Discipleship in the New Age, I
commentary by Michael D. Robbins

The Hierarchy sanctioned the starting of these groups in the year 1931. The members of these groups have been slowly chosen since then and are endeavouring, since their inclusion in this ashramic work, to work together in complete unity of purpose and of relationship. It may be of interest to you to know a little of how we approached the subject.

1.                  We note that it was the Hierarchy that sanctioned the starting of the groups in 1931. Even though this initiative concerned the Ashram of Master DK, the commencement was no arbitrary initiative on His part. There is a kind of “occult obedience” established in Hierarchy before which the kind of occult obedience we attempt to practice would pale.

2.                  The choosing of the members of the groups was not rapid or sudden. DK has told us that the success of any initiate’s projects will depend upon the choice of co-workers. As the groups were meant to abide, for perhaps 300 years, the laying of the foundation had to be carefully undertaken.

3.                  The individuals who were chosen were definitely joining “ashramic work”; the choice brought them, in most cases, into closer rapport with the Ashram.

4.                  We hear the words, “complete unity of purpose and of relationship”. Perhaps we can somewhat imagine the meaning of complete unity of purpose. The Master’s purposes must be paramount and all members must acquiesce to these purposes.

5.                  As for “complete unity of relationship”, an attitude of loving-unity will be required. The normal personality attitudes (often based on criticism and desire) will be suspended, and the group members will succeed in working harmoniously and as one.

6.                  We can see that from the normal human perspective, these are no small requirements.

As you all know, I am a second ray disciple, an initiate of a certain standing — the grade of which in no way concerns you, though many of you have personally and interiorly ascertained who I am. If the teaching which I have given you and the books which I have given to the world do not suffice to win your confidence and your attention, then knowing that I am an initiate of the third degree, or a Master, or a Boddhisattva or one of the Buddhas close to the Throne of God will in no way aid your comprehension and will only hinder your development. For many lives I have been close to the Master K.H.; in discussion with Him, we have often wondered how we should aid in the inauguration upon earth of those newer types of work which will be distinctive of the New Age and yet would be close enough to the comprehension of the advanced aspirants and the world disciples so that their cooperation would be evoked and their intelligent help forthcoming. What were the requirements for which we should look and what should be the technique to be applied in the New Age for the raising of the consciousness of men? We decided that four things must, first of all, distinguish the group work which should be done and should characterise the disciples to be chosen for training. These were: Sensitivity, Impersonality, Psychic Gifts, Mental Polarisation. I do not make mention of aspiration, of selflessness [Page 44] or of the desire to serve. They are fundamentals and basic essentials and, where they do not exist, there is no use in proffering the type of assistance which we are seeking to give.

1.                  Setting the right tone, the Master (long before the general group personnel knew He was a Master) calls Himself a “disciple”. This is the proper word to use, and among the disciples of the world today, there should be no temptation to call oneself “an initiate”.

2.                  DK does call Himself an initiate simply because it is obvious that anyone who could write such books would have to be initiate.

3.                  In the first sentence, He adequately demonstrates that every initiate is, in fact, a disciple.

4.                  DK is both earnest and humorous. He goes through the possible ranks He might hold — all the way from a humble third degree initiate to an exalted Shamballic Life known as a “Buddha of Activity”. In this way He negated the frequently expressed attitude of curiosity (an attitude often based on ambition) about Himself and His rank; He simply states that His Teaching must stand on its own merits. This, again, is the right and constructive attitude. Otherwise devotionalism could easily take the place of the cultivation of discrimination and mental illumination.

5.                  DK speaks of His close relationship with the Master KH. Those who would later read His writings on the Six Stages of Discipleship, would come to realize that He must be, at least, a “Chela within the Aura” of a Master — a relatively high rank.

6.                  The motivation of these two initiates, DK and KH is revealed. They seek to aid humanity by bringing forward new types of spiritual work in a way that present day advanced aspirants and disciples would be able to understand and respond to constructively. Their deep concern for humanity is clear.

7.                  We notice the “target population” for the initiatives They undertook. The work is for “advanced aspirants” and disciples, thus, obviously, not really for complete beginners on the spiritual Path. Too much mental focussing and commitment are required.

8.                  Every initiate initiates, and these two initiates spoke often of what They might inaugurate. We are now in the midst of studying certain aspects of that which They inaugurated. They sought not only to evoke our interest but our cooperation. The advanced aspirants and disciples of the world were to become, in effect, co-workers in the inaugurated projects.

9.                  There would be rather strict requirements; discrimination had to be exercised as not all who might be willing would be suitable for the project.

10.              Four essential requirements were determined: Sensitivity, Impersonality, Psychic Gifts and Mental Polarization. These will be discussed in the succeeding paragraphs. Considered simultaneously the requirements look demanding, and (unless deep thought is given to these qualities) somewhat mutually contradictory.

11.              As for the more normal requirements — aspiration, selflessness and the desire to serve — they were considered fundamental and necessary for each and all. The whole work depended on a sincere orientation toward the soul and a deep urge to be helpful. Where selfishness exists in any great measure, there is no use offering occult training, as it could easily be misused, and would do more harm than good.

You will note that, as you look back over the spiritual history of the race of men during the past two thousand years (which is far enough for our purpose), that the following methods have been consecutively used to reach men's minds spiritually:

1. The method of raising the consciousness of an individual so that he became a Knower. Individual salvation and the emergence of outstanding individuals with spiritual sense, vision and achievement to their credit has characterised the mystical history of the past. Some of these people emerged along the way of the heart, the mystical way; such were Shri Krishna, St. Francis of Assisi, and all those Knowers whose way was the Way of Love. To these can be added Milarepa of Tibet and Lao Tze of China. Such also have been many of the saints of the church in the West. The Bhagavad Gita has been the book which has embodied this way superlatively.

1.                  Humanity is millions of years old, but something new is now in process (for which the Hierarchy has been waiting since its inception). The appearance of Christ in Palestine (at the end of a 250,000 year cycle probably of a Pleiadian/Solar nature) started a fundamentally new approach to spiritual training — one based very much upon the principle of love rather than as heretofore, upon the principle of light (though, naturally, no divine aspect can be excluded from training upon the Path).

2.                  In academic circles, planetary history is taught from an amazingly limited perspective — or so occultists would think. Intellectual history is also taught — the history of ideas. One day the true spiritual history of humanity will be written in a compelling manner. The Tibetan has given us glimpses of this history through HPB in The Secret Doctrine, but continuity still lacks. Major religious and philosophical movements are noted, but the chronology is not entirely clear and the developmental interrelationships insufficiently detailed.

3.                  Methods of raising consciousness are discussed. The objective of such consciousness -raising is to produce the true “Knower” — really a “Thinker”, a conscious soul able to work from the higher mental subplanes planes and sensitive to planes above.

4.                  During the Age of Aquarius, the true Knower will increasingly be produced. Such an individual will have mastered certain inner processes of registration and impression, and will be identified with vibrational domains ‘outside’ and ‘above’ the personality altogether.

5.                  DK speaks of the “mystical history of the past” with its focus on “individual salvation”. He is speaking largely of the Piscean Age and perhaps of the last few hundred years of the Age of Aries.

6.                  The mystical way is the “way of the heart”. The Age of Pisces was ruled by the second and sixth rays — both on the soft or “heart-line”. Moreover, this method of development began in Atlantis and carried the vibration of that fourth-ray/sixth-ray civilization. The Christ is the great Product of that method of spiritual development.

7.                  Knowers such as Sri Krishna and St. Francis were not really products of the Aryan method of spiritual development.

8.                  It is surprising so see Lao Tze and Milarepa numbered among those who followed the Way of the Heart, for there was much that was occult or philosophical in their approach. But DK’s perspective upon them is certainly more schooled than our own, and so these great individuals should be studied from the view-point suggested.

9.                  The Western Saint typifies this heart approach. DK suggests elsewhere that they are a special group of monads having some affiliation with the planet Neptune.

“The mystics of the Occident who have come into incarnation during the past one thousand years are a peculiar group of Egos whose impulse is towards this type of cosmic energy.  In this system they have developed certain basic recognitions and the "ecstasy" of the occidental mystic is the germ, latent within him, which will some day flower forth into that cosmic rapture for which we have as yet no name.” (CF 1259)

10.              The Bhagavad Gita is considered one of the fundamental texts to be in the possession of all true students of spirituality. In that great “Song Celestial” one learns many things about spirit and form — especially about detachment from form and identification as spirit.

11.              We remember that Krishna was the Teacher of Arjuna (the warrior). The Krishna of that great Epic is probably not the Sri Krishna of 5000 years ago, because the great Battle of Kurukshetra is said to have taken place in mid-Atlantean times, some millions of years ago. Though such names as Krishna are used generically by many, there must nevertheless be a connection between Sri Krishna, Who was one of the great exemplars of the “Way of the Heart”, and the Lord Krishna Who instructed Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita.

Others emerged along the way of the mind and were the intellectual Knowers. Theirs is the more strictly occult way and it has become increasingly the way of our present day aspirants. The reason for this is that the polarisation of the race is shifting ever more steadily on to the mental plane. Some of the individuals on this way of the mind were Sankaracharya, the Apostle Paul, and Meister Eckhart. Today, many are coming out along this way under the name of science. There were also those outstanding individuals, such as the Christ and the Buddha, Who combined both ways in their perfection and Who towered above Their fellowmen from the heights of Their achievement. They swayed hemispheres and centuries, whereas the lesser sons of God swayed countries, specific types of mind and lesser periods of time.

1.                  DK is discussing the creation of “Knowers” through processes of individual spiritual training. He now discusses the “intellectual Knowers” rather that ‘Knowers of the Heart’.

2.                  Because of the type of civilization in which we live and the prominence of the fifth ray during the fifth subrace of the fifth root-race, the way of the intellectual Knower (the occultist) is increasingly the way of the modern aspirant or disciple.

3.                  Every root-race and subrace will have its preferred way of achieving consciousness of the divine. For the Aryan Age, and the Teutonic subrace of that Age, the way is largely through the mind. The sixth subrace of the Aryan Race (now slowly forming) will augment that approach, by including more of the abstract mind and the intuition.

4.                  It is interesting to see who the Tibetan regards as intellectual Knowers. The great Sankaracharya was considered the counterpart of the Buddha. He was the foremost exponent of Adwaita Vedanta (the Vedantic Philosophy of Non-Dualism). For all his passion and apparent fanaticism, the initiate Paul is considered an intellectual Knower. Fittingly, He is presently the Chohan who heads the Fifth Ray Ashram. Meister Eckhart is commonly regarded as a great German mystic (but DK calls him an occultist).

5.                  St. Paul was upon the fifth and first rays, and Sankaracharya (according to the Tibetan) a representative of the second ray.

“Such Avatars were Plato, the first Patanjali and Sankaracharya; they emerge upon the second ray line of energy, in the department of the Christ and are expressions of hierarchical force”. (EXH 298)

The rays of Meister Eckhart are not given.

6.                  It is interesting to find an “intellectual Knower” largely characterized by the second ray. One might expect to find such second ray types only in relation to the “Way of the Heart”. The rays have to be studied closely so that false generalizations are not indulged.

7.                  The present Christ — the Lord Maitreya — (a later incarnation of Sri Krishna) and the Buddha are considered to tower above the other great Teachers. The power of a Teacher is measured by the scope of His influence. Christ and Buddha swayed hemispheres. The other Teachers influenced countries, specific types of mind and lesser periods of time.

8.                  Probably few of us who are not Masters of the Wisdom can appreciate the real contribution of the Christ and the Buddha — Beings Who rank above Masters and above even the Chohans of the sixth initiation. But so universal were these two Teachers (with respect to humanity, at least) that They gave something comprehensible by all — even by many of the humblest.

9.                  We understand that the Masters of the Wisdom “bend the knee” to the Christ. Do we have a real appreciation of why They do this? Perhaps it has something to do with the primacy of the Love in our solar system, and the fact that the Christ is the greatest demonstration of systemic (and, even, cosmic) Love which humanity has, thus far, produced.

10.              A little contemplation on the real nature of the Christ may yield astounding results.

11.              Through these two, the Christ and the Buddha, the cosmic astral plane and cosmic mental plane touch humanity. No wonder They are so extraordinary.

