Commentary on Rule VI for Disciples and Initiates
Part II of V
Focus for the Fourth Month of Study on Rule VI
For the third month we will focus upon the first sentence of Rule Six for Disciples and Initiates
(from August 31st to
We might choose as theme for our meditation
a. Either the first sentence of the Rule:
“Let the group know that life is one and naught can ever take or touch that life.” (RI, p. 127-128)
b. Or sub-themes, DK is referring to in His commentary to the first sentence of the Rule (RI, p. 127-128), such as:
i. Temperance in all things, the wise use of all sustaining forms and self-forgetfulness are the hallmark of the disciple, but not of the beginner. (cf. RI, p. 127)
ii. The type of consciousness which distinguishes the Hierarchy is characterised by the words: They onward move in life. (cf. RI, p. 128)
iii. Workers in the ranks of the Hierarchy are divided into two main groups: Those who are working with the unfoldment of the initiate consciousness in the disciples of the world, and those of a more advanced degree who are working with the life aspect and its expression in the lives of the world initiates. (cf. RI, p. 128)
iv. Working disciples (who are working in cooperation with the Hierarchy) are also working in two major divisions: Those who are dealing with applicants and are seeking to see the imposition of the physical disciplines, and with the impartation of certain minor values so that beginners may grasp the point that they have reached. There are those also who are working to substitute understanding and service for physical discipline and the earlier, inevitable, selfish ends. (cf. RI, p. 128)
v. The physical disciplines are of value in the beginning stage and impart a sense of proportion and an awareness of defects and of limitations. (cf. RI, p. 128)
vi. Once the world of the soul is entered, the disciple uses all forms wisely, with understanding of their purpose and with freedom from excess; he is not preoccupied with them or fundamentally interested in them. His eyes are off himself and are fixed on the world of true values. He has no sense of self-interest, because a group awareness is rapidly superseding his individual consciousness. (cf. RI, p. 128)
Rule VI: Paragraphs for the Third Month: (pp. 127 top—128)
A. I would point out that the third initiation is approached from a level tableland of experience and of consciousness, and not from the heights of aspiration, or from fanatical sacrifice, or from the standpoint of a devotion which handicaps the service of the devotee and of the Master he seeks to serve. He knows, as a candidate for initiation, that:
1. Life is one and naught can ever take or touch that life
1. The Tibetan is attempting to help us distinguish between the approach to the third initiation and the approach to the second.
2. The third degree is closely associated with the fifth ray and the second with the sixth. The devotee, per se, is not the candidate for the third degree. Of course, if the soul ray is the sixth, this general statement will be modified, because devotion always stimulates the progress of sixth ray souls no matter what the degree of intended attainment.
3. When moving towards the second degree, an approach from the “heights of aspiration”, an attitude of “fanatical sacrifice” and an orientation of “devotion” may all be methods of achievement, but they cannot be carried too far or the candidate will not overcome his “slavery to ideas” or his “fanatical reaction to any truth or spiritual leader”. Extremism at the time of the second degree is not unusual, but is also one of the behaviors which must be overcome if that initiation is to be achieved.
4. This sixth ray approach is said to be hampering, not only of the devotee and his service, but of the Master whom the devotee seeks to serve. Devotion may be so intense that it impresses itself upon consciousness as justified. A deeper understanding of the Ashram, however, and its needs, will reveal the inadvisability of extreme aspiration and devotion. We have to appreciate the Master’s problem from an energetic standpoint, and if we do so, we will realize that intense devotional currents may disturb the Ashram. We are told, in this regard, that there are those within the Ashram whose task it is to protect the Master and the Ashram from such currents. Mayhap, they are the very ones who in earlier times directed such currents into the Ashram and towards the Master. Thus does karma work.
5. Thus, we are encouraged to develop a more balanced point of view—one guided by soul-light in the mind and not alone by the fires of aspiration.
6. The fifth ray is altogether more balanced than the sixth, and the consciousness under its influence is not so likely to be swayed by the fluctuations of the pairs of opposites.
