28 Rules Group
Commentary on Rule XI Part I of V
(All Highlighting, Bolding and Underlining—MDR)
Please read this Commentary with your book open or with reference to an electronic copy of the text. This will facilitate an appreciation of continuity.
I would like to speak, at this point in our discussion of the fourteen rules for initiates, upon the theme of group initiation;
1. This is perhaps the most important theme to be found in the Fourteen Rules.
2. We note that the Rules are called “rules for initiates”, and the word “disciples” has been dropped.
these rules are those to which groups that are seeking, in unison, a group expansion of consciousness, must learn to conform.
3. The important idea is that the members of the group seek “a group expansion of consciousness”. We are not speaking of individual expansions of consciousness for individual disciples. Everyone in the group (and the group as a whole) will be the beneficiary from the proposed group expansions.
It is for this reason that I have hitherto omitted to go into detail in relating these rules to the seven centres or, specifically, to the great seven solar initiations. Of these seven initiations only five concern average humanity. The remaining two initiations concern only those who are willing to meet certain unusual requirements and to produce that special effort which entitles them to the appellation, "Victors, through the clear pure will."
4. We may offer two interpretations of the substance of this paragraph:
5. Interpretation I:
a. We are not talking of nine initiations. The “seven great solar initiations” begin with the planetary initiation of the “Birth” and conclude with “The Resurrection” (the seventh initiation).
b. The five initiations which concern average humanity are the “Birth” through the “Revelation”.
c. The “remaining two interpretations” are the sixth and the seventh.
d. We have read that the highest two planes of any sevenfold system of planes are planes of abstraction and are related to the Spirit. We can say this of the sixth and seventh initiations; they are initiations of the Monad and pertain to a range of development that lies beyond fivefold brahmic development.
6. We note the word “willing”; those who are to take the “remaining two initiations” are those in whom the will aspect of divinity is highly developed.
7. Interpretation II:
a. When speaking of the “seven solar initiations” we are speaking (specifically and technically) of those initiations which are solar. The first of the “solar initiations” begins with the planetary third initiation—the Transfiguration.
b. The five initiations which would concern ordinary humanity would be the “Transfiguration” through the “Resurrection (the seventh).
c. The two initiations which require a special act of will and the meeting of unusual requirements would be the “Transition” (eighth) and the “Refusal” ninth.
d. We have been told how extraordinarily difficult it is to take the eighth and ninth initiations on our planet.
8. We will attempt to understand which of these two interpretations is correct as we move along. If we are literal about the phrase, “the great seven solar initiations”, we shall simply have to begin with the Transfiguration and end with the Refusal.
9. If we accept the second interpretation, we will have to conclude that Initiates of the sixth and seventh degree are not yet “Victors through the clear, pure will.”
10. However, it is unlikely that the Tibetan would discuss the eighth and ninth initiations in the present limited context.
11. Further when DK tells us that five of the seven initiations “concern average humanity”, we would have to leave our initiations one and two (should we choose to begin with the Transfiguration), and initiations one and two definitely concern average humanity. Should we begin with the Transfiguration initiation (considered as the first “solar” initiation), the fourth and fifth in the series would be the sixth and seventh initiations which (it would seem) hardly concern average humanity.
12. The first and second initiations are usually considered definitely “planetary initiations” and are “initiations of the threshold”. However, in one respect they are “solar”, in as much as they involve the participation of the Solar Angel (in the development of the human being) in a new way. Further, the solar factor in human life (the soul within the causal body) is seen (in the initiation ceremony) for the first time.
Group initiation is no easy achievement, particularly as it is practically an untried experiment and constitutes essentially a pioneering effort.
13. This must always be remembered. Mistakes will be made and over-estimation of group achievement will be a common illusion.
That such a development was inevitable, if the evolutionary growth of humanity proved in any way satisfactory, was early realised by the Hierarchy. However, it has taken millenia of years to make it seem—as an hypothetical effort—in any way possible, and only tentative experiments have as yet been attempted.
14. The innate selfishness of the individual human being has to be overcome if even the “tentative” beginnings in this experiment are to have any chance of success.
15. We are now entering a precessional Age (the Aquarian Age) in which the concept and reality of the group is to receive special emphasis. A ray which promotes group interplay (the seventh ray) is also to remain in expression for the full duration of the Aquarian Age. The possibility of engineering an experiment in group initiation is supported by the major, prevailing astrological and rayological influences of the next approximately 2500 years.
16. We are at the very beginning of the process of group initiation; we have no collection of previously successful experiments upon which to rely for guidance.
The first objective of these experiments (going on quietly in various places all over the world) is to see if a group of disciples can work together in such a manner that an inner fusion can be seen—by the Masters—to be taking place.
17. We note that the experiments are quiet experiments. Undue attention is not to be called to them or the potential result could be ruined.
18. We also note that at the time of this writing, there was certainly more than one experiment in process. Those disciples working within the Tibetan’s Groups of IX or, later, the New Seed Group, would have been incorrect to imagine themselves as the only disciples involved in such group experiments.
19. The Masters (examining group process from the inner planes) look for “inner fusion”. This does not mean an outer gathering of people who can get along with one another. Outer harmony is important but not the most essential factor.
20. The results hoped for are inner, subjective results. The participants themselves were not capable of assessing the inner success of the experiment in which they were engaged.
21. The experiment with group initiation apparently has a number of phases and DK is discussing the very first. Can such people be found? If they could not be found at the time He was working with certain disciples, can be they be found today?
The results, hitherto, have not been encouraging.
22. This is a frank statement and we should take it to heart. Students of occultism are likely to become quite excited about the possibilities of group initiation without realizing how very difficult it is to achieve at this particular point in the development of humanity.
23. Such experiments (to prove successful) will take years—even lifetimes. I am recalling a statement by the Tibetan that the failure of one of the group members to take the first initiation meant that the entire group could not experience group initiation in this particular life cycle. Apparently, for the process of group initiation to be successful, all members of the group must minimally be initiates of the first degree.
It has, for one thing, been difficult to find disciples who are approximately at the same point in evolution,
24. Emphasis should be placed upon the word “approximately”. It is not desired that all within such a group should be candidates for the same initiation.
whose rays are "shining through" adequately,
25. This means that their soul rays are shining through the rays of their personality and the rays of the personality vehicles.
and who can evidence some one quality, or some controlling theme (if I may use such a phrase) which they share in unison and which would suffice to hold them together and prove strong enough to offset personality differences, preferences and barriers.
26. “Let but one colour blend them and their unity appear”. Personality differences, in most groups, lead to friction, inharmony and cleavages. The shared quality or theme is meant to offset these tendencies—
a. tendencies towards differences
b. tendencies towards cleavages
c. tendencies towards barriers
27. Such people would have to live so focally within their higher nature, that such lower tendencies would be negated—would be seen as relatively unimportant compared to a greater objective.
It has not been possible, as yet, to do this. Group after group has been tried and tested out by different Masters in various parts of the world, and hitherto all such attempts have proved failures.
28. We can see that the Masters must be patient, indeed, if they are to see Their ideals manifest.
29. We have no idea of how extensively the Masters within Hierarchy work with various groups. All these experiments would naturally evade our detection because they go forth quietly and concern only the Master and those disciples who are involved.
