commentary by Michael D. Robbins

Stage III. Accepted Discipleship.

It is not my intention in this short series of Instructions to deal with the Stage of Accepted Discipleship. Much has been written about this stage. I have covered every practical angle in my many books and there is nothing to be gained by duplication. The books on discipleship put out by the Theosophical Society adequately cover the Probationary Path; I have dealt in detail with the Path of Discipleship.

The angle of the contacts which become possible upon the Path of Accepted Discipleship are well known but cannot be described in too much detail. They vary according to person, and ray. I would only ask you to have these modes of approach in mind, remembering that they do occur and occur in varying degrees of clarity and at various stages upon the Path. They are as you know:

  1. One of the marvelous things about Master DK’s work is the number of angles from which He can cover the same subject.

  2. Some imagine that there is much duplication in His books; a closer look, however, will reveal important differences and revelations in apparently repeated statements.

  3. One thing the Theosophical Society disliked about the works of Alice Bailey was the insistence found in many places in the “Blue Books” that the Theosophical approach was for probationers. A careful examination of those early books and a comparison with that which is given by Master DK will reveal whether this is true or not.

  4. The Path of Accepted Discipleship yields certain contacts, but Master DK is wisely cautious about saying too much. The differences varying according to the nature of the individual and his ray must not be overly specified. Otherwise, people (wondering about their own relation to the Stage of Accepted Discipleship) would begin to look for precisely those occurrences, and their effort to do so could lead them astray or, even, stand in the way of the real contact.

  5. DK is, however, sharing with us certain generalities. The types of experiences He mentions are seen to occur amongst the general average of accepted disciples.

  6. It is interesting and important that these types of experiences occur “in varying degrees of clarity”. One may have to discern carefully to understand whether a particular psychological occurrence is actually an occurrence related to accepted discipleship.

  7. As well, the five types of occurrences listed below are probably graded in terms of time. Some of them can be understood as occurring in the earlier stages of accepted discipleship and some in the later stages—even on the eve of initiation.

1. A dream experience.

2. A symbolic teaching.

3. The thoughtform of a Master.

4. A direct contact with the Master in meditation.

5. An interview in a Master's Ashram.

  1. These five have been generally discussed in an earlier commentary and will be discussed in greater detail below.

  2. The first three experiences are related to the astral or mental planes (though the second two may occur in ‘waking consciousness’.

  3. The fourth and fifth types of experience bring in the influence of other and higher planes, for the majority of Masters with whom the disciple may be in contact, focus upon the buddhic plane (or, perhaps, even the atmic).

  4. The first three types of contact are mediated experiences; the second two relatively unmediated.

[page 733]

The first three are more usually the experience of the probationary disciple. The last two are undergone by the accepted disciple. They have their astral or lower psychic counterparts. They are, in this case, not all glamour and illusion and are not basically reprehensible, for they are—in reality—the seed or guarantee of future inevitable experiences upon the Way. People do see thoughtforms of the Masters, for those thoughtforms exist; they do receive symbolic teachings upon the astral plane or in the dream states. Beginners and the inexperienced are then apt to do one of two things: over-estimate the experience and believe it to indicate a high spiritual development; they begin to lean upon the experience and to substitute this astral happening for the future reality or they dismiss it as undesirable lower psychism, forgetting that so-called lower psychism is only so when the interpretation and the use of the experience is at fault. It is the task of the accepted disciple to aid in the interpreting, to indicate direction and to point out the significance of the experience to the neophyte.

  1. Interestingly, although we are discussing the Stage of Accepted Discipleship, Master DK tells us that the first three experiences (a dream, a symbolic teaching, or contact with the thoughtform of a Master) are usually the experience of the “probationary disciple”.

  2. We know that an accepted disciple is not a probationary disciple. But perhaps, any stage of discipleship preceding the Stage of Accepted Discipleship is considered (from the Masters’ perspective) a probationary period. This would mean that the term “probationary disciple” could reasonably be assigned to the Stages of Little Chelaship and Chela in the Light.

  3. When, therefore, an experience similar to the first three examples emerges in the life of a disciple, it is a hint as to his stage of disciplic development. The same is true for the last two types of experience.

  4. The question to consider: “Which of the five experiences have their astral or lower psychic counterparts?” Probably not the “dream experience” for such an experience occurs on the astral plane. Thoughtforms of the Master often appear on the astral plane and confuse many. The question is, “Does the Master utilize an astral thoughtform”, or, if He wishes to contact a chela—a higher kind, more related to the mental world?”

  5. A symbolic teaching can occur in a dream state or in meditation. It might have a strongly astral flavor, or it might be more mental in nature.

  6. When it comes to the last two experiences (a contact with the Master in meditation or an interview in the Master’s Ashram), astral or lower psychic counterparts are definitely possible. Either of these states may be astrally reflected. The so-called ‘Master’ contacted may, therefore, be an astral image.

  7. I think we can see how much discrimination is needed in determining the true nature and source of any of these experiences.

  8. Even when the content of the experience is largely astral, DK emphasizes its possible value, as an indicator of the real experience which will later occur.

  9. DK confirms here that “symbolic teachings” may occur in the dream state or on the astral plane. They may as well occur in meditation.

  10. Two modes of response are usual—neither of them desirable. Usually, there is either overestimation or underestimation of the nature and value of the experience. If such an experience occurs (and it is astral in nature) we are not to rest satisfied with the mere fact its occurrence, for it but indicates future possibilities. Nor are we to dismiss it entirely (as merely astral!), for then we would close a door upon ourselves—or others.

  11. Something of importance is said: lower psychism “is only so when the interpretation and the use of the experience is at fault”. The level from which an experience is taken does not determine whether it is of great or small value; having the right perspective in relation to the experience is what is important. When the right perspective exists, the experience can be seen in proportion and can be used in the cause of advancement.

  12. Let us pause to ask ourselves: “when experiences of this nature occur, what is our first response?” “Do we fall into the patterns of over- or under-estimation?”

  13. Again the term “neophyte” is used. It seems to refer to the one who is the “probationary disciple” and who is likely to have one of the first three kinds of experiences—or, astral reflections of the last two. An accepted disciple, though a new member of the Ashram, is not called a “neophyte”—at least not in this selection.

  14. If we know ourselves to be “accepted disciples”, our task is indicated. When an individual comes to us with such an experience, it is our task to help put the experience in the proper context. The wisdom of an accepted disciple should be at least a little greater than that of the “chela in the light”, and so the power of interpretation offered should be helpful. It is important for the one who assists those who have such experience to help them maintain their balance, and avoid running to extremes.

