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|Discipleship in the New Age II - Teachings on Initiation - Part VIII|
I feel it necessary again to reiterate that initiation is concerned with the consciousness aspect of the disciple or of the group that is to undergo the process. The emphasis has been laid in the past on contact with the Hierarchy and - as we  have seen - with the use of devoted, emotional zeal as the medium of that contact. Again, as we have seen, the period of time which has passed since H.P.B. brought this teaching to the modern world has changed all that, and the emphasis is now on the initiation of the consciousness of the disciple or group into areas of divine expression, hitherto unrealized.
Initiates, in the past, were admitted into the world of ideas, of intuitional perception or of buddhic awareness; their task was to transform these ideas into ideals; thus, they presented spiritual goals and hierarchical objectives to the race, this being their major form of service. Today, owing to the pronounced development of mankind, the accepted disciples of the world, those who have undergone the first initiation (and their name is Legion), and the initiates of higher degree, have objectives which their mental unfoldment has made possible; they can be admitted into divine areas of consciousness which are conditioned and brought into being, not by divine ideas but by the divine Will (their perception of that Will will be according to the degree of the initiatory control). Their task is therefore to perceive the Plan which is the hierarchical mode of implementing the divine Will, plus the Purpose which is perceived by the Heads of the Hierarchy. They have also to undertake to see that that Plan becomes a factual expression upon the physical plane and a part of the recognized consciousness of humanity as a whole. This, being a relatively new unfoldment, has not yet made the necessary headway, largely owing to the planetary Karma and the appalling situation with which humanity has confronted itself. I would have you here note my phrasing.
Evidence, however, of the growth of the human intellect along the needed receptive lines can be seen in the "planning" of the various nations, and in the efforts of the United Nations to formulate a world plan which will eventuate in peace, security and right human relations. It is interesting to note that, from the very start of this unfoldment, three occult factors have governed the development of all these plans: its clear-cut significance, unperceived as yet by you, in the setting of a time boundary by the nations who formulate these plans,  within whose announced limits certain objectives are presumed to be possible of attainment.
It will be obvious to you therefore that, owing to the changed polarization of the disciples of the world, the entire quality, processes and modes of activity of the Hierarchy have undergone and are undergoing change. The nature or quality of the disciples being admitted into hierarchical participation necessarily condition the rhythm and the keynote of the Hierarchy at any given time. At the same time, nothing hitherto developed or gained is ever lost, and the quality of devotion is still potently present; enrichment proceeds and, if I may use such an inadequate phrase, the perception of all within the Hierarchy is tremendously enhanced; areas of the divine perception, clothing divine purpose, are steadily being revealed.
Revelation is not only the prerogative and reward of the attaining initiate, but it is increasingly taking on new forms and fresh outlines for the Masters who have attained - a process made possible by the higher mental perception of the incoming disciples. Group work, group reaction and group possibilities are carried to their highest point of expression within the Hierarchy. I want you to consider this with care, and not regard the Hierarchy as a static point of love and mediatory activity, as is so often the attitude of the disciple. The evolutionary process conditions the Hierarchy as it conditions humanity and all else in the manifesting universe. There is, however, an evolutionary interplay which - in this era and at this time of crisis - is producing effects in relationship.
Approaching this subject from another angle, the mental polarization of the disciple seeking entry into the hierarchical sphere of work is producing a unification of initiatory effort which is new in the spiritual history of the planet and which is the first step being taken at this time upon inner and subtle planes to bring about certain great "Crises of Initiation," involving simultaneously all the three major planetary centers - a thing hitherto unknown. Up to 1875, initiation was a sequential process as well as largely an individual process. This is slowly being changed; groups are being admitted  to initiation because of a recognized and sensed relationship which is not that of disciple and Master (as heretofore), but which is based on initiate-relationship in group form, and which is present between Humanity, the Hierarchy and Shamballa. It is this spiritual and subtly sensed relationship which is today finding physical plane expression in the worldwide effort to establish right human relations.
Initiation is no longer regarded essentially as the moving of a human being who has accepted certain disciplines and made certain self-determined progressive advancement in consciousness into closer contact with the Hierarchy and a group within the Hierarchy; that angle of it will rapidly become a thing of the past. It is the moving forward of an entire group of spiritually-minded disciples and initiates into new areas of the divine consciousness and into a closer rapport with the Mind of the Lord of the World. This the disciples and initiates will do together, according to their degree and their point in spiritual evolution. I refer not here to the evolution of the form. Three things will thereby be brought about:
These are difficult matters to make clear, my brothers, but I may perhaps have succeeded in conveying to you some general idea as a basis for your further thinking.
The individual disciple, seeking initiation, is with deliberation and with his full and free consent merged into the group; he achieves this fusion by his own individual effort and is (throughout the entire process) an absolutely free agent, moving forward and becoming mentally inclusive, as rapidly or as slowly as he chooses. He determines the time and the event himself without interference or obstruction from any outside force.
This is the relatively new spiritual technique, and it is a technique accepted by initiates and disciples of all degrees in all three divine centers. Like everything else that happens upon the subjective plane of human living, a major distortion of the process and of the new technique will appear in some form or other in human affairs and constitute a great obstruction (apparently and temporarily) to human progress. It will be in the nature of a sidetrack and a glamor, brought into impelling and compelling use by the enemies of humanity and by those who work constantly against the Forces of Light. Today, this distortion can be seen demonstrating in all totalitarian countries; the individual is not free and his fusion with the state and his progress as a state-absorbed entity - deprived of the right of free choice and forced through fear and penalty to relinquish his own self-directed life - is a growing menace to mankind.
It is the right use of this same energy which makes fusion with the Hierarchy possible. These are points worth considering, and will convey to you some understanding of present world conditions. The underlying Principle of Fusion and of group endeavor is right and part of the divine plan; its implementation by grasping greedy and ambitious men, or by deluded disciples, is terribly wrong and will lead to disaster. This disaster the Hierarchy is seeking to avert, but the Masters are handicapped (as usual) by the relatively few upon whom they can depend, and by the lack of understanding amongst the masses of well-intentioned people. 
These, through their ignorance rather than through their planned ill-doing, know not how to stem the tide of evil.
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