DISCIPLESHIP IN THE NEW AGE - VOLUME I
BY ALICE A. BAILEY
DEDICATED TO REGINA KELLER
a fellow-disciple who for more than twenty years has walked with me upon the Way
Regina Keller was the disciple whose initials were RSU (Restraint — Strength — Understanding). It was she who was responsible for organizing and overseeing the publication of so many of the A.A.B books. RSU was, in many ways, a very trusted disciple of the Tibetan. After the death of AAB, she continued active work in the esoteric field, serving as one of the founders of the School for Esoteric Studies. She was influential, as well, in relation to Meditation Mount.
Along with AAB, FCD, JWK-P, DHB and RSW, she could be considered a relatively senior disciple, in fact, an advanced disciple. These particular individuals had either taken the third initiation (AAB and FCD with certainty) or were candidates for that initiation.
The rays of RSU were 23-117. Her astrological sign was Capricorn. The Moon was either in Taurus or Aries (most probably Taurus, given some of her physical problems, upon which the Tibetan focussed considerable attention in the attempt to help her achieve freedom). There is a strong possibility that Cancer was her Rising Sign. We will examine her life closely when we undertake the study of her personal instructions.
This book is in many ways unique. Nothing like it has before been published, as far as I know. It contains two series of talks by one of the Masters of the Wisdom to some members of His inner group, and also a series of personal instructions, given by Him to a group of His disciples. Many of these people were unknown to me when they were brought to my notice; some of them I have since met; others I have never met; some I knew well and could understand why they had been chosen, knowing that their dedication to the life of the spirit and their love of humanity warranted the choice; one or two were regarded by me as most unsuitable choices but later I altered my point of view and recognised that a wiser mind than mine was responsible for their inclusion in the Ashram. I learnt also that ancient relationships, established in other lives, were also conditioning factors and that some had earned the right to inclusion, even if their spiritual attainments seemed inadequate to the onlooker.
1. AAB begins her introduction on a note of humility. One can, however, feel the directness or her first ray mind.
2. Long before their work together in the 20th century, the Tibetan (as a guiding and senior disciple) had supervised AAB in an earlier incarnation when she was a Chela in the Light. At the time of the writing of the “Blue Books”, the Tibetan had become a Master of the Wisdom (1875) and AAB a senior disciple in the Ashram of the Master K.H.—the Chohan Who is also the Tibetan’s Master.
3. When studying the AAB books (eighteen by the Tibetan, four by AAB, and one book, The Light of the Soul, a combined labor), one realizes clearly that two distinct psyches are at work—one far more experienced than the other, and each qualified by different ray energies. AAB’s scope of understanding (though great compared to that of the average disciple) could not possibly be as comprehensive as that of the Master.
4. AAB begins by recognizing the Tibetan’s greater insight into the lives of those He had chosen to be part of His outer “groups-of-nine”. The lesson to us is clear: it is unwise to judge by appearances. At our present stage of development, we cannot understand the full depth of the human soul—either our ‘own’ soul or that of ‘another’ (though, in fact, the Soul is one.) Some students whom AAB judged as “most unsuitable” for entry into the Tibetan’s outer groups were, in fact, proven to be suitable. The Tibetan simply saw into their natures with greater insight and understanding—as might be expected of a Master of the Wisdom.
5. Note that AAB speaks of “inclusion in the Ashram”. The Discipleship in the New Age books, whatever their usefulness to those readers who came later, are essentially communications between a Master and certain junior members of His Ashram (whether true members of His Ashram or temporarily “on loan” from the Ashrams of other Masters for the sake of instruction and/or sensitization to the second ray or, simply, service to His Ashram).
6. We must remember, then, that when reading these books, we are being given a glimpse of ashramic living—on several levels. Some communications deal with matters which are central to the functioning of the Ashram, and some with the relatively unimportant task of dealing with a disciple’s personal problems, in order to assist him/her to become a more useful member of the Ashram.
7. The role of “ancient relationships” in ashramic inclusion is also interesting. Those who were deeply related in former incarnations often continue to be still more deeply related as incarnations come and go. What begin as biological families, may later evolve into ‘families’ of a different kind—spiritual groups and Ashrams. The quality of relationships established in ancient times is often elevated as incarnations elapse. Those who stand around us now, may in the future do the same, though all will be standing on a considerably higher turn of the evolutionary spiral.
8. One of Master D.K.’s disciples, with whom I had many conversations, was entirely convinced that He had been her grandfather in a recent incarnation. One or two things He said to her in her personal instructions make this disciple’s presumption at least plausible.