Workers in the spiritual field should bear this carefully in mind and remember that—as a result of the war, of tension and of aspiration towards the New Age—these dreams and visions, these episodes of symbolic teaching, these contacts with thoughtforms will steadily increase and are indicative of growth and of expansion. Undirected, unexplained and misinterpreted or laughed down and ridiculed, they can greatly hinder and can be forced to descend into the category of true lower psychism; rightly interpreted and explained, they can constitute a series of graded revelations upon the Way to light; they exist then as guarantees of future knowledge and as signposts of a relative achievement. But they are not the reality when astrally focussed.

  1. The “war” referenced was the First World War. When this section of DINA I was written, the Second World War had not yet occurred objectively, though subjectively it was certainly occurring.

  2. The release of energy during war breaks through many barriers, not only on the physical plane, but on the subtler planes where the war may be even more intense.

  3. Amongst the spiritually inclined people of the world, we have definitely seen an increase of sensitivity and of psychism. People who have received psychic impression often hold fast to the impression, almost refusing to interpret it accurately or to put it in a probable context. It is as if we disciples are ‘starved’ for contact with the inner worlds and cling to any shred of contact with desperation. Clearly, a more objective point of view is required.

  4. The responsibility of those responding to any shared experience of this nature is crucial for the development of the one who has dared to share. The experience must be wisely placed in context. If it is not—if it remains “undirected, unexplained and misinterpreted or laughed down and ridiculed”—then the experience “can be force to descend into the category of true lower psychism”. It remains an un-integrated subtle experience and contributes nothing to the advancement of the consciousness of the experiencer.

  5. What is needed is ‘benevolent contextualization’—a wise and kindly ‘placing’ of the experience amongst the possible types of experience of this nature. The experiencer will then understand the experience as ‘pointing the way’, but will not presume it to be of an unduly high or ultimate nature. He also will not consider it a lowly and useless happening to be dismissed; for then, he could cut himself off from an incipient line of development (indicated by the experience) and cause a cleavage in his psyche.

  6. DK explains the nature of such astral experiences in brilliant terms: “guarantees of future knowledge and as signposts of a relative achievement.” When people dare to reveal certain episodes in their inner life, the revelation must, therefore, be treated with respect. Much is at stake.

  7. It is possible to address that which is not yet reality in such a way that it will help lead to reality.

Disciples need to bear in mind always that they grow by the answering of their own questions; the task of the Master is not to answer questions which, given a little time or thought, the disciple could answer himself, but to suggest or throw into the disciple's mind the type of question which warrants his thought and then to stimulate his abstract mind so that he can successfully find the answer.

  1. Why does Master DK begin to discuss the need for disciples to answer their own questions? Perhaps when subtle experiences occur, the experiencer should not run immediately to another to ask, “What does it mean?” Rather, perhaps, he should be patient, question himself, and eventually determine the meaning for himself.

  2. When Master DK taught His groups of students, they would often ask questions related to their studies. Some of the questions were very complex and unclear. When this was the case, Master DK pointed it out, often advising that a little thought on the part of the questioner could have yielded the answer. Others of these questions, however, were very penetrating, and in DK’s responses, much useful light was shed.

  3. In the short section above, we are given the Master’s perspective on questions and questioning. The Master is not there to simply answer His chela’s questions, but, rather, to propose questions to the chela. The chela ruminating upon the question thrown into his mind by the Master, will evoke his own abstract mind and the answer will come.

  4. It would seem that we progress through a series of ever more penetrating questions rather than through a series of answers given by a higher authority.

  5. What the Master seeks to do is develop faculty in His disciple. We become Masters by demonstrating mastery. Mere reception without the exercise of faculty does not build mastery.

  6. The approach is easy. When we have deep and absorbing questions, our first approach must be to answer them for ourselves. Thus our faculty will grow. When we have done all we can on our own, and when our intuition has spoken to the degree it can, we may wait for the further light which a Master might shed upon the still held question.

You can see, therefore, how important this entire problem of questions can be and how, in a Master's Ashram or group, [page 734] the responsiveness of the membership to the questions, registered either by the individual disciple or by the group as a whole, and the answering of these questions has a conditioning effect upon the group. It is here the Master's particular work comes in—the arousing of the Ashram to the asking of those questions which will lead to revelation. A Master has always two things to bear in mind: the group condition which is dependent upon the aggregated vibration or note of all the members of the Ashram, insofar as they work together, and, secondly, the period in which the group is functioning. To this must be added the total responsiveness of the entire Ashram. One of the difficulties confronting all ashrams (viewing them as wholes) is to absorb new members and disciples, either singly or in groups. One question that necessarily arises is: How can a group within an Ashram (constituted of relatively new disciples and beginners on the Path of Accepted Discipleship) become increasingly sensitive to the vibration of the Ashram as a whole and to the Master of the Ashram?

  1. The Master deals with the importance of questions. He is addressing one of the most important directives given to disciples and discipleship groups: “Enquire the Way”.

  2. The matter of questions leads directly into the Science of Invocation and Evocation, related as it is to the planet Mercury and the sign Gemini.

  3. The Master proposes questions, or, at least, His writings should prompt many questions. The responsiveness to such questions (or to those deliberately thrown into the mind of individual group members or into the mind of the group as a whole) will indicate the readiness of the group for further progress.

  4. By answering our own questions, we move into greater Light.

  5. We note that Master DK is discussing the issue of asking questions in relation to the Stage of Accepted Discipleship. It becomes clear that treating questions in the manner suggested is something that is expected of an accepted disciple.

  6. DK tells us something important about a Master’s work: it is “the arousing of the Ashram to the asking of those questions which will lead to revelation”. This is, perhaps, an unusual thought to some, who fancied the Master as the great repository of answers. The attempt to answer questions is a quest which leads into ever greater Light.

  7. The relevant relationship is between Mercury and the Sun. Mercury symbolizes the question and the antahkarana that leads to revelation. The Sun symbolizes revelation, illumination and the end of the question. The disciple is, symbolically, Mercury and the Master symbolizes the Sun. By asking and answering questions, the disciple is led straight to the Master and become a Master himself.

  8. In this respect we must remember that a sustained revelation is an initiation. In this way, the asking and correct answering of questions (posed by the individual disciple, the discipleship group or the Master) leads to initiation.

  9. The Master must survey His group as He decides what questions to throw into the minds of those assembled. He must consider the group note (indicating the group condition) and the time period in which the group is functioning, and, along with this, He must consider the total responsiveness of the Ashram.

  10. The Master has much to assess. His Ashram and its outer groups are in a certain condition and according to the condition, so will be the manner of His attempted influence.

  11. A very important question is raised: “How should the Ashram absorb new members, whether they arrive singly or in groups?” The quality and the effectiveness of the Ashram are dependent, in large measure, upon the answer to this and similar questions”. On a lower turn of the spiral, those of use who direct or manage groups face similar considerations with respect to newcomers.

