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Discipleship in the New Age I - The Six Stages of Discipleship - Part VIII
PART VIII

Stage V - The Chela within the Aura

The definition, as given earlier by me, runs as follows:

"The stage wherein he is permitted to know the method whereby he may set up... a call which will entitle him to an interview with the Master. At this stage, the disciple is called a chela within the aura."

It is a stage of discipleship which is far in advance of that attained by most disciples, because it connotes almost complete at-one-ment between the disciple and the Master's group. He has already been accorded the privilege of invoking the attention of the Master in times of emergency and is sure of his response. He has advanced from the point when he was being trained to become an integrated and useful unit in the Ashram to where he is a trusted agent. His orientation is now fixed and though he is subjected to many tests and difficulties, these are increasingly concerned with the group life and condition and not with himself. I refer not here to the difficulties of any ashramic group or to those connected with any group affiliation the disciple may rightly hold upon the physical plane, but to his responsiveness to the group need of humanity. Where this responsiveness exists, it means that the whole is of greater importance to him than the part. This in no way negates his ability to work with individuals or to give understanding love and compassion to those in his path of life who need it. But he has arrived at a sense of right proportion and of correct organization of his life processes, trends and activities in time and space. He can then be depended upon always to substitute the good of the whole for individual good, as the personality might see it. [750]

The Master knows that in the chela who has reached this stage he has a dependable instrument and one who can be regarded as no longer a drag on the life of the group. I have pointed out to you before this how difficult is the process of absorbing a new disciple into an Ashram; he has to be taught to advance gradually from the periphery of the group consciousness towards the center. Each step forward necessitates care on the part of the Master in order to see that the Ashram is preserved from all disruptive activity. It is only when the chela has achieved "occult serenity" that he can be permitted to focus himself permanently within the group aura. This happens when he becomes conscious of the peculiar and specific vibration of the Master's aura. Hence, as you can well see, the need for serenity.

I would point out that serenity and peace are not identical. Peace must ever be temporary and refers to the world of feeling and to conditions susceptible of disturbance. It is essential to progress and an inevitable happening that every step forward is marked by disturbances, by points of crisis and chaos, replaced later (when successfully handled) by periods of peace. But this peace is not serenity and a chela is only permitted to dwell within the Master's aura when serenity has been substituted for peace. Serenity signifies that deep calm, devoid of emotional disturbance which distinguishes the disciple who is focused in a "mind held steady in the light." The surface of his life may be (from the worldly angle) in a state of violent flux. All that he cherishes and holds dear in the three worlds may be crashing around him. But in spite of all, he stands firm, poised in soul consciousness and the depths of his life remain undisturbed. This is not insensitivity or a forced autosuggestion, neither is it a capacity to exteriorize the consciousness in such a manner that individual events and happenings are ignored. It is intensity of feeling transmuted into focused understanding. When this has been attained, the chela has the right to live within the aura of the Master. There is nothing now in him which will require the Master to sidetrack his attention from vital efforts to the unimportant task of helping a disciple. [751]

An accepted disciple, therefore, advances - if I may so express it - through the medium of three vibratory realizations:

  1. He reacts to the vibration, the note or the quality of an Ashram, according to his ray type. The periphery of a Master's sphere of group control is contacted by him and he becomes an accepted disciple in full waking consciousness. The Master is aware of his presence upon the outer fringe of his consciousness; his fellow disciples are also aware of another point of light within the Ashram, largely because of - the effort they have to make to offset the new chela's personality reactions to the new mode of life, to the effects wrought into his consciousness by his penetration into the world of meaning and to the out-surging of his devotion to the Master. It becomes the task of more advanced chelas to protect the Master from the violent reactions of the new chela and to stand between him and the neophyte. Some initiate-chela takes him in hand and acts as intermediary. The chela (as I have earlier pointed out) is in touch with the Master when, and only when, the Master so desires and it would be good and helpful to the entire group.
  2. He realizes increasingly the nature and note of his Ashram and advances from the periphery into the sphere of influence of the Master and his group; he then begins to participate more and more in the group life and is less and less interested in himself. He becomes, consequently, a more valuable asset in the Ashram and is entrusted with specific duties and tasks for which he is individually responsible to the initiate-chela in charge of him. The Master begins to contact him with greater frequency and - because he is becoming decentralized and his own growth and development are of less and less importance to him than service for others - he is permitted to attract the Master's attention when help is needed for the group, and thus becomes a chela on the thread. The antahkarana is being rapidly built and the inflow of life from the Spiritual Triad increases slowly and regularly. He has reached a point where, upon the outer plane, he is gathering around him a sphere of influence as a result of his soul radiation, via the personality. It might be stated that no disciple becomes a chela on the thread until he has many people in the outer world who (on a lower turn of the spiral) are to him what he is to the Master - chelas [752] on the thread. In a distorted and frequently unsatisfactory fashion, he is engaged in forming his own group and today this is very often the case. The world is full of struggling disciples, intensely preoccupied with forming organizations, with gathering around them those whom they can help, thus striking a particular note and learning the rudiments (the rudiments, I repeat, my brother) of group work as the Hierarchy seeks to see it carried out.
  3. He responds powerfully and (from his point of view) quite unexpectedly to the realized vibration of the Master as he functions at the very center of his group. He has known the Master's vibratory call; he has become aware of the quality of the Ashram which is evoked by the Master. Now he is admitted to the secret place to be found at the very heart of the Ashram and becomes a chela within the aura.
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