commentary by Michael D. Robbins
Stage II. The Chela in the Light.
This stage is definitely one in which the consciousness of the probationer is occupied with the overcoming of glamour and the curing of the distorted, myopic vision of the man who has been immersed in the life of matter or form. He is now attempting to see the new vision, to control the world of emotional reactions and to work in a new medium, that of Light.
1.The Chela in the Light is still a “probationer”—a probationary disciple.
2.The same can be said of a little chela, though the emphasis within this earlier stage is upon aspiration.
3.Still and all, the “true aspirant” has passed the first initiation, which is not necessarily the case for either the chela in the light or the little chela.
“All true aspirants have taken the first initiation.” (DINA I 716)
If, however, the stage of Accepted Discipleship does not usually occur until at least midway between the first and second initiations, it is necessary that some (or even most) chelas in the Light, will have passed the first degree, for accepted disciples are chelas in the Light before they become accepted disciples.
4.This second stage of discipleship is related to vision as is the number two. Glamor is symbolically and particularly an Atlantean phenomenon, and the Atlantean root race is the second of the major (i.e., self-conscious) root races.
5.The light shed upon the chela in the Light is the cure for the glamor in which he has habitually walked.
6.We can see how the signs Taurus and Sagittarius would be particularly relevant to this stage of discipleship, as would Libra (Venus-ruled) bringing a correct sense of proportion and thus curing distortion.
7.The task of the little chela is to work with maya, and the third ray and seventh—for re-ordering—are very important to that earliest of the Six Stages.
8.The chela in the Light must work with the sixth ray and the second (and to a degree, the fifth ray for the clarification of glamor).
9.If the chela in the Light works in a new medium (that of the “Light”) then the light in the head is an important consideration during this stage.
10.As well, the “Light of the Soul” will be making an increasing impact on his consciousness, but he has not yet (as has the accepted disciple) entered “into the light of the Angel”.
“it is only when the aspirant has reached the point where he ‘can enter into the light of the Angel,’ that the Master begins to take over his training.” (DINA I 716)
11.If maya, then, is the main focus of attention for the little chela, glamor is the corresponding difficulty for the chela in the Light. This, of course, does not mean that the little chela is glamor-free. It is imply that he must deal with maya before focussing intently on the ending of glamor (as will the chela in the Light).
The Masters do not work upon the astral plane. Certain schools of occultism teach that They do, but such is not the case. For Them (having overcome glamour and illusion) the astral plane is non-existent; it is but an illusory concept of the kama-manasic type of mind—the mind of the average aspirant. The chela is, therefore, at this stage guarded and guided by someone who is still subject to glamour, but is, at the same time, aware of the ephemeral nature of the astral plane.
12.That “the Masters do not work upon the astral plane” is an important statement.
13.Yet many contacts with so-called Masters occur precisely upon the astral plane. Really, such contacts are with the reflection of the Masters, and prove so delusive that many well-meaning sensitive people are ensnared in that delusion. Their faculty of discrimination is insufficiently developed.
14.It is the kama-manasic mind which, through faulty perception, seems to create the illusion of the astral plane.
15.For the Masters the astral plane is non-existent. They can of course witness what the average individual calls astral phenomena, but They do not see these phenomena as he does; They remain detached from such glamors and unswayed. They are not beguiles whereas the average individual is convinced of the reality of such phenomena.
16.Perhaps eighty to eighty five percent of humanity has the kama-manasic mind—the mind which cannot think we true objectivity, because feeling and emotion are still attached to thought.
17.The average aspirant (presumably one who is not yet an accepted disciple, but who is more the probationer) should not think that he is entirely free of the kama-manasic mind. This would not be the case until he has overcome glamor. He is, however, on his way.
18.We gather from what is said that the kama-manasic mind still exists after the first initiation is taken, because real mental objectivity occurs closer to the second initiation (even before true mental polarization is developed midway between the second and third).
19.The chela in the Light is supervised by a more advanced disciple. We remember that this supervision is largely from egoic levels, whereas the supervision for the little chela is upon the physical plane.
20.Even though the more advanced disciple is capable of supervising the chela in the Light from egoic levels, it does not mean that this disciple is entirely free from glamor. This tells us something about the stage of the more advanced disciple.
“The chela is, therefore, at this stage guarded and guided by someone who is still subject to glamour, but is, at the same time, aware of the ephemeral nature of the astral plane.”
21.When, after all, is one entirely free from glamor? Even between the second and third initiation there may be glamor (although illusion is the main problem of the disciple during that more advanced developmental interval).
22.Since the supervising disciple is aware of the ephemeral nature of the astral plane, it can be assumed that he is focussed at the second degree or beyond, for at the second initiation a large degree of astral mastery is achieved. Later references to the guarding, guiding disciple make it seem that he would be, more likely, an initiate of the third degree or beyond (thought not yet “adept”). There is some ambiguity on this point.
23.The system of safeguarding is to be noted. There is a benevolence throughout cosmos which ensures that greater ones are assigned to protect lesser ones. Unfortunately, there are also greater ones who, disregarding their obligation, prey upon lesser ones. This occurs when the love aspect is insufficiently developed.
This stage involves so many aspirants in the world today that (before I proceed with other matters) I would like to touch upon the nature of the work which the Masters are seeking to do with Their groups of disciples in this hour of world crisis. This is a matter of paramount importance to the world from the angle of the Masters Themselves. Never forget that in all our discussions and in all your effort to understand, I am endeavouring to decentralise you by giving you, as far as I can, the point of view of the Hierarchy, stepping it down until it can come within the range of comprehension of the average aspirant.
24.We note the use of the term “aspirants” in relation to the stage of Chela in the Light. Really, such aspirants are aspirants who are probationers, rather than aspirants who are strictly aspirants—if this distinction can be understood. Perhaps they are more conscious of passing through tests and are face their testing more cautiously and systematically. Chelas in the Light are disciples at an early stage of development.
25.The bulk of disciples (considering the term generically) are, thus, to be found in the Atlantean stage of discipleship—not the Atlantean stage of consciousness of average, mass man (the group which is the great majority in relation to the entirety of humanity).
26.The thought to have in mind is that, amongst the ranks of disciples, there are great numbers of chelas in the Light.
27.The Tibetan reminds us that He is working to decentralize our consciousness by giving us the point of view of the Hierarchy on these matters.
28.If He is speaking to us and also attempting to step the teaching “down until it can come within the range of comprehension of the average aspirant”, then we are considered by Him as average aspirants! And no doubt, the great majority of those who will read His words are chelas in the Light—not yet sure of their acceptance by a Master and into an Ashram.
As far as these aspirants are concerned, the one thing which the Masters are endeavouring to bring about is the stimulation of the flame of the spirit in them so that they may set the world on fire. The fires of judgment and of substance, of karma and its vehicle, matter, are raging in the world at this time. Fire must be countered by fire, as well you know, and to stop the raging inferno of fire which is today devastating the world, the fire of spirit must be opposed, distributed and effectively used by the disciples of the Masters. The task of Shamballa, in relation to the Hierarchy, is similar in nature but expresses itself upon a higher level. They dispense the ultimate fire of the Will. The fire which must, in the final analysis, be used by the disciples in the world is the fire of the will-to-love.
29.The Master is speaking of aspirants and the “flame of the spirit” in the same breath. This is unusual, for the flame of the spirit relates to the first aspect of divinity which is beyond the reach of most aspirants.
30.But we will notice that, as this paragraph proceeds, the Tibetan makes a subtle transition from speaking about aspirants to speaking about disciples, thus referencing the higher type of aspirant. There is a constant mixing of these terms and the reader must be alert to when it is happening.
31.When can the “flame of spirit” become active in the life of the aspirant/disciple? We might consider the second initiation and the period immediately preceding as that time, for the spirit (monad) is found upon the second subplane (or sixth) of the cosmic physical plane, and the second initiation is, of course, the second, and necessitates the application of the sixth ray—thus the numbers correlated. As well, the context between will and desire begins in earnest during the period preceding and leading up to the second initiation. Vulcan is in context with Mars.
32.As the Tibetan writes this instruction, fire by friction was blazing in the world unchecked. The three worlds were consumed by the fires of judgment and of karma—the fires of retribution.
33.The Master is calling for the descent and expression of a higher fire—ultimately the Solar Fire of the Solar Logos, related to the will-to-love.
34.The ancient adage holds—“fight fire with fire”. The raging inferno of lower fires must be countered by the “fire of spirit”. This of course is the highest fire. Solar fire in its lesser expression, has so far not been mentioned. What must be remembered is that the three fires with which we are familiar (fire by friction, solar fire and electric fire) are all part of the greater Solar Fire of the Solar Logos.
35.Of course, the average aspirant will not be able to directly wield of the fire of spirit. It will take an advanced disciple to do so, and, indeed, in speaking of the need for the wielding and expression of the fire of spirit, DK speaks of disciples and not of aspirants.
36.A number of fires are discussed in this paragraph.
The fires of judgment
The fires of karma
The fires of matter
The fire of spirit
The fire of Will
Thus far, solar fire (per se) is not mentioned specifically
The fire of the will-to-love.
37.It is Shamballa which dispenses “the ultimate fire of the Will”. Presumably this fire is even higher than the fire of spirit, which to a degree, pertains to the particular monad. “The ultimate fire of Will” is operative on at least a planetary level.
38.When thinking of the essential nature of fire, it is that which brings change by reducing to essence that which it touches. It brings about rapidly changes of state on various levels—depending upon the fire.
“Fire is the sumtotal of that which destroys form, produces complete purity in that which is not itself, generates the warmth which lies behind all growth, and is vitality itself.” (R&I 82)
39.Finally, a fire which may be seen as related to solar fire is mentioned: the fire of the will-to-love. It is this fire which must be used by disciples, and which the Master seeks to promote in the disciple’s life. The disciple (because he has some facility in the use of the will) will be more successful in the use of this fire than will the aspirant (who may use, instead, goodwill). One of the key distinctions between an aspirant and a true disciple is the degree and type of will which each may access.
40.The fire of the will-to-love would seem to be a mixture of the first and second aspects. If so, it can be considered representative of the fire of spirit (to a degree) and of solar fire which is, essentially, the fire of love.
41.If aspirants and most disciples could simply, and at will, love, there would be less need for the will-to-love, but they are not yet to that point of development. The will-to-love, of course, is a step along the way to the spontaneous expression of pure love.
This fire is not what you think it is. The will-to-love means the love of the greater Whole and the ability to do that which is needed for the good of the group in the right way and with the needed skill in action. It involves capacity for firm action where need arises, because the disciple has a long range vision and is not misled by the immediate perspective. He works and prepares for the future. It is, in other words, the loving intention to fire the entire world with the new idea of the "spirit of relationship," beginning with the disciple's own self, his family and immediate group. This is the will-to-fire. It would be well to reflect deeply on these ideas.
42.DK speaks in various ways in various references of the will-to-love. Usually, He considers it a step along the way to pure love. In this case, He is viewing it as a very high state.
43.The will-to-love does not concern small or petty loves. It necessitates “the love of the greater Whole” and a realization of what is good for that whole. Law and principle (related to the will aspect) are involved in the expression of the will-to-love. Rectitude and skill in action are required.
44.DK is emphasizing that the will-to-love does not lead to an unseemly ‘softness’, but rather to “firm action” because the long range perspective is seen. It is easy to be misled if one does not see the larger picture; values to not fall into their proper place unless the big picture is seen. Importantly, the development of the will is related to the capacity to see the big picture. Those who are intent on the development of the will must attempt to see and understand the Whole (at least a whole reasonably larger than their normal context).
