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Discipleship in the New Age I - Foreword
Certain definite reasons have prompted me to make these instructions available for aspirants everywhere after requesting permission from those who received them. One is the need to bring to the attention of the general public the fact that the Hierarchy exists, that its Members are interested in human progress and that there is a definitely planned system of training offered by them which can lead a man out of the human kingdom into the Kingdom of God; that this moving forward upon the Path of Evolution out of the fourth kingdom into the fifth can be brought about consciously, scientifically and with the full consent and cooperation of the aspirant. The day has now come when belief can (and does) give place to knowledge - a knowledge gained through the acceptance of a hypothesis in the first place, a conviction that this, hypothesis is backed by adequate testimony and planned experience. The reasoning mind of the disciple can then take the successes and failures he encounters in his training and learn the intended lessons; he finds that progress upon the Path brings a man into closer, conscious touch with those who have walked this Way before and that the Way into the Hierarchy is a way of discipline, of increasing enlightenment, of service to his fellowmen and of a growing responsiveness to contacts and to individuals of which the average human being knows nothing.

A second reason for publishing this book is the need to change the point of view of the general public as to the nature of these Masters who take pupils and who, whilst giving them the training needed to enable them to take initiation (as it is scaled), reach the mass of men through their means. So much stupidity has been demonstrated in writing and talking about the relationship of Master and disciple that it was felt both by [XI] me and this group of disciples that the sanity, the breadth of vision, the lack of authority, and the understanding evidenced by a Member of the Hierarchy could do nothing but good. We found also that He was quite ready for his instructions to be made public.

A third reason was the desire to make clear a point which is continually emphasized by the Tibetan as it is by all Masters and which is of major importance to every aspirant. Only those who are beginning to come under the influence and the control of their own souls and are, therefore, mentally focused and attuned, are eligible for the training offered by the Hierarchy. Devotion, emotional reactions and sentiment are not enough. Esoteric training is also an impersonal matter; it is concerned with the development of soul consciousness and with the expansion of that consciousness to include, and not exclude, all forms of life through which pulses the life and love of God. The true disciple is ever inclusive and never exclusive. It is this inclusiveness which is the hallmark of all true esotericists. Where it is lacking you may have an aspirant but you do not have a true disciple. There is far too much exclusiveness extant today among esotericists and in occult schools and too much theological separateness. It has been felt that this Book of Instructions may do much to offset this evil tendency and may help to open the door still wider into the Kingdom of God.

Much in this book is new. Much is very old, tried and proved. None of the people chosen for instruction and for inclusion in the Ashram of the Master are saints or perfect. All are, however, true aspirants and will go on to the very end in spite of pain and sorrow, discipline, success, failure, joy and a spiritual recognition of almost unattainable goals. Some have been on this Path of Accepted Discipleship (technically understood) for many lives. Some are venturing for the first time - consciously and with deliberate effort - to tread the Way to God. All are mystics, learning to be occultists. All are normal people, living useful, modern lives in many different countries in the world. Some are orthodox Protestant Christians by profession; others are Roman Catholics; still others are Christian Scientists or belong to one or other of the more mental cults; [XII] some are quite unattached and free from affiliations. None of them regards his particular brand of faith or his particular religious background as essential to salvation; he knows that the only essential is belief in the spiritual realities and in the essential divinity of mankind. This belief necessarily involves a heart full of love, a mind open and illumined by right orientation to truth and a life dedicated to service and to the alleviation of human sufferings. This is the determined goal of all whose instructions are found in this book - a goal which they have not yet attained and a mode of life which they have not yet perfected. They are, nevertheless, unalterably upon their way and that way is the WAY. Christ said "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life"; these aspirants, working under a great Disciple of the Christ, are beginning to grasp some of the significances and implications of that statement which holds true for all time and for all disciples, because "as he is, so are we in this world."

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