(DINAI 645) To E. E. S.
You have been asked to join this group, composed of certain of my chosen students. You have been asked to join for three reasons and, knowing your enquiring and reasonable mind, I felt that my best approach to you would be to state what these three reasons are:
1. There is a vacancy in the ranks of my disciples. This vacancy must be filled (in order to save time) by one whose interest in healing has been established, and who has had some experience in healing work. It must also be one who has been trained for some years in right methods of work.
2. You have a definite karmic relation to two members in my group and, needless to say, you have a link with me, your Tibetan teacher and friend.
3. You are free from two faults which have strongly coloured the personnel of some of my groups; a tendency to criticise and to discuss each other and likewise a strong liking for close personality contacts. Neither of these attitudes interests you and you can therefore be of real usefulness in the group as a stabilising force.
In view of these facts upon which I would ask you to ponder and in view of the relationship, I welcome you into this group for special training with the view of special service.
(EPII 617) Diseases and Problems Evoked by Directed Group Thought
It will be obvious to you that the first and most important of these difficulties will be those arising from group criticism, either voiced or strongly felt. This criticism can be based on many things, but is usually rooted in jealousy, thwarted ambition, or pride of individual intellect. Each member of any group, particularly those in the immediate circle of the leader or leaders, is prone to sit in judgment. The responsibility is not theirs; they know not the problems as they truly exist and criticism is, therefore, easy. It should here be remembered that criticism is a virulent poison. It damages in every case eventually the one who criticises—owing to the fact of voiced direction—it hurts still more the one who is criticised. Where there is purity of motive, true love and a large measure of detachment, the subtler bodies of the one who is under attack may remain immune but the physical effects will be definite and where there is any physical weakness or limitation there will be found the localisation of the projected poison
Unvoiced criticism is very dangerous for it is powerfully focussed and strongly, though not individually directed; it issues continuously and as a steady stream, sent forth on the wings of jealousy, ambition, pride in a personal grasp of a supposed situation and a belief that the one who criticises is in a position to understand correctly and could—given right opportunity—take right action. Where the criticism is voiced and expressed in words, it is consequently strengthened by the cooperation of those influenced by the criticism and the consequences of this group-directed thought may result in the physical undoing, and disruption of the physical body of the leader or leaders. This may be a new thought to some and should cause many in the New Age groups to arrest their [Page 618] thoughts and so release their leaders from the disastrous impact of their criticism.
I refer not here to hate, though that is often present, either consciously or unconsciously, but simply to the "sitting in judgment" and to the idle critical gossip which seems necessary to the average group member. It is like the very breath of death and it can not only kill the leader through accumulated poison and distress but it can also kill the group life and render abortive the efforts which could, if given cooperation and time to develop, prove constructive agencies through which the Hierarchy might work.
From every side and in every group there streams in on the group leader directed criticism, poisonous thoughts, untrue formulated ideas, idle gossip of a destructive kind, the imputation of motives, the unspoken jealousies and hates, the frustrated ambitions of group members, their resentments and their unsatisfied desires for prominence or for recognition by the leader or leaders, their desires to see the leader superseded by themselves or by someone else and many other forms of selfishness and mental pride. These produce results in the physical bodies of the leader or leaders and often in the emotional bodies. The responsibility of the group member is, therefore, great and it is one which they seldom recognise or shoulder. It is hard for them to appreciate the dire effects when one person is the target for group criticism and when the directed thought of a number of persons is focussed on one or two individuals.
The more highly evolved the group leader, the greater the pain and suffering. First ray people who have naturally a "technique of isolation" suffer less than many for they know how to shut off these directed streams of force and how to deflect them and—when they are not deeply spiritual people—they can return them to their originators and thus wreak [Page 619] havoc in their lives. Second ray persons do not and cannot work this way. They are naturally absorbers and magnetically attract all that is in their environment which is directed towards them. That is why Christ paid the penalty of death. He was killed, not only by His enemies, but also by His so-called friends.
You might here ask: What can a leader or a group of leaders do in these unfortunately normal and usual circumstances? Nothing, but continue in the work; retreat within themselves; speak the truth with love when occasion occurs; refuse to become bitter over the pain which the group occasions and wait until the group members learn the lessons of cooperation, of silence, of loving appreciation and a wise realisation and understanding of the problems with which all group leaders are faced in these difficult and individualistic days. That time will come.
