AGE OF DISCIPLES
(1) The world today offers opportunity to all disciples to become world disciples, close to the Master's heart, and to pass rapidly through the earlier stages of discipleship. It offers opportunity to world disciples to begin their approach to the Heart of the Hierarchy, to Christ. It is with this first possibility that you should be concerned, for – as you come closer to your group – you can begin to get that training which will develop in you world usefulness. Are the majority of you too old to achieve this? That is for you to say. The soul knows no age and can use its instrument if it makes itself into a suitable and available instrument. Are you too set and too pre-occupied with yourselves to achieve the detachment needed for world service? That is for you to find out and to prove to yourselves. (5 – 768).
(2) By the time a disciple reaches the age of forty-nine his pathway of life service should be clearly defined. (6 – 742).
(3) We who teach, watch and guide the esoteric development of man, know that unless a certain measure of fusion is established by the time fifty-six years of age is attained, it is seldom established later. After that age, a man may hold to the point achieved and foster his aspiration, but the dynamic submergence of the personality in the will and life of the soul is rare after that time. When reached prior to the age of fifty-six, then subsequent growth and unfoldment on the Path of Discipleship is surely possible. (5 – 596/7).
(5) The sixty-third year of your life, as in the life of all disciples, will be one of crisis and of supreme opportunity. (6 – 636).
See also: (6–501/505, 508, 533).
(1) Agni, the Lord of Fire, rules over all the fire elementals and devas on the three planes of human evolution, the physical, the astral, and the mental, [Page 13] and rules over them not only on this planet, called the Earth, but on the three planes in all parts of the system. (3 – 65).
(2) Agni, the sum-total of the Gods. He is Vishnu and the Sun in His glory; He is the fire of matter and the fire of mind blended and fused; He is the intelligence which throbs in every atom; He is the Mind that actuates the system; He is the fire of substance and the substance of fire; He is the Flame and that which the Flame destroys. (3 – 602).
(3) All potentiality lies in the vitalising, energising power of Agni, and in His ability to stimulate. He is life itself, and the driving force of evolution, of psychic development and of consciousness. (3 – 606).
(4) "Our God is a consuming Fire" refers primarily to Agni, the controlling factor in this age. The devas of the fire will play an increasingly important part in all earth processes. To them is given the work of inaugurating the New Age, the new world and civilisation and the new continent … Agni controls not only the fires of the earth and rules the mental plane, but He is definitely associated with the work of arousing the sacred fire, the kundalini . . . The Lord of Fire will achieve his peculiar work for this cycle by arousing the fire of kundalini in the large numbers of those who are ready. This will be begun in this century, and carried forward actively for the next one thousand years. (4– 390/1).
(1) There are at all times those who are characteristically expressing one or another of all these various stages and states of consciousness. There are but a few on earth today, who are capable of expressing as low a state of relative development, as the Lemurian consciousness. There are a few at the extreme end of the Way, who are expressing divine perfection, and in between these two extremes are all possible grades of development and unfoldment.
Man is therefore, (from the angle of force expression), a mass of conflicting energies, and an active centre of moving forces, with a shift of emphasis constantly going on, and with the aggregation of the numerous streams of energy, presenting a confusing kaleidoscope of active interrelations, inter-penetration, internecine warfare, and interdependence, until such time as the personality forces (symbolic of divine multiplicity), are subdued, or "brought into line" by the dominant soul. That is what we [Page 14]really mean by the use of the word "alignment"'. This alignment results from:
1. The control of the personality by the soul.
2. The downpouring of soul energy, via the mental and emotional bodies, into the brain, thus producing the subjugation of the lower nature, the awakening of the brain consciousness to soul awareness, and a new alignment of the bodies. (15 – 340).
3. The right arrangement, according to ray type, of the energies which are motivating and dynamically arousing the centres into activity. This leads eventually to a direct alignment of the centres upon the spine, so that soul energy can pass up and down through the centres, from the directing centre in the head. Whilst this process of soul control is being perfected, (and the time consumed is, from the angle of the limiting personality consciousness, of vast duration), the ray types of the vehicles steadily emerge, the ray of the personality begins to control the life, and finally the soul ray begins to dominate the personality ray, and subdue its activity.
Eventually, the monadic ray takes control, absorbing into itself the rays of the personality and of the soul (at the third and fifth initiations), and thus duality is finally and definitely overcome, and "only the One Who Is remains." (15 – 341).