2. The second method employed for raising the consciousness of the race was through groups, gathered around a [Page 45] teacher who (to a greater or less degree) was a focal point of energy either

1.                  The first method of raising consciousness was individual. Effective though it was, its day has run its course. Not only is a New Age virtually upon us, but a new Platonic Year (a 25,000 year cycle ruled by Aquarius) is about to dawn. The Era of the Group is emerging, and methods of spiritual training must reflect the prevailing energies.

2.                  Even in the past the group method was employed. We recognize that the groups gathered around the Buddha (the Arhats), and those around the Christ (the Twelve Disciples), were amazingly influential. More recently, there was a group gathered around Sri Ramakrishna (including Swami Vivekananda) and this group was very influential in bringing Vedanta to the Western world. Probably there have been a number such groups which have impacted humanity in a positive spiritual manner.

a.       By the power of his soul contact or

b.      By that contact and being also a channel through which some member of the Hierarchy could work.

1.                  Every group has to have a focal point. That is the way Hierarchy works. Every Hierarchy is, in fact, a Hierarchy with a leader at its head.

2.                  Those who have gathered groups have either been powerful expressions of the soul in their own right, or have been “overshadowed” or ‘over-lighted’ by members of the Hierarchy. There have been a number of experiments — probably more than we know. We are told that Jeddu Krishnamurti was overshadowed for a time by the Christ. Those who heard him speak during a certain period when the experiment was in effect remarked on the tremendous energy he evidenced.

Through the example of these teachers, through their teaching, through their successes and their failures, those whom they gathered to them could be taught, their vibration could be increased, their consciousness expanded and the group could become a magnetised centre of force, of purpose and of spiritual light — the degree of this being dependent upon the purity of the note sounded and the selflessness of the lives shown. The mental calibre of the group also had its effect, for the average vibration and polarisation established the note for the group as a whole.

1.                  The individuals first discussed, Sri Krishna, St. Francis, Milarepa, Lao Tze, St. Paul, Meister Eckhart, Sankaracharya — were not products of group instruction. Some had no outward teachers of whom we know. If an outward teacher was involved, that teacher seemed to work with them on a one-to-one basis.

2.                  Other, perhaps less notable individuals, have been taught over the centuries in group form. The teachers have taught not only through their teaching, but through example, success and failure.

3.                  Different types of groups were produced, of varying light, love and potency.

4.                  It is interesting to see that the strength of the group depends upon “purity” and “selflessness”. Purity and selflessness create a channel for power.

5.                  These are two points on which we can question ourselves as we assess the potency of our present group formations. Always, I suspect, there will be room for improvement.

6.                  Mental calibre is not without its significance. DK speaks of how the “note for the group as a whole” is established. The average vibration and polarization establishes the note.

7.                  The Masters can perceive these subtle energy dynamics and know the quality of groups. Our task is to attempt to enhance the quality of any worthy group with which we may be associated — bearing these three factors in mind: purity, selflessness and mental calibre.

An experiment is now being made to shift the focus of the groups inwards and yet, at the same time, to increase their potency by permitting no individual leader to be found at the group centre upon the outer plane. All in the group are to be gathered together as free souls. Together, they will learn; together, they will stand with impersonality; together, they will render service to the world. You must remember, however, that any person who takes the position that the work to be done is only upon the inner planes and that he is working solely from mental or spiritual levels of consciousness is not right in his conception of the process. Inner work which does not work out into objective activity upon the physical plane is wrongly oriented and inspired.

1.                  The nature of the present group experiment is given. The groups in training are to have a more intensely inward focus, but no individual leader will be found at the group center upon the outer plane.

2.                  This, interestingly, is for the purpose of increasing the potency of the groups. We can understand that outer leaders are capable of mobilizing group energies, but, may also confine such energies or short-circuit them.

3.                  This approach must be carefully studied because it is not being said that the group has no leader. It is simply that the leader is not to be found on the outer plane. It is a Master or some initiate who is the true inner leader of such groups. Such was the case for the groups-of-nine which the Tibetan was organizing. Alice Bailey was simply the transcribing secretary for the groups, relaying to them that which the Tibetan wanted to convey. She had no authority over the groups or their personnel. While it may have seemed that the instruction was coming from her, in fact is was coming through her. She was not personally involved (though she was always ready to help).

4.                  The factor of freedom is very important in the new kinds of Aquarian groups. Aquarius is, after all, a sign ruled by Uranus, the planet of freedom, and, increasingly, personnel in such groups must assemble as “free souls” — self-determining, yet acknowledging the same purpose and fully cooperative.

5.                  The Tibetan is always careful to strike a balancing note, lest someone, in this case, take the idea of subjectivity too far. In the process we call the Externalization of the Hierarchy there is always a simultaneous inwardly-tending and outwardly-tending movement. Hierarchy is not only approaching Shamballa (a deeply subjective matter), it is emerging into increasingly physical presence. Likewise, the responsibility of modern disciples is twofold and involves deepening subjective activity accompanied by the precipitation of subjective activities upon the physical plane.

6.                  There is no way we can avoid our responsibility to every dimension of the three worlds. We are physical, emotional and mental beings and have to serve on all three levels (though our particular focus may be more towards one than the others).

These new types of groups will work together under the conscious guidance and suggestion of a member of the Great White Lodge. Note the word "suggestion," my brothers. If these groups were subjected to the authority of such a member, then the objective of all the work undertaken would fail to materialize. An occult law would have been broken. Free, intelligent assistance is what we are asking from all our disciples today, and we leave them free to render it or not as they like and in the manner which may seem best to them. I am your teacher. I make suggestion. I offer instruction. I indicate [Page 46] the way to the goal and to the field of service. I point out to you what we, the Teachers upon the inner side, seek to see accomplished. Temporarily and of your own free will, you have indicated your willingness to serve and to cooperate in my plans. Beyond thus indicating the way and the service, I will not go. It is for all of you, my disciples, to work out in joint collaboration and in the closest understanding the way that my suggestions and my hints should be utilised. I do not interfere.

1.                  The Tibetan clarifies the matter of leadership and the way in which the new groups will work.

2.                  “Conscious guidance” and “suggestion” will come from a member of the Great While Lodge.

3.                  We remember earlier that the Tibetan was speaking of His possible rank as a disciple or initiate. A little reasoning would have revealed to those intent on discerning His spiritual status, that He was attempting to work with groups in the manner here described and, therefore, must have been “a member of the Great White Lodge”.

4.                  DK reemphasizes the word “suggestion”. He does not say that only second ray Masters work with conscious guidance and suggestion; He seems to imply that all Masters or initiates in a guiding position will work with suggestion.

5.                  If a group were subjected to authority, why would it fail? DK tells us that “an occult law would have been broken”. The implication is that breaking occult law guarantees failure. This we must ponder in relation to many of our own processes.

6.                  When we ponder the use of suggestion rather than command, we recognize the Hierarchy’s intent to respect the principle of freewill. That freewill is the seed of growth for any self-conscious entity. If he/she is deprived of its exercise, the building of capacity falters and fails; the learning process stops; the organism is weakened. Something is stolen from another every time that other is denied the use of his/her freewill.

7.                  The Spiritual Hierarchy knows this and respects it utterly. The black lodge does not respect the principle of freewill at all. Freewill is the one thing they seek to crush. They care not for the growth of the soul and the expression of the spirit.

8.                  Mentally polarized disciples are increasingly self-determining. Mind and will are related, and the egoic lotus, is, after all, found upon the higher mental plane. It may dawn upon us how much more we disciples of the present era are responsible for our own evolution than in the past. The Teacher will no longer take responsibility for us as has often been the case in previous modes of spiritual/occult training. Our occult obedience is now of a different order — principally to the soul and to the Plan. Of course, if we are real members of an Ashram, we will recognize that the Master’s Will reflects the Plan, and we will do all we can to fulfill it.

9.                  DK lays out what He will do and how he will do it. He writes, it would seem, for mature, self-determining individuals who must decide, of their own free will and accord, whether or not they will cooperate. We see the Master setting limits upon His own probable responses. He will only go so far. The rest is up to us.

10.              It is clear that we are not studying these instructions as if they relate only to other disciples who were involved in a spiritual experiment some seventy years ago. These instructions, for all intents and purposes, are written to us and for us, and indicate ways with which we may cooperate with the hierarchical enterprise.

11.              Notice that DK uses the word “temporarily”. He does not expect that the disciples who have volunteered to cooperate will cooperate in this manner forever. He also knows that there is a term to his objective work with AAB. He tells us elsewhere that thirty years’ work was planned. That work would be coming to an end some fifteen or sixteen years after the writing of this instruction. The time equation is not being left to chance.

12.              The Master is placing heavy responsibility directly upon the shoulders of His disciples. He will make suggestions, but in “joint understanding” and in “closest collaboration” they are to work out the manner in which the Teacher’s hints and suggestions should be utilized.

13.              As time would show, they somewhat failed in that regard.

14.              We can see that DK was attempting something really new, a clean break with past methods, and an attempt to institute quite a new method of discipleship training. That type of training naturally still applies to our times, and when the Masters again reappear in more physically tangible form, the methods suggested will probably be instituted on rather a larger scale. Perhaps, we, who now study these instructions and attempt to apply them, are in training for those times and opportunities.

15.              Freedom and responsibility complement each other. Freedom is Uranian and responsibility, Saturnian. These planets are often considered to function in ways diametrically opposed. Yet their relationship can easily be seen. Both Uranian and Saturnian attitudes we expected of the DINA disciples (and of us). This had to be challenging, and still is.

First of all, I call for a deeper love and comprehension between the members of the group. This is necessary in order that the internal structure of the group may be more firmly and closely integrated.

1.                  DK begins listing requirements. Always and ever “deeper love and comprehension” will be useful. The integration and unification of the larger group (as a whole), and of the various groups within that larger group are to proceed apace in a more loving, understanding atmosphere.

2.                  As a Master occultist, DK sees “from the inside out”. He judges according to the nature of the “internal structure” — something we are only learning how to do (and just a little).

3.                  If a firm and close integration exists, there will be power and efficiency. Energy will not be wasted or blocked, and the group can serve as a true instrument for world service.

4.                  In all our labors, loving-understanding will clear the way to success. Let us remember this, no matter what may be our rays or the rays of the group with which we seek to function.

Next, you must learn to work on the levels of meditation with greater clarity and power. So much of your meditation work is selfish. Do you realise that? Is not your attitude very often to be expressed in the following terms: When I am meditating, what will the Tibetan give me at this time? Will he give me something which will make me a better disciple? Will the meditation which he may give me interest me more than the one I am now doing? Will a change in meditation bring me better results (probably of a phenomenal kind!) or a new revelation or fresh enlightenment and enable me to achieve my goal? Few of you in this particular group in my Ashram as yet really work in meditation upon those levels where creative work is done. May I point out that until you can begin to do this, the work which I seek to do through all of you is largely at a standstill. The object of any meditation which I may assign to you is to enable you to have power in meditation so that you will no longer be pre-occupied with yourselves and your own problems but you will become unified with your group for group work and eventually for still wider group purposes — my purposes, as your teacher and a world worker and server.

1.                  It may be expected that the disciples would have to learn to meditate with “greater clarity and power”, but perhaps the assessment of much of their mediation as “selfish” may have come as something of a shock. Probably, they did not realize that. Yet, from the Tibetan’s perspective, so it appeared.

2.                  As the Tibetan describes the attitude of some of His disciples, it is one of acquisition rather than of contribution. Moreover, it is superficial rather than deep and creative.

3.                  What are the “levels where creative work is done”? Would this involve the building and utilization of the antahkarana? Probably so. Impression would be gained with respect to the Plan, and creative thoughtform building would be employed to clothe the impressions worthily.

4.                  The Tibetan is stating a major obstacle — one that, apparently, slowed His intended project He is intending to a “stand still”.

5.                  The disciples apparently lack an impersonal attitude and are not ready to work creatively — as those who can access something of the Divine Plan and bring that which is accessed through into expression. All this confirms that a group of the kind that DK is envisioning is not a collection of “persons” but of conscious souls who approach their cooperation with the Plan in an impersonal manner.

6.                  We can see that in this paragraph DK is really setting things straight. Self-preoccupation has frustrated the intended group efforts. The meditation work has not achieved its intended results. The disciples must release their concern about themselves and their problems. Such issues are not to be taken into group meditation. There are personal meditations which can, as necessary, focus on some of those matters. The group meditation is to be focussed upon “group work” and “wider group purposes”.

