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TWENTY-THIRD TALK          467

community was a going^concern ; consequently they
retained a little just to make sure—they did not want
to be left penniless.^ There is not the least objection
to that attitude. That was their karma, that is where
they stood, and they had a perfect right to make a
partial contribution to the common fund, and just
keep enough to live upon. We all have to do that
now; we contribute to funds as we go, but we must
keep enough somehow or other to live upon, and
after all they did nothing more than that. The thing
that was wrong with them was that they pretended to
have perfect confidence and faith, which they had
not. The Apostle exposed them, and it is recorded
that they fell down dead, presumably with shame,
because of what they had done. They were cautious
only because it was their karma to be cautious, and
they should not have pretended that they had the
whole-hearted trust when they had it not. It is quite
logical, you know, only of course it does show a lack
of the perfect faith. • You wil^ find in Occultism that
doing things by halves is absolutely no good at all.
It is not much good on the lower planes. If you call
in the doctor it is only fair that you should do what
he tells you and follow his prescription. It is not
fair to hold him responsible for results over which
he has not perfect control. You have to remember
that you cannot play with Occultism. If you do, you
get no benefit from it. If it is not the first thing in
life, then it is no use ; that is very evident. You cannot