When ma has passed through mahat, ma will still be ma; but ma will be united with mahat, and be a mahat-ma.
|Vol. 10||DECEMBER, 1909.||No. 3|
|Copyright, 1909, by H. W. PERCIVAL.|
ADEPTS, MASTERS AND MAHATMAS.
AMONG those who have heard of and desired to become adepts, masters and mahatmas, many have busied themselves, not with preparation, but have tried to be one right away. So they have arranged with some alleged teacher to give them instruction. If such aspirants had used better sense they would see that if adepts, masters and mahatmas do exist, and are possessed of wonderful powers and have wisdom, they have no time to gratify the whims of such foolish persons by teaching them tricks, exhibiting powers, and holding court for the simple minded.
There are many obstacles in the way of those desiring to become disciples. Ungoverned anger, passion, appetites and desires, will disqualify an aspirant; so will a virulent or wasting disease, such as cancer or consumption, or a disease preventing the natural action of internal organs, such as gall stones, goitre and paralysis; so will amputation of a limb, or loss of the use of an organ of sense, such as the eye, because the organs are necessary to the disciple as they are the centers of forces through which the disciple is instructed.
One who is addicted to the use of intoxicating liquors disqualifies himself by such use, because alcohol is an enemy to the mind. The spirit of alcohol is not of our evolution. It is of a different evolution. It is an enemy of the mind. The internal use of alcohol impairs the health of the body, overstimulates the nerves, unbalances the mind or ousts it from its seat in and control of the body.
Mediums and those who frequent seance rooms are not fit subjects for discipleship, because they have around them the shadows or ghosts of the dead. A medium attracts into its atmosphere creatures of the night, those of the sepulchre and charnel house, who seek a human body for the things of the flesh—which they have lost or never had. While such creatures are the companions of man he is unfit to be a disciple of any adept or master who is a friend of humanity. A medium loses the conscious use of his faculties and senses while his body is obsessed. A disciple must have the full use of his faculties and senses and possess and control his own body. Hence somnambulists and those suffering from dementia, that is, any abnormal action or unsoundness of mind, are unfitted. The body of the somnambulist acts without the presence and direction of the mind and is therefore not to be trusted. No one who is subject to hypnotic influence is fit for discipleship, because he comes too easily under the influence which he should control. The confirmed christian scientist is unfit and useless as a disciple, because a disciple must have an open mind and an understanding ready to accept truths, whereas the christian scientist closes his mind to certain truths which his theories oppose and compels his mind to accept as true, assertions whch outrage sense and reason.
From the human standpoint, the schools of adepts and masters may be divided into two kinds: the school of the senses and the school of the mind. In both schools the mind is, of course, that which is instructed, but in the school of the senses the mind of the disciple is instructed in the development and use of the senses. In the school of the senses the disciples are instructed in the development of their psychic faculties, such as clairvoyance and clairaudience, in the development of the psychic or desire body and how to live apart from the physical and act in the desire world; whereas in the school of the mind, the disciple is instructed in the use and development of his mind and of the faculties of the mind, such as thought transference and imagination, the faculty of image building, and in the development of a thought body able to live and act freely in the world of thought. Adepts are the teachers in the school of the senses; masters are the teachers in the school of the mind.
It is most important that an aspirant for discipleship should understand the distinction between these two schools, before he becomes more than an aspirant. If he understands the difference before becoming a disciple he may save himself long lives of suffering and harm. The majority of aspirants, though not knowing the differences between adepts, masters and mahatmas (or other terms which are used synonymously or in connection with these names), earnestly desire psychic powers and the development of a psychic body in which they can ramble around in the now invisible world. Though unconsciously to them, this longing and desire is in the school of the adepts an application for admission. Acceptance of the application and admission to the school of the adepts is, as in the schools of men, announced to the applicant when he proves himself fit for admission. He proves himself not by formally answering questions as to what he has learned and what he is prepared to learn, but by having certain psychic senses and faculties.
