Discipleship in the New Age, I
DISCIPLESHIP IN THE NEW AGE
BY THE TIBETAN
TALKS TO DISCIPLES, PART I
It is of importance that you realise that today something new is happening. There is the emergence of a new kingdom in nature, the fifth kingdom; this is the
on earth or the kingdom of souls. It is precipitating on earth and will be composed of those who are becoming group-conscious and who can work in group formation. This will be possible, because these people will have achieved a self-initiated perfection (even if relative in nature) and will be identified with certain group expansions of consciousness. It will also be because they have arrived at love of their fellowmen, just as they have loved themselves in the past. Think on this with clarity, my brothers, and grasp, if you can, the full significance of this last sentence.
1. The Tibetan begins with the essential — the reason for which He and all the Masters are working and one of the main reasons for which the Christ is ‘Reappearing’. A major emergence is underway.
2. The fifth kingdom of nature, the kingdom of souls already exists, but it is the forthcoming precipitation of that kingdom on earth which is of moment.
3. Participation in that kingdom begins with the first initiation. Therefore, we can understand that the initiate of the first degree is becoming group conscious. One can be a member of that kingdom (though, perhaps, not a full member) before one is completely group conscious.
4. What is a “self-initiated perfection”? What is the self that initiates that perfection? The dedicated personality is certainly involved. Although the soul is constantly sending its streams of elevating energy to the personality, the personality must aspire towards soul-life and to the relative perfection that supervenes when the state of soul-infusion develops.
5. Perfection is another word for “completion”. If one’s soul nature is not a part of one’s personality demonstration, there is no completion. There is not even “integration”.
6. What are the “expansions of consciousness” which characterize those who are members of the fifth kingdom? Perhaps one is the ability to ‘hold the group in the heart’. The group becomes strongly present in the individual’s consciousness; life is lived and decisions made with the group in heart and mind.
7. A key discriminator for those who would be members of this kingdom is to love one’s fellowman just as one has loved himself/herself in the past.
“Let the disciple search within the heart’s deep cave. If there the fire burns bright, warming his brother, yet heating not himself, the hour has come for making application to stand before the door”. (Rule I for Applicants)
8. Life experience eventually transfers one’s focus to others and their welfare. Pain is the great sensitizer, and over millennia, the experience of pain makes it possible to feel what another feels (as if the feeling were one’s own). Pain ‘softens the Cancerian shell’, as it were. This participation in the energy states of another is the beginning of love. Selfishness “builds up a wall of separation”. The wall has to be broken so that the individual can participate in energy states outside his/her own ring-pass-not.
“The selfish words, sent forth with strong intent, build up a wall of separation. Long time it takes to break that wall and so release the stored-up, selfish purpose. See to thy motive, and seek to use those words which blend the little life with the large purpose of the will of God.” (Fifteen Counsels, TWM, 474)
9. For those who are ready to enter the fifth kingdom, ego boundaries have been challenged — penetrated, melted, shattered, vaporized, even pulverized (the work of certain great trans-Saturnian planets). The candidate for the fifth kingdom no longer lives unto himself alone.
10. Understanding the New Discipleship is or real importance. DK’s teachings on this subject were second in importance only to His teachings on Shamballa. (R&I 251)
11. A new method of spiritual approach is being enunciated. We wish to avail ourselves of the opportunity being offered — do we not?
Their work will largely be to summarise and make effective the work of those two great Sons of God, the Buddha and the Christ. As you know, One of Them brought illumination to the world and embodied the principle of wisdom, and the Other brought love to the world and embodied in Himself a great cosmic principle — the principle of love.
1. Those who are presently entering the fifth kingdom of nature have as their exemplars the Christ and the Buddha — the two great Brothers Who, together, reflect the Love-Wisdom nature of both our Planetary Logos and (to a much lesser degree) our Solar Logos.
2. The modern disciple, then, must be familiar with the work of these two great Sons of God. He/she must know at least the essence of that work, and, as it were, summarize that essence in his/her approach to living.
3. The Buddha is the “Lord of Light” and conveys “Mind-Wisdom”. His planet is Mercury.
4. The Christ is the “Lord of Love” and conveys “Love-Wisdom”. His planet is Venus.
5. The Buddha experienced a touch of the cosmic mental plane — a feat almost inconceivable to the normal human consciousness.
6. The Christ was the embodiment of the cosmic principle of Love.
7. We see, therefore, that both were channels for types of energy which originated ‘above’ and ‘beyond’ the cosmic physical plane. Thus Their extraordinary impact on world affairs and humanity, in particular.
How can the effectiveness of Their work be brought about? The process will follow three lines:
1. Individual effort, made by the individual disciple, using the technique of detachment, of dispassion and of discrimination which the Buddha taught.
2. Group initiation, made possible by the self-initiated effort of individual disciples, following out the injunctions of the Christ and leading to a complete subordination of the personality and of the unit to group interest and group good.
3. Group endeavour, carried forward as a group, to love all beings and to apprehend and understand the true significance of the Aquarian technique of group love and work.
1. It is not that humanity does not know what is to be done. It is simply that there has been a cleavage between knowledge and performance. This cleavage must at last be overcome by the modern disciple.
2. If, in the Aquarian Age, the combined Ways of the Buddha and the Christ are instituted, that Age will have been a spiritual success. The culture of the Aquarian Age must be made to express the major quality of these two great Exemplars — Love and Wisdom.
3. How shall Their work be rendered effective?
a. Individual effort. The Buddha taught “self-reliance” and emphasized it decisively in His “Last Sermon”. The “three D’s” which the Buddha taught led to the spiritual preparation of the individual for accepted discipleship: dispassion in relation to the emotional body, discrimination in relation to the mental body, and detachment in relation to the entire personality. Discipline (for the physical body) and decentralization, again for the entire personality, might also be added.
b. Successful individual effort leads to the possibility of participating correctly in the process of group initiation. Unless the members of a group which is a candidate for initiation are, themselves, self-motivated and self-propelling disciples, group initiation is not possible, for a real group could not exist. Such a group requires the participation of strong individuals who are willing to subordinate their individual strength to group good, without vitiating that strength.
c. Notice that the Tibetan calls for “complete” subordination of the personality to group interest and group good. The requirements are uncompromising, and many will be the tests on the way to perfection. Members of the Hierarchy have achieved this kind of subordination. A refined sense of values (soul values) is required if the personality or unit is to willingly consent to such subordination.
d. The group works as a group. It moves forward in love (the love of all beings). Group love and (real) group work are completely interdependent. It is impossible to have one without the other — at least not in spiritual groups.
e. Group endeavor could be carried forward by individuals. Older types of groups have done this. Such individual spoke for the entire group and mobilized the entire group according to their will. Therefore, it is important that group endeavor be carried forward “as a group”. This means an end to crude forms of unilateralism, acting, instead, with the other members of the group in mind and heart. At least the imagined presence of all group members will be present in any significant decision. This does not necessarily mean that every little matter will be discussed in person, but that the one who must decide will do so as if the others were part of the decision. Such an attitude will temper individualism.
