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Discipleship in the New Age I - The Six Stages of Discipleship - Part VII

Stage IV - The Chela on the Thread

With these preliminary remarks, let us pass on to another of the Stages on the Path of Discipleship. The fourth stage is described as follows:

"The stage wherein the disciple is taught how (in emergencies) to attract the Master's attention. This has the peculiar name of the Chela on the Thread."

The whole question of psychic sensitivity of the higher kind is involved at this stage. I have taught in my writings most clearly and definitely the undesirability of the lower psychic experiences. This has been done as the need to warn aspirants anent this matter is great. The difficulty is enhanced by the fact that lower psychics are not easily reached and warned as they are ever determined that their clairvoyant and clairaudient powers are indicative of the advanced type of high spiritual unfoldment. Their minds are closed to all warnings and they function often behind a barrier of smug self-satisfaction. They forget that the aboriginal races and animals are all psychic and register that which the more mental types fail to record. The rank and file of the people are inherently astral in their activities, their interpretations of phenomena and their attitudes and focus. It is necessary, then, to enforce the warnings and awaken the average psychic to the undesirability of his astral life.

Disciples, however, put no aspect of the divine manifestation outside their range of experience. They know that psychism in its lowest phases is a part of the divine expression and is of an essentially higher nature than the purely physical processes of living in the body. A disciple cannot say that now because he is a disciple, he will not be subject to this, that or the other experience. He has to be prepared for all experiences [742] and to face the fact that eventually all disciples have to become psychics, both higher and lower, as was the Christ. The only safeguard for which he works is to prevent the lower powers demonstrating until the higher psychic faculties are functioning; then the lower are controlled and operated (if I might so express it) from the level of the higher consciousness. There is, to the mind of the disciple, only life and form and he is learning to handle the life processes through the medium of the form so as to produce a divine manifestation.

The world today is entering a phase of extreme sensitivity. Disciples must train themselves to help. The shift of the consciousness of ordinary and mediocre individuals will be on to levels of conscious astralism and the veil between the seen and the unseen will rapidly disappear. How can disciples be of service in that difficult period if they have no experience in the distinction and interpretation which must exist between aspects of phenomena? How can they rescue and safeguard others if they fear to enter into realms of life where the lower psychism rules? I am not asking you to cultivate psychic powers, but I do ask you to hold yourselves in guarded readiness to see and hear on all levels of service, and to know what you see and hear, interpreting it correctly, unblended by prejudice and fear. The Path of Discipleship is not an easy one but its compensations are adequate. Psychic sensitivity is involved in the understanding of this phase of discipleship.

In your thoughts as you endeavor very briefly to study this stage, there must exist a correlation between the chela, the Ashram in which he is working and the Master. This correlation and the growth of this triangular relationship is always brought about through a realization of tension. There has been much given to students upon the theme of the thread, the sutratma and the antahkarana. This thread leads from the Hierarchy and a point of tension in that Hierarchy (such as the Master at the center of any Ashram) to distant places, to many planes and into many hearts. This thread enables the disciple (if he has been permitted to learn how to use it) to return instantaneously to his center of work and to reach at any desired moment the "Master of his life." This triangular relation might be depicted thus: [743]

The Master
The Soul * * The Ashram
The Disciple
An extension of this idea lies behind much that I have taught anent the Wesak Festival and should be in your minds when you prepare to participate in it.
The Buddha * * The Christ
The Hierarchy
The entire subject of the chela on the thread and the techniques involved in this state of consciousness are all related to the capacity of the human being, under soul control, to be magnetic and to "emit the vibratory call which can penetrate to the ear of the One who holds the thread." This is quoted from a very ancient manuscript in the Archives of the Hierarchy, dealing with this stage of discipleship. I am for the first time making this information available in a brief and necessarily veiled and inadequate form to the disciples, assembling this cycle at the call of the Hierarchy. Only those who are at this stage of discipleship will really comprehend what I say and profit by the hints.
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