(2) For aspirants and disciples, the immediate task ahead is:
1. To bring about the at-one-ment of soul and body, through the medium of alignment.
2. To build the antahkarana, using the six modes or means outlined by me previously, and thus evoke response to the Triad. The thought of Alignment – Invocation – Evocation are the three major ideas for you to hold in mind as we proceed with this study. (18 – 498).
(3) Aspirants and probationary disciples are occupied with a definite process of focussing their consciousness in the soul. This process falls into two parts:
1. An intensification of the personality life, so that it is developed to its highest individualistic powers.
2. A process of moving forward into the light, and of conscious soul contact.
This involves the earlier stage of the alignment process, which is a mode of focussed, concentrated effort, according to the ray and life purpose of the soul. This may take the form of a profound application to some scientific endeavour, or a deep concentration on the spiritual work of the world, or it may be a complete dedication to humanitarian effort; it matters not. I would [Page 15] call your attention to that statement. In every case the motivating power must be betterment; it must be carried forward by extreme effort; but – given right motive and the effort to develop simultaneously a good character and a stable purpose – the aspirant or probationary disciple will eventually find that he has succeeded in establishing a definite soul relation; he will have discovered that the path of contact between soul and brain, via the mind, has been opened, and that he has mastered the first stage in the needed alignment process. (18 – 500/1).
(4) You have been apt to think of alignment in terms of the process whereby the personality is brought into relation with the soul. This is entirely accurate, yet alignment is a term which in reality covers four processes:
1. The alignment of soul and personality, resulting in a conscious relation to the Kingdom of God.
2. The alignment of soul and personality with the Ashram, resulting in a conscious relation with the Master of the Ashram.
3. The alignment of the initiate of higher degree with the Spiritual Triad and the consequent result of a recognition of monadic energy.
4. The alignment of all the centres in the etheric body of the disciple. This results in the ability of these centres to register and transfer energies which enter into the lower mechanism as a consequence of the three-higher alignments--- listed above. (6–152/3).
THE ANCIENT MYSTERIES
(1) These ancient mysteries were originally given to humanity by the Hierarchy, and were – in their turn – received by the Hierarchy from the Great White Lodge on Sirius. They contain the clue to the evolutionary process, hidden in numbers and in words; they veil the secret of man's origin and destiny, picturing for him in rite and ritual the long, long path which he must tread. They provide also, when rightly interpreted and correctly presented, the teaching which humanity needs in order to progress from darkness to Light, from the unreal to the Real, and from death to Immortality. . . .
The Mysteries will be restored in other ways also, for they contain much besides that which the Masonic rites can reveal, or that religious rituals and ceremonies can disclose; they contain within their teaching and formulas, the key to the science which will unlock the mystery of electricity … ; [Page 16]though much progress has already been made by science along this line, it is as yet only embryonic in nature, and only when the Hierarchy is present visibly on Earth, and the Mysteries of which the Masters are the Custodians are given openly to man, will the true secret and nature of electrical phenomena be revealed.
The Mysteries are, in reality, the true source of revelation, and it can be only when the mind and the will-to-good are closely blended and conditioning human behaviour, that the extent of the coming revelation will be grasped, for only then can humanity be trusted with these secrets. They concern those capacities which enable the Members of the Hierarchy to work consciously with the energies of the planet and of the solar system, and to control forces within the planet; They will put the ordinary psychic powers (today so stupidly approached and so little understood), in their rightful place, and guide man towards their helpful usage.
The Mysteries will restore colour and music as they essentially are to the world, and do it in such a manner that the creative art of today will be to this new creative art, what a child's building of wooden blocks is to a great cathedral, such as Durham or Milan. The Mysteries, when restored, will make real – in a sense incomprehensible to you at present – the nature of religion, the purpose of science, and the goal of education. These are not what you think today.
The ground is being prepared at this time for this great restoration. The Churches and Masonry are today before the judgment seat of humanity's critical mind, and the word has gone forth from that mass mind, that both of them failed in their divinely assigned tasks. It is realised everywhere that new life must be poured in, and great changes wrought in the awareness and the training of those who work through and in these two media of truth. Those changes have not yet been carried out, for it will take a new vision and a new approach to life experience, and this only the coming generation is capable of giving; they and they alone can bring about the needed alterations and the revitalisation, but it can and will be done.:
"That which is a mystery shall no longer be so, and that which has been veiled will now be revealed; that which has been withdrawn, will emerge in light, and all men shall see, and together they shall rejoice. That time will come when desolation has wrought its beneficent work, when all things have been destroyed, and men, through suffering, have sought to be impressed by that which they had discarded in vain pursuit of that which was near at hand and easy of attainment. Possessed it proved to be an agency of death – yet men sought life, not death."