A good deal of the teaching given is new in form and some of it is new in fact. One point emerges with clarity and that is: the old rules to which disciples have been subjected down the centuries still hold good, but are susceptible of fresh and often different interpretations. The training to be given during the coming New Age will be fitted to their more advanced development. The evolutionary progress—from century to century—presents a steadily ripening and developing human mind upon which the Master can work. The standard of discipleship is consequently as steadily rising. This, in itself, demands a new approach, a wider presentation of truth and the permitting of a greater freedom of action upon the part of the disciple. The time element is also different. In the old days, the Master gave His disciple a hint or a point upon which to ponder and meditate or He might indicate some need for changed habits of thought. Then the disciple went away—[Page x] sometimes for years or an entire lifetime—and reflected and thought and attempted to alter his attitudes without any particular sense of pressure. Today, in our speedier times and when the demand of humanity for help is so outstanding, the hint has given place to explanation and the disciple is trusted with information, hitherto withheld. He is regarded as having reached a stage in his unfoldment at which he can make his own decisions and proceed with rapidity, if he so chooses.
1. We come to understand that approaches to spiritual development must remain fluid. While there may be truths which are invariably true at all times in all places, approaches to the apprehension and assimilation of those truths will vary with changing civilizations, cultures, eras and the cyclic availability of different astro-rayological energies and forces.
2. The attitude of the New Group of World Servers is here emphasized: accept what is good from the past and link it to the new and emerging good. The NGWS, of which all true disciples are members, is a linking, bridging group.
3. Humanity is constantly evolving. Recently its mental nature has undergone considerable stimulation. Methods of spiritual training suitable even a century or two ago are no longer so. The Masters of the Wisdom (adepts) are adaptable. The Purpose which animates Them remains constant; their plans, however, often change, coinciding with necessary changes in the Divine Plan and unforeseen changes in humanity.
4. Disciples of the modern era have greater independence and individual responsibility than their counterparts of the past. This is a natural outgrowth of the increasing sophistication of the mind.
5. AAB points to a changing attitude toward time. She tells us that we now live in “speedier” times than did the disciples of past centuries. These remarks by AAB were written in the early 1940’s. How much speedier still are our ‘times’ today! Discipleship training has to keep pace with the general acceleration of human living. Fundamentally, it is what we might call the ‘planetary tempo’ which is increasing, and humanity is simply responding to causative factors affecting the whole in which it is a relatively tiny part.
6. As disciples in the modern era, we are presented with a very evident opportunity. Historically, the Christ made the most rapid spiritual progress of all the Sons of Men. Today, however, some are moving as fast as He did. It becomes clear that rapid (yet safe) spiritual development is absolutely necessary if the overpowering need of humanity is to be met.
7. As part of the new approach to discipleship training, the technique of the “hint” has given way to direct “explanation”. Disciples are now trusted with information which hitherto was withheld. There is obviously a risk in this procedure, as information can be misused, and not all who are informed are necessarily entirely stable. So pressing is the need, however, that the risk must be taken.
8. The time equation of disciplic development, therefore, is now very much in the “hands” of the disciple or discipleship group. Our individual progress (and our group progress) can be rapid or slow depending upon our own will, aspiration, intelligence and love—and that of the group.
9. Note the prominence of the energies of Libra and Saturn in AAB’s thoughts. The modern disciple can choose the intensity of his/her application and his/her rate of speed, whereas disciples of former times were less free to do so.
10. We are told that Saturn is one of the major planets of discipleship. The conditions of discipleship in the New Age make Saturn even more powerful and prominent. This is fitting, as disciples are entering the Aquarian Age through the decanate ruled by Saturn.
11. Because of Saturn’s prominence, the “pressure is on” in the life of the modern disciple. The times are critical. Discipleship training—never an easy process—is, today, far less so.
Certain definite reasons have prompted me to make these instructions available for aspirants everywhere after requesting permission from those who received them. One is the need to bring to the attention of the general public the fact that the Hierarchy exists, that its Members are interested in human progress and that there is a definitely planned system of training offered by Them which can lead a man out of the human kingdom into the Kingdom of God; that this moving forward upon the Path of Evolution out of the fourth kingdom into the fifth can be brought about consciously, scientifically and with the full consent and cooperation of the aspirant. The day has now come when belief can (and does) give place to knowledge—a knowledge gained through the acceptance of a hypothesis in the first place, a conviction that this hypothesis is backed by adequate testimony and planned experience. The reasoning mind of the disciple can then take the successes and failures he encounters in his training and learn the intended lessons; he finds that progress upon the Path brings a man into closer, conscious touch with Those Who have walked this Way before and that the Way into the Hierarchy is a way of discipline, of increasing enlightenment, of service to his fellowmen and of a growing responsiveness to contacts and to individuals of which the average human being knows nothing.
1. We note that is was AAB who was “prompted” to make the Tibetan’s personal instructions to His disciples available to the general public.
2. Permission was of course asked of the disciples in the various groups-of-nine, and it can be assumed that no one refused. The benefit to future disciples would be far too evident for a conscionable refusal. There were, however, some sensitive matters dealt with by the Tibetan, and some disciples in the group must have had to weigh the preservation of their personal, emotional-psychological comfort against the need of future disciples for the guidance and illumination which access to their personal instructions would provide.
3. These disciples of the Tibetan were, therefore, presented with choice; it appears that the selfless choice was made. In any case, anonymity was preserved at the time. Now that the names of some of these disciples are available, there is still no reason to emphasize the person rather than the principle. It is far more meaningful to refer to the disciples by the initials which signify their life keynotes than by their actual names.