When I use the word "failure" I mean failure from [Page 209] the angle of the planned objective. From the angle of the individual growth of any particular disciple there has not necessarily been failure;
30. DK speaks of group objectives unachieved; some spiritual objectives of the personnel may, however, have been greatly aided by the group work.
from the angle of the unwitting, general public, the publication of Discipleship in the New Age will prove in years to come an epochal success.
31. DK predicts the value of the DINA books to “the unwitting, general public”, who will not be in a position to understand the true group objective which had not been achieved. Disciples who have studied the group process which Master DK initiated will, however, realize the ways in which the enterprise fell short.
32. Still we have been told that DINA I is one of the best tools for gathering people into the Ashrams of the Masters. We should use this book to aid the Masters in the great “ingathering” which is now in process.
It might be of value to consider briefly what group initiation involves, and to do this factually and not sentimentally and aspirationally.
33. We are to use the mental approach; we are to avoid emphasizing the usual feeling (based upon an eager anticipation of spiritual satisfaction) which may arise in the astral body and kama-manasic mind when the subject of group initiation is discussed.
One of the problems confronting the Hierarchy in this connection is the elimination of sentiment—that curious, emotional reaction and relationship which links all the members of a group together in the bonds of liking or disliking.
34. DK focusses on sentiment and defines it. It is related to the Law of Attraction and Repulsion as that law works out on the personality level.
35. Sentiment is both an “emotional reaction” and “relationship”.
36. Not only does it link certain members of a group together but it links them in “bonds”. This means that because of sentiment they are bound; they are not free.
37. One can recognize that (from the personality perspective) one is like or unlike another without actually falling into the trap of “liking or disliking”.
38. To like or dislike reveals a personality identification. These groups, however, are to be organized on the basis of soul relationships.
Where there is liking, then too strong a personality relation is established, as far as the good of the group is concerned.
39. Personality relation which are too strong deflects energy from soul relations and from the realization and execution of soul purpose. First things are not put first.
The group equilibrium is disturbed.
40. The astral body is aroused for mutual astral reinforcement (in the case of “liking”). The soul-inspired light of the mind is not the emphasis as it should be.
Where there is disliking, the inner faculty of rebuff works constantly, and cleavages then occur.
41. The flow of soul energy within the group is thwarted; the freedom which arises from inner harmony is prevented. Martian energies are present instead of Venusian energies. The ability to work together under spiritual purpose is compromised.
42. It is obvious how “disliking” (followed almost inevitably by external or internal conflict), will disrupt group equilibrium. Mars (‘God of War’ and of conflict) is in detriment in the sign Libra.
Is it not true, my brothers, that your relation to each other is frequently subjected to the impact of approval or of disapproval?
43. Let us pause to question ourselves.
44. Perhaps “approval” and “disapproval” are more sophisticated attitudes that “liking or disliking” but they, too, are undesirable and largely astrally based.
45. All these types of interaction are largely based within the personality and distract the attention from the true basis of group relationship—the unifying soul.
When that attitude exists, the first steps towards group fusion are absent.
46. Even the very first steps are missing. Thus, when thinking of our desire to participate in the processes of group initiation, we can see where we stand.
This is what we mean by sentiment, and this emotional reaction must disappear as a preliminary stage.
47. DK calls for the elimination of sentiment. He calls it an “emotional reaction” which must disappear if the group is to enter even the preliminary stage of preparation for group initiation.
48. In this preamble to the discussion of Rule XI, per se, DK will point out a number of undesirable attitudes which must be eliminated before any possibility for group initiation can exist.
I speak not at this time anent impersonality. For some people, impersonality is simply an escape mechanism from responsibility; for others, it connotes suppression and entails such hard labour that the entire time of the disciple is given to the achievement of impersonality, thereby guaranteeing non-success.
49. DK tells us what impersonality is not.
a. It is not an escape mechanism from responsibility—the responsibility of loving, responsive interplay with one’s group brothers and sisters.
b. It is not suppression.
c. It should not entail such hard labour that its achievement becomes a preoccupation thereby guaranteeing non-success.
50. We can see that in all the attitudes listed immediately above, the focus of the consciousness is on the personality. When there is true soul focus, impersonality emerges far more naturally (though not without the necessity for attentive cultivation).
51. We can see that for the achievement of impersonality, a certain attitude of detachment is necessary; hard labour and preoccupation do not give the necessary ‘psychic distance’ from the state to be cultivated. The personality becomes unduly involved thus negating the attempt to eliminate its perspective as the major perspective within consciousness.
That at which you strenuously strive and which assumes undue place in your thinking, in due time becomes itself a prison and merits later destruction. Such is the occult law.
52. That at which one, perhaps, too strenuously strives occupies a central position within the contents of consciousness. It eventually prevents the recognition of still greater factors. A greater sense of proportion and the development of wider, subtler contacts cannot be achieved due to the over-emphasis upon the object of striving.
53. Every temple must serve its purpose and, then, give way to a still greater temple.
54. Ring-pass-nots must be destroyed; in the process of destruction, greater ring-pass-nots are discovered.
55. No meritorious formulation is ultimate; no formulation can capture the ever-receding Truth.
Impersonality is possible only to the disciple who knows truly how to love, and to him who sees life and its phantasmagoria (including all associated persons) in the light of the Spiritual Triad.
56. Here are two important requirements for the achievement of impersonality:
a. One must love
b. One must see life and its phantasmagoria in the light of the Spiritual Triad
57. True soul love deemphasizes the value of the person (but never of the person as soul). True love is impersonal love; it is the love of souls for souls.
58. Even the personal nature of the one loved is seen as an extension of the soul nature. True love does not artificially dichotomize between soul and personality. All is seen as spiritual and the person, per se, is seen only an instrument of the true being—which is sensed.
59. How does one see “in the light of the Spiritual Triad”? This light is the “clear, cold light”. In this light, the consciousness of the observer is unswayed by effects. It is a light that reveals the causes behind effects. In this light the observer has ever in his sights the true Individual behind the outer appearance. The worlds of the eighteen lower sub-planes are not real to the one who can see from the perspective of the Spiritual Triad.
60. The term “phantasmagoria” is especially interesting. The word “phantasmagoria” suggests ever-changing, unreal forms. The term applies mostly to the astral plane where images are fluid—constantly changing shape and relationship.
61. The forms on the physical plane seem to have a degree of ‘solidity’ which make them seem real, but DK is telling us that (‘solid’ as they seem) they are not real.
62. Further, He is telling us that the persons and personalities we contact on the physical plane are also unreal. In fact, they are “phantasmagoria”—the creations of fantasy—the fantasy or imagination of higher Creative Agencies.
63. Instead, we are to look deep for the reality behind that phantasm known as the person or personality. This would require esoteric insight, causal sight.
64. The ancient Brahmans knew well that of which Master DK speaks. To them all that could be perceived in these lower worlds was the Great Maya, the Great Illusion—entirely unreal.
It is to this that Rule XI primarily refers, and it will not be possible for you to comprehend the significance of this rule unless there is a measure of clarity in your minds anent true group relationships.
