Writings of Dr John Palo


How To Give 

by Dr. John Palo, F.R.C., I.R.C.
 
 
Have we forgotten how to give? Are we guilty of giving less and less and striving to receive more and more? Has our passion for getting far exceeded our passion for giving? If the answers to these questions are in the affirmative then perhaps these are some of the reasons for the world's present economic decline.
 
Bank interest rates are too high; jobs difficult to find. Can these problems be related to an abuse of the old law of compensation--the law of karma? Have we forgotten the ancient law--the principle--"As we give, so we receive"? Have we forgotten how to give?
 
If, in fact, society is abusing this great principle, how can mystics show some leadership? How can we show by our lives the more creative, fruitful use of the law of karma? How can we help turn things around for ourselves, our loved ones, and the rest of the world?
 
The principle seems simple enough. As we give, we receive. And, the more we give, the more richly we will be rewarded.
 
We are asked to direct our hearts into creative actions or services. We are asked to take part in the Cosmic's creative processes. When we do this, we are rewarded.
 
In the purest sense, the highest gift--the gift from the heart--is given with no strings attached. Such a gift leaves any rewards completely in the hands of the Cosmic. Bread crumbs left on the snow for hungry birds are such a gift. It is an act of love. We seek no reward.
 
The non-mystic may see no purpose in such gifts. He or she sees no possible reward. Such an individual tends to do only those acts that may bring personal and immediate rewards.
 
The mystic has a more universal concern and is more patient. The mystic knows every positive act will have a positive reaction--and the reward is usually immediate. But, the mystic also knows that rewards may be delayed. The receiving end of our actions may be later in the day, later in the week, month, year, or later in this or a future life. The mystic trusts the Cosmic. When the results are not immediate, they are more propitious. They will come when the Cosmic decrees it to be the best and most important time. This faith in the Cosmic gives the mystic an edge over the non-mystic. True, the mystic, as well as the non-mystic, seeks immediate results. However, karmically, the mystic is also involved with long-range cultural, moral, educational, spiritual, as well as economic pursuits.
 
Dr. H. Spencer Lewis wrote, "I have met many men and women who believe most implicitly that whenever they do a kindness or an unselfish act for someone else or contribute in any way to the health and happiness of others, they can expect some reward or some cosmic blessing, suddenly and uniquely, at almost the following hour. They had learned from experience that the Cosmic brings its rewards not only suddenly, but at a most propitious moment, and that by helping others or giving in whatever way they could to the needs and happiness of another, they were accruing a certain amount of cosmic blessing or help that would come to them just when they needed it, and as they needed it."
 
What Can You Contribute?
 
A life devoted to getting with the least amount of giving puts a drain on our cosmic bank supply. The mystical principle of karma concerns our refinement of our giving, not the refinement of our getting. As Dr. Lewis has stated, "It behooves everyone to ask himself this question: 'What have I contributed to the cosmic supply that I may now appeal to its teller and withdraw from the positive supply?' If you can find no positive affirmative answer to your questions, and you believe, even half reluctantly, that you have been deficient in your cooperation with the Cosmic in this regard, it will be well for you to consider immediately how you may proceed at once to help some others while you are seeking help for yourself. Before you expect any return through the cosmic or mystic laws, be sure that you have done your utmost to help someone else, not only because of the reward that will come to you, but because it is your duty, as it is the duty of every human being, to be an earthly instrument in carrying out the cosmic scheme of things."
 
One key to giving is to give from our abundance. We should give generously of that which we have in good supply. Each of us is unique in what we have in abundance to offer.
 
Enrico Caruso developed a bounteous, beautiful singing voice, as did Paul Robeson and other great singers. They gave and gave of their songs. The more they gave from their abundance, the more they succeeded. They demonstrated that law of karma, the law of compensation.
 
We are all obliged to develop the Cosmic's gifts to us. Then, we are in a position to give from our abundance.
 
Some of us have developed our administrative abilities. In any group, good administrators are needed. We should give of our services.
 
Others, possibly through lifetimes of struggle, now write and speak beautifully. We should give from our abundance in speech and writing. Then there are those of us who are great with needle and thread, or are great cooks. We should find ways to serve from our individual abundances.
 
