The Inner Side of Esoteric Learning
“There is a road, steep and thorny, beset with
perils of every kind—but yet a road, and it leads
to the heart of the Universe. I can tell you how
to find Those who will show you the secret gateway
that leads inward only, and closes fast behind the
neophyte for evermore. There is no danger that
dauntless courage cannot conquer. There is no trial
that spotless purity cannot pass through. There is
no difficulty that strong intellect cannot surmount.
For those who win onwards, there is reward past all
telling: the power to bless and save humanity. For
those who fail, there are other lives in which
success may come.” ( H. P. Blavatsky)
William Quan Judge and Damodar Mavalankar were declared by the Masters to be successful and accepted disciples—out of many who aspired for chelaship, and failed for one reason or another—in the last quarter of the 19th century. Human evolution is linked with spiritual evolution, and discipleship is for the whole of humanity to aspire for.
"Not only is man more than an animal because there is the god in him, but he is more than a god because there is the animal in him." Spiritual progress depends upon right relation of these two forces—animal and divine. We have allowed the animal to usurp the place of the god. So long as the animal rules, there will be desire for physical life, oscillation between pain and pleasure and keenest suffering. But man is the king who can resolve to evict the animal from the usurped throne and restore it to the god. Once we allow the god to rule the animal, we will be in possession of great force and power, hitherto unknown to us (from the book “Through the Gates of Gold”). This is involved in our journey from discipleship to adeptship. But as the same book points out, do not fancy that this is easily done. Do not think that it is done by a religious or virtuous person — he only follows a certain discipline or a fixed standard to hold the animal in check. In “An Epitome of Theosophy” we are given a bird's eye-view of the spiritual development. Thus --
As to the process of spiritual development, Theosophy teaches:
First: That the essence of the process lies in the securing of supremacy to the highest, the spiritual, element of man's nature.
Second: That this is attained along four lines among others—
(a) The entire eradication of selfishness in all forms and the cultivation of broad, generous sympathy in, and effort for, the good of others.
(b) The absolute cultivation of the inner, spiritual man by meditation, by reaching to and communion with the Divine....
(c) The control of the fleshly appetites and desires, all lower material interests being deliberately subordinated to the behests of the spirit.
(d) The careful performance of every duty belonging to one's station in life, without desire for reward, leaving results for Divine law.
Third: That while the above is incumbent on and practicable by all religiously disposed men, a yet higher plane of spiritual attainment is conditioned upon a specific course of training, physical, intellectual, and spiritual, by which the internal faculties are first aroused and then developed.
Fourth: That an extension of this process is reached in Adeptship, Mahatmaship...attained by laborious self-discipline and hardship, protracted through possibly many incarnations, and with many degrees of initiations and preferment....(pp. 26-27)
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