65. We are being told that if we are to succeed in understanding Rule XI we shall have to approach impersonally, which means (additionally) with love and with the abstracted perspective of the Spiritual Triad, from which perspective the real and the unreal may be differentiated.
66. One is reminded of the need for the energies of the planets Mercury and Saturn—two planets instrumental in bringing about necessary results at the time of the fourth initiation. They are fundamentally planets of discrimination which is not only a mental faculty but a buddhic one.
67. We may think, according to our experience, that group relationships are thus and so; in fact we have to transform our entire attitude concerning what group relations are meant to be.
Such relationships are not [Page 210] based upon personality or impersonality, or upon liking or disliking, or on criticism or non-criticism, but upon a real comprehension of "divine indifference," spiritual detachment and deep, persistent, unchanging love.
68. First let us tabulate those factors upon which group relationships are not based:
a. They are not based on personality or impersonality (especially in the way these orientations are so often and so wrongly understood).
b. They are not based on liking or disliking (both being sentimental reactions).
c. They are not based upon criticism or non-criticism
69. We see a few of the pairs of opposites listed for our consideration. The middle road between them must be found.
70. This can only be accomplished if the perspective of consciousness is triadal and not personal. A perspective from within the causal body will not even be sufficient for the promotion of true group relationships.
71. Now let us tabulate those qualities upon which true group relationships are to be based:
a. Upon “divine indifference”
b. Upon spiritual detachment
c. Upon deep, persistent, unchanging love
72. The demands as we see are very exacting.
73. Through “divine indifference” we do not become preoccupied with secondary things. Our usual, personal preoccupations are minimized because they are seen as unimportant from the perspective of the Spiritual Triad—i.e., the planetary perspective.
74. Through “spiritual detachment” we are no longer so involved with the forces of the lower spheres. They are seen as from a distance and our consciousness is firmly focussed in the higher realities.
75. As for deep, persistent, unchanging love, it is a tremendous purifier of all mayavic, glamorous and illusory states.
76. If under normal circumstances of group interplay the personalities of the group members have loomed too large, these requirements will put those personalities in their rightful place.
To many earnest aspirants the juxtaposition of these phrases will seem paradoxical; but an understanding of the occult paradoxes tends to liberation.
77. Why should it appear paradoxical to list divine indifference, spiritual detachment and deep, persistent, unchanging love together?
78. To the normal understanding, the first two requirements seem cold and detached (if we use those words in their usual exoteric meanings). They are qualities related to the first ray, whereas deep, persistent, unchanging love is a qualities related to the second ray. Hence the apparent contradiction.
79. But the first two requirements produce such a negation of the preoccupying personality that the deep love of the soul can emerge without impediment. This is the only kind of love which will remain deep, persistent and unchanging. The ‘love’ of personalities as personalities will fluctuate, being based on lesser attractions and their associated repulsions.
In the comprehension of these basic attitudes lies the first lesson of the aspirant to participation in group initiation.
80. We have been given some first steps and see that they are not easy to achieve—given our present stage of development and the habits built into our nature.
81. We can begin by examining our group relations and seeing to what extent they conform to the requirements set forth.
The second point which the group thus striving has to grasp is the necessity for the utilisation of the force of destruction.
82. This will call for the wielding of first ray force.
83. Of course, the elimination of sentiment is not without its first ray component, but that elimination is achieved through certain attitudes of consciousness, and thus can be related to the second ray as well as the first.
A group is brought together under karmic law, ashramic necessity and soul direction.
84. Let us ponder what is just said:
a. Under “karmic law” the group members have a long past association and are, therefore, drawn together because the balancing of karma between them is still required.
b. Under “ashramic necessity”, those who are sufficiently associated with an Ashram to respond to its energy can be utilized for ashramic purposes. The Ashram has a need, and capable units are attracted towards the fulfillment of that need. The Ashram, however, does not compel them.
c. Under “soul direction” the potential group members find that the opportunities offered by the group correlate with the direction of their soul expression and plan. Their ray nature brings them together for mutual spiritual benefit and for the opportunity unselfishly to serve. “Let but one colour blend them and their unity appear.”
Immediately there is presented to the watching Masters an opportunity for the very definite training of some willing aspirants, but also an equally definite point of tension, indicating real difficulty.
85. We have a two-edged sword.
86. The Masters are ever watchful for such opportunities for They always stand ready to train those Who can come to the aid of the Ashram and, thus, of humanity.
87. The “point of tension” (as the phrase is here used) indicates a ‘point of friction’—the gathering of energies and forces difficult to resolve in harmony and to align with a greater, spiritual purpose.
88. The personalities of those involved cause the tension and difficulty.
89. Each of us is as two beings: a soul and a shadow. At our stage of evolution, one comes with the other. Whenever a teacher undertakes the training of a fellow soul, the shadow of the one to be trained emerges and must be dealt with.
There is little, in reality, to link these people except inclination, a joint aspiration and a goal seen and held in unison.
90. Let us tabulate what, “in reality”, links the people gathered into such a group:
b. Joint aspiration
c. A goal seen and held in unison
91. Of course, these are not inappreciable factors.
92. Inclination arises because of similarity of spiritual background, ray similarities and the fact that all of them stand more or less upon the same rung of the “ladder of evolution”.
93. They aspire together towards the goal they see…
94. And, in common, they see a goal and hold to that goal.
95. We see that the spiritual influence of the sign Sagittarius conditions them.
96. To a degree these factors are personal and selfish (often concerning the personality and its fulfillment), but they are not bad in themselves. They indicate, at least, that the higher aspects of the personality are expressing.
The outstanding characteristic of such a group is spiritual selfishness.
97. This is one of the Tibetan’s ‘bombshell statements’. Usually aspirants drawn towards the great Teaching think of themselves as actuated by very worthy motives. They usually have no doubt about the motivation which inspires them to meditate, study and (to the extent that they do so) serve.
98. DK, however, is distributing streams of the ‘light that shocks’.
This statement may surprise you until a close scrutiny of your own heart is undergone, and then I venture to predict that you will discover that it is not divine love of humanity that has enabled you to find your way into the outer group of some Ashram but desire for development, for achievement and for liberation.
99. DK asks for a “close scrutiny of your own heart”. This means a deep examination of motives—motives of which we may have been unaware, or which we may not have wanted to examine because, in some subliminal manner, we actually know their source.
100. The group into which these aspirants (the members of DK’s groups) have found themselves is “the outer group of some Ashram”. It is not the Ashram itself, though many of DK’s statements address these people as if they were included in His Ashram—at least on its periphery.
101. What should have motivated them to participate in such a group or groups is “divine love or humanity”—a love that comes from the soul nature and is unrelated to self-love—the lover of the lower self.
102. Instead, DK detects the following motives:
a. Desire for development
b. Desire for achievement
c. Desire for liberation
103. We will all recognize these motives, either as present in our psyche or as having been present. Again there is nothing wrong with these motives. They are valuable and spiritually impulsive, but, they are insufficient. They are not based upon the energy of love but rather upon aspiration (an astrally based energy).
104. People actuated by these motives, quite simply, are thinking of themselves and not of others. This is the great distinction. The soul is innately altruistic. The personality is innately selfish.
