Commentary on Rule II for Disciples and Initiates
Rule II: Fourth Sentence
4. Work from the point of all that is within the content of the group's united life. (R&I 66)
A. 4. Work from the point of all that is within the content of the group's united life.
1. An injunction is given to the worker; the manner in which he/she is to work is given.
2. The worker, affiliated in three ways (affiliated with the supervisory Ashram, affiliated with the Hierarchy as a whole, and in a group acknowledged by Shamballa) is certainly not working merely as an individual. Those days are long past.
3. The group, itself, is (as a group) more than an accepted disciple to its Ashram; it is an initiate group, and its members are initiates, most of them, probably, having passed the third initiation.
4. The injunction in this sentence is offered not so much to the individual initiate as to the group initiate.
5. How shall the ashramically accepted, and even Shamballically accepted group actually work, in order to achieve fullest effectiveness?
6. We have to carefully consider the phrase, “the content of the group’s united life”.
7. The content consists of many factors—patterns of energy and force, “tested accumulations”, antahkaranic access, triadal potencies and even, in some cases, the available power of the spirit, the monad.
8. The initiate and the group of initiates is faced with the necessity of recognizing and evaluating the entirety of the group as an entity
9. Every aspect of the group’s nature must be assessed—physical, etheric, astral, lower mental, causal, manasic, buddhic, atmic and monadic. . Only thus will the group (and its group members) know the “content of the group’s united life”.
10. The group is a s a great being endowed with capacities to function on all these levels, with greater or lesser degrees of coordination, integration, effectiveness and power.
11. It is not easy to hold the entirety of such a group in one’s consciousness and clearly see its capacities. Perhaps we barely know all of our own capacities as individuals and are only slowly discovering them.
12. Let us discuss the various levels of the group’s united life singly.
13. Physically, such a group is possessed of a certain amount of vital energy and coordination and can carry out necessary tasks upon the physical plane. Probably, for such a group, the physical dimension is the least important of its aspects, but without a healthy group physical body, the foundation of the group entity will be infirm. Certainly, it is best if the group members keep themselves in a condition of physical health. Discipleship is hard upon the individual and group physical vehicle. A proper anchorage for the interior processes is need.
14. The etheric condition of the group (still an aspect of the its physical expression—though a subtle aspect) is of considerable importance. In groups such as these there is a constant etheric interplay. The group is a receiving and transmitting mechanism and seeks to work occultly—focussing upon and influencing the physical plane more via the ethers than through physical action itself. So it must be assessed—what is the nature and extent of the group pranic vitality, its resiliency, its etheric coordination? Do the necessary fires have free passage? Given the group’s stage of development, are the necessary chakras in a state of correct stimulation and relative balance? The immunity of the group from various forms of subtle contagion will relate to its etheric condition.
15. The group is attempting to be a ‘group white magician’; thus etheric purity and strength are of the utmost importance. Surely group pranic vitality is an important content within the entirety of the group’s united life.
16. To what extent is the group endowed with constructive etheric patterns reflective of archetypal intention? Such groups are in process of redesigning and reconstructing the three lower worlds. If such groups function on the basis of positive new patterns and in the necessary new rhythms, they will be effective in the re-building process.
17. The physical habit nature of the group has very much to do with the quality of etheric patterns which characterize it. Smooth, well-coordinated functioning upon the physical plane is dependent upon the group’s etheric condition.
18. While the worker works with the group’s positive ‘possessions’, during the necessary preliminary assessment of the content of the group’s united life, areas of deficiency will also be noted. The group has its limitations, and the true ashramic worker needs to be aware of these.
19. What of the astral ‘content’ of the group as a whole? Here many unredeemed factors may be encountered, as well as magnetic impediments It is, however, important to remember that we are not here dealing with an ordinary group. The kind of group referenced in Rule II is a group which has proven is ‘acceptability’ (in some small measure) to Shamballa, and so the content of the group astral/sentient body is not similar to that of the more ordinary groups with which many of us have been associated.