I have felt that a linking up of your minds in connection with the work of the Buddha and of the Christ might serve a useful purpose and give you all a glimpse and an indication of Their two systems of unfoldment — one preparatory to accepted discipleship and the other to initiation — which would be sequential and inter-related. The synthesis of Their work is easily seen by us who work with a fuller vision and a less impeded outlook than is as yet possible to you.
1. The Masters must certainly deplore the way in which so many Christians and Buddhists perceive their religions as entirely different from each other and, even, opposed.
2. The Great Brothers of the East and West function in the closest unity, and work as if one.
3. It is clear that, in the new discipleship, the ways and systems of the Buddha and the Christ are to be linked as if they were part of One Great Work, which, indeed, they are.
4. To link the East and West through an appreciation of the interrelated work of the Buddha and the Christ is an act of religio-philosophical inclusion suitable to Aquarian consciousness.
5. Can we understand how the Buddha’s work was preparatory to accepted discipleship and the Christ’s, to initiation? Naturally, those who worked closely with the Buddha also took initiation, and some who followed the Christ’s way found themselves stepping on the path of accepted discipleship. But the principle of the statement is correct.
6. A simple way of understanding the two systems is that the Buddha’s Teaching led to an ability to detach from a desire for “life in the three worlds”. Once that detachment was in place, it became possible to “give all” under the injunction of the Christ, Who taught service to the world through complete sacrifice. This complete giving leads directly to initiation.
7. One gathers that the Tibetan is preparing the way for the New World Religion which will emphasize both the Buddha’s and the Christ’s approaches.
I am, therefore, dividing my disciples into groups so that they may work on different aspects of the Plan, and also laying the ground for group work which will greatly help the individual but which will also — above everything else — forward the work of the New Age.
1. Here the Tibetan speaks of His plan to divide His students into the “groups-of-nine”, although in this reference He is not explicit about exact numbers within the intended groups nor about the details of their functioning.
2. The Tibetan’s plan (only partially fulfilled) was to form a number of “groups-of-nine” — perhaps only seven, but perhaps ten.
3. These groups of nine would focus on the familiar seed-group areas of service:
j. Creative Manifestation
4. It may have been the intention to form the last three seed-groups from those who were participating in the first seven. We cannot be sure. Probably group eight and nine would have had nine members, and group ten, perhaps twenty-seven members, drawing three from each of the previous nine groups of nine..
5. These groups were intended to result in four types of benefit:
a. individual benefit for the group participants
b. benefit for those the group served
c. benefit for the group as a group.
d. benefit for humanity as a whole
However, the main purpose of these three was, as will be clear, a group purpose, and was intended to have a role in forwarding the work of the New Age.
6. The first volume of the discipleship books — Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I, deals with the work done while the groups-of-nine were extant. They were disbanded in 1940 prior to reorganization under different groupings.
It is, therefore, my intention to write a little in detail in connection with these groups. My time is very limited and I shall have to put a great deal of information into these talks and into any individual instructions which I may be led to give (probably at widely separated intervals) to my disciples. I am not basically writing for any of you at all but in order to lay the foundation for the group work to be done in the world during the coming years. What I say should be read with care, for the written word may contain several meanings and these can be sensed, according to the intuition — awakened or otherwise — of the aspirant.
1. The Tibetan states His intention to write about the groups which would come to be known as the “Seed Groups”.
2. One can only imagine what the ‘schedule’ of a Master would be like. If He says His time is very limited He means it. We have to remember the historical period in which the DINA experiment occurred; it took place in the years prior to the outset of World War II. From the Masters’ perspective, the imminent danger could already be seen. DK was, thus, writing to these students at a time of gathering world crisis when the masters were doing everything possible to prevent world disaster. Nevertheless, Master DK took time from His pressing schedule to attend to the relatively unimportant task of writing to a group of disciples whom He had accepted. He did this for the sake of their future group usefulness, not for their welfare as personalities.
3. A Master is capable of conveying much in little. This is one way to economize on time.
4. His words to his disciples are immediately decentralizing. They are told that the Master is not writing for any of them, really, but for larger purposes. The potentials for glamorous response were considerable, and Master DK seeks always to offset such a possibility. He begins the group approach immediately.
5. Here, He gives sound advice concerning how to read a Master’s words — with care. The Master is fully aware of the several levels of interpretation of His words that may be possible. In fact, He is consciously writing for several levels of apprehension simultaneously.
6. He challenges His students to use their intuition if they are to get the most out of what He may say.
I, your Tibetan Brother, am supposing upon the part of each of my disciples, one basic essential at least and that is a persevering earnestness which nothing will deter. Each of you starts upon this work with certain fundamental characteristics; each of you is beginning this definite enterprise of training for initiation with certain defects which act as deterrents and as handicaps; each of you has been recognised by his light and for his potentialities and with these we must perforce do the best we can. Note, therefore, the difficult problem confronting Those Who are guiding world evolution and looking for those who can aid in Their work.
1. In a factual manner, Master DK points to the sina qua non of the training He is proposing to give — “a persevering earnestness which nothing will deter”. At the very least, those in His groups must not give up. Of course, a number of them did precisely that, and some few were discontinued by DK and AAB.
2. DK is nothing if not realistic in His assessment of His students’ abilities and liabilities. He studies their character — probably for hours (though at a distance, and not just once, but, perhaps, every time He has writes them a letter). He knows somewhat the kind of responses He may expect. He sees their light, its potential and promise; He also sees their defects and, really, is far more aware of such defects than the students are. So often we are blind to our own liabilities, more easily seen by another — especially by a Master of the Wisdom.
3. He knows He faces no easy task. The ‘material’ with which He has to work is what it is, and with it, He will do the best he can.
4. The Tibetan, no doubt, “looked up” a number of significant past lives of His proposed group members. Perhaps He, Himself, was present in those lives (for He so often addresses the disciples as “Brother of Old”) and readily remembered what was significant. In any case, it would be necessary for Him to evaluate whether the spiritual potentials of his would-be disciples outweighed their liabilities. Probably, if He felt this were not the case, He would not have invited these disciples to become participants in His outer groups. Probably, in some cases He gave a disciple the benefit of the doubt, realizing that, for the spirit, anything is possible, and a new level of functioning could possibly be reached, however improbable it might seem.
5. The Tibetan’s remarks may have produced in some of His students an attitude of humility; that would have been a desirable response. It is always a good sign when a disciple appreciates (at least a little) the problem with which his/her Master is confronted.
6. It is only a developed sense of spiritual values which will see the disciple through, as the many inevitable difficulties involved in such training descend. Venus (for values) and Vulcan (for persistence) are both required. We can see that Taurus (the sign of Wisdom and Enlightenment) must be involved in such training, and, indeed, it is the ruler of the New Group of World Servers. I have often suspected that the Tibetan’s astrology contains much Taurus (as well as Gemini — the “Messenger”).