7.                  “Whose purposes?” the Tibetan seems to ask. “My purposes”, He says. His wording seems to hold an implied rebuke and the suggestion that the Master’s purposes have not been foremost in the mind of these disciples on the periphery off His Ashram.

8.                  DK reminds them that He is, after all, their teacher, a “world worker and server”. He is trying to put things into perspective so that they may place first things first.

9.                  Those who are preoccupied with their personal natures cannot hope to see world problems in their true perspective. DK’s remarks are meant, it would seem, to de-personalize the approach of His disciples and release them for more real service.

10.              This paragraph holds in it something rather stern, and applies to us as well.

With what kind of instrument, therefore, can I now work? Every true teacher asks himself this question as he studies the grouping of souls with which he has associated himself and which he seeks to serve and aid. As integration of the group takes place, the pre-dispositions and the basic tendencies of the massed group qualities emerge and can be studied; weaknesses can then be offset and right indications fostered....

1.                  It is a moment of searching assessment. DK is studying the nature of the group instrument He has been trying to cultivate and it seems that He is not entirely pleased by what He sees. Certainly, He is being realistic.

2.                  There has been sufficient time for group patterns to emerge rather clearly. Weaknesses have emerged and He is trying to see how they may be offset.

3.                  Probably, there is a deleted section following the word “fostered…” in which He goes on to analyze individual weaknesses.

4.                  DK has suggested elsewhere that the success of one’s projects rise or fall with the quality of the co-workers chosen. There is also the familiar idea (promoted by AAB herself) that instead of being able to work with “first best” or “second best”, the Masters are often forced (for various reasons) to work with “third best”. AAB was suggesting that she, herself, was “third best”, and surely this same idea can be applied to those whom DK saw fit to associate with Himself in this enterprise.

5.                  Moments of evaluation always have something Saturnian in their nature: realism, objectivity, dispassionate assessment — all these are involved.

I have earlier pointed out to you that the basic qualities for which we look are sensitivity, impersonality, psychic capacity and mental polarisation. Upon these I would like very briefly to enlarge and then I will lay before you (for your understanding interest and possible collaboration) the plans for future group activity. These plans can materialise if you can make the necessary adjustments and submit yourselves to the discipline and the training which will make greatly increased usefulness possible.

1.                  DK now launches into a brief description of the four qualities which He and Master KH decided were requirements for those who would be members in the newer types of groups They were trying to form.

2.                  He presents these qualities to His disciples for “understanding interest and possible collaboration”. He seeks not only interest but understanding interest. He is asking them to penetrate the real meaning of what He says. Depending upon whether they are able to do this, their collaboration (co-working) may become possible — but probably not otherwise.

3.                  Adjustments and discipline are required. People, in general, do not much like to change. Many of these chelas found they could not or would not change even when the Master requested it and showed them the way. But a number tried sincerely to do so, and it is effort (not results) for which the Master looks.

4.                  Always, DK is practical. He has a group-instrument at His disposal. He can do only so much with it right now — really, not much, in terms of His original intentions. He wants it to be more useful.

I have stated that the first requirement is sensitivity. What exactly is this? It does not mean primarily that you are a "sensitive soul" — the connotation of which usually means that you are thin-skinned, self-centred and always on the defensive! Rather do I refer to the capacity whereby you are enabled to expand your consciousness so that you become aware of ever- widening ranges of contact. I refer to the ability to be alive, alert, keen to recognise relationships, quick to react to need, mentally, emotionally and physically attentive to life and rapidly developing the power to observe upon all three planes in the three worlds simultaneously. I am not interested in your personal relations where they concern your wrong personality sensitivity to depression, to self-pity, your defenses, your so-called sensitivity to slights, to misunderstandings, your dislike of your environing conditions, your hurt pride and qualities of this kind. These all cause you bewilderment and let loose in you the floodgates of compassion for yourself. But you do not need me to deal with them; of them you are well aware and can handle them if you choose. These faults are interesting only in so far as they affect the life of your group; they must be handled by you with care and with the open eye that senses danger from afar and seeks to avoid it. The sensitivity which I want to see developed is alertness to soul contact, impressionability to the "voice of the Teacher," an aliveness to the impact of new ideas and to the delicacy of intuitional responsiveness. These are ever the hallmark of the true disciple. It is spiritual sensitivity which must be cultivated; this is only truly possible when you learn to work through the centres above the diaphragm and to transmute solar plexus activity (which is so [Page 48] dominant in the average person), turning it into heart activity and the service of your fellowmen.

1.                  The Master is often handicapped by words. He must offset the usual interpretations given to certain words in order to make His meaning clear.

2.                  Again, we find some humor. Sensitivity is not to mean that one is “thin-skinned, self-centered and always on the defensive”. One can imagine that He was describing just the qualities which characterized too many of His chelas.

3.                  Here we can see Him almost frustrated by the personality qualities which continue to obtrude themselves into the proposed work.

4.                  The desirable “Sensitivity” of which He speaks relates to acuity and vividness of perception, making the expansion of consciousness possible. A real alertness to need is indicated, and a capacity for simultaneous response on (and to) all three planes of the three lower worlds. He wants His chelas to notice more and respond correctly to what they notice.

5.                  Again He points to the results of the wrong kind of sensitivity — personality sensitivity. Basically, this failing results in an attitude of self-pity opening the floodgates of compassion not for others but for oneself! This is certainly a vivid image, and was no doubt designed to arrest the attention of those habitually indulging in such attitudes.

6.                  Such failings are for the disciple to deal with, using the power of the soul. DK suggests that they can be dealt with provided the chela wishes to do so. Implied is the idea that the some of the chelas man not wish to do so.

7.                  If such undesirable conditions do exist, DK is interested in them only to the extent that that they affect the group life. He is asking his disciples to see these attitudes “coming”, and to avert them.

8.                  It is a different kind of sensitivity which DK seeks and expects. It is a soul sensitivity. Alertness to soul contact, impressionability to the “voice of the Teacher”, aliveness to the impact of new ideas, delicacy of intuitional response — all these are entirely impersonal, high and light compared with the litany of rather ‘moist’ (i.e., astrally-based) personality states (all of them undesirable) detailed above.

9.                  We can see that a reasonable degree of soul infusion and a reasonable development of the antahkarana are both necessary in order to acquire the type of sensitivity of which DK speaks. Neither of these desirable developments can be accomplished when an individual is too alive to his personality concerns.

10.              As DK suggests, solar plexus activity must be transmuted into heart-sensitivity. Too many of His disciples were focussed in the solar plexus, rendering the higher sensitivities impossible.

11.              His chelas were, perhaps, too much like ordinary people (whom, it is expected, would be focussed in the solar plexus). “Heart activity” and the “service of your fellowmen” is an entirely different matter. It would require the relative defeat of selfishness (something accomplished, in a degree, at the second initiation). Of course, so many of these chelas had not taken the second initiation. Still, they should have been learning the lessons pertaining to that initiation.

12.              There is the sense here that the Master is calling His group “to order”.

Impersonality, particularly for high grade integrated people, is peculiarly difficult to achieve. There is a close relation between impersonality and detachment. Study this. Many cherished ideas, many hard won qualities, many carefully nurtured righteousnesses and many powerfully formulated beliefs militate against impersonality. It is hard for the disciple — during the process of his early training — to hold earnestly to his own ideals and to pursue forcefully his own spiritual integration, and yet remain impersonally oriented towards other people. He seeks recognition of his struggle and achievement; he longs to have the light which he has kindled draw forth a reaction from others; he wants to be known as a disciple; he aches to show his power and his highly developed love nature so that he may evoke admiration or, at least, challenge. But nothing happens. He is looked upon as no better than all the rest of his brothers. Life, therefore, proves dissatisfying.

1.                  When attention is focussed in the solar plexus, there is no real impersonality. The heart, however, is, as strange as it may seem, an impersonal organ.

2.                  DK is dealing with “high grade integrated people” and impersonality is difficult for them.

3.                  He asks them to ponder the relation between impersonality and detachment, and we might ponder it too. It makes little sense to attempt to be impersonal unless one’s attitude is sufficiently detached. This means that one is reasonably disidentified from the personality, and centers one’s sense of identity ‘outside’ the personality vehicles altogether.

4.                  DK discusses the rather good qualities which militate against impersonality. Not only the faulty structures within one’s personality, but the sound structures may make impersonality difficult of achievement. If one hugs one’s virtues close and fears to relinquish them, the larger good is lost to sight. Thus, the achievement of impersonality demands not only that we release the bad in our nature, but hold not too tightly to the achieved good, lest, in holding, our hands are not free to serve where service is needed.

5.                  DK is reminding His chelas that they are early in the process of their training. They are subject to these difficulties because they lack experience. He asks that chelas do what is right for them without expecting a self-gratifying response from others. The problem is a basically second ray glamor — “the love of being loved”. The disciple who has acquired various virtues and qualities longs to have them appreciated. He craves recognition of some kind. This craving is essentially a request for reinforcement from without, whereas every disciple must learn that his real strengthening comes from within. This does not mean that the disciple is constantly expecting that the Master will notice him and strengthen him. His alignment with soul and spirit are to be his strength. What of real worth can the disciple ever expect from the outer world?

6.                  Humor again. DK is recounting something He knows very well — probably from His own experience. The kind of virtuous disciple here discussed is still rather petty. He secretly longs for the admiration of others, but “nothing happens”. Probably the other people are too selfish and too preoccupied to admire him — as they themselves are also seeking admiration. The self-revealing result — “Life…proves dissatisfying”.

7.                  A teacher can only successfully teach what he/she has been through. DK is an experienced disciple — not “old”, but not “young” either. It is always refreshing to see Him share His experiences in direct or oblique ways. This sharing lends an air of experiential reality and proves convincing for disciples, who immediately recognize themselves and their foibles.

8.                  In Rule XI of the Rules for Disciples and Initiates, we learn that the disciple must learn to work without any desire for recognition. Outer fires cannot take the place of inner fires. One must ‘recognize oneself’; there is really no one else to do the job. Of course, there will come moments of “acceptance” from higher sources. These are a kind of recognition, but they only come to those (and to groups) who have learned not to seek it for ego-gratifying motives. The inner Self accords recognition and knows exactly the state of the one it recognizes.

9.                  The usual personal desire is to shine in some way. This all relates to the third aspect of divinity and not to the second or soul aspect. Leo (as it emerges from the mass consciousness) seeks to stand out and be noticed. This kind of attitude can persist for many, many lives, and even subtly infect the attitudes of disciples and chelas (where it does not belong at all).

10.              Our intended transition is into the second aspect of divinity from the third. When behaviors and attitudes characteristic of the regime of the personality ray assert themselves, we must be alert to the danger. This assertion is an especial danger for the group process. Those who have passed through and learned from the pain of disruptive personal assertion (however subtle) will be alert and take steps to avoid its onset.

These truths of self-analysis are seldom definitely faced or formulated by any of you and, therefore (because I seek to help you) I formulate them for you and face you with them. It is hard for intelligent men and women to see others closely associated with them dealing with life and problems from a totally different angle to their own — handling them in a weak or stupid way (from the angle of the disciple) and making apparently serious errors in judgment or technique. Yet, brother of old, why are you so sure that you are right and that your point of view is necessarily correct? It may be that your slant on life and your interpretation of a situation needs readjustment and that your motives and attitudes could be more elevated or purer. And even if they are — for you — the highest and the best that you can achieve at any given time, then pursue your way and leave your brother to pursue his. "Better a man's own dharma, than the dharma of another." Thus does the Bhagavad Gita express this truth, telling the disciple to mind his own business.

1.                  It does seem that DK is forcing the issue. This letter offers a kind of confrontation with reality. Because His chelas will not analyze themselves accurately and see clearly, He will help them do it.

2.                  One of the areas where it is difficult to maintain impersonality is in the face of apparently inadequate or “stupid” actions on the part of those close to us. Our detachment is severely challenged. Usually, we wish to intervene and “set them straight”.

3.                  We are dealing here with the “mote and the beam”. We see the mote in our bother’s eye and not the beam in our own.

4.                  DK is seeking to unsettle His chelas. They are too sure of the correctness of their own personality attitudes; and correspondingly unsure of themselves as souls.

5.                  He asks them to have attitudes which are more elevated and more pure. He is helping them remove their projections.

