We must take the great beings of the past as our guides, but this does not mean that we have to conform to every detail of their teaching. It is the principles that must be preserved.
The forms are subject to the laws of life and they can – indeed, they must – evolve and change. A great deal of conflict arises from a misunderstanding of this law.
Some people, wishing to reject forms they consider obsolete, reject the underlying principles too. Others preserve the old forms because they confuse them with the principles.
The result is that those who reject the principles no longer have a compass to guide them, while those who cling to the forms become ossified. You may wonder which principles have to be preserved– all those that emphasize the pre-eminence of the spirit, that is to say, kindness, generosity, love, purity and sacrifice.
The forms you use to express these principles are not that important; you are free to choose. But you are not free to reject these principles, for they are eternal.