Subject under discussion: The qualities of the disciple.
Here is what we have so far:
(1) Soul contact
(2) Holding the mind steady in the light
(3) Detachment when necessary.
(4) The ability to either send or receive
(5) Reflection - contemplation
(7) The power to initiate
(8) The ability to create and sense a point of tension.
(9) Willingness to sacrifice
We have covered sacrifice quite thoroughly. The only thing I might add at present is that when true sacrifice is understood, it will be known by the disciple that sacrifice, as understood by the masses, is an illusion. As some see sacrifice they see loss, but from the viewpoint of the disciple there is no such thing as loss when serving the greater good, even if you lose all you have in the material sense.
True sacrifice is a trade off. You are trading a lower good for a higher good, a lower enjoyment for one more exquisite and a temporary possession for one with more permanence.
Now we come to the tenth quality - discernment.
Let me quote several of your comments:
"And it is important to be spiritually discerning so as to avoid the harm a Brother Philo can cause. Recently I let someone into my life who played on my energy, invaded my psyche (with my consent) negatively affecting myself and, worse, some people around me for whom I feel responsibility." Jennifer
"Perhaps the Great Brotherhood of Light wants us to ensure our power of choice through wise and timely discernment, as a protection of ourselves and them through us, because what good to them are we if we have no discernment, and are rapidly jeopardizing ourselves or their gift of knowledge to all, through inappropriate attitudes or lack of discernment."
"He is able to perceive the falsehoods in teachings being spread disguised as all that is good and beautiful. Intuition is a natural outgrowth of the power of discrimination. ... If you're going to be working as a guide, you've got to know which roads go nowhere."
"Some of the biggest lies I've heard are the ones I've told myself. For me, discernment means not only seeing what is false in external situations and people but also seeing what is false or not for the highest good in myself. The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn."
Very true statements. One of the main problems created though a lack of discernment is deception from false teachers, like Brother Philo in the Immortal.
One of the traps that happen to a well meaning seeker is that he will often be approached by one who is lesser evolved than himself and told that he must be humble and follow. Now to follow is a virtue if you are following someone who has something real to teach, but there are many mediocre minds with large egos who will do everything in their power to get greater minds to follow them. Often times through lack of discernment these greater minds, clouded with guilt and false humility, will follow the lesser causing an evolutionary delay and learning and hard lesson.
A good example of this was Malcolm X. He was a much greater soul than his "beloved teacher" and if he would have realized this sooner he could have accomplished much more and developed a more beneficial philosophy for his brethren.
The greater problem is usually the reverse, however. A student with a qualified teacher will often think he has passed up his mentor in evolution and seeks to reverse rolls that should stay in place.
Discerning the proper place upon the path and acting accordingly is an invaluable part of discernment and a characteristic of true humility.
Another extremely important point is that without discernment there can be no reliable higher contacts. In this reality we are limited in the direction in which we can focus our attention. Attention, in its power, is like a magnifying glass concentrating the rays of the sun. The concentration of light is very powerful, but limited in the amount of space that can be ignited.
Unknown to many seekers there are many voices out there calling for your inner attention and those who draw our attention on the line of least resistance are never entities of the higher planes.
The higher lives speak the language of silence and silence does not clamor for attention; instead attention must find the silence. The disciple must discern and learn to ignore the lower noisy voices of glamour and, through the power of will, force his attention on the secret place of stillness and in that place enjoy the communion of the saints and the Brotherhood of Light. Only through the discernment and the ignoring of the lesser voices can this be obtained.
Soul contact and communion through the Oneness principle is essential for the working disciple, else he may wind up receiving illusionary teachings and leading others down a path from which retracing steps will be essential.
As we proceed here I can see that we will be naming more qualities than originally intended, but even with this longer list we will leave some items out that could be named.
(11) Perseverance - the ability to always bounce back and continue toward a goal even if things seem hopeless or bleak. This is partly obvious as to why this is needed by the disciple. Can you elaborate on either the obvious or the not-so-obvious?
(12) Inclusiveness. Discernment can lead to separations which are necessary, but how does the disciple use inclusiveness in harmony with discernment to avoid the negative aspect of discrimination? How inclusive should the disciple be?
Copyright 1999 by J.J. Dewey, All Rights Reserved