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Discipleship in the New Age I - The Six Stages of Discipleship - Part VIII
A Master and, to a far higher extent, the Christ, suffers far more from those in his Own household than from those in the outer world; his work is more impeded by the advanced aspirants than by the intelligent thinkers. Bear this in mind at this time. It was not the cruelty of the outer world of men which [761] caused the depths of sorrow to the Christ when on earth; it was his Own disciples, plus the massed sorrow - spread over the entire cycle of life, past, present and future - of humanity.

Disciples gravitate into world groups and many of them are doing far more efficient work than those gathered together into esoteric groups. The advanced accepted disciple has always his own group which he gathers around him for active and creative work. I would remind you of this. The gauge of a disciple's capacity lies in his influence - through pen, word of mouth, and personal influence - upon other people.

Under the Law of Correspondence, there is ever a numerical relation with established numerical entities. The six stages of discipleship are naturally related to the six schools of Indian philosophy which were in reality the six "seed schools" for all philosophical surmise and work. There are not six types of Ashrams corresponding to the six stages of discipleship because there are seven Ashrams (one for each ray type) and all the six stages of discipleship are related to all the Ashrams and all the seven ray types express (at some stage of their unfoldment upon the Path of Discipleship) these six steps towards the center.

The centers, as used by the disciple in his unfolding progress, are dependent upon the ray type to a great extent but it is not my intention to take up this subject of the centers in this series of instructions. I shall be dealing with the subject at some length in the final part of A Treatise on the Seven Rays.

I would like, however, to make clear at this point that the Master never uses a disciple's centers as distributing agencies for force. In the last analysis, the centers are (when functioning correctly) reservoirs of force and distributors of energy, colored by specific quality and of a certain note, vibration, and strength. On the final stages of the Path of Discipleship, they are entirely controlled by the soul, via the head center, but it should be borne in mind that after the fourth initiation and the disappearance of the causal body, there is no form aspect or vehicle which can hold the disciple a prisoner or any way limited. After the third initiation, the lower centers have no control whatsoever over the outer mechanism of response; from [762] the standpoint of the highest occult training and when the disciple is in the Ashram itself, the centers are viewed as simply channels for energy. Until the time of the third initiation, they assume temporary importance in the training process because it is through them that the disciple learns the nature of energy, its distinction from force and the methods of distribution - the latter being one of the last stages in the training process.

The constitution of the ego, or Soul, is the factor of paramount importance to the Master in the task of training the disciple for hierarchical work. This necessarily  involves the three higher centers (head, heart and throat). It is with the so-called egoic lotus that he is concerned and this is a point which the disciple is very apt to forget. The soul is preoccupied with its own life; the details of the personality life (its inadequate expression or shadow in the three worlds) simply make no impact whatsoever upon the soul consciousness. As the violence of the personality life grows, the soul which has been increasingly the recipient of the best the aspiring personality has to offer and which has been slowly turning its attention towards the mind of the personality, becomes also aware of an opposing factor to true soul expression upon the outer periphery of life. Then the battle of the higher pairs of opposites begins - the battle between soul and personality, consciously waged on both sides. That is the point to have in mind. This conflict culminates, prior to each of the first three initiations in the confronting of the two opponents; the Dweller on the Threshold (of initiation, my brother) and the Angel of the Presence stand face to face. But with that battle, we are not here concerned. We are occupied with the theme of the response to hierarchical energy as embodied in the Master's aura and from thence transmitted to the disciple. The channel or channels of direction (there are three of them) might be expressed thus:

  1. The Hierarchy.
    1. The Master.
    2. The Ashram.
    3. The soul of the disciple.
  2. Humanity.
    1. The disciple. [763]
    2. The antahkarana.
    3. The three higher centers.

This is the broad and general process, reaching from the universal (as far as the individual disciple is concerned), to the particular, i.e., the disciple in a physical body.

The detail of the descent of energy or of the process of spiritual inspiration (both these phrases pictorially present the concept of response to the Master's aura) might be put as follows:

  1. The Master's aura.
  2. The egoic lotus or soul body.
  3. The inflow of ashramic energy, via
    1. The sacrifice petals or the will aspect.
    2. The love petals or the love-wisdom aspect.
    3. The knowledge petals or the mind aspect.
      This process will be affected by the ray type of the disciple.
  4. The response from the disciple upon the physical plane and the receptivity of his centers to the activity engendered by the soul, under impression by the Master would be as follows:
    1. The sacrifice petals would transmit energy to the head center, via the sacrifice petals (three of them) to be found in the ring of petals immediately around the "Jewel in the Lotus"; from thence to the sacrifice petal in the three love petals and in the three knowledge petals. You, therefore, have five transmitting points of will-energy.
    2. The love petals similarly transmit love-energy to the heart center, via the love petals, again five in all.
    3. The knowledge petals transmit energy, the energy of intelligent activity, to the throat center, again in the same manner, via the five knowledge petals.
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