Part 1 of 2 here.
It is essential that one thing be grasped by all of you, prior to undertaking work with me. It is that in a group of disciples such as this, the large majority have already taken the first initiation and are being prepared for one of the later initiations. There is nothing surprising in this statement or any particular cause for elation or for pleasure. An immense number of the world aspirants evidence – through their aliveness to the spiritual issues, through the intensity of their aspiration and through their struggles to be good, self-sacrificing and wise – that the life of the indwelling Christ is most definitely moving in them and is present in their hearts. The initiation of “spiritual fixation upon the physical plane” (as the birth at Bethlehem, the first initiation, is sometimes called) has already been undergone by thousands, and they are sincerely and definitely moving forward upon the Way. I would remind you here that many, many lives can elapse between the first initiation and the second – long, long interludes of silent and almost unapparent growth. You are in no way unique or far ahead of the senior world aspirants. In that lies cause for encouragement and humility. It is naturally not my intention to state who is being prepared for any particular initiation. That is a matter for each of you to discover for himself. It is a matter of interior orientation and not a matter of outside information.
One point anent the taking of the first three major initiations, I would like to refer to at this point. It is that they have always to be taken when in a physical body and upon the physical plane, thus demonstrating initiate consciousness through both mind and brain. This is a point not oft emphasized and sometimes contradicted.
I would like also to point out with all the clarity and power at my disposal, the very deep necessity for humility and its constantly recurring expression. I refer not to an inferiority complex but to that adjusted sense of right proportion which equips its possessor with a balanced point of view as to himself, his responsibilities and his life work. This, when present, will enable him to view himself dispassionately and his presented opportunities with equal dispassion. Undoubtedly all disciples, you among them, have speculated upon your status and standing upon the Path and upon the status of your co-disciples. That is, after all, both natural and human. Some of you are too humble in the personal sense and not in the sense of true humility. By that I mean that you are so afraid of pride and bombast and an over-estimation of your capacities that you are untrue to the realities and belittle the power of your souls. R.S.U. is a case in point and needs to walk humbly in the spiritual life which involves a correct recognition of place and opportunity and not this constant emphasis upon her inability to measure up. She owes it to my group of disciples and to me to see herself as she truly is – a disciple in preparation for a certain initiation and with much wisdom at her disposal. W.D.S. suffers from an inferiority complex which drives him to an exterior enforcement of his personality upon others and expresses itself in a subtle, spiritual jealousy of those who impress themselves upon his consciousness as his spiritual superiors. He needs to accept himself as he is, to be glad that there are those who guarantee to him the possibility of future unfoldment, because they have already achieved more than he has, and then to forget about himself as he accepts discipleship and finds himself so busy in true service that he has no time for ceaseless comparisons with others.
True humility is based on fact, on vision and on time pressures. Here I give you a hint and would ask you to think deeply on these three foundations of a major personality attitude which must be held and demonstrated before each initiation. I would remind you that there must always be humility in the presence of true vision.
This experiment which I am undertaking has its dangers. The disciples in a Master’s Ashram upon the inner planes know somewhat the status of their co-disciples, but they do not always carry this knowledge through into the brain consciousness. This is very largely a protective factor because they could not be trusted to handle the knowledge correctly upon the physical plane. They might be super-critical of a fellow disciple who was, temporarily, not living up to his initiation objective; they might be subtly jealous or unduly self-depreciative; they might treat the disciple who is ahead of them upon the Path of Initiation as someone superior and set apart and thereby complicate his problem and his effort; they might lose a sense of proportion as to initiation itself, as to its processes and its states, and this through too close an approach to, or a misunderstanding of, another struggling initiate-disciple. The pitfalls are many and I tell you to beware. Attend to your own life and your own business. Speculate not as to the status of the other disciples in my group who are your close cooperators and co-sharers in my experiment. Cultivate the humility which is based on understanding and vision and so serve the world, your fellow disciples and serve me also – as the major point of your contact with the Hierarchy.
