Commentary on Rule VI for Disciples and Initiates

Part I of V


We might choose as theme for our meditation

a.     Either Rule Six for Applicants and Rule Six for Disciples and Initiates:

“Rules Six for Applicants: The purificatory fires burn dim and low when the third is sacrificed to the fourth. Therefore let the disciple refrain from taking life, and let him nourish that which is lowest with the produce of the second.” (IHS, p. 196)

“Rule Six for Disciples and Initiates: Let the group know that life is one and naught can ever take or touch that life. Let the group know the vivid, flaming, drenching life that floods the fourth when the fifth is known. The fifth feeds on the fourth. Let then the group—merged in the fifth—be nourished by the sixth and seventh, and realise that all the lesser rules are rules in time and space and cannot hold the group. It onward moves in life.” (RI, p. 124-127)

b.     Or sub-themes, to which DK refers in His commentary to the Rule (RI, p. 124-127), such as:

i.        The universality of Life. (cf. RI, p. 124)

ii.      The basic fact of hylozoism. (cf. RI, p. 124)

iii.    The idea of the One Life. (cf. RI, p. 124)

iv.     The whole story of life is: purpose, divine will, and absolute determination. (cf. RI, p. 124)

v.       The eternal planning of the Lord of the World so hard of comprehension that there exist as yet no words in any language of any nation. (cf. RI, p. 124)

vi.     Life IS. Life cannot be taken. (cf. RI, p. 125)

vii.   One of the techniques of the Masters is to permit a fallacy to remain uncorrected, because it is originated by the disciple himself and must be dissipated by him also. (cf. RI, p. 126)

viii. Life cannot be taken in the spiritual sense. (cf. RI, p. 126)

ix.     With Rule Six for Applicants the probationary disciple does succeed in ending the grip or potency of the physical nature. (cf. RI, p. 126)

x.       Life is impregnable; it cannot be taken or destroyed but ‘passes on’ from form to form, from experience to experience, until the perfect will of God is expressed through life. (cf. RI, p. 126)

xi.     No one is accepted into the circle of the Ashram whose physical appetites are in any danger of controlling him. This applies specifically to those preparing for the first initiation. (cf. RI, p. 126-127)

xii.   Those preparing for the second initiation have to demonstrate their freedom from the slavery of ideas, from a fanatical reaction of any truth or spiritual leader, and from the control of their aspiration which – through the intensity of its application – would sacrifice time, people and life itself to the call of the Initiator – or rather, the be correct, to what they believe to be His call. (cf. RI, p. 127)

xiii.  The third initiation is approached from a level of tableland of experience and of consciousness, and not from the heights of aspiration, or from fanatical sacrifice, or from the standpoint of a devotion which handicaps the service of the devotee and of the Master he seeks to serve. (cf. RI, p. 127)


Rule VI: Paragraphs for the Second Month: (pp. 124 —127)

Paragraph 1

Rule VI.

A.                 A superficial reading of Rule VI would give the impression that it is a simple statement as to the universality of Life, and also that it embodies an enunciation of the basic fact of hylozoism.  The Rule runs as follows:

Let the group know that life is one and naught can ever take or touch that life.  Let the group know the vivid, flaming, drenching life that floods the fourth when the fifth is known.  The fifth feeds on the fourth.  Let then the group—merged in the fifth—be nourished by the sixth and seventh, and realise that all the lesser rules are rules in time and space and cannot hold the group.  It onward moves in life.

Points to Consider in Relation to the Above Section

1.                  Although Rule VI for Disciples and Initiates does reflect the hylozoistic philosophy (that only One Great Life is expressing through the universe, that all things in the universe are essentially alive and that there is nothing-in-universe that is “inorganic”) there are also many specifics of importance that take our thought beyond hylozoistic generalities.

2.                  In order not to read superficially, one must ponder ever sentence, as we have been doing, for its deeper implications.

