Attributes of the disciple -- Harmlessness
by Aart Jurriaanse

The first step with which to counter the forces of evil is by confronting
it with an attitude of 'harmlessness'. When the daily thoughts, words
and activities are positive, and based on love and goodwill, no evil can
gain entry into the mind and the results can only be constructive and
harmless. It will therefore also be readily understood that if
harmlessness is the keynote of life, more will be done to obtain
harmonious conditions in the personality than by any other form of

The life of the man who consciously lives as the soul is expressed by
its quality of harmlessness. This is one of the most potent forces in the
world today and will demonstrate in daily living as right motive,
goodwill, discriminative judging, reticence in speech, ability to refrain
from impulsive action, and the manifestation of an uncritical spirit. This
will allow free play to the forces of genuine love, as well as to those
spiritual energies which vitalize the personality and will give rise to
right action and consequent favourable human relations.

The harmlessness referred to is not of a negative, sentimental aspect,
based on a loving but weak disposition, which refuses to take action
because it dislikes trouble that will disturb existing harmony and bring
discomfort. No, it is the harmlessness which arises from a soul-infused
personality and a consequent true understanding of the fellow man's
problems. It is a state of mind which, when justified, might even lead
to drastic action; it concerns motive and ensures that goodwill will
motivate all action. Such action or speech might at times even result in
disagreeable reaction, but provided the mental approach has been
initiated by harmlessness and goodwill, then the final results can yield
nothing but good. Such an attitude will attract to the disciple only
beneficent forces, which may then be used on behalf of others who are
in need; these beneficent forces may then also be employed for
neutralizing all emanations of evil.

A warning should perhaps be given that even spiritual aspiration might
be carried to excess if too intense. The disciple must ever be balanced
in all his endeavours, never running to extremes of any kind. That is
one reason why esoteric teachings should emanate from mental rather
than from emotional levels. If such teaching is of the required quality
and correctly interpreted, then it should have a stabilizing effect on the
aspirant, by being acceptable to his reason and mind.

What it amounts to is that on the one hand the disciple should avoid the
tendency to crystallize, as this will restrict further unfoldment, but on
the other hand he should be very careful to avoid all forms of
fanaticism which can only cause harm. It is therefore essential that a
sound sense of proportion and a true sense of values be preserved,
which must ever keep the human mind in balance, and must enable him
to discriminate between essentials and non-essentials.

Stability and steadfastness may also be regarded as the power to stand
with clear directed purpose in the midst of an ever changing world of
circumstance. It is only the soul that can thus uphold the personality in
its needed poise, in a world of stress, strain and catastrophe.

Sense of humour

This attribute might well have been included under the previous
heading, because a fine sense of humour must substantially subscribe
to the retention of balance and stability.

A qualification must immediately be made, however, and that is that a
clear differentiation should be drawn between emotional, unrestrained
hilarity, or spurious merriment, which is of an astral nature, as
compared to a harmonized sense of humour which springs from a well
considered sense of proportion.

Students should therefore cultivate a sense of humour and proportion
by not taking themselves and their work too seriously -- in this way
unnecessary tensions may be prevented or released, resulting in clearer
discrimination and more effective work.


Man forms part of the greater Whole of humanity, and with regard to
his work and service it is stressed over and over again that he should
find the group to which he belongs, as he should work in close
collaboration with the other group members. Nevertheless, the inner
man ever remains alone, even when associated with those who are
spiritually close to him. It is only in solitude that man can really
consciously contact his soul, and in solitude that the mind can be
sufficiently stilled to be impressed by the Master.

Whenever there is an expansion of consciousness and the disciple takes
another forward step, there is a corresponding rise in his vibration,
which consequently throws him out of tune with his existing
environment, and this necessarily evokes some form of discord and
isolation. Periods of aloneness, as far as his inner state of mind is
concerned, therefore become the unavoidable lot of the man who
strives to follow the Path with dedication. He will, however, find that
the lonely way is also the Lighted Way.

The loneliness to which this discussion refers is that of the soul. Often
the disciple also craves for solitude of the personality, which may be
denied to him because the nature of his work demands constant relation
with others. At other times loneliness may occur because of
maladjustments of the personality in relation to those with whom life is
associating him. These are, however, merely forms of personality
plights which can be rectified by personality adjustments, and they do
not really affect present considerations.

The server should be on guard that an illusion of loneliness does not
impair his true vision. He must come to the recognition that he is never
really alone, because his soul always remains closely associated with
those who have their being on subjective levels.

Every disciple has to experience periods of spiritual aloneness; it is by
standing alone and having to grope for his way in the dark that the
seeker learns and will find his own particular line of approach to the
centre of Light. It is in this way that the disciple grows, finds his true
field of service, and eventually also the group with which he is to

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.   

Return to Directory of articles by Aart Jurriaanse

From the work of AAB

Updated: Sex & the Disciple   +   New:  Homosexuality

There are three rules which are important to disciples at this time...

1. Relinquish or sacrifice the age-old tendency to criticise and adjust another's work, and thus preserve the inner group integrity. More plans for service have been hindered by criticism, than by any other major factor.

2. Relinquish or sacrifice the sense of responsibility for the actions of others, and particularly of disciples. See that your own activity measures up to theirs, and in the joy of struggle, and on the way of service, the differences will disappear, and the general good will be achieved.

3.Relinquish the pride of mind which sees its way and it's interpretations to be correct and true, and other' false and wrong. This is the way of separation. Adhere to the way of integration, which is of the soul and not of the mind.

Excerpted from Alice Bailey's

"Esoteric Psychology II" p. 104-109, also in the compilation "Ponder on This" p. 341





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