This post speaks about the initial 6 rules of 14 that represent guidelines for the Probationer Disciple to follow prior to taking what Bailey calls the First Initiation (or major expansion of consciousness, or enlightenment experience).
NOTE: This book is now in the process of being edited. Once it is completely edited it will no longer be free online. As of 3/21/20 this chapter has not been edited.
RULES FOR 1ST INITIATION — PROBATIONARY DISCIPLE
As we get to the Probationary Discipleship stage, we see another factor enter in with the Bailey teachings. These are Fourteen Rules found in the Alice Bailey book, Initiation Human and Solar, pp. 192 –196. These rules are directly stated to be connected to Bailey’s Probationary Discipleship stage and are meant to prepare someone for the First Initiation (expansion of consciousness). As we will see in chapters to come in addition to these rules connecting us to the Probationary Discipleship phase of Little Chelaship they also connect to the Chela in the Light stage (which is likewise connected to the First Initiation). Based upon my own intuition then, I am dividing these rules up along three subplanes of the Mental Plane, something that Bailey does not do! Starting with the 7th subplane of the Mental Plane I am assigning Rules 1 — 6, though in all honesty they do not fit entirely and neatly into just this 7th subplane. Also, because the rules are short I am including them word for word. The main rule is in italics, followed by commentary from the Bailey books, which is then followed by my own (LL) commentary.
“Let the disciple search within the heart’s deep cave. If there the fire burns bright, warming his brother yet heating not himself, the hour has come for making application to stand before the door.
When love for all beings, irrespective of who they may be, is beginning to be a realised fact in the heart of a disciple, and yet nevertheless love for himself exists not, then comes the indication that he is nearing the Portal of Initiation, and may make the necessary preliminary pledges. These are necessitated before his Master hands in his name as a candidate for initiation. If he cares not for the suffering and pain of the lower self, if it is immaterial to him whether happiness comes his way or not, if the sole purpose of his life is to serve and save the world, and if his brother’s need is for him of greater moment than his own, then is the fire of love irradiating his being, and the world can warm itself at his feet. This love has to be a practical, tested manifestation, and not just a theory, nor simply an impractical ideal and a pleasing sentiment. It is something that has grown in the trials and tests of life, so that the primary impulse of the life is towards self-sacrifice and the immolation of the lower nature” (Initiation: Human and Solar pp. 192—193).
LL Commentary: Especially in the Probationary stage find a more genuine orientation towards loving and helping others. At the Integrated Personality stage, we may do philanthropic work, but the main motive is still one of our own gain especially in the way of recognition of, or rewards for, our efforts (tax write-offs, name on a building, prestige, being surrounded by important people). As the Aspirant stage the motive is mixed with some genuine desire to serve others, so long as we still benefit from it as well. At the Probationary stage this is less and less the case. We are searching more deeply within our hearts! The “cave” (where the life thread is attached) is fed by Soul energy creating a fire that ‘burns bright” in the way of really wanting to be service. Though the motive can still be selfish to some degree, the majority of the motive is to serve in an unselfish way. Much as we see in Buddhist practice where before any act we dedicate ourselves to the “Buddha, the dharma, and the sangha,” we start with the dedication to let our motive be one of true service towards others. Also, we see that increasingly the Probationer has less sentiment, more practicality, and more true desire to sacrifice (which Bailey defines as a “joyful giving”). As I see it, these motivations begin at the 7th subplane of the Mental Plane, when we start to become more mentally aware of what motivates our desire nature. As for the issue of sentiment, that is something I believe is mastered more on the 6th subplane of the Mental Plane, though steps take place here. Still, initial steps are being taken though truth be told, we have yet to be ultimately tested, which happens only in the end of the Second Initiation, and not with the First Initiation. Regardless, efforts are being made and that is what counts here.
(Note: When reviewing these rules I looked up what was said by Michael Robbins, noted commentator and author on the Bailey teachings. He writes very extensively on each of these rules. For example, on Rule One alone he has written nineteen pages of text. Overall, his comments are very valuable, though I must say I had one major disagreement with him, and that was in regards to his statement implying that we would be able to remember all of our past lives and examine all motivations within our “hearts deep cave” at this initial stage. I personally feel that is too advanced a step and reflects something that takes place more at the 3rd initiation or beyond. However, if you wish to read his direct thoughts on these Rules, I encourage you to go to this website address: http://www.makara.us/portal/?page_id=320).
“When application has been made in triple form, then let the disciple withdraw that application, and forget it has been made.
