SECTION ONE - DISCIPLESHIP IN THE NEW AGE - Part 4
All this is, however, an experiment and I would remind you that it is an experiment which I and several other initiates are carrying forward as members of a great spiritual organisation. If it is successful and if the spiritual momentum set up by all of you is adequate to the effort made and if you can carry on with persistence and with untiring effort and interest, it may be possible to bring the experimental stage to an end; the Hierarchy can then recognise (as effectively established upon earth) certain focal points of energy which can constitute magnetic centres or rallying points for the new religion, the new medicine, the new psychology and education and the new politics. The potentialities are great. The difficulties are not insuperable, otherwise I would not have been permitted to make this great experiment. We enter into no activities which are obviously fore-ordained to failure. Many experiments are being carried forward today in the world by the various Members of the Hierarchy in Their differing grades and with Their  special groups. This effort can prove successful only in so far as the disciples of the world desire it, make the needed sacrifices and think the various objectives into being.
I am mentioning this at this time because in the press of world affairs, in the struggles of your own individual existence and in the fatigue which is incident to daily work and the consequent physical liabilities, there inevitably comes the cooling down of the earlier ardours and enthusiasm, the tired recognition of the monotony of the demanded effort (with frequent staleness and unenterprising aspiration), which untiring spiritual work demands.
The disciple learns to pay no attention to these recurring cycles and interludes between the pairs of opposites for he recognises their intermittency. I do, however, seek to point out this point of danger—for danger it is—and ask you to go on with the work just "as if" it were entirely new and fascinating.
It is necessary here for you also to remember that though these groups are intended to be Seed groups of the New Age, two factors in connection with them should be remembered:
1. They constitute a unique experiment in the sense that—knowing the possibilities and understanding somewhat the forces which are slowly emerging into prominence in a world rapidly adjusting itself to the new rhythms—yet they are primarily an experiment undertaken by me, your Tibetan teacher and a member of a certain standing in the Hierarchy, with the cooperation of certain other initiates. I am not, as I have already told you, the only worker along these lines and these seed groups are not the only units to be found today in the world. There are, for instance, several seed units working out into being within the framework of the Catholic Church, under the inspiration of the Master Jesus. These are, however, somewhat more subjective than are the groups in which I am particularly interested and their emergence is slower but they do exist. There are, also, two such seed groups in China and four in India. I mention this in order to safeguard you against the sense of uniqueness which is the subtle seed of the great heresy of separateness.
2. These groups of disciples are all passing through the formative stage and change and adjustment is going on. Their pattern is still fluid because too many disciples are receptive to the words of the Masters and are less receptive to the ideas upon which They found Their work. This comment warrants your attention. Later, when the needed adjustments are made and groups of disciples can work together without criticism or misunderstanding, then they can pass on to organised group work. This is necessarily dependent upon the general level of the group endeavour, upon their aspiration and their applied persistence. The willingness to work through these groups exists on our side and is found, therefore, upon the inner planes. The providing of an adequate instrument through which we can work must come from you.
The time must come, however, when the work of each group of disciples must definitely integrate and thus change from the theoretical and the experimental to the definite and the practical. Then the period of group usefulness will arrive. This will naturally depend upon two things:
1. When the group reaches a certain stage of synthesis, then it will become possible for the group to work as a group with power.
2. If the group fails to integrate and to take advantage of group opportunity and the particular call to service, then a re-arrangement of the personnel will be essential. Certain disciples will then have to drop out and those who have not measured up to the requirements, which their souls have set for them, and to the point of attainment towards which I am expectantly looking, will be absorbed into other groups or form the nucleus of a re-organised unit.
All the teaching on the groups of disciples, functioning in the New Age, is intended for all the groups and for general distribution later on. The teaching upon specific group work will be given up to the point where conscious use of it can be made and the knowledge given can be turned to practical purpose in world service. And, my brothers, it is world service that today is needed.
The Hierarchy is deeply concerned over world happenings. When the war is over, our work must go forward at any and every cost and in the face of every imaginable obstacle. The New Group of World Servers must preserve its integrity and work steadily and undismayed. The steadiness of those who know God's plan will help humanity and aid the efforts of the Hierarchy. These do not hate and they work for unity—both subjective and eventually objective.
It is wise for human beings to realise that mankind is free. Even the Hierarchy Itself does not know which forces—those of good or those of evil—will ultimately prevail because even if the forces of good triumph where the war is concerned, will they triumph where the peace is concerned? Good must ultimately triumph but the Hierarchy does not know what the immediate future holds for humanity because men determine their own destiny. The Law of Cause and Effect cannot be offset. In those cases where it has been offset, it has required the intervention of Forces, greater than those available at this time upon our planet. These greater Forces can intervene if the world aspirants and disciples make their voices adequately penetrating....
