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Series 2:

THE COMING ONE


Study Set 3

Initiation Defined


Contents

1) Seed Thought
2) Reading Assignment
3) Written Work
4) Letter from Teaching Staff
5) Benjamin Franklin's Daily Schedule
6) The Tibetan Explains Occult Obedience
7) Rhythmic Life of the Soul, A Compendium


SEED THOUGHT

The subordination of the daily life to the ritual of service is literally the tuning-in of the individual to the rhythm of the life, heart and mind of God Himself. From that tuning-in, automatically a spiritual development follows.


Reading Assignment:

INITIATION, HUMAN AND SOLAR: (pages Through page 19)


WRITTEN WORK

1.) It is nearly 2,000 years since the Christ, in His role of avatar, "transmitted the divine energy of love directly to our planet and in a most definite sense to humanity." (R.C. p.6) By this time, humanity should have learned something about love.

How would you describe the divine energy to which the Christ gave the name "love"? What kind of energy is it? What kind of effects does it produce? How do you recognize it when you see it expressed?

2.) Can you give an example (besides the Christ) of a truly loving person?

If you give as your example the name of a well known person, please tell us in some detail why you consider him or her a good channel for the divine energy (love) which the Christ transmitted to humanity. If you choose for your example a lesser known person, please describe in some detail what there is about him or her that expressed love, the energy which the Christ embodied.

In answering these questions thoughtfully and carefully, you are adding your quota of thought to the group's thinking about love. The written work should help to clarify your own thinking; in addition you are performing an act of group service. The written work of all serious students accumulates a pool of understanding on the plane of mind, which all group members can draw upon -- an interesting fact of group life.


Dear Fellow Student,

We doubt if you would even bother to read a booklet entitled HOW TO LEARN TO MEDITATE IN TEN EASY LESSONS. You already know it is not that easy. Yet to the person really interested in learning to control his own mind in order that he may live and love and create and serve his world as only the Soul in command of its equipment can do -to the person really interested, meditation is no more difficult than any other worthwhile, long range line of endeavor.

Interest is the first requirement. A fleeting interest, or superficial interest, based upon curiosity or a desire to try something unfamiliar to one's friends, will not carry you far upon the path of approach to Hierarchy via meditation. On the other hand, interest that is persistent and thoughtfully cultivated, interest that is deeply rooted in the desire to contribute worthily to humanity’s spiritual unfoldment, such interest is likely to indicate that the student has already spent a series of lifetimes in preparation for the spiritual opportunity of the present time. Training in meditation is a long program, covering several lifetimes. Interest in such training, and the ability to persist with the necessary patience and cheerfulness, are probably signs of some previous esoteric training. Such interest and persistence indicate a certain progress already achieved upon the spiritual way.

The Tibetan Teacher puts it this way in LETTERS ON OCCULT

MEDITATION: "As long as the polarization is purely physical or purely emotional, no need for meditation is ever felt. Even when the mental body is active, no urge arises until the man has run through many changes and many lives, has tasted the cup of pleasure and of pain through many incarnations, has sounded the depths of the life lived entirely for the lower self and found it unsatisfying. Then he begins to turn his thought to other things, to aspire to that which is unknown, to realize and sense within himself the pairs of opposites, and to contact within his consciousness possibilities and ideals underrate of hitherto. He has come to a point where success, popularity and diverse gifts are his, and yet from their use he derives no content; always the urge within persists until the pain is so severe that the desire to reach out and up, to ascertain something and someone beyond, overcomes all obstacles. The man begins to turn within and to seek the source from whence he came. Then he begins to meditate, to ponder, to intensify vibration until in process of time he garners the fruits of meditation."

Regularity is the second requirement. Regularity of rhythm is essential to effective meditation. By regularity we mean that the daily group disciplines (morning meditation, noon recollection, five o'clock alignment and evening review) be done every day, and that the monthly discipline of sending in the yellow sheet (MONTHLY RECORD OF REGULARITY IN GROUP DISCIPLINES) be done faithfully at the beginning of each month. The importance of regularity cannot be overemphasized.

