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Discipleship in the New Age I - The Six Stages of Discipleship - Part VIII
This is a broad and general picture of this stage of discipleship as I have attempted to convey its individual implications and its more esoteric group results. More I may not say, nor can I enlarge upon the process whereby a chela within the aura can at will and for the meeting of some urgent need confer with the Master in the Ashram. One thing only can I tell you. The Master always has three disciples who are his closest cooperators and intermediaries. They have emerged "into his consciousness," as it is called, in response to the radiatory activity of his threefold spiritual nature. They work very closely with him and watch over the other disciples in the group [758] according to their need, their ray and their point of development. You will remember in this connection how even the Christ had three disciples who were closer to him than the other nine. This is ever true. In the Biblical story anent the Christ, you have - among other things - conveyed a picture of an Ashram as technically constituted and of the Hierarchy as it essentially exists. There were the three disciples, beloved and close; then the nine, who completed the inner Ashram. Next came the seventy who were symbolic of the Ashram as a whole and, finally, the five hundred who typified those upon the Probationary Path who were under supervision by the Master, but not by the three, the nine and the seventy until the time comes to admit them to the Path of Accepted Discipleship. In the greatest Ashram of all, Sanat Kumara has the same sequence of relationships among the great Beings who form his group of active workers. Bear in mind, however, that these figures are symbolic and not factual. The number of disciples in an Ashram varies constantly, but always there are the three who are responsible to the Master for all ashramic activity, who are in his closest councils and who carry out his plans. The chain of Hierarchy is great and immutable and the sequences unalterable.

In considering the theme of the chela within the Master's aura, we have seen that the true pledged disciple who has reached the stage of being an accepted disciple passes from point to point within the circumference of a Master's sphere of influence until he reaches a period wherein he consciously "knows" his Master's aura. Now that, my brothers, is a perfectly meaningless phrase, but it is technically and esoterically correct. I will paraphrase its significance for you in an endeavor to give you some of the vital implications.

  1. He is aware not only of the Master, but of what is in the Master's mind. That means that he is telepathically en rapport with his Master.
  2. He is consciously past all inward discussion of what the Master wants him to do. He knows the part which he has to play.
  3. He responds sensitively to the Master's aura not only upon the inner planes of life and in the Ashram proper, [759] but also with his physical brain. He moves within the aura in his daily physical plane life. This process necessarily falls into five stages:
    1. He is telepathically en rapport. His mind and his brain respond to the Master's mind.
    2. He is, therefore, mentally aware of the content of the Master's mind. This affects his life and service and his mind constantly formulates the telepathic impressions into organized formulas which are then available for directive processes.
    3. Being, at this stage, relatively free from glamor, he is able to respond from the angle of sensitivity and feeling and consequently able to bring through the Master's plans (his share of them) on to the astral plane.
    4. Etherically, he can begin to work with and use the ashramic force which his Master and his soul can make available to him to use upon the physical plane. He becomes what is called a "projector of force" and can then produce results upon the physical plane.
    5. His brain becomes consciously aware of the simultaneity of the above four processes so that he passes into a new phase of conscious discipleship. Through his own soul and the Master's sphere of influence the Plan lies open before him. I would point out that this is not only a higher stage of discipleship but presupposes initiate understanding.

The neophyte knows that the goal of the occultist is to work with forces. He fails, however, to recognize that this may not be consciously done until -

  1. He has for a long time been simply a channel. I would have you reflect on that thought. The attainment of the capacity to be a pure channel and an unimpeded distributor is the first goal and it takes a long time. The force usually dispensed by a disciple, until the channel stage is automatic and established, is normally colored by personality distinctiveness (even if a high grade [760] personality). The time has to come when the disciple can, at will, distribute the ashramic and group-soul energy in their pure state.
  2. He has, therefore, to distribute energy and not force. There is much confusion in the minds of many disciples upon this matter. Until a man is an initiate of high degree, he seldom dispenses energy. He works with forces and they concern the three worlds. It has been said (esoterically) that "when the disciple can distribute the four forces and make their seven notes heard, each note of the seven having a fourfold expression, he is not able to work with energy. When he works with energy, he works with seven and not with twenty-eight." Reflect upon this. I would add that the twenty-eight belong to the seven and when the disciple works with seven, he normally and automatically releases the twenty-eight, working under the impression of the seven ray qualities.
  3. He has to learn the uses of distinction and of synthesis. Herein lies a potent occult hint of special use to workers.
  4. He is aware of the dangers incident to the untrained neophyte endeavoring to distribute forces, to direct so-called energies in a specific and particular direction. He realizes his goal is to be a channel for a long time through purity of life, correct orientation, and non-criticism. This correct orientation involves a paradox with which all disciples must wrestle, i.e., to be oriented to the soul, and, consequently, to the Ashram and to be oriented at the same time to humanity. Only disciples close to the Master's heart (technically understood) and, therefore, consciously aware of his aura have the right - I had almost said privilege - to direct force in specific directions. When their status is not that, their task is to act as channels for the distribution of energy in a general and universal but not in a specific manner.
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