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SECTION THREE - TEACHINGS ON INITIATION - Part 5

Before the end of this century, thousands will stand before the Initiator and take initiation in group form; they will pass through the door of initiation together and together take their vows. This statement applies to the second and the third initiations. The higher initiations will still be taken individually or in groups of three, but not more. When the Masters take the sixth initiation, They perforce take it alone at the "midway point" between Shamballa and the Hierarchy, apparently deserted by both attentive groups. There, in complete silence and in a condition of "isolated unity," They will make Their great decision. Then and only then will They become aware of the vast attentive spiritual audience which has awaited Their will.

5. Initiation concerns the future and involves prevision. Again I must repeat myself and say that this theme or motif [338] of initiation is one most difficult to explain. Why should the fact of being initiated involve prevision? That is the immediate question which arises to your lips. I will counter this question with another one. What do you understand by vision? I refer, of course, to vision which is true, and which therefore presages events. In all mystical and occult writings the idea of vision, of seeing a vision or of materialising a vision, runs like a golden thread through the thinking of the aspirant. It is connected in his mind with spiritual achievement, with the attainment of his goal and with the recognition of that which lies at the heart of all high spiritual adventure. The mystical writings refer to visions and always in terms of that which lies ahead, of that which is deeply desired; the concept is often prostituted to an excessive emotionalism or to a sublimated sex expression. The occult writings frequently refer to vision as a moving point, advancing towards a progressive revelation of divinity. The whole concept is, however, relatively very simple.

Every initiation, and every stage preparatory to initiation, involves the seeing of the remote yet the attainable; all vision leads up to the momentous event of the sixth initiation, when the Master faces what is for Him the final vision within this planetary ring-pass-not. He makes His great decision on the basis of the seen opportunity, and through His response to the seven phases of that cosmic vision, He treads one or other of the seven Paths. For this great "crisis of vision" all the lesser visions have prepared the Master; after His decision is made there is no longer any vision as we comprehend the term. There is a factual perception of such a nature that the element of time—as evidenced by remoteness, by the distance between this and that, between here and there—forever disappears. This is, necessarily, a somewhat meaningless statement to the majority of people.

For the aspirant, whether his goal is the Path of Discipleship or one of the seven Paths leading away from known planetary experience, there is persistently that which conveys to consciousness two factors:

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a. A dualistic perception of that which has been attained and of that which lies ahead to be attained.

b. A recognition of the events which will, if experienced, merge the two into one major happening; time, therefore, enters in. However, it is not time as it is conditioned by the receptivity of the human brain, but time as it represents evolutionary movements, resulting in an achieved though constantly relative perfection.

Oft I have said to you that time is the sequence of the states of consciousness, as registered by the human brain. It is therefore a physical event. Behind this definition, however, lies a real or true time of which the initiate becomes increasingly aware. The great Law of Karma has received little attention from the standpoint of time; yet it is that which determines the sequence of evolution, of evolutionary progress, the period of karmic recognitions, and the conclusion of a karmic cycle.

The ordinary teaching on Karma (particularly as to the time element) has been terribly prostituted by the purely selfish rendering given to it by those early theosophical teachers who misunderstood and misinterpreted what H.P.B. said. They had little chance to do much else than relate it to individual affairs, if they were going to familiarise the public with the concept, but they nevertheless did much harm with their puerile setting of times and seasons, and their attempt to take to themselves the mysterious functions of a Lord of Karma. It is always difficult to convey any true concept of Karma, because it predominantly concerns cycles and the sequence of world events. There is much to be done in relating time and conscious recognition together.

In this connection, initiation might be defined as embodying three recognitions:

a. A recognition of the end of a cycle of happenings, i.e., retrospection.

b. The recognition of the appearance of an eventual yet imminent cycle, i.e., prevision.

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c. An acceptance of initiation or a recognition of its occurrence, i.e., the present attitude.

Here you have, in relation to the initiate, a situation which includes past, present and future, and—in this presentation of the Eternal Now to the attentive eyes and heart of the initiate—you have what is, for him, at his particular point of initiatory unfoldment, the consummation of all vision or visions. This tends to definite progress; it obliterates what is usually understood by Karma; it initiates new and spiritual causes which—in their turn—magnetically project the initiate onward until (at the sixth initiation) he "no longer needs incentive, for vision is incentive and the pull of the spiritual magnetism upon our planetary life." Thus it may be occultly expressed.

