Rosicrucian Writings Online

The Technique of the Disciple


By Raymund Andrea, F.R.C.
Grand Master of the Rosicrucian Order for Great Britain
[From The Rosicrucian Digest February 1935]
IN MY book, "The Technique of the Master," published two years ago, certain basic principles of thought and action were outlined, and methods of esoteric discipline were suggested, which appeared to me to characterize the Master in the training of a disciple. These principles and this discipline constitute the necessary foundation upon which a disciple has to build through graduated development, a comprehensive structure of technical equipment in order to attain to high initiation. I endeavoured to sketch the subject from the Master's point of view. I took it for granted that readers would accept the fact of the existence of the Masters as living personalities, actually operative on this material plane as well as on the Cosmic plane, having full knowledge of the activities of the Order to which we as members are attached, and inspiring certain advanced initiates in carrying on those activities.
The response from members to the teaching of this book was highly gratifying. It proved beyond question that within the Order a large body of appreciative understanding existed of the subject under consideration. Not only so, but that a very real hunger was present to grasp all the related aspects of truth discussed and work them out in the individual life. What was especially significant to me was the appreciative comment that came from young members in the Order, of an age at which one scarcely expects to find subjects of this nature to be of interest, much less of being grasped with any real understanding. Surely this fact is a sign of the times in the occult world. In a world still full of unrest, with superficiality and lightmindedness manifest on every hand to a painful degree, to find young people seeking the wisdom of the Masters with an earnestness of thought and aspiration worthy of their elders, is the most promising sign of the onward march of evolution and an inspiration, to us who endeavor to teach and guide, beyond any other incentive.
It is in compliance with the request of these and many members of all ages in the Order that I have been prompted to prepare another book, as a companion volume to the first, dealing with the technique. In this book I have had the neophyte in mind. I have gone back to my own early days of study and effort on the path and placed myself side by side with the neophyte as he sets forth on his journey of self development. I have endeavoured to treat the subject from the point of view of the neophyte as he seeks to qualify from the outset of his studies, knowing little of the path before him, or how his new departure in life will react upon himself and his environment. It is not an easy task to embark upon, but I have written from my own experience of the path and taken the young aspirant along with me, until light and knowledge dispel doubt and hesitancy and he finds the technique unfolding in his mind and soul and expressing skilfully in his hands in the one great service to which we have dedicated ourselves, the service of the Master.
In these books on the technique I am not, I need scarcely say, proposing to offer a teaching which shall be in any way a substitute for the actual studies of the aspirant within the Order. I seek rather to throw a light upon definite phases of inner experience which will transpire as he proceeds in his unfoldment through the various grades. As he works on through his studies ever new problems arise of a deeply personal and intimate nature; yet experience has shown how uniform in character are many of these problems, and again and again one finds that the same difficulties, the same searching questions and perplexities in one's own experience, beset others, though in different circumstances, and the solutions which one has found in his own researches into the soul become an inspirational guidance in other lives. Take, for instance, the Obscure Night, which is specifically dealt with in the teachings of the Order. It comes to all at some time or other: all must pass through it. It is fraught with temporary doubts and difficulties: some almost lose their faith and their hold upon life in it. To each it comes in a peculiar and individual form, contingent upon circumstances and temperament and evolutionary status. But those who have passed through it know the actual experiences of it; they know the nature of its trial and the necessary requirements for passing on in spite of all illusionary aspects which suggest defeat. And here it is that an individual exposition of this and other related phases of development can be an added inspiration to the aspirant to face his task with courage and qualify for a worthy mission in life.
An advanced member of the Order recently proffered the opinion that the book, "The Technique of the Master," was really for ninth grade students. Perhaps this is so, although it had not before occurred to me. I dealt in that book with intricate points of the technique which had long burdened my mind in connection with some of the deepest problems of our experience on the path. Inevitably, therefore, I was speaking therein mainly to the student of experience, faced with some of the hardest problems that may beset him. For it is just here, when the student has made considerable progress and is waiting the decisive touch and influence of the Master in his life, that his greatest strength and perseverance are in requisition. It is to be expected that before this great privilege is his, he should be subjected to the keenest possible trial of his powers to ensure his proper use of that privilege. And these considerations had my earnest attention in the first book.
But in the second book to be published, I have reviewed the earlier stages up to this point of attainment. But the neophyte and the advanced student will find in it an interpretation of personal experience and, I trust, an inspiration to attainment. One cannot do more in a book of this nature. One would like, when face to face with acutely perplexing problems and circumstances of students, to live the life for them and translate them secretly into a larger consciousness. But the wish is vain; and were it possible, it would not be true growth, but a forced development, unable to stand the strong reactions which must come from day to day in the fulfilment of Karmic obligations. We must proceed on our own, not on the borrowed strength of others. Indeed, that is the underlying truth of the technique in all its phases, and the way of it is precisely the many-sided and purposeful use of self in the largest sense.
I feel that these books will have served a good purpose if they emphasize to the student in the various grades of the Order that they must work their studies into the fabric of daily life, that reading and discussion have their place in accumulating facts and clarifying the mind, but that upon their own persistent and conscientious efforts alone can any real progress be achieved. The advanced student knows this; but the neophyte is slow in realizing it. His eagerness is laudable, his enthusiasm inspiring; but his anxiety and impatience hamper him at every step, and increase the responsibility of those who guide him. Nothing that one can say to him can fully satisfy. There is a wisdom which comes of old experience which cannot be imparted; yet he will not believe that this experience is necessary. He is prone to believe that because he has read a certain corpus of literature and has by heart a reasonable amount of information regarding development, that therefore he is ready for the gift of deep insight and singular demonstration. But the fact is, that this knowledge has not yet been worked out in experience: the circumstances of daily living have not yet brought him to the test of his knowledge; and nothing but the passage of time and the application of his life to those circumstances can bridge the gulf and open his inner vision to the adjustments to be made between the objective brain consciousness and that of the soul. A young student of science may read the recorded researches and discoveries of the master scientists and feel himself very-well versed in the subject; but these men have often wrestled with nature in the laboratory for a lifetime before they put pen to paper.
The living of life must precede the revealing of its technique. Let the neophyte be thankful that there are those who have trodden a few hard stages of the path and have been constrained by the Masters to record in the fire of their souls some fragments of their hard won wisdom. This is my message to him. If he has trust and devotion, and the patience of the true seeker, he will not have to wait long before the fire of his soul is kindled; and once launched upon the path of individual discovery, the successive steps of advancement will open to him as quickly as he is ready to ascend them.

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