Very Dear Brothers,

It is on my mind how to render the first ruler truly effective in our group life and in our individual lives in relation to the group life. Here are my thoughts, which may in some cases take the form of directives and admonitions. Our purpose is to make this work practical, so that by the end of this phase of our work together, we, as a group, stand closer to the Ashram, and fused in more dynamic cooperation with our Elder Brothers who labor endlessly on behalf of humanity. This commentary, therefore, will use somewhat more of the first ray in the attempt to “drive the point home” for all of us.

I suggest during the next two weeks we … focus on the Rule from the perspective of synthesis. We should concentrate upon whatever will help us grasp the Rule in its entirety allowing it, as much as possible, to become part of the very fabric of our lives. By now it should be memorized, incorporated, breathed into our being, pervading our psyche. Although the absorption and enactment cannot be complete (especially in a group sense) we will then be ready to move on to the second Rule. We will discover, I believe, that as our study of the Rules continues, the earlier Rules will continue to be absorbed and enacted by the group, even though the concentration will be upon later Rules. In a way they are all one great process, which cannot proceed in a strictly sequential manner.



A.                 “Let the disciple search within the heart's deep cave.  If there the fire burns bright, warming his brother yet heating not himself, the hour has come for making application to stand before the door.”

1.      Nothing will take the place of love—no knowledge, no power. Love is a plenitude which fills and fuses all illusory distances. It is the very substance of the spiritual life. It is the unconquerable force—the only antidote to spiritual death.

2.      Love is the Way into the Hierarchy. Light alone will not suffice. Power alone will not suffice. The Spiritual Hierarchy is, above all, the “Hierarchy of Love”.

3.      The requirement for entry is simple, fundamental and all-exacting.

4.      Let us be sure we are standing on a firm foundation before we attempt another step—the foundation of Love.


B.                 Within the fire of mind focussed within the head’s clear light, let the group stand.

1.      The true fire of mind must be discovered as a living reality. It is, at the very least, a clear mental focussing during all living processes (no matter how the emotions may be playing up or the heart may be burning).

2.      The usual human response to an inviting point of tension is the effort to sustain it, followed by relaxation into a lesser state of tension. This introduces intermittency to the apprehension of reality. It is natural enough, but, ultimately, not desirable. Given the fluctuating nature of the form, a certain ‘vibratory retreat’ from high points of tension is perhaps inescapable, but should never be allowed to become a full retreat or rout. The retraction should become increasingly slight.

3.      Therefore, a great state of vigilance is required to ensure that we do not descend inordinately from a sustained mental focus. There is a level below which we must not descend; as we raise our customary point of tension, this lower level rises as well.

4.      The head is a great friend to the heart—there is no essential enmity between them. We must become capable of sustained, simultaneous head/heart states. Jupiter, the “force which brings all together”, will help us in our task. Not just one—not just the other—but both.

5.      The days of glamor should fast be coming to an end in the personnel of groups like this. All occult processes are controlled within the head—but let us remember that the head has a heart.

6.      We are called to live a focussed life. We emerge from habitual unconsciousness. We are no longer driven by the accumulated tendencies of the past. We recognize such tendencies from a point of clear perspective. We are focussed consciousnesses, and because of our intense focussing, the nature of life becomes ever more vivid, impressive, compelling, beautiful, exacting and joyous.

7.      In the truly focussed life, joy is never far away, because right focus admits to the dimensions of the soul, spiritual triad and, eventually, spirit.

8.      All that we need and are is ever present. During normal life we remain, in part at least, oblivious of the pervading greatness which life essentially is. Focus is the key. Through right focus which is right tension we refuse to fall into an habitual state of oblivion—the unfortunate normal state of what Gurdjieff called the human automaton.

9.      When we learn to live this first rule, we also learn to stand as a group. Individuals may falter; I’m sure we have all had our moments but, overall, the group must stand in its decided purpose and move without relent towards ever higher points of tension—which means ever closer to the Great Ones, and ever more fully into the field of the consuming fire which is Love.

10.  Seven years is a long time—i.e., in personality time. Imagine. To stand for seven years. To stand with increasing uprightness and strength. It can seem a “tall order”. The personality (without the sustenance of the soul) is an inconstant thing. It follows desire more than will, and many are and will be the allurements to draw one away from original intention.

