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The Labors of Hercules - The Purpose of this Study
The Nature of Discipleship

It might be of value here if we considered briefly the nature of discipleship. It is a word in constant use among aspirants in Christian lands, as in the oriental religions. Discipleship could be defined as the final stage of the path of evolution, and as that period in a man's experience in which he is definitely self-conscious. It is the stage in which he knowingly pledges himself to impose the will of the soul (which is essentially the will of God) upon the lower nature. Upon this path he submits himself to a forcing process, so that the flower of the soul can unfold more quickly. The inevitability of human perfection underlies his willingness to make the attempt to tread the path. This perfection can be attained in two ways. It can be the result of slow and steady evolutionary growth, carried forward under nature's laws, cycle after cycle, until gradually the hidden God can be seen in man and in the universe. Or, it can be the result [6] of systematized application and discipline on the part of the aspirant, producing a more rapid unfoldment of the power and life of the soul.

In one analysis of discipleship, it has been defined as "a psychic resolvent, which eats away all dross and leaves only the pure gold behind." It is a process of refining, of sublimation and of transmutation, carried steadily forward until at length the Mount of Transfiguration and of Illumination is attained. The hidden mysteries and the forces, latent in human beings, need to be discovered and require to be utilized in a divine manner and in line with divine purpose, intelligently apprehended. When they have thus been utilized, the disciple finds himself en rapport with the universal and similar divine energies and powers, underlying the operations of the natural world. Thus he becomes a worker under the plan of evolution and a cooperator with that great "cloud of witnesses", who through the power of their onlooking, and the result of their attainment, constitute the Thrones, Principalities and Powers through the medium of which the one Life guides all creation onward to a glorious consummation.

Such is the goal towards which Hercules worked, and such is the goal before humanity as a whole, whose ultimate group achievement will be brought about by the many individual perfections.

 

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