The Saints on the Path—blessed be they— unanimously declare that it is incumbent upon a neophyte, after the maturity of his conversion (Taubâh), to seek a Teacher, perfect, experienced in the elevations and depressions of the Path, its joys and sorrows, possessed of balance, and versed in the internal ailments of a disciple and their remedies …

Though in the beginning one does not need a Teacher, and the seed can be sown merely with the help of Divine Grace, the seed, when sown in the soil of the heart, does need a Teacher for its further growth, for the following reasons given in the books of the saints:

1. Since one cannot go to the Kâbâ* with­out a guide, albeit the way is visible and sensuous, and the pilgrim possesses eyes and feet, it is impossible without a guide to tread the occult Path trodden by 120,000 prophets, which has no visible track and is supersensuous.

2. As there are many thieves and robbers on a sensuous way, and one cannot travel without a guide, so on the occult Path there are many robbers in the guise of the world, the desire-nature and the elementals, and one cannot travel without the guidance of a Master.

3. There are many precipices and dangers on the Path, leading to one or other of the many heretic schools formed by those who, having entered the Path without a Perfect Guide, on the strength of their own intellectual resources, fell and perished in the forest and deserted the Law. Others, more fortunate, have safely crossed those dangers under the protection of Masters, and have seen the victims, and known where and why they fell. All pilgrims are liable to these dangers. If one secures the help of a mighty Teacher, one can be saved and progress with the help of His secret hints and instructions, else one may fall into some heresy and lose the fruit of one’s labor.

4. The pilgrim may pass, on the way, through certain spiritual conditions, and the soul may put off the physical garment, catch the reflection of the Divine Light, display superhuman powers as a Divine agent during the continuance of the experi­ences, taste the relish of “I am God, the Holy One,” and become proud of having reached the goal. The pilgrim cannot understand this intellec­tually: but if the soul, during the continuance of these experiences, is not helped by a mighty Master, he may, it is feared, lose faith, and fall a victim to a false notion of unity.

5. The pilgrim on the way unfolds supersensu­ous powers, and sees supersensuous phenomena— devilish, passional, and divine. But he cannot understand them, as they are spoken in a super­sensuous language (i. e. revealed through an unfamiliar medium) … If, at this stage, he is not aided by a Teacher, helping him on behalf of God, and versed in the interpretation of supersen­suous words and symbols, he cannot progress further …

When God opens the eyes of a man, so that he distinguishes good from evil, and resolves to follow the one and avoid the other, but does not know how to do it, he must betake himself to a Divine Man and make a firm determination to change his con­dition. Then the Divine Man will take him up, help him to subdue the desire-nature, gently induce him to abstain from his defects and blemishes, and keep him away from bad companions. A disciple can, with the help of a Teacher, do in an hour what he would do unaided in a year …

It is said: a disciple may reach the goal with the help of a single Teacher, or of more than one Teacher. (In the latter case) each Teacher may be the means of the revelation of one stage only; yet it is more consistent with decency and polite­ness for the disciple to refrain from looking upon such a stage as the limit of development attained by his Teacher, … inasmuch as the Perfect Ones are not at all concerned with the business of stages and conditions. But one cannot leave one Teacher for another without the permission of the former. Who does so deserts the Path.

It is the practice of the Masters—blessed be They!— to impose a threefold discipline on a student. If he observes it, he receives the Robe (the real one, not the conventional)—else he is rejected. The threefold discipline consists of: 1. Service of the world for a year. 2. Service of God for a year. 3. Watching the heart for a year. —Letter 5.