45.DK gives a magnificent definition of the will-to-love: “the loving intention to fire the entire world with the new idea of the ‘spirit of relationship’.” We see how the first and second aspects of divinity combine in this definition. It is not merely intention, but loving intention. That which is to be fired is not just certain individuals or certain groups but, inclusively, “the entire world”. And, something new is involved—“the spirit of relationship”—which, according to the Tibetan, is a “new idea”. We note that it is the “spirit” of relationship, which means that Brotherhood (a state existing on monadic levels and, in essence, monadically derived) is involved.
46.DK is immensely practical about what the disciple must do under the impulse of the will-to-love, for the ‘firing’ for which he is responsible must begin with himself and then extend to his family and group. He cannot leap into an abstract concern for humanity without taking care of that which is closest to him.
47.From the perspective here presented, the will-to-love is, thus, the will-to-fire: the fire of love-wisdom enlivened by the fire of spirit.
48.This section gives, perhaps, the most potent and evocative idea of the meaning of the will-to-love.
49.For those who are attempting to understand and penetrate the spirit aspect, DK’s definition of the will-to-love should be most useful. Love is needed when approaching the spirit, and the “loving intention” characteristic of the will-to-love unites the second and first rays.
To bring about and render effective this fiery stimulation, the disciple must apply the fire to himself and in the ensuing blaze see himself as he truly is. The fire of the material aspect (the fire of the personality) is still too prevalent and too powerful in the lives of aspirants. It renders them harmful. I would remind you that the fire of the mental plane (that is, of the mind) is the reflection (and the distorted reflection) of the fire of spirit. Some disciples use only the fire of the mind; in their highest and best moments, they attempt to use the fire of love to offset the fires of the critical mind but at the best it is no spontaneous flow but a laborious effort to be nice, to refrain (through drastic disciplining of themselves) from uttering the things which their critical minds say or to act upon the opinions they may have formed through the use of the fire of mind. This fire is always directed at a brother and the effort to refrain from [page 721] the use of this fire inevitably creates a gap or barrier.
50.DK emphasizes the practicality of His theme. The fiery stimulation is to be applied by each disciple to himself. Note, He is here talking of disciples and not, per se, of aspirants, though, I am sure, He would encourage aspirants as well to think in terms of the will-to-love.
51.We note that in the first sentence of the section above DK spoke of disciples. In the second sentence (probably not accidentally), He speaks of aspirants. True disciples are able to apply the fiery stimulation of the will-to-love to themselves and, in doing so, see themselves as they really are (for love both purifies and reveals, and reduces all to essence). Aspirants, however, are characterized by an excessive burning of the “fire of personality”. We come to understand that in the true disciple the personality is fading in importance; this is not the case in the life of an aspirant.
52.Another distinction appears by implication: aspirants are harmful because the fire of personality is burning too fiercely in them; the true disciple is not harmful, and presumably the fire of personality is much abated.
53.DK seems to suggest that the distorted fire of spirit is behind the critical minds of many aspirants. There is a link between spirit and mind; love, however, may be missing.
54.We have noticed it to be true, have we not (and especially in the field of academic esotericism) that a number of disciples “use only the fire of mind”. Something tells them they can and should do better and so, “in their highest and best moments” they attempt to use the fire of love. Here DK comments on the laborious effort required; such disciples are far from spontaneously loving. They simply suppress their critical minds in the effort to “be nice”. Not a very flattering picture, but a true one.
55.We see that the fire of mind, untempered by love, can be quite dangerous. Under the influence of this fire, it seems to require “drastic disciplining” even to “be nice”. This tells us something about the potent virulence of the critical mind. Obviously, we are dealing with the mental hydra—the three hydra “head” hardest to redeem (pride separativeness and cruelty). The problem here discussed is principally between the third and second rays—the third ray representing the mind and the second, love.
56.The fire of mind is most often directed at a brother. Thus, it is a weapon. The disciple, increasingly aware of his undesirable tendencies, may seek to tame and restrain the mind, but the very effort to do so creates a gap between him and the brother he otherwise would have criticized. This gap would not be present were he able to love spontaneously.
57.DK seems to be suggesting that if the fiery stimulation of the will-to-love were applied by the disciple to himself, the problem of the transformation of the critical mind would be solved.
Among the majority of aspirants, there is no true love in action but only much personality effort to be non-critical. Their concentration is upon the recognised and basic need to be non-critical because it is right so to be, and there is a reward for those who achieve it, but the concentration is not based upon the effects upon others when the fire of the mind is let loose with its destroying, burning and damaging effects.
58.DK is back to the word “aspirants”. We should note how often He switches from the word “aspirant” to “disciple” and back again. He does this also (in the astrological context) with the terms “sign” and “constellation” requiring that the reader read very carefully to catch the hidden implication (if there is one)—and not simply an effort to blind the subject.
59.He is nothing if not realistic about the state of the usual aspirant—relatively unloving. DK finds “no true love in action” in the case of the majority of aspirants; only the pale shadow of love identified as “much personality effort to be non-critical”. These two are clearly not the same. The second is a lifeless shadow of the first.
60.DK points to the essentially selfish motive which animates the disciple who tries to be non-critical because “it is right so to be” and because “there is a reward for those who achieve it”. The thought of such an aspirant is clearly on the little self and not upon harm caused should the fire of mind be let loose upon others. The mind involved is not compassionate mind. Selfishness has not been defeated.
61.The eyes have not been taken off the little personal self; there is still too much self-concern and self-preoccupation. The welfare of others is, unfortunately, incidental to the welfare of oneself.
62.Why do the fires of mind have destroying, burning and damaging effects? Simply because they are not conditioned or wielded by the energy of love. These fires are separative and separate rather than unite. The energy of the “Divine Separator” (the Third Ray Lord) is useful at a certain stage of evolution, but must be transcended or its expression elevated so that it serves the great Ray of Love-Wisdom.
The Masters are, therefore, anxious to "burn up the disciple in the fire of the will-to-love so that he is set free and the barriers to the inflow of the avataric force may be dissolved." Why is this? Because it is the disciples in the world and not the mass of men who today hinder the Coming of the Avatar and render useless His intention. He dare not come until the disciples and aspirants in the world bring about the needed changes in themselves, for the reason that there would not be "enough of the will-to-love with the fiery essence."
63.The Masters have a rather dramatic goal with respect to the selfish aspirant or disciple. The seek to “burn up the disciple in the fire of the will-to-love so that he is set free and the barriers to the inflow of the avataric forces may be dissolved”.
64.If the disciple is consumed in this fire, barriers to right relationship will be dissolved. He will be effectively animated by the “spirit of relationship”.
65.We can see how important it is to understand the will-to-love and to apply it to ourselves. If we fail to do so, we shall remain an obstacle to the coming of the Christ.
66.What is the “avataric force” here discussed? Probably the best and most practical answer is the “Christ-force”. Christ is the coming Avatar for the Aquarian Age (whether or not He will be recognized by those who so loudly proclaim his name).
67.We come to understand that it is the “disciples of the world” who are hindering the coming the Avatar, the Christ. In fact, they are powerful enough to render His intention to reappear useless! This is a stern judgment and should cause all of us who call ourselves disciples to pause and reflect.
68.Apparently it is our relationships with each other and with other groups, which are not animated by that “new idea”, the “spirit of relationship”.
69.Something extremely potent is said of the Christ: that He “dare not come” until the disciples and aspirants (note that both are included) bring about the needed changes in themselves. So, it would appear that we (the aspirants and disciples of the world) are the prime cause of the delay in the Christ’s Reappearance. The responsibility then falls immediately to us: let us improve our relationships with each other, with other groups (i.e., groups other than our own) and with humanity. Then there is a chance that we may be useful to the Christ and not well-meaning but ignorant obstacles as now we are.
70.The reason He dares not come is because “there would not be ‘enough of the will-to-love with the fiery essence’.”
71.This may seem a rather abstruse point, but the meaning is clear. Unless disciples and aspirants in the world are animated by the will-to-love (that “loving intention to fire the entire world with the new idea of the ‘spirit of relationship’”, the Christ cannot return. The ensuing separativeness stimulated by His presence would be most destructive, for the energy of a great Member of Hierarchy can cause cleavages among the unprepared (and even among those who think they are prepared, but are not). Not enough love would be present within His representatives to lovingly modulate His tremendous energy so that its impact would bring union rather than division. We are reminded of His statement:
I come to bring not peace but the sword”. The coming of the “sword” of discrimination is inevitable; the great and inevitable divisions caused by His presence must be offset by the spread of love amongst human beings. When even disciples cannot manage to love each other, what hope is there for average humanity!
72.We may all ponder on what our lives would be like if we were animated by a sufficiency of the “will to love with the fiery essence”. The “fiery essence” would seem to be the essential quality of our planet and solar system—the fire of Love-Wisdom. That second ray fire is supreme over its three subdivisions—fire by friction, solar fire and electric fire. The “fiery essence” reveals that the God of our solar system is Love.
73.Christ’s presence will be potent in the extreme. The fires of matter, karma and judgment will be stimulated in reaction to the fire of love He carries, or rather, is. The disciples must be in a position to help fight fire with fire. Thus, the will-to-love must be awakened in them so they can assist in countering this expected reaction.
74.All during this discussion we are to be reminded that we are discussing that stage of the Six Stages of Discipleship called “Chela in the Light”.
Where that will is present two things can take place:
1. There can be the needed stepping-down of the inflowing energy which the Avatar would bring with Him so that it can be rendered effective in humanity.
75.We see why we must be animated by the will-to-love. This animation has very practical purposes.
76.Christ, the Avatar (in this case) is bringing with Him the energies of the Avatar of Synthesis, of the Spirit of Peace and of the Buddha. These are, for our purposes, supremely high energies and must be stepped-down for the use of humanity.
77.In addition to these three supreme energies flowing through the Christ, there will be His own energies which are, to say the least, potent and remarkable.
78.Thus the will-to-love is in the nature of an energy-transformer, and without its potent representation in the members of Christ’s Household, the Reappearance of the Christ and the Externalization of the Hierarchy cannot be as effective as otherwise they would. In fact, a premature Reappearance would be amazingly destructive.
2. The Avatar and Those Who are working with Him and under His influence can be provided with a group which can:
79.The Avatar is, of course, the Christ and those Who are working with Him are not only the three great surrounding and protective Entities mentioned immediately above, but the entire Spiritual Hierarchy and especially those Who are planning to externalize with Him.
a. Respond intelligently to that influence, recognising it and absorbing it.
b. Distribute the inflowing energy.
80.There must be groups in the world which can recognize the Avataric energy, respond intelligently to it and absorb it so that they can distribute it radiantly (albeit in a somewhat reduced manner).
81.We might think that recognition of the avataric energy would be easy. However, anyone who has become imbued with the Christ energy understands how essentially unusual and elusive it is.
82.If we realize that Shamballic energies (and energies even higher—such as those the Avatar of Synthesis) will be augmenting the energy of the Christ, we can see that recognition and absorption do not take place as a matter of course.
c. Interpret to humanity the new impelling forces which are occupied with the precipitation of the new vision, the new world order and the New Age ideals.
83.Something remarkable is on its way to humanity. Even those religious people who speak much of Jesus-Christ will find it startling and far different from what they may have expected.