4. We note that one of AAB’s reasons for making these instructions more widely available was to bring the Hierarchy to the attention of the general public. The Tibetan always wished that AAB would speak more of the Hierarchy and bring the fact of the Hierarchy more definitely forward. In publishing these instructions, AAB seems to be responding to His wish.
5. Another and most valuable reason for publishing these instructions was to inform people of the sane and systematic discipleship training offered to humanity by the Spiritual Hierarchy. There is so much glamor and illusion surrounding the question of spiritual development. AAB saw the great need to demonstrate that discipleship training is, indeed, a science, and can be pursued wisely and successfully by those who are willing to undertake the needed disciplines and subject themselves to an unavoidable spiritual pressure. (Many of these disciples were, in a sense, overconfident, and found that their ability to withstand the pressure of relatively direct association with a Master was far less than they had imagined.)
6. The major opportunity presented to humanity today is the opportunity for transition from the fourth kingdom of nature into the fifth—the Kingdom of Souls.
The DINA books present a realistic approach to this transition, undertaken under the supervision of a true Master of the Wisdom (though neither Master DK nor AAB wished for people to accept the methods presented because a “Master” was supposedly responsible for them).
7. The DINA books are at once realistic and inspiring. Their note of spiritual authority is unmistakable, but it is not an imposed authority. The disciple must recognize the truth presented and act accordingly. Any imposition of authority would run counter to the spirit of the new kind of discipleship training.
8. As we examine AAB’s presentation of the reasons which prompter her to publish these books, we see an unmistakable appeal to the illumined, reasoning mind, even to the scientific method of hypothesis, experimentation and confirmation. A number of contemporary modes of spiritual training discount the value of the mind. The methods promoted by Master DK and AAB, however, emphasize the mind as the “revealer of the real” rather than the “slayer of the real”.
A second reason for publishing this book is the need to change the point of view of the general public as to the nature of these Masters Who take pupils and Who, whilst giving them the training needed to enable them to take initiation (as it is called), reach the mass of men through their means. So much stupidity has been demonstrated in writing and talking about the relationship of Master and disciple that it was felt both by [Page xi] me and this group of disciples that the sanity, the breadth of vision, the lack of authority, and the understanding evidenced by a Member of the Hierarchy could do nothing but good. We found also that He was quite ready for His instructions to be made public.
1. One can easily and reasonably imagine that Master DK foresaw the future value to the public of His personal instructions to His disciples. Under the Law of Economy, a Master seeks for every expenditure of His energy to do the greatest good for the greatest number. After a while, AAB and the groups of disciples under instruction (so it would seem) came to precisely the same conclusion.
2. AAB describes the quality and value of DK’s approach: it possessed “sanity”, “breadth of vision”, “lack of authority” and “understanding”. Contemporary views of the Masters are often so distorted. In DINA I, p. 788, DK, speaking of the Masters, says, “They are not the spectacular and ill-bred people portrayed by the mediocre leaders of many groups…”. The Masters are far more humane (and urbane) than even the most highly developed human beings. All virtues appearing in the human family find their flowering in these illustrious individuals.
3. Thus, we can say that the appearance of the DINA books, were meant to dissipate glamor and dispel illusion evidenced by prevailing conceptions of the Masters of the Wisdom.
4. It is important for people to see both the similarities and differences between themselves and the Masters. Usually, they emphasize only the differences. If they see the similarities, they will understand that the Masters were once as they are now, and that a sane and proper training will, normally and over time, develop them spiritually until Mastership has been achieved. If people see the differences between themselves and the Masters, they will be motivated to strive towards Mastership. The “Road” is long, and, without fiery striving, cannot be successfully trodden, nor the goal reached.
A third reason was the desire to make clear a point which is continually emphasised by the Tibetan as it is by all Masters and which is of major importance to every aspirant. Only those who are beginning to come under the influence and the control of their own souls and are, therefore, mentally focussed and attuned, are eligible for the training offered by the Hierarchy. Devotion, emotional reactions and sentiment are not enough. Esoteric training is also an impersonal matter; it is concerned with the development of soul consciousness and with the expansion of that consciousness to include, and not exclude, all forms of life through which pulses the life and love of God. The true disciple is ever inclusive and never exclusive. It is this inclusiveness which is the hallmark of all true esotericists. Where it is lacking you may have an aspirant but you do not have a true disciple. There is far too much exclusiveness extant today among esotericists and in occult schools and too much theological separativeness. It has been felt that this Book of Instructions may do much to offset this evil tendency and may help to open the door still wider into the Kingdom of God
1. The third major reason for offering the DINA books to the general public was to emphasize the qualifications necessary for those who seek to avail themselves of the spiritual training offered by Hierarchy.
2. Again we come to the necessity for mental focussing and attunement. This is sometimes called “mental polarization”. Mistakenly, it is often presumed that one has to be an “intellectual type” to be a true disciple. In fact, many intellectuals are presently unfit for this type of training. Though their minds may be sharp, many are still motivated by powerful unconscious desires, and are astrally polarized rather than mentally polarized. True mental polarization is the ability to hold the mind steady in the light of the soul.