6.                  There may have been an outbreak of criticism at this time. We are told that the third group-of-nine (the Group of Magnetic Healers) was particularly prone to criticism, even as Group Two could not easily rid itself of glamor. These attitudes were inhibiting progress.

7.                  DK is really asking His chelas to mind their own business. Why is this so important? Perhaps because the “glamor of interference” is very dear to those who have undertaken their spiritual training during the sixth ray Age. Perhaps because unity and freedom are disrupted when people spend too much time assuming responsibility for other and not for themselves. There is a basic trust that is necessary in any discipleship group. When this trust exists, when one has confidence in one’s brother, then love will flow and unity supervene. DK seeks the firm integrity of His groups and the various attitudes He names — personal oversensitivity, criticism as well as entering unwanted into the business of others — have to be corrected if His plans are to succeed.

8.                  Clearly, the group was receiving a real “talking to”!

This attitude of non-interference and the refusal to criticise, in no way prevents service to each other or constructive group relations. It does not negate the expression of love or happy [Page 49] group cooperation. There is ever much opportunity for the practice of impersonality in all group relations. In every group there is usually one group member (and perhaps several) who constitute a problem to themselves and to their group brothers. Perhaps you yourself are such an one and know it not. Perhaps you know who, among your co-servers, provides a testing for his fellows. Perhaps you can see clearly what is the group weakness and who it is that is keeping the group back from finer activity. That is well and good, provided that you continue to love and serve and to refrain from criticism. It is a wrong attitude to seek assiduously to straighten out your brother, to chide him or seek to impose your will on him or your point of view, though it is always legitimate to express ideas and make suggestion. Groups of disciples are groups of free and independent souls who submerge their personal interests in service and who seek that inner linking which will fuse the group into an instrument for the service of humanity and of the Hierarchy. Continue with your own soul discipline and leave your brothers to continue theirs.

1.                  Now the balancing remark is being offered. Always there is the danger of taking advice (especially the Teacher’s advice) to extremes.

2.                  DK is deliberatively trying to deprive His group of the ‘false joy of criticism and interference’! He assures them that they may be quite happy and joyful without indulging in these destructive attitudes. So perverted can human nature become.

3.                  The expression of love and happy group relations are entirely permissible, even desirable. It is so easy to misinterpret impersonality, allowing this misinterpretation to turn one grey, lifeless and non-responsive to life’s variety and beauty. After removing a number of glamors pertaining to the sixth (interference) third (criticism) and second (over-sensitivity) rays, DK seeks a normal, sane group relation expressing a sense of well-being.

4.                  A lesson on how to practice impersonality is given. The group, we are told, presents many opportunities for the practice of impersonality. Someone in the group will always be seen by most as a challenge. Shall the group members try to straighten this person out, scold or correct him; shall they silently criticize him and hold an attitude of superiority? Not at all. Group members are to see and understand the difficulty, yet nevertheless are to refrain from criticism and are to continue to love.

5.                  Can the group members learn to work subjectively upon such group tests and challenges, building what has been called the “thoughtform of solution”? It would be a more effective approach than usually used.

6.                  DK is seeking to emphasize the freedom and independence of the souls who have chosen to work together for service purposes. So many attitudes favored by group members infringe this freedom and independence. Yet, these two qualities must be preserved or the group process will fail. It is so easy to fall back into old authoritarian methods of the leader and his automatons.

7.                  DK closes with this statement, again, a version of “mind your own business”: “Continue with your own soul discipline and leave your brothers to continue theirs.” In relation to this statement we must recall that the Solar Angel is a “Master” and has its human being under supervision and training. Surely, such a “Master” (though of the angelic type) is equal to the task of guiding its own human being successfully. Do we think we could do any better?

8.                  There has to be more trust in our fellow-chelas’ inner spiritual resources (i.e., in their relationship with their Solar Angel). Reason will show the advisability of this approach, but perhaps we rarely remind ourselves that our brother is really “in good hands”. As DK has often suggested, ‘leave them to their souls’. To do so is an act of sacrifice and one that benefits the entire group.

“Once the fact of the soul is admitted, we shall see an increasing tendency to leave people to the directing purpose and guidance of their own souls, provided that they understand what is happening to them” (EP II 439)

The question of psychic powers is not so easy to explain. I do not refer to the lower psychic powers which may or may not develop as time goes on and the need for them arises. I refer to the following capacities, inherent in the soul, which must be developed in all of you if you are to do your share in meeting world need, and work for the Hierarchy in the field of world service. Let us briefly enumerate them:

1.                  It is interesting and important that in Trans-Himalayan Occultism the lower psychic powers are not highly valued. They are seen as states of awareness belonging most properly to early phases of humanity’s development (at which time they were common and perfectly natural). We are told that the Atlantean Race was a psychic race. The Aryan Race is not to be.

2.                  Recovery of the earlier psychic powers is possible and can be desirable once the disciple knows how not to be ensnared by them. When the ajna center is stimulated in a new way at the time of the third initiation, these earlier powers may be reclaimed (but it is certainly not necessary to do so).

3.                  For Master DK the higher psychic powers do not pertain so much to the eighteen lower subplanes. Not only are these higher powers desirable, but they must necessarily be developed in the advancing disciple so that he/she may play a fuller role in the service of humanity.

4.                  How we define the psychic powers depends very much on how we define the psyche of a human being. Many people consider their lower and familiar psychological nature to be their psyche; this area of human experience is the province of the ordinary psychologist who addresses himself to various problems which arise within the human mind and emotional nature — the psyche, as commonly considered.

5.                  But for those who consider the psyche to be the soul (more on its own plane than ‘in immersion’), psychic powers represent an altogether higher field of awareness and understanding.

6.                  Master DK details what He considers to be the psychic powers which every advancing disciple must cultivate.

1. Intuitional response to ideas.

1.                  This particular psychic power does not belong to the eighteen lower subplanes — not even to the twenty-one lower subplanes (three of which are found in the higher mind).

2.                  In fact we see, in its purity, that it pertains to the fourth subplane of the buddhic plane. (cf. TCF 188)

3.                  An idea is not a thoughtform; this is a fundamental concept.

“An idea is a being incorporeal, which has no subsistence by itself, but gives figure and form unto shapeless matter, and becomes the cause of the manifestation.” (from Plutarch in COA 55) 

It is ideas that advance the Divine Plan, far more than thoughts. In fact, the Divine Plan consists of ideas of which many related thoughtforms are but embodiments.

4.                  There are many who can respond indirectly to ideas once they are embodied as thoughtforms. But, can the disciple respond directly to that energy current which is an idea? This is the question.

5.                  It becomes clear that if such response is possible, it then becomes possible to relate directly to the Ashram (found, in the case of second ray Ashrams) on buddhic levels, rather than in a mediated manner. The Master, in this case, is a source of ideas (though really, they emanate from far higher planes). Who is to determine the final emanating point of an Idea? Divine Ideation created the cosmos.

2. Sensitiveness to the impression which some member of the Hierarchy may seek to make upon the mind of the disciple. It is for this reason that I am training you to utilise the Full Moon contact.

1.                  This ability (sensitiveness to hierarchical impression)  is the sine qua non of all authentic ashramic participation. One can be told what is happening within the Ashram and what is needed. This is an earlier phase and through it, all chelas must pass. But the accepted disciple who is now “on the thread” is in a position to receive impulses directly from the Master without the mediation earlier necessary. This will, of course, lead to efficiency and reliability in the task of rendering ashramic service. The possibilities of distortion and misinterpretation will be greatly reduced.

2.                  Many hope for direct contact with the Master, but as Master DK tells us, this will, minimally, be found upon the plane of mind — which means the plane of higher mind whereon the Egoic Lotus can is ‘located’. We realize, however, that the impression emanates (in most cases) from still higher planes. There are few Ashrams (along the scientific line) inspired by Arhats of the fourth degree and focussed on the plane of higher mind. The remainder of the Ashrams is focussed, minimally, on the buddhic plane.

3.                  The Master is giving us a strong hint here. The Full Moon contact is ashramically important, as it offers the disciple a prime opportunity for communion with the Head of the disciple’s particular Ashram. It is also an opportunity for the Master Who is seeking to work out His projects through the medium of His disciples.

4.                  There are many Plan-related ideas which are distorted ‘on the way down’ into the lower worlds. Direct impression from a member of Hierarchy to the consciousness of a disciple lessens the possibility of distortion (unless it enters as the disciple attempts to ‘translate’ his impression into words and other symbols).

5.                  We are coming to understand that ‘sensitivity to ashramic impression’ is a valued psychic power. We must ask ourselves, “To what extent does this power exist within us?” Certainly, if we are personally preoccupied, it cannot exist.

6.                  If we realize that the Full Moon Period presents a significant opportunity to contact the Hierarchy directly, perhaps we shall develop a new attitude towards these monthly periods of potentially heightened rapport.

7.                  The question of motive, however, will enter. “Why do I wish to contact the Master or be impressed by Him?” If the answer is, “So that the Divine Plan may be more successfully fulfilled through me”, we are on the right track.

3. Quick response to real need. You had not regarded this as one of the psychic powers, my brother, had you? I refer not here to a solar plexus reaction but to heart knowledge. Ponder on this distinction.

1.                  This is an unusual psychic power, and the Master remarks on its surprising nature — surprising, at least, to many disciples.

2.                  We are asked to ponder the distinction between “solar plexus reaction” (a common response and a form of sensitivity) and “heart knowledge”.

3.                  We note that the word “reaction” is related to the solar plexus. It suggests an ‘unenlightened automaticism’. We all know how solar-plexus-based arguments have a life of their own and lead those involved, almost helplessly, into greater inharmony and unpleasantness. The lunar lords are “having their way”.

4.                  The word, “knowledge”, however, is associated with the heart. This response of the heart is filled with light. Something new is seen and understood about the ‘other person’. One does not simply react to him/her (a mode of response which usually adds ‘heat’ but not ‘light’).

5.                  Solar-plexus reaction is superficial compared with “heart knowledge”. Via heart-knowledge, the deeper nature of the other is touched, and “real need” can be appreciated and met (quickly). The heart is a need-detector. The solar plexus is usually only alert to one’s own needs, though it can resonate to the distress of others.

6.                  When we respond to another, are we deep or superficial? The intensity of our response is not necessarily an indication of its depth.

7.                  We can see that if a disciple has developed a “quick response to real need”, he/she is developing the esoteric sense, based on soul perception.

8.                  Service is accomplished when real need is detected and rightly met. This suggests that often we feel or think that we have perceived a need, but that perceived need has actually originated from the outer nature of the one perceived. Through the heart/soul we perceive the deeper nature of the other and what is needed for real or spiritual fulfillment and growth. This type of perception is entirely more subtle and the response far more effective for good.

9.                  In the process of raising the energy of the solar plexus to the heart, light is thrown on the distinction we are asked to ponder.

4. Right observation of reality upon the soul plane. This leads to right mental perception, to freedom from illusion and glamour and to the illumination of the brain.

1.                  The “soul plane” (as here described) encompasses the higher three subplanes of the mental plane.

2.                  What is “reality”? Each dimension of life has its reality. It is questionable whether any ultimate reality can be found upon the plane of soul, though upon those subplanes a higher degree of reality exists than on any of eighteen subplanes of the three lower worlds.

3.                  We come to understand that “right mental perception” cannot be achieved without soul focus. It is as if the qualities of the higher mind must permeate the lower mine before the lower mind can really be trusted (because illumined).

4.                  The light of the soul-illumined mind dissipates glamor. This is well known.

5.                  Complete freedom from illusions, however, requires the intervention of the buddhic intuition; the light of the soul, alone, will not accomplish the task. Freedom from illusion requires an impersonal perspective which cannot be fully achieved under the influence of the causal body.

6.                  The illumination of the brain relates to the ability of the normal personality consciousness to carry light. The illumined brain can sustain an awareness of the higher worlds and bring the energy from those worlds into the everyday transactions in the worlds where the five normal senses rule.

7.                  Usually, it is the illumination of the mind that is discussed (not of the brain). We should think about the difference. A certain vivid, alert quality of interaction with the environment will be the result of an illumined brain. This illumination will necessarily relate to the “light in the head”. With an illumined brain it becomes possible to perceive matter as light. The illumined mind may know this is so, but the illumined brain perceives the fact — etherically.

5. Correct manipulation of force, involving, therefore, an understanding of the types and qualities of force and their right creative weaving into service upon the outer plane.