For the initiate (at this great stage of experience), Karma ends. By this I mean that Karma—as the ordinary student understands it—is no longer effective. Neither good Karma, resulting in a sense of bliss, nor bad Karma, resulting in a sense of penalty and related to a conviction of sin, as the Christian theology so dreadfully miscalls it), has any longer the slightest hold upon him. Manifestation and the Law of Cause and Effect are related; where manifestation exists, there this great Law—governing substance and innate in matter—must control and must condition form. The Master, however, stands free, endowed with the Christ-consciousness. He then wields this Law, but is not wielded by it. Such is the reward of following the vision: first of all, the mystical vision; then later, the vision of predetermined choice, of Plan and of cosmic opportunity.

This latter threefold vision is a very different thing to the self-centred and dualistic vision of the mystic. That vision is a part of the evolutionary spiritual development of all of us and lies behind most occult aspirants. More about this higher vision I may not say; the theme is too abstruse. It involves experiment and experience. Through both of these phases the initiate passes and learns the smallness and the inaccuracy of his past opinion and interpretation of experience.

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6. Time is one of the major underlying secrets of initiation. You will note from this, the great emphasis on time as event, and as being of true importance in the career of the initiate. The time here referred to is time as the initiate understands it—free as he now is from the control of form or of material substance. It is time as it conditions speed; as it establishes rhythm; as it directs relationships; as it determines choice and fixes decision: activity, rhythm, relationship, decision! The decisions arrived at are not related to life in the three worlds, but embody the reactions of the Spiritual Triad. This is a point most difficult for you to grasp, because you have not yet truly built or employed the antahkarana; it is time as the opener of the door to extra-planetary existence and as it releases the initiate, not only from the cosmic physical plane but from the cosmic astral plane also. It is with these thoughts that I must stop my present exegesis, because language has not yet the capacity to indicate the truth, even if such indications were fruitful and of use even to the advanced aspirant.

ON HINTS

There is one mistake which esoteric students are prone to make; they are apt to believe that a hint is so carefully veiled and so cautiously concealed that it is only discoverable after most persistent search. Such is not the case. A hint is usually quite obvious, and should be; however, its meaning, as it concerns the life, work and activities of the disciple, is the factor which presents difficulty and calls for careful reflection. Take, for instance, the obviousness of the hint (on page 319) in which even the paragraphs where it was to be found were indicated. The hint which you were intended to take as a guide is to be found in the words that the disciple must "... recognise the hint which is related to his point in consciousness ... my one effort is to indicate the relation between initiation and revelation."

Four ideas emerge for the disciple as he studies this hint:

1. Recognition................................................. Of what?

2. His own point in consciousness.................... What is it?

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3. Initiation...................................................... Which?

4. Revelation................................................... Again, of what?

One thing you are all apt to forget as you hunt feverishly for the hint, and that is: it is a hint for the searching disciple. It is not of general application as far as my intention is concerned, but must contain something each of you needs in order to take the next needed step forward during the year following your receipt of the instruction. Had you considered it in that light?

You now have six hints which can be summed up for you in the form of questions, addressed personally to you and to no one else; they require your personal application, understanding and reply:

1. How have I, as a disciple of D.K., contributed to the work of inducing the Hierarchy to make certain needed changes where the task of influencing humanity is concerned?

This would involve a high-powered livingness.

2. Is the Will aspect in my life beginning to create situations which are related to the hierarchical Plan which I—as a disciple—must follow?

This would involve a careful construction of the antahkarana.

3. In what way have I cooperated with the Plan in order to have "modified, qualified and adapted it" to meet the need I see?

This would involve careful soul-personality cooperation.

4. As I work, do I see an increasing vision of divine intention, and do I know practically more than I did?

This would involve occult obedience in its true sense.

5. Do I work with an inner programme, and are my thoughts and activities rightly directed?

This would involve the dual life of the disciple and correct orientation.

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6. Do I recognise in the life-training which I am receiving preparatory steps for initiation, and the possibility of impending revelation?

This would involve constant ashramic contact.

These hints are therefore intended for the guidance of the disciple in training; the formulas are of wider connotation and concern the group, the Ashram, the Hierarchy and the workers with the Plan upon the inner and the outer sides of life. The synthesis of the teaching or of the training given is something which you should not overlook. The unit, the individual and the part are always viewed in relation to an expanding and inclusive whole. One of the marks of readiness for initiation is the ability to see this inclusive entity and to note the law which is transcended when the part becomes the whole; the disciple must be able also to register and respond practically to the greater spiritual laws which take the place of those which have been transcended. In this last sentence I have given you the seventh hint.