3.                  A few preliminary comments on Rule VI for Disciples and Initiates may be in order:

a.       The perception of or identification with the One Life is not a strictly individual perception or identification.

b.      When consciousness is fortified by a deep identification with fellow group members, then the oneness of the One Life comes more readily into view. This is another way of saying that established group consciousness is a doorway toward universal consciousness (i.e., to the perception of and identification with the One Life).

c.       Of course, we, as individuals, and even we in group formation, cannot achieve universal consciousness. Where are the limits of universal consciousness? Certainly far beyond our solar system and even local cosmo system. We cannot even achieve an embracing planetary consciousness (i.e., inclusive perception of and identification within the ring-pass-not of our Planetary Logos).

d.      The fact is, however, that when merged in consciousness with our group, ever-wider vistas do appear.

e.       The knowledge gained within the context of the group as it seeks somehow to ‘touch’ the One Life is intuitive knowledge. It is “straight knowledge”, real knowing.

f.        Such group perception/identification must ‘see through’ all differentiation to that homogeneous “something” which not only underlies the whole but, mysteriously, is the whole with all its apparent diversity.

g.       If the meditating disciple ensures that his group perception/identification is solidly established, that perception/identification will become more astute than were he to function as an apparently isolated unit of consciousness.

h.       In such group-impulsed perception/identification a great confidence in the immortal reality of the One Life is acquired—for the group is to know “that naught can ever take or touch that life”.

i.         We can see how important it will be to discriminate between “form” and “life” for, indeed, forms, per se, can be both taken and touched.

j.        The group, then, is asked to appreciate the meaning of “Lead us from death to immortality”.

k.      As well, the group is asked to perceive/identify with great subtlety, for whatever life is, it is very elusive and cannot objectively known.

l.         Once life is cognized, its ever-abiding nature must be intuited. Life is immortal.

m.     The cognition of life does not occur, however, through consciousness per se, because consciousness functions in relation to a subject/object dualism.

n.       If naught can ever “touch” that life, there can be no dualistic approach (the kind of approach made by consciousness, per se) for in such an approach there would necessarily have to be the ‘one touching’ and the ‘one touched’. “Life” however, cannot be “touched”.

o.      The main distinction to have in mind is the following: one can be the life, but one cannot touch the life.

p.      One, then, has to approach this ‘awareness’ of life (what else shall we call it?) not through the Doctrine of the Eye but through the Doctrine of the Heart through which synthesis can be registered.

4.                  The group is to “know the vivid flaming, drenching life which floods the fourth when the fifth is known.”

a.       Immediately we are asked to distinguish between the fourth kingdom of nature (the human) and the fifth kingdom (the Kingdom of Souls)

b.      A still deeper level of discrimination requires that we distinguish between the Fourth Creative Hierarchy (of human monads) and the Fifth Creative Hierarchy (of Solar Angels or Agnishvattas).

c.       Probably, it would be most practical to interpret the “fourth”, “fifth”, “sixth” and “seventh” in terms of kingdoms rather than Creative Hierarchies, as to the Sixth and Seventh Creative Hierarchies (numbering from below) we have no real conscious access, though to the Fifth Creative Hierarchy of Solar Angels we do, to some extent.

5.                  The consciousness of humanity is to be elevated by intimate contact with the energy of the fifth kingdom of nature, the Kingdom of Souls . This kingdom, of course, is ‘fed’, at least in part, by an energy which emanates from the Fifth Creative Hierarchy.

a.       When, at the first initiation, we begin our entry into the Kingdom of Souls we come increasingly in touch with the buddhic energy, which, by the fourth initiation, reaches a relative consummation.

b.      Buddhic love is “vivid” with light, love and radiance. As it is all-pervasive and pervading, it is “drenching”. Buddhi energy is alive because it emanates from the ‘planes of life’—the four highest levels of our cosmic physical plane., i.e., the cosmic ethers.

c.       Our first access to the Kingdom of Souls (and to the Spiritual Hierarchy which is the embodiment of this kingdom) is through the Solar Angels.

d.      Until we have contacted our ‘own’ soul (Solar Angel) and are in communion with it, we cannot talk meaningfully about contacting and communicating with the members of the Spiritual Hierarchy—on Their own terms.

e.       Thus, the Solar Angels are our ‘doorway’ into the Kingdom of Souls. To enter the Fifth Creative Hierarchy is utterly beyond our present potential; we would have to be transferred to Sirius for extensive ‘education’ before this could be possible.

f.        Entry into the Kingdom of Souls is altogether more accessible and, in fact, demanded of us.

g.       The life of that kingdom “floods” the fourth kingdom when true communion with the Solar Angel has been established.

h.       ‘Liquid fire’ descends from ‘heaven’ and welds all perceptions into a unity. The vivification of the perception of/experience of unity is the result of this ‘flooding’.

