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Discipleship in the New Age I - Personal Instructions to Disciples - I.B.S.
August 1936


I am anxious that you should realize that at the time of the full moon this year one cycle of training and of integration closed and a new one started. The keynote of the cycle which passed was discovery - discovery of weakness, not a negative discovery but one which was fraught with responsibility; discovery of your fellow disciples and of your brothers, as pilgrims on the Path; discovery of the goal and a consequent pledging of yourself to that goal; discovery of the work to be done and discovery of the Plan. All these discoveries have come to you and have unfolded in your consciousness during the past few years. You have learnt and known much. Now a new cycle begins and the keynote of that must be integration with a view to its essential nature, its dominant need, and the work to be carried forward during the next few years. How shall this integration be achieved?

As I study the disciples in this particular group, affiliated with my Ashram, I ask myself if it is possible that they can swing into the needed rhythm and so learn to work together as a unit. You are all so intensely individual and not only so, but you are proud of it. You are deeply and subconsciously satisfied with this separate attitude. The group rhythm, the group unity, the group integrity and the group synthesis are secondary in the consciousness of several of you to your own individual development, to your own attitudes, and to your own personal points of view.

I have only three disciples in this particular group who are free from this weakness and who are primarily concerned with group life in contradistinction to the individual unfolding life. The remainder are individualistic still, but not group members, integrated into the group. In saying this, I state to you your [250] problem. I realize that you love your co-disciples and that you have a real devotion to me, your teacher; you love the path which leads to light but you and the others are still the dramatic centers of your own lives and you are too much the forceful actors upon your own stage, on which you each seek to play a leading part; subordination to group life, so necessary a factor in the work to be done, is as yet unappreciated. The reason for this is that you are dwelling as yet upon the astral plane; there is the focus of your consciousness. It is a high level of the astral plane but until you can shift to mental levels and there learn to hold the mind steady in the light, your sense of proportion must inevitably be wrong and the first and necessary things will not hold the first and necessary place.

I seek to do two things with each disciple in this particular group:

  1. Point out the particular predisposition to the group life which exists in you and on what it is based.
  2. Indicate wherein you can integrate more closely into the group and thus feed the group life, not simply drawing sustenance for yourself from the group.

As I make this statement, I ask myself how frank I can dare to be and how far I can go with my instructions to you. Is it possible that you would all accept my point of view, for I cannot call it criticism? Criticism is always destructive, no matter by whom it is given. The indications of a needed change in attitude, proffered to you in love and from a deep seated desire to see you all freed for fuller service is surely in a different category. May I, therefore, speak to all of you in freedom? And will you give as much attention to my words as you would to an older, loved and trusted friend? I ask for no more than that. I have no intention to coerce you. I only desire to help, to aid you in a liberating process and to see you walking with joy in the light.

What, therefore, is the note of my specific message to you, my brother? What is the thing which you primarily need to learn which would govern your attitude to the group and which, when learnt, will integrate you more closely into my group? Simply this: [251]

You can serve my group most and yourself best by achieving impersonality where your personality is concerned. When you are free from the glamor of personality, then you will integrate into your group in a new and effective way. You will be of value to my group and will feed its life because you will be a channel through which hierarchical life can flow and not simply be a recipient of that life as you now are. In the above sentences your whole life problem is summed up. It is I. B. S. who loves and serves; it is I. B. S. who speaks wisely and who works for me. The focus of your attention on your training and your life demonstration is: How far am I, I. B. S., complying with requests? What use am I, I. B. S., making of this information? What results am I, I. B. S., getting from my meditation practice? What phenomena do I, I. B. S., register at the time of the full moon? Always I. Always I. B. S. Read back, brother of mine, over all the reports you have written about your work during the past two years. Gather them together and run with rapidity through them so as to get their general trend and note if my words are not warranted.

Here lies the crisis for you. Here is indicated to you what your next step forward into the light should be. The question now arises as to what you should do, how you should proceed and how work towards liberation from the "I complex." Let me, for the sake of clarity and in order to be concise, list the stages through which you must go:

  1. Refuse to dramatize I. B. S. Go on with your work, plan, teach and study, but do it in self-forgetfulness, being urged thereto by group needs, by world need and by my need of help in the work I plan.
  2. Learn to do this by pondering upon the soul, by strengthening your soul contact and by bringing about a more stable alignment. Learn to think always in terms of the group and not in terms of I. B. S. This is bound to take time for a rhythm which has been thus established over a period of years is not easily broken and dissipated. Old rhythms take some displacing.
  3. Pay closer attention to the evening review and change from the one which you are now doing to one on impersonality... [252]

If you will with faithfulness carry forward this work, you will free yourself from the grip of personality and there will not then exist in you those barriers to group integration which are now found. Having pointed this out to you, my brother, let me add that you have no real cause for discouragement for you have made real progress. You have much, as a soul, to give. Once you have freed the channel from that which today clogs and hinders, you can greatly enrich the group life and give much to your fellow disciples. Go forward, therefore, with joy into a richer service and a more true self-forgetfulness. The breaking of the influence of sixth ray energy, as it expresses itself in your personality life, is not an easy task but it is one to which you are equal. Earlier I definitely laid the foundation for what I have here said to you for you will remember that I referred to the sublimation of your personality.

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