84.Intelligent, empathic interpreters will be needed so that great numbers of human beings can grasp what is happening and still maintain their balance.
85.This “Coming” has been called the advent of the ‘Wave of Fiery Love’.
There will then be very many chelas in the Light and on the other graded steps of discipleship.
86.DK seems to know when the Avatar will make His appearance.
87.Or, perhaps He is saying that whenever that appearance occurs, there will be many “chelas in the Light”.
88.It appears, from this statement, that there will also be many other kinds of disciples available for work on all the “other graded steps of discipleship”.
89.Chelas in the Light will be especially necessary are they are quite close to average humanity and will be able to throw the light of understanding upon the unusual developments which the Advent will bring.
The vision which many have of the influence and work of the Avatar is that of a Great Appearance which will end all strife, inaugurate the new era of peace and goodwill, soothe the hearts of the people and lead mankind into realms of beauty and of happiness. He will be the consummation of the [page 722] wishful thinking of countless minds down the ages. He will be the solace of distressed humanity. He will sweetly love and quietly deal with His Own people and will sweep the evil doer out of the Earth and prevent him from again molesting the peace of the world.
90.DK expresses for us in this paragraph the wishful thinking of millions. In some ways, it is an appealing picture, but we sense that it has very little to do with reality. It is an illusion which will have to be broken. Probably, many people, expecting the kinds of developments noted above, will fail to recognize the Avatar when He comes. Their false expectations will blind them.
I tell you that such a picture does not enter into the vision of reality at all. It is based on theological interpretations and human selfishness; it is founded on the misery of mankind and on the failure of disciples and aspirants everywhere to grasp the true nature of love and the real vision of the hierarchical Plan.
91.DK states bluntly, that such a vision is no vision of reality.
92.That vision has been created by theology and by “human selfishness”. Indeed, it is very self-centered and self-gratifying. It fails to embrace the larger picture and the place of humanity within that picture. It is simply a vision of that which brings relief—and revenge!
93.The falsity of vision is not the fault of theology and selfishness alone, but of the blindness of aspirants and disciples. They do not know the real nature of love, and not seeing the “real vision of the hierarchical Plan” they have been unable to convey it to humanity, thus altering naïve expectation.
It is the Fire of Love which He will bring; it is the message of the purificatory fire which He will sound; He will not teach anent the waters of purification, as has hitherto been the symbolic imparted truth; He will impart the fire which burns and destroys all barriers in man's nature, all separating walls between individuals, between groups and between nations. Are you prepared as individuals, as disciples and aspirants to submit yourselves to this fire?
94.As DK discussed the true Christ and the energy which He will actually bring (the Fire of Love) His words turn dramatic.
95.The process will not be sweet and benign, but fiery and challenging. He, the Christ, will bring fire rather than water, and the first thing to be destroyed will be all the separative barriers which exist within man and between individuals, groups and nations.
96.People are much sheltered and comforted by their separatisms. It will be a very great challenge for millions when these separatisms are destroyed. Once barriers are destroyed, an entirely heightened power to respond will be required, and many may feel overwhelmed when bereft of dearly held (though false) certainties.
97.Not only the rank and file of human beings will be challenged, but all aspirants and disciples as well. The energy of the Christ is surely the most challenging energy to which we can, at this time, be exposed.
98.That is why Master DK, with deliberation asks us if we are prepared to submit ourselves to this fire. It would seem that the usual personality would cringe before it—so thorough and all-exacting will it be.
99.We can see why the ordinary religious person has arranged for himself a much more comfortable vision of Christ’s Second Coming. Such individuals would be psychologically terrified by the true prospects.
When a man becomes a chela in the Light, certain developments take place which enable him to see the vision more clearly and to know what he must do, for the Light ever reveals. These are:
100.To enter the stage of Chela in the Light signals a new engagement with the Light. Again, we find the energies of Taurus (the Mother of Illumination) and Sagittarius (the “Seeker”) inferred.
101.There will be a clearer vision both of microcosmic and macrocosmic actualities. The disciple will come to see himself as he really is, and the world as well. This revelation will be initially discomfiting.
102.Master DK catalogues the developments which will occur for the chela in the light.
1. The aspirant makes a transition in consciousness from the astral plane to the mental and, in effecting this, the senior helping chela gives definite aid and guidance.
103.We can gather that the stage of Little Chelaship has a close relation to the emotional plane, and certainly to the physical. The new chela in the Light is being helped to move from the emotional plane to the mental, but the transition will not be immediate.
104.We remember that the “senior helping chela” (though still subject to glamor and illusion) is helping from egoic levels (whereon he has, presumably, developed the ability to assist). The senior helper may be known personally to the chela in the Light whom he is helping, but the help, in most instances, probably comes anonymously.
105.In point one, the term “aspirant” is again used, suggesting that when thinking of those involved in the stage of Little Chelaship (the stage preceding Chela in the Light—when mental focus is enhanced) the term “aspirant” is an appropriate description of their nature. The term “aspirant” is also appropriate to chelas in the Light, but, increasingly as they progress, they are becoming disciples.
106.When I think of the best way to categorize those found in the earlier phases of the Six Stages of Discipleship (and though aware of the many exceptions to the rule), I would say that the term aspirant can reasonably and meaningfully be applied to the little chela, probationer or probationary disciple to the chela in the Light and disciple to the accepted disciple. There are all kinds of overlaps in this set up, and no hard or fast categorization is possible. DK purposefully ensures that we do not form rigid categorizations of mind, as they would lead to separatism and judgmentalism.
107.In any case, during the phase of Chela in the Light, there is a definite movement from preoccupation with the astral plane to a greater understanding of the astral plane through increased mental activity. This fits well with the idea that the Chela in the Light is moving through the Atlantean phase of discipleship and must learn to tackle and subdue glamor.
2. The aspirant learns to distinguish, eventually infallibly, between the pairs of opposites.
108.This task is part of the curriculum which prepares for the second initiation. We can understand how the energies of Libra and Gemini would be useful.
109.The suggestion is that the first attempts to distinguish between these pairs of opposites are not infallible. Only later is there certainty.
110.The main pair of opposites which comes to the chela’s attention consists of soul and personality, of the solar and lunar lives. It takes a long time before the student of spirituality can readily distinguish between that which is of the soul and that which pertains to the more customary, personal self. It is amazing how many mistakes can be made.
3. The aspirant becomes aware of glamour as something from which he must eventually free himself and aid in freeing the world.
111.The power of glamor persists because glamor remains undetected. Those subject to glamor think of it as reality, as the ‘way things really are’.
112.It is only as the aspirant begins to suspect that there may be something amiss in relation to his habitual emotional (and thought-feeling) reactions, that some objectivity on the world of glamor can enter the consciousness.
113.It takes such a long time to realize that glamor even exists! Once it is detected and seen for what it is, something can be done about it.
114.The implication is also clear that unless the aspirant can free himself from glamor, he simply remains part of the problem and will be ineffective in helping with the deglamorization of the wider sphere (the greater consciousness of humanity).
These three stages have been dealt with in a Book of Rules for disciples on the probationary path. The rule can be roughly translated into modern English as follows:
115.DK has at His access an amazing ‘library’. One day we shall know the origin of these books and manuals which He so often quotes.
116.We do see this—that the “way through” always exists, and that great souls have shared their experiences of the Path in written form for the guidance of those who would follow them. Bewildered man is never left entirely to his own devices; help is always near.
"The one upon the Way leaps forward, leaving the world of fluid life. He makes the great transition and leaves the watery way behind. He walks upon the water and is [page 723] not submerged therein. A chela with a light leads him by the hand from light into a greater Light.
117.From what has been said above, we can see that this stanza from the Old Commentary is discussing the life of the Chela in the Light.
118.The “leap” made from the “world of fluid life” (the astral plane) is performed on the wings of aspiration. There is not yet enough mentality for a clear, cold decision.
119.That “leap” is here called the “great transition”. Perhaps we should pause to consider why a movement of consciousness from the astral to the mental plane should be called “the great transition”. It does represent movement from irrationality to rationality.
120.Christ walked upon the water not just to demonstrate a miracle, but to empower His students to do likewise. He who can walk upon the water has placed the astral plane “under foot”. This is a symbol of mastery.
121.The “chela with a light” mentioned above is the senior guiding disciple. That “light” is the light of a greater understanding than will be possible for the one who has just entered the phase of Chela in the Light. The “greater Light” is, at this stage, the light of the soul, with which the guiding chela is very familiar, and the guided chela in the Light far less so.
122.The new chela in the Light does not yet see, and thus must be led by the hand. The guiding chela must utilize the sense of touch to guide the aspirant in his charge, for the sense of touch precedes the sense of sight. Simply to indicate the way visually is not enough.
"This is a Transition upon the lesser way, preparing for a higher.
123.The implication here is that one must leave the “watery way” behind if there is to be any hope of treading a higher way leading to the soul and its life upon the higher mental plane.
"The one upon the Way becomes aware of this and that. The poles appear. The two attract his daily life, first one and then the other; betwixt the two he moves. A transformation must be wrought; the two become as one. A step towards unity takes place. Between the two he forward steps. A chela in the Light throws light on either side and thus the little one can walk.
124.Here we are discussing the second achievement of the chela in the Light—learning to distinguish between the pairs of opposites (“this and that”).
125.The appearance of the “poles” means that the distinction between high and low, between good and evil, between light and dark, etc., becomes meaningful.
126.We can see that the aspirant or probationer is torn between the pairs of opposites—attracted now to one and, then, to the other. The life is unsettled. He is the “wretched aspirant” until a greater degree of mental balance supervenes.
127.He must learn to walk between the pairs; he must recognize a middle way; he must recognize that which is neither of the pairs of opposites but includes them both.
128.He no longer runs to extremes, and begins to understand that in the state of unity, the opposites meet.
129.The guiding chela in the Light (one who has achieved what this second stage of discipleship is to reveal, and probably quite a bit more) illuminates the nature of the opposites, and the danger of choosing only one or the other. Thus, the guiding chela facilitates for the new chela in the Light the ability to step between the two.
130.The new chela in the Light is a “little one”. Sometimes initiates of the first degree are called “Babes in Christ”. Those in the next degree are called “Little Children”. The term “little one”, as used here, seems to suggest a relationship to “Little Chelaship”. The one being guided is just emerging from that stage and is new to the stage of Chela in the Light.
"This is a Transformation upon the dual way, leading into the Way.
131.In the previous Old Commentary stanza, we had the term “Transition”, a term applying to the movement from the “watery way” to the higher life of the mind. “Transition” can be related to the term “Transmutation”, which usually precedes the stage “Transformation”.
132.In the second stanza, we find the term “Transformation”, a term applying closely to the emotional sphere.
133.The struggle with the pairs of opposites is fought mostly upon the emotional plane (though of course the mind becomes strongly involved eventually). We remember that the stage of Chela in the Light is the Atlantean stage of discipleship. The Atlantean Civilization was, we are told, largely emotional.
134.The struggle with the opposites cannot be resolved upon the plane of emotion. Some mental perspective must be added. One must rise above the battle ground.
135.The two (the opposites) are resolved into one with the help of increasing mental poise. The “dual way” becomes the “Way” (on which the necessity for the opposites is understood, and on which these opposites are reconciled into a unity).
136.In the stage of Chela in the Light, the probationary disciple learns the meaning of balance (Libra) and can tread the Way with less disturbance and distress. Steadiness and stability begin to characterize his tread.