I will teach you. Whether or not you profit by the teaching is entirely your own affair; that is something that the disciples of the New Age need to learn. There is no such thing as occult obedience as usually taught by the current occult schools. In the olden days in the East, the Master exacted from His disciple that implicit obedience which actually made the Master responsible and placed upon His shoulders the destiny or the karma of the disciple. That condition no longer holds good. The intellectual principle in the individual is now too much developed to warrant this type of expectancy. Therefore, this condition no longer holds good. In the coming New Age, the Master is responsible for the offering of opportunity and for the right enunciation of the truth but for no more than that. In these more enlightened days, no such position is assumed by the teacher as in the past, and I do not assume it. I shall with frankness speak. I know my disciples, for no disciple is admitted into an Ashram without deep consideration on the part of the teacher. I shall convey by hint and symbol that which should be apprehended and it will be noted and understood by those among my disciples who have the opened, inner ear and true humility of heart. If it is not recognised, time will pursue its onward course and revelation will ultimately come. I exact, therefore, no blind obedience. But, however, if advice and suggestion are accepted and you choose — of your own free will — to follow my instructions, those instructions must be followed accurately. Also, there must be none of that constant looking for results and for phenomena which has deterred the course and the progress of many would-be disciples.
1. Master DK begins on a note or real frankness. He is always frank; that is undeniable. But at various moments (found in the personal instructions), He seems to soften His tone — always, so it would seem, purposefully.
2. Responsibility for progress is immediately placed upon the shoulders of the participating disciples. The purpose of doing so is to correct old and inapplicable ideas concerning obedience to the Master — and, therefore, dependence upon the Master. The Masters wish to see people become Masters, and, therefore, They must strengthen them rather than cultivate over-reliance.
3. DK clearly defines His responsibilities as compared with the kind of responsibility for students that Masters used to assume when working in older systems of training. He informs His students that He will not assume that kind of responsibility. His approach will be of a new order: new for Him and new for the disciples.
4. Master DK knows He is dealing with a more intelligent, independent type of disciple than existed in former days. He wishes to see that independence grow, accompanied by a new form of obedience — occult obedience — a willingness to obey the inner impulses of the soul at all costs. And of course, a willingness to follow the instructions of the Master with accuracy.
5. He lets the disciples know that He knows them well, having studied them carefully. He tells something of how He will teach — through hint and symbol — which will require for understanding the “opened, inner ear and true humility of heart”.
6. There is no question but that Master DK is being firm here. He knows He may succeed; the experiment, however, may fail (as indeed, from one perspective, it did). But, as is characteristic of a second ray Master, He assures His disciples that even the liability of present non-recognition of that which He imparts, will give way someday to recognition and understanding.
7. There is no question that the disciples gathered here will one day be enlightened. It is only a question of when. For the purposes of the immediate experiment it was hoped that the necessary enlightenment would come sooner rather than later.
8. DK wants His students to follow His advice with accuracy. This is a reasonable expectation, as He knows so much of what is supposed to be accomplished and how, and they know so little. It became a disappointing fact that a number of these disciples did not follow the instruction He gave with accuracy; in fact, a number (at a certain point in the process) ceased doing the work he assigned and discontinued their work with Him altogether. He assured them, of course, that the Ashramic link remained inwardly unbroken.
9. The notes of freewill, truth and responsibility resound through this paragraph. The disciples are assumed to be mature men and women who do not have to be handled with “kid gloves”. This was the ideal, at least. Some, in fact, proved to be rather “thin-skinned” and oversensitive. It is amazing to see how Master DK functioned in such situations — so full of love and yet completely truthful and firm.
10. He closes the paragraph with the request that there be no searching for phenomena (psychic phenomena) as evidence of successful group work. Such phenomena pertain to the personality and not to the soul. He sounds a note of warning; interest in phenomena deters progress. As might be suspected, some did look for phenomena. One disciple was dismissed largely for pursuing this orientation — in his case, the orientation of an astral magician.
11. We can see Master DK laying out the principles by which the work would proceed. It is always good to be clear at the outset. An experiment unlike any that these individuals had ever attempted was about to commence. A clear statement of principles helps to prevent a reversion to the habitual.
This is also for me an experiment, for those of us who are members of some degree of the Hierarchy are necessarily changing the old ways and adapting the old methods to the newer circumstances and to the advance of evolution. Many tried disciples and aspirants (should I have said "tired," brother of mine, for I surmise that both words are true?) are to be subjected to experiments which will involve the application of the ancient rules in a modern way. Disciples in the olden days were the product of more peaceful times. The "chitta" (or mind-stuff as Patanjali calls it in his famous Book of Rules) was neither so highly developed nor was it tinctured by so [Page 6] much thought or potentially so illumined. Today, knowledge is widespread and many, many people are already thinking for themselves.
1. DK sounds the note of experimentation. To assume assured success would produce the wrong attitude in the participants.
2. The Masters, ever seeking to adapt Plan to Purpose, utilize the experimental method. They are very Uranian in this respect.
3. We learn that the Hierarchy is attempting to employ new methods. If disciples have been sufficiently “tried” and tested, they might be chosen to participate in these methods. A little of the Master’s humor emerges here. He knows His “tried” disciples well enough to know that they are “tired” too!
4. The note of so much of DK’s teaching is here sounded: an ancient teaching is given a modern presentation. Eastern esotericism is being adapted to the Western consciousness.
5. DK recognizes the turbulence of the times — a factor which has militated against the successful growth of occultism in the West. The peace of the ancient East had its advantages but also its liabilities. In the West the mind has been assiduously cultivated and has presented an entirely different type of discipleship material to a Master willing to offer occult training.
6. The potentials for the growth of occultism in the West are considerable — as are the complications. But, essentially, it is a good thing that people in the West are “thinking for themselves”. They will come closer to achieving the kind of self-exertion which the Path of Initiation requires.
The material for discipleship with which the Masters have to deal and the type of person which has to be developed and led on towards illumination is of a higher quality and grade, if I may employ so inadequate a term. The experiment of changing methods and of implementing the new technique of group work has to be carried out, likewise, in the midst of the stress and strain of Western civilisation. This imposes on all chosen to participate in this work an undue effort, but if continuance is found possible and success ensues, it tempers the material to a finer degree of power. As has been said, the jungles of the Occident are of a different kind to those within the Eastern zone. They call for peace in turmoil; for power in fatigue; for persistence in spite of bad health; for understanding in spite of the clamour of Western life. Progress is, therefore, made in spite of, and not because of, existing conditions. For disciples, such as those I am now going to attempt to teach, there is no retiring from the world. There is no condition of physical peace and of quiet wherein the soul may be invoked and in which work — potent in results — may be achieved in the calm of silence and the rest of what the Hindu calls samadhi — complete detachment from the calls of the body and the emotions. The work has to go forward in clamour. The point of peace must be found in the midst of riot. Wisdom must be attained in the very midst of intellectual turmoil and the work of cooperation with the Hierarchy on the inner side of life must proceed amidst the devastating racket of modern life in the great cities. Such is your problem and such is my problem as I seek to aid you.
1. So, the “material” with which the Master has to work (note the objectivity in the use of the word “material”) is of a “higher quality and grade”. Thus, the potentials are considerable, for occultism is destined to move its focus from the East to the West.
2. The stress and strain of Western living, however, present a real difficulty. Again, great effort and “continuance” hold the solution to the problem.
3. Because the obstacles are greater in the West, the results may be more potent.
4. DK acknowledges are there are “jungles” in both the East and the West. He names the qualities which are required for success in the ‘Western jungle’.
