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Discipleship in the New Age II - Teachings on Initiation - Part VI
Part VI

In my last instruction to you I dealt with some aspects of the new approach to discipleship and to initiation; it is essential that the old concepts - profoundly useful in their days - should be forgotten and the newer methods and techniques should be substituted. This is now necessary on account of the surprising unfoldment of the human consciousness during the past twenty-five years. The steps taken at the Conclave in Shamballa in 1925 (based on tentative conclusion at the previous centennial Conclave) and the pressures exerted by the Hierarchy have proved most successful, and out of the chaos of the world war (precipitated by humanity itself) there is developing a structure of truth and a paralleling responsiveness of the human mechanism which guarantees the perpetuation and the rapid unfoldment of the next stage of the teaching of the Ageless Wisdom.

I used a phrase in my last instruction to which I would like to call your attention. I spoke of the coming ability of mankind to "share in the great hierarchical task of illuminating, precipitating and lifting." These words signify far more than their obvious meaning, and I would like somewhat to elucidate.

Men are apt to think that the entire objective of the work of the Hierarchy is to find and admit men into hierarchical contact. It is that minor phase of hierarchical activity which appears paramount in your consciousness; is it not so? Your main hope is that as you unfold your latent possibilities, you will be able to help others to do the same. This is indeed a worthy thought, but is nevertheless based entirely on misapprehension. Let me, therefore, throw light upon the matter by quoting the Old Commentary:

"When light illuminates the minds of men and stirs [315] the secret light within all other forms, then the One in whom we live reveals his hidden, secret lighted Will.

"When the purpose of the Lords of Karma can find no more to do, and all the weaving and close-related plans are all worked out, then the One in whom we live can say: 'Well done! Naught but the beautiful remains.'

"When the lowest" of the low, the densest of the dense, and the highest of the high have all been lifted through the little wills of men, then can the One in whom we live raise into radiating light the vivid lighted ball of Earth, and then another greater Voice can say to him: 'Well done! Move on. Light shines.' "

You will note that the emphasis in these words is placed upon human accomplishment and not upon what the Hierarchy does for man. When men achieve illumination, intelligently precipitate the karmic quota of their time, and lift the subhuman kingdoms (with its reflex activity of lifting the Highest simultaneously), then they can and then they do share in the work of the Hierarchy.

That cycle of sharing has seemed for aeons too far away to be considered; when, however, humanity precipitated the war, they automatically and somewhat surprisingly brought the final achievement much nearer. The illumination of men's minds will rapidly follow. The process of lifting the subhuman kingdoms has been amazingly forwarded by science - the crowning accomplishment of which was the fission of the atom and the penetration of the "spiritual interfering" aspect of the human spirit into the very depths of the mineral world. Ponder on this.

Therefore, if you could see things as they truly exist in the world of today and view them in their true perspective (and this - as far as you are concerned - is from the angle of the Master), you would know that a great step has been taken towards:

  1. The institution of more rapid initiation, and that in group form. [316]
  2. The possession of a much closer and a more widespread contact between the Hierarchy and humanity.
  3. The revelation of the true significance of initiation.

This true significance lies still behind the curtain of that which veils the ultimate truth. The great secrets of Sanat Kumara are there to be found in due time, and the truth anent initiation is one of them.

When the Hierarchy withdrew behind the separating curtain in Atlantean times, it marked the beginning of an interlude of darkness, of aridity and a cycle of "blank abstraction," which persisted in its crudest form until 1425 A.D., and since then has sensibly lightened until we reached the year 1925. It became possible for the Hierarchy itself to regard the necessity for reorientation and the imminence of the revelation of the first secret - the secret of initiation. Note well what I say here. Humanity had reached a stage where it could do the "abstracting" itself, and could eventually and by sheer force of the spiritual will wrest the secrets from the custody of the Guardians behind the veil. This presented the Hierarchy with another problem. How could this be permitted with safety so that, in its avidity for pure truth, humanity could be simultaneously trusted? Revelation brings responsibility, and oftentimes danger. Men, as individuals, can grasp certain of these truths of initiation and use them for themselves with impunity, but their revelation to the unready might involve serious risks.

It was therefore decided that a truer picture of the nature of discipleship should be imparted to the waiting aspirant, the misunderstood principle of occult obedience should be 'soft-pedaled" (if I may use such a word), and men should be set "free for penetration" - as it is called - and be taught the needed reticence through testing and experience.

It is interesting to note that the cycle now being inaugurated in the world is that of "Growth through Sharing," and that advanced humanity can now share the work, the responsibility and the trained reticence of the Hierarchy, whilst paralleling this and simultaneously, the mass of men are [317] learning the lessons of economic sharing; and, my brothers, in this lies the sole hope of the world.

Every initiation to which disciples are admitted permits this closer occult sharing in the hierarchical life. This involves, for advanced humanity, a noticeable increase in vitality and in vital tension and potency. Its reflection among the masses is shewn in the constant demand for speed and in the enormous speeding up of the life of mankind in every department of living. This speeding up synchronizes with the increasing readiness of disciples everywhere for initiation - according to their status and developed ability.

The difference, brother of mine, between the past and the present readiness lies in the fact that in the past this readiness was a purely individual matter; today it is something which is closely related to a man's group, and the individual aspect is of secondary importance. As time and speed increase in importance for the masses of men, the disciple (ready for initiation) regards his personal advancement upon the Path as of less importance than his developed capacity to serve his fellowmen, serving them through the group with which he may be affiliated and to which he may be drawn. For the disciple facing the first two initiations, this group will be some exoteric body of men who claim his allegiance and in which he learns group cooperation and methods of working; for the more advanced disciple, it is the Ashram and direct service under the instigation of some Master.

I have in the above paragraphs given you a number of ideas which, though not new in their stating, are new in their reference. This is of importance for you to remember - or discover? The significance of sharing and the relation of spiritual development to speed are points of importance to emphasize. Much that I have said above has a close connection with the hint given on pages 302-3. I suggest that you look it up.

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