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Of Master and Discipline

Author: Matthew Webb

brought to you by The World Mind Society, and Matthew Webb

Any or all of this material may be used by any interested person or organization, for the purpose of spiritual and/or intellectual enlightenment. We ask that you mention the source of this material in your publication(s), (the World Mind Society, and Matthew Webb) so as to promote the mission of this organization.

Part 1 |
Part 2 |
Part 3 |
Part 4 |
Part 5 |

Part 1

The following is a fictional account of a spiritual
awakening with a factual basis.  This
five part series is offered to promote and encourage the practices of the World
Mind Society, making the reader aware of some of the potentials involved in this

dusty traveler of faded robes, possessing little else but reed thongs and the
distant, wide eyed look of many earnest seekers, one day came upon a spectacle
that would change his life.  The
barren hill upon which he stood lead a drunken, weaving path down a rocky slope, 
to a grassy expanse at its base.  Many
hundreds of people were gathered there.  Most
had seated themselves around a pinnacle of large boulders spanning 60 feet
across at their crest, which formed a natural speaking platform. 
A few danced and whirled in traditional song in the distance, while the
majority sat silently in contemplation.  Upon
approaching gray, ancient boulders with weary steps, 
his gaze rested with hopeful expectation upon a motionless figure in
white seated upon them.  He had heard that this was the place frequented by the
foremost adept of a famous Master.  It
was said that He spoke of the nature of Truth, and performed healings of those
who sought aid.

Some twenty feet above among small gray rocks, only
the silent hood of a cloak was visible.  Suddenly, as the seeker approached near this white robed one,
looking up at his calm presence with expectation,  a small gong was sounded. 
Flutes and drums grew silent, and dancers immediately stopped wherever
they stood as though they were one body suddenly brought to a halt. 
All voices went mute, and the crowd turned in unison with an expression
of reverence.  Surely this is the
one I seek the pilgrim thought.  Upon
realizing he was the only one standing so close to the rocks, 
the seeker quickly began to lie prone, face down in fine dust and grass
there, as a gesture of respect.  Yet
in the midst of doing so, he was compelled to take one last look at the robed
figure above.  To his surprise, eyes
that seemed to glow with an inner radiance were focused directly upon him. 
A pearl white hood was pulled back to reveal a noble countenance of jet
black hair,  a short beard and
streaks of gray at the temples.  Saying
not a word, the figure gestured to the seeker to simply sit where he was. 
Then turning to the assembled throng he spoke thus;

"Friends and devoted seekers, I speak today on
behalf of my Master, and my Master’s Master. 
It is He whom you may know quite well, for many have visited his ashrams
throughout this land to receive gifts of wisdom. 
At this time however, my Master is in seclusion, and will remain so in
his advanced age.  I come among you to carry forth the Word, and to attempt in
some small measure to carry on his work as well. 
Know then that the work of my Master is not the path of his own creation. 
It is one which has prevailed since the beginning of time, in the hearts
and minds of all earnest seekers of Truth. 
For within the temple of Truth resides the Teacher of Teachers, and the
Master of Masters.   From this
One Source,  even the Avatars and
Gods receive their instruction.  None
are higher than That which prevails throughout all of space and time.  The Truth that sustains the bodies wherein you now dwell,
which likewise empowers the souls which inhabit them, is the same essence from
which both the seen and unseen draw strength. 
All must find their way through this One Means. 
This is what is meant by the saying "All paths lead to God",
for all paths are of God, leading inevitably back to God; 
to Brahman that is the all-encompasser. 
Embrace you that which is eternal and never fails, nor which ever finds
exception to Its laws. Through this reap rewards of such sweetness, that they
find no adequate comparison with the creations of man.  
Find the Truth that resides within, just as it resides in all things, and
in so doing realize the deep purposes of your own existence. 
Doubt not that your purposes in Truth are deep. 
In the depth of God were you born, and in the depth of God will you
physically die, and yet live on.  The
wise, who upon realizing this, find the sweetest path of life by seeking none
else while still in a physical body.  Look
you thus with the inner eye, upon the depth of God that is existence. 
Guide the two outer eyes away from the sufferings that are the creations
of man, to the true glory of life in God that is your spiritual inheritance. 
Look well with the three eyes made one without bias, for there are
treasures to be perceived in our own souls that exceed those of all the kings of
kings who have ever lived, or ever will live. 
Claim these treasures as your own, these aspects of Truth, for indeed
they are the birthright of all conscious beings alike."

