This book is in many ways unique. Nothing like it has before been published, as far as I know. It contains two series of talks by one of the Masters of the Wisdom to some members of His inner group, and also a series of personal instructions, given by Him to a group of His disciples. Many of these people were unknown to me when they were brought to my notice; some of them I have since met; others I have never met; some I knew well and could understand why they had been chosen, knowing that their dedication to the life of the spirit and their love of humanity warranted the choice; one or two were regarded by me as most unsuitable choices but later I altered my point of view and recognised that a wiser mind than mine was responsible for their inclusion in the Ashram. I learnt also that ancient relationships, established in other lives, were also conditioning factors and that some had earned the right to inclusion, even if their spiritual attainments seemed inadequate to the onlooker.
A good deal of the teaching given is new in form and some of it is new in fact. One point emerges with clarity and that is: the old rules to which disciples have been subjected down the centuries still hold good, but are susceptible of fresh and often different interpretations. The training to be given during the coming New Age will be fitted to their more advanced development. The evolutionary progress—from century to century—presents a steadily ripening and developing human mind upon which the Master can work. The standard of discipleship is consequently as steadily rising. This, in itself, demands a new approach, a wider presentation of truth and the permitting of a greater freedom of action upon the part of the disciple. The time element is also different. In the old days, the Master gave His disciple a hint or a point upon which to ponder and meditate or He might indicate some need for changed habits of thought. Then the disciple went away—[x] sometimes for years or an entire lifetime—and reflected and thought and attempted to alter his attitudes without any particular sense of pressure. Today, in our speedier times and when the demand of humanity for help is so outstanding, the hint has given place to explanation and the disciple is trusted with information, hitherto withheld. He is regarded as having reached a stage in his unfoldment at which he can make his own decisions and proceed with rapidity, if he so chooses.
Certain definite reasons have prompted me to make these instructions available for aspirants everywhere after requesting permission from those who received them. One is the need to bring to the attention of the general public the fact that the Hierarchy exists, that its Members are interested in human progress and that there is a definitely planned system of training offered by Them which can lead a man out of the human kingdom into the Kingdom of God; that this moving forward upon the Path of Evolution out of the fourth kingdom into the fifth can be brought about consciously, scientifically and with the full consent and cooperation of the aspirant. The day has now come when belief can (and does) give place to knowledge—a knowledge gained through the acceptance of a hypothesis in the first place, a conviction that this hypothesis is backed by adequate testimony and planned experience. The reasoning mind of the disciple can then take the successes and failures he encounters in his training and learn the intended lessons; he finds that progress upon the Path brings a man into closer, conscious touch with Those Who have walked this Way before and that the Way into the Hierarchy is a way of discipline, of increasing enlightenment, of service to his fellowmen and of a growing responsiveness to contacts and to individuals of which the average human being knows nothing.
A second reason for publishing this book is the need to change the point of view of the general public as to the nature of these Masters Who take pupils and Who, whilst giving them the training needed to enable them to take initiation (as it is called), reach the mass of men through their means. So much stupidity has been demonstrated in writing and talking about the relationship of Master and disciple that it was felt both by [xi] me and this group of disciples that the sanity, the breadth of vision, the lack of authority, and the understanding evidenced by a Member of the Hierarchy could do nothing but good. We found also that He was quite ready for His instructions to be made public.
A third reason was the desire to make clear a point which is continually emphasised by the Tibetan as it is by all Masters and which is of major importance to every aspirant. Only those who are beginning to come under the influence and the control of their own souls and are, therefore, mentally focussed and attuned, are eligible for the training offered by the Hierarchy. Devotion, emotional reactions and sentiment are not enough. Esoteric training is also an impersonal matter; it is concerned with the development of soul consciousness and with the expansion of that consciousness to include, and not exclude, all forms of life through which pulses the life and love of God. The true disciple is ever inclusive and never exclusive. It is this inclusiveness which is the hallmark of all true esotericists. Where it is lacking you may have an aspirant but you do not have a true disciple. There is far too much exclusiveness extant today among esotericists and in occult schools and too much theological separativeness. It has been felt that this Book of Instructions may do much to offset this evil tendency and may help to open the door still wider into the Kingdom of God.