  12. The absorption of new members is a difficulty. Those of who are eager to be in a Master’s group or Ashram should soberly contemplate the difficulty to the group or Ashram which our membership may (hopefully only initially) pose. And we should seek to divine why our presence may be a difficulty to the established quality and rhythm of the Ashram. We might learn a lot about our liabilities.

  13. DK is speaking to His assembled groups on the periphery of His Ashram. The outer groups are composed, relatively, of newcomers, and those who are new to the Stage of Accepted Discipleship. The task before the members of such groups (and the group as a whole) is to become increasingly sensitive to the Ashram and to the Master Who directs the Ashram. All members of groups would want this sensitivity to occur, but what must they do to make it a reality? Certainly, decentralization is a major necessity.

This question in reality embodies the major problem existent between the personality and the soul, between the Master and the disciple and between humanity and the Hierarchy. It is basically a question of registering essential unity and the cessation of separativeness. Disciples in their consciousness have to learn to avoid differentiating between aspects of the Ashram, inner and outer, and between the few Ashram members whom they may know and recognise, and the vast number who remain unknown to them. An Ashram is one group or band of disciples, initiates of various degrees, world disciples and neophytes at the very beginning of the Way of discipleship. Disciples must not think in terms of different Ashrams but in terms of the Ashram as a whole.

  1. It would seem that in this section, Master DK is teaching disciples (i.e., accepted disciples) how to think in relation to the Ashram.

  2. He places the question of sensitivity to the Ashram in a larger context—the context of the relation between the Pairs of Opposites. Personality and soul, disciple and Master, and humanity and Hierarchy are all related pairs of opposites. In each pair, one aspect represents form and the other soul; or one represents the Moon and the other the Sun.

  3. The suggestion is given that our sensitivity is hindered by the factor of separativeness—especially separative thinking.

  4. These opposites can be reconciled and the necessary sensitivity created if “essential unity” prevails over separativeness in its many forms.

  5. Differentiation is useful to a point, but when it comes to considering the Ashram, members of an Ashram, and other Ashrams and their members, the separative mind works against the necessary unity of thought. A little careful thought on this matter will reveal how much separative thinking goes on in relation to an Ashram and its personnel. The factor of ashramic unity often disappears to sight.

  6. It is also possible and even likely to think in a small and petty manner, underestimating the size and scope of an Ashram and forgetting the many ashramic members who may remain unknown to the thinker.

  7. DK tells us something of the scope of an Ashram, in its various apparent divisions. But despite the various grades of workers which comprise any Ashram, all of them must be seen as a unified whole.

  8. Not only are we to avoid holding the thought of the manner in which a particular Ashram may be divided into different bands of workers, but we are to avoid dividing in our minds the Great Ashram into the many subsidiary Ashrams.

  9. Yes, the subsidiary Ashrams do exist just as the many types of workers in any Ashram also exist, but the great fact of ashramic unity is the mystery to be held in consciousness as the greatest reality.

  10. Clearly, Master DK is leveling an attack at the separative mind and the undue influence it has over many, if not most, new accepted disciples.

The key to this realisation, little as you may think it, is Intensity. Intensity, or working from a point of tension, brings in the flood-tide of revelation, and it is then possible for a disciple to learn in one short day what might otherwise take months and even years to learn. Tension, when focussed rightly, is the great releasing Power. So many disciples focus tension wrongly and release energy in the wrong direction and (if I might so inadequately express it) from the wrong location. [page 735] Right tension is brought about first by correct orientation; this necessitates a true sense of values and freedom from those minor preoccupations which produce extension instead of tension. If you are (to give a very usual illustration) preoccupied with your physical condition, you will not experience the tension which will make you a magnetic centre of power and love; if you are preoccupied with the failures of other people or with their ideas about you, you will again fail to experience the tension which releases. You would find it of value to discover where your "extensions" are and then retreat inward to the point of tension from which you can consciously and effectively direct soul energy.

  1. DK is speaking about the manner of reconciling and unifying certain of the pairs of opposes. He is speaking about how to experience oneness in the midst of apparent division and diversity. In sum, He is speaking about how to realize that the many members are but one Ashram and that the many Ashrams are the One Great Ashram.

  2. The key to this sort of realization is “Intensity”. This is a key occult point and invites careful pondering.

  3. According to DK, right intensity, or right tension leads to the mastery of time; at least it greatly speeds the learning process. If we find that we are slow at learning something that is necessary, we may question the degree of our intensity (i.e., whether we are working for a proper point of tension).

  4. The promise is substantial—to learn in one short day what might otherwise take months or even years! A prospect of this nature cannot be ignored.

  5. Tension and release—these two concepts have made their way into popular thinking, especially in relation to relaxation therapy. What DK is stressing, however, is that “tension is a great releasing Power”. Usually the two concepts are considered opposites or contradictory. However, ‘tenseness’ is the true opposite of release—not occult tension.

  6. In the question of achieving right tension a key discriminator is the difference between the essential and the non-essential.

  7. When it comes to the “location” of tension, we must think of the structure of the human being. Tension is not to be focussed or localized anywhere in the personality. Such tensions are really extensions.

  8. If my attention is fixated on any aspect of my personality, then I am ‘extense’ rather than intense. Extensions are preoccupations, and preoccupations are veils upon sight.

  9. If we wish to be relieved from our extensions, we have to have a “true sense of values” and freedom from minor preoccupations.

  10. What have values to do with the states of extension or tension? Values determine where desire is focussed; or perhaps, the ‘location; where desire is habitually focussed, is an indication of our values.

  11. According to our values, so will be the degree of elevation of our consciousness, or the degree of interiority of our consciousness. Our personality is an externality, and an insufficiently elevated sense of values will promote personality focus. The higher the sense of values the more interior the focusing (even though there will be great effectiveness in the outer spheres).

  12. When we truly value the soul more than the personality, we will be intense. Before that time, to a greater or lesser degree, we are extense.

  13. Minor preoccupations represent a ‘pettiness in focusing’, a focusing on the part and not the whole, on the external and not the internal, on the peripheral and not the central.

  14. We can see why only the experienced disciple is in a position to become intense.

  15. DK lists a number of small preoccupations

    1. preoccupation with the physical nature

    2. with other people’s failures and, thus, with criticism of them

    3. with what other people think of one and, thus, with their criticism of oneself

  16. To these might be added, preoccupation with one’s emotional nature or mind.

  17. Right intensity is right centering and the relegation of all peripheral matters to their proper place. It obviously requires considerable detachment to be intense.

  18. We are understanding that, for love and will to materialize within the disciple’s consciousness, right tension must be achieved. Love and will are states of release which are stifled by minor preoccupations.