20. In the members of such an advanced group the miasms of the astral plane have been mastered. The assembled disciple/initiates are positive to such conditions. The group astral vehicle has been “cleared”. The second initiation has been passed and the greatest glamors overcome. The higher potencies of Neptune and Venus are in the ascendancy, and, thus, the group astral body has become a vehicle for the expression of group love. Buddhi is increasingly present in the astral field.
21. So, then, the group astral field of an advanced group of this nature is rich in the content of love, warmth, appreciation, kindness, harmoniousness. When conducting group work in the world, such an astral body would be a great resource, would it not? This particular content of the group’s united life is the sum of group sentient sensitivity, and will act as a cohesive factor in all internal and external group relations, provided the work of emotional transformation has been accomplished.
22. Pragmatically, for groups such as our own, we can call upon each other, when necessary, for loving, sensitive support—a support active in relation to the field of the emotions but not-emotional, per se. We still have far to go before the greater portion of our group has passed the second initiation yet alone the third.
23. While we are not especially focussed upon our group emotional life, it is not only not fully expressed but not fully redeemed. It has not yet been tested. However, if tested, I do not foresee that it would present any really difficult problem.
24. The more buddhic love we learn to express through the group astral body, the closer the day off astral redemption. Ours is the task of cultivating the “heat evoked by the group love” so as to produce the “warmth of energetic moving out”.
25. Advanced groups of this nature discussed in this Rule are certainly mentally polarized. True mental polarization ensues for the individual disciple after the midway point between the second and third initiations. The analogy would hold true for the group as a whole. In the present Aryan race (Aryan only from the perspective of consciousness), the mental content of the group’s united life is of especial importance.
26. In the lower mental vehicle there will be many and useful group resources. Such a group must be knowledgeable. The Masters can be met (for the first time really) upon the mental plane, and Their principal work is with modern, mentally focussed humanity, who can then be relied upon to carry the hierarchical influence to those members of humanity who have not yet achieved a primarily mental focus.
27. Groups of initiated disciples work with the Divine Plan. The Plan, itself, is related to the third aspect of divinity (the intelligence aspect), though of course, the Plan is equally a Plan of love and purpose. Suffice it to say, real intellectual and spiritual intelligence is required to become an efficient and trusted worker within the context of the Divine Plan.
28. Hence the importance of a growing body of soul-infused knowledge and mental polarization within any group affiliated with the Ashram.
29. A very simple question to assess a group in this regard is, “What, collectively, does the group know?” Or, “What problems, collectively, can the group solve on the basis of its knowledge content?”
30. Probably, groups like our own have a fairly rich knowledge content, but much of this knowledge may be of a theoretical rather than practical nature.
31. It is interesting that the Masters on Their own level certainly “work from the point of all that is within the content of the group’s [the Hierarchy’s] united life”. Master D.K. has remarked that, when needing to access certain information (for instance of a fifth ray nature), He knew the fifth ray Master to Whom He should go for the information, should it be warranted under the Law of Economy.
32. For us, it is very much the same. Do we know how to call upon each other’s expertise? Probably as the group progresses and continues to integrate, these modes of access will be utilized. Perhaps we will have a special section on our Web Page for articles written by group members and offered for the edification of one and all. Increasingly, we must become aware of what the various group members know.
33. Occult knowledge, while clearly not all-sufficient, is extremely important. The facts as they are need to be shared with a humanity which is drowning in its own ignorance. What we know (and truly know) counts.
34. The group discussed in this Rule is not, however, our group; we are not ‘there’ yet. So we proceed to study the Rule from the perspective of such an advanced group, and simultaneously consider some of the lesser applications which would pertain to an aspiring group such as our own. Surely, we must learn to apply the Rule and its sentences to our present condition, even though the “content” of the united life of our group is occultly less than the content of a truly initiated group.