It is through the medium of a hint that the Master in any particular group conveys to a disciple His desire for the disciple. In past times, the hint given was obvious and clearly stated by the Master. Today, owing to man's greater intellectual perception, the hint is still obvious, but it is contained in group instructions, given not to the individual but to the members of an Ashram at some particular stage of development—as is the case with all of you who receive these teachings.

You now have seven hints which are capable of a dual interpretation, of individual reception, and of group conditioning. It is with the aspect of individual receptivity that you should be concerned, for the effort to apply these seven hints to your daily life of service will train you in the techniques of my Ashram.

THE FORMULAS

I do not intend to give you a formula in this instruction. The five which you have already received still remain unexplored [344] and unexplained by any of you. You have—with only one or two exceptions—omitted to give much thought or study to these important creative processes. To grasp the meaning of these mysterious presentations, the creative imagination must be brought into play; it must be remembered that these words, symbols and forms have relation (a progressive relation) to the initiation for which the disciple is being prepared. They are in the nature of keys to a door and—when properly grasped, understood and used—they render the disciple capable of demanding entrance on the basis of demonstrated, effective, creative work. They show also (and I would like you to note this with care) that each initiation is the evidence in the disciple's life that he has succeeded in grasping some great divine idea.

In the five formulas with which you were presented, five divine ideas were given to you. They were apparently familiar on the surface, but each of them veiled a deep and hidden significance. Each of these five ideas controls one or other of the five initiations, but they have not been given to you by me in their right order. That order is for you to determine. I have no intention to give it to you, and you have no need to receive any more of these formulas. I will however, in later instructions, take up each of these supreme, governing ideas and endeavour to give you initiatory insight into their esoteric significance.

You will have noticed that the formulas, as given to you by me, have been arranged into two different groupings. I mention this because these groupings emerge out of the general text and may not have been discriminately seen by you. In one group, you have five formulas indicated, each of them dealing with a major governing concept. These concepts are divine ideas, brought down into human thoughtforms, and each of them conditions the work of our planetary Logos. They are so all-inclusive that there is little that the disciple can do about them, except feel himself as an integral part of them—from which he may not and cannot differentiate himself.

The second grouping is of not nearly so great importance, but it is probably of greater practical usefulness; it will, if [345] subjected to deep meditation and concentrated thought, prepare the disciple for a deeper understanding of the first grouping of divine ideas. These five formulas hold within themselves a sixth, which I am not going to give you though I am here referring to it. The second grouping of the formulas is as follows:

Formula I . . . Concerns integration into an Ashram. Group feeling. Dissipation of glamour through light.

Formula II . . . Deals with alignment. Revelation of the group antahkarana. Reality revealed by an aspect of the mind.

Formula III . . . Deals with changes in the soul nature. Time and space. The Eternal Now or immortality.

Formula IV . . . Deals with the Life aspect. Concerns the circulation of energy, and therefore the mode of the creative process.

Formula V . . . Deals with the first aspect, with the Will. Relates to divine Purpose. Shamballa.

Formula VI . . . Concerns Death. The constructive work of the Destroyer aspect. The "passing" of zodiacal and other cycles.

This sixth Formula is a deduction from the other five. I have been dealing in these instructions with the larger formulations. The lesser might be regarded as the subjecting of the formulas to the first and third methods of interpretation, whilst the larger group of ideas concerns the second and the fourth interpretive methods. This is something which it is important for you to bear in mind.

POINTS OF REVELATION

It must not be forgotten that all that is here communicated is strictly in relation to initiation. The revelations accorded (of which three have already been indicated) concern the initiate and his work as it is impulsed from the moment [346] that an initiation has been passed. Life for all men everywhere is full of revelation, recognised or unrecognised; it might be said that there is little else, though the majority of them are of small importance except in their combined sequence. They might rather be regarded as creating or constituting a "field of revelation" or an area of consciousness wherein five major points of revelation will some day be seen, grasped and understood; they are the substance which has within it that living something which is invocative of light; it is that material substratum which is capable of evoking that "lighted response" which the initiate demonstrates when he himself has learnt to generate the five points of revelation. These five points (which I shall indicate) must not be confused with the five initiations. They are indeed related to them, but the right order in itself constitutes a revelation, and none of them can be specifically applied by you to any particular initiation. In fact, it might be said that all five of them apply to each initiation, giving—as the initiate can receive and bear it—five aspects of divine activity; these are in the nature of five modes or techniques of the future work to be done by the initiate between initiations. The quotation from the Old Commentary as given on page 308 can be regarded as a key to the entire technique.