The Adept continued speaking after only a slight
pause;  "The inner eye of the
soul Sees as it does my friends,  through
the instrument of your current body.  The essence of the soul forgets not that it is a Spark of the
Fire of God.  Through this Spark it
is the soul which Sees with precision into the nature of Truth, more so than the
outer two, which are most often fixated upon the material world. 
The soul is enabled to do this because the Spark that illuminates the
inner world, is the same light which illuminates all of creation. 
The soul is our immediate source of connection to the All-Pervading, and
therefore to all Wisdom.  To know
thyself is to know one’s true nature as soul. 
To know soul is to know Consciousness, the All-Pervading. 
To know soul is in turn to know God, and all that is of both the manifest
and unmanifest.  Identify yourselves
with Consciousness, and realize the Infinite that is Self and All".

The seeker looked up from a deeply contemplative,
unfocused gaze at the rock face before him, to realize that the large crowd of
some five or six hundred were now pressed close. 
They encircled the boulders as closely as possible to hear the message
given.  Their complete silence he
thought, was due to the Adept’s profound message. 
After a silent pause he realized it was also because of a commanding
spiritual presence, that left no doubt in the mind of the listener, as to the
embodiment of that very message.  A
rustle of fabric from above focused the attention of the throng into a strong
atmosphere of anticipation.  The
Adept, standing upright with arms extended forward and palms revealed, spoke

"What I do next", he said, "I do in
the manner of my Master, and his Master before him. 
This is in accord with the unbroken chain of a lineage of teachings,
which extends beyond written memory.  Know
that what I now do is a manifestation of the soul, according to the Will of that
Master of Masters of all ages and places, and which you as embodied souls may
likewise do".  Having said
this, the Adept looked up into a cloudless sky full of heat, and chanted
"OM MANE PADME OM" in lingering, 
clear,  intonations of one
syllable after another.  Raised
hands adjoined over his head as in prayer. 
Many began to see a circle of light forming around his head, others over
his entire body.  Some saw the many
colors of the spectrum as in that of a rainbow, extending outward through the
crowd and beyond by several miles, muffling their cries of delight in an attempt
to remain respectful.  When the
intonation ended, the Adept again extended his arms straight forward from the
chest with palms upturned and eyes closed, slowly rotating his body 360 degrees. 
As if the rocks below had themselves been uplifted, there began to
radiate from the entire area a strong current of love, one that seemed to rise
up from the Earth itself.  It swept
through the crowd like a fresh breeze after a long awaited summer rain. 
An almost imperceptible motion of bodies stirred the gathered mass, as
though each were a blade of grass blown to and fro in unison. When only a few
minutes of this had passed, many people knelt or dropped on the ground.  
This was not immediately out of reverence, but a dizzy exaltation brought
about by currents of Energy now passing through them. 
A great many exclaimed the various names of God, promising fidelity in
service.  Many called upon the names
of Saints after prostrating themselves on the ground.  Around and around the Adept turned, now with directed palms
and eyes wide open, looking into the faces of those few who still watched him. 
He met every gaze with careful focus, leaving no doubt in the onlooker
that every detail of heart and soul were perceived. 
The dusty and tattered seeker was one of these, who stared with rapt awe
at the wonder of the moment.

The seeker thought to himself that in these many
years of travel,  the privilege of
learning the wisdom of many Masters and Saints had been his. 
The presence of Realized Ones was a sacred experience he had learned to
accept as a regular facet of the spiritual landscape. 
His intention now was as always  to
learn and embody, to feel and receive blessings, so that someday enlightenment
would come.  Despite his awe at the feelings of bliss present, reminding
him of the presence found in sacred groves at the onset of spring, the seeker
was never the less determined to witness every aspect of this demonstration. 
He hoped to observe subtle secrets, in order to understand how he himself
might one day accomplish such feats.