35. An ashramically and Shamballically accepted group will also have a potent, intelligent group personality. It will be the occult sum of all the physical, etheric, astral and lower mental vehicles of the assembled group—and, in a way, more than the sum.
36. For the average individual, the personality, per se, is often a source of ‘trouble’, of rebellious divergence from soul purpose. While this may be true of many well-intending though immature spiritual groups, it is not true of the kind of group here under discussion.
37. For the initiate group, the group personality has become an instrument of the group soul. It has become a significant representative of soul-intention within the three lower worlds. It will have its own ray quality just as has the group soul, and the group-personality ray will have become a sub-ray of the group soul ray.
38. When attempting to work from the point of all that is within the content of the group’s united life, these ray qualities should be known.
39. Our own group—so it would seem—is, from the group-soul perspective, upon the second ray of Love-Wisdom. What the group-personality ray may be is certainly open to probing discussion, for the group personality has not really yet integrated. If this group should, at some point, undertake a true, externalized service within the three worlds, the nature of the group personality will surely emerge more clearly. Because we are studying and attempting to apply the 28 Rules, the presence of the seventh ray can surely not be ignored.
40. Our study and sharing together is, in its own way, a service, but, of course, greater expressions of service will be possible as our group achievement rises.
41. Thus far we have been dealing with “content” which is relatively superficial. Such content pertains to the “outer person” (or the outer ‘group person’) and is useful especially within the three worlds.
42. When we enter the field of individual or group causal body, we are entering a true ‘treasury of quality’ accumulated over thousands of lives of strenuous endeavor.
43. Astrologically, the planet Venus, orthodox ruler of Taurus and Libra, rules money, and all that is of value. Venus, interestingly, also rules the content of the causal body—the harvested qualities and values of many incarnations.
44. This content is much more difficult to see but far more significant than anything that can be found within the group personality.
45. We are bringing our entire reincarnational experience to our present group endeavor. All of us are far richer (spiritually) than we can possibly know. As the group is evoked in the extremity of service, the content of the group causal body will be increasingly revealed.
46. How shall we work in relation to group causal content—the content of the group egoic lotus? First of all, we can attempt to intuit it by remaining open the presence of the unexpressed “treasure”. Also, we can appreciate each other (in depth) which, surely, we are attempting to do. This is a Venusian approach to the ‘Venusian treasury’—the content of the individual and group causal body. Also, we can watch carefully as group quality continues to emerge. Certainly, we are all benefiting from each other’s thoughts, words and deeds. Behind these thoughts, words and spiritual actions lies accumulated causal quality.
47. It is probable that we still have far to go before we are able to see each other truly as souls. A well-developed esoteric sense must be cultivated if we are to successful in this kind of spiritual vision. Before we can work in the way this sentence of Rule II suggests, this type of soul-vision must be active. First, we must see and understand each other and the united group from the soul perspective. Only then will we be ready to work as suggested.
48. As we ‘ascend’ in our assessment of the content of the group’s united life, the spiritual resources encountered becomes increasingly potent as well as subtle. If it is difficult to assess the combined nature of group causal content, it is still more difficult to assess the ‘content’ of the spiritual triad, contact and rapport with which we are only now in the process of seriously cultivating.
49. A consideration of the antahkarana enters at this point. The antahkarana gives access to triadal ‘content’. Therefore, the condition of the antahkaranas of the individual group members, and of the group-antahkarana itself, is a matter of great importance.
50. How many of us have successfully built the antahkarana, or built even the first stage of it, connecting the mental unit with the manasic permanent atom? For most of us, the antahkarana is a “work in process”, and will be over the next number of lives. A completed antahkarana unites the personality nature with the monad, and so we can see that only a Master of the Wisdom has, from our perspective, completed the antahkarana—and the necessity to build other and more advanced antahkaranas lie ahead of Him. (There is an antahkarana connecting Earth to Venus, and one connecting every planet to our Sun—and so forth, connecting lesser wholes with the next greater whole on constellational, galactic, super-galactic, etc. levels.