(1) The Mysteries are revealed, not primarily by the reception of information anent them and their processes, but by the action of certain processes, carried out within the etheric body of the disciple; these enable him to know that which is hidden; they put him in possession of a mechanism of revelation, and make him aware of certain radiatory and magnetic powers or energies within himself, which constitute channels of activity and modes whereby he may acquire that which it is the privilege of the initiate to own and use. (18 – 337).
(2) The only true mysteries are those points of revelation for which the mechanism is inadequate. (6–511).
(1) Education also should concern itself during the New Age with bridging of this gap between the three aspects of the mind nature: between the soul and the lower mind, thus producing at-one-ment between soul and personality; between the lower mind, the soul, and the higher mind. For this the race is now ready, and for the first time in the career of humanity the bridging work can go forward on a relatively large scale. On this I need not enlarge, for it concerns the technicalities of the Ancient Wisdom, on which I have given you much in my other books. (12 – 5).
(2) Education is therefore the Science of the Antahkarana. This science and this term is the esoteric way of expressing the truth of this bridging necessity. The antahkarana is the bridge the man builds – through meditation, understanding, and the magical creative work of the soul – between the three aspects of his mind nature. Therefore, the primary objectives of the coming education will be:
1. To produce alignment between mind and brain through a correct understanding of the inner constitution of man, particularly of the etheric body and the force centres.
2. To build or construct a bridge between the brain - mind - soul, thus producing an integrated personality which is a steady developing expression of the indwelling soul.
3. To build the bridge between the lower mind, soul, higher mind, so that the illumination of the personality becomes possible. (12 – 6).
(3) "Before a man can tread the Path he must become that Path himself". [Page 18] The antahkarana is the Path symbolically. This is one of the paradoxes of the esoteric science. Step by step, and stage by stage, we construct that Path just as the spider spins its thread. It is
(4) Students should train themselves to distinguish between the sutratma and the antahkarana, between the life thread and the thread of consciousness. One thread is the basis of immortality, and the other the basis of continuity. Herein lies a fine distinction for the investigator. . . .
The sutratma is the direct stream of life, unbroken and immutable, which can be regarded symbolically as a direct stream of living energy flowing from the centre to the periphery, and from the source to the outer expression or the phenomenal appearance. It is the life. . . .
The consciousness thread (antahkarana) . . . is the thread which is woven as a result of the appearance of life in form upon the physical plane. Speaking again symbolically, it might be said that the sutratma works from above downward and is the precipitation of life into the outer manifestation. The antahkarana is woven, evolved and created as the result of this primary creation, and works from below upwards, from the without to the within, from the world of exoteric phenomena into the world of subjective realities and of meaning. (12 – 26/27).
(5) (Man) then discovers an aspect of himself of which he had little dreamt in the early stages of his development. He discovers the soul and then passes through the illusion of duality. This is a necessary but not a permanent stage. . . . He seeks to merge himself with the soul, to identify himself, the conscious personality, with that overshadowing soul. It is at this point, technically speaking, that the true building of the antahkarana must be begun. It is the bridge between the personality and the soul. (12 – 29).
(6) The Science of the Antahkarana. This is the new and true science of the mind, which will utilise mental substance for the building of the bridge between personality and the soul, and then between the soul and the spiritual triad. This constitutes active work in substance subtler than the substance of the three worlds of ordinary human evolution. It concerns the substance of the three higher levels of the mental plane. These symbolic bridges, when constructed, will facilitate the stream or flow of consciousness and will produce that continuity of consciousness, or that sense of unimpeded awareness, which will finally end the fear of death, negate all sense of separateness, and make a man responsive in his brain consciousness, to impressions coming to him from the higher spiritual realms or from [Page 19] the Mind of God. Thus he will be more easily initiated into the purposes and plans of the Creator. (12 – 95/6).
(7) The building of the second half of the antahkarana (that which bridges the gap in consciousness between the soul and the spiritual triad) is called the science of vision, because just as the first half of the bridge is built through the use of mental substance, so the second half is built through the use of light substance. (12 – 96).
(8) The Science of the Antahkarana is connected with the entire problem of energy, but peculiarly with the energy handled by the individual, and with the forces by which the individual relates himself to other individuals or groups. (12 – 143).