It is, however, a technique which is formulated by the initiate himself and is not one imposed upon him within an Ashram or by the watching Master. All these points of revelation also concern the techniques of creation, and indicate to the Master what will be the nature of the creative work with which He—under law, according to ray, and in relation to one of the seven Paths—will eventually work.

The entire theme is too complex for anything more than hinted concepts at this time. The general theme has been covered by me to date under four groups of thoughts or four groups of presented ideas. Even though I realise that I am repeating what has been earlier given, I must—for the sake of clarity—call your attention to them anew:

1. The Five Points of Revelation. Of these, three have already been given:

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a. Energy......... Thought........... Directive Energy.

b. Will............. Expression....... Immolation. Sacrifice.

c. Monad........ Universality...... Extra-planetary Light.

2. Modes of Interpreting the Points of Revelation:

a. The mental, occult, spiritual, hierarchical and triadal approach, revealing facts.

b. This fivefold significance as it is conditioned by the particular initiation being undergone.

c. The consequent reactions by the initiate, affecting his daily life, service and ashramic activity.

d. The germ, seed, key or inherent, invocative potency which will appear when the three previous groups of approaches have been taken. This potency will later be exploited.

3. The Inner Subjective Techniques:

a. The stage of the "advancing Point of Light."

b. The stage of right direction of the light potency.

c. The stage of spiritual impact.

4. The Outer Objective Technique:

a. Penetration.

b. Polarisation.

c. Precipitation.

You can see, therefore, how definitely all the above processes involve a planned creative activity. These ideas are not those, however, which can be used by the uninitiated aspirant. The use, through understanding, of these techniques is confined entirely to creative work, carried on in accordance with the Purpose of Shamballa and not in accordance with the hierarchical Plan. The above various stages of the fourfold process mark eventually the recognition by the Master of divine Purpose; it is also shown how that purpose is revealed in five stages, requiring in addition two final revelations of major importance.

One of the lines of thinking which it is most necessary to impress on advancing and advanced disciples is that of "initiated thinking". This means thought carried forward on purely abstract levels, and embodying, therefore, thought which is free from soul conditioning or from the crystallisations [348] of the lower mind. It is essentially triadal thinking and is only registered by the brain when the antahkarana is somewhat constructed and there is some direct communication from the Spiritual Triad to the brain of the personality.

I am emphasising this point here because the fourth point of revelation concerns the sudden recognition by the initiate of the potency of Purpose, as it is expressed in creation, plus a paralleling recognition that creativity is—for the Master—the expression of all for which He has been trained; it is at the same time the lowest of the three possible recognitions anent divine Purpose. The others have nothing to do with creation within the planetary ring-pass-not, but concern the implementing factors of the divine thinking. I know not how else to express these deep and abstruse realities—abstruse because the adequate mechanism for their comprehension has not yet been created by the disciple. We might therefore word this fourth point of revelation as follows: Purpose itself is but an energy, released within the confines of the Council Chamber; there it must take shape. Behind it looms that which has brought it into being.

I would ask you to ponder deeply upon this section which we have called the Points of Revelation; they are aspects of the training given to the initiate. They are also—on a higher turn of the spiral—the esoteric correspondence or higher meaning of the words: "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." In the case of the initiate however, the heart is only one of the conditioning points of contact through which the "advancing point of light" can come.

It is perhaps a somewhat new thought to you as aspiring occult students that there is a major revelation—something entirely new and unforeseen—which is inherent in the situation when a candidate for initiation stands before the Initiator.

A consideration of the three points of revelation already given may show you how deep may be the present mystery where each of these points is concerned. The mystery of the eye and its relation to light (esoterically understood) is very great, and as yet no student, no matter how diligent, knows anything about it. For instance, brother of mine, when the [349] third eye, the inner eye, and the Monad are brought into direct alignment with "the Eye of God Himself," so that what the planetary Logos sees can be partially (at least) revealed to the initiate, who can tell what that revelation will bring of results and enlightenment? When the true nature of the will is comprehended and the self-will of the personality (of a very high order, necessarily), the will of the soul (as demonstrated by the activity of the highest tier or circle of the egoic petals), atma, expressing itself as the spiritual will, and Sanat Kumara are also brought, through initiation, into direct alignment, who, again, can predict what the revelation will be? When, again (as hinted on page 313), the myriad thoughtforms of the concrete or lower mind are seen as illusion, and the lower mind, the knowledge petals of the egoic lotus, the abstract mind and buddhi or pure reason are all brought into alignment with the Lords of Karma in a direct relationship and as signifying the ending of karma in the three worlds, who can foretell the nature of the ensuing revelation? It is alignment that holds the clue or the key to all these deeply spiritual events.