The first step, therefore, is to recognise this and hence the injunction so oft misunderstood: Kill out desire.
105. What is meant here is that one must kill out personal desire, or desire as it relates to the advancement of one’s own personality.
106. Desire is not Love (though, like Love, it is an aspect of the Law of Attraction). Upon this we must meditate deeply.
This has to be the first destructive activity of the disciple.
107. As well, the energy of desire and the energy of will (though related) are not the same. When contrasting desire and will we are contrasting the sixth and the first rays—an orientation towards the periphery with an orientation towards the center.
108. A group seeking training towards group initiation must simultaneously be trained in the recognition and the use of the will. The spiritual triad is, in large measure, the realm of will. It is not the realm of desire, unless we begin to at look at Desire in a cosmic sense (as that Desire may be reflected on the cosmic etheric planes).
109. We are reminded of the little book dictated by the Master Hilarion—“Light on the Path”. One of the very first injunctions in that book is “Kill out Desire”.
It is not what the disciple seeks, or wants or desires which should condition him and drive him to what we might call "ashramic acquiescence," but the all-impelling motive of world need.
110. “Ashramic acquiescence” is a form of occult obedience. It signifies the willingness to do that which the Ashram needs done and, in general to submit one’s individual will to the Greater Will of the Ashram.
111. Under the impulse of desire and aspiration, a disciple may drive himself towards what he imagines to be “ashramic acquiescence”, but it will be the personality acquiescing (often for reason of hidden personal motives) and not the disciple focussed as a soul (the soul-infused personality)—a far deeper kind of acquiescence.
112. We notice the presence of the word “quiescence” in “acquiescence”, signifying a quieted consciousness. The consciousness is no longer rebelling against the higher energies, plans and purposes which are attempting to impress it.
113. When the disciple is on fire with the motivation of answering to world need, the motivation for ashramic acquiescence is correct. There will be no thought of personal gain (however subtle may be the thought) in this high form of acquiescence. The only gain sought is gain for humanity and the world. This is selflessness and suggests a perspective which grows out of the divine love of humanity—a love that is deep, persistent and unchanging—in short, impersonal.
114. We must test our motives. It may seem tedious to some, but the simple question, “Why am I really doing this?” (honestly pursued) will reveal the true nature of our motivations.
So the disciple begins to rid himself of desire by a process of attrition.
115. We are to “kill out desire” but the method is not to be through any kind of willful, ‘frontal attack’. Instead we are given a method which wisdom has revealed as effective.
He does not positively fight desire with a view to its elimination;
116. If he did so, he would find himself in the position of Hercules facing the Hydra; for every head severed, two more grew in its place. The Martian approach is not advised, though, no doubt, it will at first be attempted before its futility is demonstrated.
117. Under the strictly Marian approach, he would intensely desire the elimination of desire, and thus doom himself to failure.
118. Practically, however, it is not possible for man to eliminate desire entirely, but he can and must substitute higher desires for lower.
he does not seek to transmute it (as should the probationary disciple),
119. DK is writing these instructions for those who are truly disciples, which means they are “accepted disciples” and not probationary disciples.
120. Every member of the New Seed Group receiving these instructions was, technically, an accepted disciple.
but he ceases to give it any recognition; he fails to provide it with the needed stimulation of attention, for as ever, energy follows thought;
121. This is the suggested method of killing out desire—allowing desire to die of attrition.
122. His consciousness is focussed elsewhere and the various desires, as they arise, are not given the necessary ‘feeding attention’ to sustain them.
123. One may notice a desire, feel it arising, but one does not concentrate upon it, thus feeding it. One is actuated by a higher sense of values and focuses one’s consciousness at a higher vibratory level. The lesser vibration is ignored (while, nonetheless understood). If that which arises is not understood, it can still exert a subtle yet powerful hold upon the consciousness. So understanding the desires which are to be denied recognition is important.
124. What does it mean that “energy follows thought”? Perhaps to some it is obvious, but it never hurts to make sure we understand these ancient aphorisms.
125. If one directs one’s thought towards a certain object, that object (of attention) will be stimulated. If the object of attention is internal, then the energy which is embodied in that object will be strengthened.
126. If thought is removed from the former object of attention, that object will not be stimulated. Something else will.
127. We are familiar with the old saying: “if you ignore it, it will go away”. Sometimes this is true, and other times not. The strengthening of a new and higher object of attention can contribute to the demise of the lower object. But if one simply ties to ignore a desire, for instance, without fixing consciousness on a higher object of attention, the act of ignoring is simply an evasion and will not work.
he is preoccupied [Page 211] with world need and with the service he can render, and—almost inadvertently, as it were—desire dies of attrition.
128. What are the rightful preoccupations of the true disciple?
a. World need
b. Service which can be rendered
129. His rightful preoccupation absorbs his energy and there is none left for lesser potential objects of attention
130. We are receiving advice: adhere attentively to high purposes and objectives and, thus, allow lower desires to die through inattention.
131. We can see that this technique is related to “divine indifference”.
It will be apparent to you, therefore, that it will take time for all the members of a group to achieve the destruction of individual desire, and that until some measure of this united liberating process is attained, the group cannot go forward together as a unit on the Way of Initiation.
132. We are dealing with the first act of destruction—the destruction of individual desire. DK is realistic about the time it will take to accomplish this.
133. He also knows that until the motives of the group members are purified from the taint of personalism, the group cannot move forward.
134. There is no forcing of group progress unless the requirements have been met. Any apparent progress appearing under such forced conditions will not be real progress.
The next step is the destruction of the ties which link the personalities of the group members.
135. Thus far we have been exposed to one necessary elimination and one preliminary act of destruction.
136. Now we undertake examination of the second act of destruction.
137. The second act of destruction calls for the destruction of the ties which link the personalities of the group members.
138. We notice that DK is not calling for the destruction of the ties which link the souls of the group members. It is precisely the destruction of personality ties which will promote the recognition and strengthening of soul ties. Perhaps we should not call soul-ties by the word “ties”. Perhaps, ‘soul-relations’ would be a far better term.
These must be severed, and the relation between the group members must be on the basis of soul activity, joint pledge to the Master of the Ashram, and a united service given to humanity.
139. What then will be the basis of group relations if not personality ties?
a. Soul activity
b. Joint pledge to the Master of the Ashram
c. United service given to humanity
140. Soul activity is the responsibility of each group member individually. Each must be in touch with his or her own soul (even though, ultimately, there is no “my soul and thine”) and act accordingly.
141. The disciples in the group have made their individual pledges; more important is the pledge of the entire group, taken simultaneously. This pledge is needed by the group as a whole more than by the Master. The pledge safeguards an undeviating orientation towards the Master’s will, which is the will of the Hierarchy and of Shamballa.
142. The service to be given to humanity is a “united service”. The individual members of the group may serve in their own way, but it is the united service that counts in all group enterprise. In this type of service, rightly motivated, there lies great strength, and the possibility of truly representing the Ashram.
There comes a point of freedom in the group relation which will demonstrate in some definitely planned and united activity, carried forward in the outer world but enriching the life of the Ashram. Until this stage is reached, the activity of the group corresponds to that of the probationary disciple and not to that of the pledged disciple.
