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Discipleship in the New Age I - The Six Stages of Discipleship - Part II
World disciples think in terms of groups with a steadily developing measure of inclusiveness. Their own group, their own circle of co-workers and their own field of service are seen by them in right proportion because they are not divorced from the environing All. They are active focal points for the Forces of Light in the three worlds of human endeavor and are to be found in every field and school of thought.

I am not going to define for you active discipleship as ordinarily understood. Every esoteric student knows its significance, its implications and its responsibilities. I seek to develop in you that sense of world need and that capable usefulness which will make each of you who read and understand my words a disciple in truth and in deed. The primary task of the Masters is to develop in their disciples a world sense which will enable them to see the immediate situation against the background of the past, illumined by the light of knowledge of the Plan which always concerns the future - except for those rare spirits who think ever in terms of the whole. The blue prints for the immediate plan are in the hands of the world disciples; the working out of these plans under the inspiration and help of the world disciples is in the hands of all accepted disciples everywhere. Neither world disciples nor accepted disciples are mystical visionaries or vague idealists but men and women who are intelligently and practically seeking to make the ideal plan a factual experiment and success on earth. Such is the task in which all of you have the opportunity to help. Your ability to become world disciples eventually is dependent upon your capacity to decentralize yourselves and to forget your personalities. This forgetting involves not only your own personalities but also the personalities of your fellow disciples and co-workers and of all you meet. It means, also, that in the future you go forward into a greater measure of service, impelled thereto by the fire of love in your hearts for your fellowmen.

One factor that should be touched upon here is that frequently disciples handicap themselves because, not having learnt to forget their personalities, they have an attitude of deep concern over demonstrated past failures and a consciousness of very real inadequacy. They become over preoccupied [691] with the personnel of the group and not with the group soul. You, as disciples, are too preoccupied with the inter-personality relationship and are not sufficiently focused upon the group-soul and upon the Master, the center and the focal point of energy of the group. If you would reject all criticism, if you cultivate the joy of relationship and seek ever to participate together in whatever spiritual blessing may be outpoured for the helping of the world, if you seek to contact the Master as a group, if you are in a position to know your group, and if you tune out all anxiety as to success or non-success in the apportioned service, you would greatly aid in the task with which the Master of any group is confronted. The needed fusion can always take place among disciples when they meet on the level of the soul and when the service to be rendered is the dominant factor and not so much the how of rendering it; for this each disciple is independently responsible.

The Master does not train a group of men and women to be good and obedient disciples, carrying out his wishes and working out his purposes. He is training them eventually to take initiation and become Masters themselves and he never loses sight of this objective. You, as disciples, have, therefore, to learn to handle force and to draw energies into the destined area of service and this is a fact you must constantly have in mind. Disciples are chosen by the Master because, in spite of any or all personality limitations, they respond in their individual measure to the immediate vision of the united Hierarchy and to the methods which they propose to employ in materializing this vision. The hierarchical vision (as far as you can understand it) is the response of the Masters to the higher impression to which they are subjected and to which they accord their assent according to ray and not according to point of development. The Master recognizes those who recognize the Plan and are trying (with full or with qualified dedication) to help bring it about. He then stimulates them as a group, because they have identity of vision and dedication; this enables them, under that stimulation and inspiration, to become more effective in the chosen (self-chosen) line of service. I would have you, therefore, ponder carefully upon the following recognitions: [692]

  1. The recognition of the vision.
  2. The recognition of the Plan, for vision and Plan are not the same.
  3. The recognition which the Master accords to a group of dedicated aspirants when he accepts them as his disciples.
  4. Your recognition of the Master's ideas as goals to future endeavor.
  5. Your recognition of each other as souls and servers.

When these recognitions are properly understood, there will then be eventual recognition, by the Hierarchy, of a group of disciples who can be used as a channel through which spiritual energy, light and love can be poured into a needy and agonizing world. The group will then be endowed with power to serve but it will not be power given to it by the Master. It will be a potency which it has engendered itself. This power which disciples wield comes as a response to a life rightly lived and love fully given. There is a great law which can be embodied in the words "to those who give all, all is given." This is true of the individual disciple and of a Master's group. Most aspirants to discipleship today do not know or realize this law; they do not give freely and fully either to the work of the Hierarchy or to those who need. Until they do, they limit their effectiveness and shut the door on supply, not only for themselves but for the group with which they are affiliated in service. Herein lies responsibility. The clue to supply is personality harmlessness and the dedication of all individual resources to the service of the Great Ones, without restraint and spontaneously. When you, as a disciple, try to live harmlessly - in thought and word and deed - and when nothing is held back materially, emotionally or from the angle of time, when physical strength is so given and the gift of all resources is accompanied with happiness, then the disciple will have all that is needed to carry on his work and the same is true of all working groups of servers. Such is the law. Perfection is not yet possible, it is needless for me to say, but greater effort on your part to give and serve is possible.

The time will, therefore, surely come when you will, as individuals and as part of a Master's group, subordinate your [693] personal lives to the need of humanity and to the intention of the Master. You will be and not struggle so hard to be; you will give and not fight constantly the tendency not to give; you will forget your physical bodies and not give so much attention to them (and the result will be better health) ; you will think and not live so deeply in the world of feeling; you will sanely and wisely and as a normal procedure put the work of the Master and of service first.

What is that work? To provide a working intelligent and consecrated group of servers through whom hierarchical Plans can be carried forward and to demonstrate, upon the physical plane, a focal point of spiritual energy. This can then be employed by the Hierarchy to help humanity everywhere, particularly in this time of crisis. The plans of the Hierarchy, as they embody the will of Shamballa, can be and are carried out; the process, however, is either a conscious one or an unconscious mass response to impression. Among the disciples of the world, the response and subsequent activity is a conscious one and leads to intelligent undertakings.

The task of the Master is to evoke from his disciples such a depth of consecrated love and such a realization of today's opportunity that the personality aspects of their lives will fade out in their consciousness and their main preoccupation will be: What must be my service at this time? What are the non-essential things in my life to which I should pay no attention? What is the task to be done? Who are the people I can help? Which aspects of the Master's work should I endeavor to give the most help at this time? These questions must all meet with a balanced, intelligent and non-fanatical response and answer.

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