Diamond Light
Newsletter of the Aquarian Age Community
2010 No. 1
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The Disciple and Perseverance

Merwyn Claire Johnston

One must lead into the abode of the Elohim with complete perseverance,
as though danger pursued the entering one.

There is no attribute more necessary to the disciple than perseverance. As aspirants we learn that the finding of the Path is the beginning of transcendence and transformation, of emerging from the human kingdom into the “Kingdom of God” and of moving from the unreal to the real, from darkness into Light. Discipleship is the stage in our journey in which we learn to master energies and forces and to find the meaning behind the outer seeming. This is not a quick or easy journey.

We come to the Path when we have become weary of the endless treadmill of desire and suffering that characterizes life on our little planet. Initially, we are not usually attracted to serving, either the Plan or humanity. We are seeking the end of suffering and pain for ourselves and, finding the teachings is akin to finding our way out of dense fog and rain into a sunshine-filled clearing. The new light immediately strengthens and heartens us and we want to quit the dark vale of suffering—not for a space—but forever and immediately. The focus is self-liberation and fulfillment. In this state, we perceive as personalities, not as souls. The Tibetan Master, Djwhal Khul, warns us that “all care and anxiety is based primarily on selfish motive.” (Letters on Occult Meditation, p. 43) We learn that we cannot escape pain and suffering if we do not help others to escape it also.

We begin our journey on the Path with a sense that we have finally emerged into Light and understanding and we cannot imagine experiencing the darkness and doubt again. When the inevitable nights of doubt and darkness appear again, we are apt to fall prey to discouragement and a sense of failure. There are a number of factors to be taken into account in attempting to understand the alternating light and shadow experiences of the Path. First, all life is subject to cyclic change and alternations. There are no static conditions. Night inevitably follows day, the seasons alternate each year. The moon waxes and wanes, tides ebb and flow. And even on the Path, we suffer periods of seeming aridity after spurts of growth and productivity. Many times during the fallow period, seeds of new life and productivity are quietly germinating in the darkness.

Upon the Path, we experience on a higher turn of the spiral, the same stages of growth as the personality during its lifespan in incarnation. We begin as babes, move through the childhood phase into adolescence and then into maturity and old age. Each of these stages on the path must be mastered. The Tibetan enjoins the Pilgrim on the Way to “have patience. Endurance is one of the characteristics of the Ego (soul—or Higher Self – MCJ). The Ego persists, knowing itself immortal. The personality becomes discouraged, knowing that time is short.” ( Initiation, Human and Solar, p. 76)

It is only when the personality comes under the influence of the soul (which the Tibetan master tells us is group focused) do we truly begin to change the focus of our vision. The tools, par excellence, to reach the soul are meditation, discipline of the personality and service. With persistence and through sustained efforts in using these tools, we transform the self-absorbed personality into that of the Christ consciousness of the soul.

We are told that the Hierarchy is now primarily occupied in developing two divine trends in humanity—synthesis and vision. The Tibetan tells us that the Hierarchy “is seeking to produce through the integration of the soul and personality in humanity, an awakening inner vision that will enable humanity to recognize the divinity inherent in the whole.” This quality of inner vision, we are told, “is an expression of the Principle of Continuance, which finds its distorted reflection in the word so often used by disciples: —Endurance. This principle of continuance constitutes the capacity of God to persist and ‘to remain.’” (Esoteric Psychology II, pp. 239-41)

As disciples, we too, must seek to learn to embody this Principle of Continuance—through endurance/perseverance. Each large or small experience of the dark night of the soul, of failure, of doubt and frustration, survived and persevered through, yields new strength, new wisdom, new humility and a greater ability to serve. Steady, regular, persistent endeavor produces more progress than “enthusiastic rushing forward and a violent energetic progress....It is the tortoise and not the hare that arrives first at the goal.” (A Treatise on White Magic, p. 54)     (Next | Index)

1 Heart, par. 3, Agni Yoga Society, New York.