(9) The Science of the Antahkarana is the science of the triple thread which exists from the very beginning of time, and links individual man with his monadic source. The recognition of this thread and its use, consciously, as the Path and the means of ever expanding contacts, comes relatively late in the evolutionary process. The goal of all aspirants and disciples is to become aware of this stream of energy in its various diversifications, and consciously to employ these energies in two ways: interiorly in self-unfold-ment, and in the service of the plan for humanity. (12 – 146).
(10) The Science of the Antahkarana deals, therefore, with the entire incoming system of energy, with the process of usage and transformation and fusion. It deals also with the outgoing energies and their relationship to the environment, and is the basis of the science of the force centres. (12 – 147).
(11) The antahkarana, therefore, is the thread of consciousness, of intelligence, and the responsive agent in all sentient reactions. (12 – 148).
(1) As the aspirant progresses, he not only balances the pairs of opposites, but the secret of his brother's heart becomes revealed to him. He becomes an acknowledged force in the world, and is recognised as one who can be depended on to serve. Men turn to him for assistance and help along his recognised line, and he begins to sound forth his note so as to be heard not only in human but in deva ranks as well. This he does, at this stage, through the pen in literature, through the spoken word in lecturing and teaching, Page 20] through music, painting and art. He reaches the hearts of men in some way or another, and becomes a helper and server of his race. (3 – 865/6).
(2) See therefore how the life of all aspirants, if progressing with the desired rapidity, is one of constant movement, constant changes and differentiations, and continuous building and breaking, planning and seeing those plans disrupted. It is a life of ceaseless suffering, of frequent clashing with the environing circumstances, of numerous friendships made and transferred, of mutation ceaseless and consequent agony. Ideals are transcended only to be found to be stations on the road to higher; visions are seen, only to be replaced by others; dreams are dreamt only to be realised and discarded; friends are made, to be loved and left behind, and to follow later and more slowly the footsteps of the striving aspirant. (4 – 264).
(3) No aspirant, no matter how sincere and devoted, is free from faults. Were he free, he would be an adept. All aspirants are still selfish, still prone to temper and to irritability, still subject to depression and even at times to hatred. Oft that temper and hatred may be aroused by what we call just causes. Injustice on the part of others, cruelty to human beings and to animals, and the hatreds and viciousness of their fellow men do arouse in them corresponding reactions, and cause them much suffering and delay. One thing must ever be remembered. If an aspirant evokes hatred in an associate, if he arouses him to temper, and if he meets with dislike and antagonism, it is because he himself is not entirely harmless; there are still in him the seeds of trouble, for it is a law in nature that we get what we give, and produce reactions in line with our activity, be it physical, emotional or mental. (4 – 483).
(4) All aspirants know, and down the ages have been taught, that a clean mind and a pure heart, love of truth, and a life of service and unselfishness, are prime requisites, and where they are lacking, naught avails and none of the great secrets can be imparted. (4 – 543).
(5) The immediate goal for all aspiring disciples at this time, can be seen to be as follows:
1. An achievement of clarity of thought as to their own personal and immediate problems, and primarily the problem as to their objective in service. This is to be done through meditation.
2. The development of sensitivity to the new impulses which are flooding the world at this time. This is to be brought about by loving all men more, and through love and understanding, contacting them with greater facility. Love reveals.
3. The rendering of service with complete impersonality. This is done by eliminating personal ambition and love of power.
4. The refusal to pay attention to public opinion or to failure. This is done by the application of strict attention to the voice of the soul, and by an endeavour to dwell ever in the secret place of the Most High. (4 – 635/6).
(6) Not one earnest student goes totally unrecognised. In the press of the work and in the burden and toil of the day's labours, it is an encouragement to know that there are those who watch, and that every loving deed, every aspiring thought, and every unselfish reaction, is noted and known. Bear in mind, however, that it comes to the recognition of the Helpers through the increased vibration of the aspirant, and not through a specific knowledge of the deed accomplished, or the thought sent out. Those who teach are occupied with principles of truth, with vibratory rates, and with the quality of the light to be seen. They are not aware of, nor have they the time to consider, specific deeds, words and conditions, and the sooner students grasp this, and put out of their minds any hope of contacting a phenomenal individual, whom they call a Master, with so much leisure, of such developed powers that he can occupy himself with their trivial affairs in time and space, the more rapidly will they progress.
Where, however, there is steady growth, an application to occult principles, so that definite changes are produced in the bodies used, and an increasing radiatory light, it is known and recorded, and the aspirant is rewarded by increased opportunity to serve his fellowmen. (4 – 638).
