This post speaks about rules 7 – 9 that the Bailey teachings imply are helpful for the the Probationer Disciple to follow prior to taking what Bailey calls the First Initiation (or major expansion of consciousness, or enlightenment experience).
RULES FOR 1ST INITIATION — PROBATIONARY DISCIPLE
We will now look at the rules for what Alice Bailey calls the First Initiation for the Probationary Disciple who is at the 6th Subplane of the Mental Plane. As a reminder there are Fourteen Rules found in the Alice Bailey book, Initiation Human and Solar, pp. 192 –196 and Bailey states specifically that they are connected to 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). Though Bailey does not assign these rules to any subplanes the way I am , I am doing so having assigned Rules 1 — 6 to the 7th subplane of the Mental Plane (though they did not all fit neatly there), and I will now assign Rules 7—9 to this subplane. As a reminder, 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 turn his attention to the enunciating of those sounds which echo in the halls where walks the Master. Let him not sound the lesser notes which awaken vibration within the halls of Maya.
The disciple who seeks to enter within the Portals of Initiation cannot do so until he has learnt the power of speech and the power of silence. This has a deeper and a wider significance than perhaps is apparent, for it holds, if rightly interpreted, the key to manifestation, the clue to the great cycles, and the revelation of the purpose underlying pralaya. Until a man comprehends the significance of the spoken word, and until he utilises the silence of the high places for the bringing about of desired effects on one plane or another, he cannot be admitted into those realms wherein every sound and every word spoken produces powerful results in matter of some kind, being energised by two predominant factors, (a) a powerful will, scientifically applied, (b) right motive, purified in the fires.
An adept is a creator in mental matter, an originator of impulses on the mental plane, thereby producing results in astral or physical manifestation. These results are powerful and effective, and hence the necessity for their originator to be pure in thought, accurate in word, and skillful in action. When these ideas are realised by applicants, the immediate consequence will be important changes in the life of every day. These changes might, for the sake of their practical use, be enumerated as follows:
a. Motives will be closely searched, and a strict check will be kept upon originating impulses. Hence during the first year in which the applicant devotes himself to the work of preparation for initiation he will, three times a day, keep a written account of the investigations he pursues, which concern his motives, or the mainspring of action.
b. Speech will be watched, and an endeavour will be made to eliminate all unkind, unnecessary and wasteful words. The effects of the spoken word will be studied, and be traced back to those originating impulses which, in every case, initiate action upon the physical plane.
c. Silence will be cultivated, and applicants will be careful to preserve strict silence concerning themselves, their occult work or knowledge, the affairs of those associated with them, and the work of their occult group. Only in group circles or in connection with their superiors will a wise latitude in speech be permitted. There is a time to speak. That time comes when the group can be served by wise words, a careful intimation of conditions, good or bad, and a rare, but necessary word to some brother concerning the inner life, or to some superior or group of officials, in case where a brother may be hindering a group through error of some kind, or might help the group if put to different work.
d. The effect of the Sacred Word will be studied, and conditions for its use wisely arranged. The sounding of the Word, and its effect upon a particular esoteric centre (not in any case whatsoever a physical centre) will be watched, and the life thereby influenced and regulated.
The whole question of the study of sound and of words, sacred or otherwise, has to be taken up by applicants for initiation. This is something which must be faced more strenuously by all eventuating occult groups. (Initiation: Human and Solar pp. 198—200).
LL Commentary: Again we have already examined in the chapters on the Probationary Disciple the topics of right motive, as well as right thought and right speech. In this rule we are given practical suggestions about learning to monitor our motives on a continual basis. As for right thought, that is not talked about specifically in this rule, but thought does create speech. As for speech, we are reminded again of its importance and despite the attempt to make “hip” the use of coarse speech and swear words, it is not recommended to go down that path. Suppression is not encouraged either. The Probationer is keen on watching out for any shadow elements (vices) in one’s behavior. Next, these vices as we have seen are to be replaced by virtues, not in some kind of false suppressive way. But, because the value of right thought and speech is understood. The value of silence is also added in here, which essentially involves increased discernment, something that will become even more refined in the next two stages of Chela in the Light and Accepted Discipleship. Finally, the Sacred Word, which is the OM is added. I will speak more about this in the Chela in the Light stage to come.
