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Discipleship in the New Age I - Personal Instructions to Disciples - B.S.D.
January 1938


I have earlier indicated to you the point of view from which I personally gauge the capacity and growth of the group and from that angle I am pleased with the progress you have made. During the past few years I have many times spoken to you with frankness and even with apparent harshness. This I have done in an effort to galvanize you to a greater oriented reaction to the urge of your soul and thus draw away from you the two factors which have blocked the free intercourse which should exist between your soul and your personality. I have ever hinted. I do not voice my suggestions in clear words at all times for my object is always to evoke the activity of your higher Self, thus exacting the correct type of obedience. What are these two factors?

  1. A life activity which, though somewhat balanced by the work done in my group, has nevertheless had a restricting effect and which does not succeed in evoking the highest powers of your soul. You have tried to meet this situation and to raise the general tone, but one lone disciple is hard put to it to offset the vibration of a powerful [122] astrally polarized group. Do you know to what I here refer?
  2. A life tendency towards depression which you have amazingly offset by negation and a persistent attitude of service. It has nevertheless complicated your life pattern and yet has been one of your major educators.

This life experience has netted you big results and you will enter upon the next cycle of phenomenal existence with much upon which to draw, and having worked out many life relations during this particular incarnation. What have been your major gains in this life?

First of all, the shift of your life emphasis from the outer objective work to the inner subjective realities. In order to accomplish this, you came into incarnation in restricted and limited surroundings so that there might be no dominant obstructing outer attractions; you were, therefore, free to concentrate upon the inner realities. You have largely profited by this experience and your subjective orientation is stabilized upon a rightful basis. Only one major adjustment remains to be made and one major sacrifice. Your problem is, as you know, to effect this readjustment without producing the material suffering of those dependent upon you.

Secondly, you have oriented the astral body to the higher values and impressions and have done it so successfully that your emotional sensitivity to others is now definitely a working asset. This sensitivity I would have you develop into still greater usefulness through the awakening of the heart center and a renewed interest in the Way of the Heart. To this end, I will give you a meditation in this personal instruction which I would have you follow until further notice.

Thirdly, you have in this life stepped off the probationary path on to the Path of Accepted Discipleship and have made good progress upon it. The accentuation of the times and your own intensity have together sufficed to carry you a long way towards the goal and this I think you are beginning to realize - much to your own surprise at times. The recognition of facts - spiritual and subjective facts - is part of the needed training of all disciples; the recognition of a physical plane fact requires no such training in sensitivity. The recognition of spiritual [123] realities requires both training and formulated definite expression.

The past year has not been an easy one for you, my brother. You have suffered in many ways, known to you and recognized by me but by no one else. I have stood by and watched and at times have strengthened you when and where I could and twice I definitely succeeded in aiding you. Do you know the occasions when this happened? Training in the registering of offered and accepted aid is sometimes of value to disciples of your type and hence I am pointing out what I attempted to do. I would have you work during the coming year at accustoming yourself to my vibration. It will increase your subjective sensitivity so to do. That is the true value or permanent gain.

In connection with the occult sentences I gave you a year ago and which I promised to discuss with you, the following comments may prove of value. The main lesson of your life has been the cultivation of the power to respond to the distant sound of human pain. This I referred to in the words "the slowly opening heart." For two reasons, this response of the heart has not been an easy thing for you to do. One is the fact that in your last life you over-emphasized the intellect and thus came into incarnation with a predisposition to polarize yourself in the mind nature, with consequent detachment from human touch and sympathetic contact. The other is a subconscious recognition that if you "descended to the unhappy ways of human sympathy," you possess a capacity for identification with your brothers and for sharing their pain which would make you phenomenally uncomfortable. This, in your earlier years, served to hold you away from people, and led you to dwell on the plane of thought-detached, serene and isolated. The past ten years have seen you change all this; though you are not now so comfortable in yourself, you are open to others and sensitive to them in a very real manner.

Next, the realization that "both eyes are focused on the world of human pain" is steadily becoming yours. You are learning that only in true self-forgetfulness (forgetfulness of the soul's goal as well as of all personality goals) will be for you any real consummation, and that humanity is of far greater importance than the individual human being. As The Old [124] Commentary says: "The focus now is true and real, for both the eyes, the left and the right, are turned upon the ways of men and in this way the truth is clearly seen."

Then, we come to the words, "that which is distant fades from view and the immediate present looms." One of the most difficult tasks which faces any disciple is to exchange the abstract vision of future glory and reward for the immediate duty and goal and to learn the spiritual values of the immediate moment as they are to be found in the foreground of daily living. I can remember the time, my brother, when it was hard for you to identify yourself with the problem of the hour, so occupied were you with the Hierarchy, its personnel and plans, and with your relation to the unseen Master. Perhaps in the right adjustment which you have been successful in bringing about, you may have forgotten that time of distant and difficult striving. But I have not. You have to lose sight of the far-off spiritual possibility in the service of the hour. This you have learnt to do in no small measure, only to make the discovery that this path of service and of self-forgetfulness brings you by a long and weary way back to us.

Finally, "thus the magnetic life again holds sway." This time, however, the magnetism is not that of the soul in its own high place but that of the spiritualized personality in the ways of daily, earthly contact. It is the development of this "magnetic life" to which I call you afresh - for the remainder of this life and its succeeding cycles...

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