This is the true esoteric work. The majority of disciples are not even 60 per cent effective because their points of tension are scattered all over the personality and are not focussed where the point of individual tension should be. Each has to discover that point of spiritual tension for himself. The reason that disciples are not sensitive to the Master, to the life of the Ashram and to each other is that they are extended and not tense; they are working and living on the periphery of consciousness and not at the centre. Their service, therefore, is partial; their consecration is weak and they are overwhelmed by inertia, by lack of interest in others and by many preoccupations with the form side of life.

  1. The true esoteric work is inseparable from the capacity to achieve right tension and, thus—in consciousness—turn division into unity and unity into the synthesis that IS.

  2. If we ever want to know what esoteric work really is, in a simple definition, it is Right Tension.

  3. Whenever DK speaks of certain percentages, we know He is speaking with exactitude. The critique applies to “the majority of disciples”. Their effectiveness is limited to 60 per cent of what it might be.

  4. But where should the point of tension be? This cannot be specified exoterically. It is something that has to be discovered experientially. This process is something like building the antahkarana. Techniques can be suggested, but they cannot replace the disciple’s own experimentation.

  5. People often wonder about why they cannot contact the Master. In an earlier instruction we learned that their noisy personality prevents the registration of the sensitivity with which they are already endowed. Here, we discover that inadequate tension is to blame. “They are extended and not tense”. A peripherally focussed consciousness will not find the Master (the symbol of whom is the circle with the dot at the center).

  6. A number of important liabilities are laid to the door of insufficient tension:

    1. partial service

    2. weak consecration

    3. being overwhelmed by inertia

    4. lack of interest in others

    5. many minor preoccupations

  7. The cure to these maladies is simply given: achieve sufficient intensity through the ability to live at a correct point of tension.

  8. There are many who seem not to care enough. The cure is right tension. Would such people understand if this cure were suggested to them? Perhaps it could be framed additionally with words like focus, attention, concentration, one-pointedness, centering, etc.

One more question might here be considered, dealing with a phrase which I have deliberately used several times in these talks: What is the distinction between love and the will-to-love? It is one which constantly is asked in the early stages of the path of discipleship. It is a most revealing question and is based on a sense of individual need and also on group need. It indicates also a penetrating analysis which has carried the questioner to the point where he knows the difference between theory, plus effort, and a spontaneous demonstration of that which is.

  1. Now DK asks a question which was implied in the last instruction pertaining to the Stage of Chela in the Light.

  2. At that time the “will-to-love” was given a beautiful definition. There it was said that “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.” (DINA I 720)

  3. Here some reservations are placed upon the term “will-to-love” and something even higher is suggested.

  4. Most disciples are struggling with the difference between the will-to-love and pure, spontaneous love.

  5. DK finds the question, “What is the distinction between love and the will to-love?” a most revealing question. It points to the condition of many disciples—to their need and the need of their groups (the need, truly and simply, to love).

  6. It is not possible to ask such a question until a sufficiently penetrating analysis has led to and understanding of “the difference between theory, plus effort, and a spontaneous demonstration of that which is.”

  7. The will-to-love involves theory plus effort and love, per se, is the “demonstration of that which is”. It is, either because it has been created or because it has been discovered as substantially existent.

  8. The conclusion is inescapable: as beautiful as is the definition of the will-to-love, love, per se, is a higher state.

The will-to-love involves the recognition of limitation, of desire, of the forcing of an issue and of the intense aspiration really to love. It does not indicate the inflow of Shamballa energy through the medium of the soul whose intrinsic nature is spontaneous love. Where there is a determination to be [page 736] loving, certain attitudes—either natural and belonging to a developed personality or forced through attention to soul behest—emerge. The disciple knows that he lacks love, because he is constantly finding himself isolated from and not identified with others; he is irritated by others: he is critical of his brothers, either feeling superior to them or looking at them and saying: "Here they are wrong and I am right; here they do not understand and I do; I know them but they don't know me; I must be patient with them," etc., etc. Throughout this phase, the attitude is definitely that of the will-to-love, coupled to a deep realisation of the handicaps to the expression of love presented by those others and presented also by one's own habits of thought. This is all a form of self-centredness. The true way to love is to reflect and meditate deeply and constantly upon the significance and the meaning of love, its origin, its expression through the soul, its qualities, goals and objectives. Most of the reflection carried on by the aspirant is based upon his innate realisation that he does not really love in the spontaneous, free way of the spirit. The disciple is, therefore, thrown back on a self-centred position in which he feels: "Now I am loving; now I am not loving; now I must try and love." Yet all the time none of these attitudes is really true love nor is their result a loving expression because the disciple is identified with himself and focussed in the personality. Love is never worked up, if I might put it so, in the lower nature; it is a free unimpeded inflow from the higher.

  1. This paragraph is one of the most important in this entire teaching. It contrasts the usual aspirant’s attitude to love and the real nature of love.

  2. What does the will-to-love involve, according to the Tibetan:

    1. recognition of limitation

    2. recognition of desire

    3. the forcing of an issue

    4. the intense desire really to love

  3. It is clear that in relation to all these four dynamics, the consciousness is identified with the personality.

  4. Real love is something quite different and a very interesting definition is given: “… the inflow of Shamballa energy through the medium of the soul whose intrinsic nature is spontaneous love.” This is what the will-to-love is not.

  5. When there is a “determination to be loving”, certain attitudes emerge. The source of these attitudes is either natural through a high grade personality or is forced because the soul seems to demand it. The result is strained, divided, and essentially self-centered. The consciousness is still focussed in the personality which is trying to be loving.

  6. There follows a description of the disciple who knows he lacks love. It sounds, perhaps, like ourselves or many we have known, does it not? There is a strong sense of cleavage and the effort to overcome that cleavage. DK obviously has been through this phase. He describes it with an accuracy which only experience can prompt.

  7. Then comes the statement to which all who would love must give close attention: “The true way to love is to reflect and meditate deeply and constantly upon the significance and the meaning of love, its origin, its expression through the soul, its qualities, goals and objectives.

  8. This sentence may come as a surprise because it is so reflective, so meditative, so subjective. One may imagine that one learns to love by trying to love. But Master DK suggests an altogether more interior approach. It as if the mind must be involved if the disciple is to arrive at an understanding of true love and the ability to express it.

  9. Most aspirants think and reflect very differently about love. They realize they do not love in any truly spontaneous manner (in the “free way of the spirit”). We have noticed that Shamballa and the spirit are involved in the realization and expression of love.

  10. If the disciple is identified with himself, he cannot really love. He can only will-to-love. The soul does not will to love, because it is love. Can we identify as soul? If we can, we will love and no longer only will to love.

  11. Anyone who is the victim of a strictly personality focus cannot love in a pure and spontaneous manner. The personality resonates to the solar plexus and the soul to the heart. From the solar plexus will come the desire to love; from the heart will come love itself.

