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Discipleship in the New Age II - Personal Instructions to Disciples - L.D.O.
November 1944


I believe that when this reaches you and you scan the interval between these instructions and the previous one, you will realize the significance of your life events in a new way. They have been many, and they have been varied. Do you appreciate what they mean? The past year brought you crisis after crisis; it involved periods of quiescence and of enforced activity; it also brought periods of a definite recognition of growth wherein you registered expansion and arrived at certain inner decisions by which you must and will abide, because they marked a certain high water mark of your soul's development.

Your problem is now concerned with this point of attainment. Is the high water mark reached a temporary one, preliminary to a still higher attainment, or have you - for this life - set your pace and can proceed no faster? Disciples, such [451] as you, need to learn that this type of decision indicates no choice between right and wrong, or between progress or non-progress. It is simply a decision, specifically related to timing. Such a decision calls for assessment, for recognition of presented opportunity in both karma and service, and for discreet decisions in relation to your activities upon the Path.

It is easy to over-estimate the importance of any particular incarnation upon the path of life; it is easy to foster the consciousness of the personality in time and space, and thus fail to register the "insight" of the soul, regulating timelessness and knowing no past or future, but only a sense of Being (faintly and dimly, because this sense is a monadic prerogative) and of relationship (strongly and urgently).

Some souls in incarnation need constantly to spur their personalities on to action; they require to urge them to achievement and towards freedom from inertia. That is not a problem which confronts you, my disciple. For you the "lesson of the interludes" is of major importance. I use this word in its most technical sense and as the Masters use it when attempting to incline any life within the Ashram into ways which are, for that unit of life, the essential process for the immediate moment.

In all breathing exercises, there are, as you know, the processes of inhalation and of, exhalation, with two points intermediate between these two - that of the interludes. Beginners in the mechanics of right breathing seem inevitably engrossed with the processes involved, with the amount of air to be indrawn or outbreathed and with the consequent physiological effects and their etheric correspondence. Knowers and disciples pay small attention to this dual activity. They are preoccupied with what is proceeding within their consciousness during the interludes between the fixed inhalations and exhalations. These phases of registered consciousness are in reality points of detachment. They mark the cycles of tension and should be carefully studied and employed by you. This is a point in your future development to which I earnestly call your attention.

In my last instruction to you I gave you three words upon which to meditate and which were intended to constitute [452] the theme of your meditation work throughout the year. By the means of these words you could be enabled to gauge your life processes and determine activity. By means of them also (rightly used) you can arrive at a real understanding of the Law of Cycles - in your own life, in the life of any related group, and in the life of humanity itself. They are also closely related, as you can well imagine, to the rhythm of breathing. It might be regarded in the following way, holding the suggested relations in mind:

  1. Inhalation... Focus... Life centralization.
  2. Interlude... Point of Tension... Initiation of causes.
  3. Exhalation... Crisis... Production of effects.
  4. Interlude... Recognition... Prelude to refocusing.

These phases of activity - both positive and negative - can be applied in all aspects of life and in all activities. You can experience them and institute them as a personality, and the entire effect of these phases will then be contained within the personality life of the three worlds; you are meanwhile in process of learning them as a soul and as a disciple, and for the remainder of your life they should establish the rhythm of your effort; later, upon the Path of Initiation, you will relearn this same process on the highest possible turn of the spiral within the planetary rhythm - but that time is not yet.

As I give you this individual instruction, my brother, I would enjoin upon you the need to establish this rhythmic, cyclic "breath of consciousness." Ponder on this phrase and make this objective a matter of real importance to you until the time comes when you will work upon inner levels, free of the physical body; you will find the effort both interesting and also practical.

Let these four stages condition the pattern of your daily meditation. Let them also mark the pattern of your daily life, indicating the gathering in of the sources of supply for that life of service which is your aspiration (I refer at this point to the meditation process, practiced daily). Let them mark also the carefully planned and silently implemented allocation [453] of such energies to the arranged duties of the day, and to the active outer task of breathing forth into the world of men that which it is your duty to contribute. Then let there be the final interlude of recognition.