11.  What shall we do when the allurements come? When ‘other things’ begin to seem so much more  spiritually interesting and alive? When staying with original intension seems a heavy and onerous task? 

I suppose we have to remind ourselves of what is really great and what is ordinary. The Hierarchy is a point of tension of earned greatness. For its Members, life is nothing as it is for us. They have broken through into greatness, into beauty, into strength and luminous living. How did They get to be as they are? Well, they followed certain rules—“no matter what”.

Once some time ago, partially for amusement (and partially in complete earnest), I created a compilation on the Tibetan’s use of the words, “no matter what”. For a second ray master He uses this phrase rather frequently, He does, after all, have a first ray energy on His triadal level, as he informs us in DINA II. “Bear in mind that first ray disciples are in my Ashram, and that there are aspects of my nature which are of first ray origin, but when you remember this, bear also in mind that the aspect to which I refer is Triadal.” (DINA II, 761)

12.  It strikes me that the disciples of the world need to incorporate into their lives more vividly the meaning and energy of “no matter what”. Great achievement requires great exertion. The Master Morya assures us that there are times when the Great Ones “sweat blood”. This cannot sound very comfortable or, even, appealing (to the normal personality consciousness), but if one is to become a true spiritual toiler and a true spiritual warrior, a ‘life more extreme yet balanced’ is required. The extremity shows itself in no abnormality or bizarre demonstration but, rather, in a willingness, a drive, to live at the heights of one’s nature, and to exact from the pattern which one is all that may be exacted—for the gain of the world.


C.                 The burning ground has done its work.

1.      Burning is uncomfortable—even agonizing. Who wants to burn? Perhaps only those who wish to be ‘reduced to essence’, which is Love.

2.      How many lives must elapse before we allow the burning ground really to do its work? So many are the unconscious and barely conscious evasions. So reticent is the human being to take his “three worst faults and consign them to the flames”. So innate is the love of comfort.. Of course, we are not just speaking here of gross comforts, but the subtle ones which allow us to remain as we are—refusing (ever so benignly) to go forward into greater Light, Love and Power.

3.      So, for each one of us—what is the work which the burning ground has done? And what is the work which it has yet to do? Really and truly, what?

4.      The opportunity these days is immeasurably great—because the need is so great. Every trusted worker is needed as never before to help humanity through its tremendous pre-initiatory crisis.

5.      We are perhaps familiar with the idea that an individual working from a sufficient point of tension can accomplish in a few hours or days what otherwise might take years. The Tibetan tells us this. Do we realize the implications of this statement? Reality is everywhere present. The Presence is present. Yet it remains undetected (for many) or, at least, inconsistently appreciated. Thus does the normal suffocation continue—though it need not if we realize both the opportunity and the stakes.

6.      The greatest fire upon the burning ground is all-consuming Love. The fiery heart receives this Love. Filled with gratitude for the immensity and inconceivable abundance of the Great Gift, the heart burns and consumes all dross. Not the agony of personality conflict (to which—over many lives—all human beings have become habituated) but the purifying, liberating, enlivening Fire of Love. On p. 721 of DINA I, DK tells us the following: “The Masters are, therefore, anxious to ‘burn up the disciple in the fire of the will-to-love so that he is set free and the barriers to the inflow of the avataric force may be dissolved’.” He wants to burn us up in the fire of the Will-to-Love. This is one step—a goal for many. Beyond the Will-to-Love is the actual Fire of Love, itself.

7.      If we were burning within the Fire of Love what a force we would be! What a force the group would be! Hierarchy is such a group, and what a Force They are!


D.                 The clear cold light shines forth and cold it is, and yet the heat evoked by the group love permits the warmth of energetic moving out.   

1.      Life (as we usually know it) is an illusion. The whole universe (as we usually know it is an illusion) the Great Illusion. Long time it takes to see through this illusion. This is the great theme of our evolution.

2.      So many of us want the assurance of warmth—the warmth of the soul—solar fire. There is nothing wrong with this, and indeed it is a beautiful energy, to be cultivated and used in the redemption of humanity and the world.

3.      Then what are the advantages of the “clear cold light”, which lies ‘beyond’. ‘above’ and ‘through’ the normal aura of what we usually call soul?