6.                  How may the “fifth” feed “on the fourth”?

a.       All the best that the fourth has to offer is ‘taken’ by the fifth and used to promote planetary harmony, unity and oneness.

b.      The vehicle of expression pertaining to the initial layers of the fifth kingdom of nature is the causal body. (Some higher members of the fifth kingdom have already destroyed Their causal body.) That body is built or ‘fed’ from ‘below’—from the harvest of earthly experience in the three lower worlds.

c.       The members of the fifth kingdom of nature turn towards humanity and are ever alert to the ‘rising good’, which is like ‘nourishment’ for the creation of beauty, harmony, unity and oneness which They supervise.

d.      Of course, every kingdom is nourished not only from ‘below’ but from ‘above’ as well. There is a constant and necessary interchange of substances.

e.       Do the members of the Fifth Creative Hierarchy of Solar Angels need to be ‘fed’ or sustained from ‘below’? Probably not. They are very high forms of life. But they are alert to the ‘rising good’ so that they can build higher energy patterns for humanity on planes higher than those of the three lower worlds.

7.                  The “fourth” is to be merged with the “fifth”. Humanity is to become a soul-infused kingdom. Then, in this new and inspired stated, humanity is to be nourished by the “sixth and seventh”—kingdoms. The Sixth and Seventh Creative Hierarchies (number from below upwards) may also be understood to have some remote role in the process, for there is a relation between the sixth and seventh planetary kingdoms and the Sixth and Seventh Creative Hierarchies. These Hierarchies, however, are much ‘higher’ than the corresponding kingdoms.

8.                  What type of “nourishment” are we discussing?

a.       Soul-infused humanity (“merged in the fifth”) is to be nourished by the “sixth” and “seventh”—i.e., by the members of the sixth kingdom of nature (the Planetary Lives, whose lowest members are Chohans and Nirmanakayas of the sixth degree) and the seventh kingdom of nature (the Solar Lives) Who are the higher ‘residents’ of Shamballa and, perhaps, lives who focus beyond the planetary ring-pass-not.  We can think of Sanat Kumara and the Three Buddhas of Activity as “Solar Lives”.

b.      The fifth kingdom of nature nourishes humanity with love, with the perception and experience of harmony and unity.

c.       The ‘nourishment’ ‘descending’ from the sixth kingdom is much higher and the perceptions and identifications offered far more vast. Under such nourishment, it becomes possible for humanity to begin thinking in terms of Planetary Purpose and the Divine Will emanating from Shamballa. Man can, under these nourishing streams,  know himself as a planetary being, a monadic aspect of the Planetary Logos. Admittedly, it will be the rare human being for whom such perceptions and identifications are meaningful. However, we are talking now in terms of the group, for it is the group which is “merged in the fifth” and “nourished by the sixth and seventh”. We are hypothesizing that the necessary perceptions and identifications are more available to the group than to the individual.

d.      The ‘nourishment’ from the seventh kingdom of nature brings an intimation of solar living. Such beings as the Christ and Buddha understand this type of nourishment. For rising groups of the kind which are cultivated through study and application of the Fourteen Rules for Disciples and Initiates, the merest hint of that Shamballic and post-Shamballic life is all that is possible.

e.       Yet the nourishment from this highest Source still proceeds for we all are, eventually, on our way back to the “Sun”, wherein we have a ‘home’ more real than our present planetary home.

f.        By means of such nourishment, the group comes, slightly, to know its place within the solar system, and the Solar Logos (not the Planetary Logos) is considered the great Center of Reference. We must remember that, in a way, Shamballa is not only the highest planetary center but that it is an outpost of the consciousness and being of the Solar Logos—on our planet.