Herein lies one of the initial tests. The disciple’s attitude of mind must be that he cares not whether he takes initiation or not. Selfish motive must not enter in. Only those applications which reach the Master through the energy engendered through pure altruistic motive are transmitted by Him to the recording angel of the Hierarchy, only those disciples who seek initiation because of the added power to help and bless that it confers, will find a response to their plea. These careless of initiation receive not the occult accolade, and those anxious, through selfishness or curiosity, to participate in the mysteries, enter not the door but remain knocking outside. Those who are keen to serve, those who are weighed down with a sense of world need, and the personal responsibility thereby awakened, and who have fulfilled the law, knock and meet with response, and make application which meets with recognition. They are the ones who send forth a cry for added power to aid, which penetrates to the ear of Those Who silently wait” (Initiation: Human and Solar pp. 193—194).
LL Commentary: This triple application involves the mind, emotions and physical body that are in the process of purification. We also see again the emphasis on motive, which the Probationary Disciple is confronting more and more directly. Again this means that all spiritual practice needs to be undertaken in a more altruistic way and motivated by the desire to serve and meet world need. The rule also conveys the tension that I feel many Probationers live with between “making application” and “forgetting it has been made.” For the Integrated Personality and the Aspirant it is all about the “application in triple form.” To put it another way, it is about how “equipped” the “triple form is” of the mental, emotional and physical bodies especially so that one gets plenty of money, pleasure/sex, and power from the world of the five senses to help one fulfill their kama-manasic needs. The Probationer does not drop this focus on continuing to equip oneself mentally, emotionally, and physically. The orientation is just different. There is less emphasis on one’s physical health, physical looks, financial well-being, emotional highs and lows, and mental need to accumulate facts and information to look intelligent and impressive to others. Attention is still paid to these in a reasonable way, but the focus on these three things is much less because good habit patterns are much more likely to be in place. And, the emphasis on being “well-equipped” mentally, emotionally, and physically has shifted from needing to do so for the sake of impressing others, into doing so for the sake of being of true service and use in the world. Thus, as I see it this is a dual process of establishing good habit patterns for the sake of service, and then dropping them below the threshold of consciousness because they have become increasingly automatic, and therefore dependable allowing one to overall “forget about it” by not having to place so much attention in these three areas.
“Triple the call must be, and long it takes to sound it forth. Let the disciple sound the cry across the desert, over the sea, and through the fires which separate him from the veiled and hidden door.
Under this symbology comes to the disciple the injunction to make the desert of the physical plane life to blossom like the rose, so that from the garden of the lower life may arise those sounds and scents, and a vibration strong enough to cross the intervening space between it and the portal; to still the restless waters of the emotional life, so that in their limpid, still expanse, that portal may be reflected, and the lower life mirror forth the spiritual life of the indwelling divinity; to pass through the fiery furnace those motives, words, and thoughts which are the mainspring of activity, and have their origin upon the mental plane. When these three aspects of the manifesting Ego, the God within, are brought under control, co-ordinated, and utilised, then, even unconsciously to himself, will the voice of the disciple be heard, demanding the opening of the door. When the lower life upon the physical plane is fertilised, the emotional stabilised, and the mental transmuted, then naught can prevent the latch upon that door being lifted, and the disciple passing through. Only synchronous vibration to that which lies the other side of the door produces its opening, and when the key of the disciple’s life is attuning itself to that of the hierarchical life, then, one by one, the doors will open, and nothing can keep them closed” (Initiation: Human and Solar pp. 194—196).
LL Commentary: Here again we see the triple application of mind, emotions, and body that begins to be worked on in a conscious, but selfish way, at the stage of the Integrated Personality. But, now during the purification process of the Probationary stage they are reworked so that the physical life “blossoms like a rose” and is “fertile.” In Western mysticism the rose is often used as a spiritual symbol. In Eastern mysticism it is typically the lotus that is a symbol. Both flowers represent how despite adversity (the thorns of the rose, and the mud that the lotus comes from), something beautiful and rare can manifest itself. In a similar way fertile soil is typically the result of composted manure. The Probationer is learning that in regards to physical habits despite mistakes that have been made in the way of deprivation or excess, something beautiful and fertile can come out of it. Once again we also see the pull the Probationer has between the material and spiritual worlds as the attempt is made to strike a balance and bring the physical habits and realm into spiritual fruition. Regarding the emotions the task is also to make the “restless waters of the emotional life” “limpid” (i.e. calm) so that they can mirror the spiritual life of the indwelling divinity or the Soul (also referred to as Ego in the Baily books). The emotions we discover can only become “limpid” when they are “stabilized.” As for the mind we find again the importance of mental thoughts, words and motives needing to be transmuted, a process we will continue to explore later on. and now come from the Mental Plane and not the Emotional Plane. Finally, we are reminded that this is a long process. As a Probationer we may apply to this process, as Rule 3 states, but we can truly only have that application accepted once the requirements of physical habits “blossoming like a rose,” “emotions becoming limpid and stable, and our thoughts and motivations becoming truly pure after being “burned in the fiery furnace” has occurred. No amount of just intending, talking about or studying can cause any of this to happen. The Probationer (Accepting, Pledged, and Accepted Disciple) must demonstrate all of these things within one’s every day life. The talk must become walk. The theory must become an embodied reality. The intentions must turn into a living demonstration that others can easily sense and be inspired by. In essence, this is what must be proved in the spiritual life.