In this time of stress and strain, my brothers, I would remind you that there is no need for the sense of futility or for the registration of littleness. The new groups of disciples are Seed Groups; they are in the dark or growing stage and in the process of expansion—growing silently. This stage is most important for, according to the healthiness of the seed and its ability to cast strong roots downwards and to penetrate slowly and steadily upwards towards the light, so will be the adequacy of the contribution to the New Age which is upon us. I would emphasise that fact to you. The New Age is upon us and we are witnessing the birth pangs of the new culture and the new civilisation. That which is old and undesirable must go and of these undesirable things, hatred and the spirit of separateness must be the first to disappear.
The main objective of our joint work is still group integration and the setting up of that inter-communication between  the group members which will result in the needed interplay and telepathic communication; this will finally establish that golden network of light which will serve to create a powerful focal point; this focal point will be the agent for the revitalisation spiritually of the etheric body of humanity—as a whole. This is an essential and important statement. This focal point will, in its turn, aid in the revitalising of the etheric body of the planet with new power and with fresh impulse.
I have for several years attempted to be your teacher, your Master and, I think I may say, your friend. There has been established between us a very strong link of love and understanding upon my part and a proved sincerity and a definite wish to cooperate on yours. What is my attitude towards you?
As individuals, you may be of small importance; as units in the group which I am preparing and training for definite service in future lives even more than in this, you are of sufficient moment to warrant my interest. A group is no more powerful than its weakest link and a group suffers esoterically and as a whole and its power is definitely curtailed when one member fails to measure up to opportunity or recedes into the glamours of the personality. This you have seen happen. As individuals I seek to help you but only with a view to your group integration, to your group influence and understanding and your group love, plus the strength which you can each bring to the whole.
I, therefore, appeal to you, as a group, for an intensification of your group love, purpose and service so that the inner, subjective integration may proceed apace. I have three things to say to you today as a group:
First of all, the strength or the weakness of this group of disciples will lie in the fact that the individuals who compose it are not only egoically linked but that there is also a strong personality tie (with all the weaknesses which that may entail) and a deep, if unrealised, affection between each and all of you, even if you have not met each other. The strength of this situation is found in the fact that this condition of unconscious friendship is to be found as the result of many lives of close association in the work and also in past personality relations and family ties. The weakness exists in the fact that this situation  is apt to make the group personal in its reactions. This group of disciples is intrinsically an entity on all the three levels of the three worlds—physical, emotional and mental—and there is a soul tie as well.
I would like also to impress upon you a second point. It is of apt application in the strenuous conditions which prevail at this time. In the stress and strain of your group work let each of you bear in mind, for your encouragement, joy and dedicatory incentive, that you are in this particular group of disciples for preparatory training for initiation. I am entering upon an experiment in group initiation and this is somewhat a new enterprise for the Hierarchy to undertake, though in line with evolutionary development. In future ages, men and women will pass through the Portal of Initiation together, instead of alone and singly as has hitherto been the case. Group progress can, therefore, in this connection be furthered or held back by the effort of the individual group member. A member's difficulties can be enhanced by the united group stimulation; his strength and effectiveness can be increased by the strength, the power and the understanding of the group. Your united responsibility is, therefore, great and your opportunity for rapid progress is real and definitely unusual. When together you pass through the Portal and I present you to Those Whose task it is to lead you on your next step, there should eventuate such an enhancement of your powers to love, to intuit and to serve, that life will never again appear to be the same thing. You will grasp with surety then what now you dimly sense, and realise the wonder of group love, of group intuition and of group service; you will thus undergo a joint illumination, a shared response and a united effort. You will comprehend then that a line of exclusion may spiritually exist, indicating those who can pass on to the preparatory stage of group initiation and those who must approach that great event singly and alone. These latter belong predominantly to the Piscean Age. They take initiation as separate identities; you can take initiation in group formation.
None of us who do the work of preparing candidates for initiation are in a position to pronounce as to time; that has to be determined by each individual aspirant. See to it, however,  as individuals, that your group is not held back through your inability to see, by your personal glamours, by your individual problem or by your slow reactions to known truth.