Those desiring to be disciples, whose efforts are to think clearly and understand definitely what they think, who take delight in following an idea through processes of thought as it is reflected in the world of thought, who see the expression of thoughts in their physical forms, who trace the forms of things back through processes of thought to the idea from which they originate, those who endeavor to understand the causes which actuate human emotions and control human destinies, are those who have made or are making their application for admission to discipleship in the school of the masters. Their acceptance as disciples is known to them as soon as they have developed mental faculties which fit them for and make them ready to receive instruction in the school of the masters.
Aspirants for discipleship are generally more attracted by those things which appeal to the senses than by that which appeals to the mind, hence many enter the school of the senses as compared to few who enter the school of the mind. The aspirant should decide which school he will enter. He may select either. His choice followed by his work, will determine his future. At the initial stage, he may decide clearly and without difficulty. After his choice is made and his life is given to his choice, it is difficult or nearly impossible for him to retract his choice. Those who choose the school of the masters may, on becoming a master, become a mahatma and then only, safely become an adept. Those who choose and enter the school of the senses, and who become adepts, seldom if ever become masters or mahatmas. The reason is that if they have not seen and understood the difference between the mind and the senses, or if they have seen the difference and then have selected and entered the school of the senses, then, after entering it and developing the senses and body used in that school, they will be too much concerned with and overwhelmed by the senses to be able to free themselves and rise above them; for after developing that body which overcomes the death of the physical, the mind adjusts itself to and works in that body, and it is then usually unable to act independently of and apart from it. This condition may be understood in ordinary life. In youth the mind may be exercised and cultivated and engage in the pursuit of literature, mathematics, chemistry or another of the sciences. The mind may have disliked or rebelled against such work, but the work becomes easier as it goes on. As age advances, intellectual power increases and at an advanced age the mind is able to enjoy literature or the sciences. On the other hand, a man under similar circumstances and at the outset even more favorably disposed to mental work, may have been led away from it if he has followed a life of pleasure. Living for the day only, he is less and less inclined to take up any serious study. As age advances, he finds it impossible to follow a mathematical or any process of reasoning and he is unable to comprehend the principles of any science. He might feel attracted to some intellectual pursuit but withdraws at the thought of beginning it.
The mind of one who has chosen and entered the school of the senses, and has overcome physical death and has become an adept, is like the mind of one immersed in pleasures and unused to abstract thinking. He finds himself incapable to begin the task because the bent of his mind prevents it. Regrets may haunt him for lost or discarded opportunities, but with no avail. The pleasures of the physical are many, but the pleasures and attractions of the psyshic world are a thousandfold more numerous, alluring and intense for one who has become enchanted by them. He becomes drunk with the use of astral faculties and powers, even though there be moments, as in the case of the sufferer from alcohol, when he wishes to escape their influence; but he cannot free himself. The world-old tragedy of the moth and the flame is again enacted.
No adept or master would accept as a disciple one who did not have a reasonably sound mind in a reasonably sound body. A sound and clean mind in a sound and clean body are requisites to discipleship. A sensible person should comply with these requisites before trusting himself to be a disciple and receive instruction directly or indirectly from an adept or a master.
One should study well his motive in wishing to be a disciple. If his motive is not prompted by the love of service to his fellow men, as much as for his own advancement, it will be better for him to postpone his attempt until such time as he can feel himself in the hearts of others and feel mankind in his own heart.
If the aspirant decides for discipleship he becomes by such decision, a self appointed disciple in the school of his selection. There is no school or body of men to whom the self appointed disciple should apply and make known his wishes. He may enter into so called secret societies or occult or esoteric bodies or join people claiming acquaintance with adepts, masters or mahatmas or giving instruction on the occult sciences; and though there may be a society here and there, perhaps, who may be able to give some little instruction in obscure matters, yet by professing or insinuating intimacy with adepts, masters or mahatmas, they are, by their very claims and insinuations, self-condemned and show that they have no such relation or connection.
