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Discipleship in the New Age I - The Six Stages of Discipleship - Part VII
This fourth stage is only possible to a disciple who has been an accepted disciple for more than one life and who has demonstrated his ability to work with selflessness and pertinacity. The requirements can be stated as follows:
  1. The disciple has succeeded in decentralizing himself and is no longer the point of dramatic interest on his own little stage. He is no longer preoccupied with his feeling [744] nature and the excessive self-interest, evidenced by so many, no longer controls his thoughts and aspiration.
  2. The disciple can now work with impersonality, no matter how his own personal nature may be reacting. This means that his own feelings, thoughts, likes, dislikes and desires are no longer the controlling factors; he is conditioned in his daily activities and relationships only by those intentions and activities which are for the good of the group. He will not sacrifice any individual to the group good until after due effort to help that individual understand and demonstrate right relationship; but he will not hesitate to take firm action as need and opportunity arise.
  3. The disciple has developed a sense of proportion as to the work and the relative value of his contribution to the Master's work and the Ashram life. He is engrossed in the task and the opportunity and not with the Master and with his individual position in the Master's thoughts. Most disciples in the early stages of their novitiate never forget that they are disciples. This is what the Master Morya has called the "smug recollection of the self-engrossed mind." It is a form of veiled pride which beginners find it difficult to avoid. Never for a minute do they forget the fact of their discipleship and the fact of the Master, no matter how active their service; yet - if they were truly working from a point of tension - they would forget his very existence in the work to be done for their fellowmen.
  4. The chela on the thread has reached a point where the higher correspondence to the so-called "split personality" is to be found, or (to word it otherwise) where that state of consciousness, of which the split personality is the shadow and the distortion, makes its appearance. The disciple is conscious simultaneously of two states of awareness or two points of concentrated activity:
    1. The point of spiritual tension wherein he is focused and which he endeavors to preserve inviolate and constant. [745]
    2. The focused sphere of activity in the three worlds, through the medium of which he carries out his work and service as a disciple.

These two related points are not in reality two separated activities, except as they emerge in the consciousness of the disciple upon the physical plane and express his objective and his subjective life. They are incident to his having to work in time and space and through the medium of a physical brain. The second point of focus should be in reality an externalization of the inner point of tension. In these words, you have the key to the true science of discipleship, to the developing relation of the human center and the hierarchical. It concerns also the work of the Buddha and the Christ, as they represent the point of tension at Shamballa and in the Hierarchy.

Most disciples are not working from a point of spiritual tension, but from a point of personality focus - a step forward indeed from that of the average unthinking person but one to which they cling unduly long. As long as a man is focused in his personality, the point of spiritual tension will evade him. He will be driven by personality aspiration and not by ashramic force and this focus in form will lead to trouble both to the individual aspirant and to his group. Spiritual tension, as a result of complete dedication of the personality to the service of humanity, stimulates and empowers but does not evoke the lower life of the personal self.

These are the requirements which the disciple must meet before he is taught to reach the Master at will and when an emergency arises.

I would like here to call your attention to the attitude of the Master at this stage of his chela's progress. As the name implies, the disciple at this point is permitted to call the attention of the Master; this is permissible only when the chela can be trusted to use the privilege solely for purposes of group service and never for himself or his own benefiting. This signifies that the disciple is capable of handling his life and problems himself and is not likely, therefore, to intrude his personal crises into the life of the Ashram. It implies also a chela of such devotion and essential basic selflessness that the Ashram needs no protection from his vibratory activity: he [746] never exacts from the Master any of the potency which rebuffs, as it is esoterically called. The Master knows that if a call comes from the chela on the thread, it will not be a waste of his time to respond, because the call will always be launched on behalf of group need and for the establishing of group purpose.

No matter what the Master is doing or what his preoccupation, he must respond to that call, for it is the endowed right of the trusted disciple to send it out when emergency demands it. You might ask how the chela knows that he can "get through" to the Master, using here a colloquialism. I can assure you that a complete inhibition rests upon him when the call may not be sounded - an inhibition, arising on his side of the relationship and not imposed by the Master - and he neither wants nor attempts to sound the call when there is a question in his mind. It is a matter of clear intuitive perception, the recognition of an unimpeded channel and an act of spiritual will. It is in reality a process of invocation and evocation. This whole concept of the chela on the thread lies behind the distorted teaching about the prerogatives and privileges of the priesthood and the relation of the Pope, for instance, to God or of the "elect" to the Deity. This latent and unfulfiled ideal is that of the chela on the thread and the Master and his Ashram, interpreted by the ecclesiastical consciousness as the Church. When the coming world religion is built around the work and the activity of the world disciples and knowers, then we shall see these symbols, called the "rights and prerogatives of the priesthood," correctly interpreted and truly expressed. The same symbolic inferences are also to be seen in the Brahmin caste in India.

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