51. The “content” to be accessed within the spiritual triad is not personal or individual at all—and yet it can certainly be considered an aspect of the “content of the group’s united life”. Indeed, to enter the spiritual triad is to approach an expression of the life aspect of divinity, still more fully realized within the domain of the monad.
52. The accumulated personal/individual content of the causal body is of relatively less importance than the “content” of the mind of God, the love of God and the will of God to be found within the atma, buddhi, manas of the spiritual triad.
53. When such triadal content can flow into the group consciousness, the group is rich indeed—rich in an understanding of the Divine Plan.
54. This inflow, of course, depends upon the quality and strength of the group antahkarana (the sum of the many individual antahkaranas—and yet, in a way, greater than the sum of its parts).
55. To increase the content of the group’s united life, we must all address ourselves to strengthening the contact with the higher worlds, and understand the rays (soul and personality rays) which will allow us to do this.
56. The Tibetan once commended a disciple saying, “Your mind and heart are full of the Plan”. This fulness is certainly true of the initiate group, and what a fullness it is!
57. No group knows the entirety of the Divine Plan—not even a group accepted by Shamballa. Our own group-knowledge of the Divine Plan is accordingly less, but presumably increasing. Not only are we concerned with a “knowledge” of the Plan, but with an infusion by the substance of the Plan. As a group, we become built-into the Plan. We reflect the Plan, embody the Plan—and become the Plan. The impersonal energy of the spiritual triad becomes significantly part of the “content” of the group’s united life.
58. How will this arise in a group such as ours? Certainly by a study of the meaning of the Divine Plan and both an individual and group attempt to express that Plan within the context of our individual and group lives.
59. As a group, are we expressing triadal content and thus an aspect of the Divine Plan? To some degree perhaps, but we are only at the very beginning phases of triadal infusion. At the stage of development in which the antahkarana can be build, triadal and soul infusion proceed simultaneously.
60. As the 28 Rules (and especially the 14 more advanced Rules) become built into our natures, the triadal content of the group’s united life will surely increase. Then we will be not only personally and individually endowed, but trans-personally and impersonally endowed. The “content” will include that which is not at all our own (personally and individually considered). Such triadal content is truly living content, but still not as living as the ultimate (for us) content—monadic.
61. If the content of the spiritual triad as accessed by the group antahkarana is difficult to assess, how much more so is the content provided by that most remote and transcendental of sources—the monad.
62. The spiritual triad is necessarily a group-field. Triadal experience is trans-individual, and impersonal. It is a shared participation in that which God (the Planetary Logos) thinks, loves and wills. Triadal content is not mined in the quarries of experiential life in the three worlds; it descends from above.
63. Is the monadic field also a group field? Well, the monad is the One. It transcends the group process. It does have its individual significance, for it defines the primary ray of the microcosm, but its essence is totally impersonal—even transcendental.
64. Is there, then, a ‘group monad’? One might say, both “yes” and “no”. Monads dwell in a state of oneness which transcends relationship as found upon causal and triadal levels. The monads of those who aggregate for ashramic purposes may be aware that their ‘extensions’ are thus related, but monadic considerations are altogether more vast than a preoccupation with their ‘extensions’—individual soul/personalities.
65. There are of course, on the monadic plane, monadic groupings with specific functions. These groupings relate to the chakras of our Planetary Logos. But such groupings function at a level far beyond the considerations pertinent to Rule II and Sentence 4. Thus, while the causal bodies of group members of an advanced group may be cooperatively related, this relationship is not a great concern for the monads involved. Awareness there may be; but full and active monadic participation is not required.
66. Pragmatically, the question can be asked, “What is the monadic content of the group’s united life”? For the kind of group under discussion in this Rule, such content would not be negligible. The group has passed the third initiation; it has thereby consciously contacted the monad; Shamballa, the planetary center in which the monad essentially inheres, has “accepted” the group.
