A Student’s Abridgment of the

AGELESS WISDOM

Volume IV - “Esoteric Psychology II

This series provides large-format abridgments of the seven core books written by Alice A. Bailey, that together comprise a large portion of that vast body of knowledge known as the Ageless Wisdom.

Please visit TheAgelessWisdom.info for more information.



TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction by the Editor

Chapter One: The Egoic Ray

I. The Growth of Soul Influence
II. The Seven Laws of Soul, or Group Life
1. The Law of Sacrifice
2. The Law of Magnetic Impulse
3. The Law of Service
4. The Law of Repulse
5. The Law of Group Progress
6. The Law of Expansive Response
7. The Law of the Lower Four
III. The Five Groups of Souls
IV. Rules for Inducing Soul Control

Chapter Two: The Ray of the Personality

The Coordination of the Personality
Some Problems of Psychology
Problems of Cleavage
Problems of Integration
Problems of Stimulation
Diseases and Problems of Disciples and Mystics

INTRODUCTION BY THE EDITOR

This abridgment is dedicated to the Tibetan and Alice A. Bailey,

and to all engaged with the work of uplifting the consciousness of humanity.

The work accomplished by Alice A. Bailey and the Tibetan, since revealed as the Master of Wisdom known by the name of Djwhal Khul, can hardly be given too much praise for in the Blue Books they succeeded in delivering a great deal of the Ageless Wisdom to the world.  Their seven core books, each masterfully presented with the clarity and order of a textbook, represent the essential current of Truth that runs through the sciences, religions and philosophies of Man, and unites them all under cosmic law.  Within their body of work are found the laws and processes that underlie the love of the Christ and the wisdom of the Buddha.  Herein are found answers to the true nature of God, the Cosmos, Spiritual and Solar Fire, the not-self and the true Self.

I demonstrate my gratitude for their service by attempting to apply the essential teachings in my life, and this abridgment is just such an attempt.  I am confident that the work was overseen not only by my Higher Self, but by both DK and AAB, for I felt their presences throughout the process.  The sutratma that they created between themselves and their body of work is strong and alive with vibrancy, and it was their discrimination that I relied upon when selecting text for inclusion.  Yet, the karma for errors and omissions between the Treatise and this humble abridgment, must necessarily rest upon my shoulders.  I freely offer this abridgment to the world in the spirit of love and intelligent service, and I believe it will, as a thought-form rightfully conceived and constructed, succeed in its purpose.

The purpose of this abridgment is threefold:

  1. To coalesce a condensed form of the Ageless Wisdom, and this for three reasons:
  1. To assimilate the data and develop an efficient method of studying the essential teachings.
  2. To circulate, teach and learn the Ageless Wisdom with friends and family.  To create a study guide and teaching aid.
  3. To transmit the essential teachings to those Seekers who may not take the time to read the full Treatise, with the goal of transmitting 70% of the essential teachings with only 30% of the study.

  1. To promote awareness of the Ageless Wisdom within studious occult circles, such as the Hermetic Qabalists, Christian Mystics, Ceremonial Magicians and Astrologers.  Some within these groups suffer heavily under dogma and misunderstood tradition, and will benefit greatly by the study of Cosmic Law.

  1. To quantify, demystify and promote awareness of the Ageless Wisdom in the global population.  

This has in mind the following four aspects:

  1. General psychology and self-improvement:  Through a greater perspective of one’s microcosmic self, as well as Man’s position within the planetary scheme, individuals will be able to respond to life’s challenges with greater mobility and intelligence.

  1. Unification of science, religion and philosophy:  Through an understanding of the Law of Analogy, the scientist who studies the Ageless Wisdom stands to gain much when he considers the living atom of matter.  The orthodox Christian may find illumination as to the nature of God, the Father and the Son, while philosophers will discover the occult reason behind that warmth, which is felt as individual, brotherly and group love; all will benefit through knowledge of the concrete processes and abstract interactions that occur in, and actually create of their own essence, the seen and unseen worlds around us.

  1. Harmlessness, through right thought and speech:  Through a proper comprehension of the power of thought-forms, individuals will come to control the lower impulses, to seek harmlessness in all that they do, and to eventually radiate only the true essence of their Egoic Ray.

  1. Intelligent individual and group activity:  Societal reforms based on the Ageless Wisdom will promote enhanced unity within the human collective, and the intelligent organization and activity that will result is the natural flow of evolution, for the Divine Plan works toward the greatest good of all.

In Unity, Love and Light, Patrick Westfall    

CHAPTER I

The Egoic Ray

The Growth of Soul Influence

Before taking up our subject as outlined at the close of the previous volume, I would like to speak a word as to the symbolism we will employ in discussing egoic and personality control. All that is said in this connection is in an attempt to define and consider that which is really undefinable and which is so elusive and subtle that though we may call it energy or force, those words ill convey the true idea. We must, therefore, bear in mind that, as we read and consider this treatise on psychology, we are talking in symbols. This is necessarily so, for we are dealing with the expression of divinity in time and space, and until man is consciously aware of his divinity and demonstrating it, it is not possible to do more than speak in parable and metaphor with symbolic intent—to be ascertained through the medium of the mystical perception and the wisdom of the enlightened man. As is often glibly said with little real understanding of the significance of the words used, we are dealing with forces and energies. These, as they cyclically run their course and play upon and intermingle with other energies and potencies, produce those forms in matter and substance, which constitute the appearance and express the quality of the great all-enfolding Lives and of the Life in which all "lives and moves and has its being."

The unfoldment of the human consciousness is signalised sequentially by the recognition of life after life, of being after being, and the realisation that these lives are in themselves the sum total of all the potencies and energies whose will is to create and to manifest. In dealing, however, with these energies and forces, it is impossible to express their appearance, quality and purpose except in symbolic form, and the following points should therefore be remembered:

  1. The personality consciousness is that of the third aspect of divinity, the creator aspect. This works in matter and substance in order to create forms through which the quality may express itself and so demonstrate the nature of divinity on the plane of appearances.

  1. The egoic consciousness is that of the second aspect of divinity, that of the soul, expressing itself as quality and as the determining subjective "colour" of the appearances. This naturally varies, according to the ability of the soul in any form to master its vehicle, matter, and to express innate quality through the outer form.

  1. The monadic consciousness is that of the first aspect of divinity, that which embodies divine life— purpose and intent, and which uses the soul in order to demonstrate through that soul the inherent purpose of God. It is this that determines the quality. The soul embodies that purpose and will of God as it expresses itself in seven aspects. The monad expresses the same purpose as it exists, unified in the Mind of God Himself. This is a form of words conveying practically nothing to the average thinker.

As these three expressions of the One Great Life are realised by man on the physical plane, he begins to tune in consciously on the emerging Plan of Deity, and the whole story of the creative process becomes the story of God's realised purpose.

In the first place, as the third aspect is consciously developed, man arrives at a knowledge of matter, of substance and of outer creative activity. Then he passes on to a realisation of the underlying qualities which the form is intended to reveal, and identifies himself with the ego, the soul or solar angel. This he comes to know as his true self, the real spiritual man. Later, he arrives at the realisation of the purpose which is working out through the qualities, as they express themselves through the form.

The above paragraphs are only a summation of what has been earlier said, but it is necessary that there should be real clarity of thought on these matters. It is apparent as we study, how this entire sequential process of realisation pivots around form manifestation, and has relation to the quality and purpose of the divine Mind. This will inevitably be clear to the man who has studied the theme of A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, which deals specifically with the creative process and with manifestation. It deals therefore with the outer personality expression of that great all-encompassing Life, which we call God, for lack of a better term. We need to bear in mind that our universe (as far as the highest human consciousness can as yet conceive of it) is to be found on the seven subplanes of the cosmic physical plane, and that our highest type of energy, embodying for us the purest expression of Spirit, is but the force manifestation of the first subplane of the cosmic physical plane. We are dealing, therefore, as far as consciousness is concerned, with what might be regarded symbolically as the brain reaction and response to cosmic purpose; the brain reaction of God Himself.

In man, the microcosm, the objective of the evolutionary purpose for the fourth kingdom in nature is to enable man to manifest as a soul in time and space and to tune in on the soul purpose and the plan of the Creator, as it is known and expressed by the seven Spirits before the Throne, the seven planetary Logoi. But at this point we can only hint at a great mystery, which is that all that the highest of the Sons of God on our manifested planetary world can grasp is a partial realisation of the purpose and plan of the Solar Logos, as it is grasped, apprehended and expressed by one of the planetary Logoi Who is (in His place and term of office) conditioned and limited by His own peculiar point in evolution. A seventh part of the unfolding Plan is being expressed by our particular planetary Life, and because this great Being is not one of the seven sacred Lives and is therefore not expressing Himself through one of the seven sacred planets, the Plan as unfolded upon the Earth is a part of a dual expression of purpose, and only as another non-sacred planet reaches its consummation can the whole plan for the Earth be realised. This may not be easily understood, for, it has been said, only those who are initiated can grasp some of the significance of the statement that "The twain shall be one and together shall express divinity."

All that concerns humanity at this time is the necessity for a revelation and a gradual apprehension of the Plan which will enable man to:

  1. Work consciously and intelligently
  2. Realise the relation of form and quality to life
  3. Produce that inner transmutation which will bring into manifestation the fifth kingdom in nature, the Kingdom of Souls.

All this has to be accomplished in the realm of conscious awareness or response, through the medium of steadily improving vehicles or response mechanisms, and with the aid of spiritual understanding and interpretation. With the bigger questions we will not deal. With the consciousness of the life of God as it expresses itself in the three subhuman kingdoms, we need not concern ourselves. We shall deal entirely with the following three points:

  1. With the strictly human consciousness as it begins with the process of individualisation and consummates in the dominant personality.

  1. With the egoic consciousness, which is that of the solar angel as it begins with the preparation for initiation on the Path of Discipleship and consummates in the perfected Master.

  1. With the monadic realisation. This is a phrase that means absolutely nothing to us, for it concerns the consciousness of the planetary Logos. This begins to be realised at the third initiation, dominating the soul and working out through the personality.

Man, the average human being, is a sum total of separative tendencies, of uncontrolled forces and of disunited energies, which slowly and gradually become coordinated, fused, and blended in the separative personality.

Man, the Solar Angel, is the sum total of those energies and forces which are unified, blended and controlled by that "tendency to harmony" which is the effect of love and the outstanding quality of divinity.

Man, the living Monad, is the veiled reality, and that which the Angel of the Presence hides. He is the synthetic expression of the purpose of God, symbolised through revealed, divine quality and manifested through the form. Appearance, quality, life—again this ancient triplicity confronts us.

Symbolically speaking, this triplicity can be studied as:

  1. Man.............the Angel.........The Presence
  2. The root.......the lotus...........the fragrance
  3. The bush.......the fire............the flame

The work of evolution, being part of the determination of Deity to express divinity through form, is necessarily, therefore the task of revelation, and as far as man is concerned, this revelation works out as the growth of soul evolution and falls into three stages:

1. Individualisation....................Personality

2. Initiation...............................Ego

3. Identification........................ Monad

1. The Three Stages of Egoic Growth

We must hold the following statements firmly in our minds. The personality is a triple combination of forces, impressing and absolutely controlling the fourth aspect of the personality which is the dense physical body. The three personality types of energy are the etheric body, which is the vehicle of vital energy, the astral body which is the vehicle of the feeling energy or sentient force, and the mental body which is the vehicle of the intelligent energy of will that is destined to be the dominant creative aspect.

It is upon this truth that Christian Science has laid the emphasis. These forces constitute the lower man. The solar angel is a dual combination of energies—the energy of love, and the energy of will or purpose—and these are the qualities of the life thread. These two, when dominating the third energy of mind, produce the perfect man. They explain the human problem; they indicate the objective before man; they account for and explain the energy of illusion; and they point out the way of psychological unfoldment, which leads man (from the triangle of triplicity and differentiation) through duality to unity.

These truths are practical and hence we find today such dominant emphasis laid upon the understanding of the Plan amongst esotericists; hence likewise the work of the psychologists as they seek to interpret man and hence also their differentiations as to the human apparatus, so that man is seen—as it were—dissected into his component parts. The recognition is emerging that it is man's quality which outwardly determines his place on the ladder of evolution, but modern psychology of the extreme materialistic school erroneously supposes that man's quality is determined by his mechanism, whereas the reverse condition is the determining factor.

Disciples have the problem of expressing the duality of love and will through the personality. This statement is a true enunciation of the goal for the disciple. The initiate has the objective of expressing the Will of God through developed love and a wise use of the intelligence. The above preamble lays the ground for the definition of the three stages of egoic growth.

What, therefore, is individualisation from the standpoint of the psychological unfoldment of man? It is the focusing of the lowest aspect of the soul, which is that of the creative intelligence, so that it can express itself through the form nature. It will eventually be the first aspect of divinity thus to express itself. It is the emergence into manifestation of the specific quality of the solar angel through the appropriation, by that angel, of a sheath or sheaths, which thus constitute its appearance. It is the initial imposition of an applied directed energy upon that triple force aggregation which we call the form nature of man. The individual, on the way to full co-ordination and expression, appears upon the stage of life. The self-aware entity comes forth into physical incarnation. The actor appears in process of learning his part; he makes his debut and prepares for the day of full personality emphasis. The soul comes forth into dense form and on the lowest plane. The self begins the part of its career which is expressed through selfishness, leading finally to an ultimate unselfishness. The separative entity begins his preparation for group realisation. A God walks on earth, veiled by the fleshly form, the desire nature and the fluidic mind. He is a prey temporarily to the illusion of the senses, and dowered with a mentality which primarily hinders and imprisons but which finally releases and liberates.

There has been much written in The Secret Doctrine and A Treatise on Cosmic Fire on the subject of individualisation. It can be simply defined as the process whereby forms of life in the fourth kingdom in nature arrive at:

  1. Conscious individuality, through experiencing the life of the senses.
  2. The assertion of individuality through the use of the discriminating mind.
  3. The ultimate sacrifice of that individuality to the group.

Today, the masses are occupied with the task of becoming conscious of themselves, and are developing that spirit or sense of personal integrity or wholeness which will eventuate in an increased self-assertiveness, that first gesture of divinity. This is well and good, in spite of the immediate complications and consequences in the world consciousness and state of being. Hence also the need for the immediate guidance of the disciples in every nation and their training in the life of correct aspiration, with their subsequent preparation for initiation. The task of the intelligent parent today and of the wise teacher of the young should be that of turning out, into world activity, those conscious individuals who will undertake the work of self-assertion in the affairs of today.

The mass psychology of accepting information indiscriminately, of giving prompt mass obedience to imposed limitations of personal liberty, without due understanding of the underlying reasons, and the consequent blind following of leaders, will only come to an end through the intelligent fostering of individual recognition of selfhood and the assertions of the individual as he seeks to express his own ideas. One of the basic ideas underlying all human and individual conduct, is the necessity for peace and harmony in order that man may specifically work out his destiny. This is the deep foundational belief of humanity. The first developed evidence of the emerging self-assertion of the massed individuals must therefore be turned in this direction, for it will constitute the line of least resistance. There will follow then the eradication of war and the establishing of those conditions of peace which will bring about the opportunity for trained and carefully cultured growth. The dictator is the individual who has, under the process, flowered forth into knowledge and power, and is an example of the effectiveness of the divine character, when permitted scope and as the product of the evolutionary process. He expresses many of the divine potentialities of man. But the dictator will some day be an anachronism, for when the many are at the stage of individual self-awareness and potency and seeking the full expression of their powers, he will be lost from sight in the assertion of the many. He, today, indicates the goal for the lower self, for the personality.

Before, however, the many men can be safely self-assertive, there must be an increased appearance of those who have passed beyond that stage, and of those who know, teach and demonstrate, so that the many constituting the intelligent group, composed of the self-aware individuals, can then identify themselves discriminatingly with group purpose, and submerge their separative identities in organised group activity and synthesis. This is the predominant task of the New Group of World Servers. It should be the aspiration of the world disciples today. This work of training the individuals in group purpose must be accomplished in three ways:

  1. By personal, imposed identification with the group, through the experience of understanding, service and sacrifice. This can well constitute a useful self-imposed experiment.

  1. By the education of the masses in the principles underlying group work, and the training of an enlightened public opinion in these concepts.

  1. By the preparation of many in the New Group of World Servers for that great transition in consciousness which we call initiation.

What, therefore, is Initiation? Initiation might be defined in two ways. It is first of all the entering into a new and wider dimensional world by the expansion of a man's consciousness so that he can include and encompass that which he now excludes, and from which he normally separates himself in his thinking and acts. It is, secondly, the entering into man of those energies which are distinctive of the soul and of the soul alone—the forces of intelligent love and of spiritual will. These are dynamic energies, and they actuate all who are liberated souls. This process of entering into and of being entered into should be a simultaneous and synthetic process, an event of the first importance. Where it is sequential or alternating, it indicates an uneven unfoldment and an unbalanced condition. There is frequently the theory of unfoldment, and a mental grasp anent the facts of the initiatory process before they are practiced experimentally in the daily life and thus psychologically integrated into the practical expression of the living process on the physical plane. Herein lies much danger and difficulty, and also much loss of time. The mental grasp of the individual is ofttimes much greater than his power to express the knowledge, and we have consequently those outstanding failures and those difficult situations which have brought the whole question of initiation into disrepute. Many people are regarded as initiates who are only endeavoring to be initiate. They are not, however, real initiates.

They are those well meaning people whose mental understanding outruns the power of their personalities to practice. They are those who are in touch with forces which they are not yet able to handle and control. They have done a great deal of the needed work of inner contact, but have not yet whipped the lower nature into shape. They are, therefore, unable to express that which they inwardly understand and somewhat realise. They are those disciples who talk too much and too soon and too self-centeredly, and who present to the world an ideal toward which they are indeed working, but which they are as yet unable to materialise, owing to the inadequacy of their equipment. They affirm their belief in terms of accomplished fact and cause much stumbling among the little ones, but at the same time, they are working towards the goal. They are mentally in touch with the ideal and with the Plan. They are aware of forces and energies utterly unknown to the majority. Their only mistake is in the realm of time, for they affirm prematurely that which some day they will be.

When initiation becomes possible, it indicates that two great groups of energies (those of the triple integrated personality and those of the soul or solar angel) are beginning to fuse and blend. The energy of the soul is beginning to dominate and to control the lower types of force, and—according to the ray of the soul—so will be the body in which that control will begin to make its presence felt. This will be elaborated later in the section dealing with the rays as they govern the various bodies; mental, emotional and physical. It should be remembered that very little egoic control need be evidenced when the first initiation is taken. That initiation indicates simply that the germ of soul life has vitalised and brought into functioning existence the inner spiritual body, the sheath of the inner spiritual man, which will eventually enable the man at the third initiation to manifest forth as "a full-grown man in Christ", and present at that time the opportunity to the Monad for that full expression of life which can take place when the initiate is identified consciously with the One Life. Between the first and second initiations, as has been frequently stated, much time can elapse and much change must be wrought during the many stages of discipleship. Upon this we will later dwell as we study the seven laws of egoic unfoldment.

Individualisation, carried to its full, consummates as the integrated personality, expressing itself as a unity through three aspects. This expression of personality involves:

  1. The free use of the mind so that focused attention can be paid to all that concerns the personal self and its aims. This spells personality success and prosperity.

  1. The power to control the emotions and yet have the full use of the sensory apparatus to sense conditions, to feel reactions, and to bring about contact with the emotional aspects of other personalities.

  1. The capacity to touch the plane of ideas and to bring them through into consciousness. Even if these are later subordinated to selfish purpose and interpretation, the man can, however, be in touch with that which can be spiritually cognised. The free use of the mind presupposes its growing sensitivity to intuitional impression.
  2. The demonstration of many talents, powers and the working out of genius, and the emphatic bending of the whole personality to the expression of some one of these powers. There is often an extreme versatility and an ability to do many outstanding things noticeably well.

  1. The physical man is frequently a wonderfully sensitive instrument of the inner, emotional and mental selves, and gifted with great magnetic power; there is often resilient, though never robust, bodily health, and great charm and personal outer gifts.

A study of the outstanding individuals in all fields of world expression today, when entirely divorced from the higher group concepts and the constant spiritual aspiration to serve humanity, will indicate the nature of the consummated individuality and the success of this part of the divine plan. It should be carefully noted that the successful demonstration of the dominant individual is just as much a divine success in its proper place and time as is the case with the great Sons of God. One success, however, is the expression of the third aspect of divinity as it veils and hides the soul, and the other is the expression of two aspects of divinity (the second and the third) as they veil and hide the life aspect of the Monad. When this is grasped, our evaluation of world achievement will undergo change, and we will see life more truly and divorced from the glamour which distorts our vision and the vision of the great Personalities as well. It should also be borne in mind that individual separative success is in itself an evidence of soul activity, for every individual is a living soul, actuating the lower sheaths of bodies, and proceeding to

  1. Build sheath after sheath, life after life, that will be increasingly adequate to its own expression.

  1. Produce that sensitivity in the sheaths—sequentially and finally simultaneously—which will enable them to respond to an ever increasing sphere or measure of divine influence.

  1. Integrate the three sheaths into a unity which for three and sometimes seven lives (occasionally eleven lives) will function as a dominant personality in some field of wide expression, using the energy of ambition to bring this about.

  1. Re-orient the lower individual self so that the realm of its desires and the satisfaction of personality achievement will eventually be relegated to their rightful place.

  1. Galvanise the self-assertive man into that realisation of new achievements which will direct his steps on to the Path of Discipleship and eventually on to the Path of Initiation.

  1. Substitute for past, necessarily self-interested and personal ambition, the needs of the group and the goal of world service.

The above should prove to be immediately practical. Initiation carried to its consummation, as far as humanity is concerned, produces the liberated Master of the Wisdom, free from the limitations of the individual, garnering the fruits of the individualisation process and functioning increasingly as the solar angel, because focused primarily in the inner spiritual body. Awareness of the Presence is thus steadily developed. This fact merits the deep study and meditation of all disciples. As the three rays which govern the lower triplicity blend and synthesise and produce the vital personality, and as they in their turn dominate the ray of the dense physical body, the lower man enters into a prolonged condition of conflict. Gradually and increasingly, the soul ray, "the ray of persistent and magnetic grasp", as it is occultly called, begins to become more active; in the brain of the man who is a developed personality, an increased awareness of vibration is set up. There are many degrees and stages in this experience, and they cover many lives. The personality ray and the egoic ray at first seem to clash, and then later a steady warfare is set up with the disciple as the onlooker—and dramatic participator. Arjuna emerges into the arena of the battlefield. Midway between the two forces he stands, a conscious tiny point of sentient awareness and of light. Around him and in him and through him the energies of the two rays pour and conflict. Gradually, as the battle continues to rage, he becomes a more active factor, and drops the attitude of the detached and uninterested onlooker. When he is definitely aware of the issues involved, and definitely throws the weight of his influence, desires, and mind on to the side of the soul, he can take the first initiation.

When the ray of the soul focuses itself fully through him, and all his centres are controlled by that focused soul ray, then he becomes the transfigured Initiate, and takes the third initiation. The ray of the personality is occultly "extinguished" or absorbed by the ray of the soul, and all the potencies and attributes of the lower rays become subsidiary to and colored by the soul ray. The disciple becomes a "man of God"; a person whose powers are controlled by the dominant vibration of the soul ray and whose inner, sensitive mechanism is vibrating to the measure of that soul ray which—in its turn—is being itself reoriented to, and controlled by, the monadic ray. The process then repeats itself:

  1. The many rays which constitute the lower separative man are fused and blended into the three personality rays.

  1. These are, in their turn, fused and blended into a synthetic expression of the dominant self-assertive man, the personal self.

  1. The personality rays then become one ray and in their turn become subservient to the dual ray of the soul. Again, therefore, three rays are blended and fused.

  1. The soul rays dominate the personality and the three become again the one, as the dual ray of the soul and the blended ray of the personality vibrate to the measure of the highest of the soul rays—the ray of the soul's group, which is ever regarded as the true egoic ray.

  1. Then, in time, the soul ray begins (at the third initiation) to blend with the ray of the Monad, the life ray. The higher initiate is therefore a dual and not a triple expression.

  1. In time, however, this realised duality gives place to the mysterious, indescribable process called identification which is the final stage of soul unfoldment. It is useless to say more for what might be said could only be comprehended by those preparing for the fourth initiation, and this treatise is written for disciples and initiates of the first degree.

In these successive stages we can glimpse the vision of what we are and may be. Steadily the unfolding purpose of our own souls (those "angels of persistent and undying love") should gain fuller and deeper control over each of us, and this, at any personal cost and sacrifice, should be our steadfast aim. For this, in truth and sincerity, we should strive.

We have thus touched upon the three great divisions which mark the soul's progress towards its goal. Through the process of Individualisation, the soul arrives at a true self-consciousness and awareness in the three worlds of its experience. The actor in the drama of life masters his part. Through the process of Initiation, the soul becomes aware of the essential nature of divinity. Participation in full consciousness with the group and the absorption of the personal and individual into the Whole, characterise this stage on the path of evolution. Finally comes that mysterious process wherein the soul becomes so absorbed into that supreme Reality and Synthesis through Identification that even the consciousness of the group fades out, except when deliberately recovered in the work of service.

Naught is then known save Deity; no separation of any part, no lesser syntheses, and no divisions or differentiations. During these processes it might be stated that three streams of energy play upon the consciousness of the awakening man:

  1. The energy of matter itself, as it affects the consciousness of the inner spiritual man, who is using the form as a medium of expression.

