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Discipleship in the New Age I - The Six Stages of Discipleship - Part III
I would at this point indicate to you that the so-called inner Ashram is to the outer group what the soul and its vision is to the individual disciple, working in his personality vehicles. It is the place of interior resort. Disciples can, therefore, grasp their growth towards fusion as an Ashram (in process of physical exteriorization) by the development of their spiritual recognition of the inner group potency and their facility to contact the Master - both as individuals or in group formation.

One of the things which a Master has to do is to teach his disciples to study and register truthfully their usual point of [704] daily focus. This constitutes the true introspective training, and when followed sanely and wisely leads to the realization of the true, persistent, inner level of consciousness; it fosters also a recognition of the need to overcome limitation (frequently not the limitations usually registered) and the necessity for breaking the barriers imposed by the personality. This whole process might be summed up in the following words: The purpose of the Ashram and the training which it gives is to enable the disciple to live truly on every plane which he has succeeded in opening up to his consciousness. It is important to remember that no one is integrated into an Ashram until he has pierced beyond the confines of the purely personal levels of awareness; until he is sensitive to the ray and quality of the Master of the Ashram, and until he is normally soul conscious. The achievement of this involves great responsibility, and it is the shouldering of this responsibility which brings about the first indications of what I might call "ashramic consciousness" - a consciousness devoid of self-interest and always preoccupied with the essentials of spiritual living.

The primary preoccupation of chelas at the beginning of their technical training is of a very varied nature and the Ashram life is usually merely an interesting background for daily experience and not the factor of importance which it should be, and not the main interest in the foreground of the consciousness. The necessities of daily living, the many and diverse family contacts, the resentments against life and its impacts, a dislike of criticism and of being misunderstood, the many problems of character, the pressures of psychic unfoldment and the pettiness of circumstance frequently loom so large that awareness of the Ashram and its life is only an occasional inspiration instead of a fixed habit of life. The ability to make comparisons to the detriment of others (particularly of one's own fellow disciples or of one's own circumstances), the fear to let go and throw all one is and has into the life of the Ashram, foreboding, as to the future and a host of mental thought-forms, plus undue attention to the cyclic life of the physical body, present the Master with an appalling picture of the liabilities with which he is confronted. The factor of the attitude of the Master is one which disciples are very [705] apt to forget because they are so basically interested in themselves and in their reactions and problems.

It might here be noted that disciples in an Ashram are primarily occupied with world affairs. As a group they are pledged to world work; as individuals, they are learning so to work. Would-be disciples need to distinguish between the effect (magnetic and dynamic) of the group and the conscious effort which the group may make, under united desire and the direction of the Master, to reach the minds of those directing world affairs and world happenings. The outer happenings are, to a certain point, predictable; they are the precipitated effects of hidden causes which lie deep in the subconsciousness of humanity. These can be noted and (up to a certain point) offset or stimulated by the group potency. This is one of the major tasks of the Hierarchy. The Masters work in the light and in the realm of causes. Disciples are as yet necessarily involved in the world of effects and, therefore, of illusion. To work dominantly with the focal points of spiritual energy upon the outer plane immediately involves certain factors:

  1. A deep unerring love which "sees" in the light'. Love is truly the revealer.
  2. The power to withdraw completely, as individuals and as a group, from the world of physical reactions, emotional biases, and to work purely on mental levels. There the disciple is focused in his lower mind, but consciously oriented towards the soul and is becoming increasingly sensitive to the intuition and towards the vision and the Plan, as well as towards the group soul and to the Master - all in this order of response.
  3. Next follows the power, as a group, to formulate the desired thought-effect in such a manner that it will reach the mind or the soul of those you seek to contact, to project the thought-form, built in such a way that it will be of the type and quality needed to evoke response, and so meet the need of those the disciple is seeking to help and strengthen. The projected thought-form will embody the light and love, as well as the idea of the group in conformity with group vision. [706]

For how many is this kind of work possible? Not many, as yet. Disciples are usually more preoccupied with their desire to help than with the scientific techniques of helping. They need to take the desire for granted and then forget about it. I would ask all disciples at this time to make it their major effort to see the vision clear; to recognize, and know for what they are, those who are in high position, guiding humanity and whose responsibility it is to lead humanity out of slavery into freedom. Aid them with love because they are where they are through their individual destiny and the guidance of their souls. Life must be seen truly and faced as it is - not realistically from the world standpoint but realistically from the standpoint of the soul, whose vision is long and inclusive and who sees life as it is.

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