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A Treatise on White Magic - Rule Ten - The Present Age and the Future
Those who are to teach the world more about the Masters and who are being trained to be focal points of contact are put through a very drastic disciplining. They are tested in every possible way and taught much through bitter experience. They are taught to attach no importance to recognition. They are trained not to judge from the appearance but from the inner vision. Capacity to recognize the Master's purpose and the ability to love are counted of paramount importance. Aspirants who seek to be chosen for work as disciples must lose all desire for the things of self and must be willing at any [351] cost to pay the price of knowledge. If proof is to be given to the world of the subjective realm of reality it will be bought with the heart's blood, for only "in the blood of the heart" can power be safely gained and wisely wielded. As you go on and, as aspirants, study the hidden laws of nature, you will realize the need for the price paid. The spiritual unfoldment of the disciple's character must keep pace with his inner knowledge. This knowledge grows in three ways:
  1. By definite expansions of consciousness, which open up to the disciple a realization of the points to be attained. This produces in his mind a formulation of what lies ahead to be grasped and is the first step towards acquirement. An aspirant is definitely taken on the inner planes and shown by a more advanced chela what is the work to be done, much in the same way as a pupil is shown by his master the lesson to be learned.
  2. The next step is the mastering of the lesson and the working out in meditation and experiment of the truths sensed. This is a lengthy process, for all has to be assimilated and made part and parcel of the disciple's very self before he can go on. It resembles the working out of a sum - figure by figure, line by line, the working out being carried forward until the answer is achieved. This work is done both on the inner planes and on the physical. In the Hall of Learning the pupil is taught nightly for a short time before proceeding with any work of service. This teaching he brings over into his physical brain consciousness in the form of a deep interest in certain subjects, and in an increasing aptitude to think concretely and abstractly on the various occult matters that are occupying his attention. He attempts to experiment and tries various methods of studying the laws and in process of time arrives at results that are of value to him. Time passes and as he appropriates and knows more, his knowledge takes a synthetic form and he [352] becomes ready to teach and to impart to others the residue of knowledge of which he is sure.
  3. In teaching others comes further knowledge. The definition of truth in teaching crystallizes the facts learnt, and, in the play of other minds, the aspirant's own vibration becomes keyed up to ever higher planes, and thus fresh intuition and fresh reaches of truth pour in.

When one lesson has, in this way, been mastered, a further one is set, and when a pupil has learnt a particular series of lessons he graduates and passes an initiation. The whole group he teaches is benefited by his step forward, for every disciple carries those he instructs along with him in a curious indefinable sense. The benefit to the unit reacts upon the whole. A Master carries His disciples on and up with Him in a similar manner. The matter is abstruse and largely one of the secrets of the law of vibratory expansion. The initiation of the Logos has a universal effect.

You are right in your assumption that the probationary path corresponds to the later stages of the period of gestation. At the first initiation what is called in the New Testament "the babe in Christ" starts upon the pilgrimage of the path. The first initiation simply stands for commencement. A certain structure of right living, of thinking and of conduct has been attained; the form that the Christ is to occupy has been constructed and now that form is to be vivified and indwelt. The Christ life enters and the form becomes alive. Herein lies the difference between theory and making that theory a part of yourself. You can have a perfect picture or image but it lacks the life. You have a person who has modeled his life on the divine as far as he can. He has a good copy yet something is lacking. What is this something? The manifestation of the indwelling Christ. The germ has been there but it has lain dormant. Now it is fostered and brought to birth, and the first initiation is [353] attained. Much then remains to be done. The analogy is complete. Many years were spent by the disciple Jesus between the birth and baptism. The remaining three initiations were taken in three years. You have the same situation on the path of the aspirant.

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