The point I seek to emphasize to you is the need - imperative and permanent where the remainder of your life is concerned - for the interludes. These interludes are, for you, the growing times; they are essentially the "epochs for storage" (if I may use such an arresting and unusual phrase), and they are the "seed of samadhi." What is samadhi, from the initiate point of view and esoterically comprehended? Simply those interludes in the initiate's life of service wherein he withdraws all his forces into a "well of silence" - a well, full of the water of life. In this state of consciousness two definite activities transpire: Tension and Recognition. Without these interludes of abstraction, his work would slowly weaken as the tension, earlier initiated, weakened; his ability to attract and to hold others true to the vision would likewise slowly disappear, as his power to recognize became myopic. The initiate, therefore, as he works within the Ashram, withdraws at the needed times. As he inhales the life of the Hierarchy, and increasingly that of the Monad (which he gradually learns to do), and as he exhales the living essence into the "world of serving lives," he becomes steadily more and more dependent upon the "interludes" wherein both these phases of activity cease and he becomes immersed in Being and in Consciousness - the intrinsic parts of the animating Whole. I use this phrase "animating Whole" advisedly to indicate that the points of interlude are not related to form life at all, but to the life of Life itself.

Am I being too abstract with you, my brother? I believe not. As I look ahead into your future and sense the quality of your life, I know, that the keynote of your inner program should be ever the recognition of the essential demand of your soul for rhythmic interludes; your personality emphasis should be, therefore, upon this withdrawing. I refer not to the withdrawing from outer service but to an inner, constant, cyclic attitude of determined and planned abstraction. [454]

If you will study your ray combinations, you will note that you have only one of your ray energies along the line of the first ray - that is the ray of the seventh type of energy. All your other rays are related to the great Second Ray of Love-Wisdom. This necessarily constitutes a problem until you remember that the seventh ray is the ray of interlude - an interlude and a ray which becomes active when the attractive, magnetic work of the building rays is ready to precipitate into the phenomenal world and bring about - under the Law of Ritual and of Divine Ceremonial - new phases of work. These are initiated in the silence of the process of abstraction, released when the interlude of tension has completed its work, and become effective when the interlude of recognition has made a new refocusing possible.

I am not going to indicate to you the lines along which your service, as a disciple in my Ashram, should proceed. You have already initiated certain activities, both in your personality life through your marriage and in the world through the order which you have attempted to establish. With that which you have started you must proceed; and you can regard these words either as a statement of fact, as a predictory announcement, or as a command from your own soul. But your success in both these departments of life will depend upon your effective use of "interludes." Only you can determine their timing, and this - to be successful - will require the application and the recognition of need, but also the recognition of unfolding spiritual opportunity.

As a beginning, and in order to help you to find the length of your cycles of inhalation and exhalation, I would suggest that you attempt to place one of the interludes at the time of the full moon each month, and the second interlude might come at the close of every three months of work, at the time of the third new moon. You will have to work this out for yourself, but in doing so you could establish a basic rhythm in your life which you would never regret. You could work along the following lines of rhythmic abstraction:

  1. Twelve brief, abstract monthly interludes at the time of the twelve yearly full moons. [455]
  2. Four brief quarterly abstractions at the time of the four new moons, dependent upon the date of the initial, major interlude.
  3. Two longer periods of interludes or of abstraction at the time of May and June full moons.

These points of inner abstraction, of interludes in your subjective life, can be carried on without interfering with your objective life of service, of obligation and of duty. I commend these three words to you also as three themes for meditation.

Last year I gave you the three words: Focus, Tension, Crisis. For this coming year I give you another three: Obligation, Service, Duty. For the year beginning September, I give you: Emotion, Intuition, Wisdom. You have, therefore, themes for three years' work in the meditation field and "as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." When you have covered these nine themes for reflection, I would suggest that you start again, thus establishing a three year cycle in your process of rhythmic mental building.

Keep close to your group brothers. Seek to establish a contact - subjective and real - with F.C.D. who is so close to you in nature, though with more first ray strength. Whether you ever work for and with him on the outer plane is of no great matter. The need is for you to work with him on the inner planes, giving him what support you can, and receiving from him the strength that you need. Some time, during each morning meditation, I would request you to call him by name three times, and then to send out your heart's thoughts to him. A link would thereby be established which you would never regret.

And as for your relation to me, my brother - naught can change that. You are integrated into my Ashram; you have my confidence and trust; the love of your brothers in the outer group of the Ashram surrounds you at all times. Seek to get in touch with me every Full Moon period, and expect results.

My love and blessing rest upon you, and the service of my Ashram holds you. [456]

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