Discipleship in the New Age Vol. I
by Alice Bailey
How many would-be disciples are convinced of their worthiness to receive direct training from a Master of the Wisdom? How few are able to absorb the intense pressures of the experience and to profit from the opportunity!
Included in these two volumes of "Discipleship in the New Age" are the series of personal instructions given to a small group of chelas over a period of 15 years, with related teaching on a number of subjects. When the group effort was finally discontinued, the Tibetan Master remarked that while his purpose in establishing the group for Ashramic training had proved unsuccessful, the instructions and teaching given as a result of forming the group would prove of great and continuing value to increasing numbers of aspirants to discipleship; and certain important concepts were anchored in human consciousness through the group channel, including particularly the vital fact of the reappearance of the Christ.
As the interplay between Hierarchy and humanity strengthens, many young disciples approaching the periphery of an Ashram are profiting from the experience of this group brought together for training by the Tibetan, and from the wealth of careful teaching and spiritual stimulation made available to them.
The requirements facing a disciple in the new age are drastic and heavy; they involve as a first prerequisite, the need for personal decentralisation, the relinquishment of individual preferences and emphasis of every kind, and absorption into a group for service purposes.
"The entire subject of group interplay is far deeper and more significant than you suspect or appreciate" we are told. The development of group consciousness is a matter of often painful experience in self-forgetfulness, requiring also a sensitive response to the purpose and plan of the Master through some Hierarchically inspired area of work.
The obvious and the subtle glamours and illusions which deceive the disciple and limit his consciousness, must be clearly identified, seen, known and transcended. The disciple must recognise himself as he is, and move on towards the next spiritual objective.
In the first part of Volume I of "Discipleship in the New Age" some of the requirements of the Hierarchical Plan and the place of service of discipleship groups are clearly shown in relationship.
The "Six Stages of Discipleship" in the final part of the book show the sequence of growth in consciousness towards the centre of an Ashram so clearly, that only the self-deluded can fail to identify his own place and his resulting opportunity.
Between these two parts of the book, training and teaching hints and personal instructions are given to each of 41 disciples and applicants for discipleship.
In these direct and outspoken comments any sincere aspirant to discipleship can find himself and his own need understood and met, sometimes in drastic terms, from the deep spiritual insight, the knowledge and the love of a Master of the Wisdom. So this pioneering group training effort is perpetuated for those who tread the Path of Discipleship today.