Unconsciously the seeker had raised his hands,
joining them overhead in reaction to the sweetness of presence in the air. 
It traveled in flashes as a strong current of Energy throughout his body. 
After stating inwardly the desire to understand this sensation, it
immediately became amplified.  These
feelings summoned the realization that this same experience was in fact
that found in Nature, and in the company of the Holy. 
The perceptions of spiritual places and persons over the years began to
take on a unity the seeker had not before realized. 
Then insight took the place of awe. 
Sacred groves, Temples and Saints flashed one after another before his
mind’s eye.  They formed a
continuity of feeling that was clearly related, as though they were the deep
roots of a single tree.  Then the
image of a robed teacher seated in a garden, instructing many devotees appeared
to him.  To his surprise, the teacher was himself, as a possible
portent of things to come.  He saw
the Truth that all people are of God, and that all of them experienced a usually
unnoticed communality with each other.

Upon having these realizations, the seeker
experienced deep appreciation for all teachers of Truth, especially for the one
before him now.  Just then, the
Adept completed another full rotation at the boulder’s crest. 
Piercing eyes came to look within those of the seekers'. 
Immediately the two were united in a common knowingness. 
Not only did the Adept perceive instantly the seeker’s realization, but
that the seeker in turn knew he was thus perceived. 
A smile of joy in the confirmation of all the years of effort spent in
search and meditation crossed the seeker’s face, as he realized that he had
found his true Master at last.  Pausing
for a moment in this connection, of two souls having met on the roadway of the
eyes, the Adept then sat again in meditational repose.

Now a physical wind stirred the large throng, and
what felt like either an hour or a single minute passed without notice. 
None stirred except one white robed man carrying a small brass gong. 
As he passed through the gathering many sat up from their prone inner
revels to see what would happen next.  The
robed man, apparently a longtime student of the Adept, reached the center of
this tree lined clearing near the boulders.  He struck the gong three times, 
gaining the full attention of the assembly,  before the talk began anew.

"It is in the way of the lineage of teachers of
which I am a part", began the Adept, "to demonstrate knowledge
conveyed in a manner which can be experienced as well as understood. 
Just as it is my Master’s wish that all those instructed would one day
earn the responsible position of Master, so too is this my wish for you, dear
seekers of Truth. 
In demonstration it is hoped that the lessons of discourses given be made
clear, if not in content, then certainly in degree of importance. 
This demonstration of certain common Laws of Nature has been my privilege
to in some part reveal, as an opportunity for further discussion". 
Evident was the considerable interest of many eyes turned upward to the
robed one, who had again pulled a gleaming hood over a focused brow.

Part 2

The Adept continued by saying, "Of this lineage
there are no secrets withheld, for it is our view that when a question is
earnestly asked, that the asking itself implies a readiness to receive 
answers.  This is true here
today,  as it is for ascetics in
caves and forest groves, as well as for the disciples in ashrams of my
Master’s Way.  Your presence here
is testimony to a strong spiritual motivation. 
Your sacrifices in undertaking travel to this secluded place do not go
unnoticed.  Thus, as much will be
revealed to you as you wish to know, and of which I am capable of both
demonstration and discourse.  It
cannot be overemphasized that what you have experienced here today, in no way
represents any special ability on my part, or that of the lineage of teachings
to which I belong.  These events
today are an aspect of Natural Laws which any person may, who so desires, begin
to embody and thus perform.

material world which you see before you is but one of the innumerable houses of
God, built upon a foundation of intelligent design. 
It is intelligent because it is of progressive purpose.  It is wise because its purpose is the expansion of its own
Self Awareness, within all created forms.  It
is progressive because it becomes even more wise and intelligent over time. 
In so doing It builds even greater houses than before. 
This house of God has great strength, as do we who are a part of its
design, one which like any other well built structure, is founded upon sound
principles and laws.  The house of
life is flexible,  rebuilding itself
as needed.  Because man is of the
same design he too is flexible,  possessing
intelligence and wisdom along with the inner strength to progress.  Thus we are reflections of God the Planner, for we plan as
well.  We are reflections of God the
Builder, for we have minds that focus and which are capable of recreating the
world.  It is also true that we
reflect God the Knower, because as a result of our planning, building and inner
focus, we too gain not only knowledge, but knowledge of what it is to Know. 
So it is that to know is to be human. 
To know that we know,  is to
follow the path of Truth that leads to self Mastery.