1.                  This psychic power necessitates the third and fifth rays. Energies and forces have to be identified (which requires keen discrimination), then they have to be properly used — applied in a correct direction and with exactitude. A fifth ray mantram is applicable here:

“Let the three forms of energy electric pass upward to the Place of Power. Let the forces of the head and heart and all the nether aspects blend.  Then let the Soul look out upon the inner world of light divine.  Let the word triumphant go forth: “I mastered energy for I am energy itself.  The Master and the mastered are but One’.” (EP II 84)

2.                  A Master of the Wisdom is a ‘Master of Energy’, thus this particular psychic power cannot be fully mastered by disciples, probationary initiates and even initiates.

3.                  Once the forces are discriminated, they must be manipulated — creatively manipulated, utilizing the Ray of Creative Intelligence, or “the acute energy of divine mental perception”.

4.                  Right creative manipulation can only be achieved in relation to service. If it occurs for any other reason than the advancement and progression of humanity and the planet, it will be selfish and spiritually useless — or worse.

5.                  The Tibetan, therefore, is asking us to understand the many energies, to be able to discriminate one from another, and to be able to apply them in service — either through thought, through sentient expression or through physical action (and preferably, in all three ways simultaneously).

6.                  Naturally some of the previously listed psychic powers will be useful when it comes to creatively weaving the various energies and forces into service on the outer plane”.

7.                  If we can detect another’s real need, of we are intuitive and able to receive the Master’s direct impression, and if we are unglamored and ‘dis-illusioned’ — in the positive sense — our prospects for mastering the creative weaving of multiple esoteric forces are far improved.

8.                  The perfection of this psychic power will require considerable study and observation of life. The various subtle energies and forces are always and everywhere present in various intensities of expression; we have to recognize them and be able to assume them.

9.                  How do you go about manipulating an energy? First you have to feel it. The energy has to imbue you. You have to be able to speak with its words and shape your thoughts according to its nature. I would suggest that one of the first methods preparatory to effective manipulation of an energy is the cultivation of the ability to be pervaded by an energy or force — to feel its presence palpably. Probably we should identify the ray and astrological quality of our thoughts, feelings and behaviors at various moments so we can learn which forces most frequently imbue us.

10.              If we want to summon or invoke energies and forces with which we have less natural familiarity, there are symbols, words of power, gestures, etc., which will place us within the stream of such energies and forces. Experiment is required.

6. A true comprehension of the time element, with its cyclic ebb and flow and the right seasons for action — a most difficult psychic power to master, my brothers, but one which can be mastered through the use of patient waiting and the elimination of hurry.

1.                  Much consideration should be given to this sixth psychic power. Its relative mastery involves the control of the astral body and the subduing of the planets Mars (and lower Neptune) by Vulcan (the planet of the will). (Really, there is no ‘lower Neptune’, but there are lower ways of responding to the energy of any planet, and these are distinctly different from the higher ways.)

2.                  We can understand that sensitivity to the planets Saturn and Uranus are both involved in the development of this psychic power. Saturn determines cycles which shall be no longer or shorter than the “Law” degrees. Uranus determines the intuitively correct moment for the “heavenly pattern” to present itself. (In astrology, Uranus is considered an ‘exact timer’. Events correlated with its aspects occur very close to the time of exactitude of the aspects.)

3.                  We can see that if this power of correct timing is to be mastered, Saturn and Uranus will have to master the rather emotionally stimulative planets, Mars and Neptune. The astral body violates correct timing because of personal desire. If personal desire is subdued and if a more impersonal attitude is developed, there will be sufficient patience to act during the “right seasons for action”.

4.                  Why is this psychic power so difficult to master? Perhaps because human beings are yet so personal, their vision of larger possibilities so limited, and their astral body so strong.

5.                  The one “who asks nothing for the personal self” will be able to wait until reason and intuition reveal the correct moment for action. The one who sees all things in terms of the Divine Plan, thinks in larger cycles and sees how these cycles contribute to the unfoldment of larger patterns and objectives.

6.                  It is obvious that a narrow point of view will never be found in those who comprehend the time element, its cyclic ebbs and flows. A profound study of the Ageless Wisdom in its broad outlines, thus, contributes to the development of this power. Most people think of certain processes which are underway, but the processes are relatively personal, or involve groups in which the value of the personal point of view is pronounced. If an individual or group begins to think in terms of much larger processes — affecting humanity and the planet as a whole, the perspective is entirely changed. Such an individual seeks the best for the larger group, and knows that that best cannot emerge if hasty personal action is taken. With the distant and desirable pattern ever in mind, there comes an understanding of what kinds of actions lead to that pattern and what kind do not. There comes an understanding of which types of energies and forces lead to that pattern and which do not. Most importantly, in this context, there comes the understanding of when such propitious energies and forces are available and when they are not. The Plan-intent-individual awaits the presence of those forces so that the desirable supra-personal pattern may emerge.

7.                  It is clear that a knowledge of astrological and rayological cycles helps one cultivate this particular psychic power. The realization of the right moment may be intuitive, but a knowledge of the objective subtle-energy cycles schools the intuition.

8.                  We have to realize that “patient waiting” is action; it is not inaction. “Hurry” on the other hand, is simply “motion” — and no directed action at all. It is clear that the onset of a true mental polarization will assist with the mastery of this sixth psychic power.

All these powers, the disciple must eventually develop, but the process is necessarily slow.

1.                  We can see that Master DK is giving us an entirely different sense of what constitute psychic powers; it is a most wholesome paradigm He is presenting. This paradigm forces disciples to ‘look above’ for the acquisition of such powers, rather than ‘below while thinking they are looking above’!

2.                  The process is as slow as the cultivation of soul-infusion and the building of the antahkarana. We can be sure however that service to the Divine Plan and humanity will set up the proper conditions for the development of these powers.

3.                  It is service that draws these powers forth. The powers are natural soul abilities and the soul/Solar Angel in us, seeks to serve. If we place ourselves heartfully in the stream of service, the powers will be drawn forth.

Next comes the quality of mental polarisation. What exactly is this power or quality? For you (at this time) it must express itself in two ways:

1. Through the life of meditation.

2. Through the control of the astral body.

1.                  Mental polarisation is not simply the ability to be an “intellectual”. This ability can be present with very little soul-infusion of the mind.

2.                  True mental polarization is achieved midway between the second and third initiations. If this is so, it must be clear that most students of spirituality are not yet mentally polarized.

“Illusion is, in the last analysis, the control of the mental processes by great and massive thoughtforms; this conflict persists from the moment that the disciple has achieved mental polarisation (at a midway point between the second and the third initiations)… (R&I 600)

3.                  An ability to focus mentally is a precursor of this development. The control of the astral body is also necessitated, because if the astral body is too strong, it will always be attracting the attention which, then, will not be held at a mental point of tension.

4.                  But, the quality of higher mind is also required of the truly mentally polarized individual. This individual has taken the second initiation and has thus achieved “mental illumination” and is characterized by “spiritual intelligence”.

5.                  Many intellectuals are still ruled by their emotions. The truly mentally polarized individual can never be thus ruled.

Increasingly must your inner life be lived upon the mental plane. Steadily and without descent must the attitude of meditation be held — not for a few minutes each morning or at specific moments throughout the day, but constantly, all day long. It infers a constant orientation to life and the handling of life from the angle of the soul. This does not refer to what is so often referred to as "turning one's back upon the world." The disciple faces the world but he faces it from the level of the soul, looking clear-eyed upon the world of human affairs. "In the world, yet not of the world" is the right attitude — expressed for us by the Christ.

1.                  The Tibetan sets forth an important requirement — one that is rejected today by many as too cold and lifeless. He asks that the “inner life” be lived upon the mental plane. We note that He is not asking for withdrawal from the world, nor is He condoning physical plane ineffectiveness. He is calling attention to the quality of the psychological life and asking that it be supervised by an illumined mentality.

2.                  What does it mean to hold an attitude of meditation, “steadily and without descent”? Everyone has the experience of reaching a high point of contact in the meditation only to lose that contact a few minutes later. The continuity of the meditative attitude is interrupted; descent occurs. Descent, in this case, means that the “Attitude of the Observer” is compromised and that emotional reactivity takes the place of a more serene focus within the mind.

3.                  The Tibetan is calling for a kind of ‘continuity of soul consciousness’. One of the important contributants to this state is emotional poise and serenity.

4.                  It is also possible to ‘descend’ into lower manas, and become preoccupied with the modifications of the mental vehicle. Although this type of activity is occurring on the mental plane, the perspective of the higher mental plane is not involved. Whenever the perspective of the higher mental plane is sacrificed, there is “descent”.

5.                  DK ensures that His advice is taken in a balanced manner. After two thousand years of Pisceanism, it is too easy to fall into the attitude of “turning one’s back upon the world” — an attitude which is undesirable in terms of developing Aquarian objectives.

6.                  “In the world, yet not of the world”. This is the attitude we must cultivate, and it was expressed for us by the Christ. Such an attitude allows us to be effective in service without becoming entrapped by the world which we intend to serve. Our attitude is one of “contribution” (a soul impulse) and not “acquisition” (involving desire).

7.                  The term “clear-eyed” is used; it is a quality of perception possessed by those who see into the world from the perspective of the soul. The forces of the astral plane blur and distort vision; glamor is precisely a form of unclarity. The Tibetan uses this term, “clear-eyed” when speaking of the manner in which the initiate faces the possibility of the fourth initiation. We can associate such clarity with buddhic perception — never with astral sentiency.

“Think not that this indicates the fourth initiation, the Crucifixion. That initiation has to be faced clear-eyed, free from glamour, with a heart full of love and a mind released from all criticism. For this, the second initiation prepares the disciple.” (DINA II 527)

Increasingly must the normal and powerful life of the emotional, astral, desire and glamorous nature be controlled and rendered quiescent by the life of the soul, functioning through the mind. The emotions which are normally self-centred and personal must be transmuted into the realisations of universality and impersonality; the astral body must become the organ through which the love of the soul can pour; desire must give place to aspiration and that, in its turn, must be merged in the group life and the group good; glamour must give place to reality, and the pure light of the mind must pour into all the dark places of the lower nature. [Page 51] These are the results of mental polarisation and are brought about by definite meditation and the cultivation of the meditative attitude. This is not new information for you, but it is something which as yet remains unexpressed practically. If you will ask yourselves the following questions and courageously and truthfully make reply before the bar of your own soul, you will learn much and greatly aid your development:

1.                  Normally, the astral plane is powerful in its reactions. This type of functioning — normal for most human beings — must be offset by the disciple and initiate.

2.                  We do note that the soul (regardless of its ray) has a quieting effect upon the astral vehicle and its associated forces and phenomena. We note that the instrument which the soul uses to achieve the necessary quietude is the mind.

3.                  Emotional response is associated with the solar plexus, which like all sub-diaphragmatic chakras, relates to the personal life. The feelings and resultant emotions are largely designed to preserve comfort and equilibrium within the personal energy system.

4.                  A major transmutation must occur; emotion must be transmuted into “realizations of universality and impersonality”. Personal sensitivity must give place to a sensitivity which responds to the welfare of the larger whole. This is all part of a necessary decentralizing process.

5.                  The term “realizations” is important. Realization does not occur on the astral plane. At the very least it involves the higher mind, and actually dimensions far beyond that. The siddhi of realization occurs on the fifth subplane of the atmic plane.

6.                  It is important to understand that normal astral functioning and reactivity prevents such higher realizations. The seas must be quieted before they become capable of reflecting higher soul and triadal states.

7.                  The Tibetan indicates the astral body is not a useless organ, simply to be negated and forgotten. Rather, the astral body “must become the organ through which the love of the soul can pour”. All organs have a function within the system of which they are a part; here the Tibetan shares with us the intended use of this vehicle which normally causes people so much difficulty.

8.                  Naturally, we wish to question ourselves. Is our own astral body in such a desirable condition? Is the astral vehicle of the group capable of functioning as an “organ” for the expression of love?

9.                  No astral body can serve in this desirable manner if it is afflicted by glamors and various desires which bind consciousness to the lower planes.

10.              An important sequence is given: from desire to aspiration, from aspiration to “group life” and “group good”. The quality of desires is elevated, and the individual no longer desires the welfare of the personal self. The very first Rule for Applicants speaks of a necessary triumph over personal desire to be found in any sincere candidate for initiation. Heart response is superseding solar plexus reactivity. The man no longer lives for himself alone; his sense of identity is increasingly invested in the group. He is just as sensitive — even more so — but it is sensitivity (a heart sensitivity) which seeks to preserve “group good” (the welfare of the larger whole in which he is a part).