The third thing that I want to say is that whatever your particular status on the Path at this time, I shall seek to help you as in the past. I shall speak the truth as I see it from my particular vantage point. Upon your blindness in certain directions, I shall seek to throw a light. I shall point out your weaknesses—if I can get your sincere attention. These weaknesses exist. You are not yet initiate, and you have faults, limitations, points of darkness and much inertia and at the same time self-satisfaction. The tendency to self-defence is strong in some of you and this produces an unwillingness to recognise faults or even to admit, hypothetically, that faults may be present. The tendency to self-depreciation is strong in others and it produces that over-emphasis of the personality and that constant thought about the personality which is so detrimental to real progress. In these tendencies (which are so usual) there lies real danger for the would-be initiate. I warn you to watch for the indications of these conditions and to assume an attitude of willingness to listen and to admit the possibility of failure in the one case and of self-forgetfulness in the other. Look yourselves and life squarely in the face and fearlessly see things as they are in truth. Do this not because it is I who am suggesting to you that a situation may be thus or so but because you are willing to face up to facts and are ready for unexpected discoveries about yourselves. One of the first lessons which a disciple needs to learn is that where he thinks he is strongest and where he finds the most satisfaction is very frequently the point of greatest danger and of weakness. Astral conditions are oft seen reversed; hence the glamour which often overcomes a disciple.
In this connection, my brothers, I will admit you into a piece of personal history and one which is quite ordinary in the life of a disciple. It may serve to carry its lesson and its warning. Several lives ago, my Master saw in me a weakness. It was one of which I was quite unaware and it was in fact a quality which I regarded as a strength and which I hugged to myself as a virtue. I was then a young man, anxious to help my Master and humanity but, in the last analysis, I was very keen about myself  as an aspirant and very pleased with myself—cloaking this satisfaction under the garb of a reiterated humility. The Master poured into me His strength and energy and so stimulated me that what I thought was a virtue and what I had denied and repudiated as a vice, proved my undoing. I symbolically crashed to earth through the very weight of my weakness. You might well ask what this weakness was? It was my love for my Master which was my undoing. He pointed out to me after the failure that my love for Him was in reality based upon pride in myself and a profound satisfaction with myself as an aspirant and a disciple. This I violently denied and was grieved that He should so misunderstand me. I proved Him to be right, eventually, through a life of failure and the depth of my egotism. I learnt through that failure but I lost much time from the standpoint of useful service. I found that I was really serving myself and not humanity. From similar mistakes, I seek to save you, for time is a great factor in service. For the masses of humanity, time is not of very great importance; but for the servers of the race, it matters much. Lose not time, therefore, in undue self-analysis, self-depreciation or self-defence. Go forward with discrimination where your unfoldment is concerned, and with love and understanding where your group is concerned. Where I, your teacher, am concerned, give to my words the attention which is due and endeavour to cooperate with me. I shall then some day have the joy of welcoming you to the "Secret Place" where all true servers and initiates must eventually meet and unite.
I have revealed to you, my disciples, my true name. The necessity for eradicating all reason for the speculative questioning of some of you as to my identity and of spurring others of you on to renewed and consecrated effort are two of my reasons for relinquishing my anonymity. Another reason is that I would have you recognise the fact that you are accepted disciples with all that that status necessarily implies of responsibility and opportunity. Still another deciding factor with me is to test out your ability to keep silent until it is no longer necessary to do so. Silence is one of the prime prerequisites for initiation and something which every disciple must perforce learn. There is, therefore, the necessity for the test. Many of  you are already interiorly convinced of my identity. You have not voiced your belief in this connection except to A.A.B. who has not responded with any corroborating evidence or comments. If you cannot be trusted to keep silence and to preserve a detached and independent attitude, then you are not ready for that which I have to give and the sooner we discover this the better. If you are unable to retain a silent tongue—even among yourselves—then you are unfit to be trusted and that I should dislike to believe. If, when you have discovered who I am, you question the wisdom of my decision to reveal myself to you and hold that I should have withheld my identity, then that too will be revealing and will guide me in all my future approaches to you. If knowledge of who I am leads you into the dangerous path of the devotee, it will be good for you to discover that tendency within yourself; if you henceforth over-emphasise the importance of my words and if you fall into the dangerous habit of accepting authority, your weakness will stand revealed to me, to yourself, and to your group brothers. We shall all profit thereby. You will have discovered an innate weakness which discovery of my identity will have drawn forth; if you are burdened by the knowledge, then you must learn to carry burdens or else you will be of no use as a world server. The fact that I am a Master alters me not. I am still your Tibetan Teacher and the same Instructor who has taught you for many years. I remain the same individual and am in no wise different. Any reaction upon your part will be a personality reaction and, therefore, to be recognised, dealt with and finally subdued.
Let us go forward together, my brothers and chelas, along the path of service; let us together enter into the Light and tread the way to world peace and not to personal illumination—illumination is inevitable but incidental.
As regards all of you—with what have I to deal? An untested group, a static group, a critical group and a group subject to pronounced glamours—such is the material with which I must carry forward my work. What can I do in such a situation, my brothers? I can trust your devotion to humanity, your willingness to learn and your determination to proceed along the path of service at any cost. This I will most certainly do.