When the disciple nears the portal, the Greater Seven must awaken and bring forth response from the lesser seven upon the double circle.
This rule is a very difficult one, and one which holds in it the elements of danger for the man who undertakes too early to tread the final path. Literally it can be interpreted thus: The would-be initiate must develop somewhat the vibration of the seven head centres, and thus sweep into increased vibratory activity the seven centres in the body upon the etheric plane; affecting also, through reciprocal vibration, the seven physical centres which are inevitably stimulated when the etheric centres approach their maximum vibration. It is not necessary to enlarge upon this point beyond pointing out that as the seven centres within the head become responsive to the Ego the following seven centres, breathing practices. The paradox is that at the same time we are warned against working directly on the centers, we are told a study of the centers is important. And, while we are warned about undertaking breathing practices, in the Discipleship in the New Age Bailey books breathing exercises are even prescribed.
I believe then that what the text is mainly saying in this rule is to be wary of the reckless enthusiasm of the Aspirant and the too often deluded approaches of the Probationer Disciple that fail to exercise the necessary caution and humility that is required before work on the chakras and pranayama is pursued. That is because the “applicant” has to learn to wake the centers up in the proper fashion by focusing on the consciousness aspect associated with the chakras, and not the energy/form aspect, first. That means one of the best ways to open the heart chakra for example is through practicing the will to love each and every day with everyone you meet, instead of meditating on the heart center directly. I also find it interesting that in this rule we are told the Probationer Disciple needs to “co-ordinate his life so that the life of the spirit may flow through it.” This goes back to the purification disciplines found on the Probationary Path, as well as those found during the Chela in the Light stage that we will examine next. When the life is organized and ordered (making a living, having money to survive, attending to your responsibilities to family and community), then the Probationer Disciple finally has the psychological time, space, and affairs of life settled in such a way he or she is truly free to live a spiritual life.
Let the disciple merge himself within the circle of his other selves. Let but one colour blend them and their unity appear. Only when the group is known and sensed can energy be wisely emanated.
One thing all disciples and applicants for initiation have to do is to find that particular group of servers to which they belong on the inner plane, to recognise them upon the physical plane, and to unite with them in service for the race. This recognition will be based upon:—
- Unity of aim.
- Oneness of vibration.
- Identity in group affiliation.
- Karmic links of long standing.
- Ability to work in harmonious relation.
Superficially, this may appear one of the easiest of the rules, but in practice it is not so. Mistakes are easily made, and the problem of working harmoniously in group alignment is not so simple as it may appear. Egoic vibration and relationship may exist, yet the outer personalities may not harmonize. It is the work, then, of the applicant to strengthen the grip of his Ego upon his personality, so that the esoteric group relation may become possible upon the physical plane. He will do this by the disciplining of his own personality, and not by the correction of his brothers (Initiation: Human and Solar, pp. 202 — 203).
LL Commentary: One of the essential things the Probationary Disciple has to learn is that he or she does not walk on the spiritual path alone. Because the Probationary Disciple is on the cutting edge of human evolution, feeling and even being alone in life is a real challenge that has to be overcome. To cope with the loneliness some Probationers will move into channeling, or associating themselves with invisible beings to help them feel more connected and less alone. The Problems of Guidance talked about in the chapter on the 6tth subplane of the Mental Plane are connected to this, both in the sense of finding others in everyday life and on the inner planes to support one in their spiritual progress. As Bailey’s commentary suggests many mistakes will be made until the right group is found that has the right level of unity of purpose, group harmony, and similar vibration that aids that harmonious approach. As for how hard this rule can be to put into practice, anyone who has attempted to do group work and get people’s personalities to harmonize already knows it can be very difficult. Finally, as a reminder, Bailey uses the word Ego as synonymous with the word Soul. When she says the Ego is getting a grip on the personality, it means the Soul qualities such as love, wisdom, discernment, compassion are guiding the personalities of those in the group which enables them to function better in service to each other and to the larger world as a whole.
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