  1. The energy of the soul itself, or of the solar angel, as that energy pours forth upon the vehicles and produces reciprocal energy in the solar form.

  1. The energy of life itself, a meaningless phrase, and one that only initiates of the third initiation can grasp, for even the discoveries of modern science give no real idea as to the true nature of life.

Life or essential energy is more than the activity of the atom, or of that living principle which produces self-perpetuation, reproduction, motion, growth, and that peculiar something which we call "livingness". It may be possible to "create" or produce the lowest or third aspect of life in the scientific laboratories so-called, but to reproduce or create the other and more essential aspects which work out as the conscious response, the intelligent embryonic purpose which seems to animate all substances, that is not possible. When the third initiation is reached, man will understand why this impossibility exists. More cannot be said, for until that initiation is experienced it would not be understood.

To bring more light upon this question of the triple expansion of consciousness (for all these crises are aspects of one great unfolding purpose or process) which we call individualisation, initiation, and identification, it should be borne in mind that these words connote something to us today—from the angle of our present point in evolution, from our inherited teaching and thought habits, and from the standpoint of modern knowledge and terminologies. Later they may appear in a totally different light when we know more and the race has advanced further into the light. But from the light which streams forth from that larger synthesis, and from the angle of vision of Those Whose consciousness is higher and greater and more inclusive than the human, the significance of these words may appear totally different. Definition is simply the expression of the immediate understanding of a human mind. But a definition may later be seen to be imperfect and even false, from the angle of a wider knowledge and a more inclusive grasp of wholes, (just as is the case with a so-called fact). Hence all definition, and eventually all facts, will be known to be temporary; all exegesis is but passing in its usefulness. The basic truths of today may be seen later as simply aspects of still greater truths, and when the greater truth is grasped, the significance and the interpretation of its formerly important part is seen to be widely different to what has supposed. This must never be forgotten by any who may read this Treatise on the Seven Rays. An initiate, reading the three words we have been considering, has a very different idea about them than has a disciple or a person who has never thought or studied along these lines, and to whom our vocabulary is novel and strange, conveying little meaning, and that usually quite incorrect.

In individualisation, the life of God which has been subjected to the processes of growth, stimulation and development in the three lower kingdoms, becomes focused in the fourth kingdom in nature, the human, through the agency of a "cycle of crisis", and becomes subjected to the influence of soul energy in one of the seven ray aspects. The quality of the form aspect, as embodied in the personality and expressed by the phrase, "the ray of the personality", becomes subject to the quality of the egoic ray.

Those two great influences play upon and affect each other, interacting all the time, producing modifications and changes until, slowly and gradually, the ray of the personality becomes less dominant, and the ray of the soul steadily assumes prominence. Eventually it will be the soul ray that will be expressed, and not the form ray. This personality or form ray then becomes simply the medium of expression through which the quality of the soul can make its presence felt in full power. Something of this idea is conveyed in the ancient occult phrase "the lesser fire must be put out by the greater light". A symbol of this can be seen in the power of the sun apparently to put out a little fire when it can pour its heat right into it.

It was earlier pointed out that we can profitably use the words; Life, Quality, Appearance—in lieu of Spirit, Soul and Body, for they express the same truth. The quality of matter, built up into human form and indwelt by the soul or solar angel, is that which normally colours the appearance. Later, this inherent quality of the appearance changes, and it is the quality nature of Deity (as expressed in the soul) which obliterates the quality of the forms. During the stage wherein it is the quality of matter which is the paramount influence, that material radiance makes itself felt in a triple form. These—from the angle of the entire sweep of the evolutionary process, and as far as the human personality is concerned—appear sequentially, and qualify the matter aspect with its three major presentations:

  1. The quality of physical substance. During this stage of development, the man is almost entirely physical in his reactions and completely under the ray of his physical body. This is the correspondence in man to the Lemurian epoch and to the period of pure infancy.

  1. The quality of the astral body. This governs the individual for a very long period, and still governs, more or less, the masses of men. It corresponds to the Atlantean period and to the stage of adolescence. The ray of the astral body is of very great power.

  1. The quality of the mental body. This, as far as the race is concerned, is just beginning to wax in power in this Aryan race to which this era belongs. It corresponds to the stage of maturity in the individual. The ray of the mind has a very close relation to the solar angel, and there is a peculiar affiliation between the Angel of the Presence and the mental man. It is this deep-seated, though oft unrecognised, interplay and cultivated intercourse, which produces the at-one-ment between the soul and its mechanism, man in the three worlds.

From the angle of these three ray influences, we have (in the life of the aspirant) a recapitulation of the triple process which we could call the "processes of unfoldment of the Lemurian, Atlantean, and Aryan consciousness." On the Path of Probation, the ray of the physical body must become subordinated to the potencies emanating from those soul rays which stream forth from the outer tier of petals in the egoic lotus.

These are the knowledge petals. On the Path of Discipleship, the astral body is brought into subjection by the ray of the soul as it pours through the second tier of petals, the love petals. Upon the Path of Initiation, until the third initiation, the ray of the mental body is subdued by the force of the petals of sacrifice, found in the third tier of petals. Thus the three aspects of the personality are brought into subjection by the energy emanating from the nine petals of the egoic lotus. After the third initiation, the whole personality, composed of the three aspects, becomes sensitive to the energy of pure electric fire or life, as it pours through the "closed bud at the heart of the egoic lotus."  (See A Treatise on Cosmic Fire.)

The value of the above information consists in the fact that it gives, symbolically, a synthetic picture of man's unfoldment and higher relations. Its danger consists in the capacity of the human intellect to separate and divide, so that the process is regarded as proceeding in successive stages, whereas in reality there is often a paralleling activity going on, and much overlapping, fusing and interrelating of aspects, of rays and of processes, within the time cycle.

Such is the program for humanity, as it concerns the unfoldment of the human consciousness. The whole emphasis of the entire evolutionary process is, in the last analysis, placed upon the development of conscious, intelligent awareness in the life animating the various forms. The exact state of awareness is contingent upon the age of the soul. Yet the soul has no age from the standpoint of time, as humanity understand it. It is timeless and eternal. Before the soul there passes the kaleidoscope of the senses, and the recurring drama of outer phenomenal existence; but throughout all these occurrences in time and space, the soul ever preserves the attitude of the Onlooker and of the perceiving Observer. It beholds and interprets. In the early stages, when the "Lemurian consciousness" characterises the phenomenal man, that fragmentary aspect of the soul which indwells and informs the human form, and which gives to the man any real human consciousness which may be present, is inert, inchoate and unorganised; it is devoid of mind as we understand it, and is distinguished only by a complete identification with the physical form and its activities. This is the period of slow tamasic reactions to suffering, joy, pain, to the urge and satisfaction of desire, and to a heavy subconscious urge to betterment. Life after life passes, and slowly the capacity for conscious identification increases, with a growing desire for a larger range of satisfactions; the indwelling and animating soul becomes ever more deeply hidden, the prisoner of the form nature. The entire forces of the life are concentrated in the physical body, and the desires then expressed are physical desires; at the same time there is a growing tendency towards more subtle desires, such as the astral body evokes.

Gradually, the identification of the soul with the form shifts from the physical to the astral form. There is nothing present at this time which could be called a personality. There is simply a living, active physical body, with its wants and desires, its needs and its appetites, accompanied by a very slow yet steadily increasing shift of the consciousness out of the physical into the astral vehicle.

When this shift, in course of time, has been successfully achieved, then the consciousness is no longer entirely identified with the physical vehicle, but it becomes centred in the astral-emotional body. Then the focus of the soul's attention, working through the slowly evolving man, is in the world of desire, and the soul becomes identified with another response apparatus, the desire or astral body His consciousness then becomes the "Atlantean consciousness." His desires are no longer so vague and inchoate; they have hitherto been concerned with the basic urges or appetites; first, his urge to self- preservation; then to self-perpetuation through the urge to reproduce; and next, to economic satisfaction. At this stage we have the state of awareness of the infant and the raw savage.

Gradually, however, we find a steadily growing inner realisation of desire itself, and less emphasis upon the physical satisfactions. The consciousness slowly begins to respond to the impact of the mind and to the power to discriminate and choose between various desires; the capacity to employ time somewhat intelligently, begins to make its presence felt. The more subtle pleasures begin to make their appeal; man's desires become less crude and physical; the emerging desire for beauty begins to appear, and a dim sense of aesthetic values. His consciousness is becoming more astral-mental, or kama-manasic, and the whole trend of his daily attitudes, or his modes of living, and of his character begins to broaden, to unfold, and to improve. Though he is still ridden by unreasoning desire most of the time, yet the field of his satisfactions and of his sense-urges are less definitely animal and more definitely emotional. Moods and feelings come to be recognised, and a dim desire for peace and the urge to find that nebulous thing called "happiness" begin to play their part. This corresponds to the period of adolescence and to the state of consciousness called Atlantean. It is the condition of the masses at this present time. The bulk of human beings are still Atlantean, still purely emotional in their reactions and in their approach to life. They are still governed predominantly by selfish desires and by the calls of the instinctual life. Our earth humanity is still in the Atlantean stage, whereas the intelligentsia of the world, and the disciples and aspirants, are passing rapidly out of this stage, for they reached individualisation on the moon chain, and were the Atlanteans of past history.

In the more advanced people of the world today, we have the functioning of the mind-body; this is to be found in a large scale in our Western civilisation. The energy of the ray of the mental body begins to pour in, and slowly to assert itself. As this happens, the desire nature is brought under control, and consequently the physical nature can become more definitely the instrument of mental impulses. The brain consciousness begins to organise and the focus of energies begins to shift gradually out of the lower centres into the higher. Mankind is developing the "Aryan consciousness" and is reaching maturity. In the more advanced people of the world, we have also the integration of the personality and the emergence into definite control of the personality ray, with its synthetic, coherent grip of the three bodies and their fusing into one working unit. Later, the personality becomes the instrument of the indwelling soul.

The above is a simple and direct statement of a long and difficult evolutionary unfoldment. Its very simplicity will indicate that we have only dealt with the broad outlines, and have ignored the infinite detail of process. The work starts at Individualisation, and continues through the two final stages of Initiation and Identification. These three stages mark the progress of the soul consciousness from that of identification with the form to that of identification with the Self. These three words— individualization, initiation and identification; cover the whole process of man's career from the time he emerges into the human kingdom till he passes out of it at the third initiation, and functions freely in the fifth kingdom, the kingdom of God. By that time, he has Iearnt that consciousness is free and unlimited, and can function in form or out of form according to the behest of the soul, or as the Plan  can best be served. The soul is then in no way conditioned by form. Just as man can express himself in what is called three-dimensional living, so, by the time he takes the third initiation, he can function actively and consciously in four dimensions, and in the final stages of the Path of Initiation he becomes active fifth-dimensionally.

As we consider these various degrees of expanding awareness, the significant fact to be borne in mind is that through it all there is one steady, sequential unfoldment taking place. The life of the soul, in this great life cycle which we call human incarnation, passes on the phenomenal plane through all the stages with the same direction, power, steadiness in growth and in the adaptability of form to circumstance and environment, as does the life of God as it flows through the various Kingdoms in nature from age to age. The thread of the unfolding consciousness can be traced with clarity in all.

Forms are built, used and discarded. Cycles of lives bring the forms into certain phases of unfoldment needed by the progressively inclusive consciousness. Other and later cycles demonstrate the definite and specific effects of this developed consciousness, for some lives are predominantly fruitful in producing causes (which is a paradoxical sentence with deep meaning) and others in working off the effects of the earlier initiated causes. This is a point not often emphasised. Still later cycles of lives bring these two aspects—consciousness and form—into a greater rapport, and thus produce an entirely different type of life. The correspondence to these cycles can be seen working out in the life and consciousness of the planetary Logos, as that great Life seeks expression through the medium of the four kingdoms in nature.

However, (and this is the fact of supreme importance), all this activity, all this directed unfoldment, all this evolving purpose and livingness, all the events in all the kingdoms of nature, and all the phases of life-conditioning in the human family, plus the kaleidoscope of events, the emergence of characteristics and tendencies, the appearance of forms with their unique colouring, qualities and activities, the syntheses and fusions, the urges, instincts and aspirations, the manifested loves and hates (as expressions of the great law of attraction and repulsion), the producing of civilisations, of the sciences and arts in all their wonder and beauty; all this is but the expression of the will-to-be of certain Beings or Lives. Their consciousness so far transcends the human that only the initiate of high degree can enter into Their true Plan. What we see today is only the expression of Their energies in the processes of form-making and of the evolution of consciousness. The Plan, as it is sensed by the world disciples, in the attempt to work and cooperate with it, is only the sensing of that portion of it which concerns the human consciousness. We have not yet been able to catch even a glimmer of the vastness of the synthetic Plan for evolutions other than human, both superhuman and subhuman; nor can we grasp the fabric of God's ideal as it underlies the sum total of the manifested processes, even upon our little planet. All we really know is the fact of the Plan, and that it is very good; that we are enfolded within it and subject to it.

Herein may be found a clue to the difficult problem of free will. It might be said that within the limits of the intelligent direction of the intelligent man there is free will, as far as activity in the human kingdom is concerned. Where no mind activity is present and where there is no power to discriminate, to analyse and to choose, there is no free will. Within the vaster processes of the Plan, however, as it includes the entire planetary evolution, there is, for the tiny unit, man, no free will. He is subject, for instance, to what we call "acts of God", and before these he is helpless. He has no choice and no escape. Herein lies a hint upon the working of karma in the human kingdom; karma and intelligent responsibility are inextricably woven and interwoven.

As we close our discussion of the three steps of Individualisation, Initiation, and Identification, which mark the progress of the soul from identification with form until it loses itself and its own identity in a higher identification with the Absolute One, let us carry our thoughts forward to that point in time and space wherein the spiritual consciousness releases itself from all the categories of awareness and all differentiations, and from the final sense of selfhood, and merges itself in that sublime condition in which self-centredness (as we understand it) disappears. We shall later consider the stages wherein the soul—impelled thereto by its peculiar ray qualities—appropriates to itself (for purposes of experience) those forms which can be expressive of, and responsive to, the many types of divine awareness.

It should be noted here, therefore, that there are, literally, two points of identification in the long experience of the soul. One marks the stage wherein form, matter, substance, time and space are controlling factors, and imprison the soul within their types of consciousness. This connotes identification with form life. The other connotes identification with all that lies outside of form expression and is released from it. What that may be lies beyond the grasp of our present advanced humanity, and is only known in its true significance by such great Existences as the Christ, the Buddha and Those of analogous rank in the Hierarchy of Lives. The qualities generated and developed through the first of these identifications persist and colour the conscious realisation, and it must be remembered that the final identification is the result of the experience gained through the medium of the first.

These qualities will vary according to the dominance of one or other of the ray energies, but there will be—in the final stages—no consciousness of quality or ray type, but simply a state of Being or of livingness that realises identification with the Whole and which, at the same time, holds in solution (if one may use so unsatisfactory a term) all the results of the lesser identifications, the various differentiations and distinctions, and the many ray instincts, impulses, and intuitions. The garnered and expressed qualities, and the possible actions and reactions and awarenesses are equally eternally present and capable of re- acquisition at will, but they are all held below the threshold of consciousness. Livingness, Being, Wholeness and Unity are the distinctive characteristics of this highly evolved stage, which is, in its turn, the foundation for that higher evolutionary cycle of which we know nothing but which is hinted at in A Treatise on Cosmic Fire and in all references to the seven Paths which open up before the adept of the fifth initiation. Absorption into the One Life is the nature of this elevated state of consciousness.

Freedom from all that is implied in the use of the words Form and Ego is the major characteristic, and, therefore, many ancient Scriptures, when attempting to deal with and explain this supernormal and superlative condition, are forced back into the use of negatives, and the so-called "doctrine of negation". Only by indicating what this state or condition of awareness is not, can any idea be conveyed of what it essentially is. The negations thus met with (and frequently misunderstood by the occidental reader) are, therefore, the result of the futility and inadequacy of language to express the Reality then known.

After the major initiations are undergone, the state of consciousness of the illumined and liberated adept is such that language serves only to blind and to hinder true understanding. The consciousness of the initiate is of so lofty a nature that it can only be described in terms of release, of negation, and through the emphasis of that which it is not. It is a state of No-thing and Non-ego, for all egoic awareness is superseded by a state of Being and of consciousness which is only capable of comprehension and expression when form life is of no further use to the perfected spiritual life. It is a state of non-individuality, yet with the subconscious knowledge and gains of the individual experience. The centre of consciousness is so far removed from any individual separate identity that that particular factor has faded entirely out, and only the macrocosmic life is sentiently realised. It is a state of nonactivity from our present angle of vision, because all individual reactions to the activity of matter or to that state of being which we call egoic, have dropped away, and Life and Mind can no longer be swept into motion by any of the factors which have hitherto produced what we have called soul activity and form existence.

Nevertheless, though the consciousness is other than all that has been hitherto known, and though it can only be expressed in terms of negation, the truth must be borne constantly in mind that the greater awareness must always include the lesser awarenesses. Consequently all possible actions and reactions, identifications and focusings, awarenesses and contacts, ray impulses, approaches and withdrawals, and all possible expressions of the divine activity and qualities, phenomenal and non- phenomenal, are included in the state of Being which is now the natural state of the liberated and enlightened spiritual Existence. All are possible of recovery through the will or in response to a need, but the spiritual Being is no longer held by them or identified with them. Each of the stages on the great Path of Liberation or Enlightenment with which we have been concerned—Individualisation, Initiation and Identification—have led the Life or the spiritual, interior man, from point to point, from quality to quality, from realisation to realisation, from phenomenal appearance to spiritual living, from physical awareness to sentient, emotional awareness, and from that to mental differentiation and separateness. He has been carried from hell to heaven, from heaven to Nirvana, from the life- conditioning of the personal Ego to that of the group soul, and thence to that of the liberated state of pure intuitional life. He has passed from form experience as a whole to that complete freedom from all vibratory impressions which it is the nature of pure Being (divorced from phenomenal existence) to demonstrate. But at the same time, nothing is lost of capacity, or quality or of sentient awareness.

This is beautifully expressed for us in the words of the Old Commentary, found in the archives of the Masters:

"The quality of life fades out. It flickers and is gone. Yet the Blessed Ones reveal at will that quality. The colour pure remains. The nature of life in form fails to appear. It flashes forth a little while, then disappears. The Blessed Ones, at will, can take a form, yet are not then the form. The seven great rays sweep into manifested life. They are, and then are not. All is and all is not. But the Blessed Ones at any time can sweep forth into manifested light. They carry then the potencies of spirit to meet the need expressed. Light holds Them not; Their purpose is not imprisoned; Their will is not subdued. They appear and disappear at will."

An expression of the truth of this can be seen demonstrating in the world each full moon of May, when the Buddha flashes forth into manifestation, for the fulfillment of the Plan and at the urgent behest of His own spiritual will.

"Naught holds the Blessed Ones. Neither the deities nor form; neither desire nor mind; nor any quality of life. Pure life they are; pure being and pure will; pure love and pure intent; this is all that unenlightened man can grasp, and only that in part.

The Blessed Ones are not, and yet They are.

The Blessed Ones know naught, and yet know all.

The Blessed Ones love not, yet offer love divine.

The Blessed Ones remember not, yet all is recollection.

The Blessed Ones remain in isolation pure; and yet at will can take a form.

The Blessed Ones dwell ever in the high and lofty place, yet oft can walk on earth in light phenomenal.

The Blessed Ones manifest not through form; yet are all forms and all intents."

Then the Old Commentary runs through what would constitute many pages of writing, shewing that the Blessed Ones are naught and yet are all there is; that They possess nothing and yet are in Themselves the expression of all reality; that They dwell nowhere and yet are found everywhere; that They have faded out and yet are shining in full radiance and can be seen. Negation after negation is piled up, only promptly to be contradicted in an effort to shew how divorced from, and yet inclusive of, form is the life of the Blessed Ones. It ends with the wonderful injunction:

"Therefore be full of joy, O pilgrim on the Way towards enlightened Being, for gain and loss are one; darkness and light eternally reveal the True; love and desire eternally invoke the Life.

Naught disappears but pain. Nothing remains but bliss;

the bliss of knowledge true, of contact real, of light divine, the Way to God."

Such is the true goal, as yet unrealisable by us. What is it that we are endeavoring to do? We are treading the Way of Release, and on that way, all drops from our hands; everything is taken away, and detachment from the world of phenomenal life and of individuality is inevitably forced upon us. We are treading the Way of Loneliness, and must learn eventually that we are essentially neither ego nor non-ego. Complete detachment and discrimination must finally lead us to a condition of such complete aloneness that the horror of the great blackness will settle down upon us. But when that pall of blackness is lifted and the light again pours in, the disciple sees that all that was grasped and treasured, and then lost and removed, has been restored, but with this difference—that it no longer holds the life imprisoned by desire.

We are treading the Way that leads to the Mountain Top of Isolation, and will find it full of terror. Upon that mountain top we must fight the final battle with the Dweller on the Threshold, only to find that that too is an illusion. That high point of isolation and the battle itself are only illusions and figments of unreality; they are the last stronghold of the ancient glamour, and of the great heresy of separateness. Then we, the Beatific Ones, will eventually find ourselves merged with all that is, in love and understanding. The isolation, a necessary stage, is itself but an illusion. We are treading the Way of Purification and step by step all that we cherish is removed; lust for form life, desire for love, and the great glamour of hatred. These disappear and we stand purified and empty.

The distress of emptiness is the immediate result; it grips us and we feel that the price of holiness is too high. But, standing on the Way, suddenly the whole being is flooded with light and love, and the emptiness is seen as constituting that through which light and love may flow to a needy world. The purified One can dwell then in that place where dwell the Blessed Lords, and from that place go forth to "illumine the world of men and of the deities".

There are four ways which stretch before the disciples of the Lord of the World. They must all be trodden before the inner Being is released, and the liberated Son of God can enter, at will, what are symbolically called "the four gates into the City of Shamballa"; that city of the Most High God, which is ever swept by the Life of Those who have achieved liberation through loneliness, detachment, isolated unity, and purification. A realisation of the goal and the way to that goal is of service at this time, and it is to this realisation that the teachers of humanity seek to stimulate the Sons of God.

According to the ray type or quality, so will be the reaction of the life to the great stages of Individualisation, Initiation, and Identification. This is a major occult platitude, but it is one that is much in need of consideration and reflection. Let us bear in mind always that we are considering qualities which govern appearances and express the life. What is called in the Eastern literature "the Blessed One" refers to One who is perfectly expressing some ray quality through some chosen phenomenal appearance, which is assumed at will for purpose of service, but which in no way constitutes a limitation and in no way holds the Blessed One a prisoner, because His consciousness is in no way identified with the phenomenal appearance, nor with the quality it expresses.

  1. INDIVIDUALISATION AND THE SEVEN RAY TYPES

We will express the reaction of these seven ray types to the process of Individualisation (which is the process of identification with form) by seven occult statements which can, if properly understood, give the keynote of the new psychology. They state the major impulse, the native quality, and the technique of unfoldment.

Ray One

"The Blessed One flies like an arrow into matter. He destroys (or ruptures) the way by which he might return. He grounds himself deeply in the depths of form. He asserts: 'I will return. My power is great. I will destroy all obstacles. Nothing can stop my progress to my goal. Around me lies that which I have destroyed. What must I do?'

The answer comes: 'Order from chaos, O Pilgrim on the way of death, this is the way for you. Love you must learn. Dynamic will you have. The right use of destruction for the furtherance of the Plan, must be the way for you. Adherence to the rhythm of the planet will release the hidden Blessed One and order bring.'"

Ray Two

"The Blessed One built him an ark. Stage by stage he built it, and floated upon the bosom of the waters. Deeply he hid himself, and his light was no more seen; only his floating ark.

His voice was heard: 'l have built and strongly built, but am a prisoner within my building. My light is hidden. Only my word goes forth. Around me lie the waters. Can I return from whence I came?  Is the word strong enough to open wide the door? What shall I do?'

The answer came: 'Build now an ark translucent, which can reveal the light, O Builder of the ark. And by that light you shall reveal the lighted way. The power to build anew, the right use of the Word, and the using of the light; these will release the Blessed One, deep hidden in the ark.'"

Ray Three

"The Blessed One gathered force. He hid himself behind a veil. He rolled himself within that veil, and deeply hid his face. Naught could be seen but that which veiled, and active motion. Within the veil was latent thought.

The thought reached forth: 'Behind this veil of maya I stand, a Blessed One, but unrevealed. My energy is great, and through my mind I can display the glory of divinity. How can I, therefore, demonstrate this truth? What shall I do? I wander in illusion.'

The word went forth: 'All is illusion, O Dweller in the shadows. Come forth into the light of day. Display the hidden glory of the Blessed One, the glory of the One and Only. The glory and the truth will rapidly destroy that which has veiled the truth. The prisoner can go free. The rending of the blinding veil, the clear pronouncing of the truth, and practice right will render to the Blessed One that golden thread which will provide release from all the maze of earth existence.'"

Ray Four

"The Blessed One rushed forth to combat. He saw existence as two warring forces, and fought them both. Loaded with the panoply of war, he stood midway, looking two ways. The clash of battle, the many weapons he had learned to use, the longing not to fight, the thrill of finding those he fought were but brothers and himself, the anguish of defeat, the paean of his victory; these held him down.

