Alice Bailey's life led her in many directions, but always in one direction-towards the time when through drastic personal experience of many kinds she had acquired a synthesis of outlook and understanding, and an absolute conviction that one divine life pervades and animates the one humanity; that the Plan for humanity requires the cooperation and service of trained and dedicated human beings intelligently informed about world affairs, in collaboration with those who form the spiritual Hierarchy, the inner government of the planet. Her life work became an integral part of this synthesis and this realization. Without in the least losing any of her very human qualities and involvement, her soul took up its commitment to her Master, and her personality provided full cooperation in the field of her accepted service.
Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. IIby ALICE A. BAILEY, Alice Bailey
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These two volumes contain the record of a series of personal and group instructions given to a small group of aspirants over a period of fifteen years by a Master of the Wisdom. They contain detailed teachings on Meditation, Initiation and the Six Stages of Discipleship. They emphasise the new age, pioneering necessity for group work, the development of group consciousness, and the change in training for initiation from individuals to discipleship groups.
While the original intention behind the group working instructions contained in Volume I, was to externalise eventually through groups of nine integrated disciples, the work of nine subjectively organised groups (hence the name "Groups of Nine" given to this work), this second volume contains the teaching given between the years 1940 and 1949 after the group had been reduced and reorganised into one group, "the new seed group".
One of the main objectives of the new seed group was to "anchor" some of the principles and seed ideas for the new civilisation of the Aquarian era; and also to create an integrated group of trained Hierarchical workers capable of providing needed cooperation with activities initiated by Hierarchy to fertilise and prepare human consciousness for the tremendous stimulation of the immediate future. In this book, therefore, the personal instructions cover a shorter period of time and only 22 individuals.
Much of the teaching continues to emphasise the needs and the problems of group work, group fusion, group consciousness and the relationship of members of a group to one another and to the Master whom they seek to serve. "Let your horizon be wide and your humility great" the group is told, so that "an adjusted sense of right proportion"--the esoteric definition of humility--may regulate the growth in all relationships in conformity with the evolutionary needs of the Hierarchical Plan.
Two vitally important aspects of the life of discipleship are emphasised from the standpoint of practical training techniques--meditation and initiation. Meditation is shown not only as a way of approach by the individual to the soul, and by the group to the Master, but as the creative technique of the Lord of the World by which all is brought into being. All centres of consciousness in the planet, large and small, can employ the same meditative techniques to create the new and needed forms consistent with the changing emphasis of energy flow and divine purpose. Meditation thus becomes an act of conscious cooperation with "the strictly redemptive purposes" of our planetary life.
The teachings on initiation are also given an essentially practical presentation as "facts of life", to be understood and applied. The glamourous idea of initiation as a reward for a good, self-disciplined way of life, dissipates in the light of the reality. Neither has initiation for the disciple anything to do with the internal, organisational "initiations" peculiar to many occult orders and groups, which are meaningless except in the context of the organisation itself.
Initiation for the disciple is the result of a conscious expansion into "larger and larger wholes"--a progressive expansion into the actual stream of consciousness of our planetary Life. These expansions in consciousness are accompanied by a succession of revelations; and in this volume of "Discipleship in the New Age", five points of revelation are discussed, with hints and symbolic formulas leading to a correct interpretation of them.
A disciple is "one who knows"; he has learned through personal experience that spiritual law and principle applied in service, create a condition of balance in which relationship is restored between the Way of God and the ways of men. Through that point of fusion light can radiate for the benefit of those who stumble in the dark. True revelation is a shared experience.
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