1. The main present objective.
I seek to bring about a much needed group integration. The polarisation of this group—as a unity upon the mental plane—is not yet accomplished. It is most needed and until this integration has been achieved, the united group inter-communication will not be possible or the desired group work capable of accomplishment. Several of you need to do some careful thinking and should align yourselves in love with your fellow disciples, eliminating all sense of criticism and personal self-satisfaction in your own judgment and rectitude.
2. The future objective of these ashramic groups.
It is fundamentally necessary that the new groups which are inaugurating the new discipleship should eventually establish a telepathic rapport with each other. Later, when there is a closer individual inter-relation, it will be possible to give definite teaching which will make this increasingly possible, but in the meantime a hint will have to suffice. It is foundational in nature and will have to be accepted and somewhat understood prior to successful work in all these pioneering groups. Think outwardly towards each other in love. Just simply that, my brothers—simply and humbly that and no more than that at present. Can you accept such a simple rule—apparently simple? In this way the etheric body of this group of disciples will be animated by the golden energy and the light of love and thus a network of light will be established which will form a focal point of energy in the etheric body of humanity itself and eventually in the planetary etheric body also.
3. The general group objective.
This is the shifting of consciousness of all integrated human beings in increasingly large numbers on to the etheric levels of consciousness and activity. This entails conscious work on those levels as energy units, each contributing his individual share and his special quota of energy to the sum total of available etheric energy and doing this both consciously and intelligently. When this is done, the man is then ready for the first initiation  and is a true occultist—working with energy under hierarchical guidance.
This necessitates the preparation of the life and consciousness for this new process of group initiation. This group initiation is itself of real import and is dependent upon the unit in the group fitting himself for initiation and at the same time learning to subordinate his spiritual ambition and desires to the group pace and to the necessity of right timing where his fellow disciples are concerned. It involves, therefore, a dual attitude towards the processes of initiation: the adapting of oneself to the needed integration and, secondly, to the development of spiritual responsiveness to impressions from the level of the soul and of the spiritual Hierarchy. It also involves the cultivation of judgment and of wisdom in the establishment of a right inter-relation with the group of disciples so that the group—in this case my group of disciples and definitely a group entity—may move on together. This necessitates the same conditions for the group as always exist for the individual: right integration on the three personality levels and also on soul levels, plus right group impression or responsiveness to the spiritual and higher psychic "gift waves"—as Tibetan occultists call them.
This will take many years and the work of achieving finished group attitudes and relationships through individual understanding and true impersonality can go forward upon the physical plane whilst in incarnation, or it can go on out of incarnation with the same facility. You must always bear in mind that the consciousness remains the same, whether in physical incarnation or out of incarnation, and that development can be carried on with even greater ease than when limited and conditioned by the brain consciousness.
The attainment of these objectives will involve clear vision and a keen and intelligent understanding; it will require the steady and conscious intensification of group love and group interplay; it will lead all disciples to live lives full of wise purpose and planned spiritual objectives and, at the same time, the service rendered will assume a definite and an automatic technique of expression.
You might here ask me if there is one single mode or means whereby a disciple can begin to approximate this seemingly impossible goal. I would reply: By the steady practice of impersonality with its subsidiary attitude of indifference where personal desires, contacts and goals are concerned. Such an impersonality is little understood and even when cultivated by well-intentioned aspirants has a selfish basis. Ponder on this and endeavour to achieve impersonality through self-forgetfulness and through the decentralisation of the focus of consciousness from the personality (where it is usually centred) into the living, loving soul.
There are four things which frequently hold back a group of disciples from achievement and from satisfactory work:
1. Lack of vision, incident to a lack of mental keenness.
2. Personal glamour. This involves the astral plane.
3. Individual problems, involving a pronounced preoccupation upon the physical plane with its circumstances and difficulties—in this most difficult of worlds.
4. Inertia or slow reactions to the imparted teaching and to the presented opportunity.
A deep reflection upon the urgency of the times and a sympathetic recognition of the unhappy plight of humanity are much needed by many disciples and aspirants in the world today, particularly by those who are not close to the world situation but who are looking at it from a distance. It is so simple to give a facile expression of sympathy but at the same time to avoid too great an expenditure of energy in service and too intense an effort to be of assistance.
The hallmark of the pledged disciple and a quality which should increasingly dominate his life is the capacity to identify himself with the part or with the whole—as seems needed at any particular time. Such an attitude involves a comprehensive sweep of love, and this leads to inclusiveness and to the pledging of the life service to the greatest number and to the most needy. If I were asked to specify the outstanding fault of the majority of groups of disciples at this time, I would say that it is the expression of the wrong kind of indifference, leading to an almost immovable preoccupation with their personal ideas  and undertakings. These militate against the group integration and tend to block the work.
