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Discipleship in the New Age II - Personal Instructions to Disciples - L.D.O.
September 1943


Since I last communicated with you, more than a year ago, life has brought you certain radical changes - some of them as a result of the war and your personality reaction to that war, and a few of them as a consequence of soul impulse. These changes and their resultant readjustments have been so many and have been brought about with such relative suddenness that you have not yet had time to know with clarity (within yourself) the distinctiveness of each change or its emanating source. Every change in a life condition upon the physical plane is the result of some inner cause. I hinted at this when I gave you the six statements which were intended to aid in the direction of your life. I said to you: "Learn that your causes are effects. Leave them behind and seek the world of causes."

These words embody one of the first lessons which a disciple has to master, as you well know. The initiate lives in the world of causes, for this is obviously the world of initiation. He deals therefore with those basic happenings which act as life-impulses, and initiates only those activities which are formulated by him as a soul and (bear this in mind) as a soul whose personality is initiate. Because of this personality capacity of seeing "eye to eye" with the soul, his activities are results of deliberate spiritual intention.

This is, therefore, one of the first lessons which it is my duty (as it is the duty of every Master) to teach all those who have just been accepted into my Ashram. Such people are not beginners in the world of occult life as far as the average man is concerned, but from the angle of an Ashram most of you indisputably are. I have therefore to teach each of you something as to the nature of that world of causes, and how to discover whether you are not functioning as a personality seeking, as far as may be, to be sensitive to soul incentive, or whether you are literally functioning as a soul. These are two very different matters, my brother. How can you, as a disciple, decide what you are doing and know your reasons? All that I, as your Master, can do is to indicate an approach [447] to reality, and then leave you to arrive at right decision, via direct or intuitive knowledge, alone and unaided.

Decisions which a disciple has to make are based upon various urges, impulses and desires; they differ from those made by the average man because they are ever accompanied by questionings and by the practice of a constant and oft bewildering inner scrutiny of motive and purpose. You have faced many such periods of questioning in the past year, my brother, and your answers have definitely affected your personality life, your service to the Plan, your various group affiliations and your general attitude to the spiritual realm. This you know. One aspect of your nature is profoundly satisfied; the other is full of doubt and enquiry; your soul is on its way to a fuller and richer experience of life, and this involves difficulty.

In some ways, the war has not really touched you very profoundly, even if you retaliate by saying that it has touched you astrally and emotionally. Emotions are, however, ephemeral. Personality enterprises have offset greatly your reactions, and changes in your personality life, in your environment and in your established habits have offset much reaction. This is, perhaps, just as well. Then, too, your attempted world service has intensely preoccupied you, and you have tried to be what I suggested in my statement to you, "the fluid life" of all that you seek to do. In connection with that work I have only this to say: Your service will be best rendered if you refrain from regarding your planned organization as unique and if you do not attempt to live up so entirely to the world concept. Your work is inspired from my Ashram; it is an integral part of much larger plans and is largely modeled upon those ashramic plans (which are part of still greater hierarchical endeavors) and has little in it that is original. It is a small part of a much larger whole and has a very needed part to play. I would remind you that very large trees can grow from very small seeds. Your seed is one of many in a large pod (to use a botanical symbol). This pod contains many similar seeds which will bear many similar trees.

You have a fluid mind and can do much if your emphasis [448] is placed where I suggest - a fluid life. Otherwise your fluid mind will incite you to so many useful activities that many of them will amount to very little. One of your major needs is a planned concentration and an ability to make discriminating choice as to activity and technique. You cannot possibly do everything that you see needs to be done; therefore, do that which will bring about the greatest amount of good to the greatest number of seeking souls. This is always a difficult matter for the creative worker to grasp. The doing of the thing which he plans is to him oft the satisfactory reward of effort, and his focused activity and attention is founded upon what he creates. Yet the created thing is only an effect - an effect of what, my brother?

Again we come back to the subtle question which your soul seeks to have you answer this life, because in answering it you will find a release which will give you a definite opportunity in your next life. What motives are impelling you to action in your personality life, in your group relation, and in your service to humanity? A general answer will not suffice, for you will find that several widely different motives condition each field of expression, and when you know what they are, you will be able to bring all the three phases of your life into one rightly oriented functioning whole. Is your creative work the result of a desire to create, or is it impelled by love of humanity and, therefore, an automatic intelligent response to human appeal? Are you nurturing a small and healthy seed or are you endeavoring to transplant a tree? This last question has far more significance than perhaps you guess. It holds in its correct answering the secret of your success. Are you cooperating with the Plan, or in reality with your plans? Again a question of importance.

A rich life of service lies ahead for you in the coming period of reconstruction, but its full expression is dependent upon your achieving a point of focus, leading to a point of tension which will, in its turn, inevitably lead to a point of crisis. When these - focus, tension, and crisis - condition all your living, then your work will move ahead towards a most desirable fruition.

Like all creative workers, my brother and my friend you [449] resent all forms which you do not yourself initiate. I am not, therefore, giving you a set form for meditation, but I am giving you a loose structure of thought which I would like to see govern your approach to life, to work and to all you do as a disciple coming forth from my Ashram. This will constitute your cooperative contribution to the group need and to humanity.

Take the three words which I have given you and seek to weave the energies which they represent into your life pattern, welcoming the changes which they may bring and knowing that they are, for you, the correct procedure because these three concepts govern the needed evolutionary process for you at this time - as they do for the bulk of disciples and, to a certain degree, all lesser developing nature.

I. Focus
Seek to ascertain in a wide and general sense where your major life focus is established. Is it emotional, mental, or on soul levels? Is it focused consciously in the Hierarchy, in my Ashram, or where? What is your daily focus as you watch yourself each day of living? Where, each day, has your attention been, having in mind that a disciple's focus is frequently in one place whilst his attention is in another? Do you know what I mean when I say this?

II. Tension
Study for the next year whether you know the true significance of tension. For you, it should mean (speaking in a symbolism which you ought to understand) that moment of exquisite sensitivity which appears just as the life within reaches the point of "breaking forth" into the light. It is that moment of alert conscious anticipatory direction which distinguishes the runner in the Olympic games as he stands poised for his supreme effort and test. It should be, for you, the moment when you switch your identification with that which you do, away from that act of doing (which is in reality only an effect of an initiating cause or motive) into the world of origins, of motives and causes. In that supreme moment of tension you relate life [450] and form, the fluid and the concrete; then an organism, and not an organization, takes shape before your eyes.

III. Crisis
The comprehension and the system of right reflection which the two above processes will generate must inevitably eventuate in a point of crisis. About such a crisis I can say little. It will take place in conformity with your ability to focus, in line with your attainment of the right tension, and the precipitation of the crisis will, therefore, give you release, freedom, clarity of vision and entrance into light.

In closing let me say: Preserve your essential and innate integrity, my brother. Be like the sapling which bears up against the storms of wind and rain, holding its life in form intact and gaining added beauty as strength develops.

My blessing rests ever upon you, and my cooperation and my help when need arises. On that you may count. Meet happiness and distress alike with equilibrium, and be a strong hand in the dark to all you meet.

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