The Blessed One paused and questioned: 'Whence come the victory and whence defeat? Am I not the Blessed One Himself? I will invoke the angels to my aid.'

The trumpet sound went forth: 'Rise up and fight, and reconcile the armies of the Lord. There is no battle. Force the conflict to subside; send for the invocation for the peace of all; form out of two, one army of the Lord; let victory crown the efforts of the Blessed One by harmonising all. Peace lies behind the warring energies.'"

Ray Five

"The Blessed One came forth in ignorance. He wandered in a darkness deep of spirit. He saw no reason for this way of life. He sought among the many threads that weave the outer garment of the Lord, and found the many ways there be, leading to the centre of the web eternal. The forms that weave that web hide the divine reality. He lost himself. Fear entered in.

He asked himself: 'Another pattern must be woven; another garment formed. What shall I do? Shew me another way to weave.'

The Word for him came forth in triple form. His mind responded to the vision clear evoked:'The truth lies hidden in the unknown Way. The Angel of the Presence guards that Way. The mind reveals the Angel and the door. Stand in that Presence. Lift up thine eyes. Enter through that golden door.

Thus will the Angel, who is the shadow of the Blessed One, reveal the open door. That Angel too must disappear. The Blessed One remains and passes through that door into the light sublime.'"

Ray Six

"The Blessed One caught the vision of the Way, and followed the Way without discretion. Fury characterised his efforts. The way led down into the world of dual life. Between the pairs of opposites, he took his stand, and as he swung pendent between them, fleeting glimpses of the goal shone forth.

He swung in mid-heaven. He sought to swing into that radiant place of light, where stood the door upon the higher Way. But ever he swung between the pairs of opposites.

He spoke at last within himself: 'I cannot seem to find the Way. I try this way, and tread with force that way, and always with the keenest wish. I try all ways. What shall I do to find The Way?

A cry went forth. It seemed to come from deep within his heart: 'Tread thou, O Pilgrim on the Way of sensuous life, the middle, lighted way. It passes straight between the dual worlds. Find thou that narrow, middle way. It leads you to your goal. Seek that perceptive steadiness which leads to proved endurance. Adherence to the chosen Way, and ignoring of the pairs of opposites, will bring this Blessed One upon the lighted way into the joy of proved success.'"

Ray Seven

"The Blessed One sought the pathway into forms but held with firmness to the hand of the Magician. He sought to reconcile the Pilgrim, who was himself, to life in form. He sought to bring the world of disorder in which he found himself into some kind of order. He wandered far into the deepest depths and became immersed in chaos and disorder. He could not understand, yet still held to the hand of the Magician. He sought to bring about that order that his soul craved. He talked with all he met, but his bewilderment increased.

To the Magician thus he spoke: 'The ways of the Creator must be good. Behind all that which seems to be, must be a Plan. Teach me the purpose of it all. How can I work, immersed in deepest matter? Tell me the thing that I must do?'

The Magician said: 'Listen, O Worker in the furthest world, to the rhythm of the times. Note the pulsation in the heart of that which is divine. Retire into the silence and attune yourself unto the whole. Then venture forth. Establish the right rhythm; bring order to the forms of life which must express the Plan of Deity.'

For this Blessed One release is found in work. He must display his knowledge of the Plan by the sounding of those words which will evoke the Builders of the forms and thus create the new."

It might be of value, if here were summarized in more simple and less occult terms, the significance of the above esoteric stanzas, to express their true meaning in a few succinct and terse phrases. The stanzas are of no use unless they convey to the ray types among the students of this Treatise some useful meaning, whereby they can live more truly.

The individualised Spirit expresses itself through the various ray types in the following manner:

Ray One

Dynamic one-pointedness. Destructive energy. Power realised selfishly. Lovelessness. Isolation, a longing for power and authority. Desire to dominate. Expressed strength and self-will, leading to a dynamic use of energy for the furtherance of the Plan. The use of destructive forces in order to prepare the way for the Builders. The will to power in order to cooperate. Power realised as the major weapon of love. Identification with the rhythm of the Whole. The cessation of isolation.

Ray Two

The power to build for selfish ends. Capacity to sense the Whole and to remain apart. The cultivation of a separative spirit. The hidden light. The realisation of selfish desire. Longing for material well-being. Selfishness, and subordination of all soul powers to this end, leading to Building wisely, in relation to the Plan. Inclusiveness. A longing for wisdom and truth. Sensitivity to the Whole. Renunciation of the great heresy of separativeness. The revelation of the light. True illumination. Right speech through generated wisdom.

Ray Three

Force manipulation through selfish desire. Intelligent use of force with wrong motive. Intense material and mental activity. The realisation of energy as an end in itself. Longing for glory, beauty and for material objectives. Submergence in illusion, glamour, and maya, leading to the manipulation of energy in order to reveal beauty and truth. The use of forces intelligently for the furtherance of the Plan. Ordered rhythmic activity in cooperation with the Whole. Desire for right revelation of divinity and light. Adherence to right action. The revelation of glory and good will.

Ray Four

Confused combat. The realisation of that which is high and that which is low. The darkness which precedes form expression. The veiling of the intuition. The sensing of inharmony, and cooperation with the part and not the whole. Identification with humanity, the fourth Creative Hierarchy. Undue recognition of that which is produced by speech. Abnormal sensitivity to that which is the Not Self. Constant points of crisis, leading to

Unity and harmony. The evocation of the intuition. Right judgment and pure reason. The wisdom which works through the Angel of the Presence.

I could here point out a constant misconception on the part of esotericists. This Fourth Ray of Harmony, Beauty and Art is not the ray, per se, of the creative artist. The creative artist is found equally on all rays, without exception. This ray is the ray of the intuition and of the harmonising of all that has been achieved through the activity of form life, as later synthesised and absorbed by the solar angel; it manifests eventually as all that can be evoked and evolved through the power of the One Life (the Monad) working through form expression. It is the point of meeting for all the energies flowing through the higher spiritual triad and the lower triplicity.

Ray Five

The energy of ignorance. Criticism. The power to rationalise and destroy. Mental separation. Desire for knowledge. This leads to material activity. Detailed analysis. Intense materialism and temporarily the negation of Deity. Intensification of the power to isolate. The implications of wrong emphasis. Distorted views of truth.

Mental devotion to form and form activity. Theology, leading to a knowledge of reality. The realisation of the soul and its potentialities. Power to recognize and contact the Angel of the Presence. Sensitivity to Deity, to light and to wisdom. Spiritual and mental devotion. The power to take initiation. (This is a point of real importance.)

Ray Six

Violence. Fanaticism. Willful adherence to an ideal. Short sighted blindness. Militarism and a tendency to make trouble with others and with groups. The power to see no point except one's own. Suspicion of people's motives. Rapid reaction to glamour and illusion. Emotional devotion and bewildered idealism. Vibratory activity between the pairs of opposites. Intense capacity to be personal and emphasise personalities, leading to directed, inclusive idealism. Steadiness of perception through the expansion of consciousness. Reaction to, and sympathy with, the point of view of others. Willingness to see the work of other people progress along their chosen lines. The choosing of the middle way. Peace and not war. The good of the Whole and not the part.

Ray Seven

Black magic, or the use of magical powers for selfish ends. The power to "sit upon the fence" till the selfish values emerge. Disorder and chaos, through misunderstanding of the Plan. The wrong use of speech to bring about chosen objectives. Untruth. Sex magic. The selfish perversion of soul powers. leading to white magic, the use of soul powers for spiritual ends. The identification of oneself with reality. Right order through right magic. Power to cooperate with the Whole. Understanding of the Plan. The magical work of interpretation. Manifestation of divinity.

A close study of the above suggested phrases, showing as they do the wrong and the right major expressions of ray force, will aid the student correctly to comprehend his own ray nature, and also whereabouts he stands in his development. One of the major faults of disciples today is the paying of too close attention to the faults, errors and activities of other disciples, and too little attention to their own fulfillment of the law of Iove, and to their own dharma and work. A second failing of disciples (and particularly of the working and accepted disciples in the world at this present time) is incorrect speech conveying ambiguous meanings and motivated by criticism, or by an individual desire to shine. In olden days, the neophyte was forced into a prolonged silence. Speech was not permitted. This was inculcated as a check upon physical utterance of wrong words and ideas, based on inadequate knowledge. Today, the neophyte must learn the same lesson of attention to personal perfection and to personal work through the means of that inner silence which broods over the disciple and forces him to attend to his own work and business, leaving others free to do the same, and so learn the lesson of experience. A great deal of present right activity is hindered by the speech interplay between disciples, and much time is lost through wordy discussion of the work and activities of other disciples.

Humanity, as a whole, needs silence at this time as never before; it needs time in which to reflect, and the opportunity to sense the universal rhythm. Modern disciples, if they are to do their work as desired and to cooperate with the Plan correctly, need that inner reflective quiet which in no way negates intense outer activity but which does release them from wordy criticisms, feverish discussions, and constant preoccupation with the dharma, the motives and the methods of their fellow disciples.

  1. THE RAYS AND INITIATION

It will not be possible for me to make clear the ray reactions to the final process which we have considered briefly, namely the stage in the liberation of the spirit which we call Identification. All that is possible, even in the case of Initiation, is to give the elementary stanzas which convey to accepted disciples some of the significance of the first initiation. As regards identification, the reactions of the illumined initiate are made available to his intelligence in symbolic form, but if these forms were described, they would be completely misunderstood. When the third initiation takes place and the wider open door looms before the initiate, he will then discover the meaning of that type of realisation which is here called (for lack of a better name) Identification.

Ray One

"The Angel of the Presence stands within the light divine—the centre and the meeting place of many forces.

These forces meet and blend. They focus in the head of him who stands before the Angel. Eye to eye, and face to face, and hand to hand, they stand. Will reinforces will, and love meets love. The will-to-power merges with the will-to-love and strength with wisdom meets. These two are one. From that high spot of unity, the One who is released stands forth and says:

'I return from whence I came; from the formless to the world of form I make my way. I will to be. I will to work. I will to serve and save. I will to lift the race. I serve the Plan with will, the Whole with power.'"

Ray Two

"The Angel of the Presence draws the wanderer to him. Love divine attracts the seeker on the Way. The point of merging is achieved. Mouth to mouth, the breath is drawn forth, and the breath is drawn in. Heart to heart, the beating of these twain is merged in one. Foot to foot, the strength is passed from the greater to the less, and thus the Way is trodden. Force inspires the Word, the Breath. Love inspires the heart, the life. Activity controls the treading of the Way. These three produce the merging. All then is lost and gained.

The word goes forth: 'I tread the Way of Love. I love the Plan. Unto that Plan, I surrender all I have. Unto the Whole, I give my heart's deep love. I serve the Plan; I serve the Whole with love and understanding.'"

Ray Three

"The Angel of the Presence stands within the centre of the whirling forces. For ages long, thus has he stood, the centre of all energies from above and from below. With intelligence, the Angel works to make the One Who is above and the one who is below to blend and be as one. With twelve clear notes, the hour sounds forth, and then the two are one. The Angel stands entranced. Ear to ear, breast to breast, right hand to left, the two (who are the three) produce the merging of their lives. Glory shines forth. Truth is revealed. The work is done.

Then man, who is the soul, cries forth with power:'I understand the Way—the inner Way, the silent Way, the manifested Way, for these three Ways are one. The Plan proceeds upon the outer Way; it shews itself. The Whole will stand revealed. That Plan I know. I will, with love and mind, to serve that Plan.'"

Ray Four

"The Angel of the Presence stands in his beauty rare upon the lighted Way. The glow of the Presence pours throughout the field of combat and ends, in peace, the strife. The warrior stands revealed. His work is done. Back to back, the Angel and the Warrior stand, their auras meeting in a radiant sphere of light. The two are one. The Voice goes forth:'Harmony is restored and the beauty of the Lord of Love shines forth. Such is the Plan. Thus is the Whole revealed. The higher and the lower meet; form and the formless merge and blend, and know themselves as one. In harmony with all united souls, I serve the Plan.'"

Ray Five

"The Angel of the Presence serves the three—the One above, the one below, and the One who ever is. [This refers to the fact that on the fifth plane the Angel is definitely met and known, and the three aspects of the higher triad, buddhi, the abstract mind and spirit, plus the ego in the causal body, and the lower mind are here blended and fused.] 

The great Triangle begins its revolutions, and its rays reach out in all directions, and permeate the Whole. The man and Angel face each other, and know themselves to be the same. The light that radiates from the heart, the throat, and from the centre which stands midway meet and merge. The two are one.

The Voice that speaks within the silence can be heard: 'The power that reaches from the highest point has reached the lowest. The Plan can now be known. The Whole can stand revealed. The love that stretches from the heart, the life that issues forth from God, have served the Plan. The mind that gathers all with wisdom into the boundaries of the Plan has reached the outer limits of the sphere of God's activity. That power informs my life. That love inspires my heart. That mind enlightens all my world. I therefore serve the Plan.'"

Ray Six

"The Angel of the Presence reaches down, and, at the midway point, pierces the fog of glamour. The Path stands clear. The One who treads the path and stops to fight, who wrestles blindly with the two who seek to hinder and to blind, sees the Way free. It stands revealed. He ceases from the clamour and the fight. He finds his way into the Presence. Knee to knee, and foot to foot, they stand. Hand to hand, and breast to breast, forehead to forehead, see them stand. And thus they merge and blend.

The trumpet call goes forth: 'The warfare is no more. The battle ends. The glamour and the clouds have disappeared. The light and glory of the Way is here. That light reveals the Plan. The Whole is with us now. The purpose is revealed. With all I have, I serve that Plan.'"

Ray Seven

"The Angel of the Presence lifts one hand into the blue of heaven. He plunges deep the other into the sea of forms. Thus he connects the world of form and formless life. Heaven to earth he brings; earth into heaven. This the man, who stands before the Angel, knows. He grasps the meaning of the painted sign which the Angel holds aloft. [Then follows a phrase which is incapable of translation into modern language. It signifies that complete merging which the mystic endeavours to express in terms of the "marriage in the heavens", and which has been wrongly twisted into the false teaching anent sex magic. This phrase, expressed by a painted symbol, symbolises complete unity between the outer and the inner, the objective and the subjective, between spirit and matter, and between the physical and the essential.]

The two are one. Naught more remains to grasp. The Word is manifest. The work is seen complete. The Whole is visioned. The magic work is wrought. Again the two are one. The Plan is served. No word need then be said."

These phrases are an attempt to express some of the realisations of the true initiate when he stands—at the third initiation—before the Angel and sees that Angel also pass away, so that naught is left but conscious knowledge and realisation. Although this statement may signify but little to us at present, it will, nevertheless, serve to demonstrate the futility of dealing with the secrets of the mysteries and with initiation through the medium of words. When this is better realised, the true work of the Masonic dramas will begin to measure up to the need.

This treatise is, therefore, somewhat abstruse and quite symbolical. It may appear difficult to comprehend, and it may mean little to some and nothing at all to others. If the disciples of the world are truly struggling and if they are applying practically the teaching given, as far as in them lies, they will find as time elapses, and their reason and intuition awaken, that such symbolic and abstruse statements become clearer and clearer, serving to convey the intended teaching. When this happens, the Angel of the Presence approaches ever closer, and lights the disciple on his way. The sense of separateness diminishes until, at last, light permeates the darkness, and the Angel dominates the life.

2. The Two Cycles of Egoic Appropriation

We shall now enter upon a somewhat technical consideration of the relation of the Ego and its ray to the sheaths or vehicles through which it must express itself, and through which it must enter into contact with certain phases of divine experience. The foundation of what is here elaborated in relation to the cycles of appropriation, will be found briefly touched upon in A Treatise on Cosmic Fire and the following statements, gathered from those pages, will be elucidated in the succeeding pages.

  1. As the ego or soul appropriates to itself a sheath for expression and experience, points of crisis will inevitably occur:
  1. The work of passing onto a particular plane for purposes of incarnation is one such point. This concerns the passing down to a lower plane, or from a lower plane onto a higher. Indications of the importance and the crucial nature of such transition can be seen in certain formulas which are used when passing from one degree in Masonry to another, as in raising a Lodge from a lower to a higher degree.
  2. Another such point of crisis occurs when the mental body is swept into activity and the etheric body is similarly vitalised.
  1. Relationship between the ego or soul and the dense physical body is established when:

  1. Matter of the three lowest subplanes of the physical plane is built into the etheric body, prior to physical incarnation, and the potential channels of communication and of exit are established. These are the main channel or line of communication found between the centre at the base of the spine and that in the head, via the spleen.

  1. A corresponding activity takes place in the process of liberation upon the Path of Return in which the bridge (or the antaskarana) is established between the lower mental body, the causal body, and the higher mental worlds.

When the work under the first category is accomplished upon the physical plane and its technique is understood, man can then achieve escape from the physical body in full, waking continuity of consciousness. When a similar work has taken place on the higher plane and the "bridge" is satisfactorily built, then the "initiate" can escape from the limitations of form life and enter into that state of consciousness called Nirvana, by the Buddhist. This high state of being has to be entered also in full continuity of consciousness. Both these major crises in the life of the soul; one leading to physical incarnation and one producing the liberation of the soul from that condition; are, and must always be, the result of group vibration, of group impulse, group incentive and group impetus.

One impetus originates in the group of souls, of which an incarnating ego is an integral part; the other is the result of the activity of the groups of atoms which are vibrating in response to (but not in unison with) that egoic impulse. In this phrase is summed up the work and opportunity of the soul, for it works towards the regeneration of matter and not towards the consummation of its own salvation. It might be stated that the liberation of the soul or ego comes about when its work of salvaging matter (through utilising it and building it into forms) has been carried forward to a desired point. It is not primarily due to the attainment of a certain spiritual stature by the man and the demonstration of certain spiritual qualities. This desired stature and these spiritual qualities are manifested when the vehicles have been "occultly saved", and matter has thus been transformed, transmuted and symbolically "raised up into heaven". When the vehicles vibrate in unison with the soul, then is liberation achieved.

  1. THE POINTS OF CRISIS

Just as there are five points of crisis in the life of a man as he achieves the goal of initiation (which we call the five Initiations), so there are five similar points of crisis in the process of taking form in the three worlds, with three of more importance; the first, the third and the fifth. When (speaking again in symbols) a soul, functioning under divine impulse, comes into incarnation and undergoes racial experience in order to develop certain manifested qualities, there are five points of crisis. I am here speaking in terms of humanity as a whole, as mankind expresses what we call the "human state of consciousness". I am not speaking in terms of an individual soul, if such a misnomer may be permitted. These five points of crisis mark the transfer of soul life from one race to another. Each time such an event happens, there is racial unfoldment, and the appropriation, more or less consciously, by the race of another vehicle of expression. The following tabulation shows the appropriations marking the five racial crises.

  1. In the Lemurian civilisation: The appropriation of the physical body, with its five senses.
  2. In the Atlantean civilisation: The appropriation of the astral body.
  3. In the present Aryan world: The appropriation of the mental body, with consequent intellectual

unfoldment.

  1. In the coming race: Conscious appropriation and integration of the threefold personality.
  2. In the final race: The expression, in fullest measure, of the soul and its vehicles, plus some measure of

        spiritual manifestation.

Here, therefore, we have five points of crisis in the life of the individual, in conjunction with the whole, with the first stage (called individualisation) in Lemuria, the third stage in our race, and a final stage at the end of the age. These stages are carried forward over so long a period of time, and are so closely interrelated, that one stage and period makes possible that of another, and only the analytical mind sees or seeks differentiation. The reflection of this fivefold experience in any individual life takes place in the following order in the life of the average intelligent aspirant, who responds to, and takes advantage of the civilisation and education of the present time.

  1. Appropriation of the physical sheath. This takes place between the fourth and seventh year, when the soul, hitherto overshadowing, takes possession of the physical vehicle.

  1. A crisis during adolescence, wherein the soul appropriates the astral vehicle. This crisis is not recognised by the general public and is only dimly sensed, from its evidenced temporary abnormalities, by the average psychologist. They do not recognise the cause but only the effects.

  1. A similar crisis between the twenty-first and twenty-fifth years, wherein the mind vehicle is appropriated. The man should then begin to respond to egoic influences, and in the case of the advanced man, he frequently does.

  1. A crisis between the thirty-fifth and forty-second years, wherein conscious contact with the soul is established; the threefold personality then begins to respond, as a unit, to soul impulse.

  1. For the remaining years of life, there should be an increasingly strong relationship between the soul and its vehicles, leading to another crisis between the fifty-sixth or the sixty-third years. According to that crisis will depend the future usefulness of the person and whether the ego continues to use the vehicles on into old age, or whether there is a gradual withdrawal of the indwelling entity.

There are many corresponding cycles of crisis in the life history of any soul down through the ages, but these major five crises can be traced with clarity from the standpoint of the higher vision.

One of the ways in which the life story of a soul is charted in the archives of the Masters (under the present planetary experiment) is by means of graphs, which give these crises—racial and individual. Sometimes, with the more advanced aspirants, even the physiological crises of importance are charted. The entire story of the relationship of a soul with its several vehicles of expression in the three worlds, is the story of the various types of energy which are being magnetically related to each other and which are temporarily subordinated to varying aspects of force, in order to produce those fields of magnetic activity wherein certain needed rates of vibration may be established. From the angle of the initiates of the Ageless Wisdom, the story of man, the aspirant, is the story of his response to, or repulse of, applied energies. The fact that the interplay between different types of energy results in the formation of those aggregations or condensations of force which we call bodies, sheaths or vehicles (material or immaterial) is incidental to the main issue, which is the development of a conscious response to the life of God.

Small units of energy, relatively speaking, are swept into contact with great fields of force, which we call planes. According to the extent of the impact (and this is determined; symbolically speaking; by the power of the originating will, the so-called age of the soul, the potency of group activity, and planetary or group karma), so will be the response between the unit of energy and the field contacted, and so will be the quality and vibratory activity of the atoms of matter which are attracted and held together. They will thus constitute a temporary form from which can be seen as externalised and as relatively tangible, and which can function as a mode or medium whereby the soul can contact larger forms of divine life and expression. The more intricate the organisation of the form and the more complex and perfect the response apparatus, the more clearly will be indicated the age of the soul and the perfected intent or potency of its will, the freer it will be from the limiting karma of an unevolved conditioning vehicle.

A close study of this subject is not possible here. The appropriation by a soul of those energy units which will constitute its body or sheath, as it passes from one plane to another and from one state of consciousness to another, is a study so abstruse and complicated that only those initiates whose development equips them and whose interest impels them to work with the application of the law of karma (which is identified in time and space with substance and force), can readily comprehend the complexities of the subject.

Two words are emerging today in connection with modern psychology which have a close relation to this difficult law; they indicate two basic ideas with which these trained initiates work. The idea of patterns and the idea of conditioning hold definite occult implications. The workers in this department of esoteric work deal primarily with the world of patterns which underlie all the activities of the Oversoul and the individual souls. Forget not that this term "individual souls" is but a limiting phrase, used by the separative mind to indicate the aspects of one reality.

Patterns are, in the last analysis, only those types of energy which are struggling to emerge into material expression and which eventually subordinate the more superficial and obvious energies (which have worked their way through to the surface in the process of manifesting) to their newer imposed rhythm. Thus they produce the changed types, new forms and different notes, tones and appearances. These patterns are literally the divine ideas, as they emerge from the subjective group consciousness and take those mental forms that can be appreciated and appropriated by the mind and brain of man during any particular epoch. It might, therefore, be thought that these patterns or fundamental ideas which take shape and appear to control the "way of a man on earth", as it is esoterically called, produce the conditioning here discussed. Literally and curiously, this is not so.

From the angle of esoteric thought, conditioning (if rightly understood) concerns the response, innate and inherent, of matter or substance, to the pattern. It might be said that the pattern evokes and awakens response, but that the conditioning of the resultant activity is determined by the quality of the response apparatus. This quality is inherent in the substance itself, and the interplay between the pattern and the conditioned material produces the type of sheath which the soul appropriates in time and space, in order to experiment and gain experience. It will appear more clearly, therefore, as one studies this subject and ponders deeply upon its implications, that as a man advances on the path of evolution and nears the status of an initiate, the conditioning of the form, innate and inherent, will continuously approach nearer and nearer to the requirements of the pattern. It might also be stated that the pattern is relatively immutable and unchangeable in its own inherent nature, as it comes forth from the mind of either the macrocosmic Deity or the microcosmic thinker, but that the process of the inner conditioning of matter is mutable and in a state of continual flux. When, at the third initiation, union of the pattern and the conditioned form is achieved, the Transfiguration of the initiate takes place, leading to that final crisis wherein the two are known as one, and the form nature (including in this phase the causal body as well as the lower vehicles) then is dispersed and disappears.

The early stages of human development are—as in all else in nature; apparently inchoate and formless, from the angle of the true pattern, existing eternal in the Heavens. There is a physical form, but the inner, fluid, subjective nature, emotional and mental, in no way conforms to the pattern, and, therefore, the outer form is also inadequate. But crisis after crisis occurs, and the inner form nature responds more definitely and precisely to the outer impact of the soul impetus (note this paradoxical phrase), until the astral vehicle and the mental body are consciously appropriated, and as consciously used. It must never be forgotten that evolution (as we understand it and as it must be studied by the human intellect) is the story of the evolution of consciousness and not the story of the evolution of form. This latter evolution is implicit in the other and of secondary importance from the occult angle. Consciousness is literally the reaction of active intelligence to the pattern.