3. During the Piscean Age, devotion has been highly regarded, and indeed, it is essential. With our passing into the Age of Aquarius, however, it is not devotion that will be emphasized, but the soul-illumined mind. The seventh and fifth rays are coming into prominence rather than the emotional sixth of the Piscean Age, now waning.
4. Then AAB emphasizes the need for impersonality and inclusivity. To a superficial estimation, these two qualities may seem contradictory, but a little thought will reveal that the attitude of the soul is both loving and impersonal, conducing to a truer appreciation of all human beings and various forms of life. Likes and dislikes (personal matters) play a diminishing role in the attitude of the disciple. The Oneness of Life is realized; it is an impersonal (or, shall we say, a transpersonal) realization.
5. AAB is rather strong in discriminating between the aspirant (on the one hand) and the true disciple or esotericist (on the other). It is the degree of inclusiveness which is the discriminating factor. A key to inclusivity is the ability to see likeness, commonality and kinship. An overpowering sense of distinction or difference leads to cleavage and rebuff, and renders the would-be disciple subject to the one great heresy—the “great heresy of separativeness”. When “That” which all forms of life have in common is understood, seen and felt, then inclusiveness has been achieved and true discipleship and esotericism become possible.
6. As the major teacher of a prominent school of occultism, AAB knew whereof she spoke when describing the evils of the separativeness existing between the various ‘spiritual’ schools and organizations. The Masters, we are told, deplore this separative attitude. It blocks their work and delays the Reappearance of the Christ.
7. Destructive theology is not dead; it did not die with the passing Piscean religions. It is alive and well among so-called progressive esotericists and students of occultism. Of course, it must be eliminated, and an inclusive attitude would help tremendously. May we say that fear works against inclusivity. Perfect Love, we are told, “casteth out all fear”.
8. We can see how AAB seeks to see the second ray virtues of love and inclusiveness cultivated by those who would call themselves disciples or esotericists.
Much in this book is new. Much is very old, tried and proved. None of the people chosen for instruction and for inclusion in the Ashram of the Master are saints or perfect. All are, however, true aspirants and will go on to the very end in spite of pain and sorrow, discipline, success, failure, joy and a spiritual recognition of almost unattainable goals. Some have been on this Path of Accepted Discipleship (technically understood) for many lives. Some are venturing for the first time—consciously and with deliberate effort—to tread the Way to God. All are mystics, learning to be occultists. All are normal people, living useful, modern lives in many different countries in the world. Some are orthodox Protestant Christians by profession; others are Roman Catholics; still others are Christian Scientists or belong to one or other of the more mental cults; [Page xii] some are quite unattached and free from affiliations. None of them regards his particular brand of faith or his particular religious background as essential to salvation; he knows that the only essential is belief in the spiritual realities and in the essential divinity of mankind. This belief necessarily involves a heart full of love, a mind open and illumined by right orientation to truth and a life dedicated to service and to the alleviation of human sufferings. This is the determined goal of all whose instructions are found in this book—a goal which they have not yet attained and a mode of life which they have not yet perfected. They are, nevertheless, unalterably upon their way and that way is the WAY. Christ said "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life"; these aspirants, working under a great Disciple of the Christ, are beginning to grasp some of the significances and implications of that statement which holds true for all time and for all disciples, because "as He is, so are we in this world."
1. AAB immediately attacks a prevalent glamor—that a person worthy of a Master’s attention must be in some way exceptional, perfect or saintly. Life is not that way.
2. She does not call these students true disciples; rather she states that all of them are at least “true aspirants”. This means that they will persist, regardless of evident personality and environmental fluctuations.
3. Not all these people were of equal spiritual “rank”. Some were experienced disciples, even accepted disciples for a number of lives. Others were, relatively, beginners. Still they were members of the same large group and were expected to make progress together.
4. AAB points to the mystical background of all in the “groups of nine”. There is a difference between mysticism and occultism, the first focussed in a highly refined astral body, and the second required the illumination of the mind. In the Western world, we are making the transition from mysticism to occultism. Most of these disciples (and many of us) have already spent one or two lives in the monasteries or nunneries of the East or West—so the Tibetan informs us,
5. The normality of these disciples is emphasized. This is important. Probably, if we knew them personally, we would find that they were/are very much like ourselves. It is best for any aspirant or disciple to consider himself/herself normal, average. DK often refers to the “average disciple”, and by this term, He indicates most of those for whom He is writing. There is always the danger of succumbing to the “glamor of special selection” (a sixth ray, Piscean glamor), still, however, very prevalent. To consider oneself normal or average is part of a very necessary decentralization process, and leads safely towards the establishment of group consciousness.
6. The diversity of religions professed by the disciples is also mentioned. A number were Jewish, although that group is not mentioned here. None of them, it seems, had very much attachment to conventional religion. They had outgrown it. For these people, the foundational principles of love, light and service had taken the place of theology. I think we can safely say the same of ourselves.