143. Rule XI is packed with statements vital to group progress. This is one of them.
144. The united group activity is not engineered by some well-meaning member of the group. It manifests naturally as a result of a growing inner group freedom which arises from the fulfillment of group requirements.
145. Here are the characteristics of the united activity:
a. It will be definitely planned
b. It will be carried forward in the outer world
c. It will enrich the life of the Ashram
146. Only when the “point of freedom” has been achieved can the planned, outer service be expressed. It would be unwise and profitless to attempt to force the group into this type of service before the point of freedom had been achieved.
147. Such freedom is naturally built upon right group relations.
148. A probationary disciple is not committed to service (nor is he capable of it) in the same way as an accepted disciple. An accepted disciple is definitely part of the Externalization process, having achieved the necessary degree of freedom (within himself) to permit him to express (outwardly as well as inwardly) through some form of planned, useful service which is also enriching to the Ashram.
149. Until the group has grown into this point of freedom and subsequent serviceable expression in the outer world, it cannot be an accepted group disciple.
The spontaneously emerging group work, engendered by the group consciousness and fusing the entire group of disciples at a point of tension in service, is the first indication that the group is ready for further teaching, for an intensification of its group potency and for a closer relation to the Master.
150. We note that the group work is described as “spontaneously emerging”. Again, when once it emerges, its further execution can be intelligently planned and willfully executed, but the group work cannot be prematurely forced in a calculating manner. It must grow out of the group process organically. When the group is becoming a spiritual organism, its rightful group work will emerge—naturally. The group members must remain sensitive to the signs of this emergence.
151. The group work will arise as a result of group consciousness and its pursuit will enhance group consciousness. When the group’s rightful work is recognized, this recognition will provide for the group a “point of tension in service”. This work will become their outer group commitment but the group members will not feel outwardly compelled to participate; to fulfill the rightful work of the group will become an inner directive and a central motivation in their life of service.
152. When this form of group work spontaneously emerges then the group shows itself ready for the following:
a. For further teaching
b. For an intensification of its group potency
c. For a closer relation to the Master
153. The group cannot warrant these enhancements simply by wanting them. The group must prove itself in ashramically useful action.
154. Those of us with quite a bit of experience in group work know that it can take some time before the emergence of correct group service occurs. We see that in all forms of hierarchically related group work, much patience is needed.
This has all been brought about by the group itself, independently of any injunction of the Master, and as a result of the united soul life of the group effectively making its presence felt.
155. It is important to realize that the Master does not suggest to a particular group the outer form of service they should undertake. The decision concerning their ‘group project’ is their own.
156. Of course, DK did tell of the forms of work with which He hoped He would receive cooperation from His disciples. However, He did not tell His group members that they must perform the types of service He indicated.
157. Actually, the groups He brought together did not unite (sufficiently) around the types of service DK hoped to see accomplished (though individual members did help, individually).
158. I think it is fair to say that the Groups of IX never proceeded far enough in their training to begin working on the type of Seed Group work intended. Further, the New Seed Group of twenty-four did not ever come to the point of choosing a group project.
159. The Master watches to see whether the ‘group enterprise’ will emerge from the His group under training. Were the Master to demand a specific project, He would succeed in stimulating an outer obedience based largely upon an attitude of devotion. The inner motivation would be incorrect. The process of ‘organic emergence’ would be thwarted.
160. So the group must arrive at its project independently:
a. It will grow out of “united soul life” of the group members
b. It will require that the group (as a group) make its presence felt—effectively.
161. We see that the Master does not want to dictate every move of His disciples. He would only produce dependency in them and nothing close to the strength which will be required of them when they attempt to “make the grade”.
These two spiritually destructive processes—the destruction of desire and the severing of all personality ties—are the first two and essential results of true group work.
162. Let us review. We have discussed—
a. The elimination of sentimentality
b. The destruction of personal desire
c. The destruction of personality ties
163. We may be warranted in thinking that when these requirements are fulfilled, it will be much easier for a group to work together unitedly in soul and for the necessary group project spontaneously to emerge.
164. We will now deal with the next necessary act of destruction
The third quality which must be utterly rooted out and destroyed is that of all reaction towards recognition, whether that recognition is accorded by the world of men, by other disciples, or by the Master.
165. The desire for recognition is based upon egoism—latent or expressed.
166. Recognition singles out the personality for attention. Again, it is a distraction and a subverting of group energy for the reinforcement of the personality. The true group worker has no time to be concerned about whether he is receiving the recognition apparently ‘due to him’. In the last analysis, the desire for recognition is based upon personal insecurity which recognition only temporarily alleviates.
167. There are three types of recognition mentioned:
a. Recognition by the world of men
b. Recognition by other disciples
c. Recognition by the Master
168. The disciple seeking recognition looks below; looks horizontally, on his own level; and look above. From any of these three ‘directions’ the longed-for recognition might come.
169. The motive in each case is unworthy and demonstrates that he is not yet truly functioning as a soul. In the life of the disciple the factor of “recognition” works differently. The true disciple, recognizing himself as the Higher Self, will recognize (within himself) when he has done as he should and must, and when he has fallen short. He needs no accolades from others.
170. It is true that loving reinforcement, well timed, can warm the heart and inspire further service, but it is not sought. When it comes, it is not hugged close for the greater security it seems to offer.
The ability to work without any token of recognition, to see others claim the reward of action taken, and even to be unaware that the results of the good initiated by the individual disciple or [Page 212] his group are claimed by others, are the hallmarks of the hierarchical worker.
171. What must the true hierarchical worker do?
a. He must work without any token of recognition
b. He must be ready to see others claim the reward of the action which he has taken
c. He must even remain unaware that others have claimed the results of the good which he has initiated
172. Do we see the evidence of “divine indifference” at work?
173. The true hierarchical worker is focussed in the world of the spiritual triad—an impersonal world in which he knows there is no such thing as “my soul and thine”. Who, after all, is the entity who is claiming reward? Not the true identity!
174. The hierarchical worker is identified with all human beings and does not seek to see the part (his part) singled out from the whole.
The Masters get no recognition for the work done by Their disciples, though They initiated the original impulse and have given both guidance and direction;
175. DK seeks to instill in us that attitude which characterizes the Masters.
176. It is the law that one must learn to relinquish the fruit of one’s initiatives.
the disciple carries out the Plan; he shoulders the responsibility; he pays the price, either good or bad, or the karmic results of instituted activity, and he is the one who gains the recognition of the crowd.
177. Although the Master provides the original impulse for the disciple’s work, what is the disciple’s role in the process?
a. The disciple carries out the Plan.
b. The disciple shoulders the responsibility.
c. The disciple pays the price for the manner in which the activity is carried out and receives the karmic results.
d. The disciple is the one who will, perhaps, gain the recognition of the crowd.
178. From all this the Master stands detached. He is interested in the carrying out of Shamballic Purpose (via the hierarchical Plan) and not in an emphasis upon those who carry it out.
179. The Master’s desire is for the fulfillment of the Plan. Why should He care about whether He is singled out as the one who has initiated a serviceable process? The Master well knows (just as a disciple should know) that the original impulse did not come from Himself, but from His Superior, and His Superior knows the same.