5. As all of us are, to a degree, immersed in the ‘Western-jungle’, we can ponder the extent to which we are achieving or have achieved the requirements. One fact emerges — the environment will not assist the esoteric way of life. One has to make progress despite the environment.
6. Many of us may have been spiritually trained in relative seclusion during former centuries. That type of quiet, seclusion and removal from the world is no longer possible, and we should not expect it or long for it. The ‘game’ has changed.
7. The West is said to have a ray four personality. Accordingly, we see the contradictions pile up. There must be achievement in the very midst of circumstances seemingly designed to vigorously resist that achievement.
8. The Tibetan does not mince words: “intellectual turmoil”, “devastating racket”. If the modern disciple can brave such opposition and still triumph, something real and lasting is achieved.
9. In a way, the West is ‘occultly unsubdued’. We disciples, with our knowledge of inner patterns, are meant to impose those patterns on chaotic patterns which resist the imposition. It will be a long process; this imposition is part of creating “a new heaven and a new earth”. It is nothing if not a “Herculean labor”.
10. For this type of labor, we have enlisted, and it will surely be with us for centuries to come. Do we imagine that we will experience our last incarnation before the end of the Aquarian Age? We might, but the odds are very much against it.
11. We can see that Master DK is not at all minimizing the difficulties of His experiment as He talks to his disciples. He is preparing them for what they will encounter. This type of providential approach forestalls complaint, which only inhibits the way.
12. The disciple must be, above all, realistic if he/she hopes to fulfill his/her full potential.
For me, there is also the problem of excessive expenditure of force as I attempt to reach each of you and to study each of you at certain intervals. There is the work, at long range, of reading your minds, of seeing your light, and of vitalising your auras. This has not hitherto been the problem of the Eastern Teachers, except in very rare cases. Those who are now working in the modern world under the Masters of the Wisdom have undergone a preliminary tuning-up process and a training in receptivity during an earlier incarnation or incarnations. [Page 7] Forget not, therefore, that I also have a problem which I am willing to undertake for the sake of a needy world and as my contribution to hastening the coming in of the new and more fruitful era. Let us, therefore, facilitate each others' efforts.
1. Master DK uses the teaching technique of informing the student about the teacher’s problem. This takes the student out of his/her usual perspective, which cares little about what the teacher faces.
2. Master DK was working at a distance and had to use occult means to reach His students. Under the Law of Economy, only so much expenditure of force is warranted for any task. Apparently reaching some of these students/disciples called for considerable force — so many were the auric barriers.
3. DK clearly states the kind of occult work necessitated on His part to make the experiment a success: reading minds, seeing light and vitalizing auras (all at a great distance). Only a Master could do this successfully.
4. Thus, the potentials for significant achievement are great, but so are the challenges presented.
5. The Masters lay Their plans far ahead. That these particular disciples were involved in this experiment is no matter of chance or caprice. Some of the necessary work had been done during their previous incarnations. This work had, to a degree, been foreseen and training for it had been undertaken.
6. We are assured, therefore, that the participants had the necessary sensitivity; they had cultivated it in times past. Still, it was, at times, hard to get through to them.
7. Master DK clearly states His problem, so that His students can assume a helpful and cooperative attitude. He calls for collaboration and mutual facilitation, mutual helpfulness.
8. DK’s motives are clear — they are not personal. They have to do with “hastening the coming in of a new and more fruitful era”. He invites these disciples to be part of a great impersonal objective. He seeks to induce the ‘group attitude’ in their thinking, seeking to decentralize them at every turn.
9. How would you, how would I, respond if we were invited in this manner? Probably, we could not resist. Would we have the wisdom to soberly assess what was in store? We might answer, “Yes”, just as these disciples did; and we might be wrong, just as they were.
I promise no quick results. I undertake to provide no spectacular unfoldments. The results rest entirely with you. They depend upon your patience, your exactness in detail, the discipline which you are willing to impose upon your lives and your self-forgetfulness. May I beg of you to leave results alone and to work without attachment for you know not with exactitude what are my goals for you; may I beg you to desist from that constant self-analysis which is such an outstanding characteristic of the introspective, yet ambitious Occidental mystic....
1. The Master seeks to establish a sense of proportion, and again, the assumption of personal responsibility.
2. Four necessary qualities are put forward:
b. exactness in detail,
c. discipline and
These are not qualities common to an emotional aspirant. They require a growing mental polarization and a degree of detachment from the life of the personality.
3. Note the use of the word “impose” with its first ray implications. Anyone transiting from the Path of Discipleship to the Path of Initiation will have to utilize the first ray. In this process, all is not comfortably accomplished, and the soul and personality will fight — this we are assured, as unpleasant as may be the prospect. A higher pattern will be, and must be, imposed on a lower one. Will this be done by others or by ourselves? Better ourselves.
4. Master DK implores His students to “leave results alone”. When He uses such terms as “May I beg of you” (which He quite frequently does), one senses a deep experience at work, and also a realization that the normal tendency of His disciples would be to do exactly the opposite of what He hopes.
5. So, He wants them/us to work without attachment to results and to cease from constant self-analysis and introspection, which often are but indications of our own spiritual ambition.
6. In short, He is asking us to trust Him and to forget ourselves (our little selves).
7. Have we learned the lesson of “taking ourselves as we find ourselves” and, thus, making the best of what we are? We are not better than we are. We are what we are. Can we realistically accept our present condition and move forward without morbidly wishing, ever wishing, that we were better than we are? It is an initial test. The true server will succeed in this test because he/she loves his/her fellow human beings enough.
What, therefore, is the position I take? That I, one of a great group of disciples who — from the humblest aspirant up to the highest Member of the Hierarchy link humanity with the spiritual kingdom — can teach you the ancient rules and give suggestions to you so that you may travel more rapidly along the Path and arrive at greater usefulness to your fellowmen. There is not the slightest suggestion of authoritative pronouncement by a member of the Hierarchy who must be obeyed and whose word is infallible. Let this be remembered, otherwise work will not be possible, elements of danger may enter in and the present effort come to naught. My anonymity has always been preserved and will continue to be so though members of this group of disciples know me for who I am. You know me as a teacher, as a Tibetan disciple and as an initiate of a certain degree — what degree being of no importance to you at all. It is the teaching that I shall give you which will matter. I am an initiate into the mysteries of being. That statement in itself conveys information to those who know. You know also that I am in a human body, and am a resident of northern
. Let that suffice and let not curiosity blind you to the teaching.
1. Master DK does not call Himself a Master, merely a member of a “great group of disciples”. His position is one of identification with all spiritual aspirants and disciples. He is simply a link between the spiritual kingdom and humanity.
2. This statement bears the stamp of true humility. The promise given to His disciples is not one of spiritual advancement, but of “greater usefulness” in service “to your fellowmen”.
3. Master DK eschews an authoritative stance. He immediately sets Himself counter to the attitude which has tainted the pronouncements of so many teachers of the past. He does not invoke ‘hierarchical authority’ so that He may be heard. He does not demand obedience and does not claim infallibility for what He says. This approach is a safeguard.