7. AAB is realistic about the disciples gathered into DK’s outer groups. They knew the ideal, but they had not attained it. They were not completely loving, illumined or selflessly serving. Neither are we, I suspect.
8. The important thing was that they were “upon the way” or “on the way”. The disciple, we are told, must take himself/herself as he/she is, and work from there, refusing to bewail his/her fate or criticize others. How many there are who short-circuit the good they could do by obsessing about their own shortcomings. An old teacher told me to “make my short-comings ‘long-goings’” and I have never forgotten it.
9. We note that AAB calls the Master DK “a great disciple of the Christ”. So He is, from our perspective. From Master DK’s perspective, He has something else to say.
“In all reverence, and as one of His humblest friends and personal workers, I am permitted to tell you a little of His position as He nears the great event in May of this year.” (EXH 433)
We see the contrast in estimation, do we not?
10. How important it is to realize that in working with Master DK, we are, thereby, working with the Christ. The unity of effort must be understood, and no artificial separations (based on ashramic distinction) be entertained.
11. It is said of the Christ, “as He is, so are we in this world”. This certainly sets the ideal. When we are possessed of “the mind that is in Christ”, this statement will be completely true of us.
The work with this particular group began twelve years ago. Each person's instructions are given in their ordered sequence, year by year, so that a real picture of the person concerned, of his problems and his achievement or lack of achievement, emerges clearly. This book is encouraging in that it offsets the idea that to be a pledged disciple one is, therefore, set apart by perfection of character and isolated by the aspiration which inspires the life. These are people with problems, struggling to solve them; with character limitations which they are endeavouring to overcome; they are true instances of any man or woman who turns his back upon the usual approach to the world of material affairs and takes up his cross in order to find his way back to the Father's home; they picture for us the man who, having "put his hand to the plough," turns not back but presses forward "towards the prize of his high calling in Christ."
1. This introduction by AAB was written in 1943. If we do the math, we shall see that DK’s work with this group of His disciples began in 1931, and, indeed, the first letters to the disciples are dated 1931.
2. AAB tells us that the personal instructions to each disciple are presented in order, and from this sequential order (revealing, as life unfolds, various problems, achievements, and apparent failures) we may learn.
3. Some horoscopes for these disciples do exist. By combining a study of the personal instructions in sequence with an examination of the progressing horoscope of the disciples, much anent their individual psycho-spiritual process may be determined. But much may also remain hidden, as we do not live within their psyches, as can a Master. No horoscope (or temporary ray structure) embodies all that an individual is. Horoscopes and ray-formulas pertain to a particular incarnation and not to all incarnations. Yet, using the presented rays and the reasonably accurate horoscope (in many cases not totally accurate), we can enter more deeply into an understanding of their developmental process.
4. From what is said, we come to understand that all of these disciples are not only “true aspirants” (refusing to turn back), but also “pledged disciples”. Since all of them but one, were at least initiates of the first degree, this would necessarily be the case. A pledged disciple has made a promise to his/her soul and to the Master, and intends to keep that promise. The will is involved and mental conviction.
5. In the concluding sentences of this paragraph, one feels the inspiring touch of AAB. She is given a second ray astral body by the Tibetan, but there are sections within her Unfinished Autobiography, and in her writings (such as this section) which show a powerful, if latent, sixth ray.
6. In any case, what is being emphasized again is the normality of these people. These are people with problems, struggles, good intentions, and many life difficulties (compounded in some respects by their energetic association with the Master).
7. Because these people are as they are, it is so easy to find ourselves within the pages of these DINA books. It may be that none of the disciples instructed by DK has exactly the same ray structure or astrological chart as we may have, and yet we will be able to find ourselves. The problems they have to deal with are so universal, that we will certainly recognize our problems as well, and benefit from what was said to them.
8. The majority of these disciples found themselves between the first and second degree. Some may have been in preparation for the second initiation. Certainly not all were—at least not in their present incarnation.
9. Many were still fighting within the realm of “character”, with “character limitations” and personality flaws. Master DK will sometimes deal with these, but He does not overemphasize the personal factor. Enough is given, however, to name the flaw and point the way to its correction.
10. Perhaps a Master will not usually trouble himself with such personal matters. But Master DK is a second ray Master, and so may have come a bit closer to the personal in order to facilitate the necessary personal corrections, the faster to see the disciples qualified for true ashramic work and service.
Some of these people have worked as students in the Arcane School; others have never done so; still others (when they heard of the school through their affiliation with the Tibetan) worked in it in order to help the students. Their names will not be divulged. The initials at the head of the various instructions and the dates assigned carry no information; the [Page xiii] instructions were probably not received on the dates given and the initials are none of them correct. No information will be given by any of us who know the relation between the initials and the disciple. Questions as to identity will not be answered at any time. It is the subject matter of the teaching which is of importance and not the name of the disciple for what is said is applicable to all aspirants.
1. AAB was a disciple of the Master KH more than she was a disciple of the Tibetan’s. In a way, she was, instead, a humble co-worker of the Tibetan, both of whom had Master KH as their Master.
