commentary by Michael D. Robbins
Each time we consider the various stages of discipleship, it becomes more difficult to give the neophyte a true picture of the state of consciousness and the inner situation and relationships. [page 765]

1.                  The advanced aspirant has already taken the first initiation. Master DK’s task is to deal with “aspirants for initiation” (R&I 586). In a way, all those who have not taken the third degree are “aspirants for initiation”.

This is also due to the fact that I am attempting to deal (in these more advanced stages) with awarenesses which have no parallel or correspondence in the experience of even the advanced aspirant.

2. It is hard to accept that there are no parallels or correspondences, since the entire universe may be interpreted according to the Law of Correspondences. Yet, thus it is stated. Perhaps, now and then the slightest intuitive hints appear.

When we are considering the last three stages, we are definitely dealing with that which might be called the initiate-consciousness at a high stage of expansion and with knowledge for which we have no terminology.

3.                  Here, Master DK is identifying with the aspirant when He uses the term “we”.

4.                  When speaking of the “last three stages” we are probably speaking of “Chela on the Thread”, “Chela within the Aura”, and “Chela in the Master’s Heart”. There is also a final stage concerning the “Blending of the Lights”, but it is given no name.

5.                  In we disregard this last and unnamed stage, then the “initiate consciousness” begins with the stage of “Chela on the Thread”. If we include the last stage, then it begins with “Chela within the Aura”

Is it not apparent to you that the initiate of high degree lives in a world of reactions and of subtle phenomena which are totally unimaginable to the average disciple?

6.                  Here the terms “average disciple” and “advanced aspirant” are equated.

7.                  The fact is that we cannot imagine that which is unimaginable.

8.                  The third degree presents a line of demarcation. The buddhic phenomena available to the fourth degree initiate are even more unfathomable to the consciousness of the average disciple.

He is, therefore, when functioning on the physical plane or in the three worlds, only bringing the lowest aspect of his consciousness into play and action.

9.                  An initiate is not what he seems to be. Therefore, as he really is, he is unapproachable to the average man.

I have for years taught you, and your interest has been profound.

10.              This is what is required if one is to be a true student of a Master.

Many of the technicalities of the occult sciences are yours and you know much theoretically.

11.              Such knowledge (as difficult as it may be to acquire) is only a starting point. 

This is evidenced by the interest shown and in the questions submitted. These dealt with the permanent atoms, their functioning and vitalisation.

12.              We note that the Tibetan allowed His chelas to address questions to Him. The responses to many of these questions have made their way into some of the books—notably Esoteric Psychology I and Esoteric Healing, with some included in Glamour: A World Problem.

13.              DK’s chelas had been concentrating upon the permanent atoms and have addressed to Him inquiries concerning these atoms.

From the standpoint of the initiate such questions are of no moment; to be interested in the permanent atoms is on a par with being interested in the nature of the gastric juices which make the process of living on the physical plane a continuous rebuilding.

14.              The Master puts things in proportion. Simply because the knowledge concerning the permanent atoms is abstruse, does not mean it is essential knowledge—especially at our present stage of human and planetary development.

15.              Knowledge of the gastric juices may be of some technical interest (especially to the physiologist), but for those involved an intensive approach to soul culture, such knowledge can hardly be considered of great moment.

 The analogy is closer than you think.

16.              What is this analogy? We might suppose that the permanent atoms are involved in tearing down experience for the sake of assimilation. The gastric juices prepare that which is ingested for assimilation. The permanent atoms prepare ingested experience for assimilation into the causal body. The permanent atoms cannot assimilate raw experience. First it has to be processed so that it can be stored in that greatest of all memory chips (the permanent atoms)—greatest, as far as humanity is concerned. 

Occultly speaking, a constant consideration of the digestive system or of any other of the bodily functions leads to difficulty. Chronic invalids are frequently so (though not in every case) because of their physical preoccupation with the form nature on the outer plane over a long period of years.

17.              It is clear that the attention of the modern disciple is not to be focussed upon the outer physical frame. Energy follows thought, and such thought (wielded by those who are to a great extent occultly uninformed) causes an imbalance in energy flows.

18.              Disciples in the New Age are to learn to abstract their consciousness to such an extent that they can perform their work regardless of the debilities of the physical body.

19.              The corollary is that if we wish to have resilient health, we must become preoccupied with the soul (and, presumably, its effect upon the etheric body, rather than the dense physical). 

It is possible (and I say this with deliberation) to have serious physical disability and yet to be so full of vitality and so uninterested in the physical mechanism that chronic invalidism (as usually understood) is not possible.

20.              Alice Bailey was in this condition when she refused invalidism during the latter years of her life.

21.              We note that serious physical debility does not necessarily mean that one must be devitalized. DK tells us that quite the contrary may be the case.

22.              He is making the case that “chronic invalidism” (like hypochondria) arises from preoccupation with physical processes. 

This is not the same thing as the triumph of mind over matter or the theory of perfect health;

23.              This is the approach of Christian and Mental Science.  

it is a question of a surmounting energy-emphasis which negates the imposition of force effects upon the consciousness. Ponder on this last sentence because it holds the key to the right handling of the health problem in the future.

24.              We note the contrast between “energy” and “force”. Quite simplistically, energy is of the soul, and force of the personality.

25.              The “imposition of force effects upon the consciousness” leads to debilitation. The energies of the soul, if powerfully registered, will negate these force effects.

26.              We have to remember this important statement when we are seemingly overcome by “force effects”.

In the same way, a constant consideration of the permanent atoms and of the spirillae would lead to an intensification of [page 766] the form life and to the tyranny of force as it flows through them.