The self appointed disciple is the only witness of his appointment. No other witness is needed. If a self appointed disciple is of the stuff of which true disciples are made, he will feel that socalled documentary evidence will be of little or no importance in deciding a matter in which lives of effort are concerned.
One who wishes assurances that he will be admitted to some school, he who is doubtful as to whether there is or is not a school, and he who feels that in becoming a disciple he must receive recognition soon after wishing to be a disciple, such as these are not yet ready to be self appointed disciples. Such as these fail before they have fairly begun the task. They lose confidence in themselves or in the reality of their quest, and, when tossed about by the stern realities of life, or when intoxicated by the allurements of the senses, they forget their determination or laugh at themselves that they could have made it. Such thoughts and many more of a similar nature arise in the mind of the self appointed disciple. But he who is of the right stuff is not swerved out of his course. Such thoughts, the understanding and dispersing of them, are among the means by which he proves himself. The self appointed disciple who will eventually become an entered disciple, knows that he has set himself a task which may take many lives of unremitting effort, and although he may often feel discouraged at his seemingly slow progress in self preparation, yet his determination is fixed and he steers his course accordingly. The self preparation of the self appointed disciple in the school of the senses is parallel or similar to that in the school of the mind, for a considerable time; that is, both endeavor to control their appetites, direct their thoughts to the studies at hand, eliminate customs and habits which distract them from their self appointed work, and both fix their minds on their ideals.
Food is a subject about which the aspirant is concerned at an early stage, very often the would-be aspirant never gets any further than the subject of food. There are notions about food among faddists who are fasters or vegetable or other “arians.” If the aspirant flounders on the food rock he will be stranded there for the remainder of his incarnation. The aspirant is in no danger from food when he sees and understands that a strong and healthy body, not food, is that with which he is most concerned. He will value and take such foods as will keep his body in health and increase his strength. By observation and, perhaps, by a little personal experience, the aspirant sees that fasters, vegetarians and fruitarians, are often fussy, irritable and ill-tempered people, gross or wizened in person, that unless they have had trained minds before they became vegetarians they are unable to think long or consecutively on any problem; that they are flabby and fanciful in thought and ideal. At best they are weak minds in bulky bodies, or keen minds in weak bodies. He will see that they are not strong and healthy minds in strong and healthy bodies. The aspirant must begin or continue from where he is, not from some point in the future. It is not impossible to live an ordinary life and preserve health without the use of meat for some singularly constituted bodies. But in the present physical body of man, he is constituted an herbivorous and a carnivorous animal. He has a stomach which is a meat eating organ. Two thirds of his teeth are carnivorous teeth. These are among the unfailing signs that nature has provided the mind with a carnivorous body, which requires meat as well as fruits or vegetables to keep it in health and preserve its strength. No amount of sentimentality nor theories of any kind will overcome such facts.
There does come a time, when the disciple is nearing adeptship or mastership, when he discontinues the use of meat and may not use solid or liquid food of any kind; but he does not give up the use of meat while he is actively engaged in large cities and with other men. He may discard the use of meat before he is ready, but he pays the penalty by a weakly and sickly body, or by a fidgety, ill-tempered, irritable or unbalanced mind.
One of the chief reasons advanced for the giving up of meat is, that the eating of it increases the animal desires in man. It is also said that man must kill out his desires to become spiritual. The eating of meat does strengthen the animal body in man, which is of desire. But if man did not need an animal body he would not have a physical body, which is a natural animal. Without an animal body, and a strong animal body, the aspirant will not be able to travel the course mapped out for himself. His animal body is the beast which he has in keeping, and by the training of which he will prove himself ready for further progress. His animal body is the beast which he is to ride and guide over the course he has chosen. If he kills it or weakens it by refusing it the food which it needs, before he has well set out on his journey, he will not get far on the road. The self appointed disciple should not attempt to kill or weaken desire, the beast in his keeping; he should care for and have as strong an animal as he can, that he may complete his journey. His business is to control the animal and compel it to carry him where he wills. It is not true, as often claimed, that the meat which man eats is filled with the desires of the animal, or has fanciful, astral desires hanging around it. Any clean meat is as free from such desires as a clean potato or a handful of peas. The animal and its desires leave the meat as soon as the blood is out of it. A clean piece of meat is one of the most highly developed foods that man may eat and the kind of food which is most easily transferred to the tissues of his body. Some of the races may be able to preserve health without the use of meat, but they may do it by reason of climate and by generations of hereditary training. Western races are meat eating races.