It is these ideas which must arise as the true occult student faces up to the recognition of opportunity and prepares definitely and consciously for revelation. It will be apparent to you that the revelations with which I am dealing take place as a result or a consequence of standing before the One Initiator, and only when the initiate is presented by the Christ. The earlier initiations may have their corresponding revelations, under the great Law of Analogy, but they are themselves of a very high type of illusion; they have the quality of illusion and require the recognition (by the initiate) that they simply veil an ultimate possibility for which he must work and wait.

Part VIII

I feel it necessary again to reiterate that initiation is concerned with the consciousness aspect of the disciple or of the group that is to undergo the process. The emphasis has been laid in the past on contact with the Hierarchy and—as we [350] have seen—with the use of devoted, emotional zeal as the medium of that contact. Again, as we have seen, the period of time which has passed since H.P.B. brought this teaching to the modern world has changed all that, and the emphasis is now on the initiation of the consciousness of the disciple or group into areas of divine expression, hitherto unrealised. Initiates, in the past, were admitted into the world of ideas, of intuitional perception or of buddhic awareness; their task was to transform these ideas into ideals; thus, they presented spiritual goals and hierarchical objectives to the race, this being their major form of service. Today, owing to the pronounced development of mankind, the accepted disciples of the world, those who have undergone the first initiation (and their name is Legion), and the initiates of higher degree, have objectives which their mental unfoldment has made possible; they can be admitted into divine areas of consciousness which are conditioned and brought into being, not by divine ideas but by the divine Will (their perception of that Will will be according to the degree of the initiatory control). Their task is therefore to perceive the Plan which is the hierarchical mode of implementing the divine Will, plus the Purpose which is perceived by the Heads of the Hierarchy. They have also to undertake to see that that Plan becomes a factual expression upon the physical plane and a part of the recognised consciousness of humanity as a whole. This, being a relatively new unfoldment, has not yet made the necessary headway, largely owing to the planetary Karma and the appalling situation with which humanity has confronted itself. I would have you here note my phrasing.

Evidence, however, of the growth of the human intellect along the needed receptive lines can be seen in the "planning" of the various nations, and in the efforts of the United Nations to formulate a world plan which will eventuate in peace, security and right human relations. It is interesting to note that, from the very start of this unfoldment, three occult factors have governed the development of all these plans: its clearcut significance, unperceived as yet by you, in the setting of a time boundary by the nations who formulate these plans, [351] within whose announced limits certain objectives are presumed to be possible of attainment.

It will be obvious to you therefore that, owing to the changed polarisation of the disciples of the world, the entire quality, processes and modes of activity of the Hierarchy have undergone and are undergoing change. The nature or quality of the disciples being admitted into hierarchical participation necessarily condition the rhythm and the keynote of the Hierarchy at any given time. At the same time, nothing hitherto developed or gained is ever lost, and the quality of devotion is still potently present; enrichment proceeds and, if I may use such an inadequate phrase, the perception of all within the Hierarchy is tremendously enhanced; areas of the divine perception, clothing divine purpose, are steadily being revealed.

Revelation is not only the prerogative and reward of the attaining initiate, but it is increasingly taking on new forms and fresh outlines for the Masters Who have attained—a process made possible by the higher mental perception of the incoming disciples. Group work, group reaction and group possibilities are carried to their highest point of expression within the Hierarchy. I want you to consider this with care, and not regard the Hierarchy as a static point of love and mediatory activity, as is so often the attitude of the disciple. The evolutionary process conditions the Hierarchy as it conditions humanity and all else in the manifesting universe. There is, however, an evolutionary interplay which—in this era and at this time of crisis—is producing effects in relationship.

Approaching this subject from another angle, the mental polarisation of the disciple seeking entry into the hierarchical sphere of work is producing a unification of initiatory effort which is new in the spiritual history of the planet and which is the first step being taken at this time upon inner and subtle planes to bring about certain great "Crises of Initiation," involving simultaneously all the three major planetary centres—a thing hitherto unknown. Up to 1875, initiation was a sequential process as well as largely an individual process. This is slowly being changed; groups are being admitted [352] to initiation because of a recognised and sensed relationship which is not that of disciple and Master (as heretofore), but which is based on initiate-relationship in group form, and which is present between Humanity, the Hierarchy and Shamballa. It is this spiritual and subtly sensed relationship which is today finding physical plane expression in the worldwide effort to establish right human relations.

