Echoes III, p. 286,287, W.Q. Judge
One Result of Taking the Pledge
You have just taken on yourself the most solemn of obligations and have invoked your Higher Self as the sanction of those obligations. The pledge has been taken in full sincerity with the earnest desire that it may prove the entrance to a nobler and higher life than the one behind you. As one "new born" your path stretches before you, and it may seem, in the glory of a fresh enthusiasm, as though all difficulties would become easy, all
burdens light. Such will not, cannot, be your experience, and lest the first shock of disappointment should breed despair it will be well for you to know the unbroken testimony of the past. Read then the words of H.P.B.
with which her first Instructions to her pupils opens:
A Warning Addressed to all Members [C.W. XII, pp. 515-516]
There is a strange law in Occultism which has been ascertained and proven by thousands of years of experience; nor has it failed to demonstrate itself, almost in every case, during the thirteen years the T.S. has been in existence.
As soon as anyone pledges himself as a "Probationer", certain occult effects ensue. Of these the first is the throwing outward of everything latent in the nature of the man: his faults, habits, qualities, or subdued desires, whether good, bad, or indifferent.
For instance, if a man is vain, or a sensualist, or ambitious, whether by Avatism or by Karmic heirloom, all those vices are sure to break out, even if he has hitherto successfully concealed and repressed them. They will come to the front irrepressibly and he will have to fight a hundred times harder than before, until he kills all such tendencies in himself.
On the other hand, if he is good, generous, chaste, and abstemious, or has any virtue hitherto latent or concealed in him, it will work its way out as irrepressibly as the rest. Thus a civilized man who hates to be considered a saint, and therefore assumes a mask, will not be able to conceal his true nature, whether base or noble.
This is an immutable law in the domain of the occult.
Its action is the more marked the more earnest and sincere the desire of the candidate, and the more deeply he has felt the reality and importance of his pledge.
Therefore let all members of this School be warned and on their guard; for even during the three months before the Esoteric Teachings began, several of the most promising candidates failed ignominiously ...
This "throwing outward" is called "pledge fever", and has been shown by much experience to be a fact. ...
There appear to be two reasons why the pledge fever should assail the candidate on his entry into the E.S.T., which really constitutes probationary discipleship. First, Karma has to exhaust more quickly; and second, defects must be brought up together with good qualities."