A Decisive Fact For Those
Who Seek for the Spiritual Path
Carlos Cardoso Aveline
Helena P. Blavatsky and Francis of Assisi
One can only derive real benefit from theosophical knowledge as long as one sincerely tries to benefit others. An altruistic philosophy can’t even start being understood in the absence of altruistic action. 
Therefore, an active participation in disseminating the messages from the philosophy of fraternity and helping the theosophical movement in other ways is more important than it seems.
The stable adoption of a humble attitude and the decision to help build a better future require more than just selflessness. Courage is needed, and often great courage.
The individual awakening to consciousness and objective action are two inseparable factors which require overcoming shyness. One must put aside the wrong kind of shame. It may be necessary to forget a few false friends who think that “friendship” means an obligation to say whatever they wish to hear, or who attack any ideas that, though correct, might threaten the average selfishness of emotional comfort.
Learning without action is not learning. It is but an accumulation of data, something that a personal computer can also do. Every true action in Theosophy is pioneering, because it puts aside the world of automatic or thoughtless appearances.
It is by acting altruistically that the pilgrim learns in depth. While sharing with others whatever has benefitted him, he grows indeed: even if his testimony is rejected by most people and few understand him.   
There is of course a previous stage of learning, in which the mental accumulation of data seems to play a central and useful role. This can last up to ten years and often a lifetime. Such is a normal fact, but one must know for sure that it has little or nothing to do with real wisdom. An extra warning ought to be received: beyond the initial steps in study, there is for those who prefer a comfortable path the danger of becoming theosophical parrots. Vanity and attachment to routine are to be avoided.  
The sooner the pilgrim is capable of transcending the initial stage of obtaining information, the better. He and his learning process are the first to be benefitted from making further progress, for mere information does not replace knowledge, and knowledge depends on one’s living.
Above all, the illusion of benefiting oneself without working to the benefit of others must be unmasked starting from the first contact of anyone with theosophy. This is the central, yet little-known key to effective spiritual progress. Francis of Assisi and Helena Blavatsky are right: it is by helping people that one receives help. By elevating others, we elevate ourselves. Small steps prepare larger ones, and one’s rebirth must take place every day.
The article “This is Something Few Have Realized” was published in the associated websites on 02 December 2021. An initial, anonymous version of it can be found in the August 2020 edition of “The Aquarian Theosophist”, pp. 2-3.  Original title: “This is Something That Few Have Discovered”.
See the article “A Prayer for Those Who Heal”.
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Helena Blavatsky (photo) wrote these words: “Deserve, then desire”.