  12. This important statement is made: “Love is never worked up, if I might put it so, in the lower nature; it is a free unimpeded inflow from the higher.” True love is a ‘downflow’ and requires a focussing in the higher nature.

  13. It is interesting that in the contrast between will and desire, we learn that desire is worked up from below and that true will is also a downflow, working from above.

  14. In this respect, true love and true will have something in common. They are not ‘resident’ within a disciple’s lower nature, but ‘descend’ into that nature from ‘above’.

  15. We can see how the point of identification, right tension and the release of true, pure love are all closely interrelated.

  16. These are themes which are of immediate importance to the accepted disciple who, it can be presumed, has begun to decentralize himself sufficiently to understand the distinction between the will-to-love and real love.

Love is spontaneous and carries ever the free spirit of Christ. I would suggest that there has never been a better description of the nature of love than that given by the initiate Paul, even though the translation of his words is faulty at times. Study those passages in the New Testament in which he defines love. Give up emphasising the will-to-love and emphasise in your own consciousness the need of others for understanding, compassion, interest and help. The usual loneliness of all disciples is frequently incidental to the fact of the self-centredness of all those whom they contact and the intense preoccupation of the neophyte with his own growth. The cry of the neophyte is: "Tell me. Tell me. Then I will change. I will accept anything that is said but tell me." The cry of the disciple is: "Aid [page 737] the work. Forget yourself. The world needs you." So many disciples are still shut up within themselves, hidden behind the wall of the personal self and little true out-going love is present. Until they break through and truly love, their usefulness is impaired.

  1. Because love simply is, it is spontaneous in its appearance. It does not have to be created, fabricated or, somehow, generated. It simply has to be revealed. One of the distinct aspects of the Divine Plan is the “revelation of love”.

  2. Paul Who, in the early days, seemed conspicuously unloving, entered a full appreciation of the buddhic energy after He was beset by the Christ on the Road to Damascus. Under that continuing influence He wrote beautifully about love. It is interesting that Master DK knows what was really written compared to what has been translated. It must be a supreme torture to the Masters to see how their words have been disfigured (either intentionally or unintentionally) by those who understood too little or feared too much.

  3. The transition from the will-to-love to love, itself, is given. We are to give up emphasizing the will to love and, instead, emphasize the need which other have for

    1. understanding

    2. compassion

    3. interest

    4. help

  4. By doing this our attention is removed from our personality nature (where it has been long trapped) and, instead, liberated into concern for others, leading to identification with others.

  5. Loneliness is apparently a problem for many disciples. It is partially the fault of their own self-centeredness and, partially, because those they contact in order to serve are so self-centered and preoccupied with their own growth. They are shut up in themselves and cannot really touch or be intimately touched by the one who is attempting to help them. DK informs us, as well, that many disciples are not much better.

  6. The respective cries of the neophyte and true disciple are immensely revealing: “The cry of the neophyte is: ‘Tell me. Tell me. Then I will change. I will accept anything that is said but tell me’.” The cry of the disciple is: “Aid the work. Forget yourself. The world needs you.”

    Which is our cry? We can see how dependent is the first cry and the how selfless the second.

  7. As the term “disciple” is used in this context, we realize that it is the “accepted disciple” who is referenced. The “neophyte” refers to the probationary disciple and perhaps to the sincere aspirant.

  8. DK closes this section by emphasizing the indispensability of real love if a disciple is to become truly useful. Most disciples simply do not love enough. They are shut up within themselves, and true outgoing love is not very present. They must break through this condition. They must move from theory to practice. They must demonstrate solar-fire in action.

  9. The request is simple: love. And do this by pondering and reflecting upon the nature of love. Do this by emphasizing the need of others for understanding, compassion, interest and help. Forget yourself and love! Nothing could be easier, correct? And yet…

We have considered briefly the stage of Little Chelaship and that of Chela in the Light. These stages lie behind quite a large number of human beings today. It is necessary, however, to revive the effect of these two experiences and the need to do so lies behind much of the work being done by disciples and teachers at this time. Many other people are today passing through the stage of Accepted Discipleship. The keynote of that stage is, as you know, the establishing of contact with the Master; it is primarily and technically the task of the Master to evoke the direct response and the conscious reaction of the disciple. Along with these reactions, the Master looks for an effort on the part of the disciple to be impersonal in his dealings, both with Him and with his co-disciples; impersonality is the first step upon the road to spiritual love and understanding. The effort of most sincere disciples is usually concentrated upon loving each other and in this (to use an old simile) they put the "cart before the horse." Their effort should be to achieve, first of all, impersonality in their dealings for, when that has been achieved, criticism dies out and love can pour in.

  1. In the previous two instructions the Stages of Little Chelaship and Chela in the Light have been considered.

  2. Although these stages are behind or even far behind many disciples today, the effect of these stages must be revived so that a continuity may be produced. The disciple must consciously know and understand the stages through which he has passed, most probably in other lives. Then, he can more fully appreciate the requirements of the stage in which he is now focussed.

  3. Again, DK tells us that there are many accepted disciples today.

  4. Here the keynote of Accepted Discipleship is given: “establishing contact with the Master”. This has nothing to do with the gratification of the disciple. The contrary is true, if anything, as the Master, we are told, applies certain energies to “blast” the chela “wide open”—a discomfiting experience to say the least.

  5. In this matter of contacting the Master, the Master has a major role. It is the Master’s task to “evoke direct response and conscious reaction of the disciple”. We remember that we are examining these Six Stages from the perspective of the Master and His inner assistants. When the time is right, and the aspiring disciple has made sufficient preparation, the Master will initiate contact. It is not in the disciple’s hands to do this.

  6. DK begins to emphasize impersonality in this paragraph. The Master looks for impersonality in the reactions of the His chela—not only to other disciples but to Himself.

  7. What is so important about impersonality? We are told that it makes real love possible. Does this seem a strange thought? Impersonality is said to be “the first step along the road to spiritual love and understanding”.

  8. The formula is an interesting one.

    1. Criticism prevents love.

    2. Impersonality causes criticism to die out.

    3. When criticism dies out, love can pour in.

    4. Therefore, before attempting to “love”, presumably via the will-to-love, make the attempt to achieve impersonality.

  9. One becomes impersonal through much meditation, identification as a soul, and seeing the “big picture”. It requires a state of detachment, a standing back, a disidentification from the personal nature, as if it were not the Self—which of course it is not.