27.              Again, “energy follows thought”. We are not meant to revert to preoccupations which characterized man when he was at a much earlier phase of development.

28.              The mental/technical type of individual has to remember the close connection between the mind and body.

29.              DK’s response to such questions about the permanent atoms must have been quite a shock to the ones (no doubt of an analytical turn of mind) who posed these questions. 

There are undoubtedly analogies and correspondences that could be worked out in connection with the spirillae in the microcosmic life and the planes and subplanes of the macrocosm with a possible subsequent relation of both to the seven centres, microcosmically understood, and the seven planetary schemes, macrocosmically understood.

30.              Such correspondences are themes frequently encountered in A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, but they are of largely theoretical interest and are not (at the present time) “of the essence”. 

But the goal for the majority of aspirants is not to limit their consciousness by a concentration upon the minutiae, such as the permanent atoms and the details connected with the individual form nature.

31.              There are certain aspirants on the scientific line who might be the exception to this general rule.

32.              DK’s purpose in all His teaching is to offer us the broad outlines of the Ageless Wisdom Teaching. No matter how complex we may find the Teaching, at times, we are really receiving only the ABC’s. It is far more important to see the “big picture” in this regard, than to become preoccupied with minutiae dealing largely with physical processes. 

The objective of each aspirant is to expand his consciousness to include that which lies beyond himself, to attain to the more elevated states of consciousness in the life of the group and of humanity, and to integrate himself consciously into the Hierarchy, eventually into Shamballa, and occultly to "know" God in His many phases of all-inclusive extension and perfection.

33.              The true objective of the aspirant is here given:

  1. Expand consciousness to include that which lies beyond the aspirant’s ring-pass-not
  2. To attain more elevated states of consciousness in the life of the group and of humanity
  3. To integrate himself into the Hierarchy
  4. To eventually integrate himself consciously into Shamballa
  5. To “know” God in His many phases of all-inclusive extension and perfection


34.              We are dealing, therefore, with the discovery of “God” en large. The Tibetan is looking for a degree of synthetic understanding rather than concrete-minded concentration upon minutiae.

35.              DK has made the contrast between these different lines of enquiry startlingly clear.

A close concentration upon and study of the spirillae and atoms would be scientifically and technically interesting and possible, but would not lead to increased spiritual development but to personality emphasis and, therefore, to increased difficulty in the treading of the Path.

36.              This is perhaps a surprising comment, for there are may who study the atoms and their spirillae out of scientific and technical interest.

37.              If it is overdone, it would not have a spiritual effect at all, but a material one.

38.              Is it not surprising that certain lines of study (even of subjects in the Ageless Wisdom) could lead “to increased difficulty in the treading of the Path”?

39.              The correct way to tread the Path is not entirely obvious, and warnings are occasionally needed from those who are further advanced and thus know the pitfalls—in this case, engrossing interests which lead to the strengthening of the personality over the soul. 

The more advanced a disciple, the more dangerous such emphasis and preoccupation would be, whereas the scientist or the aspirant upon the Probationary Path could study such matters with relative impunity because he would not bring in the energy which could galvanise these "points of force" into dangerous activity.

40.              We are given an important distinction between the advanced disciple and the aspirant on the Probationary Path (and the equivalent of the aspirant—most scientists).

41.              The aspirant/scientist is theoretical in his approach. The disciple is powerful in his thought and can stimulate such subtle structures as permanent atoms.

42.              Many of the liabilities on the Path have to do with ill-directed stimulation, unwise stimulation or over-stimulation.

For this reason I am not dealing with the permanent atoms as there is no need for you to give time and consideration to them. 

43.              Master DK helps us set our priorities.

If you are living as desired and if you are seeking to profit by my instructions, the training of the lower nature and the development of the forces which function as form "divinely consecrated," will proceed normally and safely. I mentioned the permanent atoms to show the lines of energy distribution but not in order to indicate any need for a mental interest in these aspects of form life.

44.              A clear teaching has been imparted. Where shall we put our attention? If we are rightly oriented, the development of the personality will proceed as it should. Right orientation presumes that that personality nature is “divinely consecrated”.

45.              Disciples are warned away from unwise manipulation and concentration upon the physical nature. Unwise interference has its price.


Stage VI. The Chela within the Master's Heart.

We arrive now at a consideration of the last of the six stages of discipleship. This was described by me in the following terms:
46.              Thus it becomes clear that the final three stages are to begin with “Chela on the Thread”
[page 767] "The stage where the disciple is in close touch always; he is being definitely prepared for immediate initiation or having taken initiation—is given specialised work. At this stage he is described as a Chela within his Master's Heart."

47.              It would seem that the initiation in question is the fourth initiation, as the last three stages of discipleship deal with the initiate consciousness.

48.              In this regard, it should be realized that the chakra especially stimulated at the fourth degree is the heart chakra.

49.              It would appear that one can be a “Chela within the Master’s Heart” and be an initiate of the fourth degree—one who ‘having taken initiation—is given specialised” work. But this thought is ambiguous, and possibly contradicted later in the instruction.

50.              We note the use of the word “immediate” in relation to initiation. This does not mean that all those who are to take one or other of the earlier initiations in the immediate future are chelas within the Master’s heart.

One thing I would here emphasise as I seek to give some light upon this subject. Being within the Master's Heart in no way indicates a love-relationship between Master and disciple.

51.              DK warns us away from normal interpretations. Occult terminology, so often, is not to be interpreted in a conventional manner.

52.              Really, Master DK, is guarding us from sentimentalizing the relationship between chela and Master.

 The normal reaction is that at last the disciple has merited the right to be truly loved and, therefore, to be truly close to the Master. His life or lives of service have brought him at last the reward; he has now free access to the Master in the closest possible and mutual relationship of loving understanding. This stage of discipleship has absolutely no reference to this at all.