67. Therefore, for such a group, something of Planetary Purpose is beginning to augment triadal realization and causal utilization.
68. As for our group, monadic content is a subject for study and deliberate, careful approach. We are just beginning to build and utilize the antahkarana, and monadic access comes fully only at the latter stages of antahkaranic development.
69. Yet, there may be flashes and points of instantaneous realization which cannot help but prove enriching (and unsettling) to the group. The group, even though unsettled through some its accessing members, will be endowed with a fuller sense of the reality of being. Such an endowment would be a greatly needed content if the spirit-implications of the advanced Rules were to be fulfilled.
70. So, we see that the content of the group’s united life is considerable and multi-layered. Thus far, we see and understand but a tiny part of it. We are just getting to know each other—more spiritually than personally. As our spiritual intimacy increases (reflective of “ashramic intimacy”) we will see more and more, and thus be empowered to work from that “point” which is aware of the content and has access to the content.
71. For now, I would suggest that we hold the group in an appreciative and intuitive light, open to the revelation of the latent group content on whatever level it may present itself—personal, transpersonal, impersonal, or transcendental.
72. Awareness of this content and ability to work from the point which accesses it, is needed by the truly serving group. For the moment, we serve by learning and attempting to fulfill the Rules within our individual and group lives.
73. Later we may serve through the “pen”, through educational and organizational work which is an aspect of the Externalization of the Hierarchy.
74. At our stage, it is practical to realize that we ‘do not work alone’, and that the resources of the group (on all levels) are considerable.
75. Perhaps, thinking thus, we will be empowered to work with greater spiritual fortitude, compassion and illumination.
76. The Rules of the Road remind us persistently that we do not “walk alone”.
77. The parallel reminder in the fourth sentence of Rule II is that we do not ‘work alone’.
78. Thus, let us with a true esoteric sense discover the “content of the group’s united life” and learn to work therefrom.
The Themes Included Under the Sentence 4
B. First, the disciple finds a group upon the physical plane whose ideals and plans for service conform to his idea of correct activity, and with this group he affiliates himself, works, learns, and in learning suffers much. (cf. RI, p. 67)
This is not, as might appear, the effort to do the work for humanity as it is planned or desired by the group with which the initiate finds himself associated. The mode of working covers an earlier phase and one in which the accepted [Page 67] disciple learns much. First, he finds a group upon the physical plane whose ideals and plans for service conform to his idea of correct activity, and with this group he affiliates himself, works, learns, and in learning, suffers much. Later he finds his way into a Master's Ashram, where his effort is increasingly to learn to use the will in carrying out the Plan and to accommodate himself to the group methods and plans, working under the law of occult obedience for the welfare of humanity.
1. In this paragraph the Tibetan deepens our understanding of the sentence under consideration, again deflecting us from a too obvious interpretation.
2. We can all recognize the earlier stages which the Tibetan describes. Perhaps, presently, we are involved with groups in such a manner. We have, over the years, no doubt affiliated ourselves with a number of groups, and both learned and suffered much.
3. The suffering is often a result of de-personalization. The usual personality tendencies fail to be satisfied within the context of truly spiritual groups. If the personality is too satisfied, one might well question the nature and calibre of the group.
4. True group will is ever opposed to strictly personal will, which has much within it of selfishness. Of course, there are times when groups, themselves, are selfish and, in such cases, the selfless individual member finds himself opposed for good reason.
5. In general, however, the group process trains out of us lower Martian tendencies and replaces them with group-centered Venusian abilities. Mars (as utilized I early evolutionary days) is a symbol of desire-driven selfishness.
6. We can see how the planets of discipleship, Saturn and Mercury, increase in strength as group participation persists. For the initiate group, the Divine Plan comes first; occult obedience—first to the soul and eventually to the Plan—is required.
