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Discipleship in the New Age II - Teachings on Initiation - Part VII
It must be remembered that none of this is a personality or an individual attack upon an Ashram. The relatively feeble efforts of a person are unavailing and make no real impact upon the conscious life of the Ashram. The evil released must emanate from a group, though it is released through the agency of an individual disciple. That is a totally different matter. A disciple may do this through misuse of the lower mind and its rationalizing capacity, which can make black to appear white and prove that good intention is responsible for evil-distributed energy; or the disciple can let in evil under the influence of glamor, provided again that it is group evil. In these ways, the disciple simply turns the key, and group evil enters. For instance, the harm done to the Ashram of the Master Morya by H.P.B. in his earlier incarnation as Cagliostro, (Cagliostro, W.R.H. Trowbridge) is only now fading out, and its [332] repercussions affected the whole Hierarchy. The harm attempted on my Ashram has been more easily offset, and the source of hate which it represented failed in its attempt because of its general ill repute. It has been offset by love and understanding which is not so easily the case in a first ray attack.

In an Ashram, therefore, the sharing takes place along the following lines:

  1. The sharing in individual limitation but not in individual problems or personality difficulties.
  2. The sharing in the "art of occult protection." This involves two activities: the protection of limited disciples and the protection of the Ashram from attempted attacks or intrusions.
  3. The sharing in the service of the Plan, resulting in action in the three worlds.
  4. The sharing in the Ashramic life, with all that that signifies, and in the opportunities which are thus presented.
  5. The sharing in the stimulation which comes from the Master's Presence and in the instructions which he occasionally gives.
  6. The sharing in the accession of power or love or insight which comes during any cycle of initiation. These cycles (for our purposes) fall into three categories:
    1. The initiation of members of the Ashram, either before the Christ or before the One Initiator.
    2. Initiations taking place within affiliated Ashrams and having a specific ray effect.
    3. Initiations into those degrees which are higher than the fifth degree; these create vacancies, and at the same time cause a tremendous influx of power.
  7. At the period of these cycles, all within the Ashram react in some way or another; no one moves forward upon the Path without creating a new relationship and becoming a better transmitter of power.

  8. The sharing in the. results of special spiritual events,
  9. such as: [333]

  1. The directed attention of Shamballa.
  2. An inflow of extra-planetary force.
  3. The "nearing" or the directed power of an Avatar of some degree.
  4. The merging of all hierarchical thought and activity into some one directed event, such as the Wesak Festival and, increasingly, the Full Moon or Festival of the Christ.

    There are other events which have a definite effect upon every Ashram, the effect being determined by the ray or by the "unfoldment of the ashramic Lotus."

Every great act of sharing results automatically in the production of two reactions:

  1. The creation of a point of tension.
  2. The emergence of a point of crisis.

On these I shall not here enlarge, for I have given you much along these lines in other and earlier writings. The bringing together of "two points of energy" (as, for instance, two disciples) creates inevitably a point of tension which can release energy in the service of the Plan. It produces also a point of crisis, according to the development of the disciples involved. There is not the same point of crisis where initiates of the higher degree are involved. The point of tension in these cases results in a "crisis of projection and direction" which is in no way related to the disciple's life or condition or to his aspiration and understanding.

4. Initiation is today concerned with the group and not with the individual. This is not an easy matter to elucidate to a group of people who are still so polarized in their personalities that it is the personality aspect of their fellow members which engrosses their attention at all times. I say this with emphasis. Aspiring disciples are far more conscious of the failings and the personality attributes of others than are the more advanced disciples in the Ashrams. The advanced disciple may be - and is - well aware of the failings, failures and undesirable qualities of others with whom he is [334] associated, but his critical mind is not the determining factor, as it is with most of the less developed. He is far more conditioned by the aspirations, the effort and the fixed intention than by the personality angle. He gauges the soul's grip upon the lower self, primarily from the angle of the stability of its hold; his treatment of the aspirant is therefore based upon that recognition, and not upon any analysis of the aspirant's lack of development. This is a point of immense importance, for it is this type of consideration which governs the Masters when they are choosing and training a group for initiation. The Master is not occupied with the temporary faults but with the soul grip and intention, and with the aspirant's habitual response to soul energy, when that energy is applied. Given a firm hold by the soul, an attentive ear by the personality, and consistent and enduring effort from both directions - soul and personality (and this is an instance of invocation and evocation) - and the Master can begin to train a group.