53.              We can feel the irony behind DK’s statements. The chela is always loved, even before he is accepted by the Master. The Master is love.

54.              We can see how much personalism surrounds the kind of interpretation (to which DK almost ironically refers).

55.              This false interpretation presents a picture of some kind of ‘ashramic heaven’—at last, the closest possible relationship with the Master! It reeks of personality, does it not?

For another thing, brother of mine, when the disciple reaches this stage he is no longer what you understand by an accepted disciple. He is an initiate of high standing and of elevated degree and has passed out of the supervision and the safeguarding of a Master into a direct relation with the Master of all the Masters, the Christ, who is the central point in the Hierarchy, just as the Master is the central point in an ashram.

56.              Something of the status of the chela within the heart is given.

57.              One who is a third degree initiates (and therefore, being prepared for the fourth degree) is no longer an “accepted disciple”.

58.              Not only is he an initiate, but an “initiate of high standing”. This can mean, that he is close to the fourth degree. We might consider that “probationary initiates’ are those who are not of “high standing”.

59.              Let us remember however that the third and fourth degree can often be taken in the same life.

60.              The stage, however, is an exalted one, because even the initiate of the third degree continues to be supervised by the Master of the Ashram.

61.              To come into direct relation with the Christ means that one must be preparing for the Crucifixion (involving the heart center) for the Christ is not only the head but the great heart of Hierarchy.

62.              In a sense the, the chela within the heart, is becoming more the brother of the Master in whose Ashram He finds himself.

 The Master is the heart of His group and the Christ is the heart of the Hierarchy.The closer one gets to realisation, the clearer becomes the concept that the point at the centre and the periphery are one.

63.              This degree of discipleship most intimately involves the heart (understood occultly).

64.              To see that the point in the center and the periphery are one, involves the art and science of identification—a faculty developed very late in the evolutionary process.

65.              There is a hint here that at this stage of discipleship, the usually responses to Time and Space are overcome, for center and periphery are one.

The significance of the word "heart" is the significance of life itself, as it beats eternally at the very heart of the universe.

66.              In this stage of discipleship, “heart” and “life” are considered synonymous terms. The “heart” is really a macrocosmic rather than a microcosmic organ.

67.              At another stage of discipleship (a lower one), “heart” and “soul” are synonymous.

68.              The beating of the cosmic heart may be equated to the source of all cosmic cycles (vast and minute).

Within that life, the initiate now consciously stands, realising himself not so much as being a recipient of life, but as a distributor of life. This is a very different thing and holds the key to this stage of discipleship.

69.              Let us ponder the distinction between “giving” and “receiving”. Of course, the distributor will always receive so that he may give again, but the emphasis is upon distribution.

70.              DK is suggesting that distributorship is the key to this stage of discipleship.

71.              This advanced chela is as a heart, offering through rhythmic pulsations, that which animates those around him. His service is to give life.

The "Master's Heart" is a technical term, indicating the sources of life and many analogous interpretations.

72.              The concept of “spirit” as the source of life is involved with a technical understanding of the “Master’s Heart”.

73.              The term “Master’s Heart” does, however, not sound technical. We have to keep this in mind as a safeguard against sentimentalization.

74.              In one respect, the monad is the heart. 

There is at this stage and after a certain major initiation, a direct line of energy or of life—sensed, recognised, active and utilised—between the conscious disciple and

75.              The initiation here cited must be the third initiation, for initiations before that point are not “major” initiations.

76.              Further, the initiation, it would seem, cannot be the fourth (although earlier in the text, it seemed it could be) because in the alignment-list that immediately follows the “egoic lotus” is mentioned, and this form (as we generally conceive it) disappears at the fourth initiation.

77.              The information given here, while seemingly explicit, is actually somewhat veiled. In summary, it would seem that the stage of “Chela within the Master’s Heart” must definitely follow the third initiation; is likely to be experienced when the fourth initiation lies immediately ahead; and may still apply immediately after the fourth initiation (before the chela is a Master.

78.              It would seem that an initiate of the third degree can think in terms of the following alignment.

1. The disciple's heart centre.

2. The heart centre in the head.   
[page 768]

3. The egoic lotus, which (until the fourth initiation) is the heart centre of the monadic life.

4. The Master at the centre of His group.

5. The Christ, the heart centre of the Hierarchy.

6. The life of the Monad which begins to make itself felt at the third initiation.

7. The Lord of Life Himself, the heart centre of Shamballa.

79.              This is truly a stupendous alignment of hearts. It reveals to us how important is the heart following the third initiation. The third degree initiate is, in some respects, a member of Hierarchy and Hierarchy is the “heart center” of the planet.

80.              This is an alignment which can be practiced with profit by those who are approaching the third degree, and can be somewhat understood by initiates of the second degree.

81.              Each stage in this alignment marks an ascent.

The line of relationship then extends from these onward and outward, and upward (spherically considered) to the Life at the very centre of our Earth's "alter ego," the planet Venus, to Jupiter and thence to the solar Lord Himself and on to a point in the Sun, Sirius.

82.              A tremendous occult hint is here given. All the Beings cited are really great hearts—Venus, Jupiter Sol and Sirius.

83.              What is the “point in the Sun, Sirius”. It cannot be for nothing that the word “point” is used in this context. Probably, it relates to the heart center of Sirius.

