At the present time, there is a rapidly multiplying series of options to attend esoteric conferences, classes, talks, and other group activities in person. This is a welcome development in terms of attracting a wide range of people to reflect on spiritual matters. Each of us may elect to participate in such group events, particularly group full moon meditations.
However, when external activity is pursued as an end in itself or with the primary aim of offsetting our personal feelings of loneliness, it can end up distracting us from our spiritual practice. We know that our actual teacher is the Soul. It is at the Soul level that we receive the necessary training for treading the Path and linking with other servers to effectively collaborate on the Plan. In order to "hear" the coaching that our Soul provides, we need to develop the discipline of contemplation and the ability to remain still, rather than enmeshed in the clamor of external activities.
An essential component of the School for Esoteric Studies' arc of training is guiding students to observe the happenings of the time from the Soul level - i.e., developing the ability to link with the spiritual center and operate in the world from that high point of identification, or "being in the world but not of it." As we learn to recognize this, we are also learning to link subjectively with the group from causal levels, because the Soul is group consciousness.
For many of us, the process of detachment and Soul identification brings with it a shift in our social interactions. Friends whose focus is on complaints and criticism gradually drop away, and our meditative life and grounding in goodwill become as real as the daily events around us. Some students find this transition more difficult than others, depending in part on one's ray structure. It may help to remember that personal loneliness is an illusion when working subjectively within the School Group and supported by that energetic network.
Participating daily in the sequence of service meditations and "knowing" that your School Group surrounds you will gradually help to make real the subjective energetic connections that bind us together in the One Work. We also welcome contact with those of you who would like to make your involvement more tangible through committee work and engagement in other aspects of service.
The Tibetan has instructed us as follows:
Loneliness...is one of the first things that indicates to disciples that they are being prepared for initiation. It will be apparent, therefore, that the loneliness to which I refer is not that which is incident to those weaknesses of character that repel others, to an aloof or disagreeable nature, or to any form of self-interest that is so emphasized that it antagonizes other people....
I refer to the loneliness that comes when accepting disciples become pledged disciples and step out of a life of physical plane concentration and of identification with the forms of existence in the three worlds, and find themselves in the midway place between the world of outer affairs and the inner world of meaning. Their first reaction then is that they are alone; they have broken with the past; they are hopeful but not sure of the future; the tangible world to which they are accustomed must, they know, be superseded by the intangible world of values, involving a new sense of proportion, a new range of values and new responsibilities. This world they believe exists, and they step forward bravely and theoretically, but it remains for a while wholly intangible; they find few who think and feel as they do and the mechanism of sure contact only exists within them in embryo. They are breaking loose from the mass consciousness with which they have been merged hitherto, but have not yet [linked to] the group into which they will eventually be consciously absorbed. Therefore, they are lonely and feel deserted and bereft.
Some of you feel this loneliness; few of you have, for instance, reached the point where you feel yourselves to be a definite, integral part of the group; only two or three of you realize - briefly and fleetingly at times - the close link with the Ashram; your attitude is largely one of hope, coupled with the idea that it is your physical limitations that prevent your realizing all that truly is, in connection with your inner affiliations. But such a sense of loneliness is only another form of self-consciousness, of undue self-interest, and (as you make progress upon the Path) you will find it disappearing.
If you therefore feel lonely, you must learn to look upon it as a glamour or illusion and as a limitation that must be overcome. You must begin to act as if it were not. If only more disciples would learn the value of acting "as if." There is no time for any of you to be lonely these days, for there is no time for you to think about yourselves. (DINA2:45-46)