One of the things most needed by every disciple is to apply the teaching given to the idea of promoting and increasing their world service, thus rendering practical and effective in their environment the knowledge that has been imparted and the stimulation to which they have been subjected. This is a suggestion to which I would have you pay real attention.
I would like also at this point to bring to your attention the fact that an accepted disciple is not in reality one who has been accepted by a Master for training. This is the distortion of a true idea which, in its progress from the mental plane to the physical, has achieved a complete reversal or distortion. An accepted disciple is one who:
1. Has accepted the fact of the Hierarchy with the implications of loyalty and cooperation which that acceptance involves.
2. Has accepted the fact that all souls are one and who has, therefore, pledged himself to seek expression as a soul. The service to be rendered is the awakening and stimulation of all souls contacted.
3. Has accepted the occult technique of service. His service to humanity determines all his activities and subordinates his personality to the need of the time. Note that phrase. Cultivate insight and a fluid response to the immediate need and not a sensitive reaction to a distant goal.
4. Has accepted the Plan, as indicated by the Teachers of the race. He seeks to understand the nature of that Plan and to facilitate its manifestation.
Other points (of a more individual nature) could be enumerated, but I would have you lay the emphasis upon the acceptances which have or should have motivated your attitude and I would ask you not to emphasise so unduly in your private thoughts this idea of being "accepted by a Master." This thought and its teaching by many esoteric groups has been productive of much error, much misunderstanding, much pain and much disillusionment. A disciple is trained in certain important  matters and not in his relation to a Master. These factors of importance to a disciple are:
1. The whole subject of humanity—its present status, its problems and the opportunity immediately presented. A disciple is one who seeks at all times to aid humanity and to further the processes of evolution as well as to develop that deep love of mankind which is the distinguishing mark of the initiate and of the Master.
2. The subject of initiation. A study of this subject will lead to a consideration of its secondary development and its basic objective of a progressive identification with the soul of the disciple, with the soul of the group, with the soul of humanity as a whole and with the soul in all forms.
3. The subject of service. This is not service as it is usually understood. The ordinary connotation has largely lost its significance through wrong emphasis. The initiate considers service as the spontaneous, easy expression of a definite soul contact, brought down on to the physical plane and giving insight, practicality and inspiration to the disciple as he works on the outer plane of expression. Most disciples are occupied vaguely with achieving inspiration but know nothing of the earlier stages of insight, leading to the practical and wise expression of the met need upon the level of daily living. One of the major undertakings of the accepted disciple (or, as I would prefer to term it, the accepting disciple) is to transform himself from a well-intentioned idealist into a man of action on behalf of humanity.
When a group can think unanimously along these lines and work in unison, then the first step will have been taken towards group initiation which is the goal of the new discipleship. Group initiation involves:
1. The possession and recognition of a united vision to which the individual in the group subordinates himself.
2. The simultaneous rapport of the group members with the soul on its own level (that composite group soul which is composed of the soul of each individual member). This leads to group integration on soul levels.
3. The blended consecrated contact of the group personalities upon the three levels of personality expression—the  mental, astral and etheric levels of awareness. Some group members contact each other on one level and some on another, but the aim should be a close contact on all three levels at will and all together when the group, as a group, demands it. This is a hard saying but later a clearer understanding will come of what this means and what it brings about.
4. The ability of the group to stand united and with no barriers between the group members of any kind. This will necessarily involve the sacrifice of personality reactions, ideals and plans. At present the varying ideals, attitudes and points of view separate disciples from each other. These must go.
There are, of course, other requirements but if you can understand the above and seek—to the best of your ability—to meet them, that is all that I ask at present. One of the great needs of all disciples and aspirants is the detached relinquishing of pet theories as to life, discipleship and the Plan; the preserving of that open mind which is ever ready for the unexpected presentation and able (when the spiritual vision is strong enough) to achieve a quick reversal of all preconceived ideals. This must be done when it is deemed spiritually wise and it involves also that waiting attitude which expects the new vision to appear, the newer truths to emerge into formulated clarity and the new potencies to become increasingly effective. Such attitudes are peculiarly difficult for those disciples who have the sixth Ray of Devotion and Idealism dominant in their energy equipment, for the ideals of a sixth ray aspirant crystallise most rapidly and are quickly distorted thereby. The temporary ideal (intended to guide the undeveloped aspirant) can become a barrier, separating him from truth and from the realisation of a truer vision.