Initiation is no longer regarded essentially as the moving of a human being who has accepted certain disciplines and made certain self-determined progressive advancement in consciousness into closer contact with the Hierarchy and a group within the Hierarchy; that angle of it will rapidly become a thing of the past. It is the moving forward of an entire group of spiritually-minded disciples and initiates into new areas of the divine consciousness and into a closer rapport with the Mind of the Lord of the World. This the disciples and initiates will do together, according to their degree and their point in spiritual evolution. I refer not here to the evolution of the form. Three things will thereby be brought about:

1. A closer linking of the three divine centres (Shamballa, the Hierarchy and Humanity) so that the flow of divine energy will be increasingly unimpeded, and Purpose, Plan and their Precipitation upon the physical plane will be facilitated.

2. A far more powerful Hierarchy and one much more closely linked to Humanity by the principle of intelligence—implementing the love principle—and far more en rapport with the Purpose, which is the dynamic focus of all planetary energising, development and evolutionary growth.

3. A fusion or establishing of relationship within humanity itself, producing right human relations and a consequent integration into the Hierarchy. This will be in the nature of a mass initiation and will be made possible by the relatively new process of group initiation, growing out of the slow method of individual initiation.

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These are difficult matters to make clear, my brothers, but I may perhaps have succeeded in conveying to you some general idea as a basis for your further thinking.

The individual disciple, seeking initiation, is with deliberation and with his full and free consent merged into the group; he achieves this fusion by his own individual effort and is (throughout the entire process) an absolutely free agent, moving forward and becoming mentally inclusive, as rapidly or as slowly as he chooses. He determines the time and the event himself without interference or obstruction from any outside force.

This is the relatively new spiritual technique, and it is a technique accepted by initiates and disciples of all degrees in all three divine centres. Like everything else that happens upon the subjective plane of human living, a major distortion of the process and of the new technique will appear in some form or other in human affairs and constitute a great obstruction (apparently and temporarily) to human progress. It will be in the nature of a sidetrack and a glamour, brought into impelling and compelling use by the enemies of humanity and by those who work constantly against the Forces of Light. Today, this distortion can be seen demonstrating in all totalitarian countries; the individual is not free and his fusion with the state and his progress as a state-absorbed entity—deprived of the right of free choice and forced through fear and penalty to relinquish his own self-directed life—is a growing menace to mankind.

It is the right use of this same energy which makes fusion with the Hierarchy possible. These are points worth considering, and will convey to you some understanding of present world conditions. The underlying Principle of Fusion and of group endeavour is right and part of the divine plan; its implementation by grasping, greedy and ambitious men, or by deluded disciples, is terribly wrong and will lead to disaster. This disaster the Hierarchy is seeking to avert, but the Masters are handicapped (as usual) by the relatively few upon whom They can depend, and by the lack of understanding amongst the masses of well-intentioned people. [354] These, through their ignorance rather than through their planned ill-doing, know not how to stem the tide of evil.

ON HINTS

Thus far I have given you—for your searching consideration—seven hints. I intend to give you no more than these seven, because what you now have will prove adequate for many years of study. Each of them, in fact, could provide the theme of a book, and the search for their meaning will take all that you have of mental and intuitive perception. The significance which is immediately apparent is the one which probationary disciples can well see, grasp and appreciate. Disciples can, however, arrive at much deeper significances, and it is to these that the group attention is now called.

Let me point out that the apparent significance is applicable to the training and the unfoldment of the individual aspirants, and is therefore in line with the ancient use of hints by the Masters of the Wisdom. But the deeper meaning (for which you must search) is not so easily seen and is concerned with hierarchical impression, involving necessarily ashramic intention and its precipitation in service. It is here that the Points of Revelation are to be found of prime importance, and the reason why I am laying much emphasis upon this little-understood theme of revelation.

