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Discipleship in the New Age II - Talks to Disciples - Group Instruction
August-September 1949

BROTHERS, AS OF OLD:

The thought constantly enters my mind as to what I can say in order to make the group work, group relationships, group identification and group initiation a sound, active and factual reality in your minds and in the minds of other aspirants and disciples. I seek with profound earnestness to make this theme or subject true and vital, because it is an essentially new esoteric concept and a germ thought which the many aspirants of the world must grasp. At the same time the aspirant must realize that the ideas are of no real importance to him as an individual - to you, therefore, as an individual and pledged disciple. As long as your state of awareness lays emphasis upon the fact of your individuality, the group idea cannot take form as a group ideal. The sense of separateness is still present. It is a sense which has been laboriously developed - under evolutionary law - from the moment when your soul decided to experiment, to experience, and to express divinity. Separative effort, separate emotional reactions and separative materialistic endeavor have been (if I may so unfortunately express it) the spiritual essentials which must perforce precede group effort and conscious group [95] relations. The factor entailed, therefore, is a definite "break with the past," and the entering into a new state of awareness - an awareness which is fundamentally inclusive and not exclusive.

This is a primary platitude of which you are well aware. In most of you this platitude remains a mental proposition. You hope some day to arrive at this basic sense of inclusiveness which is characteristic of the Hierarchy. At present you do not feel fused, blended and incorporated into the mental, astral and etheric auras of those who form the group of which you know yourself to be a part. I would ask you to study what I have just said with care. Do you like, for instance, to penetrate into the mental atmosphere of a fellow member, or do you care to have him penetrate into yours and thus find out what is the content of your thought? A major test is here involved, and it is one which you will have some day to face. Do you, again, like to share your emotional reactions with a co-disciple? Are you interested in his? If so, why? Some day this responding interest must prove itself effective, and this must necessarily connote self-sacrifice in both directions. Do you want or deem it appropriate to have a fellow-worker come under the influence of your etheric body and, therefore, of the energies which flow through it? And do you want his energies to flow through you?

These are some of the implications of group work, and for these you must be prepared. The realization of the inevitability of these necessities will lead you eventually to a careful scrutiny of your thinking, of your emotional reactions and of the energies to which you give entrance all the time because (for the first time in your soul's history) you feel the need to guard your brother from the results of your personality reactions; consequently, scientific service supersedes your hitherto thoughtless and undisciplined activity. I would here point out that at no time do you ever attempt to guard yourself from the personality reactions of a co-disciple; you welcome them and absorb them and - whilst dealing with them - you aid the cause of liberation in his life, as well as in your own.

The entire subject of group interplay is far deeper and [96] more significant than you suspect or appreciate; it can be summed up in the words of St. Paul: "No man liveth unto himself." Feeling, thinking and absorbing the many actuating and incentive energies constitute a vast process of many interrelations and this, most aspirants are apt to forget.

I suggest that during the coming year you go over your individual instructions and then - during the course of the year - answer six questions which I will dictate. The purpose of this task (shall I call it this?) is to clarify your minds as to your problems and opportunity and latent knowledge, gained as the result of years of work under my tuition; the replies will give to your group brothers a sense of relationship with you, a feeling of shared responsibility, a recognition of group assets and group richness (again using a peculiar word) and a realization of possibility which may greatly strengthen each and all of you. This will close our cycle of instruction. If you avail yourselves of the opportunity for this personal research work, coincident with the postwar period, you may find a sudden spiritual deepening and strengthening of your life, your spiritual contacts and your group relation; you may also find yourselves in closer rapport with the Ashram, its program and potency, and you may likewise discover yourselves being presented with the opportunity to learn in a new and subjective manner, of which I may not speak, until you have registered it yourselves. You will thus greatly increase your usefulness to humanity, to the Ashram, and to me.

The Science of Impression (Telepathy and the Etheric Vehicle, Pages 41-57.) is of major importance to the group. The time for close attention to yourselves and to your individual characters is past; group activity should take its place. By this I mean the activity of this particular group of disciples in relation to my Ashram and in relation to world service.

I would like you to do some further thinking upon the theme of our seventh point, the externalization of the Masters' Ashrams, so that what I hope to say in the next instruction may mean more to you.

Take your group papers and the book Discipleship in the New Age (Vol. I) [97] and run quickly through these two sources of information and then write down:

  1. Any definitions of an Ashram you may find. There are many.
  2. A short, tabulated statement as to the unique work which every Ashram carries on in the outer world through its initiates and disciples and through affiliated disciples, such as the majority of you. Two or three of you are beyond the stage of affiliation.

This assignment need not take you long.

My brothers, I am spiritually ambitious for you. I have gathered you into my ashramic group and, therefore, into my aura for vitalizing, for training and for protection. My love goes ever out to you and my unifying desire. Will you not aid me in my task? Will you stand with me in the hierarchical endeavor to which I am pledged and which I have undertaken in consort with the other Masters? There is much that you can do by speech, by pen and by example. Will you not do it - with a simple heart and a single eye for the helping of a deeply suffering and overburdened humanity.

The six questions are intended to summarize and make deeply personal and significant in your consciousness the instructions, given during the past few years to this group of affiliated disciples. They can be regarded as being put to the disciple by his own soul and will mark - if correctly and creatively used - the closing of a preliminary cycle and the beginning of a new cycle of spiritual usefulness and of fresh growth and development.

These questions should receive most careful consideration and much serious reflection, prior to answering. The answers should convey the truth, as the disciple sees it today and not in the light of his wishful thinking and of his aspiration; the answers should be written down (so as to focus that truth) with no thought or fear of what other members of the group may think. In an Ashram, my brothers, a man is known as he is for this clear knowledge, the members of this group (affiliated with my Ashram) should prepare themselves. [98]

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