Then there is the reverse of this problem and one that must be faced by many group leaders. In this reverse situation, the leader is overcome and (if I might use such a phrase) is "smothered" by the devotion of certain of the group members. Group leaders can be almost annihilated by the personality love of people. But this is not of such a poisonous nature as the difficulties above referred to, for—though it is handicapping and leads to many forms of difficulty, misunderstanding and group reaction—it is along the line of love and not of separation and hate. It produces what is esoterically called "the crippling of the one who seeks to serve and the binding of his hands and feet."
One other difficulty I will touch upon for it is important in so far that it is a group activity, carried forward as a whole and is not the act of one individual or a small handful of individuals within the group. I refer to the way in which at this time a group drains the life of its leader or leaders. The [Page 620] umbilical cord (speaking symbolically) is seldom cut between the leader and the group. That was the major mistake of the groups in the Piscean age. Always they remained attached to the leader or—when aroused to hate or dislike—they violently disrupted the tie and severed the relationship, causing much distress and unnecessary suffering to the group as well as to the leader. In the New Age the cord will be cut early in the life of the group but the leader or group of leaders will remain for a long time (as does the mother of a child) the guiding inspiration, the loving protecting force and the source of instruction and of teaching. When this is the case, the group can proceed upon its way and live its life as a self-directing agent even when the leader passes over to the other side or there is a change in leadership for some good reason or other.
According to the general flow of group life and activity so will be the effect—emotional and physical—upon any sensitive group member; the more frequent the physical contact between the group members the more definite will be the group problems and difficulties, however. Groups in the New Age will be held together by a subjective link and not so much by
the emotional reaction induced by outer contact. I would ask you to ponder carefully upon this last paragraph for it holds the clue to the successful working of the new groups. It is from group life and group atmosphere that much infection arises, leading to difficulties of a physical nature. Disease is largely of group origin and the mystics and sensitives of the world most easily succumb. In these early stages of true group work, the difficulties which arise from group contacts are frequently of a purely physiological nature and are not so deep seated as those with which we have earlier been dealing. This is a point to be remembered. Physical trouble and disease is not of so serious a nature as psychological.
Respirational Diseases of Mystics
There is little to say about this. It will constitute a major difficulty as the groups grow in strength and power. Just in so far as they are objective and not subjective so will this trouble increase. I refer to those diseases affecting the breathing apparatus which arise from group contact; I do not refer to the same difficulties which are brought by the individual to the group. Esoterically the reason for this should be obvious. Mistakes in speech, idle talk and gossip, the effects of, the leaders' words—all these will have a subjective result little grasped or realised by the average student and all these work out as physical effects—either good or bad. Owing to the newness of this theme and the lack of evidence to substantiate my statements, I can only call your attention to the latent possibilities and leave time to demonstrate the accuracy of my position. Curiously enough this whole subject of breathing—individual and group breathing—is evoking its own paralleling solution in the emphasis that is being laid in many esoteric groups upon breathing exercises, upon the sounding of the Aum (which is the breath of the soul when correctly sounded) and on the practice (under different formulas) of rhythm. These are all the unrecognised effort on the part of the group—instinctual in nature more than intelligently planned—to offset certain definitely sensed group dangers.
These practices can be beneficial if carefully carried out, but often induce their own peculiar problems. The sounding of the Aum, for instance, by the unprepared or by groups who are intrigued by the activity but who have no faintest idea of what they are doing, carries with it definite difficulties. However, the special difficulties of group work in the New Age can be offset by certain esoteric exercises and practices connected with the respiratory tract. More than this I [Page 622] can not say for the new groups are in their infancy and group difficulties have not yet developed on a large scale nor are the future problems (incident to the occult and pronounced mystical nature of these groups) of so defined a nature that they can evoke understanding formulation.
(DINAII 109) I feel it necessary to emphasise the unimportance of their claims to information because the work of the Masters and Their freedom to serve humanity as They desire have been greatly hindered by these foolish thoughtforms and by the preconceived ideas of well-intentioned aspirants. The Masters very seldom resemble the theories, the pictures and the information which is so frequently circulated by the average aspirant. This whole business of occult gossip and of misinformation governs the majority of the many little occult groups.
Until groups are formed which consist of disciples and senior aspirants who possess self-ascertained knowledge and who are capable of correct interpretation of the occult facts, and who are also endowed with the rare group virtue of silence, we shall not have the desired externalisation of the Ashrams. I would have you think on these matters and prepare yourselves for a better and sounder appreciation, plus a more adequate meeting of hierarchical requirements in your next incarnation.