11.              We are being shown the benefits of mental polarization, among which is the following: “the pure light of mind must pour into all the dark places of the lower nature”. “Alignment — Crisis — Light — Revelation — Integration”. Ancient patterns are revealed for what they are, and their exposure weakens them, bringing about the possibility of re-patterning.

12.              We can see how great is the reconditioning of the astral body through which humanity must pass. The desire nature of man is the seat of the vast majority of problems which plague humanity. A major focus will have to be placed upon purifying this “body of sentiency” and re-patterning its responses.

13.              Meditation and the meditative attitude assist with the general astral transformation. But this type of work is not easy, and people fail to apply themselves to it. Perhaps other things seem more interesting. The Tibetan tells His disciples that they have failed to undertake the kind of emotional transformation which should result from mental polarization. What have we done in this regard?

14.              We are being asked to face ourselves, before “the bar of [our] soul”. There we can judge impartially (Libra) what has been the result of the process of transmuting and transforming the lunar vehicles — and especially, the astral body.

15.              The problem of pursuing ever-new information (without applying it) is presented to us. Such an attitude may delight the mind, but does not lead to those changes without which no real spiritual progress can be made. Mastership is built upon a purified, reorganized personality life. There is no escape from this requirement, howevermuch we might “look the other way”.

16.              DK asks us to fact the questions He poses “courageously and truthfully”. Of what use is it for us to delude ourselves (often quite skillfully, so that we hardly know we are doing so)? We would only delay the inevitable reckoning and waste years, perhaps lifetimes. We must start with ourselves “where we are” and “as we are”. From that acknowledged state we can build.

17.              Below, DK is asking His chelas to assess the degree to which they have fulfilled the four requirements He and Master KH determined as important for all those who would participate in this newer form of group work. A courageous and truthful approach to these questions would induce a much-needed humanity in the chelas, and in all of us.

1. What do you understand by spiritual sensitivity?

1.                  One must determine which aspect or aspects of his nature are sensitive.

2.                  One can have a sensitive mind, emotional body or physical body, but these types of sensitivities will not confer “spiritual” sensitivity.

3.                  We can ask ourselves, “When I know that I am identified as a soul, to what am I sensitive”?

4.                  “How often do I preserve the kind of identification that allows me to be spiritually sensitive?” “How often is such sensitivity clouded-over by other, lower, personality states?” “What induces such beclouding states?”

5.                  It becomes clear that to answer these questions, one must be able to observe the energy-force changes within the various layer of one’s aura. Only the detached Observer can do this.

6.                  Only he can be detached who cares more about the soul than the personality.

a. Have you ever truthfully felt my vibration?

1.                  This is a fascinating question and confronts us to inquire of ourselves: “A much as we may talk about Master DK, to what extent is He a presence to us?”

2.                  Of course, He comes through to us in His words taken down by AAB, and a presence of a kind can be felt. But here, in this question, we are talking about immediacy — a living presence unquestionably ‘felt’. Note that the word “felt” is used, but one can ‘feel’ in more vehicles than the astral.

3.                  When we consider this question, the whole problem of ‘wishful thinking’ is up for consideration. There are many who certainly ‘think’ they are experiencing not only Master DK’s vibration, but are taking down His words. Clearly, the vast majority are neither feeling His presence nor taking down His ideas, thoughts and words.

4.                  Many ‘sources’ from the higher worlds can apparently be felt, but the supposed sources are not the genuine source and so the feelings, too, are not what the recipients imagine them to be.

5.                  We see that we are faced with a tremendous task of discrimination. Different kinds of impressions have to be compared, both as to source and quality. This is not a task for the inexperienced. If someone new to the whole idea of Hierarchy or the various Masters suddenly (and willfully) decides, “Now I will contact Master DK; now I will offer myself as a channel for Master DK and He will surely begin to speak through me because of my sincerity”, then the door is open for almost certain glamor and illusion. I use the word “almost” as it is impossible to state that genuine contact and transmission cannot happen, but the odds are overwhelmingly against it, as, in almost every instant, the would-be recipient has not been properly trained, as Alice Bailey was in former incarnations of close rapport with DK (and, probably, as Helena Roerich had been through long association with Master M.).

6.                  So let us review the kinds of impressions we receive and when we receive them. Let us compare their ‘vibratory elevation’ and their quality. Let us try a number of ways to explain what they might be so that we do not jump to unwarranted conclusions.

7.                  One thing may be said: when most engaged in the kind of work sanctioned by Master DK and His Ashram, the probability of experiencing His vibration is greatest. Of course, He, Himself, explains how, unknown to the disciple, He has at times entered to strengthen them (in fatigue, illness or moments of special need), so His interventions cannot be limited to special moments when the disciple is engaged in consecrated ashramically related work. However, it stands to reason that when a disciple is most expressive of ashramic quality, the Master’s presence stands the greatest chance of being evoked due the shared resonance between disciple and the Ashram.

b. Do you respond more rapidly to the quality of a brother's faults than to his divine characteristics?

1.                  This is a most pointed question and one which needs to be asked of the vast majority of students of esotericism. Such students are rapidly developing the mind and with this development, the tendency towards criticism.

2.                  A rule-of-thumb may here be offered: when we are most identified with our own personality, we are most likely to tune in on the personality of our brother and the faults of that personality. When we are most identified as a soul, we are most likely to see our brother as a soul, and his/her spiritual virtues and potentials will stand out with increasingly clarity.

3.                  So, if we find ourselves always critical of others (and especially of our brothers on the Spiritual Path) we should immediately question the focus of our own identification. Chances are, we are not living in soul consciousness, that we are not seeing life as the soul would see it.

4.                  It is here that the ‘method of appreciation’ can assist. There is always something to appreciate about our brother. If we cannot find something worthy of appreciation, it is a sad commentary on our own state of spiritual identification (not on his or hers).

5.                  We remember that Venus is the planet which rules “appreciation” and Venus is also the planet of the light and love of the soul.

6.                  I am always touched by the memory of Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas morning. After a harrowing night of confronting his own cruelty, his own meanness and inhumanity to his fellowmen, he awakens to realize that the karmic stream that he has been setting in motion need not lead to the terrible results shown to him by the “spirits” who visited him — especially by the “Ghost of Christmas Future”. He realizes that the future can change if only he will change, and change he does — remarkably, dramatically, and literally, “over-night”. The first evident part of this change is that he begins to appreciate the good in everyone. Suddenly alive to the soul in himself, he sees the soul in all — even ordinary people and things. Charles Dickens knew something about the soul and shared it most evocatively in this story of human redemption and salvation. The good is there; it can be seen; the soul sees it; when we are soul we see it and appreciate it. It is all very simple. It simply remains to be done.

c. In what way does criticism interfere with true spiritual sensitivity?

1.                  This requires thought. The Tibetan is obviously meaning destructive criticism and not an impartial analysis of conditions.

2.                  Each will have his/her own way of answering the question. The Tibetan does not say, “Does criticism interfere with spiritual sensitivity?” He begins with the fact that it does and asks us, “How”.

3.                  A few thoughts in this regard: criticism stops the flow of information. Criticism rivets itself to the personality of the one criticized, which, then, looms overly large, blocking the vision of the ‘subtle self’ of the other (the soul). The qualities of the relatively unimportant personality fill the field of consciousness of the criticizer and there is no room left for soul impression.

4.                  Criticism mobilizes and strengthens the lower thoughts of the lower mind. This strengthening creates a ‘field of distortion’ contributing to the misinterpretation and rejection of the subtle good emanating from the person, place or thing criticized.

5.                  Criticism can be a kind of ‘willful blindness to the good’. There is nothing about essence which can be criticized, because (as spirit), essence is perfect. To the mind locked in persistent destructive criticism, essence is invisible — hence the good, which is based upon essence — is invisible.

6.                  Further, criticism is based upon incomplete sight, for the good aspects of that which is criticized are ignored. As well, criticism (as it persists) reinforces this incomplete sight, and hardens the mind against the unitive factors of life. When one is in the state of unity with self and others, the ‘distancing dynamic’ of criticism becomes impossible.

7.                  Criticism withdraws energy from the heart center, the activity of which is needed if one is to respond with ‘soul sensitivity’.

8.                  Vibrationally, destructive criticism kills love and love reveals (as so oft we have been told and perhaps, experience).

9.                  Life is One and all souls are, essentially, in unity. Destructive criticism ignores these internal facts, and thus prevents the Truth from reaching consciousness. Impression is a substance, and does not flow as easily when barriers and cleavages exist as when they do not. Criticism builds these barriers and creates cleavages; it blocks the way. And, it calcifies the receptive mechanism, rendering it less sensitive.

10.              In a way, love and destructive criticism are opposites. Love softens the receptive mechanism rendering it more sensitive.

11.              Let each find the ways in which criticism is inimical to spiritual sensitivity.

d. What do you feel personally hinders your development of this required sensitivity?

1.                  We each must answer before the bar of our soul.

2.                  Any of our three personality vehicles can hinder the required sensitivity. A sluggish physical vehicle, emotions in turmoil, a chaotic mind or disjointed thinking process — these and many other states characterizing the eighteen lower fires can bar the way to impression from the soul, the Ashram, the Master and Hierarchy — the real sources to which we must learn to be sensitive.

2. Define impersonality.

1.                  This is another of the great words of importance to students of occultism. There is so much misunderstanding about true spiritual impersonality.

2.                  As I see it, a true spiritual impersonality is based upon the achievement of identification as a soul. Soul is impersonal. The soul persists even as the ‘person’ cyclically disintegrates.

3.                  There is no way for one who is identified as a personality to be impersonal. He has not the proper vantage point available only to those who have distanced themselves from personal identification. One must be in soul to see personality, and realize that personality is not oneself.

4.                  Impersonality arises though the attainment of a sufficiently elevated point of tension. The “Law of Repulse” must have done its work before a true spiritual impersonality is possible. “Not this”. “Not that”. The ancient method of rejecting the not-Self must be skillfully put into effect.

5.                  As well, the persistent affirmation of the achieved point of spiritual polarization will strengthen the necessary perspective for understanding impersonality as a fact and as a desirable state of consciousness.

6.                  In a way, impersonality is the attitude of the one who knows himself/herself to be the soul.

7.                  A higher stage of impersonality (and, hence, of disidentification from lower ‘fields of confinement’) occurs when one known himself/herself to be the Spiritual Triad.

8.                  A still higher state of impersonality is achieved in one who knows himself/herself to be the monad. And so forth.

9.                  If I believe myself to be the personality, I can never be impersonal. So, in short, an occult change of identity is required of all who would become truly impersonal. The higher aspects of our nature are already impersonal. It is only the human soul immersed in form that is plagued by ‘misidentifications’. These have to be ended before we can speak of the achievement of true spiritual impersonality.

a. Do you know the distinction between the impersonality of the first ray type and true spiritual impersonality?

1.                  When people learn that impersonality is a desirable quality, they strive forcefully to achieve it.

2.                  First ray types (and motivated people employing first ray attitudes) can suppress that which is considered undesirable. If they learn that the personality is undesirable they simply suppress it. They simply say, “No”, to the normal personality responses. They “control themselves” more easily than others. It would seem, then, that they do not “care” about the personality and are, thus, impersonal.

3.                  But impersonality achieved in this way is false because the suppressing and controlling ones are still identified with that which they suppress and attempt to control. Their actions and attitudes only appear to be impersonal, but inwardly, they are not working from a sufficiently high vantage point to allow them to know that they are not the personality they are suppressing and controlling.

4.                  The truly impersonal individual need not strenuously suppress and control. When a sufficiently high vantage point in consciousness and identification is achieved, the lack of interest in the personality and its tendencies, withdraws the “feeding power of attention” from the personality. The rebellious attitude of the personality is quieted; the major share of energy and force is focussed ‘above’ the personality level. Divinely ‘robbed’ of the energy and force which were sustaining its rebellion against the soul and spirit, personality stimulation subsides, gradually occupying less and less ‘space in consciousness’. The personality is no longer seen and felt to be the center. It becomes ex-centric to the identity and merely instrumental.