9.                  For practical purposes, perhaps it would be enough for the group simply to be “merged in the fifth”—to be truly soul-infused. Such a group, fulfilling this requirement, would be a third degree group.

10.              The group is to “realise that all the lesser rules are rules in time and space and cannot hold the group”.

a.       This requires that the group members will have fulfilled the lesser Rules. Only then will they be qualified to think in terms of fulfilling the higher.

b.      When the group is “merged in the fifth” and drawing nourishment from the “sixth” and “seventh”, the group has already largely transcended normal time/space perceptions.

c.       Time and space have been ‘converted by esoteric perception’ into something far different than they originally seemed. The ‘home’ (locus of consciousness) of the group is no longer in time and space, per se. The factors of Omnipresence, Omniscience and Omnipotence are become at least meaningful, even though the group has far to go before these states become (for the group) actual.

11.              Where is the group ‘going’?

a.       “It onward moves in life”. What does this really mean?

b.      One way to think of this is as an intensification of identification with and as life. The group is not interested, per se, in focusing its attention on the acquisition of knowledge or on the harmonization and unification of the inner and outer environments. It wants to prove that all things are life.

c.       Life can exist at all degrees of intensity. To “onward move in life” is to intensify the Presence, to the degree that it becomes the overwhelming and most real factor in all presentations-to-consciousness.

d.      The group is then identifying with the higher reaches of its identity. That part of its consciousness which is immersed in time and space is no longer seen to be the most real part. Time and space perceptions are seen to be illusory limitations. The group seeks not to be held within such limiting perceptions.

12.              Rule VI calls us to a far deeper appreciation of the meaning of and experience of life. We are used to understanding life as life-in-form, but life is essentially independent of form. Life is the Presence which sustains all form, and it is to this Presence that we, in group formation, must relate, at ever heightening degrees of intensity.

13.              As we proceed with the analysis of this Rule, we will try to deepen our understanding of life and form.

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B.                 I find it extremely difficult to express the significance of this Rule in such a way that it will convey meaning to you, and this for two reasons:  First, the idea of the One Life is so prevalent, and so customary and trite an unrealised truth, that it registers on ears with very little effect.  Secondly, the whole story of life—which is purpose, divine will, and absolute determination—and the eternal planning of the Lord of the World is so hard of comprehension that we have as yet no words in the language of any nation which can express it.   

Points to Consider in Relation to the Above Section

1.                  The Tibetan finds himself hampered by our very limiting human words.

2.                  One problem is the very familiarity of the concept of the “One Life”. It is “prevalent”, “customary” and “trite”.

3.                  We are all aware of the fact that excessive familiarity dulls perception.

4.                  The Tibetan calls the concept so “trite an unrealised truth”. The point is that this great idea is unrealised. The formulation, “the One Life” has become simply a sound and form of words to many people. The realization and experience of the meaning is generally inaccessible.

5.                  The second difficulty which the Tibetan encounters when He attempts to speak of Rule VI is the obscurity (to the human mind) of the deep purposes, plans and processes of the Lord of the World.

6.                  Our normal level of perception is far too low to appreciate the purposes, plans and processes of this Great Being, and of the even greater Being, the Planetary Logos.

7.                  Yet, since we are dealing with Rule VI, we know, numerologically, that we shall have to consider desire, will, plan and purpose.

8.                  Master DK says the Lord of the World is possessed of “absolute determination”. It would seem that His purposes cannot be altered in any way, that they are firm and intended facts in His consciousness. There is no way that the many planetary lesser lives can resist the imposition of these purposes.

9.                  Our human language is totally inadequate to express these deeper factors. Might the Tibetan be suggesting that there are languages which could express some of these factors—languages such as Sensar?

10.              We also read of the “eternal planning of the Lord of the World”. This is an arresting phrase. The word “eternal” cannot mean “forever”, because of the limited duration of our planet and the limited association of Sanat Kumara with our planet.