180. Ultimately the One Purpose is everyone’s Purpose, and all identities are the One Identity. Who is to recognize Whom?
But—until the disciple seeks no recognition, until he fails to think in terms of results and is unaware of the reaction of the world to his work as an individual disciple—he has yet far to go in order to gain the higher initiations.
181. The higher initiations, we may presume, are those which begin with the third degree.
182. In order to qualify for these higher initiations, what are some preliminary requirements to be fulfilled by the disciple?
a. He must seek no recognition for the little self.
b. He must fail to think in terms of results—apparent results.
c. He must be unaware of the reaction of the world to his work as an individual disciple.
183. Where do we stand in relation to such requirements?
184. Can we achieve the stage of Self-recognition?—the recognition accorded by the Self as Spirit/soul to the self as personality.
185. We see that the true disciple lifts his sites above the material worlds where recognition is both craved and accorded and where results are usually measured.
186. He is ever creating anew and has no time to ‘look back’ upon the material effects of his rightful creativity. Assured of his motive and his technique, he simply continues to create in line with the Plan knowing that the final, spiritual results of his labours will be good.
The entire problem becomes increasingly difficult when an entire ashramic group is concerned, for the recognition of the group service seems little to ask from the world which is served; nevertheless, such a demand and such an expectation delay the complete absorption of the group into the inner Ashram.
187. DK extends the problem to the type of recognition which an ashramically related group might seek (apparently with some justification). But the analogy holds good; the one seeking recognition proves his unfitness for further usefulness. If that “one” is a group, the same principle applies.
188. The self-seeking individual cannot be absorbed into the Ashram because he cannot even be absorbed into full soul consciousness.
189. The self-seeking group similarly cannot be absorbed into the Ashram, and if the group already stands on the periphery of the Ashram (yet still has some desire for recognition for its well-rendered service) then it cannot be absorbed more deeply into the Ashram.
190. The little self cannot abide within the domain of selflessness.
These are not, however, impossible objectives, or I would not waste your time or mine in their delineation.
191. DK is ever practical.
The group can measure up to the occult necessity if unitedly they recognise the scope of the endeavour and unitedly strive for complete absorption in service—an absorption so deep that it excludes all other recognitions, particularly those of a personal nature.
192. The one who does not “recognize his own personal desires (i.e., fix his consciousness upon those desires) will be free from the desire for recognition.
193. Two things are required:
a. The great scope of the ashramic endeavour must be recognized
b. Absorption in service must be complete
194. One then recognizes the needs of those to be served, and this recognition precludes recognition of one’s personal desires and negates the desire for recognition from others.
195. If my personal desires are meaningless to me (when compared with my higher objectives) I will not crave the kind of recognition which, in the last analysis, will only emphasize my personhood.
196. We notice how DK plays with the word “recognise”, showing its higher spiritual function.
We come back, therefore (as is continually the case), to the fact that when a group can arrive at a suitable point of united tension, non-essential reactions disappear and undesirable qualities are automatically removed.
197. Success in all these eliminations and destructions depends upon reaching a sufficient and “suitable point of tension”. In the absorption into a greater point of tension, the lesser points of tension disappear.
These three types of work along the lines of destruction merit your careful consideration and—because they are along the line of the destroying aspect—it will be apparent to you that the method employed is that of the utilisation of the group Will.
198. Thus far we have the elimination of sentiment…
199. And three types of destruction:
a. Destruction of desire
b. Destruction of personality ties
c. Destruction of the desire for recognition
200. How are these three destructions to be brought about? DK tells us that the application of “group Will” will promote the necessary destruction.
201. It is not up to the individual alone to ensure that these destructions occur. The spiritual group is an entity with a growing spiritual will. This will, applied, will place pressure upon each individual member and his personal inclinations will be negated in the general sweep towards the fulfillment of group purpose—a sweep driven by the “group Will”.
202. As the group Will is utilized, atma is entering the life of the group.
It will be equally apparent that the group Will can only make its appearance under the Law of Occult Continuity when, and if, the group is functioning intelligently and demonstrating love adequately.
203. We are discussing the “Law or Occult Continuity”. We cannot put the cart before the horse in matters of esoteric group development.
204. We are in the midst of building group integrity, group love and coherence, group intelligence. All these and more are required of the group which can effectively demonstrate “group Will”.
205. If the necessary steps are skipped, the group will fail. The chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The group edifice can collapse upon itself if necessary group qualities and faculties are not present.
206. We have discussed two categories of preparation for true group work leading to the possibility of group initiation; one act of elimination and three acts of destruction. We now move to consider the third category.
We now come to the third factor which group initiation involves. This is diversity in unity, consciously recognised [Page 213] and utilised.
207. We may recognize this theme as one of the signatures of the sign Aquarius: “unity in diversity” or “diversity in unity”.
208. It is not enough that it exist; it must be known to exist and utilized.
A group is not composed of disciples all of whom are being prepared for the same initiation. This is oft a hard saying for group members to accept.
209. The lower ego does not like the idea that other individuals may stand on a higher rung of the ladder. The soul recognizes the truth impartially and without astral or kama-manasic reaction.
The significance of my earlier statement, that a group is composed of men and women all of whom are at the same point in evolution, is a generalisation and simply means that all of them have reached the point where they are pledged and unalterably committed to the work of the Ashram, under some particular Master.
210. It is often the teaching technique of the Master to make a statement which may arouse questioning and then elaborate that statement later in the text.
211. The Masters look for those who are—
b. Unalterably committed to the work of the Ashram
212. This is what it means that the disciples being prepared (together) for initiation stand at the same point in evolution.
213. From a quite distant or lofty perspective, when initiates of the first and second degree are viewed in totality, they would all appear, more or less, to stand at the same point of evolutionary unfoldment. What are the few intervening lives of effort which appear to separate disciples of higher rank from those of lower when viewed from the perspective of the ‘eternal Soul’—the ‘Soul within the soul’. When an object (through a sufficiently distant perspective) shrinks to a “point”, everything within that object seems to ‘touch’—seems, in fact, to become simply one thing—a point.
The work, however, requires a diversity of quality and of potencies in order to be effective in manifestation upon the outer plane.
214. This must be pondered. The lower ego may not recognize this. The Ashram does not seek homogeneity in its cooperators on the outer plane. Many and diverse are the contacts which such individuals must make with those the Ashram seeks to serve through them. If in these outer ashramically related groups all were the same, the service they could render would be quite limited. The diversity of the world requires a diversity of approaches from those affiliated with the Ashram.
It needs those who are in close contact with the Master, and are therefore initiates of a certain standing; it needs also those who have facility of relationship with the inner Ashram and are therefore senior disciples, though not necessarily high initiates; it needs also those not so advanced upon the Path of Discipleship because they have, or can establish, a close connection with ordinary humanity in the life of everyday.
215. The Tibetan singles out three types required by the Ashram:
a. Those in close contact with the Master
b. Those who have “facility of relationship with the Ashram”—senior disciples
c. Those not so advanced, who can establish a close connection with ordinary humanity
216. The first group would consist of initiates of the third and fourth degrees. The second group would consist of accepted disciples who are ever initiates of at least the first degree and quite often the second. The third group would be formed of probationary disciples and aspirants—those much closer to the first degree than to the second.