5.                  The truly impersonal individual no longer cares so much about the personality, and through this “divine indifference” releases himself from a long-dominant personalism.

b. When somebody disagrees with you or you do not like a person's attitude, ideas or proposals, what is the first thing you do? Do you love him? Do you keep silent? Do you discuss him with others? Do you endeavour to put him right? How do you try to do this?

1.                  There are many questions here. By attempting to answer them we can discover the degree to which we are convinced of our own rectitude and the rectitude of our thoughts and opinions.

2.                  Many of us, as aspirants and disciples, have the tendency to adjust the world according to our own perspective. Since our own point of view is ‘closest’ to us, we come to think of it as infallibly correct simply because it is the most familiar. This, of course, is a fundamental error: closest is not necessarily best.

3.                  Our tendencies will be revealed if we are honest about our responses. Perhaps we will see that the loving response is not so often the first response.

4.                  To respond first through love would be to affirm soul-unity as the fundamental fact, regardless of difference of opinion — based mostly upon the limitations of the brain, and energy/force differences (ray and astrological energy).

5.                  It is clear from the way the questions are posed, that a loving response as the first response is correct from the hierarchical perspective. The degree to which we consciously live in the unity will be the degree to which the loving response will be the first response.

6.                  The thoughts, emotions and behaviors of others may even be worthy of reproof, but if the factual inner unity is violated in the attempt at correction, a lesser value will have been substituted for soul values — which should be continuously sustained.

c. If you are impersonal is it the result of training or is it natural to you? Is it simple self-defense? or is it the easiest way to attain peace? or is it a spiritual attainment?

1.                  Not only have we to define impersonality, but we must determine the kind of impersonality we have achieved — if we have achieved.

2.                  There are a number of possible methods of attainment. There are also various motives for attainment.

3.                  Perhaps impersonality has been achieved in former lives through arduous effort or else through the wisdom growing through long experience. In this case it would be natural.

4.                  The hard-line ray types also find impersonality more natural, but in such cases, the quality of the impersonality must always be questioned.

5.                  Through strenuous soul-culture and the building of the antahkarana (which connects to manifestly impersonal ‘spaces’ within the human energy system), impersonality can be attained, and the achievement can be rightly called a “spiritual attainment”. If, however, we hug the attainment to ourselves too closely, it will demonstrate that the so-called attainment was not real. The personality can seize upon emerging attainments to aggrandize itself.

6.                  Unworthy motives for impersonality are also suggested. Impersonality can be “self-defense”. If one doesn’t have to deal with his personality or that of others, one can spare oneself much personal pain. Life has taught that harm comes often from the personalities of others. Negate those personalities and harm cannot come. Of course, this approach is forced, superficial and necessarily temporary. Those who practice it are not identified as soul, but as persons. Hence the futility.

7.                  If one negates a source of disturbance, one can prevent oneself from becoming disturbed. People who do not know how to deal with personality problems (or do not want to) can spare themselves much turmoil by negating the significance of that which disturbs the peace — namely, the personality. There are many causes for this. The peace pursued, however, is simply an ‘astral peace’. The deep problems of personality are not solved; nor will they go away.

8.                  Again and again we are asked to define that which we are trying to achieve and to know its quality. This will take work. It is not enough to be impersonal. The quality of one’s impersonality has to be spiritually adequate.

9.                  So, then, brother — what is your method of achieving impersonality? Probably, we will find our method of achievement according to predominating ray type. In general, it can be said that the elevation of consciousness and its polarization in an ‘elevated vibratory domain’ will go a long way towards inducing a “true spiritual impersonality’, rather than an inhibited interaction with a potential field of trouble.

3. I have defined for you the psychic powers. I listed six of them. Please study them and then make a clear, concise statement to yourself as to your own capacity:

a. To demonstrate them.

b. To develop them, outlining your method of so doing.

1.                  We remind ourselves of the desirable psychic powers:

a.       Intuitional response to ideas.

b.      Sensitiveness to the impression which some member of the Hierarchy may seek to make upon the mind of the disciple.

c.       Quick response to real need.

d.      Right observation of reality upon the soul plane.

e.       Correct manipulation of forces.

f.        A true comprehension of the time element.

2.                  Firstly, I think it is important that we memorize the six psychic capacities and note when and how they might emerge in the course of our daily life.

3.                  Each will have his/her own way. We will not go wrong however if:

a.       We build the antahkarana

b.      We study the Hierarchy, its Masters, Ashrams and purposes and learn how to attune along certain ray lines which may be most natural to us.

c.       We love those we encounter and look for the good that is trying to emerge. If we love that emerging good, we will become aware of something which is needed to facilitate the emergence.

d.      We maintain soul identification which will promote ‘soul-sight’

e.       We know the various energies and forces, feel them, become imbued by them, and act within the pervasion. If for instance, while feeling pervaded by second ray energy/force, I can act, feel, or think without losing the sense of pervasion, chances are my acting, feeling or thinking will be expressive of the second ray energy/force. If I am successful, I am manipulating energy or force of a certain quality.

f.        We understand the Divine Plan “en large”, comparing various time cycles of accomplishment. If we know how long various objectives really require, we will be more realistic as we perform within those cycles. A broad consciousness is required.

g.       Let each devise his/her own method. DK is asking for definition, cultivation and performance. He wants us to be quite concrete. Do we wish to take the time so that we can focus our thought sufficiently to be so?

4. Just how do you feel that you succeed in keeping a mental grip on life?

1.                  A “mental grip” involves such planets as Mercury, Saturn, Vulcan and Venus. Vulcan, particularly, is the planet of the “grip”, and Saturn regulates. Mercury and Venus have to do with all things mental.

2.                  We are reminded that we are not to “descend” from our mental polarization. How do we prevent descent?

3.                  Further, what is gripped?  Is the mind gripped? Do we have our astral nature in a mental grip?

4.                  What is the relation of a “grip” to a sustained point of tension?

5.                  Do mantrams come to our aid is maintaining this grip, or images from the creative imagination? Do “Words of Power” assist us? What is our method?

6.                  In this attempt, do we sometimes refuse to feel and become willfully insensitive? Do we thus separate mind from emotion and mind from soul?

7.                  To what extent is this “grip” involving the higher mind, and not alone the lower?

8.                  Are the higher aspects of our nature called in as the “grip” is practiced?

9.                  I think we can see how searching and practical are the questions being asked in this section of the chapter. Whatever our state of development may be, DK wants us to face it truthfully.

a. In an emotional stress do you transmute the condition through love?

1.                  This might take a little ‘breathing’ of a special kind.

2.                  Emotion is not love; the solar plexus is not the heart.

3.                  The ‘blinding’ solar plexus will often shut off the possibility of higher solutions. Can we remember and apply the desirable approach when in the midst of emotional stress? It is invariably an interesting experiment with energy and force.

b. Do you inhibit the display of emotion and why?

1.                  If we do inhibit emotion (habitually) it will lead to disease — cancer being one of the major undesirable results, frequently encountered.

2.                  Inhibition, we realize, is not transmutation and transformation.

3.                  We ask ourselves, if we choose the path of inhibition, why do we do so? Does it seem to work? Does it cause discomfort? Are there any gains or are the liabilities greater than the gains?

4.                  We must be aware that a “damming up” will cause a later outburst of even greater intensity. Further, that

“All disease is the result of inhibited soul life, and that is true of all forms in all kingdoms.  The art of the healer consists in releasing the soul, so that its life can flow through the aggregate of organisms which constitute any particular form.” (EH 5)

This should give us pause if we propose to follow the path of inhibition for any length of time. Yet, something must be done about disruptive emotional displays.

5.                  The ancient authority of the powerful emotional body must be ended so that the ancient authority of the personality can give way to the authority of the Solar Lord. We cannot underestimate the value of a persistently broadening consciousness as the mastery of the emotional nature proceeds.

c. Do you call in the mind and handle your problems from the mental level?

1.                  This is a method preferable to inhibition, but the mind may also participate in inhibition.

2.                  There is also, however, a factor of mind which participates in transmutation.

3.                  A mentally polarized individual will handle problems from the mental level, but if there is true mental polarization, the higher mind will be actively illuminating the lower mind. The soul-illumined mind is a powerful instrument for transmutation and transformation.

d. Do you know what glamour is and can you recognise it when it displays itself to you?

1.                  This is a good question. One of the Tibetan’s disciples, LTS-K, apparently did not know what glamor is. Although the Tibetan spoke to him constantly of glamor and his glamors, the advice was not meaningful to him. He did not really grasp the nature of glamor.

2.                  We, should (should we not?) define the nature of glamor, thereby developing our own working definition.

3.                  I have always thought of glamor as distortion and untruth. Glamor involves the dominance of lesser values over greater, and an incorrect magnetic condition which attracts the immersed human soul towards that which is of lesser value rather than that which is of greater value. Glamor is a distorted fabrication rather than reality. Glamors only seem to be real, but they are not, and, at length, their insubstantiality will be proven — to the sadly disillusioned consciousness.

4.                  How would you define “glamor”?

5.                  When glamor emerges, there is the ‘feeling’ of unreality. There may be allure, even excitement and enthusiasm, but ‘resonance with reality’ is missing. Can we detect the absence of this resonance?

6.                  Glamor does not accord the ‘Structure of Creation’. Things are as they really are — not as glamor would have them be.

7.                  The names of glamors are legion. We swim in a veritable “sea of glamor”. Do we recognize how completely we are surrounded by glamorous thoughts and feelings?

8.                  We are liable to think we can detect glamor quite easily “out there” and in others. If we think so, we should perhaps look closely at our own nature. Perhaps that which is so easily detected is a projection. The dissipation of glamors is advanced by the ‘owning of our own projections’.

These questions have a twofold purpose. They will, if you answer them truthfully and face them clearly, lead you to deal with yourself as a group member and so ascertain the measure of your contribution to the group need and to our need of workers. If you will write down and answer these questions and share the replies with your co-disciples, it will give them an opportunity to know each other better.

1.                  We see the Tibetan’s motive for proposing the questions we have just considered. It is not only so that an individual may “straighten himself out” with respect to various liabilities, but so that the quality of his group functioning may be increased.

2.                  As well, since our knowledge of each other is generally more superficial than we might like to think, such honesty with oneself (when shared with co-workers) may give them a rare and important insight into our character — thus facilitating true group cooperation. Naturally, a certain measure of trust is required for those would participate in such a sharing. In groups of this nature, however, that trust should exist.

3.                  The Tibetan is trying to produce ‘true group members’. This is a different thing from being, simply ‘an advancing disciple’.

4.                  The entire process we have been discussing is meant to produce in one’s consciousness, true self knowledge. The questions, however, may not be faced truthfully. Even if one has the will for this truthful facing, one’s inability to see oneself may compromise the factuality of what is reported. Yet, one begins where one is, and with the best self-perception one possesses. Its accuracy will surely increase with practice.

There is an occult process which reaches its culmination in one of the higher initiations — with which initiation you have as yet no concern. It is called "a bringing forth into the light." An accepted disciple is one who is in process of preparation for initiation and that is one of the tasks with which I am engaged at this time. I have, therefore, to begin to lay the foundation for this esoteric "unearthing" or "revelation of that which is hidden." I am consequently proffering to you, through these questions, the opportunity to practise early in your training this "distressing revelation" which will later take place in a higher state of consciousness.

1.                  That higher initiation may be Mastership — the “Revelation” as it is called. If so, it is an initiation which cannot concern those of us who are students of DK’s books.

2.                  We are involved on a lower turn of the spiral with self-revelations which will, eventually, lead to the great Revelation which the fifth degree represents.

3.                  DK is playing the role of Pluto in this context, and the power of Mercury is strongly present as well. We are probing our own hidden natures. We are going into our ‘personal earth’ and discovering what may be ‘buried’ by time and denial.

4.                  The coming revelations will certainly be distressing. We often imagine that we are farther along than we are, and that we have purified our nature more than we have. The discovery of what remains to be seen is almost unavoidably shocking. The shocked chela (upon seeing undisclosed aspects of his nature) cries to his Master in distress: “A horrid sight, O Master of my life.  I like it not.  It is not true.  I am not this or that.  This evil selfish thing, it is not me.  I am not this.” (R&I 302)

5.                  DK tells us that He is preparing us for great and distressing revelations to come. If we are “both God and the Devil”, one can only imagine what we will see. If we cannot truthfully face these minor revelations of ‘personal squalor’, how ever will we face the fundamental revelation of inherent evil? An important philosophical point is here raised.