Those of us with an abundance of money should develop the art of judicious money giving. The tremendous and judicious financial gifts of the Carnegies, Fords, Rockefellers and others to humanitarian and cultural causes are admirable. They demonstrate a proper use of the law of karma.
 
The Biggest Giver
 
We don't have to be millionaires to give money. Also, the giver of the biggest gift may not be the biggest giver.
 
There's an old story of a master mystic trying to teach a student to distinguish between the biggest gift and the biggest giver. He asked his student to watch the collection basket and report to him the identity of the biggest giver. The student carefully noted each donation. Upon returning to his teacher he informed him of a wealthy man's donation of $1000.
 
"Surely," said the student, "he was the biggest giver. And, incidentally, Master," he said, "Do you know that raggedy old lady who visits from time to time? Well, she had the nerve to put a lowly dime into the basket."
 
"You fool!" said the teacher, "That raggedy old lady was the biggest giver. It was kind and generous of the wealthy man to give a thousand dollars. We certainly need it. But, the little old lady only had two dimes. She gave half of all she possessed. It was the smallest gift, but she was the biggest giver."
 
We should strive to give the biggest gift. We should also strive to be the biggest giver. When we do this from our abundance, we become effective forces in this world.
 
We should each work hard at developing our own unique abundances. A little man once looked at a 220-pound man and said, "If I were as big as you, I'd be the heavy-weight champion of the world." The big man turned to the smaller man and said, "What's keeping you from being the light-weight champion of the world?" We too often fail to see our own potentials for the development of abundances.
 
Give--Here and Now
 
Once we find and start to tediously develop our areas of abundances, we face the concurrent task of how to give of our abundances. Ralph M. Lewis has said, "Real charity is always accompanied by a willing sacrifice."
 
Dr. Lewis has said, "Those who suddenly feel that there is something they can give, even though it hurts in a financial way, or something that they can do even though it is inconvenient, unpleasant, tiresome, and costly, and without hesitation, without reluctance, whole-heartedly submit to the urge, are the ones who are truly cooperating with the Cosmic, and find eventually, not in the days of the last judgment in the world beyond, but in the days here and now, that at every crisis and in every need the Cosmic comes to their aid abundantly."
 
For truly, who do we admire and respect as the great soul personalities? They are individuals who have struggled to develop their abundance. They are those who have sacrificed themselves in giving their all from their abundances. They are those who have served as the best channels for gifts from the Cosmic. The list is long and inspiring. Verdi, da Vinci, Beethoven, Michelangelo, Jesus, Buddha, Bacon, Jefferson, Lincoln, Gandhi, King, Eleanor Roosevelt--and the list goes on and on. They had much to give and they gave and gave and gave.
 
Our important giving is not necessarily the quarter we have given a beggar or the check we made out to charity. Our greater gifts may be those we give at our work and homes.
 
Most business success is caused by men and women who give wholeheartedly of themselves on the job.
 
Most successful homes are composed of persons who give and give and give. And most of our gifts have nothing to do with money.
 
We can all show simple gratitude to one another for things accomplished. We too often fall into the rut of taking the gifts from our loved ones for granted. We should show gratitude.
 
Economic Lethargy
 
Is our economic slump a sign we are getting away from the art of giving? It may well be. A wealthy businessman gave this advice on how to succeed in business: "I discovered at an early age that most of the differences between average people and top people could be explained in three words. The top people," he said, "did what was expected of them, and then some. They were thoughtful of others; they were considerate and kind, and then some. They met their obligations and responsibilities fairly and squarely, and then some. They were good friends to their friends, and then some. They could be counted on in an emergency, and then some."
 
If you'll examine the people you do business with, you will realize this truth. Invariably you go to the merchant or businessman who performs his service, and then some. He works the positive end of karma. He concentrates on giving. There is that little extra something that sparks the attraction. It may be a gracious smile. It may be an extra ounce on the scale. It may be some simple courtesy. But, it is some form of giving, and then some.
 