Today, it is as if we were responding consciously and with an increasingly intelligent purpose to the design as laid down by the Master Builder upon the tracing board. As yet we do not and cannot enter into that Cosmic Mind and vibrate in conscious unison with the divine Idea nor grasp the Plan as it is sensed and seen by the cosmic Thinker. We have to work with the design, with the pattern, and with the Plan, for we are only as yet in process of being initiated into that Plan and we are not aware of the true significance of those great Identifications which enabled the Carpenter of Nazareth to say: "I and my Father are one."

But it must also be remembered (and herein lies the clue to world unfoldment and to the mystery of past, present and future) that we are dealing with matter-substance and with forms which are already conditioned, and which were conditioned when the creative process began. The material to be found in the quarries of manifested purpose is, symbolically speaking, marble, and is thus conditioned. It is not clay or slate. It is from this marble, with all the inherent attributes of marble, that the Temple of the Lord must be built, in conformity to the design or pattern. This conditioned substance must be accepted as existing and must be dealt with as it is. Such is the parable of the ages.

The design, the material, and the future temple are all subjectively related, and it is this that the soul knows. For the soul is the One who appropriates the material (already conditioned and qualified), and for ages the soul wrestles with that material, building it into tentative forms, discarding it at will, gathering together again the material needed, and steadily making more adequate models as the pattern is visioned. Some day, the model will be discarded, the pattern will be seen as it really is, and the worker, the soul, will then begin to build consciously the Temple of the Lord, out of the conditioned and prepared material which, for long ages, it has been preparing in the quarry of the form life, the personal life.

Here, therefore, are indicated two crises in the subjective life of the soul:

  1. The crisis wherein the soul, blinded, limited and handicapped by form, begins to work in the quarry of experience, far from its own country, with inadequate tools, and in complete temporary self-imposed ignorance of the design, or pattern.

  1. The crisis which comes very much later in the soul's experience, wherein the soul knows more clearly the design, and in which much material has been prepared. The soul is no longer blind, and can now work in collaboration with other souls in the preparation of the material for the final Temple of the Lord. The soul, incarnate in human form, places in that Temple his particular contribution to the whole, which might be stated symbolically to be

  1. A stone placed in the foundations, typical of the consecrated physical life.
  2. A column in the Temple itself, typical of the desire or aspirational life.
  3. A design upon the tracing board, which coincides with the Great Pattern or Design, and which is that fragment of that design which the individual had to supply and in search of which he went forth.
  4. A radiance or light, which will augment the Shekinah, the light which "ever shineth in the East".

Three things emerge in connection with the task of the soul as it appropriates sheath after sheath for expression:

  1. The condition of the substance of the sheaths which determines the equipment.
  2. Responsiveness to the pattern, which is dependent upon the stage of conscious development.
  3. Ability to work in connection with the Plan, which is dependent upon the number and quality of the crises

        undergone.

All this takes place as the soul passes, time after time, through the experience of physical incarnation; later, progress is made consciously from plane to plane and this is undertaken with clear intent. The work is facilitated and progresses with increased rapidity as the soul, actively, intelligently and intuitively, begins to work with the pattern, transmitting from crisis to crisis (each marking an expansion of consciousness) a newer reach of development and a fresh grasp of the great Design, coupled with a better and more adequate equipment through which to carry on the work.

In our consideration of the second part of the statement in this treatise, which deals with the relationship of the soul to its instrument; the mechanism whereby or wherewith it expresses quality, activity and eventually divinity, we have to approach the subject in two ways:

First, we must consider the utlisation of the mechanism of the Path of Outgoing.  Second, the utilisation of the mechanism upon the Path of Return. In the first case, we are dealing with what might be regarded as the physiological aspect, for it is in the physical nature that the consciousness is primarily focused; in the second case, we are concerned with the purely mental apparatus, though the word "apparatus" is basically unsuitable.

It might be well to interrupt here for a moment and deal with the idea of mechanism and divinity, for these are apt to be a materialising of the idea of divinity, particularly in the West. The divinity of Christ, for instance, is frequently illustrated by reference to His miracles, and to those supernormal powers which He so often evidenced. Supernormal powers are, of themselves, no evidence of divinity at all. Great exponents of evil can perform the same miracles and demonstrate the same capacity to create and to transcend the normal faculties of man. These powers are inherent in the creative aspect of Divinity, the third or matter aspect, and are linked to an intelligent understanding of matter and to the power of the mind to dominate substance. This power is, therefore, neither divine nor non-divine. It is a demonstration of the capacity of the mind, and can be used with equal facility by an incarnated Son of God, functioning as a World Saviour or Christ, and by those Beings who are on the path of destruction, and who are called Black Magicians, Evil Forces and Devils.

Divinity (using the word in its separative sense) connotes the expression of the qualities of the second or building aspect of God; magnetism, love, inclusiveness, non-separativeness, sacrifice for the good of the world, unselfishness, intuitive understanding, cooperation with the Plan of God, and many other such qualitative phrases. Mechanism, after all, implies the creation of a form out of matter and the infusing of that form with a life principle which will show itself in the power to grow, to reproduce, to preserve identity of some kind, to flower forth into certain instinctual reactions, and to preserve its own specific qualitative nature. Life resembles the fuel which, in conjunction with the mechanism, provides the motivating principle and makes activity and the needed movement possible. But there is more to manifestation than forms which possess a life principle. There is a diversity running through nature and a qualifying principle which differentiates the mechanisms; there is a general synthesis and purpose, which defies the powers of man to emulate it creatively, and which is outstandingly the major characteristic of divinity. It expresses itself through colour and beauty, through reason and love, through idealism and wisdom, and through those many qualities and that purpose which, for instance, animate the aspirant. This is—briefly and inadequately expressed—Divinity. It is, however, a relative expression of Divinity. When each of us stands where stand the Masters and the Christ, we will regard this whole question from another point of view. The developing of virtues, the cultivation of understanding, the demonstration of good character and high aims, and the expression of an ethical and moral point of view are all necessary fundamentals, preceding certain definite experiences which usher the soul into worlds of realisation which are so far removed from our present point of view that any definition of them would be meaningless. What we are engaged in is the development of those qualities and virtues which will "clear our vision", because they produce the purification of the vehicles so that the real significance of divinity can begin to emerge in our consciousness.

  1. CERTAIN BASIC PREMISES

With this preamble, we will pass on to the consideration of the mechanism and of that which infuses it and motivates it with life and intelligence.

Certain basic premises are recognised and can, therefore, be very briefly mentioned:

  1. The soul informs the mechanism in two ways and through two points of contact in the body:

  1. The "thread of life" is anchored in the heart. The life principle is there to be found, and from that station it pervades the entire physical body through the medium of the blood stream, for "the blood is the life".

  1. The "thread of consciousness" or of intelligence is anchored in the head, in the region of the pineal gland, and from that station of perception it orders or directs the physical plane activities, through the medium of the brain and the nervous system.

  1. The directive activity of the soul, or its authoritative grasp upon the mechanism of the body, is dependent for its extent upon the point of development, or upon the so-called "age of the soul". The soul is ageless from the human angle, and what is really meant is the length of time that a soul has employed the method of physical incarnation.

  1. The result of this twofold hold upon the mechanism during the past ages has been the conditioning of the material, in conjunction with its own inherent conditioned nature. A form is produced which is adequate to the temporary need of the soul and which is a reflection, in time and space, of its "relative age" or point of development. This, therefore, produces the type of brain, the conformation of the body, the condition of the endocrine system, and consequently the set of qualities, the type of mental reaction, and the character with which any given subject enters into life upon the physical plane. From that point, the work proceeds. This work might be regarded as an effort to intensify the hold which the divine Thinker has upon the mechanism. This will lead to a wiser, fuller direction, a deeper realisation of the purpose, and an effort to clear the way for the soul by the institution of those practices which tend towards right conduct, right speech, and good character. The thought underlying this paragraph links the conclusions of the materialistic school of psychologists with the introspectionist school and those schools which posit a self, a soul or a spiritual entity, and shows that both groups are dealing with facts, and that both must play their united parts in training the aspirant in the New Age.

  1. As the introspective method is pursued, and as we study the human subject, we discover that underlying the human body in all its parts, and constituting a definite part of the human apparatus, there is a vehicle which has been called the "etheric body", composed entirely of threads of force which, in their turn, form the channels along which still more subtle and varying types of energy flow. These are, in their turn, "conditioned" during manifestations by the status of the soul. These threads underlie and interpenetrate the entire body and the nervous system and are in reality the actuating power of the nervous system. Their responsiveness to impacts, outer and inner, is unbelievably great. The nervous reactions of the disciple and highly developed person, whose etheric body is in close rapport with his nervous system, is beyond the average comprehension.

  1. The sum-total of the nerves, with the millions of nadis or "thread counterparts" in the etheric body, form a unit, and this unit, according to the teaching of the Ageless Wisdom, has in it points of focus for different types of energy. These are called "force centres", and upon these depend the life experience of the soul and its expression, and not upon the body. They are the factors which condition the glandular system of the body.

  1. This subjective and objective system governs the manifestation of the soul on the physical plane. It indicates to those who can see in truth, the grasp or hold that the soul has upon its instrument; it can be seen whether that grasp is occasional and partial or whether it is entire and whole. This is most wonderfully indicated in a certain Masonic grip, which marks a climax in the experience of the candidate to the mysteries.

I previously referred to the main channel of communication between the soul and its mechanism as being:

  1. The centre at the base of the spine.
  2. The centre at the top of the head, where the most important centre in the body is situated, from the standpoint of the soul. There is its point of entry and exit; there is the great radio station of reception, and the distributing centre for direction.
  3. The spleen. This is a subsidiary centre and organ in connection with the heart centre.

It is through the spleen that a linking up takes place between the life principle (seated in the heart) and the consciousness system, interlinking all the material organs and the atomic substance of the physical body. This statement indicates that, in the location in the human body where the spleen is found, along with its corresponding subjective force centre, two great currents of energy cross: these are the current of physical vitality or life and the current of the consciousness of the atoms which construct the form. It will be observed that we are here discussing the group subconscious life and not the conscious life and the self-consciousness.

The spleen is the organ in which planetary prana or vitality is received and passed. This enters in through "the open gateway" of the splenic force centre, and passes to the heart. There it merges with the individual life principle. Through the splenic centre also passes the conscious life of the sum-total of the bodily cells, which are, in their turn, the recipients of the energy of the consciousness aspect or principles of all atoms and forms within the fourth kingdom of nature. This we cannot be expected to comprehend as yet, but the truth will be appreciated later on in the racial development. A hint can here be found as to the excessive sensitivity of the solar plexus centre to surrounding group impacts and impressions of an astral kind. There is a close rapport between the splenic centre and the solar plexus, as well as with the heart.

  1. These two subjective and subconscious streams of energy cross each other in the region of the spleen and there form a cross in the human body, as they traverse each others lines of force. This is the correspondence in the human body to the cross of matter, spoken of in connection with Deity. Consciousness and life form a cross. The downpouring stream of life from the heart and the stream of life-giving energy from the spleen pass on (after crossing each other and producing a whirlpool of force) into the solar plexus region; from thence they are very definitely drawn together as one stream at a certain stage in the life of the advanced aspirant. There they merge with the sum-total of energies, using the three points referred to—the head, the base of the spine and the spleen—as a definite mode of communication, of distribution and of control, and finally of ultimate withdrawal, consciously or unconsciously, at the moment of death or in the technique of inducing that stage of control known as Samadhi.

  1. When the directing Agent in the head, deliberately and by an act of the will, raises the accumulated energies at the base of the spine, he draws them into the magnetic field of the centres up the spine and blends them with the dual energy emanating from the spleen. The spinal tract with its five centres then awakens into activity, and finally all the forces are gathered together into one fused and blended stream of energy. Three things then happen:

  1. The kundalini fire is raised and immediately burns away all the etheric webs which are the protective barriers, separating the various centres.

  1. The etheric body intensifies its vitality, and the physical body is consequently powerfully vitalised, galvanised, and energised.

  1. The entire aura is coordinated and illumined, and the soul can then, at will, withdraw from its physical vehicle in full waking consciousness, or stay in it as an incarnated Son of God, Whose consciousness is complete on the physical plane, the astral plane, and on the mental levels, as well as in the three aspects of lower mind, causal consciousness and nirvanic realisation. This process finds its consummation at the third initiation.

In the life of the aspirant, the power to cause this tremendous happening is dependent upon the carrying forward of the inner subjective and spiritual work previously described as the "building of the bridge on the mental plane" between the above mentioned three aspects. For the race of men as a whole, this work began in the middle of our Aryan race, and is today going forward very rapidly. For the individual aspirant, the work has always been possible right down the ages, and it is the major task undertaken by disciples at this time. It might be added here that the New Group of World Servers is composed of those who are engaged in this work for the race, and every person who builds his bridge joins this group of occult "bridge-builders".

It now becomes possible to consider the process whereby a man bridges the gulf or gap (speaking symbolically) which exists between the personal lower self and the higher Self, as the latter functions in its own world. This has to be bridged before at-one-ment can be achieved and complete integration of the entire man can be brought about. To understand clearly what occurs, it will be wise to define more accurately what that higher nature is, and of what it consists.

We have seen in our studies that the soul is a dual blend of energies—the energy of life and the energy of mind—as far as its relation to the mechanism is temporarily concerned. The merging of these two energies in the human mechanism produces what we call consciousness—at first self-consciousness and finally group-consciousness. The mechanism is, in its own nature, also a blend or fusion of energies—the energy of substance itself which takes the form of the atomic structure of the physical body, plus the vitality which animates that body, and, secondly, the energy of that body which we call the astral body, distinguished by sensitivity, emotional activity, and that magnetic force which we call desire. There is, finally, the energy of mind itself.

These four types of energy form what we call the lower personal self, but it is the higher mental aspect of the mind which links, subjectively, this personality and the soul. It is the lower consciousness which (when developed) enables a man eventually to make conscious contact with the higher. It is the lower concretising mind which must be awakened, understood and used with definiteness before the higher mind can become the medium through which knowledge can be gained of those realities which constitute the kingdom of God.

Intellect must be unfolded before the intuition can be correctly evoked.

We have, therefore, in the case of man, two groups of major energies dominating, as a result of a long experience of incarnation in form, the energy of the astral or desire nature and the energy of mind. When these are fused and blended, thoroughly organised and utilised, then we see a functioning and powerful Personality. Seeking to impose itself upon these energies and to subordinate them to higher and different aims is to be found that blended energy-unit which we call the soul. Its two energies (mind and love, the latter being also a dual form of energy) are anchored, if one may use this word in a symbolic and esoteric sense, in the human brain, whilst the life principle, as we have seen, is anchored in the human heart. The four energies of the lower self—atomic energy, vital energy, feeling energy and mental energy—plus the two energies of the soul, make the six energies used by man in his life experience; but the energy of the atom is usually not counted as a human energy, as it is uniform in its usage in all forms of life in all kingdoms, and therefore man is regarded as a sum total of five energies, and not of six energies.

The human soul (in contradistinction to the soul as it functions in its own kingdom, free from the limitations of human life) is imprisoned by and subject to the control of the lower energies for the major part of its experience. Then, upon the Path of Probation, the dual energy of the soul begins to be increasingly active, and the man seeks consciously to use his mind, and to express love-wisdom on the physical plane. This is a simple statement of the objective of all aspirants. When the five energies are beginning to be used consciously and wisely in service, a rhythm is then set up between the personality and the soul. It is as if a magnetic field were then established, and these two vibrating and magnetic units, or grouped energies, begin to swing into each others field of influence. In the early stages, this happens only occasionally and rarely. Later it occurs more constantly, and thus a path of contact is established which eventually becomes the line of least resistance, "the way of familiar approach", as it is sometimes esoterically called. Thus the first half of the "bridge", the antaskarana, is constructed. By the time the third initiation is undergone, this way is completed, and the initiate can "pass to higher worlds at will, leaving the lower worlds far behind; or he can come again and pass upon the way that leads from dark to light, from light to dark, and from the under, lower worlds into the realms of light".

Thus the two are one, and the first great unison upon the path of return is complete. A second stage of the way has then to be trodden, leading to a second union of still greater importance in that it leads to complete liberation from the three worlds. It must be remembered that the soul, in its turn, is a union of two energies, plus the energy of spirit, of which the lower three are the reflection. It is a synthesis of the energy of Life itself (which demonstrates as the life-principle within the world of forms), of the energy of the intuition, or spiritual love-wisdom or understanding (which demonstrates as sensitivity and feeling in the astral body), and of spiritual mind, whose reflection in the lower nature is the mind or the principle of intelligence in the form world. In these three energies we have the atma-buddhi-manas of the theosophical literature. They are that higher triplicity which is reflected in the lower three, and which focuses through the soul body on the higher levels of the mental plane before being "precipitated into incarnation", as it is esoterically called.

Modernising the concept, we might say that the energies which animate the physical body and the intelligent life of the atom, the sensitive emotional states, and the intelligent mind have eventually to be blended with, and transmuted into, the energies which animate the soul. These are the spiritual mind, conveying illumination; the intuitive nature, conferring spiritual perception; and divine livingness.

After the third initiation the "Way" is carried forward with great rapidity, and the "bridge" is finished which links perfectly the higher spiritual Triad and the lower material reflection. The three worlds of the soul and the three worlds of the Personality become one world wherein the initiate works and functions, seeing no distinction, viewing one world as the world of inspiration and the other world as constituting the field of service, yet regarding both together as forming one world of activity. Of these two worlds, the subjective etheric body (or the body of vital inspiration) and the dense physical body are symbols on the external plane.

How is this bridging antaskarana to be built? What are the steps which the disciple must follow? We are not here considering the Path of Probation whereon the major faults should be eliminated and whereon the major virtues should be developed. Much of the spiritual instruction given in the past has laid down the rules for the cultivation of the virtues and qualifications for discipleship, and also the necessity for self-control, for tolerance and for unselfishness. But these are elementary stages and should be taken for granted by all students of this Treatise. Such students are presumably occupied not only with the establishment of the character aspect of discipleship, but with the more abstruse and difficult requirements for those whose goal is initiation.

It is with the work of the "bridge-builders" that we are concerned. First, let it be stated that the real building of the antaskarana only takes place when the disciple is beginning to be definitely focused upon mental levels, and when therefore his mind is intelligently and consciously functioning. He must begin at this stage to have some more exact idea than has hitherto been the case as to the distinctions existing between the Thinker, the apparatus of thought, and thought itself, beginning with its dual esoteric function which is:

  1. The recognition of, and receptivity to, Ideas.
  2. The creative faculty of conscious thought-form building.

This necessarily involves a strong mental attitude and a reorientation of the mind to reality. As the disciple begins to focus himself on the mental plane (and this is the prime intent of the meditation work) he starts working in mental matter and trains himself in the powers and uses of thought. He achieves a measure of mind control; he can turn the searchlight of the mind in two directions—into the world of human endeavor, and into the world of soul activity. Just as the soul makes a way for itself by projecting itself in a thread or stream of energy into the three worlds, so the disciple begins consciously to project himself into the higher worlds. His energy goes forth, through the medium of the controlled and directed mind, into the world of higher spiritual mind and into the realm of the intuition. A reciprocal activity is thus set up.

This response between the higher and lower mind is symbolically spoken of in terms of light, and the "lighted way" (a term frequently employed) comes into being between the personality and the spiritual Triad, via the soul body, just as the soul came into definite contact with the brain via the mind. This "lighted way" is the illumined bridge. It is built through meditation; it is constructed through the constant effort to draw forth the intuition, through subservience and obedience to the Plan (which begins to be recognised as soon as the intuition and the mind are en rapport) and through a conscious incorporation into the group in service and for purposes of assimilation into the whole. All these qualities and activities are based upon the foundation of good character and the qualities developed upon the Probationary Path.

The effort to draw forth the intuition requires directed occult (but not aspirational) meditation. It requires a trained intelligence, so that the line of demarcation between intuitive realisation and the forms of the higher psychism may be clearly seen. It requires a constant disciplining of the mind, so that it can "hold itself steady in the light", and the development of a cultured right interpretation so that the intuitive knowledge which has been achieved may then clothe itself in the right thought forms.

Subservience or obedience to the Plan involves something else than a vague and misty realisation that God has a Plan and that we are included in it. It is more than a hiding of oneself in the shadow of the will of God. It necessitates a wise differentiation between:

  1. The general perspective and the large world Plan for the planet.
  2. Those immediate stages of the Plan in which intelligent cooperation is, at this time, and in the immediate present, demanded.

A deep interest in the final root races and speculation as to the life going forward on other planets may be of interest, but it is relatively futile and useless; it fertilises unduly the imagination, causing love of uncheckable detail, loss of time in wild surmises, and the chimeras of an unenlightened intellect. That part of the Plan which relates to its immediate application is of interest and usefulness. Obedience to the immediate purpose and duty is distinctive of the trained disciple. Those who know far more of the Plan than we can, refuse to let Their minds dwell on the unprovable, yet possible, hypotheses for future racial development. They focus Their attention on that which must be attended to at this immediate time. I would urge all disciples to do the same, for in so doing it is possible to bridge the gap and link the two shores of the higher and the lower stages of consciousness, between the old age and the new, between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of men, and thus to take their place in the ranks of the New Group of World Servers, whose arduous task calls for our sacrificing effort. Conscious incorporation in the group necessitates the cessation of personality life, and brings out the subordination of the little self to the work of the whole. These words are easily written and read; they embody, however, the task of all disciples at this time. Where this incentive and realisation are lacking, the disciple is still a long way from his goal.

It might also be stated here that the construction of the bridge whereby the consciousness can function with facility both in the higher worlds and in the lower, is primarily brought about by a definitely directed life-tendency, which steadily drives the man in the direction of the world of spiritual realities, and certain dynamic movements of planned and carefully timed and directed orientation or focusing. In this last process, the gain of the past months or years is closely assessed; the effect of that gain upon the daily life and in the bodily mechanisms is carefully studied; and the will-to-live as a spiritual being is wrought into the consciousness with a definiteness and a determination that make for immediate progress.

Disciples in the groups of some of the Masters (not of all) are encouraged, every seven years, to do this and to subject themselves to what is esoterically called a "crisis of polarisation". This process is in the nature of a review, such as one imposes on the consciousness at night, only it is carried over a period of years instead of hours. This thought merits consideration.

This building of the antaskarana is most assuredly proceeding in the case of every dedicated aspirant. When the work is carried on intelligently and with full awareness of the desired purpose, and when the aspirant not only recognizes the process, but is alert and active in its fulfillment, then the work proceeds apace and the bridge is built.

One thing only need be added in connection with this building of the antaskarana, and that is the statement of the significant fact that the more people can achieve this linking of the higher and lower aspects of the human nature, the more rapidly will the task of salvaging the world proceed. The more painstakingly and persistently this work is carried forward, the sooner will the Hierarchy of the planet resume Its ancient task and status in the world, and the sooner will the Mysteries be restored and the world function, therefore, more consciously in line with the Plan. Here and there throughout the world, in every nation and practically every week, men and women are stepping off the Path of Probation on to the Path of Discipleship. In this lies the hope of the world today. In this fact is to be found the greatly increased activity of the Masters.

This event, or this transition, never takes place before the first fine strand of energy (like the first steel cable on a physical bridge) has anchored itself on the further shore; thus a delicate and (at first) almost nebulous channel of communication is established between the higher nature and the lower, between the world of the soul and the worlds of human affairs. Each month, at the time of the full moon, the Masters are intensifying Their efforts, and men and women are being prepared for the process of Initiation with as much rapidity as is safely possible. Remember that understanding must always parallel the intellectual grasp of a subject, and it is this that holds back some disciples from this great step forward.

  1. SEVEN RAY METHODS OF APPROPRIATION

As we have seen, this process of appropriation is a dual matter, or rather, it involves a dual activity— that of taking and giving, of grasping and relinquishing, of establishing a hold upon that which is desired, and of detaching oneself from that which has been held. The various types of human beings who come forth along one or other of the seven rays, have each their specific way of doing this. These I shall indicate. At the same time, it must be borne in mind that the true significance of that which is portrayed and the meaning of what happens can only be understood by those who are in the process of this relinquishment. The stage of appropriation is undergone blindly and unconsciously. Man knows not what he does. It is only towards the end of his long pilgrimage and process of appropriation that he discovers how tired he actually is of grasping the non-essential and the material, and how ready he is for the work of detachment. In the life of every human being on the physical plane, who has lived fully and to the full term of years, this dual process can be symbolically seen. In youth the thoughtless (and all are thoughtless, for such is nature's way) hold on to life and give no thought to the time when there must be a relinquishment of the hold on physical existence. The young forget, and rightly forget, the inevitability of that final symbolic detachment which we call Death. But when life has played its part and age has taken its toll of interests and strength, the tired and world-weary man has no fear of the detaching process and seeks not to hold on to that which earlier was desired. He welcomes death, and relinquishes willingly that which earlier engrossed his attention.

In considering the processes of appropriation, the following phrases should be studied, as they throw a light upon the various stages from different angles:

  1. The stage of concretisation and materialisation. The soul takes to itself what it needs and desires for form building.

  1. The stage of incarnation, taken at this time blindly.

  1. The period wherein satisfaction of the desires is the major goal. These range all the way from physical desire and its satisfaction to a general and undefined desire for release.

  1. The processes, in detail, of appropriating
  1. A body or bodies.
  2. A sheath or sheaths.
  3. A vehicle or vehicles.
  4. A form or forms.