“Let the disciple tend the evolution of the fire; nourish the lesser lives, and thus keep the wheel revolving.
Here comes an injunction to the disciple to remember his responsibility to those many lesser lives which, in their sumtotal, compose his triple body of manifestation. Thus is evolution possible, and thus each life, in the different kingdoms of nature, consciously or unconsciously, fulfils its function of rightly energising that which is to it as is the planet to the sun. Thus will the unfolding of the plan logoic proceed with greater accuracy. The kingdom of God is within, and the duty of that inner hidden Ruler is twofold, first, to the lives which form the bodies, physical, astral, and mental, and then to the macrocosm, the world of which the microcosm is but an infinitesimal part” (Initiation: Human and Solar pp. 195).
LL Commentary: Here the Probationary Disciple is increasingly aware that the “kingdom of God is within.” The “hidden Ruler” of this kingdom is the Soul. Increasingly as the Soul the Probationary Disciple is learning to direct the microcosmic lives of their physical, astral and mental bodies so that they can more effectively serve the macrocosm of the world around them. Certainly again this is all part of the purification process. Especially at the 7th subplane of the Mental Plane the focus of the Probationer is primarily on the physical side of tending the evolution of the fire. For this reason too often Probationers stress the physical habits of diet, sufficient sleep, exercise, being in the sunshine, fresh air, and even the practices of pranayama. All of this helps. But, it is not enough. The real evolution of the fire comes about through contact with the Spiritual Realms. The main method for this is ultimately meditation practices, followed by a loving heart, right motive, and paying attention to the habits of the mind (which all too often tends to be critical, judgmental, self-righteous, and overly complex). As we move up the subplanes of the Mental Plane this becomes more and more evident. Because this nourishment that one invokes (calls down) from the higher levels in turn naturally evokes (calls forth) from the even the DNA and cellular structure of the Probationer the necessary transformations that keep the “Wheel” revolving (or spiraling upward) towards a greater awareness of and embodiment of that which is higher into the lower. As above, so below. So though the “lower wheels” of subplanes of the Physical, Emotional and even Mental planes are aided by improvements made at each level, ultimately they aided most by calling down (invoking) that which is higher into the lower, so that the evocation and evolution of the lower lives burns with even greater intensity speeding up the purification process substantially.
“Let the applicant see to it that the solar angel dims the light of the lunar angels, remaining the sole luminary in the microcosmic sky.
To fulfill this injunction all applicants need to do two things, first, to study their origin, to realise their own true psychology occultly understood, and to become scientifically aware of the real nature of the Ego, or the Higher Self, functioning in the causal body. Then they have to assert upon the physical plane, through the medium of the three lower bodies, their innate divinity, and to demonstrate in ever increasing degree their essential value. Secondly, to study the constitution of man, to understand the method of functioning in the lower nature, to realise the interdependence and interrelation of all living things, and thus bring the lesser lives, which compose those three bodies of manifestation, under control. Thus the solar Lord, the inner Reality, the Son of the Father, and the Thinker on his own plane becomes the intermediary between that which is of the earth, earthy, and that which finds its home with in the sun. Two verses in the Christian Bible hide something of this idea within themselves, and students in the occident may find it helpful to meditate upon them: ‘The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ.’ ‘O Lord, our God, other lords beside Thee have had dominion over us, but by Thee only will we make mention of Thy name.’ The last verse is particularly interesting, as it demonstrates the suppression of the lower sound and creative force by that which is of higher origin” (Initiation: Human and Solar pp. 195—196).
