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Discipleship in the New Age I - Talks to Disciples - Part VIII
A deep reflection upon the urgency of the times and a sympathetic recognition of the unhappy plight of humanity are much needed by many disciples and aspirants in the world today, particularly by those who are not close to the world situation but who are looking at it from a distance. It is so simple to give a facile expression of sympathy but at the same time to avoid too great an expenditure of energy in service and too intense an effort to be of assistance.

The hall mark of the pledged disciple and a quality which should increasingly dominate his life is the capacity to identify himself with the part or with the whole - as seems needed at any particular time. Such an attitude involves a comprehensive sweep of love, and this leads to inclusiveness and to the pledging of the life service to the greatest number and to the most needy. If I were asked to specify the outstanding fault of the majority of groups of disciples at this time, I would say that it is the expression of the wrong kind of indifference, leading to an almost immovable preoccupation with their personal ideas [83] and undertakings. These militate against the group integration and tend to block the work.

One of the things most needed by every disciple is to apply the teaching given to the idea of promoting and increasing their world service, thus rendering practical and effective in their environment the knowledge that has been imparted and the stimulation to which they have been subjected. This is a suggestion to which I would have you pay real attention.

I would like also at this point to bring to your attention the fact that an accepted disciple is not in reality one who has been accepted by a Master for training. This is the distortion of a true idea which, in its progress from the mental plane to the physical, has achieved a complete reversal or distortion. An accepted disciple is one who:

  1. Has accepted the fact of the Hierarchy with the implications of loyalty and cooperation which that acceptance involves.
  2. Has accepted the fact that all souls are one and who has, therefore, pledged himself to seek expression as a soul. The service to be rendered is the awakening and stimulation of all souls contacted.
  3. Has accepted the occult technique of service. His service to humanity determines all his activities and subordinates his personality to the need of the time. Note that phrase. Cultivate insight and a fluid response to the immediate need and not a sensitive reaction to a distant goal.
  4. Has accepted the Plan, as indicated by the Teachers of the race. He seeks to understand the nature of that Plan and to facilitate its manifestation.

Other points (of a more individual nature) could be enumerated, but I would have you lay the emphasis upon the acceptances which have or should have motivated your attitude and I would ask you not to emphasize so unduly in your private thoughts this idea of being "accepted by a Master." This thought and its teaching by many esoteric groups has been productive of much error, much misunderstanding, much pain and much disillusionment. A disciple is trained in certain important [84] matters and not in his relation to a Master. These factors of importance to a disciple are:

  1. The whole subject of humanity - its present status, its problems and the opportunity immediately presented. A disciple is one who seeks at all times to aid humanity and to further the processes of evolution as well as to develop that deep love of mankind which is the distinguishing mark of the initiate and of the Master.
  2. The subject of initiation. A study of this subject will lead to a consideration of its secondary development and its basic objective of a progressive identification with the soul of the disciple, with the soul of the group, with the soul of humanity as a whole and with the soul in all forms.
  3. The subject of service. This is not service as it is usually understood. The ordinary connotation has largely lost its significance through wrong emphasis. The initiate considers service as the spontaneous, easy expression of a definite soul contact, brought down on to the physical plane and giving insight, practicality and inspiration to the disciple as he works on the outer plane of expression. Most disciples are occupied vaguely with achieving inspiration but know nothing of the earlier stages of insight, leading to the practical and wise expression of the met need upon the level of daily living. One of the major undertakings of the accepted disciple (or, as I would prefer to term it, the accepting disciple) is to transform himself from a well-intentioned idealist into a man of action on behalf of humanity.
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