Requirements of Disciples

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Summary: A collection of statements by the Tibetan.

"Present day troubles are largely due to the lack of intuitive perception in the past, and this fault lies primarily among the mystics of the world and not so much among the lower aspirants. The trouble has not lain in lack of idealism or even in lack of intelligence and sincerity, it consists in the failure to sacrifice the personality at all times in order to make the intuitive realisation demonstrate its realities.      Compromise has been permitted and in the occult world compromise is forbidden. When indulged in, it leads to disaster and sweeps away eventually, in ruin and storm, the personalities of those who so stoop. People have sought to adjust the truth to the hour, instead of adjusting the hour to the truth, and in diplomacy they have endeavoured to bring about as much of the reality as they deem wise. The Masters are looking out for those with clear vision, uncompromising adherence to the truth as sensed, and capacity to drive steadily forward toward the ideal. This entails the following factors:

i. A recognition of that ideal through meditation.

ii. Its application to the present through one-pointedness.

iii.  Removal of the old and hindering thought-forms through self-sacrifice.

iv. A refusal to compromise, through clear vision.

v. A discrimination that enables the disciple always to distinguish between the acts of an individual and the individual himself.

vi. Realisation that, in the occult world, it is not permitted to interfere with personal karma anymore than it is permitted to shield from the consequences of action. This entails therefore a refusal to interfere in anyone's business -- that is, as regards the personality life, and yet involves a refusal to shirk the business of the larger cause. It is essential that the workers learn to discriminate between the factors which make for personal liberty and those which militate against group liberty.

     A result to be brought about by the present opportunity to work, is the bringing in of the new cycle and the new group of participants. Workers in the new era will be drawn from all groups and the test of their choice depends largely upon the measure of impersonality with which they work and the strength of their inner contact with the soul. It is not easy for any of you, therefore, submerged as you are in the smoke and roar of battle, to judge results with accuracy or to judge people with perfect propriety. These things have to be dealt with on the inner planes and are noted by the watching guides of the race. I would like here briefly to point out a few of the things for which the Great Ones look.
     They look to see whether the inner flame -- the result of effort wisely to work and think and do -- burns with increased brilliance; they note whether it remains hidden and dim through the whirl of astral currents and by thought-forms of personal antagonism, ambition and envy. As a result of world work some will be drawn into closer connection with the work of Hierarchy, and others will be temporarily set back. Capacity to dominate the astral body and to work from mental levels will largely count.
     They look to see who can struggle and contend for principle with personalities, and yet keep the link of love intact. This counts perhaps more than men realise and a man who can stand for principle and yet love all human beings -- refusing compromise and yet refusing hate -- has something rare to offer in these days, and the Great Ones can use him. See to it, therefore all of you who work, that with clear vision, upright purpose and firm undeviating action, you forge ahead. See to it that you deal with patience and forbearance with those of your brothers who choose the lesser principle and the lesser right, who sacrifice the good of the group for their own personal ends or who use unworthy methods. Give to them love and care and a ready helping hand, for they will stumble on the way and sound the depth of the law. Stand ready then to lift them up and to offer to them opportunities for service, knowing that service is the great healer and teacher.
     The Great Ones look to see the faculty of pliability and adaptability working out, that faculty of adaptation that is one of the fundamental laws of species which nature so wonderfully demonstrates. The tranference of this law to the inner planes and its working out in the new cycle of effort must be undertaken. This law af adaptation involves the appreciation of the need, the recognition of the new force coming in with the new cycle and the consquent bringing together in wide synthesis, of the need and of the force, regarding the personal self simply as a focal point for action and transmutation. It involves the transmutation of the five senses and their extension into the subtler planes so that sight, hearing , touch, taste, and smell are welded into one synthetic co-operating whole for use in the great work. On the physical plane, these tend to the unification of the personal life and to the adaptation of the physical world to the needs of the personal self. On subtler planes they must be transmuted until they are adequate to the needs of the group of which the individual forms a fragmentary part. The abilitiy to do this is one of the things that the Great Ones look for in those individuals whose privilege it may be to inaugurate the New Age.
     Above all They look for an enlarged channel from the soul to the physical brain, via the mind. Such an enlarged channel indicates that a man can be used. One might almost express it by saying that They look for the perfecting of the antakharana, that channel of communication between the soul consciousness and the brain, whose possessor is one whom the Masters can successfully use. They are guided in Their choice of workers by a man's personally achieved capacity and by his own hard won ability. When there is capacity, ability, and faculty, then the Great Ones joyfully employ him. The wrong angle has been at times over-emphasised, and the reverse of this taught. The Masters must not be sought because a man seeks capacity. They will be found when a man has capacity -- capacity that makes him available for group work and that can be extended under careful instruction into the higher powers of the soul. Leadership in groups controlling the work of the New Age will grow out of the discipline of the individual, and leaders will be found among those who sense the inner issue. Leadership that endures does not come to those who strive for place and power, nor for those who have their eyes only on outward conditions and overlook the underlying causes. Leadership does not come to those who place the personal self and its position and power before the good of the group. It comes enduringly to those who seek nothing for the separate self, to those who lose themselves in the good of the whole." (A Treatise on White Magic, p. 136/40)