2. The Arcane School was AAB’s project for KH’s Ashram, and Master DK assisted her.
3. In a way, the Arcane School was independent of Master D.K.’s work with His “groups-of-nine”. Yet we can see the affiliation of the two projects, for some of His disciples came into the groups-of-nine through the ArcaneSchool
, and others within the groups-of-nine sought to help within the School once they learned of it.
4. It is interesting to see AAB doing a bit of “occult blinding”. At the time of the publishing of Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I, it was important for the names of the individual disciples to remain concealed. A number of them were alive when the book was published, and the last one died only in 1988. Neither AAB nor DK sought to promote interest in the personalities of these people. The instructions are about a soul-based process; the personal details (so unwholesomely interesting to many) meant relatively little.
5. The same is true today. I cannot see too much value in seeking to do much research into the personhood of the various group members. Many of them were so obscure, relatively, that it would be very difficult. Even people who knew them rather well have, most of them, passed on, and in any case, their reports were rarely reliable and often superficial.
6. I would say that, in His instructions, DK has given us most of the information we need for a rather deep psycho-spiritual understanding of the developmental process of the disciples in His groups. In fact, the information He gives is far deeper and more occult than would be possible to assess with even a thorough knowledge of their personality tendencies and circumstances.
7. AAB was never a great friend of conventional astrology. I think it is for this reason that she says “the dates carry no information”. She knew what kind of enquiry the average interested astrologer would pursue. Probably the dates do not, in fact, carry much information; probably they are approximations, indicating only more or less when the letters were sent. Usually only the month and year appear at the beginning of each letter, and not the day.
8. What AAB says about the initials of the disciples is a blind. The initials do carry information to those who know how to read them. Some researchers have determined the meaning of the initials simply by carefully reading the disciples’ instructions.
9. She says the initials are “none of them correct”. This is true, in a way, for they certainly do not represent either the given name or the surname of any disciple. But they do represent qualities and keynotes which Master DK suggested for cultivation. It is upon these that we shall focus, and from them we can learn much.
10. One can understand why AAB was so cautious, knowing the personalizing tendency of most disciples and their tendency to emphasize the non-essential over that which is truly significant.
11. We shall proceed as if AAB’s advice is important just as she said it.
“It is the subject matter of the teaching which is of importance and not the name of the disciple for what is said is applicable to all aspirants.”
One other reason might be mentioned here as indicative of the value of this book. In every case, the disciple is told what are the types of energy to which he most easily responds and upon which ray or divine emanation he finds himself. He, therefore, becomes aware of what constitutes his line of least resistance and where the major point of his life conflict is to be found.
1. It is in the matter of elucidating the ray structure of these disciples, that the DINA books demonstrate one of their greatest values.
2. The disciples involved in this experiment are perhaps the only individuals in the world who can be absolutely sure of their ray structure. Of course, now they have passed on, and only the soul ray will most probably remain the same in their next incarnation (though even it may change under certain rules).
3. Master DK is the Sage who brought the Science of the Seven Rays to humanity in its most coherent and understandable form. He is, shall we say, the “expert” in ray evaluation and ray assignment. When He offers a ray formula to a disciple, we can be quite certain of its accuracy—completely certain, really.
4. Some of us have assessed our own rays and those of others. We may have every reason in the world to believe in the accuracy of our assessments, and our intuition may be alive and acute. But we cannot know with certainty. Perhaps, when we stand at the degree of Master of the Wisdom, and can see into the soul of another, we will have the certainty which now escapes us, however correct we may think we are in these matters.
5. The “ray or divine emanation” upon which “he finds himself” is, in this instance, the soul ray. In only a few cases is the monadic ray mentioned (or implied) to any of the disciples, and this for special purposes. The soul ray is the ray to discover and express, and DK placed great emphasis upon it.
6. If all of us could become aware of our “line of least resistance” and also “the major point of [our] life conflict”, our life problem would certainly be clarified, and we could live the life of discipleship more scientifically.
7. I think we will all be amazed how a close study of the ray structures of the various disciples in these books will help us clarify our own ray structure. Such clarification is never an easy matter as there are many complexities and lesser energic and force factors which may masquerade as greater ones. A consideration of astrological factors may also complicate the evaluation of rays, for the two systems interpenetrate and affect each other at many points.
8. Still, for a practical understanding of ray structure and how these rays may manifest in the life of discipleship, there is no better source than Discipleship in the New Age, Vols. I and II.
We are taught in the esoteric philosophy that seven great divine Emanations, Aeons or Spirits (in Whom we live and move and have our being) came forth from God at the time of the Creation. The same teaching can also be traced in the Holy Bible. Upon one or other of these seven Rays, the souls of all forms of life are to be found as well as the forms themselves. These seven rays produce the seven major psychological types. These seven rays or emanations are:
1. In brief, the philosophy of the Seven Rays is presented. Terms like “Emanations”, “Aeons” and “Spirits” (“before the Throne”) point to a number of traditions in which the Seven Rays, called by other names, are prominent.
2. The key to esoteric psychology is found in the study of the seven rays. It is through esoteric psychology that a knowledge of occultism will reach the general public. These DINA books are a very good source for the transmission of this knowledge.
