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Discipleship in the New Age II - Personal Instructions to Disciples - I.B.S.
August 1946

MY FRIEND OF MANY YEARS:

I know how greatly distressed you will be at the termination of our outer (not the inner) fellowship; forget not that the outer fellowship was only the sign of a strong, vital and unshatterable inner fellowship. The inner relation of the group to me and to the Ashram and towards each other is as strong as it has ever been; it is in no wise altered. Because of the very real progress you have made in freeing yourself from glamor, that fellowship can now become even more intimate. I can reach you more easily than in the past. I am telling you this because I know it will reassure you and because I know you will not take advantage of it. The further a disciple penetrates into the Ashram, the less need he finds for contact with the Master; he comes to realize the extent of [556] the Master's responsibilities and arrives at a juster value of his own relative unimportance. He then submits himself to "the sustaining aura of the Ashram."

In my last two communications to you I left you with the impression that I had already given you as much teaching as would serve to carry you through this life. I urged on you a steadfast adherence to established spiritual habits. Enough emphasis is seldom put on the necessity for such a stabilization of spiritual rhythm, and too much emphasis is frequently laid upon that which is new and on progress. Yet disciples have to learn to turn their spiritual habits into instinctual spiritual responsiveness; this is the higher correspondence to the instinctual animal reactions with which we are all familiar. When this has been achieved, the disciple can then depend upon himself automatically to do or say the right thing; more important still, the Master can count upon him, knowing that he can be depended upon. He is then "permitted to move throughout the Ashram without impediment, and all the Plan is safe with him." This is what I want you to aim at in your remaining years, so that you will (in your next life) from childhood, express the way of the disciple.

In my last instruction to you I gave you the injunction to act as if the ideal which you have set before yourself was an accomplished fact. This as if behavior is one of the most occult of practices. It in reality presupposes the imposition of the highest grasped aspiration upon the normal personality in the form of changed behavior. This injunction is not the same in meaning as the injunction "as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." That injunction, if rightly followed, brings about the imposition of mental control upon the personality; it affects the brain, and therefore the two lower vehicles. The as if type of behavior (for the disciple) brings in a still higher factor than that of thought; it involves the constant attempt to live as if the soul (not the mind but through the mind) is in constant control and the dominating aspect of expression.

This may involve close thinking about the soul and its relation to the personality, but it is a great deal more than [557] just that. It necessitates, when correctly applied, the growing automatic control of the entire lower threefold man by the soul. I am going to give you six themes for meditation built around the as if idea. These will cover one year's work. I would like to see you take these themes and give them full consideration for three years. At the end of that time you will probably wish to go over all the work again, on a higher level and with a deeper intent.

  1. Sound the OM inaudibly three times, as a physical person, as an emotional person, and as a mind.
    Then sound the 0M as the soul.
  2. Themes for meditative reflection:
    1. What, in your life, would happen if you really acted as if the soul were sounding the 0M?
    2. If you are truly thinking as if the mind were the instrument of the soul, what lines of thought will you have to eliminate, cultivate or express?
    3. If you are realistically living as if the soul were visible in your daily life, what will happen to the astral body?
    4. Provided the as if theory were controlling your physical brain and consequently your daily activities, in what way would it alter your mode of living? (This is not the same as question a.)
    5. Do you understand clearly the difference between the "as a man thinketh - and the as if modes of procedure? How do they differ in application?
    6. What qualities would your particular mechanism or personality demonstrate if you acted as if you were anchored in the Ashram and not just on the periphery? Do not be vague in this reply, but be extremely personal in your analysis of the situation.
  3. Then, as if you were consciously standing before your Master and definitely aware of my presence, dedicate yourself to the service of the Ashram for this life and the next.
  4. Say the new Invocation, sounding the OM after each stanza. [558]
  5. Sound the OM at as high a point in consciousness as possible.

Then, my brother, go your way in peace, knowing the ferment of living energies within you will enable you to act as if you were the soul. This will be a growing, conscious experience. Know too that I, your Master and your friend, will also be aware of it. My love surrounds you and the link remains unbroken.

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