4.      Well, things are as they are—whether we see them or not. Some One sees them as they are. There is a Great “All-Seeing Eye” (an ‘Optimal Observer’) a ‘Viewer at a Supreme Point of View’. All ascending beings (who are, themselves) but I’s/‘eyes’ can only faintly approximate this Revelation—but in it is liberation and the solution to the Great Illusion in which we toil, struggle and repeatedly die of ignorance.

5.      Seeing in the “clear cold light” is the beginning of the end of the spell which the Great Illusion has cast over us (or which we—self-voluntarily—have cast over ourselves). We are told that illusion is not dispelled until the ninth initiation—and that is, of course, only a temporary dispelling. But for those who want to enjoy themselves in cosmos (or, more accurately, ‘enjoy the Self in cosmos’), the less illusion the better—even if the illusions we must relinquish are cherished illusion.

6.      When cultivating the will,  the fruits of soul unfoldment are not relinquished. Warmth and cold exist at the same time in our consciousness—and must. Thus, we learn to contain the apparent opposites, and being to live a life which will lead one day to the fourth degree in which the opposites are reconciled in harmony. “Crucifixion—Sacrifice—Harmony”. (R&I 340)

7.      As for group love—there is tremendous potential to discover the actuality which already exists. True Love is a group phenomenon. One can hardly go back to the poverty of the individual state when group love has been discovered for the reality it is.

8.      When group love informs and pervades, the stage is set for spontaneous group activism. Let’s think of it. The Spiritual Hierarchy is an activist Group—a center of pulsating, dynamic energy. The Masters of the Wisdom are busy individuals. This DK alludes to quietly; other stories of the demands placed upon the Masters are more explicit. Theirs is not a breathless pace, but for us it certainly would be.


E.                  Behind the group there stands the Door. Before them opens out the Way.

1.      We take our stand in confidence on the basis of the doors passed through. There is always striving, and the “road winds uphill all the way”, but there are moments of recollected realization based upon achievements. When one recognizes clearly the doors passed, one is liberated to attend to the matter next at hand.

2.      Contemplation of the “Way” is for our inspiration; it is not for us—yet. The “Way” is a reality for a Master of the fifth degree. Meanwhile, we are learning about it.

3.      But the human being needs inspiration—the sense of something better ever on ahead.

4.      When we realize the Way as endless (or almost endless—for a deep philosophical question is involved here), it is a realization which constantly stimulates the progressive flow of the life-force. For one immersed in this state of realization, stagnation and death can never occur—for long. The Vision of the “Endless Way” (and by the way, the ‘Beginningless Way’) is a key to identification with and pervasion by the life-force.

5.      What are our sources of inspiration? Everyone of us will have something which truly and infallibly inspires us. We sense the breath of the Endless Way—we breathe it and become more alive in the moment. The future is always for inspiration, for an intensified beauty of livingness.


F.                  Together let the band of brothers onward move—out of the fire, into the cold and towards a newer tension.

1.      We are a group—certainly of a kind. Over the years we will prove whether or not we are a band of brothers.

2.      This group will be tested—how else could it be? We are participating in an experiment concerning group discipleship and group initiation. Some of the Masters may be slightly aware of what we are attempting. The real question is, how aware are we? I think constant reminders are required, so that this rather new approach to group-spiritual-development is not allowed to lapse into the commonplace.

3.      Life is progressive. The energy of the first ray (the energy of will) is especially progressive. We are involved in an experiment utilizing the energy of “progress onward”. We are attempting to drive “forward through space”. We have passed through the numbness of rotary motion, and (in theory) through the more gentle ascension of spiral cyclic motion (though this still is very applicable), and have now entered a mode of progress which, willfully, moves from one point of achievement to the next by the shortest distance—which is sacrifice.

4.      It is a spiritual privilege to recognize one’s brothers and, in celebration of spirit, move forward with them.

5.      In sober moments one may wonder how one will have the strength to do this—but the spirit, the monad, is more than adequate to the task. ‘We’ are inwardly sustained by a force which will accept nothing less than victory, and which is victory, itself.

6.      May we, increasingly, realize ourselves as spirit and, absorbing a supreme confidence from this unalterable fact, push forward “as one” (which indeed we are) towards victory.