So I would beg you, my disciples, to aim at a wide open simplicity which waits expectant of that new thing which is so ready today to precipitate but which is being hindered from so doing by the idealists of the world far more than by the man in the street. The latter is simpler in his reactions and more ready to grasp and see a way out of the immediate impasse than the mystic or the occultist because he thinks in terms of  humanity. The disciples of the world (with their nicely formulated ideals and their neatly expressed idealistic concepts) are oft glamoured by the future beauty because they are oblivious of the present opportunity. Many of them will find out later that they have been left behind as far as registering the new truths is concerned. To this Christ referred when He said that it was not possible to put new wine into old bottles for that which is old will be destroyed by the expanding new life.
The initiate, therefore, stands ready, for what? For the instant recognition of what is new, for its immediate grasp and the treading of the new step in the unfoldment of the pioneering human consciousness, for the revelation—steadily and constantly presented—of the new and superseding concepts. These concepts possess a dynamic expulsive power and satisfactorily meet human need in the immediate cycle. He is ready for the instant relinquishing of all that seems futile and unnecessary and inadequate to the need of the hour, and for the reception of the power from on high which breaks and destroys that which has become crystallised, which has served its purpose and become old and useless; he is ready to work as a practical occultist (and not only as a mystical idealist) upon the levels of vision as well as upon the levels of practical human affairs.
I would suggest that your meditation process should be divided into two parts. There should be a definitely planned individual and group meditation and also a methodical cultivation of the life of spiritual reflection. This spiritual reflection will foster the dual life—objective and subjective—of the disciple whilst the more formal meditation would aid in the process of focussing the light of the soul in the brain and thus lay the foundation for living, enlightened, soul service.
This service is only the expression upon the physical plane of soul attitudes and activities—as the soul evidences them on its own level of consciousness. One phase of this dual work, the reflective, works out in an increasing realisation and expression of intentional living or of "life with a purpose." It leads to a mode of living which is built upon a planned programme which approximates itself, as far as possible, to the hierarchical Plan and to hierarchical life impulses. The second phase, which is embodied in the formal meditation, is that of a definite and  conscious withdrawal. If this is carried out correctly and with deliberation, plus regularity, it will eventually bring about a most productive telepathic interplay between the disciples in a group and between the individual disciple, the Master and the larger Ashram. It will also make the disciple sensitive to the higher "gift waves." The entire meditation (in its two parts) involves, therefore, the linking up of heart and head, of the mystic and the occult approach, and also of feeling and knowledge.
Only from the heart centre can stream, in reality, those lines of energy which link and bind together. It was for this reason that I have assigned certain meditations which stimulated the heart into action, linking the heart centre (between the shoulder blades) to the head centre, through the medium of the higher correspondence to the heart centre, found within the head centre (the thousand petalled lotus). This heart centre, when adequately radiatory and magnetic, relates disciples to each other and to all the world. It will also produce that telepathic interplay which is so much to be desired and which is so constructively useful to the spiritual Hierarchy—provided it is established within a group of pledged disciples, dedicated to the service of humanity. They can then be trusted.
One of the tasks of all disciples is the evocation of the will aspect of the soul; the will is usually quiescent in its higher aspects until a man treads the Path of Discipleship....
You might ask, my brothers, of what use are these analogies and these items of information? They are of little technical use to you and really increase your responsibility. If, however, they serve to establish a true recognition of reality, of synthesis and of relation in the disciple's consciousness, they are then of real value. Those three words—reality, synthesis, relation—indicate the goal and the problem of the disciple, plus the resultant effect of conscious, intelligent, spiritual work, motivated by love.
In the New Age, as I have earlier pointed out, the keynote of the aspirant's progress will be love of humanity; this will indicate the awakening of the heart centre. In the past and up until the last few years, the keynote has been service because (if selflessly rendered) it embodied a technique which automatically  brought the heart centre into activity. It is love of humanity which is the major lack in the character of many disciples today. They love those with whom they may be associated, or they love the work connected with the group endeavour, or they love their own nation; they may also love an ideal or theoretical assumption, but they do not really love humanity as a whole. There are limits to their capacity to love and it is the transcending of those limits which constitutes their main problem at this time; they have to learn that it is humanity which calls for their allegiance, their loyalty and service. I would ask you all to ponder deeply on the above statements, for they embody the task ahead for you also as you seek to fit yourselves for the first or the second initiation.