"The one upon the Way gazes around and sees life as through a haze. The fogs and mists of glamour rest upon the valleys and the hills of life and these he must dispel. He must transmute them through the burning rays of radiant light. A chela in the light directs the burning, fiery light which dissipates the enervating fog.
137.This is the third stanza of this selection from the Old Commentary. Now that the terrible fluctuations have subsided, the “one upon the Way” can begin to see. He sees that fogs and mists prevent his clear perception. Heretofore, he has not noticed the fogs and mists. Now he does.
138.The more experienced chela in the Light (the guiding disciple) directs the process by which the fogs and mists of glamor are burned away (i.e., transmuted), just as earlier he (the supervising one) led the new (and quite blind) chela in the Light by the hand.
139.We note in this stanza the use of the word “transmute”. Much psychological energy is tied up in these fogs and mists. It must be released for better use through the process of transmutation, which is, essentially, a process by means of which the quality of energy is unbound from previous patterns and elevated.
140.Perhaps, we are talking about a phase of psychological growth and, even, psychological therapy, undertaken for purposes of achieving greater psychological freedom and health. We are discussing a process of “clearing” leading to clearer and truer perception. Many of us are familiar with such processes, so popular during the past half century in psychological circles.
141.We are learning that that a chela in the Light must learn to see the Light. The process of dissipating glamor is necessary if this is to occur.
142.We note, as well, that the “fog” of glamor is an “enervating fog”. This is an important concept. What is said is that glamor robs us of energy. Glamor is vampiristic, draining off energy which should be used for good purposes. Glamor is devitalizing. With this fact we probably have some experience.
"This is the Transmutation. These fires release the hidden light and blend it with the greater."
143.The term “Transmutation” sums up this third phase described in the Old Commentary. Usually the sequence is Transmutation-Transformation-Transfiguration. Here, Transformation precedes Transmutation.
144.We learn that glamor has captured the light. It is hidden and rendered ineffective.
145.The transmuting fires “release the hidden light”, and this release empowers the probationary disciple. That light, once released, finds its source—the “Light of the Soul”.
146.The chela in the Light finds the greater Light of the Soul and his life is increasingly illumined by that Light.
147.He is revealed to himself, and, as well, an increasing measure of the Divine Plan is revealed.
It is, therefore, under the guidance of a chela who is far more advanced than the chela in the Light (though not yet adept) that the first lessons in these three processes are learned. Whilst this is going on, the aspirant remains unaware of the Master's interest in him. The Master is receiving regular reports (based on certain charts) from the senior disciple who has the neophyte in charge. It is in this way that many hierarchical relationships are established. When they are once established—through work in the Ashram of a Master and not focussed upon the physical plane—they are persistent and constitute one of the factors which produce:
148.We are speaking of three processes prominent in the life of a chela in the Light:
Moving from the astral plane to the mental
Recognizing and understanding the pairs of opposites
Recognizing and dealing with glamor
149.Only the “first lessons” in relation to these three processes are learned under the guidance of the guiding chela. There are apparently many other and higher lessons which must be mastered later.
150.We notice an apparent discrepancy. How advanced is the lighted chela who guides the chela in the Light? Earlier, the text said that such a guiding chela was still subject to glamor, but more advanced than the chela to be guided. Here, however, the text tells us that the guiding chela is “far more advanced that the chela in the Light”.
Compare what is said in the Tibetan’s paragraph immediately above with:
“The chela is, therefore, at this stage guarded and guided by someone who is still subject to glamour, but is, at the same time, aware of the ephemeral nature of the astral plane.” (DINA I 719)
This does not sound like a chela who is “far more advanced than the chela in the Light”.
151.Probably, for every chela in the Light, there are a number of guiding chelas with different spheres of responsibility. The chela guiding from egoic levels is probably the most advanced, and in fact, would be, it seems, “far more advanced”. Regardless of how many other guides there may be, the chela guiding from egoic levels is the principal guide.
152.An “Adept” is an initiate of the fifth degree; sometimes the term may apply to initiates of the fourth degree. The suggestion here is that the chela in the Light may be guided by an initiate who is not yet “adept”—i.e., who is not yet a fourth degree initiate and certainly not a Master. The guiding chela, therefore, could be an initiate of the third degree, who would certainly be familiar with the Light, and would be capable of work from egoic levels, and capable, as well, of reporting to the Master on the process of the chela under supervision.
153.The Master is interested in the one who has reached the stage of Chela in the Light, but the chela in the Light does not realize this. A senior disciple reports to the Master concerning the process of the chela who has entered this stage. This suggests that the reporting chela must be reasonably advanced and have access to the Master in order to make such reports. This would suggest that the true inner guiding chela of a chela in the Light is at least a “Chela within the Aura” (one who has the right to set up an interview with the Master).
154.We note that the chela in the Light in relation to whom reports are being made is considered a “neophyte”. Could a little chela be considered a neophyte? Probably there is not enough serious work and application to warrant the application of this term.
155.DK is speaking of the establishment of inner relationship—established within the Ashram and not upon the physical plane. A chela in the Light may be associated with a guiding disciple or disciples upon the outer plane, but the inner guiding disciple, it seems, may not be known or recognized by the chela in the Light under his guidance. That guiding disciple may not even be in incarnation—so it would seem.
156.Important hierarchical relationships are formed by means of this process of supervision. Probably many of us have been under supervision. Do we know our supervisors? Whether or not we do at this time, we will later.
1. Hierarchical integrity.
2. Eventual close relationship between humanity and the Hierarchy.
157.Integrous relationships between members of the Ashram and those who are closer to humanity are formed through these supervisory relationships. Thus, the integrity of the whole is strengthened. Firm bonds unite the outer chela to the inner chela and thus to the Ashram.
158.What occurs in relation to an Ashram will one day occur on a much larger scale, and thus there will come to exist a firmly integrated stated between Hierarchy and humanity (under the supervision of Hierarchy).
At this time, there is a great increase in the number of people who are being thus related and the senior disciples of all the Masters Who take chelas are exceedingly busy with the training [page 724] of aspirants, as well as with the work entailed by the gravity of the world crisis. The aspirants thus trained are in reality the nucleus of the future world servers, and are consequently of real importance. The task of those thus engaged falls into three categories; as the senior disciples and initiates are thus occupied, they are themselves learning much. These three categories of work are:
159.So, junior disciples are being related to senior disciples in large numbers; the relating is partially subtle but also is occurring upon the physical plane noticeably.
160.We should note that not all Masters take chelas; however, the senior disciples of those who do take chelas are extremely busy training aspirants, thus lightening the load of their Masters.
161.The world crisis of which the Tibetan speaks is far from over; the world situation at this time (2004) is grave indeed, and the senior disciples of the Masters are burdened in meeting human need—though their burden is small compared to that of the Masters.
162.Let us pause to realize that the training of aspirants is an important matter; the ranks of the world servers must be dramatically increased, and by means of trained aspirants, the ranks swell.
163.The training falls to the hands of senior disciples and initiates. A disciple who has passed the second degree but has not yet achieved the third is considered a “senior disciple”. The term “initiate” applies most often to those who have passed the third degree.
164.Three categories of work are now described. These are types of work which the guiding disciple (who facilitates the world of the chela in the Light) must undertake.
1. The establishing of magnetic influence.
2. The setting-up of telepathic rapport.
3. The making of basic karmic readjustments.
165.With these three categories of work, three rays are suggested. The establishing of magnetic influence is related to the second ray. The setting-up of telepathic rapport, to the first. The making of basic karmic readjustments to the third.
166.We should remember that the guiding disciple works in large measure from egoic levels and thus the qualities of the three subplanes of the higher mental plane and the three siddhis associated with those subplanes will be of importance.
167.Interestingly, those disciples who found their way into the Tibetans Group of Telepathic Servers (Group IX.1) generally had much of the first ray in their equipment. The siddhi found upon the first subplane of the higher mental plane is called “spiritual telepathy”.
168.Magnetism is the quality demonstrated on the second subplane of the higher mental plane, and the siddhi there found is “response to group vibration”, which, of course, can only occur within the magnetism of the soul.
169.Following this design, we would correlate “spiritual discernment”, the third siddhi demonstrated on the higher mental plane (and related to the third ray and the third subplane) with karma and karmic readjustments—remembering that the web of karma has everything to do with the third ray, and especially with the sign Libra, transmitting the third ray.
The first task which confronts disciples is to arrive at an understanding of the nature of the aspirants for whom they have made themselves responsible and also to establish a zone or path of influence, so that they can be definitely useful and able to communicate with the aspirant. It might be pointed out that, in the past, such relationships were between soul and soul, and consequently required a long period of "bringing through" to adequate recognition in the mind and brain of the aspirant. Today, this method still persists in the majority of cases but many of these helping disciples are experimenting (under direction of their Master) in working directly with the aspirant upon the physical plane, thus involving personality as well as soul relation. This constitutes a far more difficult relationship but is a part of the new process of externalising the hierarchical effort of which all outer Ashrams (which are now slowly forming) are a part. By means of this, the chela in the Light is trained to recognise members of the Hierarchy by first becoming aware of disciples more advanced than himself and by learning to give due weight to their words and suggestions. You can see, therefore, how a great effort is being made to bring the two centres—Humanity and the Hierarchy—into a much closer rapport and relationship, both objectively and subjectively.
170.Whether we are discussing the task set before an advanced disciple on the inner planes (as he supervises a lesser aspirant/disciple from egoic levels) or, perhaps, the task before a more advanced disciple on the outer plane as he seeks to help his junior brother (also on the outer plane). No outer disciple can be the kind of guide necessitated by the chela in the Light unless that outer disciple also has inner facility upon egoic levels and can report, at will, to the Master.
171.The advice offered in this section is sound.
172.The very first requirement is to understand the nature of the aspirants one seeks to assist. The tools of astrology and rayology are very useful for this purpose, but nothing can replace a keen intuition which reveals the inner nature of another individual—whether as soul or personality.
173.It is interesting to consider the “zone or path of influence” by which the higher disciple can reach the chela in the Light who is under his supervision. This can be done occultly through the power of thought and imagination, or it may be a more external matter, if also occurring on the physical plane. The kind of zone or path here discussed seems to be an interior matter.
174.It is important to understand the procedure used in the past as a guiding interior disciple attempted to influence a chela in the Light; the method was a strictly subjective one—a communication from soul to soul. One can understand that the chela in the Light receiving ‘soul guidance’ would often be unaware of this method and its results—far more unaware, generally, than a little chela would be of his guiding disciple on the physical plane.
175.DK stresses that this former method of communication was not rapid, requiring much time to “bring through” impression because of the condition of the mind and brain of the guided aspirant. (Again, note that the chela in the Light is called an “aspirant”).
176.The Master, it appears, is the supervisor of this process between guiding chela and the guided chela in the Light. The soul-to-soul method is still used, but new methods are under way as part of the process of externalizing the Hierarchy. These methods involve working directly with the personality of the aspirant, from inner levels. The methods are part of externalizing the inner Ashrams through the formation of outer groups which represent the Ashrams. We can understand that Master DK worked in this way, influencing the personalities of quite a number of chelas, some of whom were initially chelas in the Light, but later became accepted disciples.
177.Master DK tells us that it is a far more difficult task to work in this way (from inner to outer, rather than from inner to inner); the personality has its inertia, its resistances, its opacity.