Much in this book is new. Much is very old, tried and proved. None of the people chosen for instruction and for inclusion in the Ashram of the Master are saints or perfect. All are, however, true aspirants and will go on to the very end in spite of pain and sorrow, discipline, success, failure, joy and a spiritual recognition of almost unattainable goals. Some have been on this Path of Accepted Discipleship (technically understood) for many lives. Some are venturing for the first time—consciously and with deliberate effort—to tread the Way to God. All are mystics, learning to be occultists. All are normal people, living useful, modern lives in many different countries in the world. Some are orthodox Protestant Christians by profession; others are Roman Catholics; still others are Christian Scientists or belong to one or other of the more mental cults; [xii] some are quite unattached and free from affiliations. None of them regards his particular brand of faith or his particular religious background as essential to salvation; he knows that the only essential is belief in the spiritual realities and in the essential divinity of mankind. This belief necessarily involves a heart full of love, a mind open and illumined by right orientation to truth and a life dedicated to service and to the alleviation of human sufferings. This is the determined goal of all whose instructions are found in this book—a goal which they have not yet attained and a mode of life which they have not yet perfected. They are, nevertheless, unalterably upon their way and that way is the WAY. Christ said "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life"; these aspirants, working under a great Disciple of the Christ, are beginning to grasp some of the significances and implications of that statement which holds true for all time and for all disciples, because "as He is, so are we in this world."
The work with this particular group began twelve years ago. Each person's instructions are given in their ordered sequence, year by year, so that a real picture of the person concerned, of his problems and his achievement or lack of achievement, emerges clearly. This book is encouraging in that it offsets the idea that to be a pledged disciple one is, therefore, set apart by perfection of character and isolated by the aspiration which inspires the life. These are people with problems, struggling to solve them; with character limitations which they are endeavouring to overcome; they are true instances of any man or woman who turns his back upon the usual approach to the world of material affairs and takes up his cross in order to find his way back to the Father's home; they picture for us the man who, having "put his hand to the plough," turns not back but presses forward "towards the prize of his high calling in Christ."
Some of these people have worked as students in the Arcane School; others have never done so; still others (when they heard of the school through their affiliation with the Tibetan) worked in it in order to help the students. Their names will not be divulged. The initials at the head of the various instructions and the dates assigned carry no information; the [xiii] instructions were probably not received on the dates given and the initials are none of them correct. No information will be given by any of us who know the relation between the initials and the disciple. Questions as to identity will not be answered at any time. It is the subject matter of the teaching which is of importance and not the name of the disciple for what is said is applicable to all aspirants.
One other reason might be mentioned here as indicative of the value of this book. In every case, the disciple is told what are the types of energy to which he most easily responds and upon which ray or divine emanation he finds himself. He, therefore, becomes aware of what constitutes his line of least resistance and where the major point of his life conflict is to be found.
We are taught in the esoteric philosophy that seven great divine Emanations, Aeons or Spirits (in Whom we live and move and have our being) came forth from God at the time of the Creation. The same teaching can also be traced in the Holy Bible. Upon one or other of these seven Rays, the souls of all forms of life are to be found as well as the forms themselves. These seven rays produce the seven major psychological types. These seven rays or emanations are:
1. The first Ray of Will or Power. Many great world rulers are found on this ray, such as Julius Caesar.
2. The second Ray of Love-Wisdom. The Christ and the Buddha are to be found on this ray. It is the great teaching ray.
3. The third Ray of Active Intelligence. The mass of intelligent humanity are found on this ray.
4. The fourth Ray of Harmony through Conflict. Aspirants. Struggling, well-meaning people. Workers for unity emerge along this line.
5. The fifth Ray of Concrete Knowledge or Science. Scientists and people who are purely mental and governed only by the mind.