  10. The implication is that the accepted disciple is rapidly and necessarily learning to be impersonal.

The Master also looks for an effort upon the part of His disciples to work on a larger and more generous scale in connection with His work in the world of men; He leaves them free to work as they may choose but He most certainly looks for the effort to take place along the lines of the specific activities which constitute His intention. To achieve this vital and strenuous effort, there must be the ability to focus upon the work and its needs and to develop the power to cooperate with those also engaged in similar work. This, again, involves impersonality and right focus. The Master is today looking for dedication to the needs of humanity in these days of human agony; this involves a sensitivity to world pain as it demonstrates from day to day in world affairs; it requires also a "divine indifference" to outer events in the life of the little self and a sense of proportion which enables the disciple to see his little personal [page 738] affairs—physical, emotional and mental—in terms of the whole. So again we arrive at impersonality—this time impersonality to a man's own reactions.

  1. We are being told what a Master looks for in His accepted disciples. The concept of generosity emerges. Large and generous—these are characteristic of the Jupiterian attitude. The largesse and generosity are to be directed towards the world of men. The accepted disciple must be large and generous in his service.

  2. Every accepted disciple is free to work as he may choose, but the Master expects that the work done will be aligned with His intention.

  3. If the disciple focuses along the line of the Master’s intention, it will require vital and strenuous effort to fulfill the needs connected with the Master’s work and to cooperate with those similarly engaged. The need for impersonality enters again, otherwise, competition may arise even among accepted disciples.

  4. Humanity certainly comes first in the consciousness of an accepted disciple. The heart must be sensitized and “world pain” must be registered.

  5. We are being made aware of the strenuous requirements of this stage involving direct supervision by the Master. Thus, the pressure increases.

  6. Added to the requirements thus far listed are “divine indifference” and a sense of proportion. The two are surely related. When the perspective of the soul is being established, divine indifference (and impersonality) are natural consequences.

  7. Difficulties arising in the personality are seen in perspective. Such difficulties preoccupy the attention of the average individual. They cannot capture the attention of the accepted disciple unduly. The accepted disciple has the whole in mind, and the ordinary affairs of personality living shrink in importance.

  8. We see Master DK hammering home the importance of impersonality: impersonality to the personalities of others, and with respect to the Master, and now, impersonality with respect to one’s own reactions.

  9. Impersonality guarantees that the disciple will remain focussed in the larger picture and, thus, energy flows from higher dimensions will not be short-circuited by minor preoccupations, extensions and, in general, personality reactions.

The Master has, therefore, necessarily to ask Himself whether the expenditure of time and energy which He gives to the members of His group or Ashram is rightly warranted and whether, as a result, the group has "quickened" for increased service, and is more closely knit together in the bonds of the ashramic fellowship and is decentralised and less a group of dedicated personalities and more a group of living souls.

  1. The Master functions, minimally, according to the Law of Economy. He also serves higher Laws, such as the Law of Attraction and the Law of Synthesis. But even in pursuit of these higher objectives, the Law of Economy must be observed.

  2. The Master strives to quicken His outer groups for increased service, but have they responded? If they have not, He is only justified in proceeding so far.

  3. If He expends considerable energy upon them, He expects several things:

    1. that they will, indeed, be “quickened” for service

    2. that they will be more closely knit in the bonds of ashramic fellowship

    3. that they will be more decentralized

    4. that they will be a group of living souls more than a group of dedicated personalities. (Note the contrast between the solar plexus and heart emphasis.)

  4. If these developments occur to a reasonable extent, the Master is warranted in continuing His efforts. If they do not, it would be against Wisdom to proceed further in the same way with the same group.

  5. The Master, we realize, is not lavishing attention upon a group for the gratification of its personnel. Each such group could play a significant role in His emerging plans. He is training them to fulfill such possibilities.

Impersonality has also to be developed in connection with the Master Himself. He is not occupied with making His group of disciples satisfied with themselves, their status or their service. He frequently lays the emphasis (in His few and rare contacts with His disciples) upon their failures and limitations. He does not only give them a steady flow of teaching and increased opportunity to serve. His work is primarily to help them detach themselves from the form aspect of life and fit them to undergo certain great expansions of consciousness. He assumes the factual nature of their dedication and desire to serve. This he has shown by receiving them into His group of disciples. When He did that, He assumed also the responsibility of preparing them for initiation. It is no part of the Master's duties to pat disciples upon the back or to congratulate them upon work done and progress made. He has instead the task of watching closely their note or vibration and of indicating where changes must be made in attitude and expression, where intensification of the spiritual life is in order and where personality adjustments could lead to greater freedom and, therefore, to more effective service. If this process, when applied by Him evokes resentment and disappointment upon their part, then the indication is that they are still steeped in personal reactions.

  1. DK emphasizes the necessary attitude of impersonality with respect to the Master, Himself.

  2. Some hard sayings follow. A Master does not usually compliment His chelas. His available time is scarce; He is involved with world work upon which the welfare (and even the survival) of humanity depends. He must proceed swiftly and expediently. Thus it is that, when He can contact His chelas (which is a rare enough occurrence), He cannot waste time patting them on the back. He wants them to before effective instruments for service as rapidly as possible, and therefore, points out their liabilities directly.

  3. Master DK says that the Master does not give His chelas a “steady flow of teaching and increased opportunity to serve”, and yet, one could hardly deny the steady flow of teaching which came from the ‘pen’ of Master DK. As for the opportunity to service, abundant opportunities were offered and are offered still.

  4. But deeper motives of a Master relative to His students are revealed. He is trying to make initiates of them. To that end, He is helping them detach from form life and to prepare for those great expansions of consciousness which initiation represents. He is attempting to evoke from them their highest, strongest, noblest and best responses. He is not merely feeding them full so that they may be content and well-satisfied.

  5. Many things are assumed. The chela’s dedication and willingness to serve are assumed. Why should those necessities be constantly emphasized? It would be a waste of time. Chelas could never enter a Master’s group unless they had proven their dedication and their willingness to serve to a significant degree. The main thrust of their training after acceptance is training for initiation. This is a responsibility which the Master has undertaken, and He presses ahead to bring the day of achievement closer.

  6. In the process of preparing them for initiation, the Master emphasizes the following, after watching their note or vibration carefully.

    1. changes in attitude

    2. changes in expression

    3. where the spiritual life may be intensified

    4. personality adjustments leading to greater freedom

    5. personality adjustments leading to more effective service.

  7. The Master “means business” despite the personal sensitivities of His chelas. He deals with them in a kind, firm and impersonal manner and He expects impersonality in return—with respect to Him, to their fellow disciples, and to their own personality conditions.

Another thing which disciples are apt to forget is that the Master has to protect the larger Ashram as a whole from the reaction of those who are learning to work in smaller supervised groups and in cooperation with their more experienced brothers. Sometimes disciples become discouraged—from a natural morbidness, self-centredness, lethargy and sometimes [page 739] good intentions—and endeavour to resign from the Ashram or group. This they can only do exoterically, for the esoteric link always persists, though it may be temporarily negated in the need of the larger group to protect itself from some unit in its midst. The members of an Ashram and accepted disciples are always engaged in world work and effectively so. Newcomers and beginners have to be trained to participate in that work and ample scope is always provided to this end.