We live not only in the house of God, we are also of
that house.  We are as pillars upon
which the roof of heaven rests.  Since
the body of God is Itself Knowingness, and we are of that body, we too possess
Knowingness.  In this Truth the
Design and the Designer are One.  We
are part of a Mind that shapes matter into its own images and means. The image
of the Divine, as well as Divine means are ours to know.  Consciousness the all-pervading infiltrates our being. 
It is the wellspring of inspiration from which the seeker, finding
Awareness itself,  exclaims; 'I AM
THAT'.  Indeed we are all THAT, and
in realizing this, find realization itself. 
The Truth of existence that God is everywhere present becomes self

The universe is Consciousness, and so are we. 
In the knowing of the self this becomes clear. 
Thus to explore ourselves is to explore the house of God, and to explore
the house of God, is to explore ourselves. 
In meditation it is observed that the very process of knowing the self,
is that state of being where the knower becomes the subject of focus, and in so
doing becomes the known as well.  When
that indwelling presence of Awareness within focuses on the qualities of its own
focusing, it then Sees its own nature.  This
is the basis for enlightenment.

When we as conscious beings realize what it is to be
conscious, it is then that the process of spiritual unfoldment takes an active
role in living.  It is then that the
wings of the soul begin to lift this worldly task that is otherwise a burden, to
high spiritual realms.  It is then
we begin to see the importance of love and clarity in the world. 
These insights are important because they enable the spirit to fully
guide matter, for soul to empower body and mind. 
It is Spirit which guides this world and the next, not matter or flesh. 
Spirit, God, Consciousness, Brahman, are all the names of this same
guiding Force.  It is to this Force
we must return, to live as enlightened beings.

Enlightenment is self realization to a certain
minimum degree.  That degree is self
realized when a given mind finds its true nature in Consciousness itself,
calling this home.  Both the inner
and outer focus become one and the same within it. 
This is the identification of the personality with the soul, rather than
the past.  Personality, ego and identification with material things,
fade away to be replaced with an identification with the eternal. 
The self is then viewed as Spirit, not memory or thought. 
"I AM THAT" is exclaimed by the self while in conscious unity
with the universe.  Further
realized, the self exclaims, "I AM THAT I AM", in permanent
identification with Consciousness itself.

A person so identified has access to knowledge of an
unlimited scope.  As a question is
asked, the received answer is already forthcoming. 
For the disciple of spiritual paths, this level of self realization adds
new meaning to the principle, "When the student is ready the Master will
appear".  For indeed when the
seeker has identified themselves with soul, with Consciousness that is the true
self, they are then connected without obstacle to a universe that is also
Consciousness. This connection provides answer to all spiritual inquiry, because
of the connectedness of all things.  Thus
the student is 'ready' as demonstrated by the fact that the Master of Masters, 
which is Truth,  is ever
available to supply needed answers.

My friends, the answers to the questions of life all
lie before you.  For in essence you
must be your own teachers, as even the greatest of Gurus can only point the way,
not provide self mastery.  Self
mastery in Consciousness is a choice of inner focus and self identification,
which you must yourselves make.  Only then will you realize the Truth that is the self and the
world in general".

Having spoken thus, the Adept looked down from a gaze
that spanned the horizon, to the many faces below. 
For a moment his eyes lingered upon them as if in evaluation of what
might best be further said.  Satisfied with the result of the discourse, he arose from a
lotus position atop the rocks, which were by now casting a long shadow,
revealing a greater passage of the day than most had been previously aware. 
Climbing down a ladder of braided reeds, he made his way to a large tent. 
Its circular frame stood in contrast to the many smaller square shelters
of canvas there.  The silent crowd
parted quickly to make way for this spiritual presence of a man, some reaching
out to touch his robe in passing.  Following
close behind were two similarly robed men of impressive though not equal
stature, who did not enter within, as did the Adept. 
Instead they stood at its entrance and announced that a modest late
afternoon lunch had been prepared, as generously provided by a merchant from the
nearest city some miles to the south.  Having
said this they too stepped within, closing the flaps of canvas behind them, as
an unspoken indication that the One therein was for the moment, in repose.

passed into an evening brightly lit by hundreds of campfires, the air scented by
white jungle flowers made even sweeter by singers and drums. Those who had
traveled far for spiritual cleansing, council and healing were not disappointed,
as groups of five were allowed in the large tent to receive blessings.