11.              Rather, “eternal” must suggest a profound awareness of planetary, systemic and cosmic cycles sustained over a great period of time. Sanat Kumara does not relent in His planning for planetary redemption, and over an immense period of time (immense to us) takes (without let up) all relevant factors into consideration so that His purposes may be fulfilled.

12.              An understanding of such factors is that towards which the Masters are straining Their consciousness. As human beings within human groups, we cannot expect to do much more than understand that these factors exist.

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C.                 What I am now writing is a series of instructions for disciples in process of training for initiation.  I did not say in training for the higher initiations, for these are given in a different manner and the teaching is imparted in the inner Ashram.  Therefore, as you have not taken the third initiation, monadic comprehension lies far beyond you; and only this highest state of understanding suffices for the clear perception of the fundamental divine intent lying behind all world phenomena, all evolutionary development, all unfoldment within the capacity of the four kingdoms in nature, and all preparatory extensions and expansions of consciousness.   

Points to Consider in Relation to the Above Section

1.                  We have reached Rule VI and the Tibetan seems to be suggesting that His present discussions are definitely for those in training for initiation.

2.                  Even the earlier Rules (I through V) offered highly elevated considerations, but the instruction offered in relation to Rule VI, is, apparently, still more elevated.

3.                  DK speaks here of the “higher initiations”, stating that training for such initiations is not being offered in the present group instructions. What are these higher initiations? I would say that we can begin numbering from the fourth initiation. The third initiation, though for most it is a “higher” initiation, is somewhat pivotal and transitional.

4.                  These instructions are written mostly for those who have not taken the third initiation, but who may aspire thereto.

5.                  In The Rays and the Initiations much is given on the spiritual triad and the monad. The information lies beyond the comprehension of most readers, but is, at least, conceivable, and some training in that direction can be offered. There was an occasion when DK did say, however, that He was not presently training people for the third degree. In another place, however, He said that He and some other junior Masters were, in fact, undertaking such training.

“initiation may be taken in the interim period between incarnations, or else immediately upon return to physical plane life. This latter is the most probable for those who are not taking initiations higher than the third; and, at present, for that initiation I am not preparing disciples. (DINA II 70)

“Certain of the Masters (usually Masters like myself who have only lately passed through the fifth initiation) have been chosen to train and instruct aspirants on all the rays until after the third Initiation of Transfiguration. (DINA II 383)

6.                  If we are to appreciate Sanat Kumara’s “divine intent” we must be possessed of “monadic comprehension”. This cannot be achieved before the third initiation, which marks the real beginning of such comprehension. It may be, however, that a close study of what is given in this book will lead the earnest student closer to that comprehension.

7.                  What we are coming to realize is that there are mysterious, directive factors underlying all the more obvious perceptions. These guiding, directive factors are inaccessible to all except those who can be significantly influenced by the highest aspect of their nature—the monad.

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D.                 All I can therefore do is to touch upon the inner significance [Page 125] of the obvious and seek to express certain ideas which will strain your mental perception, evoke your intuition and institute that process of recognition and registration which leads eventually to the initiate-consciousness.


Points to Consider in Relation to the Above Section

1.                  DK promises that He will now “strain” our “mental perception”.

2.                  We are accustomed to register the “obvious”; that is no problem, but it is a problem to accurately register “the inner significance of the obvious”. Points regarding this “inner significance” are what He will now offer.

3.                  We see that in such a presentation, DK is seeking to instil in us “the initiate consciousness”. The achievement of this consciousness certainly requires the exercise and stretching of our faculties far beyond their customary extensions.

4.                  We are to be ready for a deepening of “mental perception”, for the “evocation of intuition” and for the possibility of “recognition and registration” of factors hitherto unknown.

5.                  We customarily formulate future possibilities in terms of what is already known. In doing so, it is easy to fall into error. That which lies ahead is, in many ways, totally unlike that with which we are familiar.

6.                  We see that Master DK is faced with the prospect of leading us, individually and in group consciousness, into unfamiliar realms. If we are to help him do so, we must suspend our attachment to the familiar.