4. We can understand that if authority or infallibility were invoked, the disciple/student would be weakened, and would simply fall back into the normal Piscean attitude of obedience and thoughtless silence. Any attempt to get the student to think for himself/herself would be frustrated. Certainly, the kind of group work with the Masters seek to see developed would not be possible with a collection of wrongly-obedient, submissive students.
5. DK emphasizes that His anonymity will be preserved as it had been preserved. These instructions were written in 1931 and so He had been working with some of these disciples for some ten years.
6. Contemporary students of the Tibetan now know that He is a Master. It is easy to see the several hints as to His true status which He conveys in this paragraph. When He states that He is an “initiate into the mysteries of being”, we realize that He is an initiate into the realm of the monad, the source of being. The soul body has been destroyed for such initiates. They are free to focus within the world of being — without obstruction.
7. Nonetheless, He insists that His degree is not important. Indeed, it is not. If disciples and students accepted what He said simply because He was a Master, they would be accepting for the wrong reason. His statements would not have made an appeal to their intuitive understanding and their reason; they would have fallen victim to the glamor of authority. Obviously, the Master would not want such an outcome; it would defeat His purpose — the impartation of new modes of discipleship training.
8. The important point conveyed is that the teaching comes first. All other matters (His name, His residence, His initiatory degree, etc.) are peripheral and could become distractions from the true recognition and assimilation of the Teaching.
9. If we think about the problem clearly, we shall see many naïve aspirants in the modern world accepting anything their teacher says simply because their teacher says it. No real evaluation is given to their teacher’s statements; the mind is not engaged. Only belief is engaged. Such aspirants cannot become Aquarian disciples. The mind is insufficiently illumined.
10. For the true disciple or discipleship group, everything said must be tested against the intuition and the Law of Correspondences. If one does not fully understand, one must simply say so. The ability to admit incomplete comprehension and to await greater light is much to be desired.
11. There are some who think they have traced the Tibetan’s particular monastery and they may be correct. It is curious to see the Tibetan speaking of Himself as a “resident of
” rather than of
. One day these matters will be understood, just to set the record straight. It will not be immediately, as the Tibetan was very cautious to cover His tracks.
12. Today, we find the Dalai Lama’s Center in
. No coincidence, perhaps.
We stand together in spiritual enterprise. All of you have voluntarily and without pressure stated your willingness to go forward into a more intensive spiritual life. This you must do in the freedom of your own souls and through the power of [Page 8] your own intellects. You will follow such instructions as seem to you reasonable and right but — when you do choose to follow them — you will attempt to fulfil the requirements with exactitude. You will analyse and question the requirements which from time to time come from me and you will accept no belief in their verbal inspiration. Language ever handicaps and limits. You will also be guided in your work by health and circumstance, and you will ever remember that Masters are made through the achieving of mastery and not through obedience to any person. You will bear in mind that I, your teacher, am not constantly aware of your physical condition or daily doings. I concern not myself with the affairs of the personality and those misguided aspirants who claim that the Masters are forever telling them what to do and are guiding them in their personal affairs are still far from the grade of accepted discipleship. You will remember that the light will shine into a mind that is self-controlled and free from the mental dominance of another mind. With these provisos clearly understood, let us pass on to the enunciation of certain principles and to a consideration of what it may be possible to do.
1. The Tibetan sounds the note of will. The symbol of standing is a will-symbol. The Tibetan is an expert at exhortation — at inspiring speech.
2. Note how often the formula “You will….” is used in this paragraph. He is fortifying His disciples with a kind of bracing energy.
3. The freewill of the participants is being emphasized and they are being encouraged to stand in the strength of their freely dedicated will.
4. Again the note of “exactitude” is sounding. DK expects that His instructions will be exactly followed by those who, though an act of their own freewill and accord, have allied themselves with this enterprise.
5. The injunctions here given are realistic. No impractical ideals are offered. Health and circumstance are important in the life of discipleship; they are to be taken into consideration and mastered.
6. A sense of proportion is introduced. The teacher is not always aware of what His student or disciple may be doing — in fact, rarely so. Many of us have seen such a glamor at work — some disciples claiming to ‘check in’ with the Master to see if they can eat what is being served!
7. The Master points to certain childish practices involved in following so-called guidance. He lets us know that the Masters are not really all that interested in our personal affairs. We know that there are many who say They are. Such people, the Tibetan assures us, are still very far from the rank of “accepted disciple”. We can infer that accepted discipleship is for responsible, self-determining, mature people and not at all for dependent persons who imagine that the Master is forever telling them what to do.
8. The new discipleship is not the discipleship of the Piscean Age — the ‘Age of Faith, Authority and Obedience’. In telling His disciples what He will not do, He is using the sword of discrimination to separate the new way from the old. Much repetition is required as old habits die hard, and as so many of us have been Piscean aspirants and disciples for a number of centuries.
9. Master DK’s pedagogical technique is clear; He tells what He will not do and why He will not. Then He tells also what He will do, and, again, why.
First: Let it be constantly remembered that the new discipleship is primarily an experiment in group work and that its main objective is not the perfecting of the individual disciple in the group. I regard this statement as basic and essential. The individuals are intended to supplement each other and complement each other and in the aggregate of their qualities should eventually provide a group capable of useful, spiritual expression and one through which spiritual energy can flow for the helping of humanity. The work to be done is on the mental plane. The spheres of service of individual disciples remain the same as before but to their differing fields of individual endeavour there will be added a group activity and life which will become more clear as time elapses. The first objective is, therefore, to weld and unify the group so that each person in it can work in close mental rapport and spiritual cooperation with the others. This inevitably takes time and the success of this new effort on the part of the Hierarchy will depend upon a non-critical attitude and the outpouring of a spirit of love on the part of each member of the group. This [Page 9] will be fairly easy for some disciples to achieve but very difficult for others. So many high-grade people today have an over-development of the analytical mind. As time goes on, however, and if real effort is made, the welding process will make much progress. This, therefore, is our first effort, as it is the first effort of the group of every Master and the achievement of the Hierarchy itself — group unity.
1. The Master offers a “basic and essential” statement. He and His disciples are engaged in an experiment in group work. The purpose is not the perfecting of the individual disciple in the group. (Of course, incidentally, if all goes well, this perfecting occurs as a collateral effect.)
2. DK speaks of supplementation and complementation. We can see why it is important for the members of a group to know their own ray(s) and astrological qualities and the qualities of their co-workers. With this knowledge in place, they can better supplement and complement each other.
3. We see that DK is seeking for His groups the Aquarian virtue of “unity in diversity”.
4. The work to be done is on the mental plane. The disciples continue their already established line of service, but the new group work enriches it.
5. The first order of business is the welding and unifying of the group with the purpose of achieving “close mental rapport and spiritual cooperation with others”. What are these qualities?
6. Through “close mental rapport” the members of a group will understand each other and be able to reinforce each other’s thoughts and efforts. There will not be that (kama-manasically based) tendency towards misunderstanding which is so productive of schisms and cleavages within a group.
7. “Spiritual cooperation” can be thought of soul-harmony and soul-reinforcement. It is necessary to deal with the fact that the group members are independent human beings who are, for the most part, geographically separated. They cannot always be talking to each other (at least not in those days) and physically working with each other. Yet still, they must be spiritually cooperative. Might we say that to do so, they can give the powers of the soul to each other, and be present to each other in a spirit of love and unity? They can learn to work with each other as souls, if not always as personalities.