84.              For clarity, let us add these four spheres to the tabulation.

1. The disciple's heart centre.
2. The heart centre in the head.
3. The egoic lotus, which (until the fourth initiation) is the heart centre of the monadic life.
4. The Master at the centre of His group.
5. The Christ, the heart centre of the Hierarchy.
6. The life of the Monad which begins to make itself felt at the third initiation.
7. The Lord of Life Himself, the heart centre of Shamballa.

        8. Venus
        9. Jupiter
        10. Our Solar Logos
        11: A point in the Sun, Sirius.

85.              Venus is our Earth’s “alter ego”. An “alter ego” is “another self”. In this context it means a Planetary Ego with which the Logos of our Earth is in the closest connection, and who now is as the Earth will one day be.

86.              We note the process of spherical expansion. All radiation occurs in spheres and not in directionally limited straight lines.

87.              DK is telling us of a process which proceeds by what we might call ‘spherical inclusion’. This idea should be applied to the first seven levels of the tabulation as well. Each of the first seven is a sphere and is approached through spherical expansion and inclusion. 

You can see, therefore, how different this stage is from what might be imagined. It is one which marks a new departure or beginning and a great transition.

88.              The beginning phases of the “great transition” can be considered the fourth initiation. The “new departure” is ultimately the sixth initiation which in most cases leads to a departure from the sphere if Earth. 

It is a stage which one enters through the open door of Nirvana, the beginning of the Path of the Higher Evolution.

89.              However, this stage of discipleship is but the beginning of that new departure and great transition.

90.              The “open door of Nirvana” is the fifth initiation, for the atmic plane is the “nirvanic plane”.

91.              The “Path of Higher Evolution” begins, really, at the sixth degree. 

It is a stage which marks a specific location (if such an inappropriate word can be used) of the disciple upon that upward Way which is revealed by the lighted Way;

92.              The “lighted Way” is the Way which the disciple has been traveling.

93.              “That upward Way” is the Path of Higher evolution. The disciple is located upon this higher Path when he becomes a “Chela within the Master’s Heart”.

 it is the attainment of the innermost point of realisation, called esoterically "within the heart."

94.              We are told that there is an “innermost point of realization” which esoterically known as “in the heart”. We are reminded that the siddhi of “Realization” is attained on the atmic plane, on its fifth sublevel.

95.              This stage of discipleship is directly related to realization and identification—both of these terms indicating very high states of spiritual attainment.

I spoke to you elsewhere about world disciples being "close to the Master's heart." This is not the same thing as being "within the Master's heart." 

96.              DK offers an important discrimination, and it is a technical point.

One refers to the Master upon the disciple's ray; the other refers to the Christ, the Synthesis within the Hierarchy of all the rays.

97.              To be “close to the Master’s heart” is to be, through growing ashramic intimacy, vibrationally close to the Master upon the disciple’s ray.

98.              To be a “Chela within the Master’s Heart” refers more to the Christ than to the Master of one’s ray Ashram.

99.              The role of the Christ in this stage of discipleship is to be remembered.

100.          It is an astonishing statement that the Christ is “the Synthesis within the Hierarchy of all the rays”. The great second ray of Love-Wisdom synthesizes all the other rays and indigo blue (the color of the second ray) is considered the synthetic color.

101.          As the “Synthesis”, the Christ is suffused through all Ashrams.

 The world today offers opportunity to all disciples to become world disciples, close to the Master's heart, and to pass rapidly through the earlier stages of discipleship.

102.          We learn that a “world disciple” (presumably an initiate of the third degree”) is “close to the Master’s heart”. This does not mean “within”. 

It offers opportunity to world disciples to begin their approach to the Heart of the Hierarchy, to Christ.

103.          It now becomes very clear that this stage of discipleship marks an approach to the fourth degree. This approach brings about a new relationship to the Christ.

104.          He was the Initiator at the first and second degrees. Even though Sanat Kumara is the Initiator at the third degree, after that degree, the Christ assumes a role of increasing importance in the life of the initiate, for the Christ is the Teacher of all initiates within the Hierarchy. 

It is with this first possibility that you should be concerned, for—as you come closer to your group—you can begin to get that training which will develop in you world usefulness.

105.          A world disciple is characterized by “world usefulness”. This must be remembered, lest we over-reach ourselves. The Ashram is interested in a disciple’s usefulness. It is this usefulness that marks his ashramic status. 

Are the majority of you too old to achieve this? That is for you to say. The soul knows no age and can use its instrument if it makes itself into a suitable and available instrument.

106.          A most important question is posed. Many of DK’s disciples were in the 50’s and 60’s at the time He was instructing them.

107.          The implication is that some would have said they were too old. DK, citing the perspective of the soul, would not have thought so.

108.          As human beings gets older physically, they certainly realize the agelessness of the soul. Interiorly many feel ageless, and this is the truth. 

Are you too set and too preoccupied with yourselves to achieve the detachment needed for world service? That is for you to find out and to prove to yourselves.

109.          DK throws the responsibility upon the shoulders of His chelas. He will not make the pronouncement that they cannot achieve. He knows they can, but there will be a price. 

This group has had much opportunity [page 769] offered to it and much teaching. The output in devotion and service, demonstrated by this group, should be quite unusual and it should be a group demonstration. I would ask if this is so?

110.          DK is calling His disciples “to order”. It is a moment of chastening.

111.          He offers a summary of the bestowal and asks if the results are commensurate with that which has been bestowed. He seems to suggest that they are not.

 Are you too depressed (which is a synonym for selfishness) and too sensitive to render service to humanity in a larger way than hitherto? That can be overcome if you care enough.

112.          It is memorable to see depression linked with selfishness. Apparently, excessive self-concern, and self-preoccupation lead to depression. This is analogous to that which is stated earlier in this instruction: excessive preoccupation with the physical body leads to ill-health.