I have often pointed out that a disciple is known by his influence upon his environment, and an initiate by the wide scope of his world service. How does it happen then that a few of you (not all) are not distinguished by such service and are of relatively small importance in world affairs? Several things could explain this. First of all, a disciple may be called to work off certain karmic relationships, to fulfill certain obligations of very ancient origin and thus “clear the decks” for more complete and uninterrupted service to humanity at a later date. This occurs quite frequently between the first and second initiations. Sometimes a disciple may be doing effective service upon the inner planes and on a large scale and yet there may be no evidence of this upon the physical plane, except in the beauty of a life lived. Others may be learning certain techniques of psychological relationships and of energy distribution and may have dedicated some particular life to the acquiring of these esoteric sciences. One life is but a short moment in the long cycle of the soul. The true disciple will never fall back on the reasons given above as alibis for lack of effort. I would remind you that world influence alone does not always imply discipleship. There are many groups – well known and magnetic – which have at their center some dominant personality who is not necessarily a disciple.
In connection with this group of my disciples and with this experiment which I am undertaking, you need to arrive at a point in group experience wherein you are not so intensely preoccupied with your own development, status and service; you all need to learn to decentralize yourselves so that the work to be done becomes the factor of main importance. When this is the case, then the intense self-interest with some aspect of the personality expression, some weakness of character, some dear objective, or some physical condition will cease. You will find the cultivation of a “divine indifference” (as I have told you several times) of great assistance in forgetting the little self; this frequently looms so large (from habit) that it shuts out the higher self; it comes between the disciple and the Master and prevents contact with his co-disciples, thus negating effective service.
There is one more point which I would like to take up with you so that there may be complete understanding. There come periods in the life of the disciple when there appears to be no contact with the Master and as if all relationship had been, at least, temporarily severed. Where accepted disciples are concerned, I would like to emphasize that any such severance is not possible. Occultly, it cannot happen and the Master’s love for the disciple makes it again impossible. There is only one condition which can result in severance and that is deliberate and conscious effort by the disciple, carried over a very long period of time, to bring it about. A Master does not lightly admit a disciple to his group and once having done so, the situation is irrevocable from the standpoint of the Master. Any delay in progress and any final severance comes entirely from the pupil. There may be a temporary suspension of communication and this may last throughout one life; that, however, is not long from the angle of the soul; it is but a flash of small moment and significance in the long career of the soul. It looms as large and important in the personality life but may signify only the grasping of opportunity in the eternal now of the soul.
I have, therefore, been near you and watched at intervals the tide of life roll over you; I have noted your progress and your delay. I have watched you succeed and I have seen you fail. This I do through noting the pulsation of your light – not in watching the detail of your daily living. That is not warranted in this time of crisis, and owing to the evolutionary development of disciples will never again be warranted. You are still within my group aura, within my Ashram. Your position there is determined by yourself and not by me. There exists at times something which resembles a pulsation in the relation between teacher and pupil – a withdrawing and a coming forward where the probationary disciple is concerned and a standing with steadfastness and expectancy on the part of the teacher. When the fluctuations of contact are ended and the pupil is stabilized and becomes a “steadily approaching point of energy,” then he becomes an accepted disciple. Some in my group of disciples are stabilizing; some are retreating; some few are approaching and I watch with interest the waxing and the waning of their light.
The mobilization of every disciple is demanded at this time and when I say “this time” I refer to the present time and the next fifty years. This mobilization involves the focussing of the disciple’s energies, his time and his resources on behalf of humanity; it requires a new dedication to service, a consecration of the thought-life (do you realize what that would mean, my brothers?) and a forgetfulness of self which would rule out all moods and feelings, all personality desires, resentments, grievances and all pettiness in your relations with your fellow-men. On the physical plane, it would mean the conditioning of all active, outer living so that the whole of life becomes one focussed active service. I would ask you to study the above phrasing, using it as a light of revelation so that you may know wherein you are lacking and what you have to do.
I have given you in the past a very great deal of instruction, help and encouragement. That you still have and it would profit you much if you spent some time in recalling it. But today make a new beginning – not for your own sake, but for the helping of a needy world. Forget yourselves.
The pressure of the work upon me has been very heavy lately. Much work has rested upon my shoulders, incident to the world situation. This has involved much effort on the part of the Hierarchy to prevent a complete collapse of the structure of human civilization, as it exists at this time. The sound foundations of part of the structure must be saved; all else may have to go.
