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Discipleship in the New Age II - Personal Instructions to Disciples - D.E.I.
September 1943

MY BROTHER AND MY FRIEND:

Since you entered the cycle beginning with your forty-second year, life has held for you constant change, many and drastic adjustments and much responsibility. To this must be added the turmoil and the chaos of the war. This has made great demands upon your strength and your judgment. You have responded well. You have helped many and have grown in wisdom. You have shouldered responsibility for some phase of the work initiated in my Ashram or by my co-disciple, A.A.B. She is not a member of my Ashram. You have my understanding and her unfailing support.

Inevitably, my brother, this situation which you have had to handle in relation to the work for which you are responsible, in relation to your personal and family life and to the future which lies open before you, has entailed much strain. To these factors must be added another one which is that you are essentially alone. This basic loneliness is due to [704] several things: First, that you are in training for leadership, and leaders have to learn to stand alone, and can ever do so if they love enough. Secondly, the force of circumstance and the need to work off certain karmic relations has increased your daily contacts, and at the same time has left you far more alone than you were six years ago. Thirdly, because the greater can always include the less is a lesson which all leaders in training have to grasp; the reverse, my brother, is not true, and the result is loneliness. Ponder on all this and accept it; stand free and move forward on your chosen path, refusing to be limited by those who cannot go your pace. This again means loneliness. And finally, a need for a more loving understanding at times isolates you from your fellowmen, particularly from your co-workers, and you need to beware of a growing critical spirit.

The lessons of leadership are hard to learn, and with these lessons you will be confronted as the years slip away - if you so wish and can face the music. The music is there and will emerge in full tonal quality once you have resolved the discords and established the theme and the rhythm.

What are the lessons which all true leaders have to learn? It might be of service to you if I put one or two before you - very briefly, so that you can (if truly in earnest to serve your fellowmen, as I believe you are) begin to master them, to understand their need and to apply them to yourself with a view to fuller and more useful service.

The first lesson is the lesson of vision. What are your goals? What is the spiritual incentive which will be and is strong enough to hold you steady to the purpose and true to the objective? No one can formulate the vision for you; it is your own personality problem, and upon the strength of the vision and the beauty of the picture which you paint with your imagination will depend much that you do and become.

The second lesson is the development of a right sense of proportion. This, when truly developed and correctly applied, will enable you to walk humbly on the Way. No true leader can be anything but humble, for he realizes the magnitude of his task; he appreciates the limitations of his contribution (in the light of the vision) and the need for constant [705] self-development and the cultivation of the spirit of steady inner spiritual learning, if he is ever to make his proper contribution. Therefore, keep learning; keep dissatisfied with yourself and your attainment, not in any morbid sense, but so that the principle of growth and of pushing forward and onward may be fostered in you. We help others through our own effort to attain; this means clear thinking, humility and constant adjustment.

The third lesson is the development of the spirit of synthesis. This enables you to include all within the range of your influence and also to be included within the range of influence of those greater than yourself. Thus is the chain of Hierarchy established. You still hold a somewhat isolated position, and this with the best intent in the world; but you need to love more deeply and more understandingly. The hindrance here lies in your personality, which is more wise than loving. Let your soul control your first ray personality more, and many of your present difficulties would disappear.

Another lesson which in reality grows out of the above is the avoidance of the spirit of criticism, for criticism leads to barriers and loss of time. Learn to distinguish the spirit of criticism from the ability to analyze and make practical application of the analysis. Learn to analyze life, circumstances and people from the angle of the work, and not from the angle of your personality point of view; analyze also from the angle of the Ashram, and not from the angle of the executive or the schoolmaster upon the physical plane.

In the six statements which I gave you a year ago were three sentences to which I would call your further and close attention. They are:

  1. "Let not the doing intervene between the loving."
    This has much to do with the distribution of time.
    Study the value of the heart at leisure from itself and its problems.
  2. "Lift up the weak, for you are strong, and strength from many comes to you."
    This has to do with recognition. Be not entirely occupied with helping, but be willing to be helped. [706]
    Study the value of the imagination in this connection.
  3. "You move through life with all the power which comes from out my Ashram."
    This has to do with the handling of energy - and with energy of great potency which will not only invoke the best that is in you but will also evoke the latent seeds of difficulty, which must perforce be removed.
    Study the task of living ever consciously in the Ashram and working from that point of power and peace - going without, yet ever staying within.