113.          The sensitivity here mentioned is not of the desirable kind; it is related to being too “thin-skinned”, and basically, coddling oneself.

114.          DK is asking His disciples to expand and to serve in a “larger way than hitherto”. Can one not feel that He is asking the same of us?

115.          The solution to overcoming depression, selfishness and wrong sensitivity, is to care enough—about humanity and about serving humanity.

 Is your awareness a constant group-awareness? Or is it a constant self-awareness which comes consistently between you and your fellowmen? That is for you to discover.

116.          One after another, the usual faults of disciples are put forward. With each naming of a limitation, the chelas are asked to examine themselves, and so are we.

117.          We come to understand that constant self-awareness is limiting and separative; it causes cleavages whereas group consciousness is a bridging consciousness.

Have you the deep humility—based on a realisation of the Plan and the glory of the goal—and not a sense of self-depreciation over which you gloat and regard as an indication of spiritual humility? You need to re-interpret this theme of humility, as well as all your terms, in the light of the esoteric and spiritual values. Can you do this?

118.          The razor of discrimination is being applied. DK has trodden the way of discipleship long ago, and He knows the faults to which we are all prone.

119.          One can almost feel that He is addressing RSU, a high and prominent disciple who was the victim of a constant self-depreciation. Was pride hidden behind the depreciation?

120.          All this is a bit like saying, “I have achieved great humility and I am proud of it!)

Earlier, I used a phrase in which I referred to "disciples assembling, in this cycle, at the call of the Hierarchy." This has a definite relation at this time to our theme of discipleship and its various stages.

121.          We recall that at the closer of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first we are in a stage of “ingathering”, larger even that the great ingatherings that occurred in the time of the Buddha and that of the Christ. 

"The call of the Hierarchy" goes out to humanity as a whole; it is sent out through the medium of the groups and Ashrams which are presided over by many of the Masters.

122.          The origin and progress of the “call of the Hierarchy” is important:

            1. From the Hierarchy
            2. Through the Ashrams
            3. Through the groups associated with the Ashrams

123.          The “call” is meant to reach all humanity. 

It is caught and heard by many different types of people and in their response much distortion of that call creeps in; only the advanced disciple either brings it through correctly or responds adequately.

124.          Many and, often, strange are humanity’s responses to this “call”.

125.          Advanced disciples are those of at least the second degree, and it only such disciples that can be trusted to bring through the call with reasonable accuracy; nevertheless, errors are often found.

The others respond to partial aspects of the call and their consequent activity is spasmodic, based upon erroneous interpretations, coloured by personality faults, delayed by inertia and often selfishly based.

126.          We see that the “call” in its entirety is not heard by those who are not advanced disciples. The problems of hearing and response are as follows:

            1. Spasmodic activity
            2. Activity based upon erroneous interpretation
            3. Activity colored by personality faults
            4. Activity which is delayed by inertia
            5. Activity which is selfishly based.

127.          This is not a “pretty picture” but a true one. What is needed is:

            1. Consistent activity
            2. Correct interpretation
            3. Impersonality
            4. Readiness to respond
            5. Selflessness

 By the response of the disciples in His group or Ashram, the Master gauges the place and status of the disciple, though there are, of course, many other indicatory evidences.

128.          The Master evaluates us on the basis of our response to the “call” of the Hierarchy and also of His Ashram.

129.          We are constantly responding to this “call”, consciously or unconsciously, adequately or inadequately.

130.          The Master, it seems, must gauge the place and status of the disciple.

131.          Other indicatory evidences will be seen in the condition of the egoic lotus and its partial reflection, the chakra system.

Let us look at some of the types of people who respond to the call. Most of them do so unconsciously but react sympathetically, because something in them synchronises with the call, or because they are sensitive to certain vibratory influences.

132.          Our first types of response to the “call” are likely to be unconscious but cannot be discounted as they result from some form of real synchronization.

133.          Well might we ask ourselves how we came to be associated with this work. The hidden magnetic lines, revealing synchronization, may thus be brought to light.

1. There are the true lovers of humanity, who, though they may have absolutely no  knowledge of esotericism, yet care enough to do what they can to help.

134.          These people have a “good heart” and are at least men and women of goodwill.

135.          We note the Tibetan’s rather uncompromising statement: “absolutely no knowledge of esotericism”.

136.          Such people must be educated correctly. 

Unconsciously, they can be used by the Hierarchy to do good and efficiently [page 770] selfless work. They are frequently more constructive than pledged or accepted disciples, because they are unconscious of status, of any responsibility in an Ashram and of their individual importance.

137.          Awareness of the possibility of “status” can be a complication and may retard useful work.

138.          Disciples must understand spiritual status, but that understanding must not create a separative attitude, which it so often does.

139.          Awareness of status and of “individual importance” must take their rightful place. This usually takes a while to learn.

2. Psychics everywhere throughout the world and of all kinds. They respond to those upon the astral plane who are catching the higher impression or who telepathically get some aspect of the projected idea. In such cases there is always glamour, distortion and misrepresentation.

140.          Rather than a rarity, psychism is common.

141.          It seems that higher impressions can be “caught” from the astral plane.

142.          The word “always” is used; in such cases there is always glamour, distortion and misrepresentation.

143.          We are dealing here with partial reception of the “call” at best, and a distortion of that which is received.

144.          By our errors we learn. The needed correction of approach, however, may not appear in the same incarnation.

This causes much trouble but is a force with which the leaders and teachers of humanity must reckon.

145.          Psychism, for all its illusion, is effective in determining the direction of humanity. If leaders must reckon with the effects of atmospheric pressure (according to Master M.) they certainly must reckon with glamor and distortion.

