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Discipleship in the New Age II - Talks to Disciples - Group Instruction
Make a most definite effort during these two days to step up your consciousness a little higher at each of the three spiritual points in each day: at the early morning meditation, at the noonday recollection, and at the sunset hour of contact. This means - if you follow instructions correctly - that you subject your subtle bodies to six equal points of spiritual stimulation and that you do it consciously. Then at some hour in the day of the full moon, but prior to the exact hour if that hour is not possible, follow the procedure outlined below:
  1. Center the consciousness in the head.
  2. Imagine yourself as retreating even more consciously within towards that point of contact where personality soul and the teacher in the world of souls can meet and become as one.
  3. Then hold yourself as poised and steady as possible, preserving that detached poise as fully as may be during the following process which is carried forward silently by the creative activity of the imagination.
    1. Imagine or visualize yourself as standing before a golden or ivory door. [27]
    2. See that door slowly open, revealing a long low room with three windows - one looking east, one looking west and one looking north. Seated before the eastern window on a low carved chair (but looking towards you, and therefore sitting with his back to the window) you may visualize your Tibetan brother, in deep meditation, seeking to contact you and all for whom he is, as a teacher, responsible.
    3. Then picture yourself as advancing slowly up the long room (which is his study and work room) and then standing before him. See also your group brothers standing with you. Then each of you can constitute himself, in imagination, as spokesman for his group and offer the group in service and deep consecration to the service of the Plan.
    4. When you have accomplished this, imagine that you see me rising from my chair. Then as a group we face the East and say together the Great Invocation. Endeavor consciously to follow my lead as we say the words, and listen with care, using the imagination. This will involve intense concentration.

Do this until the time of the full moon of May, for it is a preparatory exercise in order to train you all in esoteric participation.

Make a careful analysis each month of your success or failure to carry out this discipline, and note with exactitude all reactions, results and phenomena. Success will depend upon your ability to achieve a strong mental reorientation and focus, to keep detached from brain activity, and yet at the same time to preserve the waking brain attentiveness. The resultant effects, reactions, and the registering of any realization must be noted for the two days succeeding the time of the full moon, for the seeping through of information and knowledge is often a slow process, owing to the inadequate alignment of the bodies. The May full moon will inaugurate the first real united effort to synthesize subjectively [28] the present existing groups. This synthesis and corporate effort will become an annual endeavor as time goes on, and will take place regularly each Wesak Festival.

Of the original twenty-four members of the new (reorganized) seed group only eighteen now remain working on the physical plane. Two of them have passed into what we in Tibet call "the clear cold light"; they have gone over to the other side of the veil but are still actively cooperating with the group, and receiving the same instructions from me. I can, however, approach them more directly, as the limitations imposed by the physical brain no longer exist. P.D.W., though the latest to pass over, was held by the handicap of the astral body for an exceedingly brief time; he is now focused and working in connection with my Ashram, upon the mental plane. C.D.P. is now in process of freeing herself from astral limitations, and by the time the sun moves northward she too will be working entirely mentally. They are both of them of real service to me at this time of world need, one owing to her understanding heart and utter selflessness, the other because of his outstanding wisdom.

Three of the original members (C.A.C., S.C.P., and W.O.I.) could not stand the spiritual pressure, and their personalities forced their withdrawal (probably for this incarnation) from the group work. The tests of discipleship are severe, as you well know, and only the pure heart, true love and mental activity can serve to pull the disciple through them; this is always possible, however, where these exist and where there is also a determined orientation towards the light. It is this determined orientation which has enabled W.D.S. to stand steady through his tests. There is a stage of discipleship which is described as that of "light fluctuation." The Stanzas for Disciples, which I have at times quoted to you, speak of this stage as follows:

"In and out of the light, as a moth around a candle, flicker the sparks. These sparks are men, awakened to the light, but men who know not that the greater Light puts out their little light and draws the sparks unto itself. They cannot face the light. They fear its utter truth. [29] They come; they go; again do they return, only again to leave."

Hold these brothers, who still remain your group brothers though temporarily in pralaya, warmly in your hearts. Hold them in love. Seek not to bring them aid or draw them back again within the circle of your service. They are at the point where their own souls alone and I, their Master, know the right timing of approach.

Finally, my brothers, one parting word as I close this instruction. The world tension increases and will increase; anxiety grows and there is no sign of its immediate lessening; the darkest hour of human life is upon us and it frequently brings to the earnest disciple the experience - terrible yet beautiful - to which has been given the name of the "dark night of the soul." This dark night takes different forms and different degrees of intensity, according to the ray, the type and the point in evolution of the disciple. From it you cannot escape. But one error emerges if careful thought is given to this dark night as pictured by the mystics down the ages. Their emphasis has, in the past, been laid upon the suffering which the personality experiences and the agony through which the personality goes. But in reality and from the angle of the facts, that is not the true dark night. The real "dark night" is that of the soul as it participates in the pain of humanity as a whole, in the agony of humanity's separation from God (a separation based upon illusion but not on actuality) and upon the desperation of humanity's reaching forth towards what appears to be an unresponsive God. Personality pain, agony and desperation are very different things and are not concerned with the totality of pain and suffering to which mankind is subjected.

I would therefore ask you to steel your souls to endurance, knowing that the Hierarchy Stands; I would ask you to love blindly and unchangingly in spite of all that may happen, knowing that Love Stands unmoved amid the wreckage of all around and eternally loves; I would ask you to put your hand into that of the Master and move forward with him and in the strength of your group, irradiated by [30] the life and light of the Hierarchy; I would ask you to be a strong hand in the dark to your fellowmen because you are affiliated with the Hierarchy and the love and strength of the Hierarchy can flow through you, if you so permit.

I would remind you in this time of trial that I, your Master, love and guard you, for your soul and my soul are one soul. Be not unduly disturbed. There is no light or dark to the soul but only existence and love. Rest back on that. There is no separation but only identification with the heart of all love; the more you love the more love can reach out through you to others. The chains of love unite the world of men and the world of forms and they constitute the great chain of Hierarchy. The spiritual effort you are asked to make is that of developing yourself into a vibrant and powerful center of that fundamental, universal Love.

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