(7) This fivefold experience in any individual life, takes place in the following order in the life of the average intelligent aspirant, who responds to, and takes advantage of the civilisation and education of the present time.
1. Appropriation of the physical sheath. This takes place between the fourth and seventh year, when the soul, hitherto overshadowing, takes possession of the physical vehicle.
2. A crisis during adolescence, wherein the soul appropriates the astral vehicle. This crisis is not recognised by the general public, and is only dimly sensed, from its evidenced temporary abnormalities, by the average psychologist. They do not recognise the cause, but only the effects.
3. A similar crisis between the twenty-first and twenty-fifth years, wherein the mind vehicle is appropriated. The man should then begin to respond to egoic influences, and in case of the advanced man, he frequently does.
4. A crisis between the thirty-fifth and forty-second years, wherein conscious [Page 22] contact with the soul is established; the threefold personality then begins to respond, as a unit, to soul impulse.
5. For the remaining years of life, there should be an increasingly strong relationship between the soul and its vehicles, leading to another crisis between the fifty-sixth or the sixty-third years. According to that crisis will depend the future usefulness of the person, and whether the ego continues to use the vehicles on into old age, or whether there is a gradual withdrawal of the indwelling entity.
There are many corresponding cycles of crisis in the life history of any soul down through the ages, but these major five crises can be traced with clarity from the standpoint of higher vision. (15 – 53).
(8) Psychic sensitivity, mystical duality, and dominating power – these are the three major problems of the aspirant, and should be studied and understood. They affect the three major centres – the head, the heart, and the centre between the eyebrows – in the disciple, for psychic sensitivity is related to the heart, mystical duality to the ajna centre, and the problem of power to the highest head centre.
In the aspirant or advanced human being, they affect the throat, the solar plexus, and the sacral centre, but as they are definitely due to an expansion of consciousness, they have little registered or noticeable effect upon the unevolved man, or upon the average man who is preoccupied with physical plane life, and emotional reactions. He is not passing through the stimulating but disrupting processes of re-orientation, of recognising duality, and of fusion of the personality. As we have earlier seen, the processes of integration bring their own problems. (15 – 614).
(9) Your major need is for an intensification of your inner spiritual aspiration. You need to work more definitely from what might be called a point of tension. Study what is said about tension and intensity. It is intensity of purpose which will change you from the plodding, fairly satisfactory aspirant, into the disciple whose heart and mind are aflame. Perhaps, however, you prefer to go forward steadily, with no group effort, making your work for me and for the group, an ordered part of the daily life, which you can adjust pretty much as you like, and in which the life of the spirit receives its reasonable share, in which the service aspect is not neglected, and your life presentation is neatly balanced and carried forward, without much real strain. When this is the case, it may be your personality choice, or your soul decision for a specific life, but it means that you are not the disciple, with everything subordinated to the life of discipleship.
I would here like to point out two things. First: if you can so change [Page 23] your tension, that you are driven by the life of the spirit, it will entail a galvanic upheaval in your inner life. For this, are you prepared? Secondly: it will not produce any outer change in your environing relationships. Your outer obligations and interests must continue to be met, but I am talking in terms of inner orientations, dynamic inner decisions, and an interior organising for service and sacrifice. Perhaps you prefer the slow and easier way? If that is so, it is entirely your own affair, and you are still on your way. You are still a constructive and useful person. I am simply here facing you with one of the crises which come in the life of all disciples, wherein choices have to be made, that are determining for a cycle, but for a cycle only. It is pre-eminently a question of speed. This means eliminating the nonessentials and concentrating on the essentials – the inner essentials as they concern the soul and its relation to the personality, and the outer ones, as they concern you and your environment. (18 – 496), (5 – 538).
(10) Your major task, as aspirants, is to cultivate the higher sensitivity; to render yourselves so pure and selfless, that your mind remains undisturbed by the happenings in the three worlds; to seek that attentive spiritual sense which will enable you to be impressed, and then to interpret correctly the impressions received. (18 – 549).
(11) The goal of the majority of aspirants is not to limit their consciousness by a concentration on minutiae, such as the permanent atoms and the details connected with the individual form nature. The objective of each aspirant is to expand his consciousness to include that which lies beyond himself, to attain to the more elevated states of consciousness in the life of the group and of humanity, and to integrate himself consciously into the Hierarchy, eventually into Shamballa, and occultly to "know" God in His many phases of all-inclusive extension and perfection. (5 – 766).