The self appointed disciple in the school of the senses and also in the school of the mind, requires strong desire, and his desire must be to attain his object, which is conscious and intelligent discipleship. He must not run away from things which seem obstacles on his path; he must walk through and overcome them fearlessly. No weakling can succeed. It requires a strong desire and a fixed determination to undertake and make the journey. One who supposes that he must wait until conditions are ready for him, one who thinks that things will be done for him by unseen powers, had better not begin. He who believes that his position in life, his circumstances, family, relationships, age and encumbrances, are obstacles too great to overcome, is correct. His belief proves that he does not understand the work before him and that he is, therefore, not ready to begin. When he has a strong desire, a firm conviction in the reality of his quest, and has the determination to go on, he is ready to begin. He does begin: from that point. He is a self appointed disciple.
A man may appoint himself a disciple in either of the schools, no matter how poor or rich he may be, no matter how deficient in or possessed of “education,” no matter whether he is a slave of conditions, or in what part of the world he is. He may be a dweller of the sun-baked deserts or the snow-clad hills, of broad green fields or of crowded cities; his post might be on a lightship out at sea or in the bedlam of the stock exchange. Wherever he is, there he may appoint himself disciple.
Age or other bodily limitations may prevent him from becoming an entered disciple in one of the lodges of either of the schools, but no such conditions can prevent him from being a self appointed disciple in his present life. If one so wills, the present life is the one in which he becomes a self appointed disciple.
Obstacles beset the self appointed disciple at every turn. He must not run away from them, nor ignore them. He must stand his ground and deal with them according to his ability. No obstacle or combination of obstacles can overcome him—if he does not give up the fight. Each obstacle overcome gives an added power which enables him to overcome the next. Each victory won brings him nearer to success. He learns how to think by thinking; he learns how to act by acting. Whether he is aware of it or not, every obstacle, every trial, every sorrow, temptation, trouble or care is not where it is to be the cause of lamentations, but to teach him how to think and how to act. Whatever the difficulty he has to contend with, it is there to teach him something; to develop him in some way. Until that difficulty is met properly, it will remain. When he has met the difficulty and has dealt with it squarely and learned what it had for him, it will disappear. It may hold him for a long time or it may disappear like magic. The length of its stay or the quickness of its removal depends on his treatment of it. From the time it begins to dawn on the self appointed disciple that all his troubles, difficulties and woes, as well as his pleasures and pastimes, have a definite place in his education and character, he begins to live confidently and without fear. He is now preparing himself to be a duly entered disciple.
As a man about to begin a long journey takes with him only what is necessary on the journey and leaves other things behind, so a self appointed disciple attaches himself to that only which is necessary to his work and leaves other things alone. This does not mean that he ceases to care for the things valuable to him alone; he must value a thing for what it is worth to others as well as for what it is worth to him. What is more important to him than conditions, environment and position, is the manner in which he meets, thinks and acts with these. As a day is made up of hours, the hours of minutes, the minutes of seconds, so his life is made up of greater and lesser events, and these of trivial affairs. If the aspirant manages the unseen little affairs of life thoroughly, and intelligently controls unimportant events, these will show him how to act and decide the important events. The great events of life are like public performances. Each actor learns or fails to learn his part. All this he does unseen by the public eye, but what he does in public is what he has learned to do in private. Like the secret workings of nature, the aspirant must work unceasingly and in darkness before he will see the results of his work. Years or lives may be spent in which he may see little progress, yet he must not cease working. Like a seed planted in the ground, he must work in darkness before he can see the clear light. The aspirant need not rush out into the world to do any important work in order to prepare himself; he need not race over the world in order to learn; he himself is the subject of his study; he himself is the thing to be overcome; he himself is the material which he works with; he himself is the result of his efforts; and he will see in time what he has done, by what he is.