146.          That which is taught is not always rightly received, regardless of the good intent of the teacher.

 It affects the least intelligent of the masses of men and does give them some general, even if distorted, idea of the Plan, but is apt to revolt the intellectual, and complicate the work of the trained disciple.

147.          We see much of this distortion in the “New Age” understanding of the Ageless Wisdom. The distortions are revolting to the true thinker, but must be understood as temporarily inevitable, and over all, and for the most part, rightly motivated and the result of honest effort.

148.          Much of our material within the Ageless Wisdom is rejected by the intellectuals simply because they notice all the nonsense that goes on around our teaching; further, they do not look deep enough for the substance that lies beneath the distortion.

149.          We are attempting to become “trained disciples”, and we will always have to deal with distortions of our best intentions. The greatest example of this distortion is what ‘Churchianity’ has done to Christ’s simple message.

3. Probationary disciples who receive and respond to the impression more promptly and clearly than the above group. They usually receive it through the vision and teaching of a senior disciple. Their service to the Plan is frequently spoiled by their ignorance, their self-centredness and their misrepresentation of the imparted teaching. Their approach both to the truth and to the teacher is too personal.

150.          Probationary disciples (generally considered as those who have taken the first initiation but who are not “accepted” technically) are clearer of mind than the vast majority of psychics.

151.          A “senior disciple” is not a probationary disciple. A senior disciple is certainly an “accepted disciple” or, if not technically “accepted”, at least has an equivalent status.

152.          Some probationary disciples are “little chelas”, and others “chelas in the light”.

153.          We learn that the probationary disciple is still too “personal”.

154.          Their service to the Plan is spoiled by:

            1. Ignorance
            2. Self-centeredness
            3. Misrepresentation of the imparted teaching

155.          Their devotion is strong, and this is reflected by their too “personal” approach to the teacher.

156.          But the mind has done good work, which is not yet the case for the average psychic.

157.          To whose vision do we respond? To whose teaching do we respond? Are there mediators between us and the Master? There may well be, but we are not always aware of them. Rarely is a chela in the light aware of the senior disciple on the inner planes who has him in charge and reports to the Master regarding his progress.

158.          The solutions for the probationary disciples are simple though hard to achieve:

            1. Become more illumined
            2. Become decentralized
            3. Represent the imparted teaching truthfully

159.          Where are we with these requirements?

4. Accepted disciples who get the Master's idea and plans in far greater completeness, but fail often to work them out as they should be in the world of daily living and of service because they are so preoccupied with their own problems as disciples, with their own character training, and with their status in a Master's Ashram and His interest in them.

160.          Accepted disciples have much clearer and fuller reception of the “call” and of the Master’s plans.

161.          They too, though more advanced than probationary disciples, are prone to failure for the following reasons:

            1. Too great a preoccupation with their own problems as disciples
            2. Too great a preoccupation with their own character training (yes, the accepted disciple is still training his character)
            3. Too great a preoccupation with their status in the Master’s Ashram
            4. Too great a preoccupation with the question of the Master’s interest in them.

162.          They share the need for decentralization with the probationary disciple, but they are clearer and more truthful channels for the impartation of the Teaching. Their point of view is far broader and their distortions fewer. They often, however, suffer from pride or spiritual ambition.

163.          Every stage of discipleship has its liabilities and limitations.

 If they would forget themselves, their difficulties and their individual interpretations of truth, and just love their fellowmen and each other, and if they would simply obey to the point of crucifixion the "order of Service," they would pass more rapidly through the various stages of discipleship.

164.          The solution for accepted disciples is to “just love their fellowmen and each other”. Nothing could be simpler or, apparently, more difficult.

165.          Accepted disciples are still preoccupied with non-essentials. Anything that prevents them from simply loving their fellowmen and each other is a non-essential.

166.          How is the fourth degree to be achieved? By obeying “to the point of crucifixion the ‘order of Service’”. This is a straight teaching and one that is full of illumination. Let us ponder on this formula.

167.          What are to be forgotten?

            1. Difficulties
            2. Individual interpretations of truth (over which accepted disciples [mentally polarized to a great degree] fight)

168.          Yes, the “Open Sesame” to liberation is given in this paragraph—love and service.

5. Disciples close to the Master's heart, world disciples and those who are consciously in His aura, know His plan, which is the Plan of the Hierarchy as a whole, though emphasising some appropriate aspect. They usually play [page 771] their part successfully, and their success is largely due to their constant group awareness and to a deep humility and, naturally, to a well-developed intellect and controlled astral body.

169.          Several categories of disciples are here listed together:

            1. Those close to the Master’s heart
            2. World disciples
            3. Those consciously within his aura

170.          All of these disciples are at least initiates of the third degree.

171.          It could be questioned whether a chela on the thread is necessarily a third degree initiate. If not, he is close.

172.          We have been told that accepted disciples are often not successful in their expression. We are not told of the success or non-success of chelas on the thread, but we can assume it to be greater than the success of accepted disciples.

173.          Disciples in the Master’s heart and within His aura are usually successful, we are told, for the following reasons:

            1. Constant group awareness (leading to wise action)
            2. Deep humility, leading to non-separative action and wisdom in the undertaking of that which can be done.
            3. A well-developed intellect, giving immunity from astral glamors
            4. Control of the astral body (bringing sufficient tranquility in which to do good work).

There is little more that I can say to you all at this time anent the group work and relationships. There is an esoteric loyalty which is different to the ordinary world loyalty which I seek to see developed in the group.

174.          Let us ponder on this “esoteric loyalty”. It is not a loyalty to persons but to principles, and to the energy which motivates and animates a Master’s Ashram.