178.When an advanced disciple is able to “get through” to an aspirant in the stage of chela in the Light, it makes it possible for that chela to begin to recognize members of the Hierarchy, by first recognizing the guiding disciple (inwardly or outwardly where applicable). One recognition leads to another.
179.In all of this discussion, Master DK is not telling us whether such guiding disciples work only from interior levels or whether they may work upon both levels simultaneously.
180.We have been informed of one of the principal methods by which the Hierarchy is seeking to move closer to humanity. Their first efforts are with responsive aspirants and disciples.
181.The point to be grasped is that this attempted union is proceeding both subjectively and objectively, and in the case of some aspirants and disciples through both methods simultaneously. The methods used are to be understood as part of the process of the Externalization of the Hierarchy.
All who have, in this life, transitted from the stage of chela in the Light to that of accepted disciple have established two recognitions:
182.DK discusses now the transit or transition from the stage of chela in the Light to accepted disciple.
183.He points out two established recognitions which can be considered identifying characteristics of those who have made the transition.
1. A recognition of the senior disciple whom they have discovered "in the Light."
184.This means that, as one becomes an accepted disciple, there will be a recognition of the senior guiding disciple who has been discovered “in the Light”.
185.For those who may wonder whether they have become accepted disciples, this might be considered one of the criteria, though there are other criteria even more important.
2. A recognition of the Master. This whole question of recognising the Master will be dealt with by me later.
186.Recognition of the senior guiding disciple (whether subjective or both subjective and objective), should lead to recognition of the Master Whom that guiding disciple represents.
187.There are many people who, while studying various kinds of hierarchical teachings, may not really know who is their Master.
188.How will this recognition come? Probably it is a matter of ‘vibrational certitude’. Such recognition would, therefore, not be easy to discuss in objective terms.
189.We may question ourselves in this regard: are either one of these recognitions ours? And if we think so, why do we think so?
190.These two recognitions may come under the heading of “magnetic influence” and relate to ashramic affiliation.
The consequent developing process of telepathic interplay is one which should be most carefully studied. All groups of disciples, working in or out of an Ashram, should be in close telepathic rapport and thus provide a training ground for the development of this type of sensitivity. The first thing that has to be established in a group of disciples is love and trust, for without that there can be no true transference of thought. Where love and trust do not exist, they must be definitely and consciously developed.
191.The next category of work (of the three) concerns telepathic interplay.
192.This paragraph is most important. Not only does it emphasize the necessity of telepathic rapport between groups of disciples both in and out of an Ashram, but it reveals the method which will ensure the development of telepathic sensitivity.
193.That method is very simple: the establishment of love and trust between group members. To do so, we are to think outward in love towards our fellow disciples, and make this a daily exercise.
194.We do not have an option when it comes to the development of love and trust. We simply must develop these qualities.
195.I would suggest that love may be developed through the process of appreciation—noting the good qualities, the soul qualities in our fellow disciples, appreciating those qualities, and blessing our brother or sister.
196.Trust is facilitated by realizing that all individuals as souls mean well towards each other. If one can see his brother or sister as a soul, the well-meaning intention will be emphasized, and there will be no separative closing off in fear or distrust.
197.All these are exercises of the heart which, obviously, must be activated if there is to be any hope of establishing the qualities of love and trust in group interplay. We must face our brother or sister with our heart open. This must be practiced.
A second rule governs this telepathic relationship and this is that all "crises of criticism" must be most carefully avoided by all disciples if they want to bring about the needed rhythm. In any group of disciples, there are those who do not put "first things first"; they put many things and people before their duty and spiritual responsibilities; this necessarily gives their fellow disciples just grounds (apparently just) for criticism. There are times when criticism is unquestionably a recognition of fact. This means that a criticising disciple has reached the point where his judgment is so based on love that it produces no personality effect in his own life or that of his fellow disciple. It is simply a loving recognition of limitation and only becomes wrong when these undoubted facts are used to arouse criticism in the unqualified and provide points for discussion. The disciple or aspirant who has glaring faults and who fails to make the required changes himself creates a barrier which he must in time destroy by removing all causes for criticism. These barriers prevent free telepathic communication.
198.We are speaking of the methods of developing telepathic rapport between groups and group members. Love and trust are two necessities.
199.The second necessity relates to what are called “crises of criticism”. Such crises must be carefully avoided if the rhythm necessary for the establishment of telepathic rapport is not to be disrupted. It is obvious that criticism (especially of the heartless kind) destroys both love and trust.
200.DK is not naïve in His understanding. He knows that there will always be those in any group who give their fellow disciples apparently just cause for criticism. He does not say that the facts should be ignored, or that the causes apparently warranting criticism should be left unaddressed.
201.So much depends upon how the criticism is approached. If we should find that it were absolutely necessary for us to become what DK calls a “criticising disciple”, could we be assured that we had reached the point where our judgment was so based on love that no personality effect would be produced, either in us or in the one criticised, when we shared the criticism? It is a very serious question and requires close scrutiny of our heart.
202.How do we administer criticism? With a heart full of love rather than through solar plexus mobilization or agitation? It would seem that before offering any form of criticism, some interior work should be done in relation to the one to be criticized, so that the presence of love may be ensured. If the love is strong enough, it negates personality reaction—this is the point. The personality is related to the solar plexus and not to the heart.
203.If, according to DK’s advice, we can consider criticism as a “loving recognition of limitation” our entire attitude to this “dire creator of misery” (i.e., criticism) will be revolutionized.
204.When we truly love people, we want everything we may think or say to advance their process and improve the quality of their life. We may then ask ourselves: “In our usual approach to criticism, are these benevolent motives our motives?” What really are our motives?
205.To lovingly share a perception of limitation (when it is necessary to do so) may be a great act of kindness, as long as the sharing in not passed along carelessly and indiscriminately to others who have no real concern in the matter, thus inciting group gossip among those unqualified to understand the realities and sensitivities of the situation. This is where error creeps in; and of course, it is a very common error.
206.DK is telling us that criticism must not become a group dynamic; if it does it will act as poison to the group. The poisoning will be both of the one (or ones) criticized and of the one (or ones) who criticize(s).
207.DK is not soft on the aspirant or disciple who refuses to correct “glaring faults”. The careless perpetuation of such faults will create a barrier for which the one possessing these faults is responsible. That barrier will have to be broken.
208.We can see that the whole matter is delicate. It can only be solved by an attitude of love, wisely and tactfully expressed. If the motive behind the impartation of necessary correction is love, little will go astray. But so often the motive is not love. It is for us to examine our hearts.
An interesting question can he asked at this point and one which should unquestionably arise: Is the group of working disciples to be keyed to the note of the more advanced disciples in the group or is it to be stepped down to a generally lower average to suit the least advanced? Let us put it in another form: Are the least evolved in a group of disciples and aspirants to pull down to their level of work and understanding the more developed? Will they make a supreme effort to measure up to the higher vision and attain to the attitudes and points of view of the more advanced? These questions prove a fundamental [page 726] problem in all Ashrams and only the chelas themselves can provide the answer.
209.Thinking of causes of criticism, DK poses some important questions touching on the behavior of disciples within a Master’s group.
210.What shall be the group note—a note resonating to the quality of the highest disciples in the group, or one that is stepped down to the lower average? This is a question of group standards, and in relation to this question, much criticism can arise.
211.There are group members who worry that some group members may “pull down” the note of the entire group because those group members are not living up to certain standards and, perhaps, cannot.
212.Who shall make the greatest effort? The least advanced (to measure up to the standard set by the most advanced)? Or the most advanced (checking their forward motion out of consideration for the disciples in the group who cannot seem to keep up)?
213.DK does not give the answer because there are so many different variables in each situation. It may be said, however, that if the “Law of Love” is violated in attempting to solve these inevitable problems, there will be no true solution.
214.The questions are not idle or inconsequential. The Master tells us that they “prove a fundamental problem in all Ashrams”.
215.This brings us to the question of the meaning of progress. Progress is not simply a racing ahead into ever higher vibratory states. Progress has much to do with the preservation of group cohesion and the quality of the group’s energy.
216.The soul is the “quality of life” and that quality has to be preserved when difficult decisions of this kind are faced within the group.
In the mastering of the task of karmic adjustment, the guiding disciple is governed by certain requirements. He must ascertain just what karma must be worked out by the aspirant in his charge, during this incarnation. He must then induce him to add to this established karma, what I might call "freeing karma." This is a part of the forcing process to which those who choose the more difficult way of initiation must subject themselves, voluntarily and by free choice. The disciple seeks to do certain things in this connection, referring here to the chela in the Light:
217.The third of the three modes of work which are the responsibility of the guiding disciple, relates to the “mastering of the task of karmic adjustment”. This, we remember, was suggested as associated with the third ray.
218.We are reminded that we are viewing the whole matter “from the inside out”. We are addressing the problem which any supervising disciple (whether on inner or outer planes) has in relation to understanding the karma of the aspirant in his charge and during a particular incarnation.
219.The ascertainment of the aspirant’s karma must be a very interior matter. Perhaps the supervising disciple is aided in the necessary discernment by the Master to whom he reports. The word “ascertain” is important. It means that the supervising disciple is not simply following a hunch or a hint about the karma which the aspirant under his supervision must work out; he is certain!
220.Initiation is a forcing process and the guiding disciple must apply the pressure. Not only must the aspirant under his supervision work out karma that is due, but additional karma, “freeing karma”, must be undertaken. Such freeing karma must be voluntarily chosen. We can see that the supervising disciple must attempt to clarify and widen his aspirant’s vision, so the aspirant will bravely and intelligently undertake an added karmic burden.
221.What must the chela in the Light do when urged forward (subtly or more objectively) by the interior, supervising disciple?
1. He works off unavoidable karma as intelligently and consciously as possible.
2. He takes on some karma which ordinarily would be precipitated in some later life.
222.The supervising disciple helps the chela in the Light to see and understand the karma which is due in this particular incarnation. Every psychotherapist (operating, it would seem, on a lower level than the supervising disciple) can understand how this may be done. The greater the life-understanding of the chela in the Light, the more likely it is that this chela will recognize his responsibilities and seize them.
223.We note that the third ray principal of intelligence is mentioned here. It is not only that the chela in the Light recognizes his duties and responsibilities, but that he must approach them intelligently. With this approach, perhaps the supervising disciple (through the power of thought) can be of some assistance.
224.What else must the chela in the Light seek to do? He must take on additional karma which might not normally be precipitated until a later life. This, of course, will increase the burden of the present life. When (with the help of the guiding disciple) the vision of the future is clarified and widened, the chela in the Light may have sufficient inducement to undertake this.
3. He begins to shoulder some of the general karma of humanity, thus increasing his own load of karma.
225.The third task is to “shoulder some of the karma of humanity”.
226.The chela in the Light would not normally have to do this. To so do is an act of selfless service. He sees where help is needed and simply offers his help according to his abilities. He must (according to the Law of Economy) choose wisely where he will offer assistance, otherwise he may be of less assistance than he hopes to be.
227.We are obviously being given the opportunity to ask ourselves some questions:
What is the karma due in my present life?
What additional karma, destined to precipitate in future lives, can I rightly take upon myself now?
What aspect of humanity’s karma can I rightly take upon myself, even though I need not do so?
228.When asking such questions, one can align with the inner Light and with the Master to Whom one thinks (or knows) that one is related.
4. He begins to work with and to comprehend something of planetary karma, though as yet he undertakes no responsibility in this connection. Only after the third initiation does he consciously and as an individual cooperate with the karmic responsibility of the planetary Logos.
