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.