The aspirant should check outbursts of anger and passion. Anger, passion and fits of temper are volcanic in their action, they disrupt his body and waste his nervous force. Inordinate appetite for foods or pleasures must be subdued. The body or bodily appetites should be gratified when they are necessary to bodily health.
The physical body should be studied; it should be cared for patiently, not abused. The body should be made to feel that it is the friend, instead of the enemy, of the aspirant. When this is done and the physical body feels that it is being cared for and protected, things may be done with it which were impossible before. It will reveal more to the aspirant concerning its anatomy, physiology and chemistry, than may be learned of these sciences at a university. The body will be a friend to the aspirant, but it is an unreasoning animal and must be checked, controlled and directed. Like the animal, it rebels whenever control is attempted, but respects and is the willing servant of its master.
Natural pleasures and exercises should be taken, not indulged in. Health of mind and body are what the aspirant should seek. Harmless outdoor pleasures and exercises such as swimming, boating, walking, moderate climbing, are good for the body. Close observation of the earth, its structure and the lives it contains, of the water and of the things in it, of the trees and what they support, of clouds, landscapes and natural phenomena, as well as study of the habits of insects, birds and fishes, will afford pleasure to the mind of the aspirant. All these have a special meaning for him and he may learn from them what the books fail to teach.
If a self appointed disciple is a medium he must overcome his mediumistic tendencies, else he will surely fail in his quest. Neither of the schools will accept a medium as disciple. By a medium is meant one who loses conscious control of his body at any time other than that of normal sleep. A medium is the tool for unprogressed, disembodied human desires and for other entities, particularly for inimical forces or the sprites of nature, the desire of which is to experience sensation and make sport of a human body. It is twaddle to speak about the necessity of mediums for receiving instruction from high spiritual intelligences beyond man. A high intelligence will no more seek a medium as his mouthpiece than a home government would select a blithering idiot as messenger to one of its colonies. When the higher intelligences wish to communicate with man they find no difficulty in giving their message to mankind through a channel which is intelligent, and by means which will not deprive the messenger of his manhood nor cause the pitiful or disgusting spectacle which a medium is.
An aspirant who is mediumistic may overcome his tendencies. But to do so he must act firmly and decisively. He cannot parley with or be lenient to his mediumism. He must stop it with all the force of his will. Mediumistic tendencies in an aspirant will surely disappear and cease altogether if he sets his mind firmly against them and refuses to allow any such tendency to become manifest. If he is able to do this he will feel an increase in power and an improvement of mind.
The aspirant must not allow money or the possession of it to be an attraction to him. If he feels that he is wealthy and has power and is of importance because he has much money and power, or if he feels poor and of no account because he has little or none, his belief will prevent further progress. The aspirant’s wealth or poverty is in his power of thought and in faculties other than those of the physical world, not in money. The aspirant, if he is poor, will have enough for his needs; he will have no more, no matter what his possessions may be, if he is a true aspirant.
A self appointed disciple should not affiliate with any set of people to whose method of belief or form of faith he must subscribe, if these are different from his own or if they limit in any way the free action and use of his mind. He may express his own beliefs, but he must not insist on the acceptance of these by any person or set of persons. He must in no sense attempt to control the free action or thought of anyone, even as he would not wish others to control him. No aspirant nor disciple is at all able to control another before he can control himself. His efforts at self-control will give him so much work and require so much attention as to prevent him from attempting the control of another. The self appointed disciple may not in his life become an accepted disciple in either of the schools, but he should continue to the end of life, if his belief is real to him. He should be prepared to be made aware at any time of his acceptance as disciple, and prepared to continue many lives without acceptance.