The humble seeker, seated before a small fire not far
from the main tent noticed that those who entered and soon departed were in good
spirits, and seemingly greater Energy than before. 
He wondered what manner of inner strength or realization made possible
the healing of so many night after night, and the creation of such uplifting
effects, day after day.  It was said that the Adept, who was sure to take the
Master’s place some day, traveled almost constantly from location to location
giving discourses and healings, staying no more than a week in any one place. 
The seeker imagined himself the devoted servant of this teacher, who
surely could well be considered a Master in his own right. 
He wondered what this might entail. 
At that very moment the seeker felt compelled to look up from his fire,
and there alone stood a figure in a gray cloak watching him intently. 
The figure spoke saying,  "The
very first time I entered my Master’s ashram, after eight years of meditation
in the forest, he met with me.  This
is an unusual honor for a new student.  The
first thing he said was, 'I perceive immediately that you do seek with an
earnest heart and a clear mind,  and
so I say to you this.  Remember
always that Truth is the highest and most worthy Master to which any seeker may
ever apply’.  After a time of
meditating on this I knew it to be true, a fact that also indicated to me that
my Master is of the highest realization.  The
Truth that is God, the God that is Truth, is the intelligent reality behind all
possible illusions of the senses or the mind. 
Know you then that should you devote yourself to study with me, that your
devotion shall in fact be to the embodiment of Truth, to God and those constant
principles that underlie all of existence.  I am not truly the Master, I only point the way with as much
fidelity as I am capable".

The figure paused for a moment and stood by the fire
warming his hands, with a gray hood pulled down to conceal the features within. 
Although the seeker could not see his face, he knew this person to be
none other than the Adept, though it was hard to believe. 
The seeker asked, "Why do you conceal yourself thus, great one? 
And how is it that you give answer to my very thoughts?" 
The Adept answered, "From the moment of meeting eyes with you today
while speaking at the rocks, I knew you to be a most earnest seeker of Truth. 
Through your eyes I saw into the intention of your soul. 
In this we aligned our spirits, my friend. 
I saw too that you have many questions you would like to ask of me,  and that they should be answered in full. 
Thus concealed as I sometimes am, we may converse without
distraction".  "Great one,
I am honored", replied the seeker,  "I
do have many questions, and would not usually presume upon your time with them. 
But in consideration of your words, I am delighted to take the
opportunity".  "Let us
walk then, speaking quietly, and see what this conversation may reveal",
the Adept replied.

seeker poured a small pitcher of water on what remained of his fire, and walk
they did amidst singers, dancing children, and discussions of the events of the
day in small tents.  They walked
under a starry sky in silence, until approaching the perimeter of the clearing,
and stood alone near ancient and silent oaks. 
The seeker broke the silence by asking, "Great one, what must one do
in seeking the opportunity to be your student?" 
"As I have said", the Adept replied, "the first and
foremost act of the sincere seeker, is to recognize their true Master, the
Master of Masters, which is that of Truth. 
If this is not done, then no Master, philosophy, or regimen of practice,
no matter how profound or well informed they may be, will be of any use. 
The Truth must be recognized and fully embraced before one can truly
understand Reality, whether one has the advantage of a Master’s counsel or
not".  "How does one
accurately perceive the Truth?", asked the seeker. 
The Adept said, "Know the Truth first by realizing it is universal,
and without exception applies to all places, all people, and at all times
invariably.  Discern untruth as that
which applies only to a specific few, to a given class or period of time. 
That which divides into fragments the complete picture of reality, can
only contain limited merit.  However,
that which unites into a holistic picture of reality is that which is universal, 
and has the greatest merit, as Truth".

