The Voice - Joseph S Benner (1917)
(For the explicit aid as a potential review for the greater understanding of the Group “Soul Realization and Divine Will”)
YOU who have reached that stage in your climb to the heights where you are no longer seeking anything of self, having tasted of all that the outer world and its human teachers can offer, and something within is strongly insisting that you begin to prove and demonstrate what you have learned by living it and using it to help others who are still seeking;
You, who have felt within the heart a definite call to service and yearn to follow and obey, but who from obeying many urges in the past, only to be disappointed and disillusioned each time by failure of the leaders to be worthy of the Causes they represent, and you are therefore uncertain about this call, and are fearful of not knowing just what you ought to and can do; You who have not yet had this experience, but who are moved by a strong loving desire to help lift the load from those less fortunately situated, and who would know what is that insistent something within, and whose the voice that thus calls.
Know, one and all, what you feel is My Love quickening into conscious active life in your heart, and what you hear is My Voice calling you to make ready for the Work I have been preparing you for a Work that is your Work, long waiting for you to do, when you have proven that self is no longer in control, and that you are willing to let Me lead the remainder of the way. You who think you are now ready and sincerely wish to follow, hear My Word and seek prayerfully to know my full meaning.
First, remember who I am, I who am in all men, Who am That which speaks through all men, Who am the Self of you My interpreter. But when the servant acknowledges not his Master, having grown proud, and deems himself above his station and tries to impress others with his knowledge and importance, then you may know why it is so hard to hear My voice and to know when it is I speaking, and why you become so often confused and so uncertain what to do.
Therefore, it is most necessary that you determine whence comes the voice or voices that so confuse and disturb you. But, you say, suppose you have not yet reached the stage where you are able actually to hear a voice speaking within and to know it as one assuming to teach or lead you. Know that it is not an actual voice such as your physical ears hear that speaks; for are not every desire, every urge, every hope, longing, fear, discouragement, anxiety, regret, voices heard just as surely and effectively as audible voices rule in your heart.
For Love alone can clear away that in your heart and consciousness which causes you to listen to the voice of self, thus preventing you from hearing me when I speak. But know, My Child, there are sure ways of knowing when the voice of self speaks, and when I speak to him who sincerely wills to know, and who is ready to face self, and see and know it for just what it is, and just what it pretends to be and is not.
Self is always in an attitude of fighting for and protecting its own , always afraid of losing something it possesses; and so its ices of criticism, condemnation, anxiety, fear, worry, selfishness, greed, envy, jealousy are ever heard in their efforts to hold your attention; while My Voice of Love and Faith, Hope and Trust, Understanding and Discrimination always seeks to enlist your interest in the Truth I would unfold to you, want you to think of and to help.
The voice of self sounds from without, always relates to something in the outer world, or to conditions springing from it. My Voice always sounds from within, relating to things of the Soul-state, your Soul, or your brother's soul.
The voice of self ever seeks by much reasoning and argument to oppose anything that would deprive the self of some power or prerogative long held or exercised by it. My Voice speaks from deep within the heart and declares the Truth so definitely that unless self has complete control, the mind cannot but accept and recognize it as Truth. The voice of self is always trying to get others that which will benefit self , of ten getting for self.
Especially would I have you know that any voice that holds out to you any way of gaining knowledge or power at a price other than through earnest seeking first My Kingdom and living the life of My Son is the voice of self, no matter if spoken by those proclaimed to be great teachers, swamis, yogis, initiates, or masters , and no matter how much they charge for their teachings.
For the Way unto Me cannot be found except as My Son Jesus taught and lived the Way of loving service to others and the crucifixion of self. Many have thought they heard My Voice spoken by such teachers, only to learn what my real Voice finally making itself heard in the heart clearly pointed out-that self both within the teachers and within themselves cared nothing for Me, but only for what it could gain for self, and that speaks; for whenever anything is said that is not wholly good, that is not spoken in love, that is not as you know would say and inspire it, then you may know it is self , trying to keep your mind "separate” so it cannot hear My Voice when I would lead it back to the consciousness of Me.
Resource – Except from Benner, Joseph S.; Anonymous “Brotherhood” - An Impersonal Message