The need of self-help precedes the duty of service. He must lift himself out of the errors and weaknesses of the flesh before he can safely or effectively lift others. He will be able to serve others spiritually precisely in proportion to the extent he has first served himself spiritually. There are profounder forms than the merely intellectual or merely muscular, too subtle for the materialists to comprehend, whose power is based on mentalist truth. Service does not primarily consist of repeating parrot-like what he has read. It consists of so deepening his consciousness and so developing his character that he can speak with authority, make every word count because of the spiritual experience behind it. If a man can deepen his consciousness, he will discover the instrumental means whereby he can help others to deepen their own. Power will flow from his mystic "heart" to any person he concentrates upon and will get to work within that other's inner being. It will take time for the results to show, however.
-- Notebooks Category 2: Overview of Practices Involved > Chapter 8: The Quest and Social Responsibility > # 94