"No glamour, no illusion can long hold the man who has set himself the task of treading the razor-edged Path which leads through the wilderness, through the thick-set forest, through the deep waters of sorrow and distress, throught the valley of sacrifice and over the mountains of vision to the gate of Deliverance. He may travel sometimes in the dark (and the illusion of darkness is very real); he may travel sometimes in a light so dazzling and bewildering that he can scarcely see the way ahead; he may know what it is to falter on the Path, and to drop under the fatigue of service and strife; he may be temporarily sidetracked and wander down the bypaths of ambition, of self-interest and of material enchantment, but the lapse will be but brief. Nothing in heaven or hell, on earth or elsewhere can prevent the progress of the man who has awakened to the illusion, who has glimpsed the reality beyond the glamour of the astral plane, and who has heard, even if only once, the clarion call of his own soul.
The astral plane is also the Kurukshetra, both of humanity as a whole and of the individual human unit. It is the battleground whereon must be found the Waterloo of every aspirant. In some one life, there comes an emotional crisis in which decisive action is taken, and the disciple proves his control of his emotional nature. This may take the form of some great and vital test, covering a brief time but calling forth every resource of wisdom and of purity that the disciple possesses, or it may be a long and protracted emotional strain, carried over many years of living. But in the attaining of success and in the achievement of clear vision and right discernment (through right discrimination) the disciple testifies to his fitness for the second initiation.
     . . . The outcome of good is inevitable. It is however a question of a slow or a rapid realisation and liberaiton from the great world illusion, and to this end every aspirant is begged to work strenuously and to lend his aid. Every man who liberates himself, who sees clearly, and who releases himself from the glamour of illusion, aids in the Great Work." (A Treatise on White Magic, p. 223/4)

"I here appeal to all who read these words to reconsecrate themselves, and to recognize the opportunity they have of a unified effort towards world usefulness.
     It might be of use here if I expressed quite simply the requirements needed to bring about the manifestation of individual purpose or of group spiritual purpose. These can be summed up in three words:

i. Power.

ii. Detachment.

iii. Non-criticism.

      So often simple words are used and because of their every day connotation their true significance and esoteric value are lost.
     Let me give you a few thoughts anent each of these, with application only to the creative work of white magic.
     Power is dependent for expression upon two factors:

(a) Singleness of purpose.

(b) Lack of impediments.

