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Discipleship in the New Age I - Talks to Disciples - Part III
This experiment which I have instituted and to which you have voluntarily and willingly submitted yourselves is one undertaken for group purposes. The Hierarchy seeks to discover how sensitive groups are, as a whole, to subjective guidance and instruction, and how free the channels of communication are between the various individuals in the group and the Master, and between the various groups within the Ashram of a Master. A Master's group of disciples, upon the inner side of life, forms an integrated organism, characterized by mutual life, love and interplay. The relationships in such a group are entirely on mental and astral levels and hence the limitations of the etheric force body and of the physical brain are not felt. Needless to say the fundamental relation is on soul levels. The fact that the etheric body and the physical brain lie outside these basic relations where the Ashram is concerned leads to greater facility in understanding and to reciprocal interplay. It is wise to remember, however, that the astral potency is far more strongly felt on the physical plane than elsewhere and hence the major emphasis laid upon emotional-desire control in all treatises on discipleship or on preparation for that state. It is not easy for the average beginner on the Path of Discipleship to grasp this or to see the necessity for the rules and suggestions made. For some people to conform to rule and discipline is not easy unless it is entirely self-initiated. The suggestions which I make to you, my brothers, are only suggestions but it is surely the part of wisdom to follow them as long as you have voluntarily put yourselves under my tuition. Your working under me has been entirely of your own free will and choice. You are subjected to no compulsion. Other types of disciples evince willingness to follow instructions but their real difficulty consists in bringing the life into conformity with the desired rhythms. The narrow path, which all disciples have to tread, requires obedience to the ancient rules for disciples. This is given willingly and with eyes open, though no rigid adherence to such rules is ever expected. The disciple grows through intelligently adapting his life to these requirements as far as is reasonably possible and not by adapting the requirements [22] to his life. Flexibility within certain limits is always needed but that flexibility must not be set in motion by any personality inertia or mental questioning.

A change in this relationship between disciples is now being made. An attempt is being set on foot to see if a group activity and interplay can now be set up upon the physical plane, involving consequently the use of the etheric body and the brain. The difficulties confronting you are, therefore, great and I am anxious that you should realize this. Will you realize, for instance, that any differences of opinion which may occur in the relations of this group of disciples will be caused by astral-brain reactions and, therefore, must not be considered of any importance whatsoever? They must be immediately eliminated and wiped from the slate of the mind and of the memory and classed as entirely personality limitations and unworthy of hindering group integrity.

This experiment, being attempted by a group within my Ashram, is one in mental relations and in soul contact, with the emphasis and attention placed basically there. The astrophysical brain reactions should be regarded as non-existent and as illusion and should be allowed to lapse below the threshold of the group consciousness - there to die for lack of attention. This type of group work is a new venture and unless something definitely new emerges as a result of this experiment, the time and effort are not warranted. You must not imagine that the particular line of work on which you may be engaged is the factor of main interest. It is not primarily the unfoldment of the intuition, or of the power to heal, or of telepathic efficiency which is of importance. That which counts with the Hierarchy as the Ashrams function is the establishing subjectively of such a potent group interplay and group relation that an emerging world unity can be seen in embryo. A joint power to be telepathic or a group capacity to intuit truth is of value and somewhat novel. It is the functioning of groups who have the ability to work as a unity, whose ideals are one, whose personalities are merged into one forward swing, whose rhythm is one and whose unity is so firmly established that naught can produce in the group the purely human characteristics of separation, of personal isolation and [23] selfish seeking, that is new. Unselfish people are not rare. Unselfish groups are very rare. Pure detached devotion in a human being is not rare but to find it in a group is rare indeed. The submergence of personal interests in the good of the family or in that of another person is often to be found, for the beauty of the human heart has manifested itself down the ages. To find such an attitude in a group of people and to see such a point of view maintained with an unbroken rhythm and demonstrating spontaneously and naturally - this will be the glory of the New Age.

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