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Discipleship in the New Age I - Talks to Disciples - Part VIII
I would like also to impress upon you a second point. It is of apt application in the strenuous conditions which prevail at this time. In the stress and strain of your group work let each of you bear in mind, for your encouragement, joy and dedicatory incentive, that you are in this particular group of disciples for preparatory training for initiation. I am entering upon an experiment in group initiation and this is somewhat a new enterprise for the Hierarchy to undertake, though in line with evolutionary development. In future ages, men and women will pass through the Portal of Initiation together, instead of alone and singly as has hitherto been the case. Group progress can, therefore, in this connection be furthered or held back by the effort of the individual group member. A member's difficulties can be enhanced by the united group stimulation; his strength and effectiveness can be increased by the strength, the power and the understanding of the group. Your united responsibility is, therefore, great and your opportunity for rapid progress is real and definitely unusual. When together you pass through the Portal and I present you to those whose task it is to lead you on your next step, there should eventuate such an enhancement of your powers to love, to intuit and to serve, that life will never again appear to be the same thing. You will grasp with surety then what now you dimly sense, and realize the wonder of group love, of group intuition and of group service; you will thus undergo a joint illumination, a shared response and a united effort. You will comprehend then that a line of exclusion may spiritually exist, indicating those who can pass on to the preparatory stage of group initiation and those who must approach that great event singly and alone. These latter belong predominantly to the Piscean Age. They take initiation as separate identities; you can take initiation in group formation.

None of us who do the work of preparing candidates for initiation are in a position to pronounce as to time; that has to be determined by each individual aspirant. See to it, however, [77] as individuals, that your group is not held back through your inability to see, by your personal glamors, by your individual problem or by your slow reactions to known truth.

The third thing that I want to say is that whatever your particular status on the Path at this time, I shall seek to help you as in the past. I shall speak the truth as I see it from my particular vantage point. Upon your blindness in certain directions, I shall seek to throw a light. I shall point out your weaknesses - if I can get your sincere attention. These weaknesses exist. You are not yet initiate, and you have faults, limitations, points of darkness and much inertia and at the same time self-satisfaction. The tendency to self-defense is strong in some of you and this produces an unwillingness to recognize faults or even to admit, hypothetically, that faults may be present. The tendency to self-depreciation is strong in others and it produces that over-emphasis of the personality and that constant thought about the personality which is so detrimental to real progress. In these tendencies (which are so usual) there lies real danger for the would-be initiate. I warn you to watch for the indications of these conditions and to assume an attitude of willingness to listen and to admit the possibility of failure in the one case and of self-forgetfulness in the other. Look yourselves and life squarely in the face and fearlessly see things as they are in truth. Do this not because it is I who am suggesting to you that a situation may be thus or so but because you are willing to face up to facts and are ready for unexpected discoveries about yourselves. One of the first lessons which a disciple needs to learn is that where he thinks he is strongest and where he finds the most satisfaction is very frequently the point of greatest danger and of weakness. Astral conditions are oft seen reversed; hence the glamor which often overcomes a disciple.

In this connection, my brothers, I will admit you into a piece of personal history and one which is quite ordinary in the life of a disciple. It may serve to carry its lesson and its warning. Several lives ago, my Master saw in me a weakness. It was one of which I was quite unaware and it was in fact a quality which I regarded as a strength and which I hugged to myself as a virtue. I was then a young man, anxious to help my Master and humanity but, in the last analysis, I was very keen about myself [78] as an aspirant and very pleased with myself - cloaking this satisfaction under the garb of a reiterated humility. The Master poured into me his strength and energy and so stimulated me that what I thought was a virtue and what I had denied and repudiated as a vice, proved my undoing. I symbolically crashed to earth through the very weight of my weakness. You might well ask what this weakness was? It was my love for my Master which was my undoing. He pointed out to me after the failure that my love for him was in reality based upon pride in myself and a profound satisfaction with myself as an aspirant and a disciple. This I violently denied and was grieved that he should so misunderstand me. I proved him to be right, eventually, through a life of failure and the depth of my egotism. I learnt through that failure but I lost much time from the standpoint of useful service. I found that I was really serving myself and not humanity. From similar mistakes, I seek to save you, for time is a great factor in service. For the masses of humanity, time is not of very great importance; but for the servers of the race, it matters much. Lose not time, therefore, in undue self-analysis, self-depreciation or self-defence. Go forward with discrimination where your unfoldment is concerned, and with love and understanding where your group is concerned. Where I, your teacher, am concerned, give to my words the attention which is due and endeavor to cooperate with me. I shall then some day have the joy of welcoming you to the "Secret Place" where all true servers and initiates must eventually meet and unite.

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