8. The Master is clear about the process — it takes time to achieve the desired welding and unity. Success depends upon non-criticism and “the outpouring of a spirit of love on the part of each member of the group”.
9. These thoughts are so important. If we group members could only adhere to them (constantly), so much good would be achieved in our group life. The instructions are simple but so few disciples succeed in performing them. Of course, to succeed we would have to overcome the ancient habit of selfishness. We would have to negate the ancient Martian vibration, and transcend the undesirable tendency of lower Saturn to fortify the lower ego. No wonder why (though these two requirements are easy to understand) they are not easily achieved.
10. The personnel of any group are diversified. Some are highly developed in the mind, and excessively analytical. Some have greater heart development and are in need of mental stimulation. Regardless of the imbalances, group love is the way for all, and a refraining from belittlement. To bless where one once criticized — this would indicate real progress.
11. Again the Master puts first things first. He know the first task with this new group of disciples — the achievement of group unity.
12. This task can be approached in a number of ways:
b. through the cultivation of right thought,
c. through work pursued in common,
d. through persistence.
The group members learn each others quality. They learn to absorb each other and, especially, to absorb inharmonies. No words about how to do this will suffice. Each member of the group and the group as a whole, learns by doing.
13. The principle is clear: when a group is filled with cleavages, group consciousness is not possible. When welding, harmonization, unification have occurred, great strides can be made.
Every disciple has to learn to subordinate his own ideas of personal growth to the group requirements, for — in order to have a coordinated group, functioning as a serviceable unit — some disciples will have to hasten their progress in certain directions and others will have to slow down theirs temporarily to the pace of the majority. This will happen automatically, if the group identity is the dominant factor in the thoughts of each disciple, and desire for personal growth and for spiritual satisfaction is relegated to a secondary place. The groups within each Ashram are intended to work together eventually just as the various departments of some great organisation work together effectively as a unit. They must function smoothly and intelligently. This will be possible when the individual members in the groups and the individual groups lose sight of their own identities in an effort to make this experiment of the Hierarchy successful. The feelings, reactions, wishes and successes of the individual most emphatically do not count.
1. Some of the first sacrifices required by group work are stated. Comfort is involved. We all have our own rhythms, some relatively fast, some relatively slow. But group requirements are to be understood and our own ‘habits of motion’ made to adjust, for the sake of the whole. This may not always be easy, as the habits of a lifetime (or more) may have to be challenged.
2. Need there necessarily be a struggle over these adaptations? Not if “the group identity is the dominant factor in the thoughts of the disciple”.
3. Of course, this is not always the case. Many disciples are very “full of themselves” and fail to think of the group and the Ashram in any practical and immediate way.
4. It is “desire for personal growth and spiritual satisfaction” which makes us discontent over the approach of our fellow group members. The selfish group member will often see the others as “getting in his/her way” or in some manner “inhibiting his/her progress”.
5. In this paragraph there are a number of “hard sayings” — especially for the individualistic, ambitious disciple. Individual identities are to be sacrificed to group good, and yet the individual must remain in full integrity (unlike the process in groups which seek to standardized the rank and file and render them obedient to a leader).
6. What is important is that the group, like the Ashram which inspires it, works together effectively as a unit, functioning smoothly and intelligently, like the fingers on one hand. This can happen, and when it does there is a burst of joyous realization and accomplishment.
7. DK becomes emphatic about the usual personal sensitivities: “The feelings, reactions, wishes and successes of the individual most emphatically do not count.”
8. Clearly, a certain level of spiritual maturity would have to be achieved before a modern individual could willingly accept such a statement.
9. But such group work as the Tibetan has proposed is for those who are outgrowing their customary preoccupation with the personality. They long for a larger life, and that life can only be found in loving group cooperation with others.
10. Many seek “God-consciousness” but they do so in a rather individualistic way. They seem to avoid the necessary intermediate stage of “group-consciousness”. It is a bit like trying to reach the monad directly from the personality and by-passing the soul. It can be done, but there are considerable dangers and something of value is often lost.
11. So, how do we “lose sight of our own identities”? Well, we have to learn to value something more than we value our customary selves. Some dissatisfaction or divine discontent must enter as we ponder the force center with which we have been for so long identified — namely, the personality. Some distinct realization of the limitation which personality represents must have dawned upon us, and some flash of greater possibilities. Much experience of an individual kind may be needed before real group work becomes possible. If group involvement occurs before the personality has been sufficiently outlived, then many personality weaknesses will be dragged into the group militating against successful group process.
12. Questions of maturity and readiness are ever present on the Occult Path.
Only that is regarded as of moment which will further group effort and enrich the group consciousness. Only that, for instance, attracts my attention which brings more spiritual power to my group of disciples or which increases its light or dims its radiance. You need to remember that I look at my groups of disciples always subjectively and as a group. It is the total radiance which I see; it is the united rhythm which I note and the united tone and colour; it is the sound they collectively emit which I hear. May I reiterate that in one sense your individualities are of no interest or moment to me, except in so far as you raise or lower the group vibration. As personalities, you matter not to us, the teachers on the inner side. As souls you are of vital moment. Each disciple in the group of any Master may have many weaknesses and limitations. These act as hindrances to others in the group. But, as souls, such disciples [Page 10] are somewhat awakened and alive and have achieved a certain measure of alignment. So it is with all of you in my group. As souls, I cherish you and seek to aid and lift, to expand and enlighten.
1. The ideal attitudes for members of new discipleship groups are here stated. Group values are constantly reiterated, individual values minimized.
2. The enrichment of the group consciousness; the increase of spiritual power in the group; the increase of group light — these are the factors of moment. Any other happenings and developments are peripheral.
3. Will there not come a time when excessive preoccupation with the little self will give way to a real concern with the welfare of one’s group? Probably this attitude cannot be forced and is a matter of growth. At length, however, it must come.
4. Attending carefully to the Master’s words as He describes the manner in which He views His groups can facilitate that growth, at least giving a heightened incentive to outgrow personality-centeredness.
5. This is such an important paragraph. It certainly applies to us in all our group endeavors. The Master is speaking in strong terms. He is devaluing our personal selves and emphasizing our value as souls.
6. Is there something in us that resents this? Or feels that DK is failing to recognize who ‘we’ are? If so, the implications are clear: we are still centered in our personality and not really ready for the group work of the kind here proposed.
7. Some important questions could arise from the Master’s statements: “Am I raising or lowering the group vibration”? “Am I dimming or enhancing the group radiation of light?”
8. What the Master is really doing is emphasizing who we are and withdrawing His attention from who we are not. In fact, rather than showing disinterest in us, He is showing a profound interest in who we really are. Upon the Path of Occultism one must overcome the distortions of the “astral inversion” which inclines us to value that which is relatively worthless and despise that which is really of true value. Under this inversion we ‘sell’ our real self to the lunar lords and reject the Angel Who seeks to see us on familiar terms with our Higher Self.
9. This paragraph is so typical of the way in which the Master shows His love. He uses many contrasts, setting that which is undesirable to one side and countering it with that which is profoundly desirable. In fact, very often He uses the fourth ray of Harmony through Conflict.
