For the next stage of unfoldment of the worthy and prepared members of the human race is that of Soul or Group Consciousness, which must be attained, or at least comprehended, before the consciousness of the Brotherhood of the Spirit can be given.
This means that while in time, by intensive meditation, one can unfold alone and contact the consciousness of his or her own Group on the soul plane, without meeting with other personalities on the outer plane, yet it can be seen how much easier it will be accomplished when a group of earnest students-if only two or three-can meet and work together on the physical plane.
Some again may feel discouraged when reading this, because of not being acquainted with any who are interested in this Work. But let them not be disheartened, for remember this is not our Work but the Master's, and He is not only directing and preparing you for your part in It, but is guiding and caring for all who belong in the Work. When you are ready, have mastered personality and have so submerged self that you can work in true harmony with your soul companions, then He will bring them to you or you to them so that you will know each other, and all will be arranged so that you can meet and study together. All you have to do is to pray daily that you may become wholly worthy and prepared, and then to obey all that He from within tells you to do in every detail of your life. As Group Consciousness is the enlargement of the Christ Consciousness and is your next step, you can see that He within you will do all possible to help you to attain it-if you do your part.
Those Groups that do not feel any inner quickening or have had no evidence of the Master's Presence in their meetings may know that it is because of the presence there of personality, of gossip, or of personal feeling of some kind or other toward one or more of their fellows, which prevent the perfect harmony and peace that must prevail before the Master can make His Presence known.
One further word-let none think that we are giving any suggestions that will open the consciousness to the astral, the planes contacted usually by those dabbling in spiritualism; for as we are now speaking to disciples who have found and are waiting upon and serving only the Christ within, through His Power and Presence you will be carried far above the astral, through the mental planes, to the causal plane, which is your soul's and therefore your true home.
In our next Chapter we will tell more about the soul planes, more about the Kingdom, and more also about the lower planes-which will help you to know their difference and enable you always to avoid the lower ones and to discriminate between them, when that comes which would entice you down into such planes. Not that the lower planes have not their part and place in the unfolding of consciousness, but that purified souls will rise naturally above them-unless still held by their attractions.
As a help, in the light of the above, read over and study "As a Flower Grows," by Mabel Collins, keeping in mind that the ethereal plane, as she terms it, is the causal plane, the plane or home of purified souls-of disciples and many new truths will unfold to you.
That home is yours, if you are a true disciple of Christ, and it is ever open waiting for you. When you want it more than anything the world has to offer, then will you be permitted to enter it consciously and to go in and out at will-not before.
Let no one be discouraged. Every soul, who longs to find the Kingdom and who is earnestly striving as much as circumstances permit to win his or her way there, is known, is lovingly watched and helped whenever possible. None is ever left without guidance, as you may learn from what follows.