LL Commentary: Here the Solar Angel is essentially the Soul and the lunar angels are what make up the Integrated Personality, which we are attempting to infuse with Soul qualities. As we see the Solar Angel will eventually be what is the sole luminary in the sky. The Probationer then is engaging in a lot of work to “study the constitution of man” [one’s mind, emotions, vital and physical bodies]. A great deal of work has happened to “understand the method of functioning of the lower nature” [of again the mind, emotions, vital and physical bodies]. That understanding also includes a deep understanding of one’s psychology especially in regards to one’s conditioning. That conditioning involves more than familial, religious and cultural beliefs, thoughts and habit patterns that one grew up in. Occultly understood it involves an understand of how energies in general condition the body. In the Bailey system this includes an understanding of one’s Ray and Astrological types. (In the Transpersonal and Integral systems it might also include an understanding of the Enneagram and how certain archetypes effect one). I feel the study of the “constitution of man” also refers back to what was spoken of in the previous chapter when an occult (i.e. hidden) understanding of the chakras and energy system was stressed so that the three main transfers in the center system could take place (sacral center to throat, solar plexus to heart, base of the spine to head). The more one tunes into this subtle energy system the more one is naturally more aware of the interdependence and interrelation that exists among all living things. As the Soul, or solar Lord, is steadily bringing the “three bodies of manifestation” of mind, emotions and physical body under greater control we are also informed how the lesser sounds are suppressed (and eventually even driven out) by the sounds of the higher Creative force. Again through meditation the higher “sounds” are heard and eventually become so predominant they produce “higher desires” for that which the Solar Angel would have us desire, which in turn suppresses the lower desires. Once suppressed these lower desires relinquish “creative control” so that which is created in the three lower worlds (mental, emotional and physical) is created by the Solar Angel that sounds forth from the higher realms
“The purificatory fires burn dim and low when the third is sacrificed to the fourth. Therefore let the disciple refrain from taking life, and let him nourish that which is lowest with the produce of the second.
This rule might be summed up in the trite instruction to each disciple that he be strictly vegetarian. The lower nature becomes clogged and heavy, and the inner blaze cannot shine forth when meat is included in the diet. This is a drastic rule for applicants, and may not be violated. Aspirants can choose to eat meat or not as they prefer, but at a certain stage upon the path it is essential that all meat eating of every kind be stopped, and the strictest attention must be paid to diet. A disciple must confine himself to vegetables, grains, fruits and nuts. Only thus can he build the type of physical body which can stand the entry of the real man who has stood in his subtler bodies before the Initiator. Should he not do this, and should it be possible for him to take initiation without having thus prepared himself, the physical body would be shattered by the energy pouring through the newly stimulated centres, and dire danger to the brain, the spine, or the heart would eventuate.
It must, of course, here be recognised that no hard or fast rules can ever be laid down, except the initial one that for all applicants for initiation meat, fish, and fermented liquors of all kinds, as well as the use of tobacco, are absolutely forbidden. For those who can stand it, eggs and cheese are sometimes better eliminated from the diet, but this is not in any way compulsory. It is advisable always that those who are in process of developing psychic faculties of any kind should not permit themselves to eat eggs and very little cheese. Milk and butter come under a different category, and most initiates and applicants find it necessary to retain them in the diet. A few exceptional people can subsist and retain their full physical energies on the diet mentioned in the preceding paragraph, but there the ideal is embodied, and, as we all know, the ideal is seldom attainable in the present transitional period.
In this connection two things should be emphasised: First, the need that all applicants have for common sense; this factor is very often lacking, and students do well to remember that unbalanced fanatics are not desirable members of the Hierarchy. Equilibrium, a just sense of proportion, a due regard for environing conditions, and a sane common sense are the marks of the true occultist. When a real sense of humour exists likewise, many dangers will be avoided. Secondly, a recognition of time, and an ability to move slowly when effecting changes in the diet and in the habits of a lifetime. Everything in nature progresses slowly, and applicants must learn the occult truth of the words:—”Make haste slowly.” A process of gradual elimination is usually the path of wisdom, and this eliminating period should—under ideal conditions which so seldom exist—cover the stage which we call that of the aspirant, so that when a man becomes an applicant for initiation he will have done the necessary preparatory purification of the diet” (Initiation: Human and Solar pp. 196—198).
LL Commentary: In the previous chapter a lot was already said regarding the emphasis on being a vegetarian (or even vegan) when one moves onto the Probationary Path. Thus, I don’t feel a need to make anymore commentary in addition to what Alice Bailey says here.
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