This is necessarily a slow process, from the standpoint of the physical plane, but upon the inner planes - where the time factor does not rule - this does not matter in the least. The Masters think in terms of cycles and not in terms of an individual life; as you cannot yet do that, except theoretically, it is not possible for you to understand. The experience, the failures and the achievements of the disciples in my Ashram are seen by me, for instance, in terms of one thousand year cycles. What you may have done in this life, unless of outstanding significance, is in all probability quite unknown to me; if I choose to know, I can do so, and I do so in those cases where the results of some activity have repercussions upon my Ashram or upon a large proportion of the group of disciples.

Let me put it this way: the petty selfishness and the silly little vanities and the irritations which disturb you, the unkind words you may speak of or to others, and the withholding of love or the fact of wrong emphasis in your daily life are not noted by me or by any Master. They are the affair of your own soul; the results affect your family, friend, or communal group, and are none of our business. Yet those are [335] the things which you notice in others and which affect your judgment, evoking like or dislike, praise or blame, but inevitably putting you - as an individual - upon the judgment seat. There no Master sits. When Christ said: "Judge not and ye shall not be judged," he indicated a state of mind where understanding so controls that the aspirant no longer praises or blames; because of this general attitude within his mental approach to people, he is then free to become a full member of an Ashram.

If you consider the many apparent failures in my experiment in forming an external group affiliated with my Ashram, and as demonstrated in the book Discipleship in the New Age, you may well wonder why on earth I chose such a group of people or why I chose to make myself aware of their thinking, faults and failures. I will tell you.

From a survey of one thousand years which I have been enabled to make (as are all the Masters), everyone of these people shows a definite soul intention, all are definitely oriented in their personality life to the spiritual world, and react to soul control correctly - if at times quite feebly. The soul has them in a true grip, and that grip has become a stable and persistent hold. Therefore, in spite of serious faults, and in spite of pronounced personality qualities of undesirable nature, and in spite of wrong emphases, these people were and are ready for training. Their failings and faults will disappear more rapidly than you imagine under the influence of the soul - as the dew disappears under the morning sun. The enterprise of the Masters to substitute group initiation in place of the laborious process of individual initiation is proving successful, even though it is still in the experimental stage.

The "cycles of interest," or those periods in which the Masters pay close attention to the quality aspect of mankind, are also being speeded up; the "gauging" process will take place now every three hundred years, instead of every one thousand years, as has been the case until 1575 A.D. This change can be attributed to the greater sensitivity of man's response to spiritual stimulation and to the rapidity with which he deals with his personality. This is, of course, not [336] apparent to you, on account of your day by day consideration of each other; it is, however, apparent to those who view humanity with greater disinterestedness, deeper understanding and over much more extended cycles of time.

The result of this more frequent watchfulness on the part of the Hierarchy has been shown in the confidence with which the Masters have undertaken to prepare people for initiation.

This decision to do so, and permission having been granted from Shamballa, certain matters came up for consideration. Most of them would naturally be too abstruse for your comprehension - which is seated in the mind and brain instead of in the soul and heart. It is obvious that if initiation is a physical plane affair, requiring recognition in the brain consciousness, the disciples must be in physical incarnation together (and by this I mean within the ring-pass-not of the three worlds which are the dense physical planes of the cosmic physical plane) for a sufficiently long period of time to test their reactions, as a group, to the concept of group initiation and to each other as participants. For a great part of this time there must also be a physical plane life, shared by all in the group; this need not involve similarity or identity of location, but must involve similarity of world affairs and civilization. This physical plane necessity is - as you will perceive - a test of individual integration, with a view to group integration later on.

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