As you already know, a hint is susceptible of many interpretations, according to the point in evolution and the grade of the disciple. A Master can gauge a disciple's ability to pass onward and arrive at his attained status by his mode of handling a hint. In the preceding instruction I posited for you a series of questions relating to the subject of hints, but I did not tell you that they were in the nature of a test. They were framed in words that appeared to make them of general and personal application. Did you deal with them as such? There was no need to do so and (if you have truly understood what I have indicated re hints) you must have wondered why the questions were drafted in that particular form; you would then have proceeded to consider their themes and the answers required from the standpoint of the [355] Ashram, which is not the standpoint of the individual. I know not what you did. I can only hope for your right approach. If—to illustrate—you interpret the sixth hint, which states among other things that "my one effort is to indicate relationship between initiation and revelation," by pondering upon the initiation which you believe lies ahead of you as an individual, and the consequent revelation which will then be made to you, then you will be functioning as an aspirant and not as a disciple. If, however, you sensed, no matter how dimly, that each initiate-group enriches the Ashram with its invoked revelation, you will then be arriving closer to the desired consciousness.

For your instruction, I propose to take these seven hints and—in this instruction and the next—I will "open up" the hint for you and try to show you a little (not all) that a hint, rightly approached, can convey. As I do so, it will become apparent to you that you must always have in mind three things:

1. A hint today will concern the group—its interrelation, its fusion, its initiation and its service.

2. A hint is intended to teach you something new in your experience, even if—as a theory—it may seem quite familiar to you.

3. A hint, like all else in the occult teaching, is capable of seven interpretations which can roughly be divided into three. These three are that of the probationary disciple or aspirant, that of the accepted disciple and that of the Master or the higher initiate. That interpretation which I will indicate to you will concern the meaning which it has for the accepted disciple, and therefore its meaning for those of you who read these words.

The probationary disciple can arrive at the significance of a hint as it can be understood in terms of the three worlds, i.e., its physical application, its emotional or devotional expression, and its mental formulation; the disciple must interpret and apply it in terms of the Plan, of directed energy and [356] of the Ashram, as it exists as the servant of humanity. If you will endeavour to arrive at this attitude and also at a spirit of true self-forgetfulness, you will assuredly learn much. I shall not be able to give you full and adequate interpretations or write you at length upon each hint, but I will give you enough to enable you to go deeper into significances than would otherwise be possible. Because we are considering the seven rays, do not waste your time attempting to assign the seven hints to the seven ray influences or to the seven principles. Disciples on all the rays can work with these hints in terms of the seven rays, if they so choose; but these seven terms of ray interpretation have to be used on each hint, a task which is too great for our present endeavour.

These seven hints are used in all Ashrams as teaching measures, and when I first gave them to you (scattered through the papers during the past few years, beginning in 1941 and more definitely isolated for your reflection since 1945) I did not mention this fact. You can see, however, the richness of the contribution of the disciples since the inauguration of the new technique. Since that time, disciples in all the Ashrams, and therefore on all the rays, delved into meaning and arrived at revelation. I have given you these seven hints in their simple modern rendering. I will try and give them to you in their more esoteric presentation, as they are thus preserved in the Archives of the Hierarchy.

Hint One. As I have given this hint to you, the wording is as follows: "The changes brought about in the Hierarchy have been the result of the work of the disciples of the world."

Here you have a very simple statement but one which is distinctly bewildering in its implications. Its ancient formulation in the Archives consists of an injunction to the Master and runs as follows:

"Regard and recognise the changes in the hearts of men, and change the rules as men in time and cyclic change [357] approach the Ashram. The Ashram stands not still. New life pours in from either side."

This will perhaps throw light upon the interpretation which I originally gave to you. One of the most difficult tasks which confronts the Master is to teach the disciple to think of the Ashram and to act and serve, think and invoke, as a member of the Ashram would normally do. Two thoughts, therefore, emerge from a study of the two versions of this hint:

1. That the Law of Change governs the Hierarchy just as it governs Humanity.

2. That the disciple who functions under this law has the following things to do:

a. Deal with the constantly transforming changes in his own personality.

b. Adapt himself to the rapidly developing and changing events which are taking place within the Hierarchy.

c. Contribute to the wise circulation and direction of the new energies which are pouring into and through the Ashram. This he does by realising himself as a centre of changing energies. This is the way the Hierarchy works.

You who read and study the ways of the Ashrams at this time are witnessing a period of extreme change and adjustment and of a far-reaching reorganisation. For ever the occult law holds good: "as above, so below," and the reorganisation of planetary affairs which is taking place at this time is partially the effect of the changes produced in the Hierarchy by two major factors, to both of which I have frequently referred:

1. The higher and more intelligent type of disciple who is now affiliating with the Ashram and his instinctive demand for group work and recognition.

