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|Discipleship in the New Age I - The Six Stages of Discipleship - Part V|
Stage II - The Chela in the Light
This stage is definitely one in which the consciousness of the probationer is occupied with the overcoming of glamor and the curing of the distorted, myopic vision of the man who has been immersed in the life of matter or form. He is now attempting to see the new vision, to control the world of emotional reactions and to work in a new medium, that of Light.
The Masters do not work upon the astral plane. Certain schools of occultism teach that they do, but such is not the case. For them (having overcome glamor and illusion) the astral plane is non-existent; it is but an illusory concept of the kama-manasic type of mind - the mind of the average aspirant. The chela is, therefore, at this stage guarded and guided by someone who is still subject to glamor, but is, at the same time, aware of the ephemeral nature of the astral plane.
This stage involves so many aspirants in the world today that (before I proceed with other matters) I would like to touch upon the nature of the work which the Masters are seeking to do with their groups of disciples in this hour of world crisis. This is a matter of paramount importance to the world from the angle of the Masters themselves. Never forget that in all our discussions and in all your effort to understand, I am endeavoring to decentralize you by giving you, as far as I can, the point of view of the Hierarchy, stepping it down until it can come within the range of comprehension of the average aspirant. 
As far as these aspirants are concerned, the one thing which the Masters are endeavoring to bring about is the stimulation of the flame of the spirit in them so that they may set the world on fire. The fires of judgment and of substance, of karma and its vehicle, matter, are raging in the world at this time. Fire must be countered by fire, as well you know, and to stop the raging inferno of fire which is today devastating the world, the fire of spirit must be opposed, distributed and effectively used by the disciples of the Masters. The task of Shamballa, in relation to the Hierarchy, is similar in nature but expresses itself upon a higher level. They dispense the ultimate fire of the Will. The fire which must, in the final analysis, be used by the disciples in the world is the fire of the will-to-love.
This fire is not what you think it is. The will-to-love means the love of the greater Whole and the ability to do that which is needed for the good of the group in the right way and with the needed skill in action. It involves capacity for firm action where need arises, because the disciple has a long range vision and is not misled by the immediate perspective. He works and prepares for the future. It is, in other words, the loving intention to fire the entire world with the new idea of the "spirit of relationship," beginning with the disciple's own self, his family and immediate group. This is the will-to-fire. It would be well to reflect deeply on these ideas. To bring about and render effective this fiery stimulation, the disciple must apply the fire to himself and in the ensuing blaze see himself as he truly is. The fire of the material aspect (the fire of the personality) is still too prevalent and too powerful in the lives of aspirants. It renders them harmful. I would remind you that the fire of the mental plane (that is, of the mind) is the reflection (and the distorted reflection) of the fire of spirit. Some disciples use only the fire of the mind; in their highest and best moments, they attempt to use the fire of love to offset the fires of the critical mind but at the best it is no spontaneous flow but a laborious effort to be nice, to refrain (through drastic disciplining of themselves) from uttering the things which their critical minds say or to act upon the opinions they may have formed through the use of the fire of mind. This fire is always directed at a brother and the effort to refrain from  the use of this fire inevitably creates a gap or barrier. Among the majority of aspirants, there is no true love in action but only much personality effort to be non-critical. Their concentration is upon the recognized and basic need to be non-critical because it is right so to be, and there is a reward for those who achieve it, but the concentration is not based upon the effects upon others when the fire of the mind is let loose with its destroying, burning and damaging effects.
The Masters are, therefore, anxious to "burn up the disciple in the fire of the will-to-love so that he is set free and the barriers to the inflow of the avataric force may be dissolved." Why is this? Because it is the disciples in the world and not the mass of men who today hinder the Coming of the Avatar and render useless his intention. He dare not come until the disciples and aspirants in the world bring about the needed changes in themselves, for the reason that there would not be "enough of the will-to-love with the fiery essence." Where that will is present two things can take place:
There will then be very many chelas in the Light and on the other graded steps of discipleship.
The vision which many have of the influence and work of the Avatar is that of a Great Appearance which will end all strife, inaugurate the new era of peace and goodwill, soothe the hearts of the people and lead mankind into realms of beauty and of happiness. He will be the consummation of the  wishful thinking of countless minds down the ages. He will be the solace of distressed humanity. He will sweetly love and quietly deal with his Own people and will sweep the evil doer out of the Earth and prevent him from again molesting the peace of the world.
I tell you that such a picture does not enter into the vision of reality at all. It is based on theological interpretations and human selfishness; it is founded on the misery of mankind and on the failure of disciples and aspirants everywhere to grasp the true nature of love and the real vision of the hierarchical Plan.
It is the Fire of Love which he will bring; it is the message of the purificatory fire which he will sound; he will not teach anent the waters of purification, as has thitherto been the symbolic imparted truth; he will impart the fire which burns and destroys all barriers in man's nature, all separating walls between individuals, between groups and between nations. Are you prepared as individuals, as disciples and aspirants to submit yourselves to this fire?
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