  1. Immersion in darkness. This was the result of desire. The darkness of ignorance was chosen and man started, through desire, to work his way from darkness to light, from ignorance to knowledge, from the unreal to the Real. Such is the great symbolic work of Masonry. It is an elucidation of the Way of Relinquishment.

  1. The Path of outgoing in order to possess.

  1. Selfishness, the major characteristic of the self in relation to, and identified with, the not-self.

  1. Love of possession, the prostitution of spiritual love.

  1. Acquisitiveness, the illusion of material need.

  1. The period called in the Bible, that of "riotous living" on the part of the Prodigal Son.

  1. The application and use of energy for personal, selfish intent.

  1. Personality life, with all that is therein implied; ambition, selfish purpose, etc.

  1. Attachment to the seen, the known, and the familiar, external, objective forms.

  1. The stage wherein thought forms are built, at first ignorantly, and then with deliberate selfishness.

  1. The period of engrossment in the things of the kingdom of earth.

  1. The world, the flesh, and the devil.

On the side of soul expression, which is governed by detachment, the following phrases and sentences will give an idea of the progress and intent:

  1. The stage of spiritualisation and of de-materialisation. The soul functions with the purpose of liberation before it, and not of further physical plane experience.

  1. The relinquishment of form life.

  1. The period wherein satiety is experienced; the desires have been so dominant and so often satisfied that they no longer attract.

  1. The process, in detail, of liberation from

  1. A body or bodies.
  2. A sheath or sheaths.
  3. A vehicle or vehicles.
  4. A form or forms.

  1. Emergence into light, a symbolic way of expressing the reverse of immersion in darkness.

  1. The Path of Return, motivated by the wish to appropriate nothing for the separated self. The beginning of group consciousness and of group work.

  1. Selflessness, the major characteristic of the Soul or Self.

  1. Freedom from the desire to possess, freedom from acquisitiveness, and therefore the state of desirelessness.

  1. The establishing of the sense of reality as the ruling principle of the life.

  1. The return of the Prodigal Son to the Fathers home.

  1. The application and use of energy for group purpose and in cooperation with the Plan for the whole.

  1. The life of the soul with all that is implied in that phrase.

  1. Love of God in contradistinction to love of self.

  1. Attachment to the unseen, the true, the subjective and the Real, which is only possible when there has been detachment from the seen, the false, the objective and the unreal.

  1. Complete liberation from the control of the lower mind.

  1. The period wherein the centre of interest is the kingdom of God and of the soul.

  1. Reality. Formlessness. God.

It should be remembered, when considering the seven ray methods of appropriation and the reverse stages, that we are dealing with energies. Occult students must increasingly think and work in terms of energy. These energies are spoken of esoterically as "having impulsive effects, magnetic appeals, and focused activities." The streams or emanations of energy exist, as is well known, in seven major aspects or qualities. They carry the sons of men into incarnation and withdraw them from incarnation. They have their own specific qualities and characteristics, and these determine the nature of the forms constructed, the quality of the life which is expressed at any particular time or in any particular incarnation, the length of the life cycle, and the appearance and disappearance of any of the three form aspects. Certain brief paragraphs will suffice to define each of the stages of appropriation. The paragraphs which detail the methods of detachment have been given earlier in A Treatise on White Magic.

Ray One: The Energy of Will or Power -  The Destroyer Aspect

Souls on this ray are spoken of occultly as "crashing their way into incarnation". They appropriate dynamically that which they require. They brook no hindrance in the satisfactions of their desires. They stand alone in a proud isolation, glorying in their strength, and their ruthlessness. These qualities have to be transmuted into that intelligent use of power which makes them powerful factors in the Plan, and magnetic centres of force, gathering workers and forces around them. An illustration of this can be seen in the work of the Master Morya, Who is the centre, the magnetic attractive centre of all esoteric groups, conferring on them, by His power, the capacity to destroy that which is undesirable in the life of the disciples. Forget not that the work of stimulating that which is needed is one of the major tasks of a Master, and the power of a disciple to destroy that which limits him is greatly needed. Souls of this ray, as they come into incarnation through desire, grasp. This expresses the nature of the force demonstration employed. There is a measure of violence in their technique. They eventually "take the kingdom of heaven by force."

Ray Two: The Energy of Love-Wisdom

Souls on this ray use the method of "gathering in", or "drawing into". The soul sets up a vibration (little as we may yet grasp the real significance of that word) and that vibration affects its environment, and atoms of substance on all three planes are attracted to the central point of energy. The method is relatively gentle, when compared to the method of the first ray, and the process is somewhat longer whilst the overshadowing (carried forward prior to entering into the three worlds for purposes of appearance) is very much longer. This refers to that overshadowing of the substance to be built into form, and not to the overshadowing of the completed form, i.e. the child in the mother's womb. In the first case, it might be said that souls on the first ray are sudden and rapid in their desire to incarnate, and in the methods employed. Souls on the second ray are slower in coming to that "impulsive" action (in the sense of impulse to action and not impulse in time) which leads to the occult manufacture of an appearance with which to manifest.

Souls on this ray, as they come into incarnation through desire, attract. They are magnetic more than they are dynamic; they are constructive, and they work along the line which is, for all lives and forms, the line of least resistance within our universe.

Ray Three: The Energy of Active Intelligence

Just as the grasping and attracting are terms applicable to the methods of the two first rays, so a process of "selective manipulation" is characteristic of this third ray. This method is totally different in its technique to that of the two mentioned above. It might be said that the note which generates the activity set up by souls on this ray, is such that atoms of the different planes are moved as if consciously responding to a selective process. The vibratory activity of the soul makes itself felt, and atoms collect from widely different points in response to a certain quality in the vibration. It is far more selective than in the case of the second ray.

Just as souls in the first case seem to grasp indiscriminately what they need, and force the substance thus grasped into the form or appearance required, enduing it with the quality needed in a dynamic and forceful way, and just as souls on the second ray set up a motion which gathers material out of the immediately surrounding environment, and imposes on it, through magnetic attraction, the desired quality, so in the case of souls on the third ray the required material is chosen here and there, but that chosen already has the needed quality (note this difference) and nothing whatever is imposed. It will be apparent, therefore, that substance itself exists in three major categories, and that these three categories are the correspondences in substance to the three Persons of the Trinity or to the three bodies of incarnated man. They are also the analogy in the third aspect of divinity (the life of the third Person of the Trinity) to the quality of the three periodical vehicles through which manifestation takes place.

One division or type of this substance is dynamically electrified and from this all first ray egos choose the material needed in the three worlds. Another type of substance is magnetically electrified, and from it all second ray egos select what they, in time and space, require in order to manifest. The third type of substance is diffusively electrified (I know of no better word to express the intent), and all third ray egos take from it their needed quota of substance from which to build the forms for manifestation.

As regards the methods, techniques and types of substance used by souls on the remaining four minor rays, they are necessarily qualified by the characteristics of the third major ray, which eventually synthesises them.

The following tabulation is an attempt to define that which it is almost impossible to make intelligible in words. From the angle of the illumined occultist it is meaningless, even more than it is to the average student, because as yet the mystery of electricity and the true nature of electrical phenomena (than which there is naught else) is at this time an unrevealed secret, even to the most advanced of the modern scientists.

Ray        Energy                Technique                Quality                Source                                              

I.         Power or Will                 Grasping                Dynamic Purpose         Dynamically electrified forms.

II.         Love-Wisdom                 Attracting                Love                         Magnetically electrified forms.

III.         Intelligent Activity        Selecting                Intellect                 Diffusively electrified forms.

IV.         Beauty or Art                At-one-ing                Unification                 Harmonisingly electrified forms.

V.         Science                 Differentiating                Discrimination        Crystallising electrified forms.

VI.         Idealism                 Responding                 Sensitivity                Fluidic electrified forms.

VII.         Organisation                Coordinating                 Appearance                 Physical electrified forms.

That there is such a thing as electricity, that it probably accounts for all that can be seen, sensed and known, and that the entire universe is a manifestation of electrical power; all this may be stated and is, today, coming to be recognised. But when that has been said, the mystery remains, and will not be revealed, even in partial measure, until the middle of the next century. Then revelation may be possible, as there will be more initiates in the world, and inner vision and inner hearing will be more generally recognised and present. When man arrives at a better understanding of the etheric body and its seven force centres (which are all related to the seven rays, and in their expression show the seven characteristics and techniques which are here tabulated anent the rays) then some further light can intelligibly be thrown upon the nature of the seven types of electrical phenomena which we call the seven rays.

On the Path of Return and in connection with the process of detachment, which marks the progress of the soul towards release and the ending of the period of appropriation, certain passages in A Treatise on White Magic give clearly the intended technique. They are as follows:

Ray One: "Let the Forces come together. Let them mount to the High Place, and from that lofty eminence, let the soul look out upon a world destroyed. Then let the word go forth: 'I still persist!'"

Ray Two: "Let all the life be drawn to the Centre, and enter thus into the heart of Love Divine. Then from that point of sentient Life, let the soul realise the consciousness of God. Let the word go forth, reverberating through the silence: 'Naught is but Me!'"

Ray Three: "Let the army of the Lord, responsive to the word cease their activities. Let knowledge end in wisdom. Let the point vibrating become the point quiescent, and in all lines gather into One. Let the soul realise the One in Many, and let the word go forth in perfect understanding: 'I am the Worker and the Work, the One that Is.'"

Ray Four: "Let the outer glory pass away and the beauty of the inner Light reveal the One. Let dissonance give place to harmony, and from the centre of the hidden Light, let the soul speak: Let the word roll forth: 'Beauty and glory veil Me not. I stand revealed. I am.'"

Ray Five: "Let the three forms of energy electric pass upward to the Place of Power. Let the forces of the head and heart and all the nether aspects blend. Then let the soul look out upon an inner world of light divine. Let the word triumphant go forth: 'I mastered energy for I am energy Itself. The Master and the mastered are but One.'"

Ray Six: "Let all desire cease. Let aspiration end. The search is over. Let the soul realise that it has reached the goal, and from that gateway to eternal Life and cosmic Peace, let the word sound: 'I am the seeker and the sought. I rest!'"

Ray Seven: "Let the builders cease their work. The Temple is completed. Let the soul enter into its heritage and from the Holy Place command all work to end. Then in the silence subsequent, let him chant forth the Word: .The creative work is over. l, the Creator, Am. Naught else remains but Me.'"

II. The Seven Laws of Soul or Group Life

We come now to a section of our study of the soul and its life which is of real moment to all who live (or begin to live) and function as conscious souls, through definite alignment and at-one-ment. This section will, however, be relatively abstruse to all those whose lives are centred in the personality.

Down the ages, the Scriptures of the world and those who have attempted to elucidate them, have been occupied with imparting to humanity an understanding of the nature of those qualities and characteristics which should distinguish all true believers, all true aspirants and all sincere disciples, whether Christian or otherwise. The teaching has always been given in terms of good behavior and of right action, and therefore given in terms of effects, produced by inner causes which have not always been specified. Basically, all such virtues, good inclinations and attempted sound qualities represent the emergence into expression upon the physical plane of certain energies and tendencies, inherent in the soul itself. These, in their turn, are governed by energies and laws which are of a nature different from those governing personalities.

It is important to emphasise this and to bear in mind that the powers of the soul, as they are appearing in the world today, constitute (in their working out) a body of phenomena which would have been regarded as magical, impossible and superhuman several centuries ago. The discoveries of science, the adaptation of the laws governing matter and directing material energy to the service and the growing needs of mankind, the subtle and delicate apparatus of the human body and the steadily increasing sensitivity of the human mechanism, have brought about a world consciousness and a civilisation which—in spite of its glaring defects, all based on the separative and selfish attitudes of the personalities through which the soul has yet to work—are a guarantee of the innate divinity of man, with all that may be inherent in, and inferred from that phrase.

What has not yet been grasped is that these emerging "godlike" qualities, these beneficent characteristics, and the slowly appearing virtues of humanity are only indications of hidden potentialities, which have not been scientifically studied. The qualities of goodness are so called because they are, in essence, the energies controlling group relations; the powers, called superhuman, are fundamentally the powers which express group activity, and the virtues are only effects of group life, rightly handled, which are attempting to express themselves on the physical plane. The growing science of social relations, of social responsibility, or coordinated civic life, of scientific economics and of human inter-relations, the steadily developing sense of internationalism, of religious unity, and of economic interdependence, are all of them indications of the energies of soul life upon the physical plane, and within the human family. Hence the conflict of ideals in the world today; hence the massed dualism which produces such bewilderment; hence the compromises and hence the inconsistencies. Here is to be found the cause of all the divergencies in the world of civilised ideals, and the conflicting and widely differing motives which impel people of good motive and intention and of high principle into antagonistic activities.

Two sets of principles are to be found controlling human life—the selfish and the unselfish, the individual good and the group good, the objective goal and the subjective goal, the material incentive and the spiritual impulse, national patriotism and the world ideal, separative religious belief and the federation of religions, and all the many massed dualities which simply indicate the realism of people who are personalities (integrated and separative) or of souls (aligned and group-conscious). Here is the major divergence in the world today; with the weight of the power on the side of separation, as it is the line of least resistance, and of critical differentiations. A balancing of the two will gradually take place, with the weight of world idealism gradually shifting into the realm of soul unification, until eventually the emphasis of world thought will be definitely and permanently on "the side of the angels." Therefore we can look for the new laws, governing soul life, which is group life, to begin to function and make their presence felt. This will at first increase the world difficulty; hence the need to make the meaning of these laws clear, their objectives simple and their potencies understandable.

  1. 1. The Law of Sacrifice

The section upon which we now enter in our studies will be difficult and controversial. The thread which will guide us out of the bewildering maze of thought into which we must perforce enter, is the golden one of group love, group understanding, group relations and group conduct.

Esoteric Name:  The Law of those who choose to die.        

Symbol:  A rosy cross with a golden bird.

Ray Energy:  Outpouring fourther ray, at-one-ing energy.

This law of sacrifice, which is the first of the laws to be grasped by the human intelligence, and is therefore the easiest for man to understand (because he is already governed by it and, therefore, aware of it) came to its first major expression during this slowly disappearing age, the present age, the Piscean age. This law has always been functioning and active in the world, for it is one of the first of the inner subjective laws to express itself consciously, and as an active ideal, in human life. The theme of all the world religions has been divine sacrifice, the immolation of the cosmic Deity through, the process of universal creation, and of the world Saviours, by Their death and sacrifice as a means of salvation and eventual release and liberation. Such is the blindness and such is the contaminating influence of the lower separative man, that this divine law of sacrifice is wielded with the selfish intent of personal and individual salvation. But the travestied truth remains the unsullied truth on its own plane, and this dominant world law governs the appearing and the disappearing of universes, of solar systems, of races and of nations, of world leaders and world rulers, of incarnating human beings and of revealing Sons of God.

Let us see if we can interpret or define the true significance of this law, which is in reality the expression of a divine impulse, leading to a defined activity, with its consequent and subsequent results and effects. It was this aspect of sacrifice which led to the creation of the worlds and to the manifestation of the divine Creator. It might help to a better understanding of the Law of Sacrifice if it were expressed through synonymous words and terms.

  1. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE LAW OF SACRIFICE

It means the impulse of giving. The whole secret of the doctrines of "the forgiveness of sins" and of the "at-onement" lies hid in this simple phrase. It is the basis of the Christian doctrine of love and sacrifice. Hence the emphasis laid, in the Piscean Age and through the influence of Christianity, upon just these two things, — forgiveness and atonement. That man, as usual, distorted and misinterpreted the teaching and the truth, and that it fell, as does all else at present, under the glamour and illusion of the astral plane, plus the Piscean influence, is true. Man's thought dominated and distorted the ideal and produced such a damnable doctrine as the elect of God, the chosen of the Lord, or the sole people to benefit by the sacrifice and death of the great Son of God, and who pass, due to the merits of that vicarious death, into a state of bliss in heaven, simply because of an emotional choice, which ignores millions of those who have made no such choice, nor had the opportunity to do so. The symbolic activity of the great Teacher of Nazareth will be properly understood and its significance will be properly appreciated only when group implications are more carefully studied, the meaning of sacrifice and of death come into their rightful place in the human consciousness, and the law of giving, with all that that entails, is correctly understood and applied. Those who thus sacrifice are:

The Solar Deity who gave His life to the universe, to the solar system, to the planet, and the manifested worlds consequently appeared. The cosmic Deity has likewise done the same. But what does this mean to us? Naught, except a symbol. It was His impulse, His will, His desire, His incentive, His idea and purpose to appear. The creative act then took place, and the process of manifestation began its cyclic evolutionary existence. The Cosmic Christ was crucified upon the cross of matter, and by that great sacrifice opportunity was offered to all evolving lives in all kingdoms of nature and in all created worlds. Thus they could progress. The work, in space and time, and the stupendous march of living beings towards an at present unrealised goal, began. We can give no reason for the choice made by Deity thus to act. We do not know His ultimate purpose or plan; and only aspects of His technique and method begin to appear to the illuminated mind. It has been hinted by Those Who know so much more than we, owing to their longer life cycle and experience, that some glimmering of that eternal and cosmic Intent is beginning to dawn in the consciousness of Those who have taken some of the higher initiations. Their nature must necessarily remain incomprehensible to mankind. All that the intelligent human being can grasp as he looks back over the history of the planet (as far as modern history can give it to him) is that there has been:

All this has been brought about as the result of the determined, conditioned activity of a Great Life, Which chose to make a major sacrifice and to be crucified upon the cardinal Cross of the Heavens, and thereby pass through a cosmic initiation; Which, from our minor and relatively uninformed angle, stands today crucified upon the fixed Cross in the Heavens, and through the medium of the mutable Cross is nevertheless producing changes in the evolutionary cycle, increasing refinement of form, and that intensification of life which distinguishes His creation.

  1. A development of consciousness
  2. A refining of forms
  3. An intensification of realised life

A study of the three objectives above will convey to the earnest student a meagre understanding of the lowest aspects of the divine purpose. The wonder of the idea staggers human imagination. If this is a statement of fact, and if these ideas are but the expression of still deeper and more beautiful cosmic purposes, may not the goal be realised as being far beyond human computation, when its lowest expression embraces the highest intuitive and abstract concepts of which the most elevated human consciousness is capable? I commend this thought to your deep consideration.

It will be apparent, therefore, why it is the energy of the fourth ray which is related to this Law of Sacrifice, and who in this fourth planetary scheme and in our fourth globe, (the earth globe) so much emphasis is laid upon this Law of Sacrifice, "the Law of those who choose to die." The fourth ray of conflict (conflict with a view to eventual harmony) is at present not one of the manifesting rays, yet— in the light of the larger cycle—this ray is a major controlling factor in our earth evolution and in the evolution of our solar system, which is one of the fourth order. The realisation of this may indicate why our little planet, the Earth, is of such apparent importance in the solar system. It is not simply because we choose to think so and thus feed our own arrogance, but it is so primarily because the fourth ray of conflict and this first law are—in time and space—dominating factors in the fourth kingdom in nature, the human kingdom. Our planet, the fourth in the series of divine expression with which we are associated, has a peculiar relation to the position of our solar system in the series of solar systems which constitute the body of expression for The One About Whom Naught May Be Said.

It must never be forgotten that this fourth ray of conflict is the ray whose energies, rightly applied and understood, bring about harmony and at-one-ment. The result of this harmonising activity is beauty, but it is a beauty that is achieved through struggle. This produces a livingness through death, a harmony through strife, a Union through diversity and adversity.

The sacrifice of the solar angels brought the fourth kingdom in nature into being. The "returning nirvanis" (as they are called in esoteric literature), with deliberation and full understanding, took human bodies in order to raise those lower forms of life nearer to the goal. These were and are ourselves. The "Lords of Knowledge and Compassion and of ceaseless persevering Devotion" (who are ourselves) chose to die in order that lesser lives might live, and this sacrifice has made possible the evolution of the indwelling consciousness of Deity. This consciousness, having worked its way through the subhuman kingdoms in nature, needed the activity of the solar angels to make further progress possible.

Herein lies:

  1. Our service to God, through sacrifice and death
  2. Our service to other souls, through deliberate self-sacrificing purpose
  3. Our service to other forms of life in other kingdoms

All this involves the death and sacrifice of a Son of God, a solar angel, for, from the angle of Deity, descent into matter, manifestation through form, the taking of a body, extension of consciousness through the process of incarnation, are all occultly considered to be death. But the angels "chose to die, and in dying, lived."  Through their sacrifice, matter is lifted up into Heaven. It is this theme which fills the pages of The Secret Doctrine, and which is discussed in greater elaboration in A Treatise on Cosmic Fire. The sacrifice of the angels, the death of the Sons of God, the immolation of the mystic Christ, the crucifixion in time and space of all living entities, called souls—this is the theme of those books. This is the mystery hinted at in the world of Scriptures, and this is the secret of the ages, which is only discovered by the souls of men as each of them enters individually into conscious relation with his own soul and discovers that which he has joyously done in the past, and so arrives at the realisation of that supreme sacrifice which he made with deliberation. in the early dawn of time itself and which, at some point in his career as a soul on earth, he consciously and symbolically re-enacts for the benefit of other souls, in order to hasten their progress towards their goal. Then comes a life wherein, in some form or another, he portrays or works out within himself, but also before the watching world, that great symbolic drama which we call

The Sacrifice of a World Saviour. This is the theme of the historical romance of all those great Sons of God who down the ages, have arrived at an understanding of the significance of the divine purpose of God, of the Word incarnated through a planet, of those solar angels who are themselves, the Word incarnate through a human form. Whether they enact this drama, as did the Christ, so as to present to man the symbolism of death and sacrifice, or whether they enact this drama, as did the Buddha, so as to demonstrate to man the sacrifice and death of personal desire (to mention only two of the manifested Sons of God), the theme remains the same; the death of that which is lower in order to release that which is higher, or—on a larger scale—the death of that which is higher in the order and scale of being, in order to release that which is lower.

But the lesson needs to be learned (and it is the lesson which man is now engaged in learning) that death as the human consciousness understands it, pain and sorrow loss and, disaster, joy and distress, are only such because man, as yet, identifies himself with the life of the form and not with the life and consciousness of the soul, the solar angel, whose awareness is potentially that of the planetary Deity, Whose greater awareness (in His turn) is potentially that of the solar Deity. The moment a man identifies himself with his soul and not with his form, then he understands the meaning of the Law of Sacrifice; he is spontaneously governed by it; and he is one who will with deliberate intent choose to die. But there is no pain, no sorrow, and no real death involved.

This is the mystery of illusion and glamour. From these two imprisoning factors all World Saviours are free. They are not deceived. It is well, in passing, to point out here that in the New Age, we shall enlarge our concept of this term World Saviour. At present we apply it predominantly to those souls who emerge upon the teaching ray, the second or Christ ray. They enact the drama of salvation. But this is an error, due to the overpowering emotional glamour of the Piscean Age. This astral influence has its roots in the past Atlantean civilisation, which preceded ours. In that age, the astral body was the subject of attention. Much that happens today, and which may develop, has its roots in that aspect of energy. Seeds sown at that time are now brought to flower. This is very good and necessary, even if distressing in experience.

The World Saviours must be recognised as coming forth to serve the race, with sacrifice of some kind along many lines and in many forms. They may be great rulers, or dictators, politicians, statesmen, scientists and artists. Their work is the work of salvage, of restitution, or renovation and revelation, and, through the sacrifice of themselves, they accomplish it. As such, they must be recognised for what they are. Now they are misunderstood, misinterpreted, and judged by their mistakes more than by their aims. But they are dedicated souls. They rescue; they lift; they integrate; they illumine; and the net result of their work, from the angle of ultimate history, is good.

This Law of Sacrifice and the impulse to give can also be traced throughout every kingdom in nature. It is typified for us in the basic sacrifices which take place between the various kingdoms. The essential qualities of the minerals and chemicals of the earth are an instance in point. They are needed by other forms of life and are donated to man through the medium of the vegetable kingdom and through the water which he drinks, and thus, even in the first and densest kingdom in nature (whose consciousness is so far removed from ours) does this process of giving hold good. But the tracing of this Law of Sacrifice in the subhuman kingdoms is not possible here, and we must confine our attention to the world of human living and consciousness.

  1. THE WORK OF SALVAGE OR SALVATION

The Law of Sacrifice means also salvage and underlies all the evolutionary processes and particularly does this emerge into clear significance in the human family. The instinct to betterment, the urge to progress (physical, emotional and intellectual), the effort to ameliorate conditions, the tendency to philanthropy which is so rapidly taking hold of the world, and the sense of responsibility which does make men realise that they are their brother's keeper, are all expressions of this sacrificial instinct. This factor, though not unrecognised by modern psychology, is of far wider significance than has yet been realised. This instinctual tendency is the one that itself governs the Law of Rebirth. It is the expression of a still greater factor in the creative process. It is the major determining impulse which impelled the Soul of God Himself to enter into form life; which impels life, upon the involutionary arc, to progress down into matter, producing thus the immanence of God. It is that also which drives humanity forward into its wild struggle for material well-being. It is that too which urges man eventually to turn his back upon the "world, the flesh and the devil," as the New Testament puts it, and orient himself to the things of spiritual import. The prodigal son sacrificed the Father's home when he chose to wander forth into the far country. He wasted and sacrificed his substance through the use he made of the experience of life on earth, until he had exhausted all his resources and there was naught left but the eventual sacrifice of what he held so dear, but had discovered to be so unsatisfying. For these things of lesser values, he had sacrificed the higher values, and had to return again whence he came. Such is the life story of all the sons of God who came into incarnation, as given to us under the symbolism of the Bible, but the theme in all the world Bibles is the same.