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E.                  This sixth Rule is the polar opposite of the rule as it was given to applicants.  There, if you will refer to my exegesis upon that rule in Initiation, Human and Solar, you will find that the objective of that rule was physical purification with the emphasis upon the need for a vegetarian diet at a certain stage of the preparatory process.  The reasons for such a discipline were two in number:  purification and the necessity for the applicant (at that stage) to refrain from sharing in the benefits incident to the so-called "taking of life."  But, can one take life?  I think not.  Life IS.  Naught in heaven or on earth can touch or affect it.  This is a point oft forgotten.  The rule as given to applicants consequently concerns their ability to accept and adhere to a self-imposed discipline.  Through the means of that discipline, the control of the physical and astral natures are demonstrated by the applicant to himself, and the effect of the discipline is to reveal to him certain inevitable and basic weaknesses, such as control of the animal nature, the powerful imposition of desire, a sense of superiority, of pride and separativeness.  His ability to sustain the discipline and his appreciation of himself for so doing, plus a sense of superiority to those who are not so disciplined, are all indicative of essential weaknesses.  His fanaticism, latent or expressed, emerges in his consciousness with clarity, and—when he is sincere—he is conscious of having brought about a measure of physical purity; but at the same time, he is left with the awareness that he perhaps may be starting with the outer and the obvious when he should be beginning with the inner and with that which is not so easily contacted or expressed.  This is a great and most important lesson..

Points to Consider in Relation to the Above Section

1.                  We are immediately faced with an apparent contradiction. Rule VI for Disciples and Initiates, written approximately twenty years later than Rule VI for Applicants in Initiation: Human and Solar, is the “polar opposite” of the earlier Rule.

2.                  We cannot deny that physical purity is vitally important for those who wish to tread the Path of Discipleship successfully.

3.                  We learn, however, that Master DK had other and deeper objectives in mind when insisting that disciples follow Rule VI for Applicants. Basically, through earnest engagement in the physical disciplines, and the many revelations which arise naturally through such engagement, DK is hoping His disciples will learn to think in wider, deeper terms.

4.                  Rule VI for applicants applies very much to correct procedure within form. As previously stated, life in form is not life, per se. Those who imagine that they are “taking life” when they use animal food are correct, in a sense, but fundamentally and philosophically incorrect. “Life”, per se, cannot be taken. “Life IS. Naught in heaven or on earth can touch or affect it.” By the attempt to adhere to physical disciplines, the disciple learns what life is and what it is not.

5.                  The attempt to adhere to the suggested physical disciplines reveals many things to the disciples—among them the power and rebelliousness of his animal nature, not easily subdued. Should he manage to subdue this nature, then pride of accomplishment may emerge and a subtle and separative criticism of those who do not succeed. DK wants His disciples to understand these often experienced stages and to see their limitation.

6.                  Indeed, the animal form must be mastered, and many high souls retain their vegetarian habits even while engaged with disciplines far more inward and essential.

7.                  DK trusts that a deeper sense of values will emerge within the consciousness of the disciple and discipleship group by the attempt to adhere with persistence to the proposed physical disciplines. They will gain in vehicular purity, yes, but also in an understanding of the contrast between the outer and the inner, the non-essential and the essential, the not-Self and the Self.

8.                  Every achievement is but the prelude to deeper potential achievements. If the disciple remains fixated upon physical disciplines, he will miss the opportunity to mover closer to the center of life. If the fixation remains, he will be demonstrating a definite need for a broadened and deepened perspective on spiritual training and the spiritual path.

