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Discipleship in the New Age I - The Six Stages of Discipleship - Part V
All who have, in this life, transited from the stage of chela in the Light to that of accepted disciple have established two recognitions:
  1. A recognition of the senior disciple whom they have discovered "in the Light." [725]
  2. A recognition of the Master. This whole question of recognizing the Master will be dealt with by me later.

The consequent developing process of telepathic interplay is one which should be most carefully studied. All groups of disciples, working in or out of an Ashram, should be in close telepathic rapport and thus provide a training ground for the development of this type of sensitivity. The first thing that has to be established in a group of disciples is love and trust, for without that there can be no true transference of thought. Where love and trust do not exist, they must be definitely and consciously developed.

A second rule governs this telepathic relationship and this is that all "crises of criticism" must be most carefully avoided by all disciples if they want to bring about the needed rhythm. In any group of disciples, there are those who do not put "first things first"; they put many things and people before their duty and spiritual responsibilities; this necessarily gives their fellow disciples just grounds (apparently just) for criticism. There are times when criticism is unquestionably a recognition of fact. This means that a criticizing disciple has reached the point where his judgment is so based on love that it produces no personality effect in his own life or that of his fellow disciple. It is simply a loving recognition of limitation and only becomes wrong when these undoubted facts are used to arouse criticism in the unqualified and provide points for discussion. The disciple or aspirant who has glaring faults and who fails to make the required changes himself creates a barrier which he must in time destroy by removing all causes for criticism. These barriers prevent free telepathic communication.

An interesting question can be asked at this point and one which should unquestionably arise: Is the group of working disciples to be keyed to the note of the more advanced disciples in the group or is it to be stepped down to a generally lower average to suit the least advanced? Let us put it in another form: Are the least evolved in a group of disciples and aspirants to pull down to their level of work and understanding the more developed? Will they make a supreme effort to measure up to the higher vision and attain to the attitudes and points of view of the more advanced? These questions prove a fundamental [726] problem in all Ashrams and only the chelas themselves can provide the answer.

In the mastering of the task of karmic adjustment, the guiding disciple is governed by certain requirements. He must ascertain just what karma must be worked out by the aspirant in his charge, during this incarnation. He must then induce him to add to this established karma, what I might call "freeing karma." This is a part of the forcing process to which those who choose the more difficult way of initiation must subject themselves, voluntarily and by free choice. The disciple seeks to do certain things in this connection, referring here to the chela in the Light:

  1. He works off unavoidable karma as intelligently and consciously as possible.
  2. He takes on some karma which ordinarily would be precipitated in some later life.
  3. He begins to shoulder some of the general karma of humanity, thus increasing his own load of karma.
  4. He begins to work with and to comprehend something of planetary karma, though as yet he undertakes no responsibility in this connection. Only after the third initiation does he consciously and as an individual cooperate with the karmic responsibility of the planetary Logos.

I would here like to point out that I am referring to good karma as well as bad. It is the task of the helping disciple to guide the chela in the Light so that he does adjust his karma. This the senior disciple does by thought impression. All karma, when consciously faced, is precipitated by the power of thought; this is perhaps the major lesson which the senior disciple has to teach the neophyte. In this way the latter is aided to see "in the light" which falls upon his way, and the disciple who is preparing him for the stage of accepted discipleship is in constant touch with the Master. Thus a triangular relationship is set up which is of occult value.

If the chela in the Light is truly in earnest and is consciously developing the higher sensitivity, this stage can be relatively short. Two lives sometimes are sufficient to cover [727] this period. The chela in the Light is one who treads the way of what is called "the lesser revelation" - lesser because it is concerned with the revelation of that which must be done in the personality life; it is not the way of the higher revelation of divinity and its nature. It is the revelation of that which is already manifested and not of what must be manifested. Ponder on this. The searchlight of the soul reveals faults in character, limitations in expression and inadequacies in conduct. These must be intelligently corrected. In the symbolic charts which the guiding disciple presents to the Master twice a year, the effort made along these lines is indicated, not the results; it is effort which counts. The results will be inevitable and commensurate with the effort. When these charts (three in number) are geometrically related and superimposed one upon the other, they indicate a definite ray pattern. Then the Master can gauge the rate and type of development and can determine the time for authorizing the senior disciple to recommend the stage of accepted discipleship. When the demand of the aspirant, the guiding disciple's recommendation, the karmic condition and the note which the Master registers coincide in time, then the third stage is reached.

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