I would remind you also that the life of the disciple is ever a life of risks and of dangers, entered into willingly and deliberately in the cause of spiritual unfoldment and the service of humanity. But I would ask each of you to watch your emotional life and reactions with greatly increased care; I would ask you to watch particularly for the least outcropping of glamour. I would call your attention to the fact that the emergence of emotional conditions or of glamour in your life-expression need not necessarily indicate failure. There is only failure if there is identification with these astral conditions and a succumbing to old rhythms. The success of the meditation work assigned and regularly followed may be proved to you by the appearance of these undesirable conditions; they must be then recognised for what they are, and evoke in you that "divine indifference" which permits the emotion or the glamour to die of attrition, because deprived of the "feeding-power" of the attention. The whole history of true emotional control is to be found in the sentence just given. The process of achieving this control constitutes one of the most difficult periods in the life of the disciple and quite one of the longest from the angle of time. For this you should be prepared. Particularly is it difficult at this time to triumph over emotion because of the intense emotional condition of the entire human family and the widespread fear and terror for which the energy of the Black Lodge of Adepts is responsible. This definitely complicates your problem and that of all disciples: it tends to foster a most potent glamour.  So I beg of you to proceed with courage, joy, understanding, extreme caution and—at the same time—with speed.
I would point out also that the intention of all true disciples is to stand by their group brothers in love and understanding. Upon this fact you can count. I would also assure you that the protective love of your Master is around you and that I shall not fail you at any time.... But, in the last analysis, the battle is yours.
The secret of all true meditation work in its earlier stages is the power to visualise. This is the first stage to be mastered. Disciples should lay the emphasis upon this process; in it lies eventually the ability to use the creative powers of the imagination, plus mental energy, as a measure to further the ends of the Hierarchy and to carry out the Divine Plan. All the new processes in meditation techniques (for which the New Age may be responsible) must and will embody visualisation as a primary step for the following reasons:
1. Visualisation is the initial step in the demonstration of the occult law that "energy follows thought." This, of course, everyone interested in occult study recognises theoretically. One of the tasks confronting disciples is to achieve factual knowledge of this. Pictorial visualisation (which is a definite feature of the work in many esoteric schools) is simply an exercise to bring about the power to visualise. In the work of those disciples who are being trained for initiation, this external aspect of visualisation must give place to an interior process which is the first step towards the direction of energy. The visualising of pictures is intended to focus the aspirant within the head at a point midway between the pituitary body and the pineal gland. In that area, he draws pictures and paints scenes and thus acquires facility to see—in large and in detail—that which he desires and for which he intends to work. The visualising of what might be called "directed process" goes on in a more focussed manner and in the area directly around the pineal gland. The pineal  gland then becomes the centre of a magnetic field which is set in motion—in the first place—by the power of visualisation. At that point, energy is gathered by the disciple and then directed with intention to one or other of the centres. This focussed thought produces inevitable effects within the etheric body and thus two aspects of the creative imagination are brought into play.
2. The power to visualise is the form-building aspect of the creative imagination. This process falls into three parts, corresponding somewhat to the creative process followed by Deity Itself:
a. The gathering of qualified energy within a ring-pass-not.
b. The focussing of this energy under the power of intention, i.e., at a point in the neighbourhood of the pineal gland. The energy is now focussed and not diffused.
c. The despatch of this focussed energy by means of a pictorial process (not by an act of the will at this time) in any desired direction—that is, to certain centres in a certain order.
This process of energy direction can become a spiritual habit if disciples would begin to do it slowly and gradually. At first, the visualising process may seem to you to be laboured and profitless but, if you persevere, you will find eventually that it becomes effortless and effective. This is one of the most important ways in which a Master works; it is essential, therefore, that you begin to master the technique. The stages are:
a. A process of energy gathering.
b. A process of focalisation.
c. A process of distribution or direction.
The disciple learns to do this within himself and later to direct the energy (some chosen and particular kind, according to the demand of the occasion) to that which lies without himself. This constitutes, for example, one of the major healing techniques of the future. It is also used by the Master in awakening His disciple to certain  states of consciousness, but with these you have naught to do.
3. The power to visualise correctly is one definite mode of ascertaining truth or falsity. This is a statement difficult for you to comprehend. Visualisation is literally the building of a bridge between the emotional or astral plane and the mental level and is, therefore, a personality correspondence to the building of the antahkarana. The astral plane, the second aspect of the personality, is the correspondence to the form-building aspect of the Trinity, the second aspect. The creative imagination "pictures a form" through the ability to visualise and the thought energy of the mind gives life and direction to this form. It embodies purpose. Thereby a rapport or line of energy is constructed between the mind and the astral vehicle and it becomes a triple line of energy when the soul of the disciple is utilising this creative process in some planned and definitely constructive manner.
This visualising process and this use of the imagination form the first two steps in the activity of thoughtform building. It is with these self-created forms—embodying spiritual ideas and divine purpose—that the Masters work and hierarchical purpose takes shape. Therefore, my disciples, it is essential that you begin with deliberation and slowly to work in this manner and to use the above information constructively and creatively. The need of the times is increasingly great and the utmost of work and of purpose is desired.