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F.                  It is also an interesting illustration of the technique of the Masters, whereby They permit a fallacy to remain uncorrected (because it is originated by the disciple himself [Page 126] and must be dissipated by him also) and the use of language which conveys a wrong impression.  By so doing, the user of the language discovers eventually his erroneous approach to truth.  Life cannot be taken in the spiritual sense.  This error or mistake in the approach of truth enables men and women upon the Probationary Path to demonstrate the earnestness and sincerity of their aspiration by the discipline of substituting the produce "of the second," and to refrain from sustaining life on the produce "of the third."  By sacrificing the life of the second kingdom in nature (to use the applicant's own misstatements) and by nourishing the physical body thereby, the probationary disciple does succeed in ending the grip or potency of the physical nature, and that is always helpful.  He as yet does not know that he is adhering to lesser "rules in time and space," and that once he has demonstrated to himself that he can hold them and obey them, he is then freed from them and needs them no more.  The disciple and the candidate for initiation knows that life is one, whether it takes form in the second kingdom or in the third or the fourth; he knows that the life in him is one with the life in the first kingdom, the mineral; he learns too that life is impregnable; that it cannot be taken or destroyed but "passes on" from form to form, from experience to experience, until the perfect will of God is expressed through life.  

Points to Consider in Relation to the Above Section

1.                  DK discusses an interesting technique utilized by the Masters—that of permitting a fallacy to remain uncorrected, and, also, permitting the continued use of language which conveys the wrong impression.

2.                  This policy of the Masters is a pedagogical technique. They could, of course, immediately correct every error in thought which They perceive as occurring within the mind of the disciple. The disciple, however, would learn much less, and moreover, become too dependent upon the Master’s correctional intervention. As disciples, we must become self-correcting. The Master seeks to create Masters. A Master, we must realize, is Self-reliant to a degree we can hardly conceive.

3.                  What we see is that it is not possible to work on all necessary stages of the Path simultaneously. Those who tread the Path are subject to what might be called ‘The Law of Sequence’. The various steps on the ladder of evolution, and the various sections of the Path are graded approaches to greater knowledge, love and power. If, at the beginning, our minds are focussed on issues too lofty for our comprehension, we shall fail to take the first steps successfully.

4.                  We are here confronting the need for “occult blindness”—imposed by the Solar Angel, and also, in a way, abetted by the Master as a pedagogical technique. Under the beneficent regime of “occult blindness” important lessons are truly and deeply learned and superficial, unstable progress is avoided.

5.                  It cannot be denied that there are many advantages to nourishing that which is lowest with the produce of the second rather than with that which is made available through the sacrifice of the third. A number of higher psychic capacities (necessary during higher demonstrations of spirituality) are thereby facilitated. But siddhis and powers are also secondary in the long run, and it is possible to become fixated upon their expression (just as it is possible to become fixated upon the performance of certain physical disciplines). Any form of fixation persisted in beyond its useful term is detrimental to spiritual progress.

6.                  What, then, are our fixations? To what are we attached in such a way that we put second things first and first things second?

7.                  We conclude that the physical disciplines are useful but not of ultimate importance. When we develop “an adjusted sense of right proportion” we shall see the relative value of the various kinds of disciplinary processes to which we subject ourselves.

8.                  Rule VI demands that a human being grow in realization, and put first things first.

9.                  We must be careful in our consideration of this more advanced Rule to avoid thinking that because Rule VI for Disciples and Initiates offers a truer perspective on life that Rule VI for Applicants is unnecessary. If we have not fulfilled Rule VI for Applicants we are not ready to move on to the fulfillment of Rule VI for Disciples and Initiates. There are a number of disciples who, reading about the secondary value of the earlier Rule, seek to dispense with it altogether, before having proved to themselves that they can abide by it, and thus subdue their animal nature. Only if we can hold to the earlier Rule and obey it are we freed from it. In a way, this applies to all the earlier Rules in relation to the later Rules. That is why we study the twenty-eight Rules and not alone the fourteen more advanced Rules.

10.              Our task in studying this Rule is to come to a deeper understanding of what life really is. It is one; it is “impregnable”; it “passes on” from form to form and from “experience to experience until the perfect will of God is expressed through life”. These are great and solemn thoughts.

11.              How many of us contemplate with regularity the nature of “life”? This is for each to answer. Such contemplation is a task offered to all sincere students of Rule VI.

12.              Life is a great abstraction. It is difficult to ‘grasp’, In fact, it cannot be grasped.  It can only be intuited as a prelude to the possibility of merging with it, of identifying with it.

13.              The approach to the understanding of “life” is a great curriculum which must be pursued before it becomes possible for the group to “onward move in life”.