229.The fourth karmic task under the guidance of the supervising disciple is a task of comprehension. Something of “planetary karma” begins to dawn upon the chela in the Light as he seeks to understand the planetary situation.
230.We learn that the chela in the Light can take no responsibility in this regard—this will not be his prerogative until after the third initiation, at which time he can relate more meaningfully and successfully to the planetary whole. But the fact that he is beginning to understand something of planetary karma, means that he can help more successfully in the alleviation of the karma of humanity.
231.We can see that the chela in the Light is induced to become increasingly selfless, and that it is up to the supervising inner disciple to find ways of rendering these opportunities for increasing selflessness increasingly attractive. It is obvious that the supervising chela cannot and does not force the chela in the Light to take steps to master his karma. To do so would be against occult law.
232.The degree of selflessness required to “cooperate with the karmic responsibility of the planetary Logos” cannot possibly be in the possession of the chela in the Light, but he is on his way.
233.Thus, in this third mode of work through which the supervising disciple helps the chela in the Light make various karmic adjustments, four types of adjustments are required.
I would here like to point out that I am referring to good karma as well as bad. It is the task of the helping disciple to guide the chela in the Light so that he does adjust his karma. This the senior disciple does by thought impression. All karma, when consciously faced, is precipitated by the power of thought; this is perhaps the major lesson which the senior disciple has to teach the neophyte. In this way the latter is aided to see "in the light" which falls upon his way, and the disciple who is preparing him for the stage of accepted discipleship is in constant touch with the Master. Thus a triangular relationship is set up which is of occult value.
234.It is interesting that we are discussing good karma as well as bad. It is easy to translate the word “karma” as bad karma. Both types, however, require attention.
235.We have been reviewing three modes of work involving both the supervising disciple and the chela he supervises. An adjustment of karma is due, along with the establishment of magnetic interplay and telepathic rapport. If the chela in the Light is to be induced to adjust his karma, it will be through the thought impression of the senior guiding disciple.
236.We must get this fact into our minds: the senior guiding disciple works upon the aspirant in his charge through the power of thought, thought impression.
237.A most occult statement is made: “all karma, when consciously faced, is precipitated by the power of thought”. This is the major lesson. Recognition of karma goes a long way toward the precipitation of the karma recognized.
238.Much karmic adjustment, then, is handled in the mind. The senior guiding disciple helps the chela in the Light to see necessary and possible karmic adjustments in the Light. The guiding disciple is a Light bringer, shedding the Light upon the path of the chela in the Light.
239.What is facilitated is the power to recognize necessary and potential karmic adjustments. Once there is recognition, that very recognition will precipitate the karma—especially if the chela in the Light meditates upon the karmic situation.
240.We see, then, that we are dealing with a rather subjective matter.
241.Earlier we may have wondered whether the guiding disciple worked from the inner planes (on egoic levels) or on both inner and outer planes. In this section of the instruction, the work on inner planes is the work emphasized.
242.Whereas the guiding disciple could be an outward guide as well, we know that the stage of Chela in the Light requires an guiding disciple who can and does work from inner levels, and reports to the Master about the progress of his chela from inner levels.
243.Another fact of importance emerges here. The inner guiding disciple is definitely preparing the chela in the Light for the stage of accepted discipleship.
244.The powerful triangle created is between the Master, the guiding disciple and the chela in the Light. Do we sense such a triangle in our own lives?
If the chela in the Light is truly in earnest and is consciously developing the higher sensitivity, this stage can be relatively short. Two lives sometimes are sufficient to cover [page 727] this period. The chela in the Light is one who treads the way of what is called "the lesser revelation"—lesser because it is concerned with the revelation of that which must be done in the personality life; it is not the way of the higher revelation of divinity and its nature. It is the revelation of that which is already manifested and not of what must be manifested. Ponder on this. The searchlight of the soul reveals faults in character, limitations in expression and inadequacies in conduct. These must be intelligently corrected.
245.We remember that the stage of Chela in the Light is concerned with developing higher sensitivity.
246.We learned that “several lives” is the usual duration of the stage called Little Chelaship. This is a rather inexact measure, and may mean anywhere from four to seven or eight, perhaps.
247.Here we learn that “two lives” may be sufficient to cover the stage of Chela in the Light. But two lives are only “sometimes sufficient”. Perhaps it takes a bit more than two lives—perhaps three, four or five. We do not know exactly.
248.The two phases (Little Chelaship and Chela in the Light) taken together might cover a duration which is as short as, perhaps, six lives, or as long as, perhaps, twelve thirteen or fourteen lives.
249.We remember here our inference that the stage of Little Chelaship begins most probably somewhat before the first initiation (how much, we do not know), and that it is possible (though I think, quite unlikely) that the stage of Chela in the Light could also begin before the first degree. What we are told is that an accepted disciple must have taken the first initiation. Probably a number of lives can be spent in the stage of accepted disciple before the second initiation is reached. We begin to see why the interval between the first and second initiations may be relatively lengthy.
250.The chela in the Light treads the “Way of the Lesser Revelation”. The world of personality (its nature, aptitudes, attitudes and faults) is revealed to the chela in the Light, but not very much of the Divine Plan, per se. To the accepted disciple, the Plan is at least somewhat revealed.
251.The “revelation of divinity and its nature” must also be a revelation more pertinent to the state of Accepted Discipleship than to the stage of Chela in the Light.
252.If we think of an important formula in the science of esoteric psychology we can see a correlation: The formula runs:
253.The disciplic stage of Chela in the Light correlates with the phase called “Light” in this fivefold formula. Once there is alignment with the soul, a crisis ensues, and during the process of that crisis, light breaks forth revealing the aspirant to himself. This is definitely a phase of microcosmic revelation. It must precede the clear revelation of that portion of the Plan with which the aspirant/disciple can definitely assist.
254.The revelation which comes to the chela in the Light is not the same as the “Revelation” which is part of the fivefold formula—a greater revelation of the soul and of the Plan.
255.We can see how in different occult processes the same words may be used to describe different dynamics, so we must proceed cautiously.
256.Perhaps we might say that there are three kinds of revelations: microcosmic, soul, and macrocosmic—correlated to personality, soul and spiritual triad/monad.
257.The “higher revelation of divinity and its nature” is related not to that which is already manifested, but to that which must be manifested—both now and in the future.
258.The chela in the Light must grow into this higher type of revelation, which he can do, if he follows wisely the guidance of the guiding disciple and his own soul.
259.The light of the soul and the light emanating from the thought power of the guiding disciple, throw much light upon the aspirant/disciple’s personal life. Faults are revealed and the picture may not be ‘pretty’. Deficiencies revealed must be corrected before it becomes possible to move on to the state of accepted disciple.
260.When faced with “faults in character, limitations in expression and inadequacies in conduct” the chela in the Light must take action. This is obviously part of his “probation”. How will he handle this revelation? We can see that a chela in the Light is being strenuously tested with regard to his personality nature. We can also see why it is reasonable to consider such a chela a probationary disciple. A probation is a test.
261.If this stage of correction is to last only two lives, the chela in the Light has his work cut out for him. A rather disciplined and assertive approach to personality management will be required.
In the symbolic charts which the guiding disciple presents to the Master twice a year, the effort made along these lines is indicated, not the results; it is effort which counts. The results will be inevitable and commensurate with the effort. When these charts (three in number) are geometrically related and superimposed one upon the other, they indicate a definite ray pattern. Then the Master can gauge the rate and type of development and can determine the time for authorising the senior disciple to recommend the stage of accepted discipleship. When the demand of the aspirant, the guiding disciple's recommendation, the karmic condition and the note which the Master registers coincide in time, then the third stage is reached.
262.It is clear that the guiding disciple has access to the Master at least twice a year. This means that the guiding disciple (when considered from this perspective) would reasonably be a Chela within the Aura, who has the right to set up an interview with the Master for purposes related to the Work.
263.Something of real importance is suggested: it is effort which counts with the Masters and not necessary the results. Results will come according to the nature, intensity and quality of the effort.
264.One wonders whether the reporting occurs before the onset of the two yearly interludes, higher and lower. Or, if perhaps, every Ashram has its own kind of rhythm for reporting.
265.The charts used to indicate progress are symbolic. There are three charts and, when superimposed, a definite ray pattern is indicated. These are amazing thoughts and correlate closely with the idea that, in esoteric astrology, patterns of squares, stars and triangles can be superimposed in order to reveal a disciple’s position and process.
266.We are being treated to important insights concerning modes of interior progress in relation to the Ashram. The guiding disciple does not initially have the authority to recommend that the aspirant/disciple under his supervision move to the stage of accepted discipleship. The Master watches with care the charts brought to him, and when the charts indicate the possibility, He then authorizes the guiding disciple to recommend the aspirant/disciple for the stage of Accepted Discipleship (presumably leaving the exact moment of recommendation to the discretion of the guiding disciple), otherwise one cannot understand why the Master, himself, would not simply conclude that the time had come for the elevation to accepted discipleship, leaving the guiding disciple out of the decision-making process.
267.It would seem that the Master, by authorizing the guiding disciple to recommend, is acknowledging that a period has come during which there is a likelihood that the aspirant/disciple will achieve to the extent that he could be rightly recommended for the stage of Accepted Discipleship. Part of the training of the guiding disciple would be to recognize when the proper moment had come, and then, and only then, to make the recommendation to the Master.
268.The Master, before empowering the guiding disciple to make the recommendation, has been able to gauge the type and rate of development related to the chela in the Light. We can only imagine how much experience would be necessary to judge accurately in this matter.
I would here again remind you that all these stages are related to work in the Ashram and to the life and vitality of the inner group. This group is composed, as you know, of old and experienced disciples and initiates and also of neophytes in various stages of development and also of disciples, passing through the many different stages of the Path. It is these widely different types of active disciples which bring about the inter-relation between the outer and the inner Ashrams, between the objective group upon the outer plane and the very much larger inner group.
269.When dealing with the Six Stages of Discipleship, the Tibetan reminds us of their relation to the ashramic whole. He is asking for us to see them in terms of the world of meaning and in relation to the larger ashramic context.
270.Of whom is an Ashram composed?
Old and experienced disciples
Disciples passing through the many different stages of the Path
Neophytes passing through various stages of development
271.All these types are certainly needed, and because they exist within the context of the Ashram, the Ashram can be effective. All of these types are required in order to relate the large inner group to the objective group upon the outer plane.
This brings me to a question which may quite normally arise in the minds of those working in the outer group and loosely related to the inner group: Is the level of the consciousness of the outer Ashram determined by the personnel of that group or by its relation to the whole Ashram of which it forms a relatively small part? When this question is posited by a member of an Ashram, it indicates a definite preoccupation with the personnel of the group and not with the group as an aspect of some Master's Ashram. Disciples need [page 728] to remember that an Ashram is not confined to a few who may know each other and who may even meet together as Ashram members. An Ashram is an international group; it is composed of souls in incarnation and out of incarnation; it is a synthesis of initiates of various degrees and of accepted disciples. The Masters do not regard those who have taken the first initiation as initiates. This is a point which needs re-emphasis.
272.DK comes to another question which He must have sensed percolating in the minds of some of His chelas. What is the level of consciousness of the outer Ashram (i.e., of such groups as DK had organized on the physical plane)? What determines the consciousness level of such a group? Do the personnel of the group determine it? Or does the relation of the outer group to the whole Ashram determine the level of consciousness of the group?
