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Discipleship in the New Age II - Talks to Disciples - Group Instruction
At this time the "eye of his direction" is turned towards a needy and waiting world, and particularly towards the large number of waiting people who hold within themselves the potencies of discipleship. They are the hope of the world. This outpouring of directed energy means a great stimulation of all sensitive and responsive aspirants; the result is not an easy one for them. Everything in them is raised to the surface of consciousness, and whilst they are faced with a vital and beneficent opportunity, they are also faced with the problem of absorbing more "punishment" (is not that the word I want, my brother?) than they would normally take. Will they break under the impact of self-discovery and the opportunity to eliminate personality? Or will they rise triumphant from the ashes of their dead selves into living power and beauty?

Though Sanat Kumara is naturally unaware of the individual disciple or aspirant, he is not unaware of their massed effect, quality or status. Contact and relationship are based upon vibratory reaction, and the potency of the united vibration of the disciples and aspirants of the world is today for the first time in human history - strong enough to reach Shamballa. This is a new and very interesting fact.

The Hierarchy therefore is:

  1. In a position of extreme tension.
  2. In a condition of quiescent waiting. It awaits:
    1. The decision which is on the verge of emanating from the judgment seat of Sanat Kumara.
    2. Notification as to the period and mode of the coming externalization.
    3. The proposed influx into its ranks of disciples and aspirants.
    4. The reaction, later to be sensed by them, of the massed use of the Great Invocation.
    5. The clear sounding of the invocative, though inchoate, [64] cry of the masses of those who are not yet even upon the Probationary Path.
  3. Passing through a process of reorganization. This involves the following:
    1. Senior disciples in the major Ashrams are now beginning to form subsidiary Ashrams, as I began to do in the year 1925.
    2. Owing to the war and the intensive efforts of the world disciples, more people along many and varied lines are being reached.
    3. The mode, methods and techniques of training (as I have earlier told you) are being remodeled and rearranged in order to suit the modern mind and needs.
    4. Senior disciples are undergoing a forcing process to enable them more rapidly to take the initiation immediately ahead of them. This necessarily brings added strains and risks, sometimes even to the point of death, but also greater spiritual light and life.
  4. At the entrance to the Way of the Higher Evolution, which is now more easily to be found, owing to the rapid construction of the antahkarana by enlightened souls functioning upon the physical plane and working desperately to aid humanity. Their spiritual desperation is what is needed to provide the required "point of tension" from whence the antahkarana can be built. There is a basic distinction between desperation and pessimism. Desperation is related to the time element and to a correct and discriminative perception of the need. Pessimism is related more to an unjust appraisement of the quality of humanity.

All these things are at this time characteristic of the Hierarchy. I would remind you that when you think of the Hierarchy you think in terms of the Masters (as most people do) or of the higher initiates. This is not correct. Every accepted disciple is within the periphery of the Hierarchy and of its influence, and - as I have frequently pointed out - all have in some past life taken the first initiation. Every disciple has [65] been to Bethlehem and has seen the Star in the East - that star which shines forth in fuller splendor each time another initiation is taken.

The difference between such disciples as you and the more advanced initiates is that your basic orientation is different to that of the Masters. They are oriented to Shamballa; they are relatively unaffected by affairs and happenings in the three worlds, even though that is the sphere wherein their work lies; there is nothing within them to react to these phases of planetary livingness. Disciples and all initiates below the third initiation are oriented to the Hierarchy. Not the Council Chamber at Shamballa or the Way to the higher Evolution engrosses their attention, but the life of the Ashram with which they are affiliated and the Way of Initiation. This is a useful point to bear in mind. There is much in them which can and will react to qualities and events within the three worlds, and - from the angle of human consciousness - life for them is very difficult because the dualism of existence is apt to produce violent strain.

The extreme psychical tension affecting the Hierarchy puts an undue strain upon the emotions and the mental mechanism of the disciple because he is, as yet, unable to achieve that "quiescent waiting" which distinguishes the higher initiates. The Will of God is not yet adequately factual in his consciousness; he is preoccupied with the attempt to make his personal will synchronize with the spiritual will of the soul - a very different matter. The reorganization being planned at this time by the Hierarchy and by the ashramic groups affects the personal lives of disciples and their efforts at accepting training; with the proposed changes and with the results of the outer ashramic work they must fall in line and they must accept the changing curriculum. Forget not that disciples in this particular period have to make adjustments which are not easy. They have been taught in terms of the old tradition, perpetuated and summarized by the Theosophical, Rosicrucian and other occult groups; they have had, since 1900, to accept and work with the newer modes of training and the changing forms of teaching applied by the Masters who take pupils. This has created temporary [66] difficulties which will not be present when the newer modes and methods are more generally established. The problem, therefore, of the modern disciple is peculiarly hard, and the Masters bear this ever in mind. Also the strain of the world cataclysm has increased these difficulties, and that strain is far more wide-reaching than is generally believed. Do you realize wherein the strain consists, apart from the physical disasters and chaos, with its agony, despair, anxiety, and its demand for a poised and efficient exterior to be presented to the world? Do you appreciate the keen ability of the trained disciple to react to the harrowing conditions of human suffering and to penetrate the controlled response which has to be given?

There are also other factors of a more subjective nature to which the disciple is sensitive, and among them are the following:

  1. The astral or emotional vortex which humanity has inevitably set up as a result of registered pain and through which the observing disciple must move.
  2. The glamor induced upon the astral plane as the result of three intermingling and inflowing streams of energy:
    1. The energies set in motion by the uprising cry of humanity itself, which inevitably shapes and moulds astral substance.
    2. The new inflowing spiritual energies which the planetary Logos is steadily bringing to bear upon human life and upon all forms of physical existence. These must traverse or cut across the astral realm in reaching the physical plane.
    3. The retreating forces of evil which are endeavoring to make a last desperate stand upon the astral plane.
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