We needed it not. But she illustrates a certain state of progress. She is not yet where we are; but which is happier? She is happier, but poorer in hope. We are not all too happy, but are rich in hope, knowing the prize at the end of time, and not deterred by the clouds, the storms, the miasms and dreadful beasts of prey that line the road. Let us, then, at the very outset wash out of our souls all desire for reward, all hope that we may attain. For so long as we thus hope and desire, we shall be separated from the Self. If in the Self all things are, then we cannot wish to be something which we can only compass by excluding something else.
"You must, then, reach a point other than that where you now stand, before you can even ask to be taken as a chela on probation. All candidates enter the unseen Lodge in this manner, and it is governed by Laws containing within themselves their own fulfilment and not requiring any officers whatever. Nor must you imagine that such a probationer is one who works under constant and known direction of either an Adept or another chela. On the contrary, he is tried and tested for at least seven years, and perhaps many more, before the point is reached when he is either accepted (and prepared for the first of a series of initiations often covering several incarnations), or rejected. And this rejection is not by any body of men just as they incline, but is the natural rejection79 by Nature. The probationer may or may not hear from his Teacher during this preliminary period; more often he does not hear. He may be finally rejected and not know it, just as some men have been on probation and have not known it until they suddenly found themselves accepted. Such men are those self-developed persons who have reached that point in the natural order after many incarnations, where their expanded faculties have entitled them to an entrance into the Hall of Learning or the spiritual Lodge beyond. And all I say of men applies equally to women.
The old mission of the Rosicrucians, though dead on the outside, is not dead, for the Masters were in that as They are in this, and it may be possible to usher in a new era of western occultism devoid of folly. We should all be ready for that if it be possible.
No, I do not say nor have I said that you ought to do something other than you do. We each do what we can. None of us can be the judge of any creature existing; so I do not judge you in the least respect. Your life may in the great sum total be greater than any life I ever led or that any one has led. Whether you are in America, Europe, or India makes no difference. This is seeking conditions. I have come to understand that Masters themselves must have worked themselves up out of much worse conditions than we are in. No matter where we are, the same spirit pervades all and is accessible. What need, then, to change places? We do not change ourselves by moving the body to another locus. We only put it under a different influence. And in order to change we must have got to dislike the place we moved from. That is attachment by opposites, and that will produce detriment, as does all that disturbs the equilibrium of the soul.23 You know the same result is produced by two exact opposites, and thus extremes meet.
I seize a few moments to acknowledge your letter. This is a period of waiting, of silence. Nothing seems32 alive. All oracles are silent. But the great clock of the Universe still goes on, unheeding. On Sunday I engaged in Meditation and received some benefit. I wished I could see you to speak of it. Yet these things are too high for words, and when we approach the subjects we are not able to give expression to our thoughts. We do not live up to our highest soul possibilities. All that prevents our reaching up to the high thoughts of the far past is our own weakness, and not the work of any other. How petty seem the cares of this earth when we indulge in deep reflection; they are then seen for what they are, and later on they are obliterated. It is true that the road to the gods is dark and difficult, and, as you say, we get nothing from them at first call; we have to call often. But we can on the way stop to look ahead, for no matter how sombre or howsoever weak ourselves, the Spectator sees it all and beckons to us, and whispers, "Be of good courage, for I have prepared a place for you where you will be with me forever." He is the Great Self; He is ourselves.