Dr. Lewis wrote, "There is no surer way of attracting patronage than by making the new customer or the old customer feel that from the moment he crosses the threshold of your doorway he is in a different place and going to receive different attention and different service than he has received before. When a customer feels that some distinct service and some special courtesy, that he has not asked for and is not expected to pay for, is going to be given to him, or is being given to him, he begins to make mental notes of the place and decides that if everything turns out well, he will come again. And when a customer can walk out of your place of business saying to himself that regardless of what he paid, or what he received, he also received what he did not expect, and what he did not find anywhere else, then you will have a patron who will stay with you as long as you can keep him thinking that way.
 
"No matter what business you may be in, or for whom you may be working, you will better the interests of the firm, and incidentally yourself, if you try to give every customer, every patron, every client, more than he pays for, and remember again that the 'more' need not refer to the material things being sold."
 
There's a tendency among some mystics to do their good work secretly or sub rosa. This is wonderful, and there is a time and place for it. In business, however, it is a wise mystic who advertises his abundance of business services and products.
 
During the last depression many businesses failed. A study revealed the businesses which fared the worst were those which cut down on advertising their products and services. Those businesses which invested heavier in advertising held their own. Further, when the depression ended, it was these businesses which advertised that prospered even more so.
 
The proper use of the law of karma apparently can improve our health. Dr. Smiley Blanton, the famous psychiatrist, gave this simple advice to most of his patients: "Take time today to do something unselfish. Do something today that you know will make someone else happy."
 
It seems getting away from our own problem to help another changes us. It improves our outlook. It improves our health.
 
As a whole, mystic giving is an affair of the heart. However, we should temper the dictates of the heart with our mind. The intelligent giver can be a hundred times more effective than the less intelligent giver.
 
For example, in a huge factory a large piece of machinery completely broke down. Mechanics took two weeks trying to fix it. In exasperation, they called in an engineer who gave a quick look at the machinery and pressed a button. The machinery started to work.
 
Two days later the plant managers received a bill for $500. Feeling this was an extremely high price for simply pushing a button, they wrote to the engineer asking him to please itemize his bill. Back came the itemized bill: $5 for pushing button, $495 for knowing which button to push.
 
The engineer, with a greater abundance of knowledge, gave from his abundance with a simple push of a button. The more we know about our particular area of giving, the more effective our giving becomes--and the more we usually receive from giving. So, we should use our head, as well as our heart, when we give.
 
There's another level of mystical giving. It involves getting ourselves out of the way. We consciously petition to let ourselves be used by the Cosmic.
 
The baseball player Reggie Jackson expressed it well. He was asked, "Reggie, how come you always respond best under pressure? The more nerve racking the situation, the better you play. How do you do it?"
 
"Well," said Jackson, "When the pressure is really on, I've learned to get myself out of the way. I turn to God. I simply ask Him to take over. I don't know what others do, but it works for me."
 
It has been wisely said the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Basically, the law of karma is a law of action. It is in the actual act of giving that we create positive karma. It is in the actual act of giving that we will receive from the Cosmic. There is a dangerous tendency in philosophical and intellectual groups to overlook this simple truth. Our actions, more than our thoughts move the world. Great ideas, without action on those ideas, are often like great ships floundering in port. They never face the seas for which they were built.
 
Good actions of giving strengthen our character. Lack of such actions weakens our character. Right actions, often accomplished through great difficulty, make us strong and efficient. This is the proper use of the law of karma.
 
George Cutten, President of Colgate University, once inadvertently outlined the karmic path to the rose through the cross. "Oh, God," he exclaimed, "take away our comforts and our ease and our petty satisfaction, and give us tasks that are hard, assignments that are fatiguing, toil that is exacting, and drudgery that is wearying."
 
Perhaps we must all toil to become more if we would give more. Is the world's economic and moral decline based on a perversion of the law of karma? It's possible. Nevertheless, we should heed the dictates of the great principle: As we give, we receive. The less we give, the less we receive. The more we give, the more we receive. Let's give with our hearts and heads. Let's give! Give! Give! . . . and then some!
 
Bibliography:
 
Rosicrucian Principles for the Home and Business by Dr. H. Spencer Lewis, F.R.C. Published by the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC, San Jose, Calif., 1929.
 
 
Copyright 1983 Dr. John Palo
 

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