O Rising One, to the call which comes within the sphere of obligation.
this sphere of obligation to which the initiate of high standing must pay attention? The
whole of life experience, from the sphere of nativity up to the highest limits of
spiritual possibility, are covered by four words, applicable at various stages of
evolution. They are: Instinct, Duty, Dharma, Obligation; an understanding of the
differences serves to bring illumination, and consequently, right action.
- The sphere of instinct. This refers to the fulfilment, under the influence of
simple animal instinct, of the obligations which any assumed responsibility brings, even
when assumed with no true understanding. An illustration of this is the instinctual care
of a mother for her offspring or the relation of male and female. With this we need not
deal in any detail, as it is well recognized and understood, at least by those who have
passed out of the sphere of elementary instinctual obligations. To them no particular
calls come, but this instinctual world of give and take is superseded by a higher sphere
of responsibility eventually.
- The sphere of duty. The call that comes from this sphere comes from a realm of
consciousness which is more strictly human and not so predominantly animal as is the
instinctual realm. It sweeps into its field of activity all classes of human beings and
demands from them - life after life - the strict fulfilment of duty. The "doing of
one's duty," for which one gets small praise and little appreciation, is the first
step towards the unfoldment of that divine principle which we call the sense of
responsibility, and which - when unfolded - indicates a steadily growing soul control. The
 fulfilment of duty, the sense of responsibility, and the desire to serve are three
aspects of one and the same thing: discipleship in its embryonic stage. This is a hard
saying for those who are caught in the seemingly hopeless toils of duty fulfilment; it is
hard for them to realize that this duty which seems to keep them chained to the humdrum,
apparently meaningless and thankless duties of daily life, is a scientific process leading
them to higher phases of experience, and eventually into the Master's Ashram.
- The sphere of dharma. This is the outcome of the two previous stages; it is that
in which the disciple recognizes, for the first time with clarity, his part in the whole
process of world events and his inescapable share in world development. Dharma is that
aspect of karma which dignifies any particular world cycle and the lives of those
implicated in its working out. The disciple begins to see that if he shoulders his phase
or part in this cyclic dharma and works understandingly at its right fulfilment, he is
beginning to comprehend group work (as the Masters comprehend it) and to do his just share
in lifting the world karma, working out in cyclic dharma. Instinctual service, the
fulfilment of all duty, and a sharing in group dharma are all blended in his
consciousness and become one great act of living faithful service; he is then at the point
of moving forward upon the Path of Discipleship, in which the Path of Probation is
completely lost to sight.
These three aspects of living activity are the embryonic expression in the life of the
disciple of the three divine aspects:
- Instinctual living - intelligent application.
- Duty - responsible love. 
- Dharma - will, expressed through the Plan.
- The sphere of obligation. The initiate, having learnt the nature of the three
other spheres of right action, and - through the activity of those spheres - having
unfolded the divine aspects, passes now into the sphere of obligation. This sphere, which
can be entered only after a large measure of liberation has been achieved, directs the
reactions of the initiate in two phases of his life:
- In the Ashram, where he is governed by the Plan; this Plan is recognized by him as
expressing his major obligation to life. I use the word "life" in its deepest
- In Shamballa, where the emerging Purpose of Sanat Kumara (of which the Plan is an
interpretation in time and space) begins to have meaning and significance according to his
point in evolution and his approach to the Way of the Higher Evolution.
In the Ashram, the life of the Spiritual Triad gradually supersedes the life of the
soul-controlled personality. In the Council Chamber at Shamballa, the life of the Monad
supersedes all other expressions of the essential Reality. More I may not say.