  1. The Master also has a protective function. Earlier it was said that it is always difficult and disrupting to bring new chelas (individually and in small groups) into an established Ashram. They may well over-react or inappropriately react to the new stimulation.

  2. The established Ashram is already a working unit in the larger Ashram of the Christ. Plans in motion cannot be allowed to falter because of ‘waves’ caused by newly entering chelas.

  3. Thus the Master is cautious, and finds ways to insulate the established chelas from ‘assimilative turbulence’. Interestingly, it is the function of some chelas to protect the Master from the new members.

  4. DK deals with the question of whether a new accepted chela can “resign from the Ashram”. The reasons given are interesting: “natural morbidness” is one, for there is much negativity and retrogressiveness in the average disciple. Self-centeredness and lethargy are other causes.

  5. Once, however, a Master had admitted a chela into the Ashram, the bonds are not easily broken, for the relation, really, is from soul to soul, and, therefore, the temporary fluctuations of an over- or under-reacting personality is a superficial matter compared to the deeper soul affiliation involved.

  6. There will arise circumstances in which the group must protect itself from a rebellious or unstable “unit” in its midst. But that unit is not so much expelled as temporarily suspended.

  7. The Master expects increasingly effective world work from accepted disciples. Newly accepted disciples are expected to learn how to work in that way.

  8. We certainly see in this instruction, how the requirements are becoming more exacting. It is well for us to have this in mind if we are to clearly assess whether we are ready for the stage of accepted discipleship, or whether we have attained it.

  9. The details of ashramic functioning with respect to the accepted disciples are being quite clearly revealed

Certain periods come when disciples have to be faced with clear and definite questions, in the answering of which they discover themselves and the scope and fruitfulness of their demanded service. Some of these questions might be expressed as follows:

  1. Master DK is attempting to have us face ourselves through the answering of clear and definite questions. We remember earlier He spoke of the questions He throws into the minds of His chelas.

  2. As we review these questions, it would be a good idea to pause and formulate our answers.

How effective is my work in relation to my sphere of activity?

  1. A disciple works without attachment to results, but eventually is expected to be both reliable and effective in terms of helping to change the world according to the Plan.

  2. We can rest back on good intentions only so long.

How effective is my thinking and planning in relation to what may lie ahead in the immediate future? We have an instance of this today, in connection with the plans for a post-war world and the need for intelligent and spiritual reconstruction activity.

  1. Accepted disciples are learning that it is not admissible simply “to muddle on through”. Under Saturn and Mercury they must learn to think and plan. The life is to come under soul control, mediated through an aligned mind and brain.

  2. If members of the Hierarchy are great spiritual executives, accepted disciples must take a step in this direction.

  3. We note that the term “immediate future” is used and not “distant” future. An accepted disciple is a practical individual. The distant hopes may be glorious indeed, but those hopes will never be fulfilled if immediate spiritual objectives are not understood and well-executed.

What results can I recognise as the fruit of my work?

  1. Although the accepted disciple must know what it means to work without attachments to results, his efforts will inevitably lead to effects, to some form of manifestation. He must carefully analyze these “fruits” and test their quality. Only thus will he be able to make the readjustments which will improve his service. The accepted disciple tries to develop a sense of proportion with respect to his labors; he does not seek to delude himself.

Do I feel that my work has been satisfactory from the standpoint of my soul and, incidentally, of my Master?

  1. The soul (meaning, in this instance, the Solar Angel) is the principal Guide, Mentor and Consultant. The Elder Brother sets the standard and the disciple is to know, intuitively, the degree to which that standard has been fulfilled.

  2. There are two Masters for every truly chela. The first is the Solar Angel (an Initiate of all degrees) and the second is his own Master of the Wisdom (directing the Ashram with which he may be affiliating is or affiliated).

  3. We note that the Solar Angel is put first; otherwise the cart will be put before the horse. So many seek the Master and ignore their soul/Solar Angel. Such an approach will not lead to the objective. The order is clear: fulfill soul requirements; then, and only then, may the Master seek to undertake the guidance and teaching of a chela.

Have I worked with impersonality in relation to my fellow disciples and co-workers, no matter what their status?

  1. This is a crucial question and asks us if we can sustain impersonality regardless of the relative status of the disciples with whom we may be working. Some disciples may be able to maintain a degree of impersonality amongst those most closely related to them in terms of spiritual status, but lose their impersonality immediately when related to disciples who are treading the earlier or later stages of the Path. For other disciples, the problem is just the reverse.

  2. The problem is one of personality and lower ego. As long as the identification is with the personality as the lower identity, impersonality will lie beyond the possibility of achievement.

Have I preserved the needed spirit of loving cooperation?

  1. A simple question and one which not many modern, mental disciples can easily answer in the affirmative. We remember that impersonality precedes love.

Do I recognise truthfully my own and my co-disciples' limitations and do I then move forward with those who are serving alongside of me without criticism and with silence?

  1. “Loving recognition of limitation”—this was the phrase used when the problem of criticism was being discussed.

  2. The expression of love requires much silence where others would speak, and perhaps, speech where others would remain silent.

Do I realise exactly where I stand? Whom I can help? And to whom I must look for example, aid and understanding?

  1. Well, this is a hard question for most. It requires great truthfulness about oneself and considerable impersonality with respect to one’s present personality attainments and liabilities.

  2. If we do not know where we stand (which, of course, involves the factor impersonal comparison) we will not know whom we can help, and thus our service will be curtailed or distorted.

  3. “I look above, I help below”. Humility is required. Each must reach a hand upwards, and a hand below.

  4. Probably the outer and inner panorama must be surveyed in order to know the proper answer to this question. One can help those in both outer and inner worlds. One can be helped by those in both outer and inner worlds.

One of the first lessons a disciple has to learn is to recognise what is occultly called "hierarchical progression." This enables the disciple to place himself consciously at the point to which evolution and spiritual unfoldment have brought him and, therefore, recognise those whom he can assist from the standpoint [page 740] of his greater experience and those to whom he must look for like aid.

  1. We are being confronted with the lesson of “hierarchical progression”.

  2. Many disciples display wishful thinking in this regard. Thereby, they deceive both themselves and others.

  3. There comes a time when the truth of the matter is a paramount objective.

  4. How shall we see ourselves clearly? Probably it takes much academic study and, even more importantly, study of life circumstances in the three worlds—both in the outer and inner worlds.

  5. A clear and truthful reckoning or inventory of assets and liabilities is in order. One has to approach this tally in a balanced manner—neither conceitedly or morosely. Again, if impersonality is present in the consciousness, this will be possible.

