*The books of Alice A. Bailey, written in cooperation with a Tibetan teacher between 1919-1949, constitute a continuation of the Ageless Wisdom--a body of esoteric teaching handed down from ancient times in a form which is always suitable to each period. Intended to precede and condition the coming era, the Alice A. Bailey writings offer an unparalleled spiritual approach to such subjects as the teaching on Shamballa and the Path of spiritual evolution; the spiritual Hierarchy; the new discipleship and training in meditation as a form of service; the teaching on the seven rays and the new psychology of the soul; the teaching on esoteric astrology; and the new world religion, which emphasizes the common thread of truth linking all the major world faiths. *While the original intention behind the group working instructions contained in Volume I, was to externalise eventually through groups of nine integrated disciples, the work of nine subjectively organised groups (hence the name "Groups of Nine" given to this work), this second volume contains the teaching given between the years 1940 and 1949 after the group had been reduced and reorganised into one group, "the new seed group".
One of the main objectives of the new seed group was to "anchor" some of the principles and seed ideas for the new civilisation of the Aquarian era; and also to create an integrated group of trained Hierarchical workers capable of providing needed cooperation with activities initiated by Hierarchy to fertilise and prepare human consciousness for the tremendous stimulation of the immediate future. In this book, therefore, the personal instructions cover a shorter period of time and only 22 individuals. Much of the teaching continues to emphasise the needs and the problems of group work, group fusion, group consciousness and the relationship of members of a group to one another and to the Master whom they seek to serve. "Let your horizon be wide and your humility great" the group is told, so that "an adjusted sense of right proportion" - the esoteric definition of humility - may regulate the growth in all relationships in conformity with the evolutionary needs of the Hierarchical Plan. Two vitally important aspects of the life of discipleship are emphasised from the standpoint of practical training techniques - meditation and initiation.
Meditation is shown not only as a way of approach by the individual to the soul, and by the group to the Master, but as the creative technique of the Lord of the World by which all is brought into being. All centres of consciousness in the planet, large and small, can employ the same meditative techniques to create the new and needed forms consistent with the changing emphasis of energy flow and divine purpose. Meditation thus becomes an act of conscious cooperation with "the strictly redemptive purposes" of our planetary Life. The teachings on initiation are also given an essentially practical presentation as "facts of life", to be understood and applied. The glamourous idea of initiation as a reward for a good, self-disciplined way of life, dissipates in the light of the reality. Neither has initiation for the disciple anything to do with the internal, organisational "initiations" peculiar to many occult orders and groups, which are meaningless except in the context of the organisation itself.
Initiation for the disciple is the result of a conscious expansion into "larger and larger wholes" - a progressive expansion into the actual stream of consciousness of our planetary Life. These expansions in consciousness are accompanied by a succession of revelations; and in this volume of "Discipleship in the New Age", five points of revelation are discussed, with hints and symbolic formulas leading to a correct interpretation of them. A disciple is "one who knows"; he has learned through personal experience that spiritual law and principle applied in service, create a condition of balance in which relationship is restored between the Way of God and the ways of men. Through that point of fusion light can radiate for the benefit of those who stumble in the dark. True revelation is a shared experience.
*Alice A. Bailey, (1880-1949) From her conservative British background, Alice Bailey's life led her in many directions, but always in one direction--towards the time when through drastic personal experience of many kinds she had acquired a synthesis of outlook and understanding, and an absolute conviction that one divine life pervades and animates the one humanity; that the Plan for humanity requires the cooperation and service of trained and dedicated human beings intelligently informed about world affairs, in collaboration with those who form the spiritual Hierarchy, the inner government of the planet. Her life work became an integral part of this synthesis and this realization. Without in the least losing any of her very human qualities and involvement, her soul took up its commitment to her Master, and her personality provided full cooperation in the field of her accepted service. Basically her work developed as a duality--her discipleship service which included the establishment of an esoteric school; and her initially reluctant agreement to work with the Tibetan, Djwhal Khul, in the writing of a series of books presenting the next phase in the continuity of the Ageless Wisdom teaching for the present and the immediate future. An extract from the Tibetan teacher, written in 1934 briefly explains the intent of these teachings: "The books that I have written are sent out with no claim for their acceptance. They may, or may not, be correct, true and useful. It is for you to ascertain their truth by right practice and by the exercise of the intuition. Neither I nor A.A.B. is the least interested in having them acclaimed as inspired writing, or in having anyone speak of them (with bated breath) as being the work of one of the masters. If they present truth in such a way that it follows sequentially upon that already offered in the world teachings, if the information given raises the aspiration and the will-to-serve from the plane of the emotions to that of the mind (the plane whereon the Masters can be found) then they will have served their purpose. If the teaching conveyed calls forth a response from the illumined mind of the worker in the world, and brings a flashing forth of the intuition, then let that teaching be accepted. But not otherwise. If the statements meet with eventual corroboration, or are deemed true under the test of the Law of Correspondences, then that is well and good. But should this not be so, let not the student accept what is said."