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Discipleship in the New Age I - The Six Stages of Discipleship - Part I
In this creative work to which I have referred above and to which all disciples can contribute, the work and the task of the Masters is to project into the world those thoughts and those formulated divine ideas, those concepts and significances which embody - at any one time - the immediate Plan for humanity. A Master, therefore, searches for those minds which are sensitive to this Plan. He is not primarily occupied in looking for people who are good - so-called. Self-forgetfulness and straight kindness means ever harmlessness and that connotes the utmost good. He seeks for those types of people who can respond in unison to that aspect of the Plan for which the Master is responsible and for those who can be taught to subordinate their personalities to its requirements. They have no selfish purposes and desire nothing but only to aid the Master and those senior disciples who may be working under his supervision at some aspect of the Plan. This involves, as I have pointed out, their training in adaptation, in the recognition of true values, in fluidity of ideas, and selfless work for their fellowmen.

A Master's group is not a place wherein disciples are taught to make their personality adjustment and soul contact. It is not a place where character discipline is imposed and right relations established between the personnel of a group of junior or senior disciples. The rules for instituting soul control are ancient and well-known. They have to be practiced for long periods before the stage of accepted discipleship is reached. The contest with the lower nature and the building in of the needed qualities which are essential to the world worker are the normal theme of life experience and, therefore, humanity in its intelligent brackets is constantly and steadily undergoing this training. The capacity to work in collaboration with others at some directed piece of work is a part of the evolutionary process itself and is inevitable. I want to make entirely clear to you that the practices of a purificatory nature and the cultivated right habits of thought which are the major undertaking of an aspirant's life are not the major undertaking of the disciple. [684] They are regarded as incidental and foundational; they concern the handling of the personal self and are the task of the individual soul and are carried forward under soul supervision and not under the supervision of a Master. What, therefore, is the contribution and work of the disciple?

The group of every Master is distinguished by its thought content, contributed by the disciples and used by the Master in his work for humanity. Therefore, the thought life of every disciple must be conditioned by three factors:

  1. By its power. This is dependent upon right spiritual instinct, right understanding and interpretation of ideas and correct formulation of these ideas.
  2. By its purity. This grows naturally out of a growing capacity for unlimited, non-separative love, clear vision and the unimpeded flow of soul force.
  3. By its correct precipitation. This precipitation of thought is due to clearly directed intent, to comprehension of the purpose for which a group of disciples exists, and an increasingly intelligent participation in the Master's creative activity.

The group of a Master is a focus of power, built up by the Master in three ways:

  1. By the potency of his Own thought life, evoked by his response to the united hierarchical purpose and a growing ability to respond to Shamballa.
  2. By his ability to integrate the center of power (his group for which be has made himself responsible) into the immediate activity of the Hierarchy.
  3. By his wisdom in his choice of collaborators. His group of disciples will be effective in world service and useful to his Superiors just in so far as he employs judgment in gathering together the men and women whom he is preparing for initiation.

I use the word "initiation" here because I want all disciples who read my words to realize that initiation is not something which they undergo as a result of any training which they may receive from a Master or because they have reached a certain [685] stage of advanced evolution. It is a process of continuing integration into centers of force, i.e., into a Master's group, into the Hierarchy as a whole and consciously, and - as disciples attain adeptship - into Shamballa. You can see, therefore, that a Master can be greatly hindered or aided in his work for humanity by his choice of disciples. They should ponder on this fact because in so doing the process of decentralization will proceed more rapidly and their love and service will consequently increase with a paralleling certainty and surety.

I would have all disciples grasp this clearly and so get into their consciousness the idea of contribution, watching their thought life with care, so that there may be in it that which will increase the potency and purity of the ideal which at any time is dominating the group and which will be of such a quality that it will precipitate that "pool of thought" with which all disciples can be in rapport and entitled to use.

I would have you also remember that a Master's group is a center of energy into which the disciple is precipitated and that its effect upon him, as a personality, is eliminative and evocative. Those two words cover the life of every disciple. They are singularly descriptive of what is happening to humanity, as the process (so long foretold) of externalizing the Hierarchy and restoring the Mysteries upon the outer plane, is slowly proceeding. The Hierarchy is essentially the group of the Lord of the World; it is his Ashram. In this statement lies the enunciation of a relatively new truth as far as human knowledge is concerned. Before the Hierarchy can work more openly and with fuller recognition by mankind, there must be the elimination of all hate and all sense of separateness and the evocation of good will and right human relations as the result of the activities of all disciples. The widespread recognition of the evil of the present war and of errors in every national policy make it possible eventually to produce a general attitude which will clear the way for the needed right adjustments. It is the same process of awakening and of consequent strife which disciples experience in their individual lives and which prepare them for the stage of accepted disciple.

The vortex of force into which the disciple is plunged (by right of his own effort and the decision of his Master) gives him [686] a needed training in the handling of those energies which are the substance of all creation, thus enabling him to contribute to the creation of the new world. There is always a new world in process of forming; the keynote of the work of every disciple can be summed up in the familiar words: "Behold, I make all things new."

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