217. The Ashram needs each of these three types of groups, and each group would have its appropriate sphere of contacts and sphere of service.
218. We can understand that the three groups are needed in order to promote the “Divine Circulatory Flow”.
A group of disciples such as this is consequently a miniature hierarchy, and a hierarchy exists in its various degrees in order to permit of a wide range of effective relationships. Ponder on this statement.
219. This is another memorable statement. The outer group of disciples affiliated with the Ashram is to become as a “miniature hierarchy”. Why is this?—“in order to permit of a wide range of effective relationships”.
220. When these three groups exist and work together cooperatively, it guarantees that the energy and wisdom from the Ashram can flow outwards effectively toward the various grades of individuals to be served. Those with various degrees of need are met by the quality and intensity of energy which can meet that need. If the quality is unsuitable to their need, they will not be served; if the intensity is too little or too great, then, again, they will not be well served.
You can see now why there is necessity for the elimination of personality reactions, for only thus could the groups function as a coordinated unit with the various members recognising each other's status and yet not moved to jealousy or belittlement thereby;
221. The foundation of our preparatory efforts has been the “elimination of personality reactions”. Now we are shown why this foundation has been necessary. The group could not function as a miniature hierarchy if it were riddled with personalism.
222. Soul recognition is required. The group members must see each other as souls. The recognition of the spiritual status of fellow group members must be a natural, factual process, devoid of personality reactions such as jealousy or belittlement. Those identified as personalities would not be capable of this impartial approach for the personality is naturally competitive.
223. In all soul-based groups, heartfelt cooperation replaces competition.
the work is then carried forward on the basis of inspiration, coordination and practical application.
224. These three methods of carrying the work forwards
c. practical application
relate to the three grades of workers previously mentioned.
The senior members of the group, and those with the most advanced status (whatever that may be), provide the incentive of the Plan as they receive it from the Master;
225. These are the group members who are in close touch with the Master. They see the Plan quite closely to the way the Master sees it and can convey the inspiration needed to the others. They are initiates, presumably, of at least the third degree.
the more experienced among the disciples then coordinate the Plan within the group, relating it to the Ashram and indicating its approach to the world of men;
226. The next grade of workers stands at the midway point, between the Master and His Ashram and the world of men. Their task is coordination.
227. They do not receive the Plan “at first hand”, as do the initiates working closely with the Master, but they see enough of it to understand it broadly and to see how it may be applied to the world of men. They instruct those who will be responsible for the practical application.
228. As the first group represents the first aspect of divinity (related to inspiration), the second group represents the second aspect.
the neophytes—pledged and dedicated though yet without experience—carry out the Plan upon the physical plane.
229. We notice that even a neophyte must be at least a pledged disciple. Such neophytes lack experience with the work and are gaining it through their attempt to apply (outwardly) certain aspects of the Plan for which they have taken responsibility and in relation to which they have been instructed.
230. The third ray is, broadly, the ray of practical application, and it is in relation to the work of the third aspect that the neophytes find their expression on behalf of the Ashram.
This entails, as you can see, smooth and effective coordination, a proper attention to the general picture, and an application of the detail of [Page 214] work to the immediate necessity.
231. The smooth and effective coordination and proper attention to the general picture are the work of the second group of coordinating disciples.
232. The application of detail to immediate necessity is the work of the neophytes
233. We have, therefore:
a. Initiates inspiring
b. Disciples coordinating
c. Aspirants and probationers applying
It is a hard task for a group of intensely individualistic disciples (and all disciples are individual) to begin to take the first steps towards these attitudes and the relationships which distinguish the Hierarchy as a whole.
234. The members of the Hierarchy recognize the various grades of workers among them. They fulfill their particular role. They have mastered the correct attitude to those above them, to those with whom they “stand on the level”, and to those who have yet to achieve what they have achieved.
235. DK is asking us to overcome our individualism (which is another way of saying our egoism and the self-centeredness of personality consciousness) so that we, too, may develop “attitudes and relationships which distinguish the Hierarchy as a whole”.
236. He is not asking for a miracle, but only for the very first steps which will prepare us for true group work and for the possibility of engaging in an experiment which will lead, eventually, to group initiation.
237. We have now dealt with three phases of preparation:
a. Phase I—the elimination of sentiment
b. Phase I—three types of destruction
i. destruction of personal desire
ii. destruction of personality ties amongst group members
iii. destruction of the desire for recognition
c. Phase III—the cultivation of the ability to work as a miniature hierarchy.
238. We will now discuss the fourth Phase: the cultivation of silence
Still another important factor in the group preparation for initiation is the cultivation of silence.
239. Surrounding this requirement there is much misunderstanding which the Tibetan will attempt to clarify.
How, we ask ourselves at times when the functioning of the Ashram is under discussion, can we train our disciples to realise that, essentially, silence is not refraining from speech. So many disciples seem to think that it is, and that they have to learn not to talk if they hope to take initiation. Some would do a great deal better if they talked more than they do—along right lines.
240. There is a certain type of literal, concrete thinking which is unsuitable for the accepted disciple. A greater subtlety of mind would understand that the cultivation of silence cannot be understood simply as “refraining from speech”.
241. The way DK puts this is actually humorous—“they have to learn not to talk if they hope to take initiation!”
242. Probationary disciples are quite ready to fulfill any injunction they think comes from the Master, but they often fail to think insightfully about what they are fulfilling and why. To act in this way is to act under the influence of maya.
243. DK seems to be emphasizing the value of speech if the speech is spiritually appropriate. Too much speech is undesirable but so is too little—especially when speech is called for.
The silence imposed in an Ashram is refraining from certain lines of thought, the elimination of reverie and the unwholesome use of the creative imagination.
244. How is ‘ashramic silence’ (“the silence imposed in an Ashram) defined?
a. Refraining from certain lines of thought
b. The elimination of reverie
c. The elimination of the unwholesome use of the creative imagination
245. We note that such silence is “imposed”; the Will of the Ashram demands it.
246. We see that ‘ashramic silence’ relates to the ability to maintain a point of tension which will negate thoughts which are capable of disrupting ashramic process.
247. Certain lines of thought are considered harmful to the Ashram; they cannot be allowed to enter. Through the right approach to silence the consciousness of the disciple refuses to entertain such thoughts and imaginings.
248. This type of silence is related to the world of thought more than to the world of speech.
Speech is consequently controlled at its source, because speech is the result of certain inner sources of ideas, of thought and of imagination;
249. The approach to achieving occult silence is literally radical; it goes to the root or the source of speech.
it is the precipitation (at a certain point of saturation, if I might so express it) of inner reservoirs which overflow on to the physical plane.
250. This is quite an arresting definition of speech. If the source of undesirable speech (undesirable ideas, thoughts and images) is negated through an inner vigilance, then, there will be no precipitation onto the physical plane.
251. We come to the conclusion that the control of thought is even more foundational in the process of occult training than the control of speech.
The retention of speech and the suppression of words, if they are the result of a realisation that what is to be said is wrong, or undesirable, or unwise, or wasteful, of energy will simply increase the inner banking up and will lead eventually to a still more violent display of words at a later date;
252. We are told how not to control speech—merely through suppression.
253. Those who ‘hold their tongue’ but do not negate the creation of undesirable thoughts and images are creating a difficult condition within their energy system.