This urge to sacrifice, to relinquish this for that, to choose one way or line of conduct and thus sacrifice another way, to lose in order eventually to gain; such is the underlying story of evolution. This needs psychological understanding. It is a governing principle of life itself, and runs like a golden pattern of beauty through the dark materials of which human history is constructed. When this urge to sacrifice in order to win, gain or salvage that which is deemed desirable is understood, then the whole clue to man's unfoldment will stand revealed. This tendency or urge is something different to desire, as desire is academically understood and studied today. What it really connotes is the emergence of that which is most divine in man. It is an aspect of desire, but it is the dynamic, active side and not the feeling, sensuous side. It is the predominant characteristic of Deity.

It is of interest, however, for students of esotericism to note that this urge to salvage and to sacrifice in order to redeem works out in different ways in the different planetary schemes. Each Ray Lord of a scheme, manifesting through a planet, expresses this urge in varying ways, and each expression is so different from the others that it is hard for a human being to do more than sense that method which exists on our own particular planet. Initiates know that the varying psychological characteristics of the ray Lives condition most peculiarly the method of expressing sacrifice, during the course of manifestation. The great stream of living energy which is manifesting itself in our Earth scheme of evolution is conditioned by a temperament, an attitude and an orientation that is that of a "Divine Rebel." It is only rebellion that produces pain and sorrow, but this rebellion is inherent and innate in the Deity of our planet Himself, the "One in Whom we live and move and have our being." It is, therefore, a tendency greater than the individual unit. It is only possible to express this amazing truth about the planetary Life under a veil of symbology and in terms of human thought. In this there is ever a risk, for men interpret all they read and hear and experience in terms of themselves.

The Old Commentary says:

"He entered into life and knew it to be death. He took a form and grieved to find it dark. He drove Himself forth from the secret place and sought the place of light, and light revealed all that he sought the least. He craved permission to return. He sought the Throne on high and Him who sat thereon. He said, 'I sought not this. I looked for peace, for light, for scope to serve, to prove my love and to reveal my power. Light there is none. Peace is not found. Let me return.'

But He Who sat upon the Throne turned not his head. He seemed not e'en to listen nor to hear. But from the lower sphere of darkness and of pain a voice came forth and cried: 'We suffer here. We seek the light. We need the glory of an entering God. [I can find no other words except these last two to express the ancient symbol from which I am translating.] Lift us to Heaven. Enter, O Lord, the tomb. Raise us into the light and make the sacrifice. Break down for us the prison wall and enter into pain.' The Lord of Life returned. He liked it not, and hence the pain."

The same conditions which blend the Law of Sacrifice with pain and sorrow and difficulty are found also on the planet Mars and on the planet Saturn. They are not found on the other planets. Those who have read The Secret Doctrine and A Treatise on Cosmic Fire with understanding know that our Earth is not a sacred planet. However, Saturn, Mars and our Earth constitute, in a curious esoteric manner, the personality of a stupendous ray Life, Whose energy is that of the third Ray. There are, as has been stated elsewhere, seven sacred planets but ten planetary schemes, and in three cases, (those of the three major rays) three planets constitute the personality of each ray Life. Some esoteric thinkers believe that there are twelve planets to be considered in our solar system, and there is a basis for their conclusion. The personality of this third ray Life functions through the following planets:

  1. The mental body expresses itself through the medium of the planet Saturn.
  2. The astral body expresses itself through the planet Mars.
  3. The physical body expresses itself through the planet Earth.

The potency of this Life is such that He requires three complete schemes—all three closely allied and interdependent—through which to express Himself. Uranus, Jupiter and Venus are similarly allied in order to manifest or express a great Life.

These facts constitute a tremendous mystery, and in no way negate the truth that Venus has a peculiar and intimate relation to the Earth. The point here being stressed is difficult to express, but of great importance. Let me be more explicit, by means of the following statements:

  1. Only three planetary schemes are aware of pain and sorrow as we understand those terms; none of them know it so well or feel it so much as does our planetary Logos.

  1. Pain and sorrow are the result of rebellion, and of divine discontent. The instinct to betterment, based on discontent, has necessarily involved the planetary temperament or attitude which recognises the dualities.

  1. There is a stage to be reached in the human consciousness, where that which lies behind the dualities—the stage of essential oneness—can, and will be recognised.

  1. When this takes place, the consciousness of our humanity will then merge with that underlying consciousness of the whole, which recognises no pain or sorrow and has, therefore, slipped out of the realisation which predominantly governs the consciousness of the three great Lives in our solar system.

  1. It is this dimly sensed truth which lies behind the highest type of metaphysical thought, such as Christian Science, Unity, Divine Science, and the emphasis laid by Christianity and the esoteric schools upon the at-one-ment.

This instinct towards betterment through sacrifice is itself diverse. There is, first of all, the instinct towards individual betterment, which leads to selfishness, to a grasping, and to an orientation of the materially-minded towards material possessions. There is, secondly, the instinct towards an ameliorating of the conditions of other people, first from a selfish motive (the avoiding of personal distress at the sight of suffering), and secondly, through pure, disinterested service, which is a quality of the soul. There is, finally, the active application and the complete sacrifice of the lower separated self through the power to "stand in spiritual being" which necessarily infers that one has reached that state of consciousness which transcends what may be called, symbolically the "Earth, Saturn and Mars" state of consciousness.

Let it not, however, be forgotten that the contribution to these three great planetary Lives, as They embody pre-eminently the Law of Sacrifice, through pain and rebellion, is a major contribution to the whole, and greatly enriches the sum total. The units of divine life and the atoms of electrical energy who pass through these three planetary schemes are subject to them in order to acquire that psychic sensitivity which would otherwise be impossible. Only those units of life who are coloured predominantly by the third ray of activity pass for any length of time through these three schemes. A hint is here conveyed as to the prevalence of third ray Monads among the sons of men. The ray of active intelligence, expressing itself through the seven ray types, is above everything else the ray upon which the majority of human monads will, particularly, at this time, be found. We shall, therefore, find the following psychological types colouring the bulk of our humanity, and the ray of active intelligence expressing itself through:

  1. Will, evoking divine purpose
  2. Love, expressing divine quality
  3. Intellect, as the reflector of the Intuition
  4. Conflict, producing harmony
  5. Knowledge or science, leading to radiance
  6. Idealism, establishing the divine pattern
  7. Ritual or organisation, manifesting Deity

Therefore, psychologically speaking, and when greater knowledge has been gained of the energies determining the type of a man, a person, for instance, whose Monad is presumably upon the third ray, his ego being on the fourth ray, and his personality on the seventh ray, will be described as a Three, IV, 7. Within this simple formula there will be lesser differentiations and a seventh ray personality may have a first ray mental body, a fifth ray astral body, and a third ray physical body. The formula which would describe him would be:

Three, IV, 7  { 1-5-3}

This, when interpreted, means:

Monad:  Third ray

Ego:  Fourth ray.

Personality:  Seventh ray.

Mental body:  First ray.

Astral body:  Fifth ray.

Physical body:  Third ray.

Students may find it of value to study themselves and others in conformity with the above, and to establish their personal formulae. This should be done in conjunction with a consultation of their horoscopes. This will be discussed more at length after we have considered the astrological implications of the rays, in the succeeding volume.

The Law of Sacrifice, therefore, can never be eliminated in our Earth scheme, as far as the human and subhuman reactions to sorrow and pain are concerned, nor can it be eliminated on the planets Saturn and Mars. It is relatively unknown in the other schemes. Bliss and Sacrifice are synonymous terms as far as our solar Logos is concerned, and also for the majority of the planetary Logoi. This must be remembered. A touch of this freedom from the limitations of pain and sorrow can be found among the more advanced sons of men on Earth, who know the ecstasy of the mystic, the exaltation of the initiate, and the exquisite agony of sacrifice or of any feeling which is carried forward to the point of sublimation. When this point has been reached, the mechanism of suffering and the ability to register sensuous perception is transcended, and momentarily the man escapes on to the plane of unity. Here there is no pain, no sorrow, no rebellion and no suffering. When the living, vibrating antaskarana or bridge is built, this "way of escape" becomes the normal path of life. Escape from pain is then automatic, for the centre of consciousness is elsewhere. In the cases mentioned above, and where the antaskarana is not a consummated, established fact, the tiny thread of the partially constructed "way of escape", under tremendous pressure and excitation, shoots forward like a quivering band of light, and momentarily touches the light that is the Self. Hence ecstasy and exaltation. But it does not last, and cannot be consciously recovered until the third initiation has been taken. After that the "way of escape" becomes the "way of daily livingness" (to translate inadequately the occult and ancient phrase). Then pain is steadily transcended, and the pairs of opposites—pleasure and pain—have no longer any hold over the disciple.

All this constitutes the theme of esoteric psychology and, when rightly understood, will explain:

  1. The Saturnian influence in human life.
  2. The cessation of rebellion, or the ending of the Martian influence.
  3. The building of the antaskarana, which releases the man from the control of personality life.
  4. The evocation of the group consciousness.
  5. The consequent negation of pain and sorrow.
  6. Entrance into Nirvana, and the beginning of the real Way.

  1. THE RELINQUISHING OF GAIN

This is the basic theme of The Bhagavad Gita. In that treatise on the soul and its unfoldment, we are taught to "perform action without attachment," and thereby lay the foundation for later relinquishings which can be effected without pain and the sense of loss, because we have acquired the power, latent ever within ourselves, to detach ourselves from achieved possessions. This law works out in many ways, and it is not possible to do more than indicate a few of those general significances which embody the major lessons of every disciple.

First, the soul must relinquish the personality. For ages, the soul has identified itself with the lower personal self, and through the agency of that lower self has gained experience and acquired much knowledge. The time has to come when that agency is "no longer dear" to the soul, and their respective positions are reversed. No longer is the soul identified with the personality but the personality becomes identified with the soul and loses its separate quality and position. All that has been acquired through age-long struggle and strife, through pain and pleasure, through disaster and satisfied desire, and all that the wheel of life, which has turned ceaselessly, has brought into the possession of the soul—All has to be relinquished. Life, for the disciple, becomes then a series of detaching processes, until he has learnt the lesson of renunciation.

The sequence is, first dispassion, then discrimination, and finally detachment. On these three words must all disciples meditate, if they are ever to reap the fruits of sacrifice.

"Having pervaded the worlds with a fraction of Myself, I remain." Such is the theme of the soul's endeavor, and such is the spirit which must underlie all creative work. In this thought lies the clue to the symbol of the Law of Sacrifice—a rosy cross with a bird flying over it. This is the loved cross (rose being the colour of affection), with the bird (symbol of the soul) flying free in time and space.

Secondly, the soul has also to relinquish not only its tie and its gain through contact with the personal self, but it has most definitely to relinquish its tie with other personal selves. It must learn to know and to meet other people only on the plane of the soul. In this lies for many a disciple a hard lesson. They may care little for themselves and may have learnt much personal detachment. Little may they cherish the gain of contact with the lower personal self. They are learning to transcend all that, and may have transcended to a great degree, but their love for their children, their family, their friends and intimates is for them of supreme importance and that love holds them prisoners in the lower worlds. They do not stop to recognise that their love is primarily love for the personalities, and only secondarily for the souls. Upon this rock, many disciples are for lives broken, until the time comes when, through pain and suffering and the constant losing of that which they so much cherish, their love enters into a newer, a higher and a truer phase. They rise above the personal, and find again—after felt loss and suffering— those whom now they love as souls. Then they realise that there has been gain and not loss, and that only that which was illusory, ephemeral and untrue has disappeared. The real Man has been gained and can never be lost again.

This is most frequently the problem of parents who are upon the Path of Discipleship, and it is through their children that the lesson is learnt which can release them for initiation. They hold their children to them, and this, being counter to the law of nature, works out disastrously. It is the height of selfishness. And yet, did they but know and see aright, they would realise that to hold, one must detach, and to keep, one must release. Such is the law. The soul has also to learn to relinquish the fruits or gains of service and learn to serve without attachment to results, to means, to persons or to praise. This I will deal with later.

In the fourth place, the soul has to relinquish also the sense of responsibility for that which other disciples may do. So many earnest servers hold on to their fellow workers, and do not relinquish their hold upon them or upon their activities upon the outer plane. This is a subtle error, for it masks itself behind a sense of righteous responsibility, an adherence to principles as they appear to the individual, and the accumulated experience of the disciple; which is necessarily incomplete experience. The relation between disciples is egoic and not personal. The link is of the soul and not of the mind. Each personality pursues its own course, must shoulder its own responsibilities, work out its own dharma, and fulfil its own karma, and so answer for itself to its Lord and Master, the Soul. And answer there will be. Does this itself sound of the nature of separation and aloneness? It does, as far as outer activities are concerned. Only as servers cooperate from the standpoint of an inner subjective linking can a united world be carried forward.

The establishing of an inner contact and relationship, based on a realised oneness of purpose and soul love, is magnificently possible, and for this all disciples must struggle and strive. On the outer plane, owing to the separative mind during this age and time, a complete accord on detail, on method, and on interpretation of principles is not possible. But—the inner relationships and cooperation Must be established and developed, in spite of the outer divergences of opinion. When the inner link is held in love, and when disciples relinquish the sense of authority over each other and of responsibility for each others activities, and at the same time stand shoulder to shoulder in the One Work, then the differences, the divergences, and the points of disagreement will automatically be overcome. There are three rules which are important to disciples at this time:

First, see to it that you permit no rift to appear in the inner relation in which you stand to each other. The integrity of the inner band of servers must be preserved intact.

Secondly, pursue your own duty and task, shoulder your own responsibility, and then leave your fellow disciples to do the same, free from the impact of your thought and criticism. The ways and means are many; the points of view vary with every personality. The principle of work is love for all men and service to the race, preserving at the same time a deeper inner love for those with whom you are destined to work. Each soul grows into the way of light through service rendered, through experience gained, through mistakes made, and through lessons learnt. That necessarily must be personal and individual. But the work itself is one. The Path is one. The love is one. The goal is one. These are the points that matter.

Thirdly, preserve ever in work the attitude of mind which must grow out of the two rules above, faithfully followed. Your point of view and consciousness are your own, and therefore, are for you, right. Not necessarily is that which seems so clear to you and of such vital importance to you, of the same value or importance to your brothers. Your important principle may be realised by an abler mind than yours and by a more advanced disciple as embodying an aspect of a greater principle, an interpretation of a principle, correct and proper at a certain time, but capable of a different application at another time, and by another mind. Under the Law of Sacrifice these three rules might be interpreted thus:

  1. Relinquish or sacrifice the age-old tendency to criticise and adjust anothers work, and thus preserve the inner group integrity. More plans for service have gone astray and more workers have been hindered by criticism than by any other major factor.

  1. Relinquish or sacrifice the sense of responsibility for the actions of others, and particularly of disciples. See that your own activity measures up to theirs, and in the joy of struggle and on the way of service the differences will disappear and the general good will be achieved.

  1. Relinquish the pride of mind which sees its way and its interpretations to be correct and true, and others false and wrong. This is the way of separation. Adhere to the way of integration which is of the soul and not of the mind.

These are hard sayings, but they are the rules by which the Teachers on the inner side guide Their actions and Their thoughts when working with each other and with Their disciples. The inner integrity is necessarily a proven fact to Them. To the disciple it is not. But to the inner Teachers, the outer differences are abhorrent. They leave each other free to serve the Plan. They train Their disciples (no matter what their degree) to serve that Plan with freedom, for in freedom and in the sense of joy and in the strength of inner cooperative love is the best work done. It is sincerity for which They look. The willingness to sacrifice the lesser when the greater is sensed is that for which They search. The spontaneous relinquishing of long-held ideals when a greater and more inclusive presents itself is Their guide. The sacrifice of pride and the sacrifice of personality when the vastness of the work and the urgency of the need are realised, sway Them to cooperation. It is essential that the disciples shall learn to sacrifice the non-essential in order that the work may go forward. Little as one may realise it, the many techniques and methods and ways are secondary to the major world need. There are many ways and many points of view, and many experiments and many efforts—abortive or successful, and all of them come and go. But humanity remains. All of them are in evidence of the multiplicity of minds, and of experiences, but the goal remains. Difference is ever of the personality. When this Law of Sacrifice governs the mind, it will inevitably lead all disciples to relinquish the personal in favor of  the universal and of the soul, that knows no separation, no difference. Then no pride, nor a short and myopic perspective, nor love of interference (so dear to many people), nor misunderstanding of motive will hinder their cooperation with each other as disciples, nor their service to the world.

2.  

2. The Law of Magnetic Impulse

Esoteric Name:  The Law of Polar Union

Symbol:  Two fiery balls and triangle.

Ray Energy:  Radiatory energy, second ray manifesting.  

It would be well to remember that we are not considering here that aspect of the second ray which is peculiarly concerned with form, and which constitutes the cohering, magnetic agent in any form, whether atom, man or solar system. We are not here concerned with the relation between forms, even though due (as is essentially the case) to second ray energy. Nor are we occupied with considering the relation of soul to form, either that of the One Soul to the many forms, or of an individualised soul to its imprisoning form. The laws we are considering are concerned entirely with inter-soul relationship, and with the synthesis underlying the forms. They govern the conscious contact existing between the many aspects of the One Soul. I have expressed this phrase with care.

This Law of Magnetic Impulse governs the relation, the interplay, the intercourse, and the interpenetration between the seven groups of souls on the higher levels of the mental plane which constitute the first of the major form differentiations. These we can only study intelligently from the angle of the seven ray groups, as they compose the spiritual aspect of the human family. This law governs also the relationships between souls, who, whilst in manifestation through form, are en rapport with each other. It is a law, therefore, which concerns the inter-relation of all souls within the periphery of what the Christians call "the Kingdom of God." Through a right understanding of this law, the man arrives at a knowledge of his subjective life; he can wield power subjectively, and thus work consciously in form and with form, yet holding his polarisation and his consciousness in another dimension, and functioning actively behind the scenes. This law concerns those inner esoteric activities which are not primarily related to form life.

This law is of major importance because of the fact that Deity itself is on the second ray; because this is a second ray solar system, and therefore all rays and the varying states or groupings of consciousness, and all forms, in or out of physical manifestation, are coloured and dominated by this ray, and therefore again finally controlled by this law. The Law of Magnetic Impulse is in the soul realm what the Law of Attraction is in the world of phenomena. It is, in reality, the subjective aspect of that Law. It is the Law of Attraction as it functions in the kingdom of souls, but because it is functioning on those levels where the "great heresy of separateness" is not to be found, it is difficult for us—with our active, discriminating minds—to understand its implications and its significance. This Law governs the soul realm, to it the Solar Angels respond, and under its stimulation, the egoic lotuses unfold. It could perhaps be best understood if it is considered as:

  1. The impulsive interplay between souls in form and out of form.
  2. The basis of egoic recognition.
  3. The factor which produces reorientation in the three worlds.
  4. The cause of the magnetic rapport between a Master and His group, or a Master and His disciple. It has an occult name, and we call it "the Law of Polar Union." Yet when I say to you that this implies the binding of the pairs of opposites, the fusion of the dualities, and the marriage of souls, I have uttered words which—at the best—embody an ideal which is so closely tied up with material things in the mind of the aspirant, and so connected with the processes of detachment (at which disciples work so strenuously) that I despair of presenting the truth as it concerns souls and soul relationships.

This law governs also the relation of the soul of a group to the soul of other groups. It governs the interplay, vital but unrealised yet as a potency, between the soul of the fourth kingdom in nature, the human, and the soul of the three subhuman kingdoms, and likewise that of the three superhuman kingdoms. Owing to the major part which humanity has to play in the great scheme or Plan of God, this is the law which will be the determining law of the race. This will not, however, be the case until the majority of human beings understand something of what it means to function as a soul. Then, under obedience to this law, humanity will act as a transmitter of light, energy and spiritual potency to the subhuman kingdoms, and will constitute a channel of communication between "that which is above and that which is below." Such is the high destiny before the race.

Just as certain human beings have, through meditation, discipline and service, most definitely made a contact with their own souls, and can therefore become channels for soul expression, and mediums for the distribution into the world of soul energy, so men and women, who are oriented to soul living in their aggregate, form a group of souls, en rapport with the source of spiritual supply. They have, as a group, and from the angle of the Hierarchy, established a contact and are "in touch" with the world of spiritual realities. Just as the individual disciple stabilises this contact and learns to make a rapid alignment and then, and only then, can come into touch with the Master of his group and intelligently respond to the Plan, so does this group of aligned souls come into contact with certain greater Lives and Forces of Light, such as the Christ and the Buddha. The aggregated aspiration, consecration and intelligent devotion of the group carries the individuals of which it is composed to greater heights than would be possible alone. The group stimulation and the united effort sweep the entire group to an intensity of realisation that would otherwise be impossible. Just as the Law of Attraction, working on the physical plane, brought them together as men and women into one group effort, so the Law of Magnetic Impulse can begin to control them when, again as a group and only as a group, they unitedly constitute themselves channels for service in pure self-forgetfulness.

This thought embodies the opportunity immediately before all groups of aspirants and allied men of good will in the world today. If they work together as a group of souls, they can accomplish much. This thought illustrates also the significance of this law which does produce polar union. What is needed to be grasped is that in this work, there is no personal ambition implied, even of a spiritual nature and no personal union sought. This is not the mystical union of the scriptures or of the mystical tradition. It is not alignment and union with a Master's group, or fusion with one's inner band of pledged disciples, nor even with one's own Ray life. All these factors constitute preliminary implications and are of an individual application. Upon this sentence I ask you to ponder. This union is a greater and more vital thing because it is a group union.

What we are seeking to do is to carry forward a group endeavor which is of such moment that, at the right time, it could produce, in its growing momentum, such a potent, magnetic impulse that it will reach those Lives Who brood over humanity and our civilisation, and Who work through the Masters of the Wisdom and the assembled Hierarchy. This group endeavor will call forth from Them a responsive and magnetic impulse, which will bring together, through the medium of all the aspiring groups, the overshadowing beneficent Forces. Through the concentrated effort of these groups in the world today (who constitute subjectively One Group) light and inspiration and spiritual revelation can be released in such a flood of power that it will work definite changes in the human consciousness and help to ameliorate conditions in this needy world. It will open men's eyes to the basic realities, which are, as yet, only dimly sensed by the thinking public. Humanity itself must apply the necessary correctives, believing it can do so in the strength of its own sensed wisdom and strength; yet all the time, behind the scenes, stand the grouped world aspirants, working silently, in unison with each other and the Hierarchy, and thus keeping the channel open through which the needed wisdom, strength and love can flow.

There are, therefore, to be found in this great task the following relations and groupings. These must be considered, and are as follows:

  1. The Forces of Light and the Spirit of Peace, embodied Lives of tremendous group potency.
  2. The Planetary Hierarchy.
  3. The Buddha.
  4. The Christ.
  5. The New Group of World Servers.
  6. Humanity.

You will note that the Buddha focuses in Himself the downpouring forces, whilst the Christ focuses in Himself the outgoing demand and the spiritual aspirations of the entire planet. This makes a planetary alignment of great potency. Should the needed work be accomplished, the needed adjustments in the world can be made. The success or failure lies largely in the hands of those scattered but spiritually aligned men and women whom we call the New Group of World Servers.

In the above tabulation, there is portrayed a little of what is implied in the words "The Law of Polar Union." The whole process concerns consciousness, and the results worked out in consciousness, with the subsequent physical plane happenings, dependent upon the conscious realisations of the men of good will in, or out of, the New Group of World Servers.

This work, carried forward successfully and intelligently, should make it possible to inaugurate a new relation between the Hierarchy and mankind. This effort could mark (and let us hope it will) the beginning of a new type of mediatory work—a work carried forward by a salvaging group of servers, who are in training for the establishing of that group which will eventually save the world under the Law of Sacrifice. This mediatory work, however, involves the recognition of the Law of Magnetic Impulse, and a desire to understand it, and to cooperate with Those Who wield it. Through its medium and the right understanding of the Law, it should be possible to establish the needed union between the liberated souls (who are in themselves the symbol of the Soul in all forms) and the souls in prison.

For the individual disciple, the significance of this Law of Magnetic Impulse and the corresponding relationships in his own life might also be shown in tabulated form:

  1. The world of souls on the higher mental levels.
  2. The Master of his group.
  3. The solar angel.
  4. The aspiring disciple on the lower mental levels.
  5. The personality, integrated and often troublesome.
  6. The aspirant's environing associates.

It is wise always to remember that on the plane of soul existence there is no separation, no "my soul and thy soul." It is only in the three worlds of illusion and of maya that we think in terms of souls and bodies. This is an occult platitude and well known, but the re-emphasis of the well known truth will sometimes serve to bring home to you its exactitude.

The second illustration which may perhaps make clearer the meaning and purpose of this law, and which will be of deep interest to esotericists, is to be found in connection with the symbol that specifies this law in the sacred records and in the archives of the Lodge. It is the symbol of the two balls of fire and the triangle. This has not only a planetary and cosmic significance, but has a very definite relation to the individual unfoldment (in the physical body) of the spiritual life of the disciple. Let me put it very simply. Students know that there are in the head two centres, the ajna centre and the head centre; two balls of fire, symbolic of the fiery consciousness of the soul, and not of the animal consciousness of the body.

