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Discipleship in the New Age II - Teachings on Initiation - Part IV
Part IV

As you together study this subject of initiation, I would ask you to keep an open mind. I have told you that changes are imminent in the training of the initiates of the future, and that the techniques of developing a disciple's consciousness will be different to those used in the past. They will not be the same as those hitherto employed in the East. These have motivated the teaching along this line which has gone out in the West. This does not mean that the earlier methods were not correct and right. It means that the intelligent grasp of the disciple and the initiate is now so advanced (relatively speaking) that the old methods would no more apply than do the simple sums in arithmetic, set in grammar school, aid the progress of the college graduate. They were necessary in the early stages; the power or the ability to divide, subtract, multiply and add were conferred, but it is the power and the ability which are now used, and not the exercises.

On Hints

The hints a Master earlier gave were concerned largely with the building or changing of character and with the awakening of the chela. These no longer constitute hints to the modern disciple; he knows enough by himself to work on his own character, and he has penetrated to the fringe of the inner world by his own effort and on his own power. Such is the rule for the majority of aspirants today. The hints such as I will give you are superficially easy to understand and have an apparently obvious meaning; but they [277] are concerned with service and with human and planetary affairs, and are capable of several interpretations - according to the point of unfoldment and the ray type.

In my last instruction I gave you three hints, and it might be useful if we briefly considered them. I will indicate to at your particular point of development you the line along which light might come to you, as a group, at your particular point of development.

The first hint dealt with the changes wrought by the work done in the Ashrams which are enfolded in the one great Ashram of the Hierarchy. I said that the results of this would be that a closer relationship would be established with Sanat Kumara and his Council Chamber. This will be the result of the work done by the disciples of the world - in or out of incarnation. I wonder how many of you pondered on the significance of the statement that the changes were brought about by the activity of the disciples; by this I mean not the senior initiates, but what you mean when you speak of a disciple. You might naturally have assumed that the needed changes would be instituted by the Masters, or by the Christ, or even by Sanat Kumara. But it is not so. Why is this? What idea lies behind my flat statement? The disciples of the world are the intermediaries between the Hierarchy and Humanity. They are the product of immediate human endeavor; they set the pace for human unfoldment; they are therefore closely en rapport with the consciousness of the race of men. It is the quality of the new disciples, the rapidity with which men find their way into the ranks of the disciples, and the demand which the working disciples in the world make on behalf of humanity (which they know) that brings about the needed changes. The Masters are trained in the art of recognition, which is the consummation of the practice of observation; they stand ever ready to make the needed changes in the techniques or curriculum whenever human nature outgrows the old presentations of the ever-needed truths. The need is indicated to them by their disciples, and they then initiate the required changes. When these occur at a time of crisis and are far-reaching in effect and are determining of conditions for several thousand years to come, then the entire Hierarchy meets in conclave. Upon [278] the basis of the light in this hint, you can for yourselves infer much.

The second hint I gave indicated that mankind had evolved so well that today the goals and theories, the aims and determinations now expressed in human thinking and writing showed that the will aspect of divinity, in its first embryonic manifestation, was beginning to make its presence felt. Have you followed this hint? Have you realized that the uprisings of the masses and their determination to overcome handicaps and all hindrances to a better world state are indicative of this? Do you grasp the fact that the revolutions of the past two hundred years are signs of the striving of the spirit aspect? That spirit is life and will; the world today is showing signs of new life. Think this out in its modern and immediate implications and see the way that the world is going under the inspiration of the spiritual Will.

The third hint I gave you was intended to suggest that it was the duty and the responsibility of the disciple, working under the inspiration of the Ashram to "modify, qualify and adapt" the proposed plan of Shamballa (for which the Ashrams are responsible) in connection with the coming civilization and culture. There is an "art of spiritual compromise" which must be learnt and which it is difficult to master, because it negates fanaticism, requires a trained and intelligent understanding of applied measures and truth, and also negates evasion of responsibility; it involves also a comprehension of the time equation, of differing points in evolution, plus experience in the process of discarding the outgrown and unnecessary - no matter how good it may appear to be.

In these three hints lie much scope for individual education and expansion of consciousness, and it is in the right use of these hints that the disciple learns to serve with adequacy and precision and to render satisfactory service to the Hierarchy. I shall ever indicate to you when I give you a hint, and upon these hints I would ask you to concentrate. I shall not always elaborate as I have done today, for you must grow by solving your own problems.

One of the difficulties which is associated with inaugurating [279] a new and more advanced attitude towards initiation is the offsetting of the idea that the initiate always knows all there is to know. You need to remember that knowledge is associated with the factual world; it concerns the accumulated information of the ages; it is closely connected with memory and its subjective counterpart - recovery of past knowledge. This means regaining again, consciously, all that the Ego has stored up as the result of many incarnations and many different experiences; it is related to the "knowledge petals" in the egoic lotus and to the concrete lower mind. Knowledge is that which brings about an effective working relation between this outer tier of petals, the concrete mind and the brain. It embodies the "intelligence equipment" of a soul in incarnation during any one life, dealing largely with the ephemeral, the transitory and the passing. The factor which is enduring in knowledge is simply its power to relate the past and the present, and thus produce effective, phenomenal living today.

Wisdom is the hallmark of the initiate, and this he possesses even if his practical knowledge of mundane details - historical, geographical, economic, and cultural - may leave much to be desired. The disciples within a Master's Ashram can provide him with what knowledge he may require, for they are drawn from different cultures and civilizations and among them can summarize the sumtotal of human knowledge at any one given time. This must not be forgotten. A Master of the Wisdom always knows where to go for knowledge. Knowledge and intelligence or mental polarization must not be confounded in your minds. I might add to the above that knowledge deals with the ascertained and the effectual on the physical plane and in the three worlds; wisdom deals with inherent capacities and possibilities of spiritual expression. Knowledge can be expressed in concepts and precepts; wisdom is revealed through ideas against which (very frequently) much mundane knowledge powerfully militates. The concrete mind often inhibits, as you well know, the free flow of ideas intuitively impulsed; it is with this free flow of the new ideas that the initiate is basically concerned, because it is ideas, their right application and interpretation, [280] which determine the future of humanity and of the planetary life.

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