1. The first Ray of Will or Power. Many great world rulers are found on this ray, such as Julius Caesar.
2. The second Ray of Love-Wisdom. The Christ and the Buddha are to be found on this ray. It is the great teaching ray.
3. The third Ray of Active Intelligence. The mass of intelligent humanity are found on this ray.
4. The fourth Ray of Harmony through Conflict. Aspirants. Struggling, well-meaning people. Workers for unity emerge along this line.
5. The fifth Ray of Concrete Knowledge or Science. Scientists and people who are purely mental and governed only by the mind.
6. The sixth Ray of Devotion or Idealism. Many Christian people. Fanatics. Numbers of earnest Churchmen of all the world religions.
7. The seventh Ray of Ceremonial Order or Magic. Masons. Financiers. Great businessmen and organisers of all kinds. Executives are found with these energies in their equipment.
1. A brief summary of the seven ray types is given.
2. If we study the summary carefully, we will see that it reveals not only differing qualities as they affect people who stand at relatively the same level of evolution, but, most interestingly, that it points to the rays as differentiators of evolutionary level
3. Indeed, some rays do not appear in certain vehicles until a certain stage of evolution has been reached.
4. It would seem that the third ray characterizes the mass of “intelligent humanity”, who stand, so it would seem, on a higher evolutionary level than “struggling, well-meaning people” characterized by the fourth ray.
5. Perhaps among those who are only moderately developed from the evolutionary perspective, the fourth ray is more frequently found than the third, but we should not assume that to be qualified by the fourth ray means that one is less intelligent than an individual found upon the third ray.
6. There are both horizontal and vertical dimensions to ray analysis, and these must be considered carefully.
7. In general, the descriptions in the paragraph under consideration are very useful and help us form mental “pegs” for the proper association of related thoughts.
8. Note that under the seventh ray, AAB speaks about “these energies” in their equipment. She seems to be saying that a ray is not simply a monolithic energy, but is a diversified demonstration, a plurality. We should hold this thought in mind when analyzing ray structure and when seeking to detect the presence of a given ray in individuals and groups. A given ray may come in seven subray demonstrations—each subray of a given ray may be quite distinct from other subrays. For instance, there are three prominent second ray types (DINA II 518) (though probably there are seven). Each of these three is quite distinct for the other two, and could even be mistaken for a ray quality other than that of the second ray. Much circumspection is required for accurate analysis.
However, only when a man is highly developed and nearing the Path of Discipleship is it possible for the esoteric student accurately to surmise what his ray may be. People of all kinds and professions are found on all the rays. The conflict in a disciple's life is found to lie in the fact that the ray of his soul and the ray of his integrated personality are posed against each other. At the same time, his emotional nature, his mental equipment and his physical brain are also controlled by some one or other of the rays and in this fivefold relationship lies hid much of the problem of the evolving human being. The Tibetan tells the members of His group which five rays condition them and students will learn much by a study of what He says. In the cases where I happen to know the disciple concerned personally and something of his problems, it was amazingly interesting to me to note how infallibly right the Tibetan was in His diagnosis of the rays involved. In reading these instructions will you please remember that though the Tibetan usually speaks of the soul, He also uses the word "ego" interchangeably, meaning thereby the spiritual ego and not the personal ego of the psychologists.
1. AAB sounds a warning. A study of the seven rays may not be for all—at least not in its completeness. One needs to be “highly developed” and “nearing the Path of Discipleship” before the soul ray will emerge and be detectable.
2. Then another problem, corroborated elsewhere by DK: namely that “people of all kinds and professions are found on all rays”. That certain professions may attract more of some ray types than others is probably statistically true, but one cannot allow profession alone to be the sole discriminator of ray type. Profession, however, cannot be ignored when pursuing ray analysis.
3. The main reason for conflict in a disciple’s life is given: the soul ray is posed against the personality ray. This is not a new idea to most of us, but to see it working out may be a revelation.
4. AAB points to the fivefold ray formula which characterizes each of us. In this ray formula is hidden much of our present problem and potential.
5. AAB remarks about her own amazement when considering the problems of disciples known to her vis-à-vis their ray formula as diagnosed by the Tibetan. Clearly, we are being given a very important interpretive tool for S/self-understanding. However, we, per se, are not literally being ‘given’ the tool as it was given to the disciples in Master DK’s groups. Rather, we are being informed that it exists, and have to ascertain its nature ourselves. Fortunately, we have many hints on which to proceed.
6. AAB also calls our attention to the use of the word “ego”. In the teaching it is used in three ways: as the lower personal ego (rarely); as the spiritual ego or higher self (frequently); and as the monadic Ego (again, rarely, but actually).
7. The Tibetan must be read carefully. He is most cautious with the use of words, and much can be hidden from the enquiring student who reads inattentively. One may read a given sentence in the teaching for many years using a certain interpretation, only to discover that it has not been correct; a word, or the use of a word, had been understood incorrectly. We must proceed with caution. Master DK hides much in His sentences (though He simultaneously discloses much to those who know how to read).