These two centres (externalised by the two glands, the pineal gland and the pituitary body) become vibrant and alive and intensely active, through service and meditation and right aspiration. A line of contact between them is eventually set up and established with increasing potency. There is also another line of outgoing fiery power toward the top of the spinal column. As the life of the soul gets stronger, the radiance of the centres increases, and the periphery of their sphere of influence is set up, creating a dual magnetic field. Speaking esoterically they are "magnetically impelled towards each other" and towards the stored up energy to be found in the spine, and localised in the five centres up the spine. Eventually the interplay is so powerful that a triangle of force appears within the radius of the magnetic field, and this triangle of light, of living fire, links the three "laya centres." The symbol is then completed, and the indication is that the disciple is now controlled by the subjective side of his nature. He is now governed by the Law of Magnetic Impulse (as the linking of the head centres demonstrates) and the two aspects of his nature, higher and lower, which constitute the two poles with which he is concerned, are now united. The polar union has been brought about. The subject of this magnetic interplay offers food for thought and indicates the way of group, and of individual service.

As the individual aspirants lose sight of self in service, and as they arrive at the stage of indifference to personality claims and happenings, they learn to cherish a spirit of confidence, of joy and of love, deep and lasting, for each other; they learn to work together whole-heartedly for the helping of the world and the assistance of the Hierarchy.

3.

3. The Law of Service

Esoteric Name:  The Law of Water and the Fishes.

Symbol:  A man with a pot of water.

Ray Energy:  Outpouring energy, sixth ray, vivifying life.

We come now to the consideration of the third Law of the Soul, which is intended to govern all soul activity. It is the Law of Service. However, before we elaborate this theme, there are three things which I seek to say and which merit our careful attention.

First, is the fact that the result of all contact achieved in meditation and the measure of our success, will be determined by the ensuing service to the race. If there is right understanding, there will necessarily be right action.

It has previously been pointed out that the three great sciences which will come to the fore in the New Age, and which will lead humanity from the unreal to the real, and from aspiration to realisation are:

  1. The science of Meditation, the coming science of the mind.
  2. The science of Antaskarana, or of the bridging which must take place between higher and lower mind.
  3. The science of Service, which is a definite technique of at-one-ment.

Secondly, this Law of Service is something which may not be escaped. Evasion brings its penalties, if that evasion is conscious. Ability to serve marks a definite stage of advance upon the Path, and until that stage is reached, spontaneous service, rendered in love and guided by wisdom, cannot be given. What is found up to that time is good intention, mixed motives, and oft fanaticism. This we will later elucidate.

This law is the imposition upon the planetary rhythm of certain energies and impulses which emanate from that sign of the zodiac into which we are steadily moving. Therefore, there is no escape. It is the effect of this force which, in some countries, is regimenting the masses in such a way that the individual serves the group by a forced negation of his personal self. His own ideas, his own personal well being and his own individuality are subordinated to the whole, and he is rendered relatively futile from the angle of his soul unfoldment. He is forced to conform, willingly or unwillingly to group conditions. This is one of the lowest manifestations of the impact of this law upon the human consciousness. In its highest expression, we have the service rendered upon the planet in all the kingdoms of nature by the Hierarchy of Masters. Between these two extreme expressions, there is a vast distinction, but both are equally brought about by response (the one consciously rendered and the other unconsciously directed) to the Law of Service.

Thirdly this Law of Service was expressed for the first time fully by the Christ two thousand years ago. He was the forerunner of the Aquarian Age, and hence His constant emphasis upon the fact that He was the "water of life", the "living water" which men needed. Hence the esoteric name of this law is that of "water and the fishes."  The Piscean age slowly, very slowly, prepared the way for the divine expression of service, which will be the glory of the coming centuries. Today, we have a world which is steadily coming to the realisation that "no man liveth unto himself", and that only as the love, about which so much has been written and spoken, finds its outlet in service, can man begin to measure up to his innate capacity.

The sign for the Aquarian Age is that of a man, carrying on his shoulders a jar of water so full that it pours over to all and sundry, and yet it diminishes not. The sign for this Law of Service is very similar, but the difference lies in this; that the man stands, perfectly balanced in the form of a cross, with arms stretched out and with the water pot upon his head. In this difference there lies much of real significance. The jar of water, posed upon the shoulders, is a sign of the burden of service. It is not easy to serve. Man is today only beginning to learn how to serve. The jar of water upon the head of the man, who has been upon the cross of sacrifice for so long a time that the position has become to him perfectly natural, indicates that the cross, which has upheld him for so long, has now disappeared. The man with the water jar upon his head indicates to us poise, equilibrium and balance. For this balance, the understanding of the Law of Magnetic Impulse has prepared him. That is the Law of Polar Union and its symbol is the originator of the zodiacal sign for the constellation Libra—balance and service. These are the two expressions of Divinity which are, today, man's next great objective.

Service is usually interpreted as exceedingly desirable and it is seldom realised how very difficult service essentially is. It involves so much sacrifice of time and of interest and of one's own ideas, it requires exceedingly hard work, because it necessitates deliberate effort, conscious wisdom, and the ability to work without attachment. These qualities are not easy of attainment by the average aspirant, and yet today the tendency to serve is an attitude which is true of a vast majority of the people in the world. Such has been the success of the evolutionary process.

Service is frequently regarded as an endeavor to bring people around to the point of view of the one who serves, because what the would-be server has found to be good and true and useful, must necessarily be good and true and useful for all. Service is viewed as something we render to the poor, the afflicted, the diseased and the unhappy, because we think we want to help them, little realising that primarily this help is offered because we ourselves are made uncomfortable by distressing conditions, and must therefore endeavor to ameliorate those conditions in order ourselves to be comfortable again. The act of thus helping releases us from our misery, even if we fail to release or relieve the sufferers.

Service is frequently an indication of a busy and overactive temperament, or of a self-satisfied disposition, which leads its possessor to a strenuous effort to change situations, and make them what he feels they should be, thus forcing people to conform to that which the server feels should be done.

Or again, service can grow out of a fanatical desire to tread in the footsteps of the Christ, that great Son of God Who "went about doing good", leaving an example that we should follow in His footsteps. People, therefore, serve from a sense of obedience, and not from a spontaneous outgoing towards the needy. The essential quality for service is, therefore, lacking, and from the start they fail to do more than make certain gestures. Service can likewise be rendered from a deep seated desire for spiritual perfection. It is regarded as one of the necessary qualifications for discipleship and, therefore, if one is to be a disciple, one must serve. This theory is correct, but the living substance of service is lacking.

The ideal is right and true and meritorious, but the motive behind it all is entirely wrong. Service can also be rendered because it is becoming increasingly the fashion and the custom to be occupied with that form of service the tide is currently on. Many are actively serving in welfare movements, in philanthropic endeavors, in Red Cross work, in educational uplifts, and in the task of ameliorating distressing world conditions. It is fashionable to serve in some way. Service gives a sense of power; service brings one friends; service is a form of group activity, and frequently brings far more to the server (in a worldly sense) than to the served.

And yet, in spite of all this which indicates wrong motives and false aspiration, service of a kind is constantly and readily being rendered. Humanity is on its way to a right understanding of services; it is becoming responsive to this new law and is learning to react to the steadily imposing will of that great Life who informs the constellation Aquarius, just as our solar Logos informs our solar system and our planetary Logos informs our earth planet.

The idea of service is, at this time, the major idea to be grasped for (in grasping it) we open ourselves wide to the new incoming influences. The Law of Service is the expression of the energy of a great Life, who, in cooperation with Him "in Whom we live and move and have our being", is subjecting the human family to certain influences and streams of energy which will eventually do three things:

  1. Awaken the heart centre in all aspirants and disciples.
  2. Enable emotionally polarised humanity to focus intelligently in the mind.
  3. Transfer the energy of the solar plexus into the heart.

This unfolding of what we might call "the consciousness of the heart" or the development of true feeling is the first step towards group awareness. This group awareness and this identification with the feeling aspect of all groups is the quality which leads to service—a service to be rendered as the Masters render it, and as the Christ demonstrated it for us in Galilee.

  1. SOME QUESTIONS ON SERVICE

Therefore, the service rendered today is what it is because the response of men to these new Aquarian influences is being registered at present in the astral body and is working out through the solar plexus. This accounts for the emotional nature of most of the service rendered in the world at this time; it is responsible for the hatred engendered by those who react sensitively to suffering and who, because of their emotional identification with suffering, lay the blame for the distressing conditions encountered upon a person or a group of persons. It is responsible also for the generally unsatisfactory nature of much of that which is now being done to relieve conditions. It is unsatisfactory from the higher angle of the soul.

When, however, the service rendered is based upon a mental response to humanity's need, then the whole problem is lifted out of the veil of illusion and out of the valley of the world glamour. Then the impulses to serve are registered in the heart centre and not in the solar plexus, and when this is more generally the case, then we shall have a happier and more successful demonstration of service.

How do we define the word "service"?

  1. What is the field of this science and why do we call it a science?
  2. What are the characteristics of the true server?
  3. What effect does service have?
  1. On the mind?
  2. On the emotions?
  3.       On the etheric body?
  1. Does this science prove that the seven key or ray types employ distinctive methods in their service?

The consideration of these questions will enable me to do three things:

  1. Show in my answers to each question that service is not a sentiment or an ideal, but that it is an effect and a scientific procedure at the same time.

  1. Indicate the need today for the right understanding of a technique which, when applied by the New Group of World Servers, will lead humanity into the world of true meaning and of real values. I will seek to show how the New Group of World Servers will work.

  1. Give some idea of how certain groups of the Masters of the Wisdom serve upon our planet at  this time.

How do we define the word "Service"?

The definition of this word is not easy. There has been too much attempt to define it from the angle of personality knowledge. Service can be briefly defined as the spontaneous effect of soul contact. This contact is so definite and fixed that the life of the soul can pour through into the instrument which the soul must perforce use upon the physical plane. It is the manner whereby the nature of that soul can demonstrate in the world of human affairs. Service is not a quality or a performance; it is not an activity towards which people must strenuously strive, nor is it a method of world salvage. This distinction must be clearly grasped, or else our whole attitude to this momentous demonstration of the success of the evolutionary process in humanity will be at fault. Service is a life demonstration. It is a soul urge, and is as much an evolutionary impetus of the soul as the urge to self-preservation or to the reproduction of the species is a demonstration of the animal soul. This is a statement of importance. It is a soul instinct, if we may use such an inadequate expression and is, therefore, innate and peculiar to soul unfoldment. It is the outstanding characteristic of the soul, just as desire is the outstanding characteristic of the lower nature. It is group desire, just as in the lower nature it is personality desire. It is the urge to group good. It cannot, therefore, be taught or imposed upon a person as a desirable evidence of aspiration, functioning from without and based upon a theory of service. It is simply the first real effect, evidenced upon the physical plane, of the fact that the soul is beginning to express itself in outer manifestation.

All these laws of the Soul (and the Law of Service is no exception) manifest inevitably in two ways. First, there is their effect upon the individual. This occurs when the soul has been definitely contacted and the mechanism of the soul begins to respond. Evidence of this should work out now among the esoteric students, scattered over the world, for they have reached a point where the true server can emerge from their ranks, and give evidence of an established soul contact. Secondly, these soul laws are beginning to have a group effect in humanity itself, and to influence the race of men as a whole.

This effect is somewhat in the nature of a reflection in the lower nature of a higher consciousness, and therefore today we have much running after service, and much philanthropic effort. All of it is, however, deeply coloured by personality, and it often produces much harm, for people seek to impose their ideas of service and their personal techniques upon other aspirants. They may have become sensitive to impression, but they oft-times misinterpret the truth and are biassed by personality ends. They must learn to lay the emphasis upon soul contact and upon an active familiarity with the egoic life, and not upon the form side of service. May I beg those of you who respond to these ideas and are sensitive to soul impression (oft-times misinterpreting the truth, being biassed by personality ends) to lay the emphasis upon soul contact and not upon the form side of service. Activity of the form side lays stress upon personality ambition, veiling them with the glamour of service. If care over the essential of service—soul contact—is taken, then the service rendered will flow with spontaneity along the right lines and bear much fruit. Of this, the selfless service and the deep flow of spiritual life, which have been demonstrated in the world work of late, is a hopeful indication.

What is the field of this science, and why do we call it a science?

The next point to consider is the field of this service, and its nature as a science. The field of service, first of all, demonstrates as the life of the Spirit, working within the region of a man's own nature. The first thing the soul has to do when contact has been made and the man knows it in his brain consciousness and owing to the active impression of the mind, is to make the man aware that he is a living principle of divinity, and then to prepare the lower threefold nature so that it can automatically submit to the Law of Sacrifice. Then it will offer no impediment to the life which must and will pour through it. This is the first and hardest task, and with this task the aspirants of the world are at this time engaged.

When the rhythm of this law has been imposed and the natural impetus of the man in incarnation is to be an expression of the soul, and when this rhythm can be established as a natural daily expression, the man begins to "stand in spiritual being" and the life which pours through him, gently and naturally, will then have an effect upon his environment and his associates. This effect can then be called a "life of service "

Too much emphasis has been laid upon the process whereby the lower nature is to be subjugated to the higher Law of Service, and the idea of sacrifice, in its worst implications, has been developed. This idea emphasises the necessary and inevitable clashing between the lower nature, working under its own laws, and the higher aspects as they work under the spiritual laws. Then the sacrifice of the lower to the higher assumes great proportions, and the word becomes quite suitable. There is sacrifice. There is suffering. There is a painful process of detachment. There is a long effort to let the life flow through, whilst steadily the personality throws up one barrier and obstruction after another. This stage and attitude we can view with sympathy and understanding, for there are those who have so much theory about service and its expression that they fail to serve and also fail to comprehend with understanding the period of pain which ever precedes enlarged service. Their theories block the way to true expression and shut the door on real comprehension. The mind element is too active.

When the personal lower self is subordinated to the higher rhythms and obedient to the new Law of Service, then the life of the soul will begin to flow through the man to others, and the effect in a man's immediate family and group will be to demonstrate a real understanding and a true helpfulness. As the flow of life becomes stronger through use, the effect will spread out from the small surrounding family group to the neighborhood. A wider range of contacts becomes possible, until eventually (if several lives have been thus spent under the influence of the Law of Service) the effect of the outpouring life may become nationwide and worldwide. But it will not be planned, nor will it be fought for, as an end in itself. It will be a natural expression of the soul's life, taking form and direction according to a man's ray and past life expression; it will be coloured and ordered by environing conditions; by time, by period, by race and age. It will be a living flow, and a spontaneous giving forth, and the life, power and love demonstrated, being sent forth from soul levels, will have a potent, attractive force upon the group units with which the disciple may come in contact in the three worlds of soul expression.

There are no other worlds wherein the soul may at this time thus express itself. Nothing can stop or arrest the potency of this life of natural, loving service, except in those cases wherein the personality gets in the way. Then service, as the Teachers on the inner side of life understand it, gets distorted and altered into busy-ness. It becomes changed into ambition, into an effort to make others serve as we think service should be rendered, and into a love of power which hinders true service instead of into love of our fellow men. There is a point of danger in every life when the theory of service is grasped, and the higher law is recognised; then the imitative quality of the personality, its monkey nature, and the eagerness of a high grade aspiration can easily mistake theory for reality, and the outer gestures of a life of service for the natural, spontaneous flow of soul life through its mechanism of expression.

The need for an increasing subtlety of discrimination is constant, and all dedicated students are urged to take stock of themselves at this time. They face a new cycle of service and must avail themselves of a new day of opportunity. There is a great need to stand in spiritual being; where there is this poised standing, there will be no need for others to incite one to service. Let the "Forces of Light" flow through, and the ranks of the world servers will be rapidly filled. Let the "Spirit of Peace" use the lower nature as an instrument, and there will be peace and harmony within the personal field of service. Let the "Spirit of Good Will" dominate our minds and there will be no room for the spirit of criticism and the spreading of destructive discussion. It is for this reason and in order to develop a group of servers who can work along true and spiritual lines, that there must be increasing emphasis upon the need for Harmlessness. Harmlessness prepares the way for the inflow of life; harmlessness dissipates the obstructions to the free outpouring of love; harmlessness is the key to the release of the lower nature from the grip of the world illusion and from the power of phenomenal existence.

We have expressed our belief that one of the major sciences of the coming age will be built up around the active rendering of service. We have used the word "Science" because service, as a spiritual quality, will rapidly be recognised as the phenomenal expression of an inner reality, and along the line of a right understanding of service will come much revelation as to the nature of the soul. Service is a method of producing phenomenal outer and tangible results upon the physical plane; I call your attention to this as an evidence of its creative quality. By right of this creative quality, service will eventually be regarded as a world science. It is a creative urge, a creative impulse, a creative momentous energy. This creativity of service has already been vaguely recognized in the world of human affairs under varying names, such as the science of vocational training. Recognition of the impetus coming from a right understanding of social relations and their study is not lacking. Much is also being studied along this same line in connection with criminology and the right handling of the youth of any nation and national group.

Service is, par excellence, the technique of correct group relations, whether it be the right guidance of an anti-social child in a family, the wise assimilation of a trouble-maker in a group, the handling of anti-social groups in our big cities, the correct technique to be employed in child guidance in our educational centres or the relation between the religious and political parties, or between nation and nation. All of this is part of the new and growing Science of Service. The imposition of this soul law will eventually bring light into a distracted world, and release human energies in right directions. It is not here possible to do more than indicate this briefly. The theme is too large, for it includes the awakening of the spiritual consciousness with its responsibilities, and the welding of the individual into an awakened group; it involves the imposition also of a newer and a higher rhythm upon world affairs. This constitutes, therefore, a definitely scientific endeavor and warrants the attention of the best minds. It should also eventually call forth the consecrated effort of the world disciples.

What are the characteristics of the true server?

These characteristics can be easily and briefly noted. They are not exactly what one may have been led to believe. I am not here speaking of the qualifications required for the treading of the Path of Discipleship or the Probationary Path. These are well known; they are the platitudes of the spiritual life, and constitute the battleground, or the Kurukshetra of most aspirants. We are here concerned with those qualities which will emerge when a man is working under the impulse of the Law of Service. They will appear when he is a real channel for the life of the soul. His major characteristics will then be three in number:

  1. He will be distinguished, as might be expected, by the quality of harmlessness, and by an active refraining from those acts and that speech which might hurt or cause any misunderstanding. By no word, suggestion, implication, innuendo or voiced dissatisfaction will he hurt his group. You will note that I do not say "will not hurt any individual." Those working under the Law of Service need no reminder not to hurt any individual. They often need, under the exuberance of spiritual stimulation and the intensity of their aspiration, to be reminded to demonstrate group harmlessness.

  1. The second characteristic is a willingness to let others serve as seems best to them, knowing that the life flowing through the individual server must find its own channels and outlets, and that direction of these currents can be dangerous and prevent the rendering of the intended service. The server's efforts will be turned in two directions:
  1. To the task of helping others to "stand in spiritual being", as he himself is learning to stand.
  2. To aiding the individual to express his service in his chosen field as he desires to express it, and not as the onlooking helper deems that he should do it.

3.    The third characteristic of the new server is joyfulness. This takes the place of criticism (that dire creator of misery) and is the silence that sounds.

It would be well to ponder on these last words, for their true meaning cannot be conveyed in words, but only through a life dedicated to the newer rhythms and to the service of the whole. Then that "sounding joy" and that "joyful sounding" can make its true meaning felt.

What effect does service have upon the mind, the emotions and the etheric body?

It must be remembered that it is through its effects that the scientist of the future will begin to deduce the effectual existence of an inner cause, of an inner reality, or of a self or soul. When alignment has been effected, when the at-one-ment has been more constantly made, and when the antaskarana (the bridge connecting the higher and the lower) is in definite process of construction, the true nature of service, as practiced by any individual begins to emerge. The first effect of the inflowing force of the soul, which is the major factor leading to demonstrated service, is to integrate the personality, and to bring all the three lower aspects of the man into one serving whole. This is a difficult and elementary stage from the angle of the student in the Hall of Wisdom. The man becomes aware of his power and capacity, and, having pledged himself to service, he begins furiously to serve; he creates this, that and the other channel for the expression of the force which is driving him; he tears down and destroys just as fast as he creates.

He temporarily becomes a serious problem to the other servers with whom he may be associated, for he sees no vision but his own, and the aura of criticism which surrounds him and the strenuous push of the assertive force within him produces the stumbling of the "little ones" and there has to be constant repair work undertaken (on his behalf) by older, more experienced disciples. He becomes the victim, for the time, of his own aspiration to serve, and of the force which is flowing through him. This stage will in some cases fan into flame the latent seeds of ambition. This ambition is, in the last analysis, only the personality urge towards betterment, and in its right place and time is a divine asset, but it has to be rooted out when the personality becomes the instrument of the soul. In other cases, the server will come into a wider and more loving vision, and, taking his eyes off his own accomplishment, will go to work in silent unison with the groups of all true servers. He will submerge his personality tendencies, his ideas and his ambitions in the greater good of the whole, and self will be lost to sight.

As the work of learning to serve proceeds and the inner contact becomes more sure, the next thing which will occur will be a deepening of the life of meditation, and a more frequent illumining of the mind by the light of the soul. Thereby the Plan is revealed. This will not be the shedding of that light upon the plans of the server either for his own life or upon his chosen field of service. This must be clearly grasped. That might only indicate (if it seems to occur) the mental agility of the server to find means for the justification of his own ambition. It will be the recognition, in the mind, of the Plan of God for the world at the particular time in which the server is existing, and the part that he may play in furthering the ends of those who are responsible for the carrying forward of that Plan. He then becomes willing to be a tiny part of a greater Whole, and this attitude never varies, even when the disciple has become a Master of the Wisdom. He is then in contact with a still vaster concept of the Plan and His humility and His sense of proportion remain unchanged.

An integrated, intelligent personality is adequate to deal with the working out of the server's part in the active work of the world, provided his vision is not blurred by personal ambition nor his activity such that it degenerates into a sense of rush and a display of busy feverishness. It takes the soul itself to reveal to the poised and peaceful mind the next step to be taken in the work of world evolution, through the impartation of ideas. Such is the Plan for humanity.

As the force pours through the personality and gives to the server this necessary vision and the sense of power which will enable him to cooperate, it finds its way into the emotional or astral body. Here again the effect will be dual, owing to the condition of the server's astral body and his inner orientation. It may enhance the glamour and deepen the illusion, swinging the server into the psychic illusory effects there to be found. When this happens, he will emerge upon the physical plane glamoured by the idea, for instance, of his amazing personal contacts, whereas he has only contacted some group thought-form of the Great Ones. He will be under the illusion that he is a chosen vessel or mouthpiece for the Hierarchy, when the truth is that he is deceived by the many voices, because the Voice of the Silence has been dimmed by the clamour of the astral plane; he will be deluded by the idea that there is no other way but his way. Such an illusion and deception is common among teachers and workers everywhere today, because so many are definitely making a contact with their souls, and are being swept then into the desire for service; they are not yet free, however, from ambition, and their orientation is still basically towards personality expression, and not to the merging of themselves in the Group of World Servers. If however they can avoid glamour, and can discriminate between the Real and the unreal, then the inflowing force will flood their lives with effective unselfish love and with devotion to the Plan, to those whom the Plan serves, and to Those Who serve the Plan. Note the sequence of these attitudes, and govern yourselves accordingly. There will then be no room for self- interest, self-assertiveness, or selfish ambition. All that is considered is the need and the driving necessity to take the next immediate step to meet that need as it demonstrates before the server's eyes.

With the heart and mind then functioning together (either in selfish coalition for the presentation of an active personality, or in dedicated selflessness and the attitude which is oriented towards soul guidance) the force, flowing through the server will galvanise his etheric body into activity. Then, automatically, the physical body will respond. There is, consequently, a great need for the server to pause upon the astral plane, and there, in a holy and controlled silence, wait, before permitting the force to pour through into the centres in the etheric body. This point of silence is one of the mysteries of spiritual unfoldment. Once the force or energy of the soul—preserved in its purity, or tainted and sidetracked on its way through into physical manifestation—has reached the etheric body, there is nothing more to be done by the average disciple. The result, when it reaches that point, is inevitable and effective. The inner thought and the desire life determine the activity which will be expressed physically. When the force comes through in purity, it brings the centres above the diaphragm steadily into activity; when it comes through, tainted by personality trends, it uses primarily the solar plexus, and then sweeps into manifestation all the astral illusions, the grandiose delusions and the glamours of egoistic phenomena, using the word "egoistic" in its usual worldly, psychological connotation. This can easily be seen today among the leaders of various groups.

  1. DISTINCTIVE METHODS OF RAY SERVICE

Does this science prove that the seven ray types employ distinctive methods in service?

As time goes on this will be proved decidedly, and each ray worker and server will be found to render his service along peculiar and specific lines. These indicate for him the line of least resistance and, consequently, of the greatest efficiency. These methods and techniques will constitute the inner structure of the coming Science of Service, and they will be discovered through the admission of the Ray hypothesis and an observation of the methods employed by these clearly isolated Ray types and groups. These differing ways of service, all of them, work in conformity with the Plan, and together produce a synthetic whole. The ray or rays in manifestation at any one time will determine the general trend of the world service, and those servers whose egoic ray is in incarnation, and who are endeavoring to work with right activity, will find their work facilitated if they understand that the trend of affairs is with them and that they are following the line of least resistance at that period. They will work with greater facility than will the disciples and aspirants whose egoic ray is out of manifestation. This recognition will lead to a careful study of times and seasons, thus there will be no waste effort, and real advantage can be taken of the qualifications and aptitudes of the servers available. All will be in conformity with the Plan.