175.          Through esoteric loyalty, the highest values in any situation are identified and supported. It is possible to be esoterically loyal to the soul of an individual in such a manner that one must temporarily repudiate their personality.

 Some of you, particularly those who take quick refuge in self-defense, need to learn this silent loyalty which serves to integrate the group, as one.

176.          It is obvious that this “silent loyalty” is non-critical, and always adheres to the best in a group brother. Do we do this? If we do not, the higher stages of discipleship still lie far ahead.

177.          If separation is overcome (and disloyalty surely causes separation and cleavage) then the group will rapidly integrate.

178.          So many extraordinarily useful statements and hints are given in these instructions. The treasury is rich for all who would live the ashramic life. 

It is easy in self-defense to sacrifice one's brothers and one's fellow workers. It is not easy to heal the subjective rift thus made.

179.          No one may notice if we do this—sacrifice a brother to defend ourselves. But the rift is real (though subjective—perhaps more real because it is subjective). Experience in group work will prove the veracity of DK’s instructions along these lines.

Clear thinking is needed along many lines as this group begins to cohere and work together. An acute discrimination is also required. These are days when the lines of demarcation between the Forces of Materialism and the Forces of Light must be clearly defined.

180.          The Master calls for “clear thinking” and “acute discrimination” in relation to the type of loyalty exhibited by group members.

181.          The line between good and evil is often sinuous and obscure. A clear discrimination is needed. Many amongst the sons of men do not know good from evil (so disguised is evil, masquerading as good).

When the contrast between the way of love and goodwill and the way of cruelty and hate is being clearly defined on earth, disciples must exercise an unprejudiced attitude.

182.          It is easy enough for a disciple to discriminate between good and evil, but can he do so in an unprejudiced manner and without reverting to the very methods which are closer to the side of evil than of good?

 To this group comes the difficult task of standing firmly on the physical plane against that which is destructive and hateful (in the true sense of the word), doing all that can be done to bring the destructive agencies to an end and to final powerlessness and, at the same time, preserving an inner attitude of complete harmlessness and loving understanding.

183.          DK voices a great demand for His groups, and for all of us.

            1. We are to stand firmly against evil.
            2. We are to do all to bring evil and wrongful destruction to an end, and to a state of powerlessness.
            3. We are, at the same time, to preserve complete harmlessness and loving understanding.

184.          It is clear that if we are to accomplish this, our astral bodies must be controlled and our minds illumined by the soul.

185.          What rays would be useful in achieving these goals? The first, second, fourth? Surely those among others, for they would promote firm principles, compassion and the ability to ‘contain the opposites’.

 For, my brothers, there are principles and ideals in the world at this time worth struggling for, but whilst the struggle is on it is necessary consciously to preserve and create that field of living, loving energy which will eventually bridge the gap between the two opposing factions and groups and so enable later contact to be made.

186.          DK is calling for the fourth ray attitude characteristic of the New Group of World Servers when functioning at its best. (The NGWS functions through the application of the energy of Taurus and the fourth ray.)There are workers in the United Nations who use the fourth ray similarly.

187.          We are to create a “field of living, loving energy” whilst immersed in the struggle against evil.

Some of you are not thinking with sufficient clarity about the issues involved, being unduly engrossed with the outer signs of the struggle and so losing the long range picture.

188.          It is easy to be swept by appearances. The inner reality behind the struggle is harder to discern. We can apply this principle to the struggles taking place in our present world. 

The dual life of active world participation in opposing that which is seeking to hold back and to destroy humanity and its highest ideals and—at the same time—to preserve a steady attitude of love, is not an easy one, particularly for some of you.

189.          How easy is this dual attitude to achieve? Can we see as souls those who struggle on the opposing sides? Can we look behind the temporarily motivating glamor to the type of divine expression which will eventuate when the misguided ones are released from glamour? 

Such is human integration today that it is not possible for any person or groups of people to isolate themselves away from [page 772] human activities and human welfare. Nor is a negative attitude adequate to the solution of the present world crisis.

190.          We are all connected to the dire events of our day. We are all willing or unwilling participants in the struggles of humanity.

191.          DK is calling for positivity—the virtue of the second ray soul. Negativity (essentially selfishness) is not acceptable.

 Those who refuse to share in the world karma and pain will find their entire progress inevitably slowed down, for they will have put themselves outside the great tide of spiritual force now sweeping in regenerating streams throughout the world of men.

192.          The Master is asking us to take on the pain of participation. Without this pain, stress and distress, we put ourselves out of the developmental stream. We can pause to consider the implications.

193.          To experience pain inspires compassion which open the door to the Kingdom of the Soul.

 The present world conflict is analogous to the stern conflict which is going on within the hearts and lives of all the world aspirants and disciples and is inevitably a sign that they are setting their feet upon the Path of Conscious Discipleship.

194.          The following phrase is interesting and arresting: “the stern conflict”. This phrase applies mostly to true disciples and indicates that they are possessed of a growing resolution of will.

195.          The world at large is going through what individual disciples go through. The parallel is close and instructive.

196.           The higher Self and the personality meet face to face for the determination of that decision for which the soul (the Self) upon its own plane is waiting.

197.          We must discriminate the players in the drama. The personality is the lower man; the higher self (in this context) is man influenced by the Solar Angel and his own incarnationally-accumulated virtues; the soul (the Self) is the Solar Angel.

198.          This facing of the spiritual opponents has much to do with the planet Saturn which is exalted and rules hierarchically in the sign Libra which rules “open enemies”, and, thus, the relation between the “Angel and the Dweller”

 This is what is also happening with the world aspirant, Humanity, at this time. Ponder with care upon this idea.

