The probationary Path precedes the Path of Initiation or Holiness, and marks that period in the life of a man when he definitely sets himself on the side of the forces of evolution, and works at the building of his own character. He takes himself in hand, cultivates the qualities that are lacking in his disposition, and seeks with diligence to bring his personality under control. He is building the causal body with deliberate intent, filling any gaps that may exist, and seeking to make it a fit receptacle for the Christ principle. He is taught principally to know himself, to ascertain his weaknesses and to correct them.
A great deal of training is given to a probationer without him really recognising it consciously. All this time the aspirant remains in ignorance of what has happened and is unaware of his subjective contacts. He, however, recognise in himself three things:
1. An increased mental activity.
2. Increase responsiveness to ideas and increased capacity to vision the Plan of the Hierarchy.
3. Increased psychic sensitiveness. [This can be a test.]
The aspirant has to grow in all parts of his nature, but until he can function as the soul, the psyche, consciously and with the use of co-operative intelligence, the lower powers must be quiescent. The path is, therefore, a path on which steady expansion of consciousness is undergone with increasing sensitivity to the higher vibrations.
To be a probationary disciple, one can be a devotee; the emphasis can then be laid on purification and the acquiring of an intelligent understanding of brotherhood and human need; to be an accepted disciple, working directly under the Master and active in world work [with a growing influence] requires a mental polarisation, a heart development and a sense of real values.
A disciple is one who above all else, is pledge 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.
His sense of proportion is adjusted, and he sees things as they are; he sees people as they are; he sees himself as he inherently is, and seeks to become that which he is. He works with force and through force; he recognises himself as a force centre within a greater force centre, and his is the responsibility of directing the energy which may pour through him into channels through which the group can be benefited.
He is an outpost of the Master’s consciousness, which is the centre of his group, he realises his responsibility to all units who come under his influence; a responsibility of co-operating with the plan of evolution as it exists for them, and thus to expand their consciousness and teach them the difference between the real and the unreal, between life and form.
For a disciple, direct alignment with the Ego via the centres and the physical brain, is the goal of his life of meditation and discipline. Only then can he be of any real use to the Master. Thus, he is what he is because he has tried all lesser ways and has found them wanting, and has submitted to many guides, only to find them” blind leaders of the blind”. Nothing is left to him but to become his own guide and find his own way home, alone. In the loneliness which is the lot of every true disciple, are born that self-knowledge and self-reliance which will fit him in his turn to be a Master. This loneliness is not due to any separative spirit, but to the conditions of the Way itself.
From the works of AAB and DK.