(EOH 82) Between now and the Wesak Festival in 1940 let each of you gain that control of speech which has often been your goal but seldom your achievement, and remember that the most powerful factor in the control of speech is a loving heart. Wild and fearful talk, hateful gossip, cruel innuendo, suspicion, the ascribing of wrong and wicked motives to persons and peoples, and the divergences of attitude which have separated the many different nations in the world are rampant today and have brought the world to its present distressing situation. It is so easy to drift into the same habits of speech and thought which we find around us and to discover ourselves participating in attack and the spirit of hate. Guard yourselves strenuously against this and say nothing which could inflame hate and suspicion in connection with any race, any person, any group or any leaders of groups and nations. You will have to guard yourselves with care, so that even in defense of that which you may personally or nationally approve you do not find yourselves full of hate and breaking the law of love—the only law which can truly save the world. Perhaps the key to your success along this line will be the silence of a loving heart.
(WM 474) 13. Speech is of triple kind. The idle words will each produce effect. If good and kind, naught need be done. If otherwise, the paying of the price cannot be long delayed.
The selfish words, sent forth with strong intent, build up a wall of separation. Long time it takes to break that wall and so release the stored-up, selfish purpose. See to thy motive, and seek to use those words which blend the little life with the large purpose of the will of God.
The word of hate, the cruel speech which ruins those who feel its spell, the poisonous gossip, passed along because it gives a thrill—these words kill the flickering impulses of the soul, cut at the roots of life, and so bring death.
If spoken in the light of day, just retribution will they bring; when spoken and then registered as lies, they strengthen that illusory world in which the speaker lives and holds him back from liberation.
If uttered with intent to hurt, to bruise and kill, they wander back to him who sent them forth and him they bruise and kill.
(WM 488) Still another type of thought-form comes forth,—the most prevalent and the one that causes the most trouble. These are the facts of information, the detailed material, the news (if so you like to call it), the basis of what may degenerate into gossip, that concerns either your work, administrative or otherwise, and that which concerns other people. How shall you prevent your mind from transmitting to another facts such as these? These are facts that have their origination in physical plane occurrence, and therein lies the difficulty. The inner facts of the occult life, and those that originate on the mental plane are not so difficult to hide. They do not come your way till your vibrations are keyed high enough for them, and as a rule, when that is so, character of sufficient stability and wisdom goes alongside. But it is not thus with a physical plane fact. What must be done? The other thoughts descend from above; these latter work upwards from the physical plane and are increased in vitality by the knowledge of the many, often of the many unwise. One kind starts nebulously on the mental plane, and only the higher type of mind can formulate it, and clothe it with matter in geometrical precision, and such a mind usually has the wisdom that refuses to clothe it in astral plane matter. Not so with the physical plane fact. It [Page 487] is a vital entity, robed in material of the astral plane and the mental plane when first you meet and contact it. Will you vitalise it, or will you arrest it? Arrest it by a rush and wave of love for the party implicated, that envelops the thought-form and sends it back to the originator, borne on the wings of a surge of astral plane matter, strong enough to sweep through and around, mayhap disintegrating, but most certainly returning it harmlessly to the sender. Perhaps it is an evil piece of information, a lie or item of gossip. Devitalise it by love, break it in pieces by the power of a counter thought-form of peace and harmony.
(WM 639) I seek not to repeat myself. Most of the points that concern the work of the aspirant today I have considered earlier in this treatise. It remains now for all of you to study it with care. I close with an appeal to all who read these instructions to rally their forces, to renew their vows of dedication to the service of humanity, to subordinate their own ideas and wishes to the group good, to take their eyes off themselves and fix them anew upon the vision, to guard their tongues from idle speech and criticism, from gossip and inuendo, and to read and study so that the work may go intelligently forward. Let all students make up their minds in this day of emergency and of rapid unfolding opportunity to sacrifice all they have to the helping of humanity. Now is the need and the demand. The urgency of the hour is upon us, and I call upon all of you whom I am seeking to help, to join the strenuous effort of the Great Ones. They are working day and night in an effort to relieve humanity and to offset those evils and disasters which are immanent in the present situation. I offer to you opportunity and I tell you that you are needed—even the very least of you. I assure you that groups of students, working in [Page 640] unison and with deep and unfaltering love for each other, can achieve significant results.