6. The sixth Ray of Devotion or Idealism. Many Christian people. Fanatics. Numbers of earnest Churchmen of all the world religions.
[xiv] 7. The seventh Ray of Ceremonial Order or Magic. Masons. Financiers. Great businessmen and organisers of all kinds. Executives are found with these energies in their equipment.
However, only when a man is highly developed and nearing the Path of Discipleship is it possible for the esoteric student accurately to surmise what his ray may be. People of all kinds and professions are found on all the rays. The conflict in a disciple's life is found to lie in the fact that the ray of his soul and the ray of his integrated personality are posed against each other. At the same time, his emotional nature, his mental equipment and his physical brain are also controlled by some one or other of the rays and in this fivefold relationship lies hid much of the problem of the evolving human being. The Tibetan tells the members of His group which five rays condition them and students will learn much by a study of what He says. In the cases where I happen to know the disciple concerned personally and something of his problems, it was amazingly interesting to me to note how infallibly right the Tibetan was in His diagnosis of the rays involved. In reading these instructions will you please remember that though the Tibetan usually speaks of the soul, He also uses the word "ego" interchangeably, meaning thereby the spiritual ego and not the personal ego of the psychologists.
We have not felt it wise to give the meditations assigned or the breathing exercises, except in a few cases. They were strictly individual and suited to the person and his peculiar problems. In one or two cases, however, after due consideration, we have inserted some of the meditations with slight changes. It was obvious that they could be only helpful.
At the end of each instruction, we have put a sentence or two which gives information as to the work of the disciple in the Ashram. This will prove particularly enlightening as, for instance, in the cases of P.D.W. and K.E.S. where the Tibetan shows definite prevision and the knowledge that both these men would die a few years later. He is obviously preparing them for that great transition.
In closing, I would like to thank all these disciples who have so kindly placed their personal instructions at my disposal [xv] in an effort to be of service to the coming generation of disciples. In many cases, they helped prepare them for the press. I would like also to thank those who helped me to get the text ready for publication, particularly Joseph Lovejoy who gave days of labour to the book; he has for years helped me prepare the Tibetan's books for publication.
I hope all who read this book will receive the inspiration that we who have prepared it have received; I hope also that their confidence in the Hierarchy and in the existence of Christ and His Disciples, the Masters, may receive such an impetus that many more will attempt to tread the Way and join the great number of aspirants in every country who are seeking to tread the Path by becoming the Path Itself.
ALICE A. BAILEY
THE GREAT INVOCATIONS
Let the Forces of Light bring illumination to mankind.
Let the Spirit of Peace be spread abroad.
May men of goodwill everywhere meet in a spirit of cooperation.
May forgiveness on the part of all men be the keynote at this time.
Let power attend the efforts of the Great Ones.
So let it be, and help us to do our part. — 1935
Let the Lord of Liberation issue forth.
Let Him bring succour to the sons of men.
Let the Rider from the Secret Place come forth,
And coming, save.
Come forth, O Mighty One.
Let the souls of men awaken to the Light,
And may they stand with massed intent.
Let the fiat of the Lord go forth:
The end of woe has come!
Come forth, O Mighty One.
The hour of service of the saving force has now arrived.
Let it be spread abroad, O Mighty One.
Let Light and Love and Power and Death
Fulfil the purpose of the Coming One.
The WILL to save is here.
The LOVE to carry forth the work is widely spread abroad.
The ACTIVE AID of all who know the truth is also here.
Come forth, O Mighty One, and blend these three.
Construct a great defending wall.
The rule of evil now must end. — 1940
From the point of Light within the mind of God
Let light stream forth into the minds of men.
Let Light descend on Earth.
From the point of Love within the Heart of God
Let love stream forth into the hearts of men.
May Christ return to Earth.
From the centre where the Will of God is known
Let purpose guide the little wills of men—
The purpose which the Masters know and serve.
From the centre which we call the race of men
Let the Plan of Love and Light work out.
And may it seal the door where evil dwells.
Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth. — 1945