I am speaking thus directly to you, my co-worker, because the future holds much of useful service for you, if you continue to be a learner. It takes time, humility and certain recognitions, within yourself, of place and position in the chain of Hierarchy. I cannot too strongly emphasize that to you. Let not the pressures of family life (and no family life is devoid of pressures) and the exigencies of the work plus the activities of an active mind, interfere with the inner learning process which is so essential to all teaching-leaders. That, my brother, is what you can be.

A.A.B. has spoken to me of you from the standpoint of your place in the work of the School. She has not touched upon the personality angles or the need for special developments and growth, for no trained disciple, such as she is, ever interferes with the relation between a Master and his chela. She knows that your relation to me is that. But she has spoken to me about you from the angle of the future. I asked her what she felt was your major need and one that you must meet as you prepare for a larger field of service when she passes over. She made an unexpected reply. She said: "The need for a more fertile imagination." She is entirely right.

The imagination is a creative faculty. Wherein are you thus creative? Can you picture to yourself by any flight of imagination the task ahead of the Arcane School, for instance, in the postwar world, and your approach to the problem from the angle of what you would like to change or see altered? Changes mean nothing unless they are the result of new vision, for if they emerge out of a criticism of the past [707] and of what has been done, they will prove useless from the angle of the spiritual life, no matter how useful they may be from the angle of the organization.

Have you the perception to realize what an esoteric school essentially has to be? It is not an organized method of meeting world problems, of organizing new orders and ways of living, or of underwriting the efforts of the men and women of goodwill. It goes far deeper than that. All the above are only effects of the esoteric life. Can you imagine your position when - from the teaching angle, the esoteric angle - you may have to be a source of inspiration, and not A.A.B.? From whence will you draw inspiration, and how will you make the world of meaning and the spiritual realities real and provocative to the neophyte?

Can your imagination picture to you your reaction when - because you are the leader - you have to shoulder all the blame for any failure, even when not personally responsible; you have to accept without retaliation the attacks of those you are trying to help, who expect too much from you and who force you to live in the blaze of public opinion; what will you do when your chosen workers fail to understand or prove disloyal or criticize without warrant or pit their ambitions against you, and willfully refuse to see your point of view, and talk about you among other people and whip up resentments against you - resentments which are probably without foundation? These are not the kind of things that your personality easily accepts, and your creative imagination had better begin dealing with these problems so that the emerging principles of conduct may stand clear before you. Have you the inner grace of heart to admit error and weakness or to say that you made a mistake in technique or method or approach, in judgment or in speech, should need arise to heal a breach and in the interests of the work? That has never come easily to you either, my brother. It is a thing, you seldom do.

And having said all this, let me point out your assets and the valuable gifts which you can bring to the work and have for years contributed; they are the qualities which make A.A.B. your loyal friend and ambitious for your progress. [708] You have a recognition of principles which is vital and somewhat rare, and on principles all true work is securely founded. You have a gift of impersonality, as a general rule, which is a great safeguard; and in those times when your personality impulses have controlled, the phase has not been lasting. You have a gift of teaching, clear insight and executive ability and a loving heart when it is sparked into compassion. You have a steadfastness of purpose and an unswerving adherence to duty and dharma and a capacity to shoulder responsibility which has, in the past, and will in the future, prove invaluable to the work required. You have the gift of the written word and an increasing ability to speak, and these are valuable assets indeed when wielded by the soul on behalf of others. You are impulsive, and this at times creates temporary difficulties, but the general trend and tendency of your impulses is right and truly oriented. This is a major asset in your life. You are a pledged and accepted disciple, with the power of your Master's Ashram behind you and the love of your co-disciples with you.

You have the understanding and loyal affection of A.A.B., and will - from life to life. Against her wishes, I ask you to give her in some small measure what she has so largely given you. At times you fail to grasp the strength of her belief in you. Her health is precarious and she counts much on you. Fail her not, and seek to understand the problems with which she is faced.

You have also my belief and trust, my confidence that you will carry on - learning and living and loving - and again I repeat, on the strength coming from my Ashram you can count, but it reaches you through your soul, and therefore a closer soul contact is increasingly needed by you as the work grows and develops.

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