273.We can sense potential criticism in this question. Perhaps the questioner judges that some members of the outer ashramic group do not have a particularly high consciousness, and wonders whether the whole outer group will be held back by those members. The question seems really a rephrase of a similar question earlier asked and on which DK has already commented.
274.But DK sets such questioners straight by advising them that the tendency to ask questions of this nature means that the questioners are preoccupied with the personnel of a Master’s outer group and not with the group considered as an aspect of the Master’s Ashram.
275.It would seem that a degree of impersonality would be recommended to such questioners. We can perceive each other as personalities or as souls. Such questioners obviously have not moved completely beyond the perception of their group brothers and sisters as personalities.
276.It is well for us to grasp the scope of an Ashram. It is very large group—really an international group. And, it is composed of souls both in and out of incarnation. We should not underestimate its scope—something often done by those with limited exposure to the wider group.
277.What is said here is important: the Ashram is a “synthesis of initiates of various degrees and of accepted disciples.” (DINA I 728) However, the initiates of various degrees here referenced do include first degree initiates. The inference here is that when a disciple takes the second initiation, he can be regarded as an initiate (at least in the context here discussed). However, first degree initiates can be members of the Ashram (on its periphery), because those who are still first degree initiates can become accepted disciples, and accepted disciples are members of the Ashram.
278.The point is clarified below.
Disciples who have taken the second initiation are regarded as "probationary initiates," and only when they have taken the third initiation are they truly initiate from the standpoint of the Hierarchy. The first initiation is sometimes spoken of as the "Lemurian Initiation" and the second as the "Atlantean Initiation," but the third initiation—that of our Aryan race—is technically regarded by Them as the first initiation. This is a new angle upon which I would ask you to think. The term, therefore, of Accepted Disciple covers the stages of the first and second initiations; when a disciple has taken the third initiation, he is no longer technically an accepted disciple, even though he still remains in a Master's group until he has taken the fourth initiation. I am pointing out these technicalities so that there may be clarity and proportion in your thinking.
279.The second degree initiate is in something of a grey area. First degree initiates are not regarded as initiates by the Hierarchy. And, the Hierarchy regards only third degree initiates as true initiates. The status of the second degree initiate is, thus, not a true initiate, but still an initiate of some kind. The term chosen to define this classification is “probationary initiate”. We can see why the second degree is considered so important, and how it is quite distinct from the first in the eyes of the Hierarchy.
280.I am remembering Master DK telling a candidate for the second initiation that “my rating of you is high”.
“I would remind you that the emotion to which I refer in connection with you is not that of the ordinary person. You are confronted with the emotion which the second initiation stirs up. This is a very different matter. You should realise, therefore, that my rating of you is high.” (DINA II 526)
A long series of lives has led to the second degree, and a new unit of work is commencing. This unit of work can be completed in just a couple of lives or even in one. So we see that the series of initiations—two/three/four—is entirely different from the span of lives comprising the first initiation and the series of lives which follow it.
281.The classification of Lemurian, Atlantean and Aryan, when relating to the first three initiations, is familiar to most. Only the Aryan initiate (the initiate of the third degree) is considered, by Hierarchy, to have taken the “first initiation”! This is, for one thing, because the third initiation is the first solar initiation, and initiation is a method by which the power and presence of the Solar Logos via the Solar Angel is established in the human consciousness.
282.Very important information meant to induce a proper sense of proportion is here given. Accepted discipleship is a stage which can occur after the first initiation and before the third.
283.Once a disciple has become an initiate of the third degree, he is no longer, technically an accepted disciple.
284.After the third degree the initiate will remain in the Master’s group. This seems to suggest that after the fourth degree the initiate may not so remain.
An Ashram is, therefore, representative of all stages of unfoldment, from the most advanced to beginners, such as those who read these instructions. The point of importance to each disciple in an Ashram is whether he can step up his consciousness and his conscious response to the ashramic vibration so that he does not hinder the planned activities of the Ashram. Must the senior and the more advanced initiate-disciples halt, or wait and step down their activities so as to give the less advanced the time and opportunity to measure up to them? The question therefore is: Do the senior disciples wait or do the junior disciples hinder?
285.Master DK is always correcting distorted and inflated points of view. In speaking of the personnel of an Ashram, He speaks of those who are advanced as of those who are beginners. Those who read these instructions are beginners! Those who do not even bother to read these instructions (ignoring them while knowing they exist) may not have even begun.
286.DK now addresses each disciple who may be “in an Ashram”. The task incumbent upon such an one is to “step up his consciousness and his conscious response to the ashramic vibration so that he does not hinder the planned activities of the Ashram”. This means, for the neophyte in the Ashram, greatly increased pressure. He must rise and make the grade, or he proves a hindrance to ashramic plans.
287.Again the same sort of question is posed. It boils down to this: “Do the senior disciples wait or do the junior disciples hinder?”
288.Perhaps through correct division of labor, the senior disciple need not wait, and the junior disciple, though not capable of measuring up to the vibration of the senior disciples, will not hinder.
I would assure you that the standard of measurement is not a dead level and I would assure beginners that they cannot hinder the advanced members of an Ashram, but that they can throw themselves out of the sphere of activity, though not out of the group. It is the unready and the untrained who do the waiting, not the ready and the truly dedicated.
289.Master DK does not answer explicitly. He seems to suggest that the “standard of measurement” is neither the highest nor the lowest.
290.Elsewhere He has spoken of the need for some to slacken their pace while others must hasten it. Perhaps there is a compromise.
291.In any case, beginners “cannot hinder the advanced members of an Ashram” but, through wrong thought and action, they can “throw themselves out of the sphere of activity, though not out of the group” This last proviso is interesting and important, and suggests the magnetic benevolence of the Ashram.
292.We see that great stress descends upon the disciple who enters an Ashram as a neophyte. A most concerted effort is required of him, and it is expected that he will make that effort, even if he does not immediately succeed in elevating his vibration to the degree he might hope.
293.Finally, we learn that it is the “unready and untrained who do the waiting, not the ready and truly dedicated”.
294.What is the implication? Dedicate yourself to the Ashram, truly dedicate yourself, and do what it takes to make yourself ready. Otherwise you cannot proceed as rapidly as you could and should.
The task of the Master is to stimulate as many as possible in His group to work consistently on levels of spiritual activity, wherein the fire of the will-to-love may animate and dominate. Frequently, a part of the Ashram is still struggling with the first stages in the task of understanding the fires of the mind; these must be first comprehended and their fiery essence quenched before the fire of the will-to-love can flow through the disciple.
295.As the new member of the Ashram struggles to make the grade, what must the Master do? His task is stimulation. He attempts to stimulate His group and its personnel “to work consistently on levels of spiritual activity, wherein the fire of the will-to-love may animate and dominate”.
296.We remember in these instructions the importance of the will-to-love which is the “love of the Whole and the ability to do that which is needed for the good of the group in the right way and with the needed skill in action.”
297.Animation is the first stage; domination is the second, and signifies even more complete control of the disciple by the will-to-love.
298.The division between heart and mind is discussed. From this perspective, heart is superior to mind. The mind must be subdued, its “fiery essence quenched before the fire of the will-to-love can flow through the disciple”. This is a cautionary note.
299.Those who have just entered the Ashram are more likely to be involved with the third aspect of divinity and hence the mind, than those who are more experienced. The second aspect and the fire of love is their objective.
The point to be grasped is that the work of the Ashram goes on and disciples and initiates (whose hearts are aflame) continue to work unimpeded. This covers the individual reaction to the Ashram personnel. But where all the group are aflame with love and are living as souls, then the Ashram becomes a vital centre or vortex of force and dynamically effective. The effort of the Masters Who work through the method of forming Ashrams is to bring about as rapidly as possible this unity of love and intention (will). It is only the beginner who is preoccupied with his individual effect in an Ashram. The trained, released disciples are more concerned with the task to be carried on and with the work to be done. An individual disciple may suffer in his personality as a result of the failure of his group brothers to understand or to arrest the fire of their minds, but he goes on steadily with the work and his personal effectiveness, as a serving unit, remains unaffected. He knows that some day they will be liberated from themselves. In the meantime, he labours to offset their influence and to this extent his task is harder, but he knows that they are on the way to understanding; he knows too that at present they cannot help but see in him and even in their Master the very qualities which are dominating them. For, my brother, we see in others what is in us, even when it is not there at all or to the same extent. Disciples need to learn the distinction between true analytical insight and so-called criticism. A Master does not criticise the members of His Ashram. He seeks to analyse for them the points wherein they may hinder the usefulness of the service of the Ashram. There is a basic distinction between this constructive aid and the criticism which is based on a sense of personal superiority and a love of fault finding.
300.The successful worker in any Ashram has “heart aflame”. This is an essential prerequisite, for the Hierarchy is the Hierarchy of Love.
301.The Master must see to it that “all the group are aflame and living as souls”. Then the Ashram can become a factor of moment in the life of the Hierarchy.
302.Ashrams are to be qualified particularly by the unity of love and will (or intention). Intelligence, the third aspect, is assumed.
303.The difference between the ashramic beginner and those more experienced is clear. The beginner is self-preoccupied. The experienced ashramic worker is getting on with the ashramic task and is not concerned with his position within the Ashram or in relation to the Master. The experienced worker is far more decentralized.
304.We see that the experienced ashramic worker works despite any suffering which may arise because his fellow disciples fail to arrest the fires of mind, unleashing it upon him (and even upon the Master!) Suffering there will be, because the spirit of criticism is hard to outgrow. But he (the experienced one) goes forward with determination, understanding and forbearance. He has “been there”, and knows that, at length, the fires of love will supersede the fires of mind. He works and patiently waits for his younger brothers to outgrow themselves.
305.One gathers the impression that we cannot help but suffer from each other. It is the attitude we assume during such suffering which is of importance. We cannot return criticism for criticism received. This only perpetuates the negative cycle. We have no choice but to “bear with” each other, trusting that growth into greater maturity is inevitable.
306.The great psychological truth of projection is here discussed. Is it not astonishing to realize that we see in our fellow disciples, and even in our Master, that which is in ourselves? The discovery of our projections and their withdrawal always comes as a shock to the consciousness. Thus, humility arises.
307.DK closes this paragraph making a distinction between analysis and criticism; the first is “constructive aid” and the second based on a sense of “personal superiority and a love of fault finding”. We can see how closely the dynamics of criticism (as usually practiced) are related to the exaltation of the ego. We can see how far the criticizing one is from the realization of soul. The loving individual does not engage in destructive criticism. He analyzes for the sake of helping his fellow human beings.
Each Master has reached the point where the vision is clear to Him; this is part of the reward accorded to the initiate. He identifies Himself with it, colouring it necessarily, richly and helpfully with His ray "apprehension," and interpreting it in terms of His contribution to the whole. Therein lies the secret of the inevitable and the unhinderable (is there such a word, brother of mine?) success of the vision as it is materialised through the combined efforts of the Hierarchy, conditioned in time and space by some Master or group of Masters, working on some one ray or rays. In the early days of the present cycle of hierarchical effort (between 1925 and 1936), the ray at work upon humanity was the first ray. The activity of this ray culminated in the declaration of war by Great Britain in 1939, when the destructive force of that ray—misapplied and misdirected—led Germany to invade Poland. In 1932, the influence of the second ray began to assert itself and will continue to do so until 1945 when the seventh ray will swing slowly into activity. You will then have three rays producing simultaneous effects upon mankind:
308.A Master is an initiate, and a true initiate has clear vision—increasing in clarity with every subsequent initiation.
