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Discipleship in the New Age II - Talks to Disciples - Group Instruction
November 1944

TO MY GROUP OF AFFILIATED DISCIPLES:

It is more than a year since you received your last set of instructions from me - a year of momentous happenings upon earth and of significant changes in the hierarchical relation to humanity. There is, as a result of the war, a much closer rapport and spiritual confidence apparent between those pledged disciples who have been faithful to their [42] asignments and those of Us who are seeking to use them in the service of world betterment; there is a more definite recognition of emerging spiritual values among aspirants everywhere and a greater readiness to relinquish hindrances to service; the plans of the Christ for humanity's release are more matured for these had to wait until such time that the trend of human aspiration became more clearly emphatic; the new era with its latent possibilities, can be seen upon the horizon, stripped of the veils of glamor and wishful thinking which obscured it ten years ago.

The significant spiritual effects of the war can now be clearly seen, and I can begin to consider with you (earlier than I had anticipated) some of the problems with which you - as potential servers of the race and pledged disciples - can now deal. I could wish, as far as the immediate present is concerned that you were all younger and had availed yourselves more definitely of the teaching I have sought to give you these past years. Above everything else, I wish you were more courageous. Does that word surprise you, my brothers? In considering this year as a whole, I question not your devotion or your steadfastness; I have confidence in the depth of your aspiration and your desire for the will-to-good; I know that naught will turn you for any length of time from the pursuit of your goal.

I do, however, question your courage. It takes courage to make spiritual decisions and to abide by them; it takes courage to adjust your lives - daily and in all relations - to the need of the hour and to the service of mankind; it takes courage to demonstrate to those around you that the present world catastrophe is of more importance to you than the petty affairs of your individual lives and your humdrum contacts; it takes courage to discard the alibis which have prevented you from participating to date in the all-out effort which characterizes today the activities of the Hierarchy; it takes courage to make sacrifices, to refuse time to non-essential activities and to deal with the physical body as if it were free from all impediments; it takes courage to ignore frailties which may be present, the tiredness incident to a long life, the physical tendencies which handicap and limit your [43] service, the sleeplessness which comes from world pressures or from a badly regulated life program, an the nervousness and strain which are the common lot today; it takes courage to attack life on behalf of others, and to obliterate your own wishes in the emergency and need.

One of the points which disciples need to grasp more clearly is the well-recognized fact (and thus easily overlooked from very familiarity) that the assertion of one's determination to function as a server and as a disciple brings about a refocusing of all the forces of the personality and the soul (in unison); it is, symbolically speaking, a recurrence of the ancient event of individualization upon a higher turn of the spiral, this time entered into with full conscious cooperation. This refocusing brings its own difficulties. It leads often to a distressing consciousness of one's own nature, one's aims, one's life theme, one's aspirations and one's handicaps, of one's equipment and experience, plus the various aspects and vehicles through which the soul has perforce to work. All this produces an intensification oft-times of self-interest and of concentration upon one's self, always with the best of intentions and aspiration. One's limitations, physical or otherwise, look unduly large; one's faults are exaggerated in one's consciousness, though not so oft in expression; the extent of the service needed and demanded by the soul appears so great that the disciple at times refuses cooperation for fear of failure or from undue consciousness of himself; excuses for non-service or for only partial service are easily found and appropriated; postponement of all-out help today, plus complete dedication to human need, is easily condoned on the basis of health, time, home limitations, fear of one kind or another, age, or a belief that this life is preparatory to full service in the next; alibis are easy to discover, some of them even taking the form of believing that the demands of the Master and the program of the Ashram with which the disciple is affiliated are unreasonable or - as is the case with two of you in this group - that the Oriental does not understand the demands upon the Occidental disciple.

I have for years endeavored to arouse all of you, and through you the thousands you can as a group reach, to the [44] urgency of the times, but hitherto with only partial or temporary results and as yet (for some of you, though not for all) the work to be done in response to the demands of the Ashram is secondary to your daily life pattern, to the requirements of your business or your home or to what you believe to be the physical limitations, the emotional liabilities and the mental handicaps of your equipment.

My brothers, let me repeat: The disciple has to take himself as he is at any given time, with any given equipment, and under any given circumstances; then he proceeds to subordinate himself, his affairs and his time to the need of the hour, particularly during a phase of group, national or world crisis. When he does this within his own consciousness, and is therefore thinking along lines of the true values, he will discover that his own private affairs are taken care of, his capacities are increased and his limitations are forgotten.

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