10. To the superficial reader, it could seem as if the Master did not care about ‘us’. To the reader who reads with the eyes of the soul, we learn that not only does the Master care, but that He cherishes us — as souls.
11. It is certain that the Master’s love is profound, but His experience is also great and He cannot lavish value on that which is relatively valueless, ignoring the best in us simply to preserve our comfortable habits of consciousness.
I would like here to emphasise one point as we consider the individual in the group and his group relations. Watch with care your thoughts anent each other, and kill out at once all suspicion, all criticism and seek to hold each other unwaveringly in the light of love. You have no idea of the potency of such an effort or of its power to release each other's bonds and to lift the group to an exceedingly high place. By the pure light of love for each other, you can draw nearer to me and to the teachers on the subjective side of life and arrive more rapidly at that Gate which opens on the lighted Way. You have the opportunity to demonstrate to each other the scientific value and power of love, regarded as a force in nature. Make this demonstration your endeavour. You will thus release for each other all that is needed to bring about potent and vital changes in the life patterns and purpose of the group members.
1. This paragraph offers one of the major keys to successful group work. The three major sources of glamor are criticism, suspicion and self-pity. Here the Master discusses two of them (criticism and suspicion) and asks us to kill them out. Instead, we are to hold each other “in the light of love”, which is equivalent to saying, ‘in the revelatory vibration of love’.
2. To hold each other thus, is a tremendous releasing factor. Why should this be so? Each criticism, each suspicion is like a theft from the one to whom they are directed. They are ‘forces of diminishment’; they never exalt but only tear down. They fail to strengthen the soul and only weaken the personality.
3. Love, on the other hand, brings out the best in us; it swells the good and helps us overflow our limitations. Through love, we restore the other to ourselves and ourselves to each other. Under the regime of selfishness, we are bound by separatism and cleavage. We are disempowered by the limitations caused by artificial ego boundaries. The power of the whole is vastly greater than the part, yet such forces as criticism and suspicion imprison us in the part. They do not see and reinforce the good.
4. One day there will be groups which love with a liberating love of the kind the Tibetan writes. So simple a thing He asks, and yet where are the groups in which this kind of love flows freely? Perhaps somewhere they exist. Surely, they must come to exist.
5. Why does the “pure light of love” draw us closer to the teachers on the inner side? Theirs is a world of harmony, of freely flowing, uninterrupted harmonious interchange. They live in a world of pure patterns, unobstructed by the ugly constructs which humanity has managed to create through wrong thought. The pure light of love instantly dissolves the ugly maze and restores the power of the archetype through which there can be free flow. It is we who prevent contact with the Master by our unfit vibratory patterns; on His side, He is ever ready, when our patterns are ready.
6. “The scientific value and power of love, regarded as a force in nature” — this, the Tibetan invites us to demonstrate. How difficult it is to encourage men to love! They have so much to gain — eventually the freedom of the whole — and yet they refuse to love. It is amazing that we almost habitually refuse the benefit of this great force.
7. Of course, times are now changing. The Hierarchy is drawing nearer, the Aquarian energies are drawing closer (emphasizing the powers of Venus and Jupiter among others). The Christ is nearing His humanity. It should become easier to love and demonstrate love. The Aquarian Age will be a scientific Age, and love will studied as a scientific force, as is here suggested.
8. It is clear that if we do not love, we hold each other in bondage. How we see the other is often what the other becomes. The story of Don Quixote is an admirable example. We should remember the good we can do each other simply through the genuine expression of love. We have only to think of Christ’s love for us to realize what can be accomplished when love is strong and pure. There is so much talk about this energy, and so little realization of what it is. Yet its day is coming.
Love is not a sentiment or an emotion nor is it desire or a selfish motive for right action in daily life. Love is the wielding of the force which guides the worlds and which leads to the integration, unity and inclusiveness which impels Deity itself to action. Love is a hard thing to cultivate — such is the inherent selfishness of human nature; it is a difficult thing to apply to all conditions of life and its expression will demand of you the utmost you have to give and the stamping out of your selfish personal activities.
1. DK goes on to tell us what love it not. It is not a sentiment — an unclear thought tinged with a pleasant feeling.
2. It is not an emotion moving us through strong desire.
3. It is not a desire, for it wants nothing for itself. It is a giving rather than a taking or getting.
4. Nor is love a “selfish motive for right action in daily life”. For instance, one might selfishly think that if all were peaceful and loving, one could more easily gratify one’s desires.
5. These states (familiar definitions of love) are a limitation upon the true nature of love.
6. Then, DK (echoing Dante) says something extraordinary: “Love is the wielding of the force with guides the worlds”. He seems to be saying that all that is moving is moving because of Love. Love is the cohesive, attractive force which ensures that the God-intended Archetype is realized, materialized and fulfilled.
7. Somehow, when a certain unity, integration and inclusiveness are achieved, this achievement is recognized as the ‘Field of Love’. When this field is realized, one is impelled to do everything possible to bring all creation into that ‘Field of Love’.
8. Love is not what people usually say it is. It is a Force so stupendous that it is forever surprising. It is the Force forgotten again and again under the spell of illusion, and yet re-emerges insistently, ever-new, demanding the total allegiance of the consciousness.
9. Then comes DK’s realism: “Love is a hard thing to cultivate”. As magnificent as is this Energy, established human nature resists the experience and presence of Love.
10. Clearly, DK is calling for the development of the “Will-to-Love”, so that the difficulty in cultivation may at length be overcome.
11. Why is Love so difficult to cultivate and apply? Might it be said that, as personalities, we are built of forces the very nature of which opposes love. Rotary motion rules, long cultivated during and since the last solar system. Spiral cyclic motion has yet to win the day. Therefore, two types of universal motion are opposed and contend with each other.
12. Matter of the present kind does not yet easily ‘hold the presence of Love’. It has to be trained to do so. Master DK is asking His disciples to train themselves in this direction.
13. Selfishness is the given; love is the rarity.
Disciples in the group of a Master have to love each other with intelligence and an abiding strength and thus release that light and power which will eventually make the group of effective value in the world. As I work with you in the future, I shall not wait to wrap up the truths I have to say to each of you in such a way that they cannot hurt. I shall not in the future consider your personality feelings and reactions because I count upon the sincerity of your purpose.
1. We are here given the way in which we must love each other (if we are to be in a Master’s group) — i.e., with intelligence and an abiding strength.
2. Over and over the idea is repeated: love brings release. We free each other through love. We strengthen each other through love. We bring fulfillment to each other through love. So great is the promise, that one would think love would be practiced ceaselessly. Perhaps people simply do not know how.
3. DK moves immediately from love to frankness. Having stated how we should love each other (which is very much the way He loves us), He assures us that He will not “wrap up the truth[s]” that He has to share with us in such a way “that they cannot hurt”. At least this is His intention. My impression, however, is that on a number of occasions (out of compassion) He did exactly that. He certainly buffered the impact of some strong thoughts He had to convey. His approach is ‘masterful’.
4. But at least at the beginning of this experimental enterprise, He takes the entirely impersonal point of view, discounting the value of feelings, and asserting that the sincerity of the student makes it unnecessary to be artificially gentle in conveying the truth.
