is the third lesson.
"When men learn that the Force Beyond
Perfection is purpose, which has personified itself in them, they will
grow to feel the possibilities to which they have heretofore been insensible.
"Life is purpose. Purpose is force.
Force is personality, from highest to lowest, from saint to stick and
stone. Men have called it many things, but what it is none have
"Eternal purpose is perfect justice,
perfect fearlessness, perfect understanding, perfect honesty, perfect
sympathy, perfect unity, and eternal growth, which is progress perfectly
expressed. This is the end for which we work. Not Nirvana. Not oblivion.
Not power stagnant and powerless. But a perfect balance, progressing to
purposes and powers as yet undreamed. This is the Eternal Purpose,
toward which all purpose moves. Purposes of construction
THE SEVEN PURPOSES
consciously and determinedly,
purposes of destruction unwillingly and inevitably. They fear us, they
fight us, they seek to destroy us, not perceiving that they must in the
end rejoin us, having left us in the beginning.
"To bring this home to the souls of
men is our first duty, and for that reason those of us nearest to
your life work first among men. Purpose frees forces you but dimly
apprehend, and free forces construct a foundation in your life for the
perfect unity of Eternal Purpose.
"Any force not free destroys itself.
Any good not animated and active destroys itself. Force imprisoned
becomes destruction. Good imprisoned becomes evil. All are fundamentally
good, fundamentally beneficent, but have become powers for destruction
through lack of progressive development and exercise.
"All men are fusions of many
purposes, moved by many forces, answering to many calls. Each
responds to the call of his dominant purpose, which flows and fluctuates
with his life's struggle. One day he destroys, and cares not. One day he
builds, and marvels at his
power. One day he sleeps and forgets. One day he fights to the death for a purpose he had not
yesterday, and loses to-morrow. This is the life of man, and this our
THE SEVEN PURPOSES
battle. There are other lives, other
struggles, other lessons to learn, but this is the first.
"Purpose manifests itself in man
inevitably in action. His
purpose is not what he believes, not what he desires, but what he is
and does. If he destroys, and
builds not on the ruins, he is against us. If he falls and fails not, he
is with us, though he stumble an hundred times. He fights within himself the ancient fight, and if he
win that, his eternal battle
is won. Thereafter, he is part and parcel of the forces of construction.
"Purpose answers freely only to its
kind, freely and fearlessly it responds to the call of self. If a man be
captive to destructive forces, he responds to the cry, Destroy! But if
he be given to powers of progress, he builds, though his eyes be blinded
and his hands cut off.
"In every man captive to forces of
disintegration the builder lies dormant. To reach that faint glow of
Eternal Purpose is the first duty of every constructive force. Call to
it, rouse it, free it, and it will eventually respond. But do not
smother it with false charity, darken it by conflicting precepts,
weaken it by fictitious aid. Every individual must serve his own
purpose. Only thus is the integrity of the whole conserved. Though he be
only a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord, yet does he
THE SEVEN PURPOSES
serve his eternal purpose as truly as
the priest. Let each man learn
his purpose and serve forcefully where his development has placed him. Only thus can he progress.
"Purposes are divided. Thus do they
show themselves to men. The purpose of Progress is first and greatest,
because it moves all the others toward the Great Purpose. The other
constructive purposes are these, divided and subdivided: Light, Justice,
Truth, Production, Healing, Building. Each divided and divisible by any of
the others, yet pure and perfect in itself. Light may dwell with Healing
or Production, but only Light calls unto Light, only Justice unto Justice.
"All forces of construction work
together, yet each purpose separate unto itself. Choose ye, therefore.
Build or tear down, produce or destroy, illumine or obscure, free men, or
hold them captive to themselves. Choose daily and hourly the purpose ye
"This is the third lesson."