199.          The struggles of humanity may be dire, but they are purposeful. We may deplore much that is transpiring on the world stage, but if we seek to understand it in terms of discipleship, greater understanding and compassion will come—without weakening the firmness of our stand. 

It is not possible for members of the New Group of World Servers to divorce themselves from the acute situation now to be seen and felt. They cannot and must not escape into a cul-de-sac of personal training and individual interests.

200.          A world war was on, but in our era, there is also a war (mostly on the inner planes, but now erupting onto the outer as well). The war now raging has (potentially) even more dire consequences for humanity than the dreadful carnage of WWII.

201.          Our engagement is with the world and with humanity. Personal training and the pursuit of our individual interests have their place, but are not to become preoccupations at a time of excruciating (the word is exact) world need.

202.          The word “excruciating” is exact because our Planetary Logos is passing through the fourth in a series of sub-cosmic seven initiations. 

If that is your attitude, then there is little that I can do for you, for this would indicate to me an inability to differentiate in values, a desire to retreat in thought from the unhappy and the unpleasant and to shift responsibility on to the shoulders of others, plus a failure to identify yourselves with humanity.

203.          The one who seeks undue involvement in personal training and individual interests demonstrates four severe faults, which make him, in the eyes of the Master, presently unteachable:

            1. An inability to differentiate in values
            2. A desire to retreat in thought from the unhappy and unpleasant
            3. A tendency to shift responsibility onto the shoulders of others
            4. A failure to identify with humanity

204.          It is clear that Master DK does not want to stimulate an individual possessed of such attitudes.

The call to world salvage has gone out and today disciples are assembling all over the world. It is not an assembling upon the physical plane but a profound subjective happening.

205.          We note a great subjective in-gathering, an “assembling”. Have we noticed that it is in process? Do we sense that we are part of this coming together? How do we know? 

Each of the Masters is sending out the call and many probationary disciples, even though placed upon the furthest point in the periphery of the Master's influence, are responding with eagerness; their motives are normally mixed and their response is frequently galvanised by a desire for personality progress and aggrandisement.

206.          A “call” comes from the Hierarchy as a whole and also from the Master within His Ashram.

207.          Probationary disciples stand “upon the furthest point in the periphery of the Master’s influence”. This is a clear description of their place.

208.          We note that probationers respond with “eagerness”, as they have in them much of the sixth ray of enthusiasm.

209.          They are still personality-centered, and thus, inevitably the victims of mixed-motives.

210.          The little ego wishes to grow ever grander. The soul, naturally humble from its vast sense of proportion, does not seek aggrandizement. 

They are, at this particular time, greatly complicating the call to service but their distortions are bringing about the fulfilment of the New Testament prophecy that (at the time of the end) there will be much distortion of the truth concerning the spread of the  Christ consciousness and the return of the Christ, or the "Second Coming."

211.          Complications arise through personal distortions and unclarity of mind. These complications were foreseen long ago in the prophetic literature of the Judeo-Christian Tradition. Many are the “false prophets” who do not know they are false. In fact, they are sure they are true prophets? How sure are we?

And so, from stage to stage the disciple passes, going from light to light, from perception to perception, from force to [page 773] energy, from personality focus to soul integration and, then, from soul to spirit, from form to life.

212.          These passages of the disciple are worth tabulating. The Tibetan is offering another of His synthetic summary statements:

            1. From stage to stage
            2. From light to light
            3. From perception to perception
            4. From force to energy
            5. From personality focus to soul integration
            6. From soul to spirit
            7. From form to life.

213.          DK is summarizing the general movement through the Six Stages of Discipleship.

He has explored all the avenues of knowledge; he has descended into the depths, into hell and into the valleys; he has climbed the mountain top of initiation and from there has swung out beyond space and time; he has lost all self-interest and is a focussed point of thought in the mind of God.

214.          Let us tabulate as well this series of achievements:

            1. He, the disciple, has explored all avenues of knowledge
            2. He has descended into the depths, into hell and into the valleys
            3. He has climbed the mountain top of initiation
            4. From that mountain top he has “swung out beyond space and time”
            5. He has lost all self-interest
            6. He has become a “focussed point of thought in the mind of God”

215.          The progress and process of each and every one of us is here succinctly given.

216.          When standing on the mountain top of initiation, it is possible to transcend time and space. The term “swung out” is interesting. Is the antahkarana the ‘cable’ by means of which the swinging occurs.

217.          The only way to become a “focussed point of thought in the mind of God” is to lose all self-interest, otherwise, there will inevitably be distortion. In such a condition, the mind thinks only those thoughts which express the Mind of God.

218.          The lower ego is shed and vision comes, and revelation, realization, and finally identification.

219.          The Six Stages of Discipleship lead to this consummation.

220.          We can find ourselves at one or other of these stages and now know (with fair accuracy) what we must do to move further.

 Can I say more than this? I think not, my brothers. And so I bring to an end this series of instructions and my responsibility in this connection is ended. Yours now begins.

221.          Masterfully delivered! A great offering has been made, but with it comes inevitable responsibility. That responsibility has just been laid squarely on our shoulders. Do we feel its weight?

222.          Knowledge is responsibility and we have been informed.

223.          A testimony to the active presence of the soul is the growing sense of responsibility. What is our relation to responsibility? By our response, the Master has yet another gauge of our place and status in His work.


With the conclusion of this commentary we have reviewed the Tibetan’s group instructions found in DINA I.  There remain some uncompleted astrological analyses, and an important review of the Tibetan’s work to be accomplished next month, but for the most part (after a month of review in Gemini) we will be ready to proceed into DINA II.

Light, Love and Power,