ESOTERIC TENETS Attributes of the disciple -- Devotion by Aart JurriaanseEach individual, from whatever sphere of life, has some particular devotion -- some purpose for which he lives, although there are those to whom their life objective does not yet stand out clearly, and who live rather aimlessly from day to day. Others vaguely discern some nebulous goal, which for some persons becomes more distinctly outlined as life advances and greater knowledge, and sometimes wisdom, is being gained. To many this devotion is still purely of a physical or emotional nature, and largely focused in the flesh, such as satisfying sensual lusts, or a greed for money or possessions. Other lives are again mainly emotionally centred, and devotion is displayed as love of family, of popularity, pride of nation, love of animals, or a combination of similar variations, to which a large part of the man's energies may be devoted. Or the devotion may be lifted to mental levels, and be exhibited as a love of science, philosophy or religion, to which the physical, astral and mental energies may be dedicated. In the case of the disciple there should also be devotion, but care should be exercised to lift this from emotional to mental levels. The inclination is to develop a personal devotion towards a Master, but this should be superseded. The Masters do not want or need personal devotion; all they are striving for is to direct the disciple's energies to his specific task or service on behalf of humanity. An intelligent worker who can walk independently in the light of his own soul is of far more value to the Great Ones than a devoted follower of their personalities. Care should be exercised that the devotion, to whatever high ideal it may be consecrated, does not become a glamour, obscuring the wider vision, and even leading to fanaticism. The necessary balance must always be retained. To summarize, it can therefore be said that devotion as an expression of the personality is apt to engender fanaticism, which is separative, unbalanced and frequently cruel. On the other hand devotion that is expressed under influence of the soul will be evinced as inclusiveness and loving understanding, and will correspond with the objectives of the Plan as a whole, instead of placing undue emphasis on only some limited aspect. Joy It might be of help to differentiate between the shades of meaning attached to the words 'happiness', 'joy' and 'bliss', as used in the present context: Happiness is interpreted as being the product of the emotions and is therefore a personality reaction. Joy denotes a deeper, inner reaction and is evoked by the soul. Bliss is a spiritual effect and is that indescribable experience which is only realized when the soul merges with the Monad, the Father, and is therefore a sensation which lies beyond the conceptions of the average man. Those who seek to live as souls will, however, have experienced what is meant by joy, and the difference which exists between joy and happiness. There is the joy of reaching the objective after struggle, strain and pain; the joy of revelling in the Light after seemingly endless struggling in the dark; the joy of achievement and subsequent temporary peace, after striving and wrestling against opposing forces; the joy of achieving soul contact with a kindred spirit; the joy of self-realization; the joy of hours well spent in helping the fellow man, and the solacing of a needy world; the joy of every selfless and non-acquisitive action performed on behalf of others; the joy of being able to distinguish the first faint outlines of the Plan, and the subsequent even greater joy of contributing a small share towards its materialization. Yes, the spiritual life is full of joy, and joy should be the keynote of the disciple; the joy of the soul will make its presence felt even during periods of profound personality distress and unhappiness. Joy lets in the light, dispels glamour and misunderstanding, and evokes strength for the task that lies ahead. Joy in the recognition of inner strength leads to the tackling of tasks which previously seemed insuperable, and ensures their successful accomplishment. Joyfulness therefore becomes the hallmark of the server. "Esoteric sense" is not a generally known expression, but is a useful term to denote the power which is gradually unfolding in every disciple endeavouring to live and function on subjective levels; it denotes that inner contact and at-one-ment with the soul, which is manifested in the outer life as goodwill and loving understanding; it is expressed as wisdom in daily decisions; it becomes apparent in the capacity of synthesis and of identification with all that breathes. It therefore denotes that interior attitude of mind of the soul-infused individual which can orient itself at will and at need in any direction. By means of the esoteric sense the disciple gains complete control over his own emotional life, and simultaneously also exerts a considerable influence on those with whom life brings him into closer contact. It will furnish the disciple with greater discrimination, and will accentuate his sensitivity to impression, and will thus mould him into a more efficient instrument in the hands of the Masters and in service of the Plan. It will enable him to become a purer channel for the transfer of hierarchical concepts, and to better clothe the inspired ideals with thought-matter to make it more readily recognizable to those still moving in the everyday world of men. The esoteric sense must become part of the normal equipment of every disciple. Actually it is but another way of expressing the degree to which soul contact has already been established. Esoteric sense may be promoted by steady spiritual orientation, by holding the attitude of the Observer, and by study, meditation and service. The degree to which it has been developed will also determine the disciple's true capacity for invocative and evocative living. Reticence and silence It is essential that the disciple should display a measure of discreet reticence with regard to his inner spiritual experiences. This is mainly because comparatively there are still so few who are able to understand these spiritual happenings, with the consequent danger of misunderstandings. The position is of course quite different where co-workers meet and where there is unity of thought; here spiritual matters will be understood and may therefore be freely discussed. As a general rule it is wise to retain silence with regard to mental work that is still in the creative process; untimely words may tend to shatter delicate thought-forms which are still in the formative stage, and the work may thus be rendered abortive. Instinctive reticence becomes part of the necessary equipment of all who are struggling along the Path, but at the same time there should be the discrimination to share knowledge and certain experiences with fellow disciples. The disciple should develop the judgement to recognize for himself the stage that he has attained on the Path. Recognition of status is, however, purely a personal matter; it is something that he should accept, and for the rest he should keep silence and calmly proceed with his activities. Generally speaking it may be regarded as axiomatic that more harm is caused by injudicious speech than by undue reticence.
Aart Jurriaanse, wrote a number of compilations from the books of Alice A. Bailey. Among these are: Of Life and other worlds; Prophecies; Ponder on this; Serving Humanity; The Soul; The Quality of Life; and he is also the author of Bridges which is a Commentary on these teachings.
"Almost anything you do [to help humanity] will seem insignificant, but it's very important that you do it." Mahatma Gandi
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