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Discipleship in the New Age I - The Six Stages of Discipleship - Part IX
Stage VI - The Chela within the Master's Heart

We arrive now at a consideration of the last of the six stages of discipleship. This was described by me in the following terms: [767]

"The stage where the disciple is in close touch always; he is being definitely prepared for immediate initiation or having taken initiation - is given specialized work. At this stage he is described as a Chela within his Master's Heart."

One thing I would here emphasize as I seek to give some light upon this subject. Being within the Master's Heart in no way indicates a love-relationship between Master and disciple. The normal reaction is that at last the disciple has merited the right to be truly loved and, therefore, to be truly close to the Master. His life or lives of service have brought him at last the reward; he has now free access to the Master in the closest possible and mutual relationship of loving understanding. This stage of discipleship has absolutely no reference to this at all.

For another thing, brother of mine, when the disciple reaches this stage he is no longer what you understand by an accepted disciple. He is an initiate of high standing and of elevated degree and has passed out of the supervision and the safeguarding of a Master into a direct relation with the Master of all the Masters, the Christ, who is the central point in the Hierarchy, just as the Master is the central point in an ashram. The Master is the heart of his group and the Christ is the heart of the Hierarchy. The closer one gets to realization, the clearer becomes the concept that the point at the center and the periphery are one.

The significance of the word "heart" is the significance of life itself, as it beats eternally at the very heart of the universe. Within that life, the initiate now consciously stands, realizing himself not so much as being a recipient of life, but as a distributor of life. This is a very different thing and holds the key to this stage of discipleship.

The "Master's Heart" is a technical term, indicating the sources of life and many analogous interpretations. There is at this stage and after a certain major initiation, a direct line of energy or of life - sensed, recognized, active and utilized - between the conscious disciple and

  1. The disciple's heart center.
  2. The heart center in the head. [768]
  3. The egoic lotus, which (until the fourth initiation) is the heart center of the monadic life.
  4. The Master at the center of his group.
  5. The Christ, the heart center of the Hierarchy.
  6. The life of the Monad which begins to make itself felt at the third initiation.
  7. The Lord of Life himself, the heart center of Shamballa.

The line of relationship then extends from these onward and outward, and upward (spherically considered) to the Life at the very center of our Earth's "alter ego," the planet Venus, to Jupiter and thence to the solar Lord himself and on to a point in the Sun, Sirius. You can see, therefore, how different this stage is from what might be imagined. It is one which marks a new departure or beginning and a great transition. It is a stage which one enters through the open door of Nirvana, the beginning of the Path of the Higher Evolution. It is a stage which marks a specific location (if such an inappropriate word can be used) of the disciple upon that upward Way which is revealed by the lighted Way; it is the attainment of the innermost point of realization, called esoterically "within the heart."

I spoke to you elsewhere about world disciples being "close to the Master's heart." This is not the same thing as being "within the Master's heart." One refers to the Master upon the disciple's ray; the other refers to the Christ, the Synthesis within the Hierarchy of all the rays. The world today offers opportunity to all disciples to become world disciples, close to the Master's heart, and to pass rapidly through the earlier stages of discipleship. It offers opportunity to world disciples to begin their approach to the Heart of the Hierarchy, to Christ. It is with this first possibility that you should be concerned, for - as you come closer to your group - you can begin to get that training which will develop in you world usefulness. Are the majority of you too old to achieve this? That is for you to say. The soul knows no age and can use its instrument if it makes itself into a suitable and available instrument. Are you too set and too preoccupied with yourselves to achieve the detachment needed for world service? That is for you to find out and to prove to yourselves. This group has had much opportunity [769] offered to it and much teaching. The output in devotion and service, demonstrated by this group, should be quite unusual and it should be a group demonstration. I would ask if this is so? Are you too depressed (which is a synonym for selfishness) and too sensitive to render service to humanity in a larger way than hitherto? That can be overcome if you care enough. Is your awareness a constant group-awareness? Or is it a constant self-awareness which comes consistently between you and your fellowmen? That is for you to discover. Have you the deep humility - based on a realization of the Plan and the glory of the goal - and not a sense of self-depreciation over which you gloat and regard as an indication of spiritual humility? You need to reinterpret this theme of humility, as well as all your terms, in the light of the esoteric and spiritual values. Can you do this?

Earlier, I used a phrase in which I referred to "disciples assembling, in this cycle, at the call of the Hierarchy." This has a definite relation at this time to our theme of discipleship and its various stages. "The call of the Hierarchy" goes out to humanity as a whole; it is sent out through the medium of the groups and Ashrams which are presided over by many of the Masters. It is caught and heard by many different types of people and in their response much distortion of that call creeps in; only the advanced disciple either brings it through correctly or responds adequately. The others respond to partial aspects of the call and their consequent activity is spasmodic, based upon erroneous interpretations, colored by personality faults, delayed by inertia and often selfishly based. By the response of the disciples in his group or Ashram, the Master gauges the place and status of the disciple, though there are, of course, many other indicatory evidences.

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