Part 3

a moment of reflection the seeker responded by asking, "Is it a fact then,
that all distinctions of class, race, caste, nationality, belief, political
affiliation, and other ideas of society which divide people into groups are not
of the Truth?"  "This is
so”, the Adept replied.  "All
of these distinctions are created by man at the hazard of the welfare of man. 
It is in the forgetfulness that we are all of Consciousness alike, that
is the source for every ill in the divided house of humanity, one which must
surely fall again and again, until we return to our common roots. 
Such divisions do not exist in Truth, nor are they of any real
importance, other than the fact that they should be noted for their
destructiveness".  "How
then can we return to our common roots, and find unity in this divided
world?", asked the seeker.

The Adept turned to face the many fires whose light
flickered on thick, angled branches.  His eyes, also lit by an inner fire, a spiritual
determination, were quiet.  Speaking
softly the Adept finally made reply, saying, "The many great Saints and
Teachers of all ages have been asked forms of such questions, since before
written history.  Always has their
answer been the same, though words and techniques have differed according to the
needs of the time.  It can be said
that the suffering of human beings, brought about by their own devices and not
through a lack of capability, is like that of a moth circling a flame.  The moth is attracted to the candle not out of need, but out
of fascination with its light and heat.  As
it circles closer and closer its wings start to burn, and yet it continues on as
though the courting of death was merely a trivial detail, in the pursuit of
sensation and self indulgence.  Only
when the moth burns itself severely enough does it then decide to save itself,
if at all.  By then it may be too
injured to fly again, but still it may survive. 
Humanity circles around the flames of the senses, of sensation and
stimulation.  There is nothing
inherently wrong with these, but because it is easy to make the mistake of
assuming that sensation equates to happiness, there is danger in a sensual
focus.  If this focus is not checked
by wisdom, the mind begins to think that stimulation is happiness, or at least a
release from the miseries of an imbalanced lifestyle. 
Thus the pursuit of sensual stimulation goes on endlessly. 
Only upon looking within do we realize that fulfillment is not to be
found in sensation, for sensation is transitory, and is not the essence of
happiness.  The essence of
happiness, of realization, of fulfillment and lasting success, is in the self
knowledge of the Consciousness we already possess. 
This same message has been the one provided by all the spiritual figures
of history.  Regardless of these
messages however, the majority of humanity like the moth, still circle the
flames of material sensation in fascination. 
Like the moth, man still destroys himself by directing his Divine
Energies in futile circles that do not do justice to his actual capability. 
To make a fundamental change of this condition, humanity must break the
cycle of stimulation at any cost.  This
inner imbalance begins through the wrong focus of seeking sensation rather than
understanding, to start with.  Imbalance
creates craving for further stimulation, to ease the discomfort of unnatural
living, which itself creates more imbalance and eventually death. 
This state of human affairs must first be recognized for what it is, by
looking within.  Through such
practices as meditation, prayer, and moment to moment Awareness, humanity must
see its true identity.  This is Consciousness, not the products of thought, emotion
and sensation.  Through the
identification with the true self, realize that all that is needed for
fulfillment is already within.  In
the clarity that comes from the self identification with Consciousness, Truth is
easily perceived, for it is no longer obscured by artificial desires. 
In doing this humanity will again be a united house within the realm of
God and Nature”.

After a brief moment of meditation, the seeker again
spoke inquiring, "How then shall we best understand Consciousness?" 
To  this the Adept said,
"Know Consciousness as that ever-present Watcher within; that presence
contained in the body, mind and soul which is ever aware. 
It is the immediacy of presence within, the focuser, not that which is
focused upon in the world, which has true relevance for self understanding. 
Make not the mistake that this watcher, which is an aspect of the true
self, has any identity in thought, image, or emotion, for it is none of these. 
Thoughts, images and emotions are the product of Consciousness, thus they
are only what it does, not what it is, just as the carpenter is not the house
built.  Meditate upon the Watcher
within, that immediacy of presence that sees through all the senses, and yet is
none of them. Nor is it any of the objects of perception. 
The perceiver is not the perceived, and so it is that the wise remain
detached from worldly affairs, even while participating in them. 
In meditating upon Consciousness thus, notice every aspect of the watcher
within, not only in what it does, but also for what it is. 
In this you will come to know the true self, and obtain all the keys to
the kingdom of God.  In knowing the
true self, you will also come to know the Truth of existence as well".

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