7. In the last Commentary (Part I of V) we discussed the thought that “Life is one and naught can ever take or touch that life.” The candidate for the third initiation knows that this is the case; it is not a question of feeling the reality of the One Life (though this, too, is important). It is the mind of the candidate that has revealed the oneness of life, after careful analysis and much thorough thinking. As well, the luminous fifth ray mind may efficiently invoke the intuition which adds its testimony to an illumined understanding of the oneness of life.
8. Let us think—how does the luminous mind reveal oneness? It is not a revelation conferred upon an elevated sentiency. Rather, the oneness is ‘seen’, perceived and the reason for oneness is understood.
9. Let each of us through the power of our minds see if we can give what, in philosophy is called ‘sufficient reason’ for the oneness of life. It will be a discipline. We may ask ourselves, “How do we know that life is one?” Can we, mentally, reduce multiplicity to oneness? Can we trace the manifestation of any part to the whole?
10. Cognitively (and, also sentiently) we are to be anchored in the certainty of the reality of the one life. That life is one, should be known for at least a few moments every day. By this method, a customarily trite platitude is changed to a realize fact-in-consciousness, and the consciousness of the perceiver is anchored in reality.
His sense of proportion as to form becomes adjusted. He is forward-looking
towards the soul, and not backward-looking towards the form nature. Some very
sincere devotees and promising applicants are so preoccupied with form and its
disciplining that they have no real time to give to soul expansion. They are
so interested in their reactions to their self-imposed discipline or to their
capacity to conform or their failure to accept the discipline, that the spiritual
truths—seeking entrance into their hearts—fail to make such an entrance. Temperance
in all things, the wise use of all sustaining forms and self-forgetfulness are
the hallmark of the disciple, but not of the beginner. Many disciples today who
should be functioning in the Hall of Wisdom are still fanatically working in the
Hall of Knowledge and are still so earnest over the physical disciplines that
the disciplines of the soul are ignored. I would ask you to reflect on this.
Applicants have to learn the significance of the words of Rule VI for disciples,
"the lesser rules are rules in time and space and cannot hold the group."
1. Master DK speaks of the need for an adjusted sense of proportion. One may think, in this regard, of the signs Gemini and Libra both ruled by Venus (a planet of the fifth ray). When we think of the “level table land” from which the third initiation is approached, we naturally think of the sign Libra, with its capacity to bring balance to the psyche in both its emotional and mental aspects.
2. The sense of direction here suggested is clear: the soul and its experience lie ‘ahead’; the form and all its processes lie ‘behind’. One of the most important considerations for those who are treading the Path is whether they are actually moving forward. There are many preoccupations which may arise along the Way, and many of them are backward looking.
3. What is essential? What is a waste of time and what is not? Time is a finite something, and we have only so much of it. How we will ‘spend’ that time is of the greatest importance. “Time” we have been taught, “is of the essence”—a statement with a number of levels of meaning.
4. If we are excessively focussed upon the personality, its successes and apparent failures, we are preoccupying ourselves with the familiar and, therefore, the new has no true occasion to enter. In this discussion, we are dealing really with two distinct dimensions—the dimension of personality and the dimension of soul. Of the former we know much, practically. Of the latter, we know much theoretically. The accumulation of many words concerning the soul, and the ability to wield those words, is far from the same as the ability to be impressed by and wield soul energies.
5. DK speaks here of some apparently very ordinary virtues that may fail to excite the interest of the earnest disciple. “Temperance in all things, the wise use of all sustaining forms and self-forgetfulness”—these are the hallmarks of the true disciple. As simple as they may seem, they are not the hallmarks of the beginner. We do not want to remain beginners, do we?
6. The signs Libra and Sagittarius are both suggested, for they are signs of temperance and balance. As for self-forgetfulness, it depends upon disidentification from the personality nature, upon realizing that we are, in fact, the soul and not the form nature. This distinction may take a number of lives to firmly clarify.
7. The Path is long (relatively to any one life). Bursts of intense enthusiasm do not last and they render the enthusiastic one, at length, tired. High hopes for quick achievement fade and the steady push is seen to be much more reliable than plunging ahead without the consideration of all factors involved.
8. Form is not the essence but it is necessary. An overly-intense approach to the Path damages the very forms which are so needed as a sustainment to consciousness in the three worlds.