This is a hard first lesson. The neophyte is always more consciously conceited than is the experienced disciple. It was the need for the understanding of this fact of hierarchical progression which prompted me to choose the six stages of discipleship as our study theme. To be a disciple does not mean that all within the Ashram are upon the same rung of the ladder of evolution. It is not so. An Ashram is composed of all degrees, ranging from that of a disciple who is taking his first steps upon the arduous path of training, up to that of a disciple who is a Master of the Wisdom. This hierarchical progression is something warranting careful consideration. I would remind you of the Law which states that "we grow through the medium of our recognitions." A recognition, when it is seen as an aspect or fractional part of a greater whole, is the seed of a major expansion of consciousness. A stabilised expansion of consciousness connotes initiation. This is an occult statement of major importance.

  1. A great and arresting statement! The neophyte (here, meaning the one who enters as an accepted disciple) is “always more consciously conceited than is the experienced disciple). How very true! The experienced disciple is the chastened disciple! He possesses the “chastened heart” (DINA I 584).

  2. Now we come to one of Master DK’s prime motives in writing about the Six Stages of Discipleship. It was to emphasize the structure of “hierarchical progression” and, thus, to help the disciple place himself—in all humility and sense of proportion.

  3. We have to accept that the various members of the Ashram are on different rungs of the ladder of evolution. When we see this, we have to view it with real impersonality, and not just with a suppression of those psychological reactions which we recognize as undesirable.

  4. All within an Ashram are disciples. The very newest accepted disciple is a disciple, and so are the Master and even the Christ.

  5. We are asked to meditate upon “hierarchical progression”—presumably without becoming proudly fixated upon our self-assessed status, or morbidly depressed about the same.

  6. Realizing that all disciples wish to advance, Master DK gives us the formula for advancement: “we grow through the medium of our recognitions”. We do not force ourselves forward or subtly try to force others out of the way. We simply persist in expanding our consciousness, knowing that elevation of vibration (and status) occur in this way. It is all a matter of assessing vibration. To be truthful in this assessment, impersonality is required. We want to see things just as they are, without the slightest self-blinding, self-defeating distortion.

  7. An occult statement of the greatest importance is given re the recognitions through which we grow: A recognition, when it is seen as an aspect or fractional part of a greater whole, is the seed of a major expansion of consciousness. A stabilised expansion of consciousness connotes initiation.

  8. A formula is given.

    1. A recognition, if and when related to the whole within which it occurs, is a seed—the seed of a major expansion of consciousness.

    2. A stabilized expansion of consciousness connotes or suggests initiation.

    3. We move, thus, from recognition, to expansion of consciousness, to initiation.

  9. It is this progression which the Master is attempting to promote in our lives, giving little time to the lesser things which our personalities might still crave.

It is essential that disciples cultivate the attitude of spiritual recognition and they will find their lives greatly enriched when they do so. Contact with disciples, initiates and Masters is ever evocative in the result. The power they normally and unconsciously wield has a dual effect. It draws out the best and evokes the worst whilst presenting situations with which the disciple must deal. Every disciple is a focal point of power to some degree. The more advanced the disciple, the greater the force or energy which will radiate from him; this necessarily presents situations which the lesser disciple has to handle. The true disciple never does this with intention. The theory (so prevalent among occult groups) that the leader or some senior working disciple must stage situations in order to develop the pupil is contrary to occult law. The moment, however, you step into the range of the radiation of a Master or of any disciple senior to you, then things are bound to happen in your life. The radiation is effective when rightly received, registered and consciously used to bring about the sensed and needed changes. Eventually when the disciple's vibration is constant and responsive to the higher one, the two can then be synchronised. [page 741] It is this synchronisation which characterises all grades of initiates and which indicates to an initiate of a higher degree that an initiate or disciple of a lower grade can be admitted into the higher ranks. Synchronisation is the key to initiation.

  1. Our task, in light of this discussion, is to “cultivate the attitude of spiritual recognition”. In short, this means that we will be viewing all things in terms of their meaning and eventually of their significance.

  2. An accepted disciple is in increasing contact with higher disciples, initiates and the Master. This will bring about significant changes in his life. With such impacts (evoking from him his best and worst) he has to learn to deal—again impersonally.

  3. Masters and initiates wield this power unconsciously. It is the result of Their radiation. They do not seek (against occult law) the means to stage disruptive circumstances in the lives of their disciples. The disruption will occur as a matter of course. In fact, a Master may even seek to offset an inevitable disruption. The Masters do not walk amongst men, largely for the protection of men!

  4. To “stage” disruptive situations with the motive of producing growth in a lesser disciple is manipulative and, DK tells us, “against occult law”, which ever respects the freedom of will.

  5. So, when the less developed step into the range of radiation of the more developed, big (and often personally upsetting) changes will occur. This we must expect, and not blame the agency through which the personal upset comes. This kind of disruption is inevitable and, ultimately, disturbing in a helpful way.

  6. We learnt that the disruption arising due to contact between the greater and lesser does not last forever. Eventually, largely because of the disruption and the questioning arising through it, the lower learns to synchronize with the higher and a major unification takes place. This unification lead to initiation—the successful approximation by the lower of the vibratory state of the higher.

  7. If “synchronization is initiation”, we understand that when an initiate of lower degree synchronizes his vibration with an initiation of higher degree, the moment of initiation is indicated and recommendation for advancement can be submitted.

  8. We can see that a disciple develops according to a scientific process and that an entire science is dedicated to the process of initiation. This is a science we have to learn if we are not to remain only mystics, but add the capacities of an occultist to our mystical foundation.

  9. To sense the vibratory frequency and quality of a higher initiate or Master is an act of ‘directed sensitivity’. It can only be performed at the right point of tension. There is no initiation for the one who is not rightly tense.

  10. Without the attentiveness produced by right tension, there is no synchronization. Without synchronization, there is no initiation.

  11. All the necessary qualities for the accepted disciple relate to each other and reinforce each other. Right questioning, the will-to-love, love, generosity, service, tension, proportion, impersonality, divine indifference, hierarchical progression, recognition, expansion, synchronization, initiation—take a little time to see the connections. These are some of the main subjects covered by the Tibetan in this discussion of accepted discipleship.

  12. Do we feel we could come closer to this stage of development? Do we feel we know what to do? What we may have done? What we should continue to do?

  13. The accepting disciple becomes the pledged disciple, who becomes, at length, the accepted disciple. Are we on our way? Have we arrived? How are we enriched by knowing the Tibetan’s perspective on this most necessary stage of disciplic development?

  14. The accepted disciple is truly a member of the Ashram, though on its periphery. The Masters wish to gather many into Their Ashrams. Hence, we are dealing with what, for many, is the next disciplic achievement.