2. The new energies pouring through Shamballa into the Hierarchy; these are of an extra-planetary nature [358] and have their source largely in the Aquarian quality of the present cycle; these energies are steadily eliminating the energies of the Piscean Age.

Therefore, my brother, from the angle of the searching disciple, this first hint (in one of its deeper meanings) provides you with three lines of thought or of meditative reflection: Evolutionary Change, Reorganisation, Group Responsibility.

The concept of service rendered by the Hierarchy is consistently present. The way to world change is also given. The Hierarchy as a meeting-place of energies is emphasised and—in the disciple's consciousness—these factors begin to emerge as a vital vortex of force, receiving, distributing and under order—that order being the directed focussed will of the many Ashrams within the one Ashram. In those Ashrams, groups of disciples are working, blindly and ignorantly at first, but with a growing sense of responsibility, of relation and of direction. As they work for the Plan on the physical plane, they carry with them to the Ashram the registered sense and the acute realisation of the basic changes in the human consciousness which are the immediate results of world affairs; from their reaction, from the quality of their recognition of immediate need, and from their efforts to present the truth in terms of the "newest mind"—as it is occultly called—the Master in the Ashram can change His techniques, use new ideas upon receptive minds, and thus keep pace with the rapidly developing humanity with which He has to deal.

One of the ideas which a disciple should learn from his reflection upon this problem is that he is already a part of the Hierarchy whilst at the same time he is a part of struggling, unhappy humanity. Therefore, he is not alone or isolated; he is a part of the Hierarchy because he has "entered with his group"; this is a fact, even if he fails to comprehend the full implications of that phrase. At the same time, he learns that only in so far as he has developed group consciousness and is beginning to function as "one absorbed within the group" can he truly pass into a closer and more [359] vitally contributory relation to the Ashram to which he belongs.

Hint Two. "Human planning today is one of the first indications of the emergence of the Will aspect."

So this second hint runs. This sounds relatively simple and to be a rather trite statement, and that is because it gives in reality only a general idea and synopsis of the ancient formula. These formulas, which reach the candidate for initiation as hints, are fundamentally in the nature of instructions to the Master, and provide in their entirety a sequence of teaching and of progressive unfoldment of truth. This fact emerges more clearly in the original wording, as nearly as I can translate it for you, or rather, transfer into words what were originally word symbols or ideographs:

"When the stream of direction is noted by the one who seeks the inner side, then let the Master indicate the pattern and then await results. This may take time. Results come not through the action of but one; they appear when the many respond on Earth to that which comes from the higher Centre through the One. This they do blindly, when at stage the first; later they move with care and right direction. Thus affairs are changed on Earth."

To the aspirant, the statement re planning fixes his attention upon the physical plane; he then begins to see what are termed "indications of direction"; he sees them in terms of humanity's immediate purpose and becomes aware of the tiny part which he can play by cooperation with this planning—or, perhaps, by repudiating it. Decision in both cases is dependent upon his background, training, circumstances and prejudices, plus his ability to make choices. This is as far as he can go, and he usually is quite satisfied with the part he has played in the various processes, and regards his choices and decisions as aspects of his mental determination.

But in reality he is at fault, and the case as he visions it [360] is not so. He must learn to function entirely differently. This hint is not concerned with a part which an aspirant must play as an individual, nor does it include the factor of mental appreciation of the qualities of his own nature. Where the true disciple is concerned, three things are involved and condition his whole approach to this problem of human planning:

1. Its relation to the Plan, as it has been communicated to him within the precincts of the Ashram.

2. His ability to use a measure of the true divine Will as it pours through the Ashram from Shamballa for the implementation of the Plan, and as constituting its directing agent.

3. The sequence of the planning as it materialises on Earth in relation to the time factor. Three things emerge in his thinking at this time:

a. The immediate steps to be taken in order to carry the Plan forward, logically, practically and with the least expenditure of the destroying aspect of the will.

b. The probable duration of the cycle in which the Plan can progress from its inception until its fulfilment.

c. An appreciation of the unfolding pattern of which the material planning is an expression. He needs to discover how far human planning conforms to that pattern. He must sense where nonconformity originates and what steps—as far as his particular point in evolution permits—the Ashram should take to offset the distortion of the Plan. Only in this way will he learn himself to plan.

You can see from the above what a different approach is here involved when a disciple deals with a hint, how wide are the vistas which are opened up, how subjective his predominating attitude must be, and how inevitably the group relationship to the planning becomes apparent and important to him as an individual as well as to the group as a whole.

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