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

One of the factors (and I believe I have earlier pointed this out) which has warred against a true understanding of initiation has been the puerile and feeble interpretations of it which the various occult groups have promulgated. Often have I wished that H.P.B. (my first and earliest amanuensis) and the many previous teachers of occult truth had given out nothing whatsoever about initiation, the Masters and the occult Hierarchy. Humanity was not ready, and the Hierarchy is not as it has been portrayed by earnest Theosophists and Rosicrucians. The Hierarchy has been pictured as a group of eager men, anxious to establish happy relations with humanity. In this, the Members of the Hierarchy are not primarily interested. The prime objective set before every Master of or in an Ashram is to see the purposes of Sanat Kumara working out successfully through the medium of hierarchical endeavor. Their work lies with the advanced thinkers in the human family who are capable of grasping the Plan and of penetrating to the periphery of hierarchical influence. The Masters seek disciples among the world intelligentsia, but They do not seek for them among those who constitutionally join occult groups and the ranks of the glimmered devotees who seek with some Master. They seek for them among those who intelligently love their fellowmen and who are free from spiritual ambition and self-seeking. They never look for them among those who love the idea of being the sought and the beloved of the Masters. A man may have no practical knowledge of academic initiatory teaching but - if he loves his fellowmen and is dedicated to their service and can use his mind on their behalf - he is probably nearer to initiation than the devotees of the occult schools.

These schools have, however, done one vital and important task: they have familiarized mankind with the general concept of initiation; they have therefore posited an impelling [430] goal, and they have consequently served. This must not be forgotten. It is really not the fault of the individual that he warps and distorts a presented truth. It is his point in the evolutionary cycle which makes that inevitable. The moment that such a point in the evolutionary presentation is twisted and distorted so that it is not progressive in its appeal, but serves only to feed individual pride and the sense of personality achievement, it is necessarily not spiritual.

In our approach to the entire theme of initiation I would ask you ever to have this in your minds; I would ask you to seek for the different and not the usual approach to this much discussed theme; I would ask you to question all that makes you personally feel adequate to the initiatory demands, and to look for that which will lead you to exert all that you have of intuition and spiritual perception. I would beg you to repudiate all that makes you feel a devoted follower of the individuality of any Master and which leads you to feel that you are in the vanguard of the evolutionary wave. I would like, in this instruction, to give you a new slant on the initiatory processes and thus to present to you a fresh incentive to constructive endeavor and towards a common sense approach to this subject. My reason for so doing was given you in our last instruction, when I said: "When the human crisis and the spiritual crisis coincide, there comes one of the major periods of opportunity and of decision. Hence the extreme gravity of the present moment." I would suggest therefore that we study this problem of the initiatory process from the angle of Penetration, of Polarization, and of Precipitation. These are words which have a practical usefulness if correctly understood; I would ask you to consider them from the angle of your individual approach to the Initiator. There are consequently two angles to this needed consideration: that of yourself, the individual disciple, and that of the group of which you should be (are you?) an integral part. Let us therefore take up these points and see what we can learn from them. What penetrates? Or into what do you, as a disciple, seek to penetrate? Where are you polarized? And what do you really mean when you use that word? What is [431] precipitated when you have succeeded in the processes of penetration? or when you have arrived at a measure of polarization? These are aspects of the teaching which are of importance; otherwise you are working with no intelligent perception and are using words without meaning.

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