Rhythmic daily meditation is in itself a distinctive vibration whereby the Soul in incarnation, which is the fragment of Soul

embedded and imprisoned within its physical, emotional and mental vehicles, is able to link in consciousness with the Soul on its own plane (the Solar Angel). This is precisely what is meant by "raising the vibration" of the dally life. The rhythmic dally performance of the other group disciplines is all part and parcel of adjusting one's life in the outer world to the rhythmic pulsation of the inner life of the Soul, one's Higher Self.

The various stages of the formula, or outline, of the meditation assigned to you on page 2 of the PRELIMINARY MANUAL ON GROUP DISCIPLINES builds the necessary alignment and channel between the Soul and its mental vehicle and the brain. It is important to realize at this point that the brain is part of the Soul's physical instrument, whereas the mental body is the Soul's instrument of contact on the mental plane. For the Soul to be able to intercommunicate with fellow Souls on the mental plane, the Soul must have full command and use of the mental equipment. For the Soul to be able to intercommunicate with fellow Souls on the physical plane, the Soul and mind and brain must be aligned and coordinated.

Once the Soul-mind-brain alignment is established and an unimpeded channel in consciousness is maintained by daily use (by the daily group disciplines, that is) the energy of the Soul is released via the channel thus provided, into the daily life. Gradually, steadily, day by day the love and wisdom and goodness of the Soul, the Higher Self, pour through the channel into the physical brain awareness; and the entire daily life becomes irradiated with loving understanding and service incentive and the wisdom that spring from the very center of one's being.

Once the rhythm of daily regularity is well established, the momentum of spiritual progress tends to maintain itself. Once the spiritual man on the physical has learned through experience that meditation nourishes and strengthens and guides his nobler, higher self, he learns also the steadying benefit and stabilizing influence of rhythmic regularity already established. That is to say, the aspirant must first make the effort to establish a steady rhythm in his spiritual life. Once established, he can then depend on it to aid and strengthen him during times of great personal difficulty or misfortune and during the crises of growth that occur in life of every person who is growing and expanding his consciousness.

So, in the loving fellowship of all of us in ARCANA, early every morning at approximately the same time, in the same place, a private place where you will not be interrupted, sit down and methodically go through your meditation form. Be not concerned about results. Simply do the meditation, step by step.

Results are inevitable IF you give due attention to the work as it is assigned. At the outset, give special attention to the dally regularity of the meditation, study, evening review. Steady effort and even progress will carry you farther, quicker, safer than spasmodic effort. Feverish enthusiasm is usually followed by fatigue and inertia. Periods of intense effort alternating with periods of

scattered attention or boredom, work a real hardship on the triple form nature and tend to discouragement.

Summing up, your active membership in an esoteric training center such as ARCANA probably means you have behind you a long period of preparatory effort and valuable spiritual experience.

It is quite possible that many of us have studied and meditated together under the Tibetan’s inspiration in previous lives. If you have meditated in previous lifetimes, it may have been in a less difficult setting than your present living conditions. Assuming so, keep in mind that every person who succeeds in establishing and maintaining rhythmic regularity in spiritual living in today's urban society, is paving the way and conditioning an area of space for later Pilgrims of the Lighted Way. Thus encouraged, carry forward with the work started lifetimes ago. And when the work raises questions in your mind, or if there are problems related to the work that you feel the need of discussing, do not hesitate to write to your study associate who stands ready to be helpful.

Steadfastly your friends,

The Staff of ARCANA


An item of interest to those in process of discovering that faithful rhythmic practice of the several group disciplines is part of the ageless esoteric tradition.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN'S DAILY SCHEDULE

Morning:
(5) Rise, wash and address Powerful Goodness!
        The Morning Question: What good shall I do this day?
(6) Contrive day's business, and take the resolution of the day.
(8) Prosecute the present study, and breakfast.
(9-12) Work
(12) Read, or overlook my accounts, and dine
(2-5) Work
Evening:
(6) Put things in their places.
(7) Supper, music or diversion, or conversation.
(9) Examination of the Day.
        Evening Question: What good hove I done today?
Night:
(10-4) Sleep

The above is a page in Benjamin Franklin's diary. The original in his own handwriting can be seen at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California.