7. How many lives of group participation are necessitated before the disciple is ready for true group work as the Tibetan describes it? One must certainly learn to outgrow oneself—personally.
C. Later, the disciple finds his way into a Master’s Ashram, where his effort is increasingly to learn to use the will in carrying out the Plan and to accommodate himself to the group methods and plans, working under the law of occult obedience for the welfare of humanity. (cf. RI, p. 67)
The initiate, however, works under the inspiration of and identification with the life aspect – the united life aspect of his ray group and of all groups. (cf. RI, p. 67)
The initiate’s service is invoked by the group or groups needing his help. His response is an occult evocation given in unison with the group of servers with which he is affiliated on the inner side. (cf. RI, p. 67)
The initiate, however, works in neither of these ways, though he has acquired the habit of right contact with organisations in the three worlds and right cooperation with the Hierarchy. He works now under the inspiration of and identification with the life aspect—the united life aspect of his ray group and of all groups. This means that the significance of the involutionary life and the evolutionary life is fully understood by him. His service is invoked by the group or groups needing his help. His response is an occult evocation given in unison with the group of servers with which he is affiliated on the inner side. This is a very different thing to the mode of service generally understood.
1. The important point to emerge in this paragraph concerns the manner in which the initiate works—“under the inspiration and identification with the life aspect”.
2. Note the term “ray group”. Such a group transcends the initiate’s particular Ashram—a sub-Ashram within the larger ray Ashram. The initiate has to learn to respond to the purpose of the greater ray Ashram, corresponding as it does to his major soul ray. (Every individual has, actually, two soul rays. Cf. II 18)
3. We see how much a knowledge of the “highest” soul ray is needed in order to work from the point of all that is within the content of the group’s united life”. To a significant degree, such “content” is a ray content.
4. The process of learning to work in this advanced way does not stop at an understanding of one’s “ray group”. “All groups” are involved—all groups within the Greater Ashram (the Hierarchy) and a knowledge of the ray nature of these groups is also necessary.
5. If the initiate works under the inspiration and identification with the life aspect, he/she is monadically inspired, and triadally focussed.
6. There is no need for the initiate or the initiate group to try to serve in the usual sense. The method of service is one of invocation and evocation. The initiate and initiate group are invoked and their service is an evocation. Because of the invocation by those in need, they are evoked.
7. Their task is full alignment, full attentive awareness, and a readiness to ‘flow as needed’ in the direction of and into the aura of the invoking agency.
8. The full hierarchical “content” is present and ready to be selectively shared, to be poured forth appropriately with keen intelligence, cohesive love and attentiveness to both purpose and karma.
9. One can be ready to give, but the manner of giving is controlled by Law, Wisdom and Love.
10. Note that the initiate is not only responding individually (though at times he may). The response is “in unison” with his group brothers. He knows the need. He knows the content of the united life of the group with which he is affiliated, and in unison, the bestowing group gives wisely and as needed, though the agency of that giving may be the individual initiate.
11. Clearly, there is no rushing about ‘trying’ to serve. There is, rather, a readiness from a point of fulness to respond to real need.
12. When, in such a group, the initiate responds, it is as if the assembled group (with all resources of its content flowing through him) responds. The initiate becomes the agent of a greater group content—really, an agent of “Life more abundant”.
13. The initiate ‘holds’ the group within himself/herself—and is held by the group.
14. This opportunity for service is the reward of selflessly offering all one’s accumulations and developed capacities to the group.
15. We see that the term “group’s united life” need not be interpreted as indicating only the “life aspect” of the group. The “life aspect” is inclusive of all group capacities.
16. What is called for is a mode of group functioning. When the true initiate, identified with and as the group, acts, the group itself, as a whole, acts. These kinds of realizations will grow within us as we become increasingly habituated to the new form of group work.
17. We are presented with what is truth to Master D.K., and largely theory to us. Our obvious task is to render theory into fact.