The self appointed disciple who will be accepted in the school of the senses, the adepts, whether his choice has been made clearly and distinctly to himself or because of an ill-defined motive and natural bent, will be more interested in psychic faculties and their development than in processes of thought concerning the causes of existence. He will concern himself with the psychic world and will endeavor to enter it. He will seek to gain entrance into the astral by the development of his psychic faculties, such as clairvoyance or clairaudience. He may try one or many of the methods which are recommended by different teachers on the subject, discarding the unfit and using such as are suited to his nature and motive, or he may try new methods and observances which he will himself discover as he continues to ponder over the object of his desire, that is, his conscious existence apart from the physical body and the using and enjoying of the faculties attending such existence. The oftener he changes methods or systems the longer it will be before he obtains results. To get results he should hold to some one system and continue with that until he either gets proper results or proves the system to be wrong. Evidence that any system is wrong is not that results do not come quickly nor even after long practice, but such evidence may be found in this: that the system is either contrary to the experience of his senses, or is illogical and against his reason. He shall not change his system or method of practice merely because somebody has said so or because he has read something in a book, but only if what he has so heard or read is quite apparent or demonstrable to his senses, and self-evident to his understanding. The sooner he insists on himself judging the matter by his own sensing or by his own reasoning, the sooner will he outgrow the class of aspirants and the sooner will he enter as disciple.
As he continues his practice, his senses become keener. His dreams at night may be more vivid. Faces or figures may appear before his inner eye; scenes of unfamiliar places may pass before him. These will be either in the open space or appear like a picture in a frame; they will not be like a painted portrait or landscape. The trees and clouds and water will be as trees and clouds and water are. The faces or figures will be like faces or figures and not like portraits. Sound as music and noise may be heard. If music is sensed there will be no disharmonies in it. When music is sensed it seems to come from everywhere or nowhere. After it is sensed the ear is then no longer enraptured by instrumental music. Instrumental music is like the straining or snapping of strings, the clanging of bells or the shrill blowing of whistles. Instrumental music is at best the harsh imitation or reflection of the music of sound in space.
Nearby or approaching beings or objects may be felt without moving the physical body. But such feeling will not be as is the touching of a cup or of a stone. It will be of a lightness as of a breath, which when first experienced plays gently over or through the body which it contacts. A being or object thus felt will be sensed in its nature and not by physical touch.
Foods and other objects may be tasted without physical contact. They may be familiar or strange in taste; the taste will not be experienced in the tongue specifically but rather in the glands of the throat, and thence through the fluids of the body. Odors will be sensed which will be different from the fragrance coming from a flower. It will be as of an essence which seems to penetrate, surround and lift the body and produce a sense of exaltation of body.
The self appointed disciple may experience any or all of these new senses, which are the astral duplicates of the physical senses. This sensing of the new world is by no means an entrance into and living in the astral world. This sensing of a new world is often mistaken for entrance into it. Such mistake is a proof that the one who senses is not fit to be trusted in the new world. The astral world is new as well to the one who first senses it as to the one who, after long years of sensing, supposes that he has entered it. Clairvoyants and clairaudients and the like do not act intelligently when they see or hear. They are like babes in a wonder world. They do not know how to translate correctly the thing they see, into what it is, nor do they know what is meant by what they hear. They think that they go out into the world but they do not leave their body, (unless they are mediums, in which case they are personally unconscious).
The new senses which are thus beginning to function are an evidence to the self appointed disciple that he is forging ahead in his efforts of self development. Until he has more evidence than the use of the senses here outlined, he should not make the mistake and suppose that he is acting intelligently in the astral world, nor should he suppose that he is yet a fully accepted disciple. When he is an accepted disciple he will have better evidence of it than that of clairvoyance or clairaudience. He should not believe what apparitions or unseen voices may tell him, but he should question all he sees and hears if it seems worth while, and if not, he should command what he sees to disappear, or bid the unseen voice be still. He should stop using such faculties if he finds himself passing into a trance or becoming unconscious, as a medium would, while using them. He should never forget that mediumship debars him from obtaining admission into the school of the adepts or of the masters, and that if a medium he can never become an adept or a master.
