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The Way of Discipleship

Verifying that to Which We Testify

The Immortal Ascent, J. Otto Schweizer

In the disciplines we come to the heart of discipleship. Discipline in its truest sense means training that corrects, molds, strengthens, or perfects. From Disciplines of the Holy Quest comes this further clarification:

When the desire for God is equaled by a willingness to change and grow spiritually, the individual is slowly and watchfully graduated into the state of discipleship.
bioFlower A. Newhouse, Disciplines of the Holy Quest

The essence of discipleship, then, is in living the Life and following the Way. It is designed to achieve transformation through our willingness to apply the disciplines in our daily lives. It is both creative and practical, perceiving possibilities on the one hand and pursuing their realization on the other. But of the two perspectives, the greatest amount of discipline is required on the practical side when the blueprint of aspiration must be steadfastly converted into accomplished reality.

The disciplines concentrate upon two kinds of changes: those of consciousness and those of character.

Consciousness must always be lifted and expanded, purified and drawn toward the Light.
bioDr. Stephen Isaac, The Way of Discipleship to Christ

Coming into earth life and learning to walk with God

It is the part of us that must be self-emptied and God-filled and, as it is the focus of spiritual will, obedient and channeled. Consciousness is a personal and private experience shielded from the eyes of the outer world and, if we choose, we may camouflage its contents. Character, on the other hand, tends to be public and observable and through one's character an accurate assessment of one's underlying consciousness may be inferred.

Character, then, is the outward indicator of where we stand on the path and whether or not progress is taking place.
bioDr. Stephen Isaac, The Way of Discipleship to Christ

Since it has its beginning in a superior state of consciousness, it is a valid measure of one's inner state. A deficit of character may result from two conditions: either a weakness of will in one who aspires Godward or a deflection of will in one who conspires for selfish ends. The hallmark of character is its singular dedication to the service of that which is greater than self—ultimately, God.

The disciplines themselves aim at the transformation of both character and consciousness. In this sense the unfoldment of character equates to preparation for initiation and the upliftment of consciousness corresponds to preparation for illumination. These are precisely the purposes of the disciplines.

There are two fundamental disciplines: one with an inner orientation and the other with an outer orientation. All the remaining disciplines are aspects or combinations of these two basic forms: the disciplines of centeredness and the disciplines of relatedness.

A meditative outlook over Deer Springs

Centeredness

Centeredness is literally centering our entire attention upon God and the inner worlds such that we are attuned, receptive, and responsive-an instrument of Divine Will. The Lord Emmanuel spoke of this when He said:

Behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
Luke 17:21

Any quality that brings us into greater attention with God, falls under this discipline. Faith, reverence, dedication, and spiritual integrity are good examples of ones that do.

Relatedness

Relatedness is literally relating inner reality to outer reality such that our outer life is an expression of our inner experience. In other words, relating God's expression through us to the outer world. Gratitude, caring, self-giving, stewardship, and service are qualities that express this when we live them.

In its highest form this constitutes oneness with all creation or universal love. Again, the Lord Emmanuel addressed this truth in His two great commandments.

Aspiration, J. Otto Schweizer

First:

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Luke 10:27

And second:

Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
Luke 10:27

Love, in this sense, is the heartbeat of both centeredness and relatedness since its flame is ignited by finding God within and its light and warmth move outward from this source to link us with all of humanity, all of nature, and our activities, duties, and works. It is the exact opposite of self-interest.

Together, They Bring Wholeness

The disciplines of centeredness, then, are the means of illuminating consciousness and the disciplines of relatedness are the means of initiating character. In the end, they are as two halves of a whole and are inseparable. Nevertheless, when we commit ourselves to climb the Mountain of God, which is discipleship, we first encounter the disciplines as distinct skills or attributes, each necessary to complete the great journey upward.

This is how they are approached in training, like the several colors in a rainbow of refracted light. We can know that the original source of these colors with their blending hues is the pure white Light of God's wholeness. Yet until we reach the Mountain's summit when this unity of the disciplines is realized, we must acquire them, one by one, in the manner that all insights and skills, attitudes and traits come into being.
bioFlower A. Newhouse, Disciplines of the Holy Quest

Publications Available on Discipleship

Disciplines of the Holy Quest
A compilation of the teachings brought forward by the Wise Ones on Attitudes of Discipleship.

Wellsprings of the Holy Quest
Here are more teachings from the Higher Ones on Attitudes & Qualifications for Discipleship.

The Way of Discipleship to Christ
Outlines the mystery teachings and disciplines of Christianity as presented to the band of seventy.

Songs of Deliverance
One of Flower's favorite metaphysical books intended to help one balance regular study with daily practice.

The Christward Way
This weekly series includes many lessons on techniques and disciplines for spiritual living.

The Quest
These lessons include dozens of inspiring chapters on character development and the Way of Discipleship.

Holy Expectancy: Living the Life
A recorded lecture from 1982 where Flower outlines the 3 aspects of Christ's teachings and the importance of living the life.

Why We Are Here
A recorded lecture from 1963 where Flower describes why we have an earthly existence and what our reason for being here is.

The Path of the Masters
A recorded lecture from 1959 where Flower illustrates the evolutionary path of perfection and introduces the Masters.