9. We have to be able to discriminate between types of behavior—the behavior of a beginner and the behavior of a seasoned disciple. When we assess our own behavior, in which category do we ‘fit’, or do we find ourselves somewhere between?
10. DK discriminates between the labors of the Hall of Wisdom and those of the Hall of Knowledge (the Hall of Learning). Work within the Hall of Wisdom begins, to some small extent, at the first initiation. Work within that Hall is of much shorter duration that work within the Hall of Knowledge/Learning, just as experience upon the Fixed Cross is of much shorter duration that the aeonial labors upon the Mutable Cross.
11. The point the Master is trying to make is “Move on!” Why remain where we need no longer be, simply because we have not learned to change our approach.
12. If there is to be a great change of consciousness within the human race, it must evidence itself in the lives of those who are to be at the forefront of that change—namely, in the lives of disciples of the Great White Lodge.
13. If we knew we were expending great effort upon secondary matters instead of attending to that which is primary, we would transfer our attention to the primary, would we not? And yet, so many of us fail to do so!
14. What is lacking is a right sense of proportion and a broad perspective upon the nature of the Path. We still labor under the onus of limited vision. If we reflect properly and at length, perhaps that vision can change, and perhaps we can adjust our sense of values so that it come more in line with the hierarchical perspective. This would be the purpose of a steady program of occult meditation.
15. There are physical disciplines and disciplines of the soul. With the former we are long familiar. The latter will be revealed to us when we attempt to live according to the Laws of the Soul (as found in Esoteric Psychology, Vol. II).
16. If we seek to know how to speed our way upon the Path, the first prerequisite is a broadened consciousness. Meditation and study serve that broadening.
17. Of course, we are required to deal time and space, but we do not want to be held by time and space and in slavery to time and space.
18. One of the first requirements for release is to meditatively realize the illusory nature of time and space—although they are necessary illusions.
19. The group is held by the focus of its consciousness. If its consciousness is liberated from material preoccupation, it is free to focus on matters closer to reality and it can begin to move within those realms which are more real.
20. The Buddha taught us that we forge our own chains, that we bind ourselves by the nature of our desires and the focus of our minds. When a change of focus is needed, as here is suggested, we should be courageous enough to change.
C. I wonder if you can grasp the type of consciousness which distinguishes the Hierarchy, even if you are only able [Page 128] to do so imaginatively and theoretically. They "onward move in life." They work in the realm of life energy; the form seems to Them something which They have definitely left behind, and the consciousness of appeal or rejection of the form nature and hold is to Them only a memory of a distant battle ground where the victory then won has been forgotten and the gains of victory are so far behind that they lie well below the threshold of consciousness. Broadly and generally speaking, workers in the ranks of the Hierarchy (I did not say "with the Hierarchy") are divided into two main groups: those who are working with the unfoldment of the initiate consciousness in the disciples of the world, and those of a more advanced degree who are working with the life aspect and its expression in the lives of the world initiates. Working disciples (who are working in cooperation with the Hierarchy) are also working in two major divisions: Those who are dealing with applicants and are seeking to see the imposition of the physical disciplines, and with the impartation of certain minor values so that beginners may grasp the point that they have reached. There are those also who are working to substitute understanding and service for physical discipline and the earlier, inevitable, selfish ends.
Points to Consider in Relation to the Above Section
1. DK asks us to “grasp the type of consciousness which distinguishes Hierarchy”. Our grasp may be only imaginative and theoretical, but for the moment it will suffice.
2. We are emulating the members of the Spiritual Hierarchy. We wish to be as They are and do as they are able to do.
3. Hierarchy knows how to move onward in “life”. Form in the lower three worlds (so real to us) is not very real to Them. An amazing sense of proportion may arise if we ponder carefully what DK is saying here. The ancient battles with form are long over for the members of the Hierarchy. Even the gains of victory lie well below the threshold of Their consciousness. They live within the realm of life, i.e., within the spiritual triad and consciously under the influence of the monad. So the gulf between us (and our present attempts) and Their present focus is great indeed. Our present struggles are not only ancient struggles but ancient victories for Them.