The goal of initiation is held out by the Masters to all Their disciples and They stand ready to give the needed instruction. I would remind you at this early stage that only that which you know for yourself and experience consciously within yourself is of importance and constitutes the truth for you. That which may be told you by others, even by me, serves no vital purpose, except to enhance or corroborate an already known truth, or to create illusions or responsibility until it is either rejected or experienced by you in your own consciousness. Do you understand what I mean?
Initiation might be defined at this point as the moment of crisis wherein the consciousness hovers on the very border-line  of revelation. The demands of the soul and the suggestions of the Master might be regarded as in conflict with the demands of time and space, focussed in the personality or the lower man. You will have, therefore, in this situation a tremendous pull between the pairs of opposites; the field of tension or the focus of the effort is to be found in the disciple "standing at the midway point." Will he respond and react consciously to the higher pull and pass on to new and higher areas of spiritual experience? Or will he fall back into the glamour of time and space and into the thraldom of the personal life? Will he stand in a static quiescent condition in which neither the higher trend nor the lower pull will affect him? One or other of these three conditions must distinguish him and must succeed upon an earlier and vacillating experience wherein the disciple vibrates between the higher and the lower decisions. It is at this process, the Master presides. He is able to do nothing because it is the disciple's own problem. He can only endeavour to enhance the desire of the soul by the power of His directed thought. The personality can also do nothing, for at this point both the physical body and the astral vehicle are simply automatons, waiting responsively for the decision of the disciple, functioning in his mental body. Only the disciple can act upon the mental level of consciousness at this point of endeavour. Once he does so, the die is cast. He either moves forward towards the door of light where the Master takes his hand and the Angel of the Presence becomes potent and active in a way which I may not describe to you, or he drops back temporarily into the life condition of the lower man; glamour and maya settle down anew upon him and the Dweller on the Threshold inserts himself between the disciple and the light from the open door and renews activity. The disciple either awakens suddenly to a wider grasp of reality and a deeper understanding of the Plan and his part in it, or the "veils of earth" close over his head; the vision fades and he reverts into the life of an ordinary human being, probably for the period of the incarnation wherein the opportunity was offered to him. Should he, however, go forward through that door, then (according to the initiation which becomes possible) will be the revelation and its attendant consequences. The revelation will not be the  revelation of possibilities. It is a factual experience, resulting in the evocation of new powers and capacities and the recognition of new modes and fields of service. These powers are conditioned by past developments and the presence of these capacities, plus a freedom of movement "within the bounds of the Hierarchy" which lie far beyond anything which he may have dreamed, become his. New hierarchical contacts are now possible to him; new responsibility is laid upon his shoulders and new "fields of potency" become available for his use in world service.
You have often heard that the Guru, or Teacher, in the East would teach His disciple by the giving of a hint. If you have read and studied the ancient writings of India (and who today has not read at least some of them?) you will have noted that these hints fall into two categories:
1. Hints anent personal character in relation to reality and preparation for initiation.
2. Hints anent the Oneness of Deity and man's relation to an ascertained and gained unity.
To these were later added teachings concerning the creative process when God made the worlds, and much concerning energy and the development of the centres (laya-yoga, as it is technically called). These four lines of teaching are practically all that is given and all the training offered was of an exoteric nature. You can see for yourselves that it was preparatory in nature and that the training for initiation was so deeply hidden in the emphasis laid upon the relation of Guru and disciple that it did not find expression in words and was not, therefore, revealed in any way. The few possible symbolic hints and meanings have been investigated and the erudite esotericist has already drained these sources of information dry.
What I am seeking to do is to carry the teaching another stage outward and make exoteric what the Master taught His disciple in the ancient days when the fundamental truths anent the universal consciousness had been somewhat grasped by the disciple and the particular had been also successfully worked out in its rightful place and manner by the disciple. The old rule ever remains an unalterable rule that all true esoteric teaching begins with the universal and ends with the particular;  this you must ever and always bear in mind. It is my difficult task to put into modern language and into symbolic forms these hitherto unwritten rules. Much that has been given out since the time that H.P.B. struggled and worked has been truth, including information anent initiation. Much has been fanciful and grievously distorted.
When a neophyte first of all applies to the Master for the training needed prior to initiation, what would you say was the Master's problem? I am assuming that the Master knows His disciple well, is convinced of his sincerity and of the appropriateness of his appeal. I am also assuming that you realise that the so-called "appeal" is the quality of the life lived, the service rendered and the presence of an illumined mind—illumined through some definite measure of soul contact.