We have not felt it wise to give the meditations assigned or the breathing exercises, except in a few cases. They were strictly individual and suited to the person and his peculiar problems. In one or two cases, however, after due consideration, we have inserted some of the meditations with slight changes. It was obvious that they could be only helpful.
1. We see something of the responsibility which falls to those who seek to distributed esoteric knowledge. Knowledge is power and, in many cases, danger.
2. People are so eager for rapid progress, or what they think to be rapid progress.
3. Breathing exercises would be eagerly pursued by the ambitious, and simple principles like service and occult obedience would be neglected. By not giving out certain breathing exercises, AAB is saving us from ourselves, for in many, eagerness overcomes discretion, and much damage can be done.
4. So, a fine discrimination has been used to present meditations and exercises which are only useful and cannot be harmful, if rightly followed.
5. We can understand how thoroughly the Teacher or Master must understand the individual nature of His student. The Master’s ability for such knowledge far transcends our own. But only with such knowledge, is it safe to assign breathing exercises (exercises which manipulate the fires. of the etheric-physical body). In this field, “less is more”. Above all, we seek to do no harm. As yet we know little. We must reserve judgment and wait for the time when we are better informed.
At the end of each instruction, we have put a sentence or two which gives information as to the work of the disciple in the Ashram. This will prove particularly enlightening as, for instance, in the cases of P.D.W. and K.E.S. where the Tibetan shows definite prevision and the knowledge that both these men would die a few years later. He is obviously preparing them for that great transition.
1. The Tibetan is a Master in the use of language, and of the Eastern Masters with Whom we are most familiar, knew English the best.
2. As we read what DK has to say, we will grow in our appreciation of how He says it. He is a master of tact, firmness and illumination. Words can be so dangerous, especially the words coming from a Master. He seeks to bring about important changes in the lives of His disciples. He knows things about them which could or would arouse in them adverse reactions. Somehow, He must present the knowledge which must reach them in such a way that it arouses good response rather than bad reaction.
3. Sometimes, however, despite His best efforts, the adverse reaction came, and a number of disciples quit the project because they felt “misunderstood by the Tibetan”. In fact they were not misunderstood at all, but understood only too well. They were not ready for the revelation which the presence of the Master inevitably brings.
4. AAB speaks of the prophetic power of the Tibetan—in at least two cases, to predict impending death.
5. In the case of PDW, DK closed His remarks with these words:
“Your field of service is around you and embraces all who come your way, and the path of this service leads straight to me, my brother....”
6. In the case of KES, the Tibetan said, in His closing instruction,
“You could do much for F.C.D. from the quiet of your room. I might add, that he is seeking to help you physically and to strengthen you with life (where'er you live that life).” (DINA I 551)
7. The Tibetan has the task of preparing his disciples for great changes without alarming them or causing adverse reaction. We shall study how He does this.
In closing, I would like to thank all these disciples who have so kindly placed their personal instructions at my disposal [Page xv] in an effort to be of service to the coming generation of disciples. In many cases, they helped prepare them for the press. I would like also to thank those who helped me to get the text ready for publication, particularly Joseph Lovejoy who gave days of labour to the book; he has for years helped me prepare the Tibetan's books for publication.
1. Words of gratitude follow. Indeed we can all be grateful to these disciples who opened themselves to public scrutiny for the benefit of the disciples who were to follow them.
2. None of us is really and essentially an individual personality. We are all an emanation of the One Life, and we do not ‘belong to ourselves alone’. This attitude is, of course, impersonal, and demonstrates that necessary ‘distance’ from the personal which will allow the personality to be used as an instrument and not as an end in itself.
I hope all who read this book will receive the inspiration that we who have prepared it have received; I hope also that their confidence in the Hierarchy and in the existence of Christ and His Disciples, the Masters, may receive such an impetus that many more will attempt to tread the Way and join the great number of aspirants in every country who are seeking to tread the Path by becoming the Path Itself.
1. We see the service which this book (DINA I) was intended to provide.
2. AAB ends with an inspiring exhortation, as DK so often does.
3. Inspiration is a ‘breathing in’ of a living fire. It uplifts and gives the energy to go on. There is much inertia to be overcome. “Sloth” is the “major liability of the average initiate”—not just the average disciple! Inspiration overcomes sloth.
4. Surely we must see that what was possible for these disciples, chosen to be members of DK’s outer groups, is also possible for us—at some time, whether in the immediate future or some time afterwards. Surely we feel a keen incentive to make ourselves worthy of such training so that we may rapidly join the ranks of those who are really equipped to serve.
5. AAB is calling out to the “band of brothers”, asking that their ranks be swelled as they tread the Way together.
6. She ends by asking us to tread the Path by “becoming the Path Itself”. Upon this injunction each of us must ponder. To fulfill it, would change us from theoretical esotericists into the genuine item—the practical esotericist.
7. May we be inspired by our study of the DINA books, and may we move on—together—“out of the fire, into the cold and towards a newer tension”
ALICE A. BAILEY
To the next commentary