4. DK discusses the work done by those who are found “in the ranks of the Hierarchy”. Some work with the consciousness aspect and seek to see it unfolded in the disciples of the world. One such, it would seem, has been Master DK. Others work with those who are already initiate, seeking to see the life aspect expressed in their lives.
5. We are those in whom consciousness is not yet completely unfolded. Our grasp of the life aspect is theoretical at best. But since “no man commeth to the Father except through me”, the way to the life aspect is through consciousness, and we must put first things first, even while gaining a theoretical grasp of that which lies farther on ahead.
6. The two grades of workers in Hierarchy have their reflections in two gradations of working disciples. Some disciples will work with applicants and beginners and will focus much on cultivating in them the physical disciplines and the disciplines of the personality. Others will work with the process of helping more advanced students to substitute understanding and service for the earlier physical disciplines. This is a less selfish way. When physical disciplines are the main preoccupation of the disciple’s consciousness, some form of selfishness or self-preoccupation will always be found.
7. According to what we, as disciples, have achieved, so will be our tendency to work with one group or another. It is obvious that in the study of the fourteen more advanced Rules the emphasis is upon understanding and service, and “doing the right thing physically” is assumed to be a spiritual habit.
8. The distinctions given here by DK are important. We want to know our proper ‘place’ and field of service. We want to know how and whom we are most qualified to serve.
9. In giving the Fourteen Rules for Disciples and Initiates to humanity, DK was certainly prodding the world esoteric group, offering them something very new (at least, for them) and quite beyond their capacity to immediately fulfill. To receive such teaching is to participate in the “forcing process” of which Master DK has so frequently spoken.
10. We can rejoice, however, in the thought that we are being challenged by that which lies beyond our immediate capacities. The present opportunity is very great and great strides can be made by those who are willing to make the necessary sacrifices.
D. Let me repeat: the physical disciplines are of value in the beginning stage and impart a sense of proportion and an awareness of defects and of limitations. These have their place in time and space, and that is all. Once the world of the soul is entered, the disciple uses all forms wisely, with understanding of their purpose and with freedom from excess; he is not preoccupied with them or fundamentally interested in them. His eyes are off himself and are fixed on the world of true values. He has no sense of self-interest, because a group awareness is rapidly superseding his individual consciousness.
1. We find DK reaffirming the value of the physical disciplines. Yes, they are for beginners, at least as focal issues, but if pursued successfully “impart a sense of proportion and an awareness of defects and of limitations”.
2. To know our limitations is significant and necessary. Beginners to not really know themselves. Most of us are not beginners. Do we really know ourselves?
3. Complete self-knowledge does not come suddenly. One unveils one’s hidden nature observation by observation, revelation by revelation. Long it takes to know the whole of our hidden history and our unexpected potentials.
4. So, the value of the physical disciplines relates to self-disclosure—the disclosing of the self (really the not-Self) to the Self.
5. We are asked to move from preoccupation with form to its right use. We achieve freedom from excess, freedom from preoccupation. We discover that the form is simply a necessary instrument and that our major interest does not lie with form.
6. Even though these instructions are for the advanced disciple, we find Master DK reiterating the fundamentals. The eyes are to be taken off the little self. It is the world of true values that claims the attention of the real disciple.
7. What is the “world of true values”? It is at least the realm of soul, and even more the realm of the spiritual triad to which the antahkarana gives access and which reveals the Divine Plan for our planet. That which reinforces the understanding and manifestation of the Divine Plan is truly valuable.
8. Perhaps most importantly, in the true disciple, self-interest is rapidly fading. It is replaced by group interest and by a focus upon that which the group as a whole perceives.
9. Group awareness is much discussed, theoretically, but few of us as yet have a consciousness dominated by this higher-than-individual form of awareness.
10. Once group consciousness has become the objective of the disciple, the physical disciplines are relegated to their proper place and are simply seen as means to an end. If wisely pursued, without preoccupation, they can be useful to the group process, but really, the consciousness is focussed on other and ‘higher’ things which allow a real approach to Hierarchy and the world of living energies in which that Hierarchy lives and moves an has its being.
With Love and Many Blessings to all,
Michael and Stefan