The self appointed disciple should understand that he should not indulge in the use of his new senses for pleasure to himself or for exhibitions of any kind which will afford amusement to others or win for him their approbation or applause. If desire for approbation by exhibiting the new senses or by informing others of his developing new senses is present in his mind, he will lose them partially or entirely. This loss is for his good. If he is on the right path they will not appear again until he has overcome his desire to be admired. If he is to be of use in the world he must work without desire of praise; if at the outset he desires praise, this desire will increase with his powers and would render him incapable of recognizing and remedying mistakes.
The self appointed disciple who has thus advanced and who, whether he made few or many mistakes, has been conscious of and corrected his mistakes, will at some time have a new experience. His senses will seem to melt into each other and he will find himself not so much in a place as in a conditon, in which he will be aware that he is an accepted disciple. This experience will not be like that of a trance, in which he becomes partially or wholly unconscious, and after which he forgets in part or entirely what has occured. He will remember all that there occurred and will not have been unconscious concerning any of it. This experience will be as the beginning and living of a new life. It means that he has found and duly entered as a disciple into the school of his selection, which is the school of the senses. This experience does not mean that he is yet able to live apart from his physcal body. It means that he has entered the school in which he is to be taught how to live apart from and independent of his physical body. When he has learned so to live and act independently of his physical body he will be an adept.
This new experience is the beginning of his term of discipleship. In it he will see who or what his teacher is, and be aware of certain other disciples with whom he will be connected and instructed by the teacher. This new experience will pass from him, who before was a self appointed but who is now an accepted disciple. Yet the experience will live with him. By it his teacher will have imparted to the disciple a new sense, by which he will be able to test the other senses and the correctness of the evidence which they may furnish him. This new sense by which the teacher communicates with his disciple is the sense by which he as aspirant became disciple. His fellow disciples may never have been known to him, but by the new sense he will learn who they are and meet them, and they will be and are his brothers. These others form with himself a set or class of disciples which will be instructed by their teacher. His teacher will be an adept or an advanced disciple. His fellow disciples may be living in other parts of the world, or in his immediate neighborhood. If they are far removed from each other, their conditions, affairs and circumstances in life will change so that they will be brought near to each other. Until each disciple is adjusted to his fellow disciples he will be instructed when necessary by his teacher. When the disciples are ready to be instructed as a class they are called together in their physical bodies by their teacher, and are formed into a regular class of disciples and taught by the teacher in his physical body.
The teaching is not from books, though books may be used in connection with the teaching. The teaching deals with the elements and forces; how they affect the new sense or senses acquired; how to control them by the senses; how the physical body is to be trained and used in the work. No member of this set of disciples is allowed to make the existence of his class known to the world, or to anyone not a disciple or not connected with his class. Every disciple worthy of the name, of any school, avoids notoriety. A disciple would usually suffer death rather than make his class known to the world. Anyone professing to be a disciple and to receive instruction from any adept or master is not the kind of disciple here spoken of. He belongs to one of the so-called occult or secret societies which profess secrecy, but which lose no opportunity to advertise themselves to the world.
A self appointed disciple takes or makes for himself a set of rules by which he tries to live. An accepted disciple has placed before him a set of rules, which he must observe and put into practice. Among these rules are some concerning the physical body, and others for the development and birth of a new body as adept. Among the rules applying to the physical body are: observance of the laws of one’s country, of relation to family, of chastity, of care and treatment of body, non-interference by others with his body. Among the rules applying to the body of the new psychic faculties are those concerning obedience, mediumship, disputes or arguments, treatment of desires, treatment of other disciples, use of senses and powers.