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G.                 The true disciple does not need vegetarianism or any of the physical disciplines, for the reason that none of the fleshly appetites have any control over him.  His problem lies elsewhere, and it is a waste of his time and energy to keep his eye focussed on "doing the right things physically," because he does them automatically and his spiritual habits offset all the lower physical tendencies; automatically these developed habits enable him to surmount the appeal of those desires which work out in the fulfillment of lower desire.  No one is accepted into the circle of the Ashram (which is the technical name given to the status of those who are on the eve of initiation or who are being prepared for initiation) whose physical appetites are in any danger [Page 127] of controlling him.  This is a statement of fact.  This applies particularly and specifically to those preparing for the first initiation.  Those preparing for the second initiation have to demonstrate their freedom from the slavery of ideas, from a fanatical reaction to any truth or spiritual leader, and from the control of their aspiration which—through the intensity of its application—would sacrifice time, people and life itself to the call of the Initiator—or rather, to be correct, to what they believe to be His call.  

Points to Consider in Relation to the Above Section

1.                  Each of us is to assess our standing with respect to the first sentence; do any of the “fleshly appetites have any control” over us?

2.                  What is a “waste of time” for us and what is not? This will require close scrutiny of our way of life within the personality.

3.                  We are to do the right thing physically, automatically, and not because our eyes are forever focussed on the correct performance of physical things. So then, we question ourselves; “What spiritual habits have we developed to assist us in this task?”

4.                  Our studies concern the Ashram and acceptance into the Ashram as “accepted disciples”.

5.                  To be accepted into the “circle of the Ashram” signals the achievement of “the status of those who are on the eve of initiation or who are being prepared for initiation.” A statement of fact is given: if our physical appetites are in danger of controlling us, we cannot, and will not, be “accepted into the circle of the Ashram”. We cannot and will not be prepared for initiation or brought before the Initiator.

6.                  While the conquest of physical appetites concerns mainly the first initiation (at which time the importance of physical disciplines is emphasized) this conquest remains important in relation to subsequent initiations also. This is sometimes forgotten.

7.                  The controls necessitated for the second initiation are still harder to accomplish and occur quite a number of lifetimes after the more physical controls are mastered.

8.                  We can see that at the second initiation (ruled by the sixth ray) the candidate’s problem concerns idealism. Great ideals are presented, recognized, and to them adherence is given. The believer or advocate is then controlled by those ideals and becomes their slave. He does not think them through nor see them in relation to a wider context. The ideals become all powerful and more important than the humanity they are meant to serve.

9.                  Many disciples today find themselves in this condition. They aspire, they envision, they adhere and are devoted, but their vision is relatively narrow and their sense of values is not adjusted. They sacrifice others to their ideals rather than themselves for the sake of others. This is a difficult stage to transcend because the ideals to which adherence is given are often so ‘high’ and beautiful.

10.              Those who aspire to the second degree think they hear the “call of the Initiator”. The truth is that their spiritual selfishness has not been overcome. They want to ‘rise’ towards the initiator through intensity of aspiration rather than through selfless service and the Way of the Heart. This rising can only be accomplished to a degree, and much remains to be done before real initiation is possible.

11.              We can see that the initiate is one who is in control of his lunar nature and is not one who is controlled by any aspect of it. The great illusions of the mental plane will seek to control the would-be initiate of the third degree, and over these, such a prospective initiate must assert his control.

12.              DK is calling our attention to the more real disciplines which focus on the Laws of the Soul and not the Laws of Form. The personality, after all, is only an instrument and one must not become engrossed with the instrument.

13.              The instrument is a ‘creature’ of time and space and the Rules that apply to it relate to time and space. The soul, to a large extent (and the spiritual triad and spirit far more so) has transcended time and space.

14.              Some time for this higher focus must be apportioned daily. The higher worlds are, in many ways, strange worlds. They do not conform to the laws with which we are most familiar. Yet, we are rapidly entering those worlds and, to do so, must overcome our preoccupation with lesser things, at the same time recognizing the foundational value of those lesser things.

With Love and Many Blessings to all,

Michael (and Stefan)