5. This paragraph seems to say that love and directness go hand in hand — that if one loves enough, one can be completely truthful and direct.
6. The corollary is that feelings, per se, are illusory and no guide to truth. One should not have to tiptoe around such unrealities.
It is perhaps wise to remember here that, as a general rule, no one believes what others may tell him — no matter how apparent [Page 11] the truth or how much the person may protest that he accepts that truth. Only those truths which are wrought out individually in the crucible of experience really penetrate into the living consciousness and bear fruit. But in this group effort which we are undertaking, the fact that all in the group are made aware of what is said to the individual may prove most useful and produce much more rapid adjustments than could otherwise be the case — provided that, unitedly and in love, they will then help their fellow disciple to change the undesirable condition. I count on one thing only, my brothers, and that is your deep sincerity. It is not a negative thing (as some claim) to point out a fault or error. As the clear light of the soul pours in, it reveals the personality for what it is. If true dispassion is practised, this group of disciples can see things as they are and remain untouched by the revelation of the desirable or the undesirable qualities. If you are depressed or irritated or hurt by such revelation, it indicates a basic lack of dispassion and proves attachment to the personality and to the opinions of others.
1. The Tibetan opens with a surprising statement and many of us would protest that He is incorrect. “Of course”, we might say, “we can accept the truth from another when it seems obvious and agrees with what we consider true and accurate”.
2. Ultimately, however, we realize that He is correct. There is a kind of protective mechanism within the human being which insists on verifying beliefs — especially in matters which lie within the believer’s range of provability.
3. In the Tibetan’s experiment, all disciples in any group-of-nine received the personal instruction sent to each disciple in that group. The value of this approach is here emphasized; DK tells us that the resultant mutual awareness may produce “much more rapid adjustments than might otherwise be the case”. It is obvious that a certain potential vulnerability is created by this kind of sharing within a group. Therefore, an attitude of united group love is required of those who are made aware of their brothers’ weaknesses. Such awareness is a tremendous responsibility.
4. Basically, the Tibetan is relying upon one or two foundational conditions within His disciples: persistence and sincerity. Without strong commitment, success would not be possible.
5. As a teacher of the Ageless Wisdom and the Master the Ashram, the Tibetan is obliged to point out faults or errors when He deems it necessary for the welfare of the group or the individual. He is trying to help His disciples develop the right attitude towards such revelations.
6. Even if the Tibetan refrained from revealing faults and errors, the intensifying light of the soul, pouring into the disciple’s consciousness, would bring revelation of the undesirable — not only to an individual disciple in whom the difficulty might exist, but to the disciple’s co-workers. “Each sees and knows the villainy of each”.
7. Responding to such inevitable revelations in the right way requires dispassion and detachment, and, essentially, a disidentification from the ‘field of error’. After all, the disciple is not the personality. The personality is the disciple’s instrument, and if the disciple is identified with a center of being (the soul) other than that instrument, he/she will be able to respond to constructive correction in the right way.
8. In the final sentence of the paragraph DK speaks of the possible reactions of depression, irritation and hurt (i.e., “hurt feelings”). He seeks to avoid such undesirable responses, but, as we can imagine, a number of the disciples did respond at times in this undesirable manner. To know beforehand that a certain type of response is undesirable is useful should that response arise. It can then be recognized for what it is and dealt with more effectively. There is much of pain, sorrow and suffering in the disidentification process. It seems that human consciousness has almost to be ‘pried loose’ from identification with what it is not.
9. The process of establishing a basic humility is filled with moments of perceived humiliation. This can be difficult to take — for the personality. There is, however, no escape. The lower ego must be humbled and inevitably experiences pain in the process, until the soul understands what is happening and participates more joyfully in the ‘game’
Secondly, it is essential that all disciples in an Ashram should be contemplatives, but contemplatives in the occult sense and not the mystical. In any meditation work which you are doing or may in the future do, your aim should be to achieve as rapidly as possible the highest point in the meditation process, passing quickly through the stages of concentration, alignment and meditation to contemplation. Having achieved that high point, you should strive to preserve it and should learn thus to function as a soul in its own world, contemplating the world of energies in which all initiates work and in which you each must some day — in this life or another — take your place. This status (if I may call it by such a name) must be carefully striven for, accurately observed when in any way attained, and an exact record of impressions kept. You should, therefore, constitute a group of active contemplatives, and the result will be facilitated if you will ponder upon and struggle for the first condition of your group existence — group unity.
1. The Tibetan emphasizes the value of contemplation. His students are to learn to contemplate and become, therefore, “a group of active contemplatives”. Contemplation is a rather high stage in the meditative process and means, essentially, that the meditator can enter the dimension of the soul at will, and function as a soul in the world of soul.
2. This is another way of saying that student/disciples in His groups are no longer to meditate as personalities. During the meditation process, they are to see their identity change into that of the soul. One day in the future, they are to make the transition from being able to meditate as a soul to being able to live as a soul, focussed constantly in that dimension which they entered by means of contemplation.
3. Here the Tibetan speaks of the cultivation of the subjective life. Contemplation is not a naturally-achieved state of consciousness. The necessary stages of concentration, alignment and meditation precede it. DK wants His students to recognize the contemplative stage when it is achieved — presumably, so the experience can be more readily repeated.
4. A fascinating idea is offered: if group unity is achieved, contemplation is facilitated. A condition of group unity ends the many distractions that continue to force the human consciousness back into personality identification. The soul is group conscious and the soul state is entered by those who can slip easily into group consciousness.
5. Group love and contemplation are closely related. Two astrological sources (Libra and Venus) are related to the contemplative stage of consciousness. These astrological factors are also related to group consciousness and especially to the second Law of the Soul (the Law of Magnetic Impulse or Polar Union).
6. In the contemplative state there is an appreciation (Venus) of group soul-union (Libra) — embracing all personalities within the group as well.
7. On the Path of Occultism we so often find that the cultivation of a particular virtue strengthens another ability or virtue which, hitherto, had seemed unrelated.
Third: This group unity which will have its roots in united group meditation or in the contemplative life (wherein the soul knows itself to be one with all souls) must work out in some form of group activity. This should demonstrate at once in the group itself and later on — when the unification is more complete — in the world at large. It is in this way that the Masters' Ashrams will be externalised on earth and the Hierarchy function openly on the physical plane and not behind the scenes as hitherto. Then will come the restoration of the Mysteries.
1. This last paragraph is full of the promise of better times to come. The cultivation of the internal states of group unity and contemplative realization will have very practical and beneficial effects in the coming civilization.
2. Group unity is not achieved simply by willing group unity. Rather, it grows out of meditative realization, and especially from the contemplative state.
3. We have here a ‘virtuous circle’: contemplation reinforces group unity; group unity reinforces the ability to contemplate as a soul. We should ponder on the connection between these two until we are clear about their mutual interplay.
4. Group unity is a beneficial state of consciousness for all individuals in the group and for the group as a whole. From such unity, constructive service activity will grow — first within the group and then in relation to the world at large.
5. What we see is that group unity and achieved contemplation are important factors in producing the Externalization of the Hierarchy and the eventual “restoration of the Mysteries”.