Many things contribute to the inertia that today seems to afflict many of the disciples of the world who should be active in service and helpfulness. This applies also to you. The pressure of war conditions and concern over your own personal affairs, attitudes and reactions have crowded much that I might say and have said out of your minds. One of the first lessons which those in training for initiation have to master is that difficult dual attitude which permits right personality activity and real interest in personality affairs and yet at the same time permits nothing personal to interfere with the subjective spiritual life, with service and with the training, given in preparation for initiation. As time goes on, I shall try to bridge between the old techniques and the newer modes of training by using a part of the ancient techniques – now becoming somewhat obsolete – and the giving of those hints which will lead you to understand the nature, purpose and methods of educating accepted disciples in the processes of initiation.
Above all, I would say: Seek to recover the fervour of your earlier, spiritual aspiration and self-discipline. If you have never lost it (though many disciples have) seek to force that energy of inspiration to work out in an effective display of definite action upon the physical plane. How, you ask, my brothers? By increasing the radiance of your light in the world through love and meditation, so that others may turn to you as to a beacon light in the dark night of life which seems in this century to have descended upon humanity; seek to love more than you have ever believed was possible, so that others – frozen and chilled by life circumstance and the present horror of human existence – may turn to you for warmth and comforting. What I and all who are affiliated with the Hierarchy seek to do at this time of desperate crisis is to find those who are dependable points of living energy and through them pour out the love, the strength and the light which the world needs and must have if this storm is to be weathered. I ask you to render this service to me and to humanity. I ask nothing spectacular; it will, however, require a strenuous effort of your souls if you are to respond adequately; I ask nothing impossible; I would remind you that the apathy of the physical body and brain, the inertia of the feeling nature and the sense of futility of the mind when confronted with large issues will seem to hinder you.
Again I point the Way to you and again I wait. Will you intensify your inner life and achieve the power which will enable you to live simultaneously as an efficient human being and a living, loving soul? It is the establishing of the continuity of this dual process which is your main need at this time; it will lead to fusion, personality coordination and a greatly increased efficiency. Many disciples are not young and the settled habit of thought and of the feeling life is not easy to disrupt. They must, however, be disrupted and you must feel no resentment. The rhythms of the personality are stabilized and constitute your line of least resistance. You must cut athwart these, thus forming the cross of life and existence will then take on added difficulty. The results will be new rhythms of beauty.
To those who are standing in the blaze of pain (and their numbers are Legion), of agony, anxiety and distress – seeing it on every hand and attempting to stand steady in the midst of it all – I say: That which appears is not always that which truly is; that which rends and disrupts the personality life is frequently the agent of release, if rightly apprehended; that which will emerge when the Forces of Light have penetrated the world darkness will demonstrate the nature of the undying human spirit. To all of you I say: My love surrounds you and the aura of the Ashram of which I am the center stands like a great defending wall around you and around all who are battling for the right. See that you battle. You can then, if you will, sense this loving protection. Each day, if you will, you can put yourself en rapport with your Master. We are not blind or uncaring. We know, however, that there are worse evils than death and pain. We know that this is the hour of humanity’s greatest opportunity and that if men can pass triumphantly through this and (by the strength of their own souls) surmount this very present evil, then the evolution of humanity will be hastened beyond all that was believed possible. It will constitute a release, self-achieved and self-initiated. This means as much in the life of mankind as it means in the life of the individual disciple. That chance and that opportunity must not be taken from man; the gained. spiritual and eternal values are of far greater importance than his temporary agony.
Little as you may realize it as you think of Us in Our so-called safe retreats, the capacity of identification with all that is involved in world pain today and the sensitivity of those connected with the Hierarchy to the unhappy condition of humanity makes their task of standing-by one of supreme spiritual agony. They understand the depths of the reaction of humanity; they comprehend and understand, for They are one with all men. This involves a far greater comprehension than you can grasp and one which can only be adequately expressed in the word “identification.” They need the staunch support of all their disciples, the steadfast love, the loyal attitude, the unquestioning response to human need which will enable them to carry more easily the heavy burden which human karma has laid upon them and which they carry voluntarily.
Will you give this? Will you aid Our work in every possible way, both as personalities, dedicated to service, and as souls who walk the lighted Way? The need of humanity for love and light, the need of the Hierarchy for channels and for those who will work under direction upon the earth can call forth all that you have to give and can evoke your soul (the only true reward that the disciple seeks) in power and love. This will happen to you, if you will forget the little self.
That your knowledge may be transmuted into wisdom and the eye of vision control your living processes and all your undertakings is the desire (deep within my heart) for each and all of you.
Your Master, Friend and Teacher,