Seven Fragments On Discipleship
Selected from the Writings of
Robert Crosbie and William Judge
Carlos Cardoso Aveline (Ed.)
The Himalayas, in a painting by Nicholas Roerich
The present selection was
first published at “The Aquarian
Theosophist” magazine, in November 2005,
with no indication as to the name of the editor.
1. HPB, a Mirror for Students
If we would look at the bodily H.P.B. as a mirror which reflected from above and from below as well, giving back to each who confronted it his own reflection according to his nature and power to perceive, we might get a better understanding of her nature. To the discriminative, it was a well of inspiration; in it the commonplace, the Judas, the critic, and every other saw himself reflected. Mighty few caught a glimpse of the real individuality. Each got the evidence that he sought. We have the Master’s words that the body of H.P.B. was the best that they had been able to obtain for many centuries. Those who looked at the body and its human characteristics got what the view was capable of giving them; those who looked at the mind behind got what came from it, in the degree of their comprehension; those who were able to look into the causes of things saw what their depths of sight gave them - more or less of Truth. “By their fruits, shall ye know them”.
[Robert Crosbie, in “The Friendly Philosopher”, The Theosophy Co., Los Angeles, 1945, see p. 150.]
2. Wanting to be a Disciple
The effect of a desire to become a chela in the next incarnation will be to place one where the desire may be probably realized. Its effect on the next condition and environment depends on so many things that no definite reply could be given. If the desire be held determinedly and unceasingly, the goal is brought nearer, but that also brings up all karma of the past, thus precipitating an immense conflict on the individual: a conflict which when once begun has only two ways of ending, one, total defeat, the other, success; there is no other way. As Dante wrote, “Who enters here leaves hope behind.” Therefore, in general, the next life, or rather the life of a chela, while full of noble possibilities, is a constant battle from beginning to end. As to times and periods, it is said in the East that when the probationary chela steps on the path he will reach a goal in seven births hereafter.
[William Q. Judge, in “‘Forum’ Answers”, The Theosophy Co., Los Angeles, 1982, see pp. 8-9.]
3. Mahatmas See Every Pure Heart
And let me say here to you: do not be too anxious; abide the time when your own inner demands shall open the doors, for those Great Ones who I know exist see every pure-hearted earnest disciple , and are ready to give a turn to the key of knowledge when the time in the disciple’s progress is ripe. No one who strives to tread the path is left unhelped; the Great Ones see his “light”, and he is given what is needed for his better development. That light is not mere poetical imagery; but is actual, and its character denotes one’s spiritual condition; there are no veils in that plane of seeing. The help must be of that nature which leaves perfect freedom of thought and action; otherwise, the lessons would not be learned. Mistakes will occur, perhaps many of them, but, as is said, “twenty failures are not irremediable if followed by as many undaunted struggles upwards”.
[in “The Friendly Philosopher”,1945,see pp. 7-8.]
4. Masters Help Truth Seekers
[The Masters] have also stated that they do not make themselves objectively known to believers in them except in those cases where those believers are ready in all parts of their nature, are definitely pledged to them, with the full understanding of the meaning of the pledge. But they have also stated that they help all earnest seekers after truth, and that it is not necessary for those seekers to know from where the help comes so long as it is received. (...) Personally I know that the Masters do help powerfully, though unseen, all those who earnestly work and sincerely trust in their higher nature, while they follow the voice of conscience without cavil or delay.
[ in “‘Forum’ Answers”, 1982, pp. 75-76]
5. Meditation, a Tool Along the Way
Meditation as used by us, is what is called in Sanscrit Dhyana, i.e., want of motion, and one-pointedness. The main point is to free the mind from the power of the senses, and to raise a current of thought to the exclusion of all others. “Realization comes from dwelling on the thing to be realized”. W. Q. Judge says:
“To meditate on the Higher Self is difficult; seek then, the Bridge, the Masters. The patient dwelling of the mind on a single thought results in the gaining of wisdom, and it is thus that the true Occultist is developed. Aspiration toward the Higher Self should form part of the daily meditation; the rising toward the higher planes of our being, which cannot be found unless they are sought. Earnest and reverent desire for Master’s guidance and enlightenment will begin the attunement of the nature to the harmony to which it must one day respond. Concentration on a single point in the Teaching is a road to the philosophy ; self-examination, a road to knowledge of oneself. To put oneself in the place of another, to realize his difficulties, and thus be able to help him, is that faculty - which when extended makes it possible for the Adept to understand the nature of the stone or other form of consciousness.”
Meditation is a good beneficent practice leading to a great end. It is also a great destroyer of the personal idea.
[ in “The Friendly Philosopher”,1945, p. 93.]
6. We Are All Warriors, as Arjuna
Arjuna is man or the soul struggling to the light, and while Krishna was one of the Avatars or manifestations of God among men, he is also the Higher Self. Arjuna as man in this world of sense and matter is of necessity either always in a battle or about to begin one, and is also ever in need of advice. This he can get only in a valuable way from his Higher Self. (...) Arjuna is the man in the life his Karma has produced, and he must fight out the battle he himself invited. Arjuna’s object was to regain a kingdom, and so each one of us may know that our fight is for a kingdom gainable only by individual effort and not by anyone’s favour.
[ in “The Heart Doctrine”, The Theosophy Co., India, 1977, pp. 49-50. ]
7. True Theosophists Will Prevail
We need to bring again and again to the attention of all discouraged and bewildered Theosophists what H.P.B. wrote to Judge in 1888:
“Night before last I was shown a bird’s eye view of the Theosophical Societies. I saw a few earnest, reliable Theosophists in a death-struggle with the world in general, and with other - nominal but ambitious - Theosophists. The former are greater in number than you may think, and they prevailed, as you in America will prevail, if only you remain staunch to the Master’s programme and true to yourselves.”
[ in “The Friendly Philosopher”,1945, p. 389 ]
On the role of the esoteric movement in the ethical awakening of mankind during the 21st century, see the book “The Fire and Light of Theosophical Literature”, by Carlos Cardoso Aveline.
Published in 2013 by The Aquarian Theosophist, the volume has 255 pages and can be obtained through Amazon Books.
Seven Fragments On Discipleship