People say that I put
the ideal of discipleship so very high that nobody can hope to become
a disciple. But I have not said that no one can become a disciple
who does not reproduce the description that is given of the perfect
disciple. One may. But we do it at our own peril. A man may be thoroughly
capable along one line,
but have a serious fault along another. The serious fault will not
prevent him from becoming a disciple, but he must suffer for it.
The initiate pays for his faults ten times the price he would have
had to pay for them as a man of the world. That is why I have put
the ideal so high. I have never said that a person must come utterly
up to the ideal before becoming a disciple, but I have said that
the risks of becoming a disciple without these qualifications are
enormous. It is the duty of those who have seen the results of going
through the gateway with faults in character, to point out that
it is well to get rid of these faults first. Every fault you carry
through the gateway with you becomes a dagger to stab you on the
other side. Therefore it is well to purify yourself as much as you
can, before you are sufficiently evolved on any line to have the
right to say: "I will pass through that gateway." That
is what I intended to be understood when I spoke of qualifications
for discipleship. I have followed along the ancient road which lays
down these qualifications which the disciple should bring with him;
and if he comes without them, then the word of Jesus is true, that
he will be beaten with many stripes; for a man can afford to do
in the outer world with small result what will bring terrible results
upon him when once he is treading the Path.
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