     Students would be amazed if they could see their motives as we see them who guide on the subjective side of experience. Mixed motive is universal. Pure motive is rare and where it exists there is ever success and achievement. Such pure motive can be entirely selfish and personal, or unselfish and spiritual, and in between, where aspirants are concerned, mixed in varying degree. According, however, to the purity of intent and the singleness of purpose, so will be the potency.
     The Master of all the Masters has said, 'If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light'. These words which He enunciated us a principle underlying all the creative work, and we can link up the idea which He clothed in words with the symbol I have earlier described in this Treatise. Power, light, vitality, and manifestation! Such is the true procedure.
     It will be obvious, therefore, why the manifested unit, man, is urged to be vital in his search and to cultivate his aspiration. When that aspiration is strong enough, he is then urged to achieve the capacity to 'hold his mind steady in the light'. When he can do this, he will achieve power and possess that single eye which will redound to the glory of the indwelling divinity. Before, however, he has mastered this process of development, he may not be trusted with power. The procedure is as follows: The individual aspirant begins to manifest somewhat soul purpose in his life on the physical plane. He is transmuting desire into aspiration and that aspiration is vital and real. He is learning the meaning of light. When he has mastered the technique of meditation (and with this certain schools in existence at present are concerned) he can proceed to handle power, because he will have learned to function as a divine Thinker. He is now co-operative and is in touch with the divine Purpose.
     As all true students know, however, the number of impediments is legion. Hindrances and obstacles abound. Singleness of purpose may occasionally be realised in high moments, but it does not abide with us always. There are the hindrances of physical nature, of heredity and environment, of character, of time and conditions, of world karma, as well as individual karma. What shall then be done? I have only one word to say and that is persist. Failure never prevents success. Difficulties develop the strength of the soul. The secret of success is ever to stand steady and to be impersonal.
     The second requirement is detachment. The worker in white magic must hold himself free as much as he can from identifying himself with that which he has created or has attempted to create. The secret for all aspirants is to cultivate the attitude of the onlooker and of the silent watcher, and, may I emphasise the word silent. Much true magical work comes to naught because of the failure of the worker and builder in matter to keep silent. By premature speech and too much talk, he slays that which he has attempted to create, the child of his thought is still-born. All workers in the field of the world should recognise the need for silent detachment, and the work before every student who reads these Instructions must consist in cultivating a detached attitude. It is a mental detachment which enables the thinker to dwell ever in the high and secret place, and from that centre of peace calmly and powerfully to carry out the work he has set before himself. He works in the world of men; he loves and comforts and serves; he pays no attention to his personality likes and dislikes, or to his prejudices and attachments; he stands as a rock of strength and as a strong hand in the dark to all whom he contacts. The cultivation of a detached attitude personally, with the attached attitude spiritually, will cut at the very roots of a man's life; but it will render back a thousandfold for all that it cuts away.
     Much has been written anent attachment and the need to develop detachment. May I beg all students in the urgency of the present situation, to leave off reading and thinking about it aspirationally and to begin to practise it and demonstrate it.
     Non-criticism is the third requirement. What shall I say about that? Why was it regarded as so essential a requirement? Because criticism (analysis and, consequently, separativeness) is the outstanding characteristic of mental types and also of all co-ordinated personalities. Because criticism is a potent factor in swinging mental and emotional substance into activity, and so making strong impress upon the brain cells and working out into words. Because in a sudden burst of critical thought, the entire personality can be galvanised into a potent co-ordination, but of a wrong kind and with disastrous results. Because criticism being a faculty of the lower mind, can hurt and wound, and no man can proceed upon the Way as long as wounds are made and pain is knowingly given. Because the work of white magic and the carrying out of hierarchical purpose, meets with basic hindrances in the relations existing between its workers and disciples. In the pressure of the present opportunity there is no time for criticism to exist between workers. They hinder each other and hinder the work.
     I have upon me at this time a sense of urgency. I urge upon all those who read these Instructions to forget their likes and their dislikes and to overlook the personality hindrances which inevitably exist in themselves and in all who work upon the physical plane, handicapped by the personality. I urge upon all workers the remembrance that the day of opportunity is with us and that it has its term. This present type of opportunity will not last forever. The pettiness of the human frictions, the failures to understand each other, the little faults which have their roots in personality and which are, after all, ephemeral, the ambitions and illusions must all go. If the workers would practise detachment, knowing that the Law works and that God's purposes must come to an ultimate conclusion, and if they would learn never to criticise in thought or word, the salvaging of the world would proceed apace and the new age of love and illumination would be ushered in." (A Treatise on White Magic, p. 557/61)

"Those who are in preparation for initiation, must learn to work consciously with glamour; they must work effectively with the presented truth, ignoring any pain or suffering or mental questioning which is incident to personality rebellion and limitation; they must cultivate that 'divine indifference' to personal considerations which is the outstanding hallmark of the trained initiate." (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. l, p. 27)

"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 unwillingnes to recognise faults or even to admit, hypothetically, that faults may be present. The tendency of self-deprecation is strong in others and it produces that over-emphasis of 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." (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. l, p. 77 )

"The lessons to be learnt by all disciples (before they can work with power in the world) might be expressed as the need to gain discrimination between:

i. Primary principles and secondary principles, or between two rights:
a) A greater right and a lesser right.

b) That which is right for you but which may not be right for others.

ii. Between one's personal dharma, obligations, and individual duties, and one's group responsibilities and relationships.

iii. Between essentials and non-essentials."
(Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. l, p. 297 )

"Under the Law governing disciples, opportunites will inevitably arise which will enable you to adjust past conditions and any faulty handling. See that the dawning spirit of love irradiates your life, and pours through you to others, and see to it also that you render back to all, the love which you have received and will receive." (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. l, p. 532 )

"Your insistence upon making the transit out of the lower into the higher life, and your pledge to your soul that you will recognise no impediment or handicap, has been noted. Assistance, therefore, will be given to you, and I shall be glad, through suggestion and watchful co-operation, to aid you on your way. I would remind you at this point also that under the Laws of the New Age, such assistance is given only to those who have transcended selfish aspiration, and have lost sight of their own progress in the desire to serve." (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. l, p. 551 )