254. Further (as we may know through experience) this approach simply does not work; an undesirable thought which has begun its precipitation into speech will out—eventually. A force has been generated and that force must express in some manner.
255. If not, the result of further suppression works towards the ill health of the energy system.
it may also bring about serious and disastrous conditions within the astral body of the disciple.
256. DK tells us of the astral effect of the suppression of words, resulting, presumably, from the conflict between the desire to retain and the still existent desire to express. This friction can cause abrasion or inflammation within the astral vehicle.
257. We also know that dire physical conditions can arise from suppressive astral conditions.
The silence of thought is to be cultivated and, my brothers, I do not mean silent thinking.
258. It seems that DK must always find a way to teach His students to avoid the obvious and superficial interpretation.
259. There are simply times when the chela must refrain from utilizing the creative power of thought. Inner silence is a better response; it will promote deeper understanding if rightly motivated.
260. If that act of creativity called thought is to be allowed (under conditions which might normally evoke criticism or negativity from the thinker), the utmost loving vigilance is required so that thoughts created actually serve to improve the situation which stimulated the creation of thought.
261. Not only does what we say matter, but what we think matters (in a way) even more.
I mean that certain lines of thought are refused admission; certain habits of thinking are eradicated and certain approaches to ideas are not developed.
262. Here is what DK means by “the silence of thought”. Let us tabulate for the sake of clear impression:
a. Certain lines of thought are refused admission
b. Certain habits of thinking are eradicated
c. Certain approaches to ideas are not developed
263. The true chela is possessed of an “inner monitor” which knows the nature of the thoughts and images which must be barred at the ‘door of thought’, or cast out if entry has been inadvertently or unwisely permitted. He also knows the lines of thought which it is inadmissible to follow and he refrains from doing so.
264. This ‘tyling’ and regulation of thought is an unseen process—at least exoterically unseen. The true disciple handles the matter himself and the world does not see his process; it only registers the results as it observes the quality of his speech and behavior and feels the quality of his radiation (which, inevitably, will be affected by the quality of his thought).
This is done by a process of substitution, and not by a violent process of suppression.
265. This is another foundational occult approach; elimination proceeds through substitution rather than suppression. So much energy is wasted in attempted suppression. Instead, the same energy could be redirected to a worthy end, and the factor which seemed to warrant suppression would thereby be weakened and eventually eliminated.
266. Fighting with that which is undesirable may be initially necessary but it proves, eventually, ineffective. Hercules learned this lesson well when facing the Hydra in the Scorpio Labour.
267. For the violence of Mars, the intuition of Mercury is eventually substituted.
The initiate learns to keep his thought apparatus in a certain effective condition. His thoughts do not intermingle the one with the other, but are contained (if I may thus pictorially word it) in separate compartments or carefully filed for reference and later use.
268. The sense of this section is that the categorizing and classifying fifth and seventh rays are applied to the “thought apparatus” of the initiate. There is a clear segregation (and stratification) of those thoughts which are characterized by distinct purposes and qualities so that no inappropriate confusion of distinct ‘layers of thought’ can result.
269. We can see that the thought apparatus of the initiate is characterized by clarity and order. His mind is not muddled.
There are certain [Page 215] layers of thought (again speaking symbolically) which are held within the Ashram itself and are never permitted to enter the mind of the disciple or the initiate when not consciously working in the Ashram; others are related to the group and its work and are given free play within the group ring-pass-not; still others are of a more mundane nature and govern the daily life and relationships of the disciple with personalities and with the affairs of civilised living and physical plane events.
270. The Tibetan classifies thought into three types:
a. Ashramically related thought
b. Thought related to group process
c. Mundane thoughts relating to daily living—pertaining to life lived strictly as a human being in the normal environment.
271. It is interesting that there is an entire layer of ashramically related thought that is not even allowed to enter the mind of the disciple or initiate unless they are consciously working within the Ashram. What may be the mechanism of guarding such thoughts? Probably, while functioning in other ways, we remain unaware that such inner thoughts are not allowed admission.
272. Master DK is telling us that the initiate (one who is rapidly becoming the master of his thought life) will not allow the intermixing or intermingling of these three layers of thought.
273. We are seeing that two distinct approaches are related to the silence of the Ashram or to occult silence:
a. Refusing admission to certain thoughts; casting out undesirable thoughts; and not allowing certain approaches to ideas
b. And, a process which we might call the ‘occult stratification of thought’, which prevents the confusion (or inappropriate fusion) of distinct layers of thought which have different purposes.
These are only indications of what I mean, but will suffice to show (if you duly meditate) a little of what is meant by the silence of the initiate.
274. What are some equivalent terms touching on our subject?
a. The “silence of the initiate”
b. Occult silence
c. Silence of thought
d. The silence imposed in an Ashram
e. The “silence of the initiated disciple”
275. DK tells us that He is simply giving us indications of what is meant by the “cultivation of silence”. He is not describing all aspects of this cultivation, so essential for all groups which are attempting to prepare for group initiation.
Within the permitted levels of contact, speech is free and unimpeded; outside those levels, no indication is given that the other spheres of thought activity, with their conditioning speech, even exist. Such is the silence of the initiated disciple.
276. It is as if different ranges of thought are hermetically sealed from one another; it would be inappropriate to speak of one level when engaged in circumstances necessitating a different level of thought.
277. When speaking freely in circumstances requiring a given level of thought, one is then silent about other levels of thought which cannot be appropriately introduced in the given circumstances.
278. One senses this from the Dalai Lama. When meeting with large groups of people, he deals principally with the second category of thought—thought related to the life of that group which is called “humanity”. On some special occasions he offers a deeper type of teaching, but does not do so on all occasions. Further, one suspects that there is much (relating to the inner ashramic work, and thus to the first category) that he simply will not reveal in public contexts; it would serve no useful purpose. Behind the scenes, when dealing with those whose responsibility it is to see to the practicalities involving travel and venue arrangements, a more mundane level of speech is no doubt necessitated—the third category.
279. We may notice this process in our own lives, but perhaps we allow too much mixing of the levels. It is for each to observe himself and evaluate.
We have therefore considered briefly but suggestively four qualities which a group preparing for initiation needs to develop, to consider and unitedly to achieve. They are:
280. DK reviews the four qualities or four phases of group preparation for group initiation. They are so important that frequent reviews are most useful.
1. The achieving of a non-sentimental group interrelation.
2. Learning how to use the forces of destruction constructively.
281. This utilization of the forces of destruction is expressed in three distinct acts:
a. Killing out personal desire
b. Severing personality ties within the group
c. Killing out all desire for recognition
3. Attaining the power to work as a miniature Hierarchy, and as a group to exemplify unity in diversity.
4. Cultivating the potency of occult silence.
282. This has been a lengthy but very necessary preamble to the actual substance of Rule XI. Before moving on, we should evaluate our fitness in relation to these four qualities or four phases of preparation. It is likely that we still have much to do (individually and in group formation) before we may rightly say these requirements have been fulfilled.