6.                  The enthusiastic aspirant/disciple (carried away by beautiful motives and high visions) may wish to overlook such things, but they are awaiting their day. “The Light of Day” (under Scorpio) inevitably dawns, and the initiate knows “what evil lurks in the hearts of men” (even the best men).

What is it that I and Those Who are working on the inner side are seeking to do with these groups? What is the larger objective? The groups have not been formed to train individuals. They have been formed (each of them) as seed groups for a definite and specific end. They are organised to provide channels in the world for the distribution of certain peculiar types of force which will work out into manifestation in specific ways. Energy has always been manipulated by the Hierarchy and distributed in the world of men. I refer to the energies used in relation to the awakening of the human consciousness, to the integration of the world of souls with the world of men; I refer to the activities whereby the human kingdom can become a great station of light and a powerhouse [Page 53] of spiritual force, distributing it to the other kingdoms in nature.

1.                  The purpose of the groups-of-nine (and of other kinds of groups formed in relation to other Ashrams) is restated. Spiritual training for individual is incidental. The groups are seeds to grow energy-centers designed to promote the distribution of certain peculiar types of force”.

2.                  The Spiritual Hierarchy has always manipulated and distributed forces useful to humanity and the planet. Now some of the responsibility is being shifted to humanity itself. Humanity, the “world disciple”, is coming of age.

3.                  A vital statement is offered: “the human kingdom can become a great station of light and a powerhouse of spiritual force, distributing it to the other kingdoms in nature”.

4.                  The seed groups are, as it were, ‘seeds of light’. Humanity as a whole is to benefit from their existence. A selfless attitude is required of all seed-group members.

5.                  The Master is thinking far ahead and knows things about the process which the participants cannot possibly know. The Master has to be trusted. It is impossible for Him to convey every detail; the participants know too little and would only become distracted from their immediate task.

6.                  We may work with a Master “of our own free will and accord”, but it makes sense to follow His suggestions as exactly as possible. This is a lesson in humility and occult obedience.

The statement is of vital importance; it expresses our immediate objectives and the nature of the field of service in which you — as a group and not as individuals — can function. This manipulation of energies has (for centuries) been carried forward by us but its effects have only been registered unconsciously by man. We have (speaking symbolically) rayed forth the light and distributed the water of life in a wide and general distribution with here and there (and rarely) some one isolated individual, responding actively and consciously. He thus became a tiny focal point of spiritual energy and light. Now it has seemed to us possible to focus the light and knowledge much more definitely and to form groups on earth — composed of the isolated, responding individuals — so that more light and more knowledge can be spread abroad.

1.                  The group-service of humanity as a whole will be directed to lower kingdoms, even as humanity (again, as a whole) is being helped by higher kingdoms — the Kingdom of Souls and the Kingdom of Planetary Lives.

2.                  It is so important to hold a vision of group destiny. DK, it seems, must always be reminding His group members (and us) of the group idea.

3.                  DK tells of Hierarchy’s silent service (in energy manipulation) over the centuries. Hierarchy has acted as Aquarius — symbolically raying forth the light and distributing the “water of life”. In the past, so it seems, only individuals here and there responded. Much labor was expended for a relatively small result.

4.                  But now there are new possibilities. Hierarchy believes that groups can respond to the hierarchical stimulation/radiation just as, in former days, certain potentially luminous individuals have responded. This is the judgment of the Great Ones, and They have begun experimenting to see whether Their assessment is correct.

5.                  Hierarchy’s purpose for focussing on groups and their radiatory potential is clear: planetary need is great and far more light is needed. The responsive, isolated individuals are being gathered into groups where the light can be concentrated and augmented for the sake of human and planetary welfare.

6.                  Aquarius is the ‘Age of Distribution’. Accordingly, if the group-experiment works, a much greater distribution of the light (and of hierarchical quality, in general) will be possible.

This we decided to do in two ways:

1. Through the collaboration of all the Masters of the Great White Lodge, working through Their Own disciples.

1.                  We see on a higher turn of the spiral, that of which the New Group of World Servers is a reflection.

2.                  Under buddhic stimulation, the various Ashrams have become more permeable to each other.

3.                  A vast cooperative, inter-ashramic process is underway. This represents a new method of functioning on both hierarchical and human levels.

2. Through the specifically focussed activity of the Masters Morya and Koot Hoomi and myself, Their servant and disciple.

1.                  The NGWS is a broad organization. The more focussed efforts of the Masters M. KH and DK, are smaller and more concentrated. The groups-of-nine were part of this latter effort.

Through the first method, the New Group of World Servers came into being and the disciples and aspirants of the world, working on all the rays and under the guidance — consciously or unconsciously recognised — of the Masters Who are specifically pledged to help humanity. Thus a vast powerhouse and station of light has been formed. It is a diffused and widespread light and its channels are to be found all over the world, in every country and in every major city. This you know and with this branch of the work (to which I am personally pledged) you are actively cooperating and should cooperate.

1.                  We begin to see just how important the New Group of World Servers is. DK earlier speaks of forming “a great station of light and a powerhouse of spiritual force” Here He speaks of the NGWS as “a vast powerhouse and station of light”. We see that the NGWS has real planetary significance and is a stage in preparing humanity’s destiny with respect to the lower three kingdoms of nature.

2.                  We note that disciples and aspirants on all the rays are involved in the NGWS, just as are all Ashrams the Masters of which are specifically pledged to help humanity.

3.                  The light of the NGWS is “diffused and widespread”. We gather that it will become more concentrated, and emerge as a powerful force in the world. Subjectively, it already is “a vast powerhouse and station of light”.

4.                  Master DK is specifically connected with the formation and growth of the NGWS. Disciples in His Ashram, therefore, are also related to this task.

5.                  I have sometimes speculated whether the sign of illumination and enlightenment, Taurus, is related to Master DK and His Ashram. Given His relation to the light and to the NGWS, this is a possibility.

But it was felt that it should also be possible to focus the light still more intensively through smaller and more carefully chosen and selected groups. Through these much smaller groups of disciples, the phenomenal appearance of certain types of energy could be expressed; certain powers could be unfolded and a more specialised experiment be possible. Peculiar powers [Page 54] could be studied and focussed, intensified light and power could be so clearly demonstrated that the sons of men would come to recognise the influence and to give proof of the supernormal which is the heritage of future centuries.

1.                  Immediately above, the reason for the formation of the groups-of-nine is given: to focus the light more intensively though more select and less diffused groups.

2.                  The groups-of-nine are a specialized experiment. The cultivation and expression of certain definite energies could be far more successfully undertaken than in larger-group formation.

3.                  We can see that the groups-of-nine were to have a destiny involving the expression and manipulation of various subtle energies of a supernormal kind. They were to prove the existence of such energies. They were to be able to demonstrate the existence of “Nature’s finer forces”. Naturally, the training would necessarily be intense and the degree of refinement required considerable.

4.                  We can, therefore, understand the groups-of-nine as an intensification and concentration of the Light within the more nebulous luminosity of the New Group of World Servers.

To this particular branch of hierarchical work, I pledged myself; it would provide the nucleus for the coming types of civilisation and the characteristics and activities which could be unfolded under the incoming new major influences. These have always interested me and I have specialised in them. Naturally, I looked around among those whose lives I have been watching — sometimes for several incarnations. Among these were those of you who are now working with me. These groups constitute the germ of a great experiment. If successful, they will, in the course of the next 275 years:

1.                  The Tibetan is naming Himself as a specialist in the manipulation and expression of the newer subtle energy influences — certain supernormal powers.

2.                  We see that members of the groups-of-nine were chosen partially because the Tibetan believed (after studying some of them for a number of lives) that they could be useful in the cultivation and expression of such powers. We see that it was no accident that they were drawn into His groups.

3.                  The Seed Groups “constitute the germ of a great experiment”. The Tibetan seemed to be aiming for the year 2200 — approximately 275 years forward from the time He began the specialized instruction (1931) of those He had gathered into groups.

1. Anchor on earth certain types of the higher forces which the race needs and which are not yet active.

2. Develop the six supernormal powers to which I have referred above.

3. Train the group members in that synthetic relation which characterises the Hierarchy and so prepare them for initiation.

1.                  The work was to have lasted 275 years. Naturally, a larger inner group would be drawn into incarnation to supply the necessary incarnated personnel. The disciples in the first group formations would probably be drawn into outer plane participation at least twice more during the 275 years. In this way, their capacities would be refined and DK’s objectives would be furthered through the use of more refined ‘material’.

2.                  Perhaps this experiment will continue. It is too early to tell, and, anyway, such intentions are hidden in the mind of the Master.

3.                  Surely, the objectives are still desirable. But it is impossible to tell whether the necessary discontinuation of the process damaged it, or merely placed it in a kind of ‘suspended animation’.

4.                  DK has drawn the six supernormal powers to the attention of His group members. It is clear that, as regards their cultivation, only a beginning could be made. Greater perfection would come over the 275 year period.

5.                  The group members had an anchoring responsibility, a developmental responsibility (with respect to the six psychic powers) and also a responsibility to submit themselves to a mode of training which would make of them a kind of “miniature Hierarchy”.

6.                  It is clear that the groups-in-training were to be welded into DK’s Ashram — as groups. In the early years, they still had a long way to go even to achieve a relative group integration. But DK speaks of the future and of the “synthetic relation” which characterizes Hierarchy. Obviously, much time would be required. Had He planned to continue His communications through another amanuensis after AAB’s passing? It does not seem so. A period of assimilation was allowed. And yet, the Seed Groups (had they been successful) would have to have continued, and this would have required supervision.

7.                  In any case, the Seed Groups did not continue, but because the lessons learned during those approximately seventeen years are being assimilated by earnest students of the process, new life may be breathed into the process when DK later takes up the third installment of the Teaching.

Out of these groups will be picked those who can be definitely prepared for certain expansions of consciousness and who can be trusted to contact aspects of the Plan, hitherto not revealed. As you make progress in this work and as you seek to understand the group implications, it will become ever more clear to you what the Plan really is. It is as difficult for me to explain the underlying purpose of this group work to you as it would be to explain decimal fractions to a seven year old child, no matter how brilliant he might be. But if you have the needed patience, the willingness to work impersonally and proceed with love, if you will submerge your personalities in the group life, you will know, you will perceive and the light will break in; the power to work will come to you. We shall then have radiant focal points or light bearers and channels for the planned distribution of force — a thing which has never yet been, upon the scale which we now contemplate.

1.                  The text above is being written before the disbanding of the groups-of-nine. DK is offering an incentive to earnest labor. Some members of the groups will be specially selected for expansions and initiations which He does not specify.

2.                  This is an amazing paragraph, for something of the vision intended by DK and KH is unfolded. It would seem that Master M. should be included in the plans; the Three work in some ways as a Triangle.

3.                  DK dwells on the limited consciousness of the participants. They are to learn about the meaning of the Divine Plan, but as yet, do not have a sufficiently equipped consciousness to do so. Clearly, what DK hopes to see accomplished within them is presently beyond them.

4.                  Yet hope is offered if there is patience, persistence, love, impersonality, and personality submergence in group life. The apprehension of wisdom cannot be forced. It must slowly dawn. The light must break in and the power to work in a new way slowly emerge.

5.                  The vision of possibilities is a beautiful one and one that is unprecedented in the history of humanity.

6.                  The cultivated groups are to become “focal points or light bearers and channels of the planned distribution of force”. The scale of this distribution is significant. We may hope that Master DK has not abandoned such plans, and that, given whatever adjustment may be necessitated, He will be in a position to try again to bring this hierarchical conception (shared with Him by Master KH and probably Master M) to fruition.

7.                  We can see that we are dealing with occultism, and are speaking in the ‘Language of Energy and Force’. During the seventh ray, Aquarian Age, new patterns of energy are to be created for the sake of planetary redemption. We can be a part of these plans if we study carefully, adjust our values and follow what is required with obedience. One can get the sense of an externalized Master DK guiding such a process more closely in centuries ahead.

8.                  For now, our task is one of understanding and appreciation. There is something distinctly hierarchical about the Seed Group Plan. There was nothing casual in its formulation. Something of this type, representing the various Ashrams, their rays and their tasks, must again emerge. If, as we study and meditate today, we can think of the long-term possibilities, we shall study harder and meditate with greater depth and penetration.