309.A Master’s vision is colored (richly and helpfully) by his “ray ‘apprehension’”. The Master thinks ever in terms of His contribution to the whole.
310.Such a vision is sure to materialize at length. It cannot be hindered. It is materialized through “the combined efforts of the Hierarchy” and is aided by certain Masters or groups of Masters working on one or other of the rays.
311.Thus, a Master is in a good position to lovingly analyze His chelas (though in His analysis He may choose to be direct).
312.The implication is that, if analysis is really to be helpful, it must come from one with clear vision and, hopefully, with an initiate consciousness. We, who may not be at that point of development, can at least analyze with correct motive—even if our vision is somewhat obscured.
313.Certain hints are here given which could be seized upon by a ray theorist to expand the knowledge of the Science of Cycles.
From 1925-1939, the first ray was active (fifteen years)
From 1932-1957, it was the second ray (twenty-five years)
After 1945, the seventh ray
314.These statements must be correlated with what is said on EP I, 26 about the duration of ray cycles. The numbers given above are given for a purpose and can be penetrated.
2. The first Ray of Will or Power, expending its force.
315.Interestingly, the years corresponding to the first ray cycle were approximately the years in which Master M. collaborated with Mme. Roerich in the writing of the Agni Yoga books.
2. The second Ray of Love-wisdom, reaching its meridian and holding the centre of the stage until 1957.
316.The second ray cycle (as given here) has a duration of twenty-five years, which seems to be half of a fifty year second ray cycle. A period of 500 years is the second ray racial cycle, and fifty years is one tenth of that. Twenty-five years therefore reasonably represents the waxing aspect of that fifty year cycle and another twenty five the waning aspect. For more details, enquire about the work of Stephen Pugh, who has given much time and brilliant thought to these considerations.
317.With this thought in mind, we would presume that the year 1982 would be the point at which the second ray (in this fifty year cycle) was retracted.
318.If the cycles are continuous, another period culminating in 2007 would begin in 1982, and that cycle would not subside completely until 2032.
319.The year 2075 has to be important in second ray cycles, as the incoming second ray began a 500 year cycle in 1575.
320.It is obviously not easy to make the large cycles and various apparent sub-cycles fit neatly into any imagined scheme.
3. The seventh Ray of Ceremonial Order, coming into activity in combination with the other two—the will-to-love and the will-to-order—producing beauty out of the present chaos.
321.We do see the necessary union of the first, second and seventh rays.
322.The duration of this particular seventh ray cycles is not given. The number seven however is important in seventh ray cycles, and a seventy year period may be influential here. Such a cycle would conclude in 2015.
The disciples, therefore, of the Master Morya, of the Master Koot Hoomi and of the Master Rakoczi are reaching out towards a period of the intensest activity. The destiny of the world lies in the hands of Their three groups of initiated disciples; with Them, the accepted disciples of the three groups are asked to cooperate and this offers opportunity to many everywhere. As they seek to vision the Plan, to cooperate with the three Masters and Their initiate groups, their opportunity will emerge. This triangle of energy is held responsible by the great Leaders in Shamballa for the regularising of world affairs. More than this it is not necessary for humanity to know.
323.This paragraph focuses on the great responsibility lying in the hands of Master M., Master KH, and Master R.
324.The statement is an amazing one: “The destiny of the world lies in the hands of Their three groups of initiated disciples”. Presumably, this is still the case.
325.Accepted disciples within the three groups are asked to cooperate with the “initiate disciples”. All the accepted disciples within these Ashrams (which include most esotericists) have opportunity within this context.
326.If we find ourselves (or feel ourselves) affiliated with such a group, what should be our orientation. The first task is to “seek to vision the Plan”. Based upon what we understand through such an envisioning, our next task is to cooperate with the three Masters and Their initiated groups.
327.These Masters and Their groups are held responsible by Shamballa “for the regularizing of world affairs”. In the term “regularizing” we can see the importance of the seventh ray.
Forget not, an Ashram is a vortex of force and a centre of energy—a centre through which both force and energy flow in [page 731] order that the vision may be materialised. This force and energy is, in the last analysis, directed by a Master, by a group of three senior initiates and by another group of lesser initiates, thus representing (in each Ashram) a miniature of the planetary government. These step down the inflowing energy so that accepted disciples can handle it safely and act as distributing agents. The energy with which the Masters work comes from Shamballa; the forces with which They work are provided from within the Hierarchy itself, and just in so far as the accepted disciples react to the combined forces will it be possible for them to be used in service. In other words: the initiated disciples in a Master's group focus the inflowing energies; the accepted disciples, through the medium of their souls, focus the force which the Master directs outward into the world of men in conformity with the Plan of the Hierarchy, working in accordance with the revelation, coming from Shamballa.
328.We are given a vision of the Ashram as a dynamic center. Its purpose it to materialize the vision (of the Master and His superiors).
329.When considering how force and energy are directed within an Ashram, we are presented with a ranking of directors:
The Master, Himself—the principle authority
A group of three senior initiates (presumably of the fourth initiation)
Another group of lesser initiates (are there seven?—one for each of the seven rays?) Perhaps these “lesser initiates” are initiates of the third degree.
330.Unless the energy is stepped down by this “inner government” of the Ashram, accepted disciples (who are only “probationary initiates”) cannot handle it safely.
331.Another triplicity is suggested
The energy which a Master wields comes from Shamballa.
The forces with which He works are provided by the Hierarchy.
Accepted disciples are to respond to these combined forces. To the extent that they can do so, they can be used in service.
332.The Master, then, is the originator of force and energy. The initiated disciples (in two categories) focus that force or energy for the accepted disciples. The accepted disciples (in collaboration with their own souls) focus the force further for expression in the outer world, as much in conformity with the Plan as may be possible to them.
333.We have in this triple alignment the symbol of the interrelation of Shamballa, Hierarchy and Humanity.
The Master represents Shamballa.
The two groups of initiates within the Ashram represent Hierarchy.
The accepted disciples represent (and are most in contact with) Humanity.
Initiated disciples have no interest in anything but the vision, the Plan and its direction and materialising upon earth. Accepted disciples are learning this and in the meantime have to react to the vision in what I might call a second hand manner; they are occupied with the Plan and with the distribution of the forces which will materialise it. Thus the entire activity of the Ashram is coordinated. Newly accepted disciples (who are only learning to cooperate) are valuable as "agents for experiment." According to their reaction to the imparted truths and Plan, according to their ability to sense the need and to bring the need and the medium of release into relation and according to their capacity to work with the world disciples (who are definitely responsible to the Master of the Ashram for some aspect of the Plan) will be the success of the effort in the outer world.
334.There is a distinction between “initiated disciples” and “accepted disciples”.
335.Initiated disciples have a true vision. They are absorbed in the Plan, its direction and its materialising on earth.
336.Accepted disciples do not yet have a true vision, but react to the vision which is passed to them by initiated disciples.
337.Since those of the first and second degree can be accepted disciples but can be no more that “probationary initiates”, it can be reasoned that initiated disciples are third degree initiates.
338.Whereas initiated disciples are directing the Plan, accepted disciples are occupied with the “distribution of forces which will materialize it”. For the accepted disciple, the “eye” is not entirely open. The initiated disciple can occultly see.
339.DK discriminates between accepted disciples who are working actively in relation to the Ashram, and “newly accepted disciples” who are just learning to work, and who are “agents for experiment”.
340.In this paragraph, there is also a mention of “world disciples”. We may presume that the world disciple is equivalent to the “initiated disciple”, and is, thus, an initiate of at least the third degree.
341.Accepted disciples have several tasks
They are to react properly to imparted truths.
They are to sense the need.
They are to bring the need and the medium of release together.
They are to work cooperatively with world disciples.
342.According to their capacity to do these four things, so will be the success of this work in the outer world.
343.We can see clearly that the Ashram is a coordinated whole, and no gaps or discontinuities are allowed to occur.
Thus again the concept of the "Hierarchy of Relationship" is brought to your attention. In these days of world strife, it is this bringing about of right relations which presents the key to the immediate aspect of the vision which must be precipitated upon our planet. Therefore, an Ashram is a centre wherein relationship is tried out.
344.An important concept is advanced. Within any Ashram (and within the Spiritual Hierarchy itself) there is a “Hierarchy of Relationship”.
345.“Relationship is tried out” within an Ashram; the attempt is to set the model for a pattern of “right relations” which humanity may eventually adopt.
346.Of all spiritual objectives, the creation of “right relations” is most important.
347.Right relations hold the “key to the immediate aspect of the vision which must be precipitated upon our planet”. This thought simplifies our striving considerably, does it not?
One simple question arises here: How can right relations he established upon earth if the accepted disciples in a Master's [page 732] group are themselves unable to react to the idea and to preserve, among themselves, right relations, correctly, unanimously and unerringly? What hope is there for the outer world if the inner circle of workers (pledged disciples) are unable to establish and hold among themselves these right relations. At this time, the problem is threefold. These right relations must be fostered between:
348.DK asks a really hard question, but it has to be asked. It is not only ordinary human beings, advanced people, aspirants and disciples who do not preserve right relations amongst themselves, but even accepted disciples are unable “to preserve among themselves, right relations, correctly, unanimously and unerringly”. This is a sobering thought, and makes one want to establish such relations immediately. One wonders if, surveying “Christ’s Household” the Masters do not become discouraged.
349.Pledged disciples and accepted disciples simply must relate to each other in unanimity—‘one-soul-ness’.
350.The substance of this paragraph is crucial and the implications cannot be evaded.
1. Accepted disciples, initiate disciples and the Master.
2. Between the members of an Ashram and other Ashrams.
3. Between these Ashrams and the outer world.
351.All these types of relationships are to be perfected.
The first grouping concerns intra-ashramic affairs and even here (because of the accepted disciples) right relations do not prevail.
The second grouping concerns inter-ashramic affairs, harmony and cooperation between the various ray Ashrams.
The third grouping relates the outer representatives of Hierarchy to Humanity as a whole.
352.If there are ever to be Right Human Relations amongst humanity as a whole, these three types of relationships must be harmonized, and eventually perfected.
The Master of an Ashram and the senior initiates in His group are responsible for the relation between Shamballa and the Hierarchy. Accepted disciples and the lesser initiates are responsible for the relation between the Hierarchy and Humanity. Thus the great chain of the Hierarchy of Being is preserved inviolate.
353.Spheres of responsibility are delineated.
354.It is not the affair of even accepted disciples to concern themselves with the relationship between Hierarchy and Shamballa. They are incapable of doing so. Only the Master and His group can undertake this task.
355.But accepted disciples and lesser initiates (first degree initiates?) can do much to facilitate the relation between Hierarchy and Humanity. It is the responsibility of these individuals to see that humanity comes to understand something of the Hierarchy. If these disciples and initiates live a life which is imbued with hierarchical quality, Humanity will have a favorable impression of the Spiritual Hierarchy of our planet and will learn to look to Hierarchy for guidance. At the present moment, most people do not even know that the Spiritual Hierarchy exists.
356.We see that Master DK has been laboring to give us an idea of the relationships existing within “the great chain of the Hierarchy of Being”.
357.Perhaps we are now more informed, and are more willing to undertake the fulfillment of our share of responsibility more vigorously.