The World has passed the stage where a disciple used to sit at the feet of a Master or Guru to get instruction. A greater need in the world and the intellectual development in the world today have given rise to a new and better way of training for discipleship. The material for discipleship with which the Master have to deal and the type of person which has to be developed and led on towards illumination is of a higher quality and grade. The experiment of changing the methods [of training] and of implementing the new technique of group work [New age], has to be carried out in the midst of the stress and strain of Western civilisation.
It is very difficult for the disciple in the new age to live simultaneously the acutely sensitive inner life of the Pilgrim upon the path of live; of a human being in the world of human events; to live the group life of the pledged disciple; and the mass life of humanity; to fulfil his own spiritual destiny through the medium of a controlled personality and, at the same time, to participate fully in the life of humanity upon earth. This is no easy task.
The Master DK has stated that in the New Age, the field of training for the disciple is in the New Group of World Servers. [NGWS]
Who or what is the NGWS? One of the decisions that was made , by the Hierarchy at the Great Meeting of Cooperation in 1925 was to link more closely and subjectively the senior disciples, aspirants and workers in the world. To this end, all the Masters put Their personal groups of disciples in touch with each other, subjectively, intuitively, and sometimes telepathically. Thus the NGWS came into being.
This group would act as liaison officers, interpreters between the inner active Hierarchy and the thinkers of the world, and also serve as agents in every country and in every group. Thus all groups which were animated by any desire to serve, and which were [in spite of errors in technique and method] of any usefulness in aiding their fellow men, were swept into a current of spiritual stimulation with the intent to increase their effectiveness.
There is a Plan for humanity and that Plan has always existed. Today there are a sufficient number of men and women in the world adequately developed so that they can contact It and work in connection with It. They are in every country and are definitely upon the Path of Discipleship and are all serving the race. They form part of the NGWS and with them it is more a matter of group recognition than of intuitive revelation. They have similarity of objectives, ideals and methods to be seen in their work which is found in all fields of human enterprise – economic, political, social and religious.
All the disciples are divided into two parts:
1. An inner nucleus, composed of those servers who know themselves to be disciples, is consciously in touch with the Plan, and is strenuously working at its development.
2. Those who have responded to the vision as it has been presented to them by the first group and have ranged themselves definitely on the side of the Plan. They are therefore, men and women of good will.
Thus we have the Masters, and Their cooperating initiates, working on the inner side. Their activities are confined largely to the mental plane and to the scientific use of thought. Thus they guide their workers and helpers and influence and direct Their working disciples and the world disciples. [NGWS and men and women of good will.]
Then we have those who act as links between the Masters and the race of men. [NGWS] They are the intermediaries in the working out of the Plan in the world, thus aiding with their wisdom and experience and supplementing the capacities of the field of workers.
Then there are those doing the difficult work in the outer world, the field workers. They materialise the forms through which Hierarchy can express its intentions and they make the human contacts.
Members of the NGWS stand for the following ideals, tasks and functions.
1. They believe in an inner world government and in an emerging evolutionary Plan and to the promotion and furtherance of this Plan.
2. They are steadily cultivating an international spirit of good will and to this they consecrate every effort .
3. They seek to teach also the fact that the many national, religious and social experiments, are only modes of growth and needed lessons.
4. They have the immediate task of achieving power in moulding men’s ideas to the needed changes of thought and the new technique of work all over the world.
5. Materialising ideas like brotherhood, expression of good will and the fulfilment of the law of love.
6. Their work is the educating of the human being and the expanding of the human consciousness so that the newer and truer ideas may be grasped; the idea of the New Age.
7. They are mediating between Hierarchy and humanity, responding to Hierarchical impression and meditating the Plan into existence.
This is but a small description of their functions as the NGWS as a unit in the New Age.
As for the individual disciple, we can say the following. Discipleship training in the New Age is primarily an experiment in group work and its main objective is not the perfection of the individual disciple in the group. Every disciple has to learn to subordinate his own ideas of personal growth to group requirements. Only that is of moment which will further group effort and enrich the group consciousness. Disciples in the group of a Master have to love each other with intelligence and an abiding strength and thus release that light and power which will eventually make the group of effective value in the world for working out the Plan for the world through service.
The reasoning mind of the disciple can then take the successes and failures he encounters in his training,[and through service] and learn the intended lessons; he finds that progress upon the Path brings a man into closer conscious touch with those who have walked this way before, and that the way into the Hierarchy is a way of discipline, of increasing enlightenment, of service to his fellowmen and of a growing responsiveness to contacts and to individuals of which the average human being knows nothing.
Only those who are beginning to come under the influence and the control of their own souls and are, therefore, mentally focussed and attuned, are eligible for the training offered by the Hierarchy. This Esoteric training is also concerned with the development of soul consciousness and with the expansion of that consciousness to include, and exclude, all forms of life through which pulses the life of God. The true disciple is ever inclusive and never exclusive.
Discipleship is a most practical way of life; it concerns living in the light; it requires penetration into the world meaning and it needs the relation of every life circumstance to Cause and Effect and this must be accompanied with due shouldering of responsibility. HPB tells us in The Secret Doctrine that the sense of responsibility is the first indication that the soul is beginning to dominate the personality.
This activity produces light and illumination. This results in the inherent light of substance being intensified and qualified by the light of the soul. This reveals the Path even more.
[a] A DISCIPLE IS ONE who above all else, is pledged to do three things:-
1. To serve humanity.
2. To co-operate with the plan of the Great Ones as he sees it and as best he may.
3. To develop the powers of the ego, to expand his consciousness until he can function on the three planes in the three worlds, and in the causal body, and to follow the guidance of the higher self and not the dictates of his three-fold lower manifestation.
[b] A disciple is one who is beginning to comprehend group work, and change his centre of activity from himself, to the group centre.
[c] He is one who realises simultaneously the relative insignificance of each unit of consciousness, and also its vast importance.
[d] He realises the force side of nature, and to him the form makes no appeal.
[e] He knows himself to be-to a greater or less degree-an outpost of the Master’s consciousness.
[f] He realises his responsibility to all units who come under his influence.
We can go on……..the thing is, he must first know what he is and where he is going to realise his responsibility.
The disciple, therefore, has several things at which to aim:
• A sensitive response to the Master’s vibration.
• A practical purity of life; a purity not merely theoretical.
• A freedom from care which is the result of lack of dispassion and a too ready response to the vibrations of the lower worlds.
• Accomplishment of duty. This point involves the dispassionate discharge of all obligations and attention to karmic depts.
• He also has to study the astral body because it is the most important body in the solar system, where the human being in the three worlds is concerned.
• He guards his words, he who only speaks with altruistic purpose, in order to carry the energy of Love through the medium of the tongue, is one who is mastering rapidly the initial steps to be taken in preparation for initiation……the disciple must learn to be silent in the face of that which is evil. He must learn to be silent before the suffering of the world, wasting no time in idle plaints and sorrowful demonstration, but lifting up the burden of the world; working, and wasting no energy in talk.
• He SERVES, because he knows what is in MAN.
Such is the goal, but the intermediate stages are fraught with difficulty for all who stand on the verge of self-discovery, and of becoming the Path itself.
Some practical advise might be of value here:-
• Study the Bhagavad Gita and the New testament.
• Stand by and watch the heart. In the transferring of the fire from the solar plexus to the heart centre, comes much pain. It is not easy to love as do the Great Ones.
• Be prepared for loneliness.
Cultivate happiness…no depression.
Based on the works of AAB and DK.