In relating this short discourse, I am sticking to the dictum of using the masculine gender for both personalities to save the tiresome repetition of constantly writing his/hers, she/he, him/her, man/woman etc.
Some have asked why, when walking a metaphysical Path, that life seems to become a series of frustrations instead of being full of “love and light” as others proclaim. This depends purely on where one is situated on the ladder of evolution and the level of spiritual maturity that one has attained.
An aspirant’s advance is determined by how rapidly he can meet and conquer the forces of his own nature and by the speed with which he may be tested by the destructive elemental forces of the planet. If he manages to pass and conquer the first onset of these forces, he progresses rapidly. If, however, he does not manage to completely conquer the problem, he is tested again and again through the years until he feels he is beset by troubles and frustrations, as indeed he is. He is tested until he overcomes the problem. It is similar to passing a test at school to see if you are fit enough to go up to the next grade.
The greatest test on the Path is usually one of doubt. If doubt can be cast aside as he strides forward, he will find the reality of the Path, and his resolve will be strengthened. He does not fight because there is no need to fight; he sees beyond the physical. But if he is overcome by doubt, then faith flies out the window, and his struggle can become quite intense as he searches for meaning in his life.
The next greatest test is personal love. Love must become purely unconditional. This is one of the hardest tests along the Path. When a man turns his face to the solitary Path of Discipleship, and he does not do that unless he had heard the call, he must leave behind the mortal ties that bind him to Earth. This does not mean to say that he must leave those he loves but that he must cease to lean upon them or to rely on them. So it becomes that he walks with his loved ones, assisting them through the earth plane phase of their journey, instead of dominating or trying to posses them.
His focus of interest must change, and the one dominating purpose of life, the fulfillment of Universal Law, must order his thought. As he continues to practice unconditional love in all his earthly affairs, he will naturally become more unselfish as he gives all and seeks nothing in return. This naturally changes his point of view. No longer does he feel that he has the right to posses; indeed, he feels it a privilege to love and to serve. This is the spiritual meaning of the vow of poverty. It does not mean giving away all your earthly goods; it means not having an attachment to them because they are only transient. They are not the things you can take when you pass through the veil.
Another test on the Path is that of anger or hatred. The disciple must learn to receive betrayal or injustice without anger or hatred; to do so merely causes an imbalance in his energies. It should not be his concern what others may do to him for the Law has its own way of working out and will bring justice to all concerned. What matters most of all is whether attacks by destructive forces through human vehicles can stir destructive forces within him. It matters not about the attitude of others towards him; it is his attitude to others that determines his progress. You only have to look at the great Ones to see how they handled their lives.