As to the rules for the body. The rules require that a disciple shall not violate the laws of the country in which he lives. In relation to family, the disciple shall fulfil his duties to parents, wife and children. If a separation from wife or children should take place it shall be upon the request and act of wife or children; separation must not be provoked by the disciple. As to chastity, if the disciple is unmarried, at the time of becoming disciple he shall remain unmarried providing that by so doing he will maintain his chastity, but if he cannot remain chaste in desire and act then he should marry. As regards the married state. The rule concerning chastity requires that the disciple shall not incite his wife’s desire and that he shall earnestly endeavor to control his own. The rule concerning chastity forbids the use of the sex function under any pretext whatever, except for natural relationship between man and woman. As to care and treatment of body, it is required that that food shall be eaten which is best for the health and strength of the body, and that the body shall be kept clean, nourished and cared for, and be given the exercise, rest and sleep found necessary to the maintenance of bodily health. All alcoholic stimulants and drugs producing an unconscious state are to be avoided. The rule relating to non-interference by others with his body, means that the disciple should under no circumstances or pretence allow anyone to mesmerise or hypnotise him.
Among the rules concerning the development of the psychic body and its faculties, is that of obedience. Obedience means that the disciple shall implicitly obey the orders of his teacher in all that concerns the development of the psychic body and its faculties; that he shall observe strict allegiance in desire and thought to the school of his selection; that he shall continue to work for this school throughout the period of the gestation of his psychic body, no matter how many lives this may require, until birth as an adept. The rule concerning mediumship requires the disciple to use every precaution against himself becoming a medium and that he will not aid, nor encourage others to become mediums. The rule relating to disputes and arguments requires that the disciple shall not dispute or argue with his fellow disciples nor with other men. Disputes and arguments breed ill-feeling, quarrels and anger and must be suppressed, All matters relating to their studies, when not understood between themselves, should be referred by the disciples to their teacher. If not then agreed on, the matter shall be left alone until their growing faculties will have mastered it. Agreement and understanding of the subject will come, but not by argument or dispute, which confuse rather than make clear. As regards others, the disciple may state his views if he wishes, but must cease argument if he feels antagonism rising within himself. The rule concerning the treatment of desires requires that he shall cultivate and nourish that which is known as desire in so far as he is able to contain it within himself and to control its expression, and that he shall have one firm fixed and unrelenting desire for attaining birth as an adept. The rule regarding the treatment of other disciples requires that the disciples shall regard them nearer than his blood relatives; that he shall willingly sacrifice himself or any of his possessions or powers to assist a brother disciple, if by such sacrifice he does not take from or interfere with his family or act against the laws of the country in which he lives, and if such sacrifice is not forbidden by his teacher. Should a disciple feel anger or jealousy he must search out its source and transmute it. He interferes with his own and the progress of his class by allowing any ill-feeling toward his fellow disciples to exist. The rule applying to the treatment of senses and powers is, that they should be regarded as means to an end, the end being full adeptship; that they shall not be used to attract attention, to gratify the desire of any person, to influence others, to defeat enemies, to protect oneself, or to come into contact with or control the forces and elements, except as directed by the teacher. The disciple is forbidden to make any attempt to project himself out of his physical body, or leave his physical body, or aid another disciple to do so. Any such attempt, whatever the temptation, may be followed by a miscarriage in the birth of the disciple’s new body and may result in insanity and death. Such miscarriage will prevent him from coming to birth in his present life and will cause tendencies to mediumship or to a like miscarriage in a succeeding life.
The duties of a disciple in his relation to the world are provided for by the karma of his past lives and are those which are naturally presented to him. A disciple lives inside of his life in the world. As he lives a more interior life, he may wish to leave the world of men and live with those of the school to which he belongs. Such desire is however forbidden and must be subdued by the disciple, as desire to leave the world will result in his leaving it, but there remains the necessity to return again until he can work in the world without the desire to leave it. The disciple’s work in the world may cover a series of lives, but there comes a time when it is either necessary for him to leave it for a short or long time or altogether. This time is determined by the completion of duties to relatives and friends, and by the growth and development of the new psychic body to be born at the end of discipleship.
To be continued.