THE TIBETAN EXPLAINS OCCULT OBEDIENCE

Introductory Teaching

I will teach you. Whether or not you profit by the teaching is entirely your own affair; that is something that the disciples of the New Age need to learn. There is no such thing as occult obedience as usually taught by the current occult schools. In the olden days in the East, the Master exacted from His disciple that implicit obedience which actually made the Master responsible and placed upon His shoulders the destiny or the karma of the disciple. That condition no longer holds good. The intellectual principle in the individual is now too much developed to warrant this type of expectancy. Therefore, this condition no longer holds good. In the coming New Age, the Master is responsible for the offering of opportunity and for the right enunciation of the truth but for no more than that. In these more enlightened days, no such position is assumed by the teacher as in the past, and I do not assume it. I shall with frankness speak. I know my disciples, for no disciple is admitted into an Ashram without deep consideration on the part of the teacher. I shall convey by hint and symbol that which should be apprehended and it will be noted and understood by those among my disciples who have the opened inner ear and true humility of heart. If it is not recognized, time will pursue its onward course and revelation will ultimately come. I exact, therefore, no blind obedience. But, however, if advice and suggestions are accepted and you choose -- of your own free will -- to follow my instructions, those instructions must be followed accurately. Also, there must be none of that constant looking for results and for phenomena which has deterred the course and the progress of many would-be disciples. (DISCIPLESHIP IN THE NEW AGE I p 5)

Instructions to An Experienced Disciple

Have you ever realized that occult obedience -- correctly understood and applied -- is the royal route through the astral plane, particularly in connection with glamour and with sixth ray tendencies, to the very heart of the Hierarchy? People are apt to regard obedience as the carrying out of rules and orders, imposed upon them by some authoritative source. This, as you well know, is not the case in any true hierarchical training. Obedience, for the disciple, is a quick spiritual reaction to the Plan as it emanates from the Hierarchy, rapid and correct sensitive registration of the quality of the Ashram with which he may be affiliated and a consequent and in time almost automatic undertaking (with speed) the required task. It is a task which the disciple assigns to himself and is not one ordered by the Master. The acceptance of the task is simply evidence that the disciple is an ashramic worker, pledged to the welfare of humanity. (Bid II pp. 586-7)


RHYTHMIC LIFE OF THE SOUL, A COMPENDIUM

[DK speaking:] I assume [that all who study these words] have wisely learnt that enthusiastic rushing forward and a violent energetic progress has its drawbacks, and that a steady, regular, persistent endeavor will carry them further in the long run. Spasmodic spurts of effort and temporary pressure peter out into disappointment and a weighty sense of failure. It is the tortoise and not the hare that arrives first at the goal, though both achieve eventually. (WHITE MAGIC 54)

Rhythm is the progenitor of cooperation. From hoary antiquity people have understood the significance of rhythmic choirs, of musical movements; thus has the consciousness accumulated knowledge about the impelling force of collective labor. People knew long ago that rhythm kindled collective fires and helped in avoiding irritation and disunity. It affirmed identical aspirations, therefore music is the sign of unity before collective work… Lack of rhythm is disunity, but crude rhythm is stupor. Thus only a fiery consciousness will prompt the refinement of rhythm. The abode of Agni [Kingdom of Heaven] is opened not by reasoning but by the harmony of rhythm. Precisely as a vessel sometimes is opened not by force but by rhythm. Only the true rhythm carries us forward and preserves us from delay...It is inadmissible to have a broken rhythm, at times retarded and at other times accelerated. Thus an enormous and useless expenditure of energy takes place. He will not retreat who has begun to advance in fiery rhythm. Precisely this rhythm saves one from sorrowful ponderings and leads one forward in spirit; therefore let us not limit the effectiveness of the rhythm by external motion only, let us introduce it in spiritual life. (FIERY WORLD II 17)

One thing that every aspirant to the mysteries should remember is that growth that is gradual, and relatively slow, is the method of every natural process and soul unfoldment is, after all, but one of the great processes of nature. All that the aspirant has to do is to provide the right conditions. The growth then will take care of itself normally.

Steady perseverance, patient endurance, the achievement of a little every day, are of more value to the aspirant than the violent rushing forward and the enthusiastic endeavor of the emotional and temperamental person. The undue forcing of one's development carries with it certain most definite and specific dangers. These are avoided when the student realizes that the path is long and that an intelligent understanding of each stage of the path is of more value to him than the results achieved through the premature awakening of the psychic nature. The injunction to grow as the flower grows, carries with it a tremendous occult truth. (THE LIGHT OF THE SOUL, 255)

To be continued in later Study Sets


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