto the upper layer of society has been interested, either for selfish, self-protective reasons or because of innate paternalism. The intelligentsia and the professional classes have investigated and studied the public welfare from the angle of mental and scientific interest, based upon a general material basis, and the lower middle class has naturally been involved in the same interest, from the point of view of financial and trade returns. Today this interest has reached down to the depths of the social order and all classes are keenly alive and alert to the general, national, racial or international good. This is very well and a hopeful sign.
3. Humanitarian and philanthropic effort is at its height, alongside of the cruelties, hatreds and abnormalities which separativeness, overstressed national ideologies, aggressiveness and ambition have engendered in the life of all nations.
4. Education is rapidly becoming mass effort and the children of all nations from the highest to the lowest are being intellectually equipped as never before. The effort is, of course, largely to enable them to meet material and national conditions, to be of use to the State and no economic drag upon it. The general result is, however, in line with the divine plan and undoubtedly good.
5. The growing recognition by those in authority that the man in the street is becoming a factor in world affairs. He is reached on all sides by the press and the radio, and is today intelligent enough and interested enough to be making the attempt to form his own opinions and come to his own conclusions. This is embryonic as yet, but the indications of his effort are undoubtedly there; hence the press and radio control which is found in all countries in some form or another, for there can never be any permanent evasion of the hierarchical structure which underlies our planetary life. This control falls into two major categories:
Financial control, as in the United States.
Government control, as in Europe and Great Britain.
The people are told just what is good for them; reservations and secret diplomacy colour the relation of the government to the masses, and the helplessness of the man in the street (in the face of authorities in the realm of politics, conditioning decisions such as war or peace, and theological impositions, as well as economic attitudes) is still pitiful, though not so great and so drastic as it was. The soul of humanity is awakening and the present situations may be regarded as temporary.
The purpose of the coming educational systems will be to preserve individual integrity, promote the sense of individual responsibility, encourage a developing group consciousness of basic individual, national and world relationships, meanwhile extroverting and organising capacity, interest and ability. At the same time there will be an effort to intensify the sense of citizenship, both in the tangible outer world of the physical plane and in the Kingdom of God and of soul relationships.
In order to bring this about, and thus completely change the present world attitudes and wrong emphases, the drastic and catastrophic present planetary situation has been permitted. [EDUCATION IN THE NEW AGE, p106/7]
DESIRE TO DO ONE'S DUTY
The first three modifications of the thinking principle eventually bring evolving humanity to the state where the motive for life comes to be simply the fulfillment of one's dharma. The longing for knowledge, for freedom, and for happiness has brought the man to a state of utter dissatisfaction. Nothing brings him any true joy or peace. He has exhausted himself in the search for joy for himself. Now he begins to widen his horizon and to search where (in the group and in his environment), what he seeks may lie. He awakens to a sense of responsibility to others and begins to seek for happiness in the fulfillment of his obligations to his dependents, his family, friends and all whom he contacts. This new tendency is the beginning of the life of service which leads eventually to a full realization of the significance of group consciousness. H.P.B. has said that a sense of responsibility is the first indication of the awakening of the ego or the Christ principle. [THE LIGHT OF THE SOUL, p174]