The emergence of the New Group of World servers today is an indication that there are enough egoic ray types in physical manifestation, and that a sufficient number of personalities are responding to soul contact, so that a group can be formed that can be definitely impressed as a group. This is the first time that such a situation has been possible. Up till this century, individuals could be impressed, here and there, in different parts of the world, and at widely separated times and periods. But today a group can respond and their numbers are relatively so great that there can be formed upon the planet a group composed of a number of persons of such radiatory activity that their auras can meet and contact each other. Thus one group—subjective and objective—can be functioning.

The seven ray types will work in the following ways, which I am stating very briefly for to do more than that might limit the expression of those who do not know enough to be discriminating as to their characteristics, and might unduly qualify and colour the experience of those servers who recognise (as some already do) their ray. They might, with entirely good intention, seek to force the ray qualities of their souls into dominance before the personality ray is adequately known or controlled. Other servers frequently confuse the two rays and deem their soul ray to be of a particular type, whereas it is only their personality ray to which they predominantly conform, and by which they are pre-eminently governed.

Ray I. Servers on this ray, if they are trained disciples, work through what might be called the imposition of the Will of God upon the minds of men. This they do through the powerful impact of ideas upon the minds of men, and the emphasis of the governing principles which must be assimilated by humanity. These ideas, when grasped by the aspirant bring about two developments. First, they initiate a period of destruction and of a breaking up of that which is old and hindering, and this is later followed by the clear shining forth of the new idea and its subsequent grasping by the minds of intelligent humanity. These ideas embody great principles, and constitute the New Age ideas. These servers, therefore, work as God's destroying angels, destroying the old forms, but nevertheless, behind it all lies the impetus of love.

With the average aspirant, however, who is on the first ray, the activity is not so intelligent. He grasps the idea that is needed by the race, but he will seek to impose it primarily as his idea, something which he has seen and grasped and which impatiently he seeks to impose upon his fellow men for their good, as he sees it. He inevitably destroys as fast as he builds, and finally destroys himself. Many worthy aspirants and disciples in training for service at this time work in this sad way

.

Ray II. Servers on this ray ponder, meditate upon and assimilate the new ideas associated with the Plan, and by the power of their attractive love, they gather together those who are at that point in their evolution where they can respond to the measure and rhythm of that Plan. They can select, and train those who can "carry" the idea deeper into the mass of humanity. We should not forget that the work of the Hierarchy at this time, and the task of the new Group of World Servers is primarily associated with ideas. The disciples and servers on the second Ray are "busy building habitations for those dynamic entities whose function it has ever been to charge the thoughts of men and so to usher in that new and better age which will permit the fostering of the souls of men." By magnetic, attractive, sympathetic understanding, and the use use of slow action, based on love, do the servers on this ray work.

Ray III. The servers on this ray have a special function at this time in stimulating the intellect of humanity, sharpening it and inspiring it. They work, manipulating ideas so as to make them more easy of comprehension by the mass of intelligent men and women who are to be found in the world ar this time and whose intuition is not yet awakened. Ideas are taken by the third ray aspirant, as they emerge from the elevated consciousness of Those for whom the first ray works and are rendered attractive by the second ray worker (attractive in the esoteric sense) and adapted to the immediate need and rendered vocal by the force of the intellectual third ray types. In this lies a hint for many of the third ray personalities to be found working in various fields of service at this time.

Ray IV. This ray is not in incarnation at the time and therefore few fourth ray egos are available in world service. There are, however, many fourth ray personalities and they can learn much by the study of the work of the New Group of World Servers. The major task of the fourth ray aspirant is to harmonise the new ideas with the old, so that there can be no dangerous gap or break. They are those who bring about a "righteous compromise", and adapt the new and the old so that the true pattern is preserved. They are engaged with the bridging process, for they are the true intuitives and have a capacity for the art of synthesis so that their work most definitely can help in bringing forward a true presentation of the divine picture.

Ray V. The servers on this ray are coming rapidly into prominence. They are those who investigate the form in order to find its hidden idea, its motivating power, and to this end they work with ideas, proving them either true or false. They gather into their ranks those whose personalities are on this ray and train them in the art of scientific investigation. From the sensed spiritual ideas, lying behind the form side of manifestation, from the many discoveries in the ways of God with man and nature, from the inventions (which are but materialised ideas) and from the witness to the Plan which law portrays, they are preparing that new world in which men will work and live a more deeply conscious, spiritual life. Disciples working along these lines in every country today are more active than at any other time in human history. They are, knowingly and unknowingly, leading men into the world of meaning, and their discoveries will eventually end the present era of unemployment, and their inventions and improvements, added to the steadily growing idea of group interdependence will eventually ameliorate human conditions so that an era of peace and leisure can supervene.

Ray VI. The effect of the activity of this ray, during the past two thousand years, has been to train humanity in the art of recognising ideals, which are the blue prints of ideas. The main work of the disciples on this ray is to capitalise on the developed tendency of humanity to recognise ideas, and— avoiding the rocks of fanaticism, and the dangerous shoals of superficial desire—train the world thinkers so ardently to desire the good, the true and the beautiful, that the idea which should materialise in some form on earth can shift from the plane of the mind and clothe itself in some form on earth.

Some people have to be galvanised into activity by an idea. With these the first ray disciple can be effective. Others can be reached more easily by an ideal, and will then subordinate their personal lives and wishes to that ideal. With these the sixth ray disciple works with facility, and this he should endeavor to do, teaching men to recognise the truth, holding steadily before them the ideal, restraining them from a too energetic and fanatical display of interest, in the need for the long pull. The sixth ray, it should be remembered, when it constitutes the personality ray of a man or a group, can be far more destructive than the first ray, for there is not so much wisdom to be found, and, as it works through desire of some kind, it is following the line of least resistance for the masses, and can therefore the more easily produce physical plane effects. Sixth ray people need handling with care, for they are too one pointed and too full of personal desire, and the tide of evolution has been with this type for a very long time. But the sixth ray method of evoking desire for the materialising of an ideal is indispensable, and, fortunately, there are many aspirants and disciples on this ray available today.

Ray VII. This ray provides at this time an active and necessary grouping of disciples who are eager to aid the Plan. Their work lies naturally on the physical plane. They can organise the evoked ideal which will embody as much of the idea of God as the period and humanity can evidence and produce in form upon the earth. Their work is potent and necessary and calls for much skill in action. This is the ray that is coming into power. None of these ray participants in the hierarchical crusade today can really work without each other, and no group can carry on alone. The difference between the methods of the old age and that of the new can be seen expressed in the idea of leadership by one and leadership by a group. It is the difference between the imposition of an individual's response to an idea upon his fellow men and the reaction of a group to an idea, producing group idealism and focalising it into definite form, carrying forward the emergence of the idea without the dominance of any one individual. This is the major task today of the seventh ray disciple, and to this end he must bend every energy. He must speak those Words of Power which are a group word, and embody the group aspiration in an organised movement, which, it will be noted is quite distinct from an organisation.

All these rays work today for the carrying out of a specific group idea of seven Masters Who, through Their picked and chosen servers, are actively participating in the work which is the initiator work of the seventh ray. It is also linked up with the incoming Aquarian influence. The Masters, with their large group of disciples, functioning on all the five planes of human unfoldment, have studied minutely Their accepted disciples, the disciples under supervision and not yet accepted, and the aspirants of the world. They have selected a number of them to weld together into a group upon the outer physical plane. The basis of this selection is:

  1. Sensitivity to the Aquarian influence.
  2. Willingness to work in a group as an integral part of the group, and having no idea of personal ambition or any wish to be a leader. Where the desire to be a leader exists, that disciple is automatically (though only temporarily) disqualified for this particular endeavor. He can still do good work, but it will be secondary work, and more closely affiliated with the old age than with the work of the New Group of World Servers.
  3. A dedication that holds nothing back that can rightly be given.
  4. A harmlessness which, though not yet perfected, exists as an ideal towards which the aspirant is constantly striving.

  1. 4. The Law of Repulse

Esoteric Name:  The Law of all Destroying Angels.

Symbol:  The Angel with the Flaming Sword.

Ray Energy:  The rejecting energy of the first ray.

We have here a most interesting law to consider. It is one of the major divine laws with which the Pilgrim has much to do on his weary, age-long way, back to the centre. It is the fourth law governing or controlling the life of the soul.

First of all, it is well to realise that this law has certain characteristics and basic effects which might be briefly enumerated as follows:

  1. The energy displayed is dissipating in its effect. This law works as a dispersing agent.

  1. When in active expression, it causes an active scattering or rejection of the aspects of form life.

  1. It produces a discriminating contact which leads eventually to what is esoterically called "the Way of divine refusal."

  1. It is, nevertheless, an aspect of the Law of Love, of the Vishnu or Christ aspect, and concerns an attitude of the soul, whose essential nature is love.

  1. This law expresses itself through the mind nature, and therefore can only make its presence and influence felt upon the Path of Discipleship.

  1. It is the prime pre-requisite to true self-knowledge. It reveals at the same time that it divides or scatters.

  1. It works through love and for the interest of the unit; the form and the existence which finally repulses the form.

  1. It is an aspect of one of the greatest cosmic laws, the Law of the Soul, which is the cosmic Law of Attraction, for that which is attracted in time is automatically and eventually repulsed by that which attracted it in the first instance.

This law is one which primarily begins to impress the divine purpose upon the consciousness of the aspirant, and dictates to him those higher impulses and those spiritual decisions which mark his progress upon the Path. It is the demonstration of the first ray quality (a subray influence of the second ray), for it should be remembered that to repulse a form, a situation or a condition may be the evidence of spiritual love in the agent of repulsion. This is well pictured for us in the ancient symbol of the Angel with the flaming sword, who stands before the gate of Paradise to turn away those who seek the fancied security of that shelter and condition. This angel acts in love, and has so acted down the ages, for that state of realisation which we call Paradise is a place of essential danger for all, save those who have earned the right to sojourn there. The angel protects the unready aspirant (not the place which he seeks to enter) and safeguards him from the risks and perils of that initiation which must be undergone before he can pass through the five divisions of Paradise to the place where light dwells and the Masters of the Wisdom live and work. This is the thought which lies behind the Masonic procedure whereby the Tyler stands outside the door of the Lodge with a drawn sword to protect the secrets of the Craft from the unready.

I would remind you also that as this law is an aspect of the fundamental Law of Love, it concerns the psyche or soul, and therefore its function is to further the spiritual interests of the true man, and to demonstrate the power of the second aspect, the Christ consciousness, and the power of divinity. It "rejects the undesirable in order to find that which the heart craves, and thus leads the weary pilgrim from one rejection to another, until with unerring choice he makes the Great Decision."

We will divide what we have to say about the functioning and effect of the Law of Repulse into three parts:

  1. The Law of Repulse, and the function and quality of desire.
  2. The Law of Repulse, as it expresses itself upon the Paths of Discipleship and Initiation.
  3. The Law of Repulse, as it "drives in seven directions, and forces all that it contacts back unto the bosom of

         the seven spiritual Fathers."

This law works through the soul in all forms. It does not literally affect matter, except in so far as form is affected when the soul "withdraws", or occultly "repudiates." It will be apparent, therefore, that our understanding of its activity will depend largely upon the measure of soul force of which we may individually be aware, and the extent of our soul contact. Our point upon the ladder of evolution will govern our manipulation of this law (if such a term may be used), and determine our capacity to be sensitive to its impact. If we are unable to respond to its influence in any measure, that in itself is sufficient to indicate our development. Unless the mind is active, and unless we are beginning intelligently to use the mind, there is no medium or channel through which this influence can flow or work. Never let it be forgotten that this influence or law of our spiritual being is that which reveals the will, plan or purpose of the divine life, as it expresses itself in the individual or in humanity as a whole. Let us never forget that unless there is a thread of light to act as a channel, that which this law can convey will remain unknown, unrealised and useless. These laws are the laws which govern predominantly the Spiritual Triad, that divine Triplicity which expresses itself through the medium of the soul, just as the three aspects of the soul, in their turn, reflect themselves through the personality.

Therefore, all that can be imparted in connection with this law can be comprehended only by the man who is beginning to be spiritually awakened. The three laws which we have already considered deal with the specific spiritual influences which emanate from the three tiers of petals which compose the egoic lotus. (See A Treatise on Cosmic Fire.)

  1. The Law of Sacrifice                The Petals of Sacrifice
  2. The Law of Magnetic Impulse         The Petals of Love
  3. The Law of Service                The Petals of Knowledge

This fourth Law of Repulse works through the first Law of Sacrifice and carries to the aspirant the quality, influence and tendency of the Spiritual Triad, the threefold expression of the Monad. Its full force is felt only after the third initiation, in which the power of the Spirit is, for the first time, consciously felt. Up to that time it has been the growing control of the soul which was primarily registered. Therefore we have:

  1. The Law of Repulse.        

Atma. Spiritual Will. This Fourth Law influence comes via the egoic petals of sacrifice and the subsidiary

Law of Sacrifice.

  1. 5. The Law of Group Progress.        

Buddhi. Spiritual Love. This Fifth Law comes via the love petals of the egoic lotus,and the subsidiary Law of

Magnetic Impulse.

  1. The Law of Expansive Response.

Manas. Higher spiritual mind.  This Sixth Law comes via the knowledge petals and the subsidiary Law of

Service.

These higher spiritual laws reflect themselves in the three lower spiritual laws, finding their way into the lower consciousness via the egoic lotus and the antaskarana. This statement is the second basic postulate in connection with our study of this Law of Repulse, the first postulate being the earlier statement that unless there is a thread of light to act as a channel, that which this law conveys will remain unknown and unrealised.

These six laws give us the key to the entire psychological problem of every human being, and there is no condition which is not produced by the conscious or unconscious reaction of man, to these basic influences—the natural and spiritual laws. If psychologists would accept the three basic laws of the universe, and the seven laws through which they express their influence, they would arrive at an understanding of the human being far more rapidly than is now the case. The three major laws are, as has been stated elsewhere:

  1. The Law of Economy. This governs primarily the instinctual nature of man.
  2. The Law of Attraction, which governs the soul aspect in man and in all forms of life, from an atom to a

solar system.

  1. The Law of Synthesis, which will govern man when he has arrived at the Path of Initiation, but which as yet means but little in his development.

There are, then, the seven minor Laws which produce the evolutionary unfoldment of man, the person, and man, the soul. These are:

  1. The Law of Vibration, the atomic law of the solar system.
  2. The Law of Cohesion, an aspect of the Law of Attraction.
  3. The Law of Disintegration.
  4. The Law of Magnetic Control, governing the control of the personality by the spiritual nature via the soul.
  5. The Law of Fixation. By means of this law the mind controls and stabilises.
  6. The Law of Love, whereby the lower desire nature is transmuted.
  7. The Law of Sacrifice and Death.

These seven laws concern the form side of life. To these ten laws must be added the seven laws of the soul which we are here considering. These begin to play upon the man and produce his more rapid spiritual unfoldment after he has been subjected to the discipline of the Probationary Path, or the Path of Purification. He is then ready to tread the final stages of the Path.

These seven laws are the basis of all true psychological understanding and, when their influence is better grasped, man will arrive at real self knowledge. He will then be ready for the fourth initiation which releases him from all further need for rebirth. This is the truth which underlies the Masonic teaching, which is given under the symbolism of the first eighteen degrees. These can be divided into four groups of degrees: Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, (followed by the Mark degree) Master Mason (followed by the H.R.A.) and the grouped degrees, four to seventeen, in the Scottish Rite.

These seventeen degrees prepare the man for the fourth or fundamental degree, taken by a man who is a Master Mason. It can only be taken when the Master is in possession of the true Lost Word. He has risen from the dead; he has been entered, passed, and raised, and now can be perfected. Herein lies a great mystery. These seventeen degrees, leading to the first great step, (taken by the risen Master) are subjectively related to the seventeen laws which we have been considering. There is a parallelism worth noting between:

  1. The eighteen laws:
  1. The three major laws of the universe,
  2. The seven minor laws of the solar system,
  3. The seven basic laws of the soul, plus what we might call the great law of Deity Itself, the law of God's

        synthetic purpose.

  1. The eighteen subplanes through which man makes his way:
  1. The seven physical subplanes.
  2. The seven astral or emotional-desire subplanes.
  3. The four lower mental subplanes.

  1. The eighteen degrees in Masonry, from that of the Entered Apprentice to that of the perfected initiate of

        the Rose Croix Chapter.

  1. The eighteen centres of force with which the spiritual man has to work:
  1. The seven centres in the etheric body.
  2. The seven centres in the astral body.
  3. The three rows of petals in the egoic lotus.
  4. The "Jewel in the Lotus", at the heart of the "flower of the soul", which makes the eighteenth centre.

An understanding of these symbolic relations will do much to clarify the way of the soul in a body, and will constitute the basis of all true esoteric psychological study.

a.    THE LAW OF REPULSE AND DESIRE

The section with which we have now to deal will concern itself specifically with the major problem of humanity. We shall, however, touch upon it most briefly, and will deal particularly with the aspect of it which shifts from the problem as it concerns the aspirant to the problem of the disciple. Underlying the entire psychological problem of humanity as a whole lies that major attitude towards existence which we characterise as Desire. All lesser complexities are based upon, subservient to, or are emergent from, this basic urge. Freud calls this urge "sex," which is, nevertheless, only another name for the impetus of attraction for the not-self. Other psychologists speak of this dominant activity as the "wishlife" of humanity, and account for all allied characteristic tendencies, all emotional reactions and the trend of the mental life, in terms of the underlying wishes, longings and acquisitive aspirations as "defence mechanisms," or "ways of escape" from the inevitability of environing conditions. To these longings and wishes and the labour incidental to their fulfillment, all men give their lives; and everything done is in an effort to meet the realised need, to face the challenge of existence with the demand for happiness, for heaven, and for the eventual fulfillment of the hoped-for ideal state.

Everything is governed by some form of urgency towards satisfaction, and this is distinctive of man's search at every stage of his development—whether it is the instinctual urge to self-preservation, which can be seen in the savage's search for food or in the economic problems of the modern civilised man; whether it is the urge to self-reproduction and the satisfaction of that appetite which works out today in the complexity of the sex life of the race; whether it is the urge to be popular, loved and esteemed; whether it is the urge for intellectual enjoyment and the mental appropriation of truth, or the deep- seated desire for heaven and rest which characterises the Christian, or the aspiration for illumination which is the demand of the mystic, or the longing for identification with reality which is the "wish" of the occultist. All this is desire in some form or another, and by these urges humanity is governed and controlled; I would say most definitely controlled, for this is only a simple statement of the case.

It is this realisation of man's fundamental bias or controlling factor that lies behind the teaching given by the Buddha, and which is embodied in the Four Noble Truths of the Buddhist philosophy, which can be summarised as follows:

The Four Noble Truths:

  1. Existence in the phenomenal universe is inseparable from suffering and sorrow.
  2. The cause of suffering is desire for existence in the phenomenal universe.
  3. The cessation of suffering is attained by eradicating desire for phenomenal existence.
  4. The Path to the cessation of suffering is the noble eightfold path.

It was the realisation of the urgency of man's need to be delivered from his own desire-nature which led Christ to emphasise the necessity to seek the good of one's neighbor in contra-distinction to one's own good, and to advise the life of service and self-sacrifice, of self-forgetfulness and love of all beings. Only in this way can man's mind and "the eye of the heart" be turned away from one's own needs and satisfaction to the deeper demands of the race itself.

Until a man stands upon the Path of Perfection, he cannot really grasp the imperative demand of his own soul for release from the search for outer, material, tangible satisfaction, and from desire. It has been this demand which indicated the soul's need to incarnate and to function, for a needed period, under the Law of Rebirth. As the work of purification proceeds upon the Path of Purification, this demand for release becomes stronger and clearer, and when the man steps out upon the Path of Discipleship, then the Law of Repulse can, for the first time, begin to control his reactions. This takes place unconsciously at first, but it becomes more potent and more consciously appreciated as the disciple takes one initiation after another, with increasingly pointed understanding.

It is not our intention in this Treatise to deal with the development of the unevolved and undeveloped man in connection with these Laws of the Soul. I seek only to clear the way of the highly intelligent man, the aspirants of the world and the world disciples. The progress of the undeveloped and the average man can be covered by the following statements, taken sequentially and describing the stages of his progress under the promptings of desire:

  1. The urge to experience, to exist, and to satisfy the instinctual nature.
  2. Experience, grasping, existing, followed by renewed demand for more satisfying compliances of fate or destiny.
  3. Cycle after cycle of demand for satisfaction, a period of satisfaction of a temporary nature, and then further demands. This is the story of the race.
  4. Experience, steadily sought and pursued upon the three planes of human evolution.
  5. Then the same experience, but this time as an integrated personality.
  6. Demand met until satiety is reached, for in time all men do eventually achieve that which they demand.
  7. Then comes the demand for inner spiritual compliances, happiness and bliss. The "heaven wish" becomes powerful.
  8. A vague realisation that two things are needed; purification and the power to choose aright, which is right discrimination.
  9. A vision of the pairs of opposites.
  10. The realisation of the narrow path which leads between these pairs of opposites.
  11. Discipleship and the repulsing or repudiation (over a long period of time), of the not-self.

Such, briefly and inadequately stated, is the story of man as he searches for happiness, for joy and for bliss, or (expressing it in terms of realisation) as he progresses from the life of the instincts to that of the intellect, and then from that intellectual apprehension to the stage of illumination and final identification with reality, when he is henceforth freed from the Great Illusion.

Two things determine the rapidity with which he can—upon the Path of Discipleship—bring the Law of Repulse into play. One is the quality of his motive. Only the desire to serve is adequate to bring about the necessary reorientation and subjection to the new technique of living. The other is his willingness, at all costs, to be obedient to the light which is in him and around him. Service and obedience are the great methods of release, and constitute the underlying causes which will bring the Law of Repulse into play, thus aiding the aspirant to attain the longed-for liberation. Service releases him from his own thought life and self-determination. Obedience to his own soul integrates him into the larger whole, wherein his own desires and urges are negated in the interest of the wider life of humanity and of God Himself. God is the Great Server and expresses His divine life through the Love of His heart for humanity.

Yet, when these simple truths are enunciated and we are urged to serve our brother and to obey our soul, it seems to us so familiar and so uninteresting that it can evoke but little response. If we were told that the following of a prescribed form of meditation, the practicing of a definite formula of breathing, and regular concentration upon a specific centre would release us from the wheel of life and identify us with the spiritual self and its world of being, gladly and willingly and joyously would we follow out instructions. But when, in the terms of the occult science, we are told to serve and obey, we are not interested. Yet service is the mode, par excellence, for awakening the heart centre, and obedience is equally potent in evoking the response of the two head centres to the impact of soul force, and unifying them into one field of soul recognition. So little do men understand the potency of their urges.

If the urge to satisfy desire is the basic urge of the form life of man, the urge to serve is an equally basic urge of the soul in man. This is one of the most important statements in this section. It is as yet seldom satisfied. Indications of its presence are ever to be found, nevertheless, even in the most undesirable types of human beings; it is evolved in moments of high destiny or immediate urgency, and of supreme difficulty. The heart of man is sound, but oft asleep.

Serve and obey are the watchwords of the disciple's life. They have been distorted into terms of fanatical propaganda and have thus produced the formulas of philosophy and of religious theology; but these formulas do, at the same time, veil a truth. They have been presented to the consideration of man in terms of personality devotions and of obedience to Masters and leaders, instead of service of, and obedience to, the soul in all. The truth is, however, steadily emerging, and must inevitably triumph. Once the aspirant upon the Probationary Path has a vision of this (no matter how slight it may be), then the law of desire which has governed him for ages will slowly and surely give place to the Law of Repulse, which will, in time, free him from the thralldom of not-self. It will lead him to those discriminations and that dispassionate attitude which is the hallmark of the man who is on his way to liberation.

  1. THE LAW OF REPULSE UPON THE PATHS OF DISCIPLESHIP AND INITIATION

When the discriminating sense (the spiritual correspondence of the sense of smell, the last of the five senses to emerge in humanity)  has been adequately developed in the aspirant, and he knows the pairs of opposites and has gained a vision of that which is neither of them, then he can pass on to the Path of Discipleship and enter upon the arduous task of cooperating with the spiritual laws, particularly with the Law of Repulse. At first, he hardly recognises the influence of this Law. It is as difficult for him to grasp its implications and to measure its possible effects as it would be for the average working man, with a mediocre education and a total ignorance of esotericism, to grasp the significance of such an occult truth as that expressed in the words: "The construction of the antaskarana between higher and lower manas by the divine Agnishvatta, the solar angel, functioning through the egoic lotus, is the task to be carried forward during the contemplative stage of meditation." This statement is relatively simple to grasp intellectually by the average occult student, but is utterly meaningless to the man of the world. The Law of Repulse is equally difficult of understanding by the disciple as he enters upon the Path. He has to learn to recognise its influence; then he must himself learn to do three things:

  1. Through service, steadily to decentralise himself and thus begin occultly to "repulse" the personality. He must see to it that his motive is love for all beings, and not desire for his own release.

  1. Through an understanding of the pairs of opposites, he begins, esoterically, to "isolate" the "noble middle path" of which the Buddha spoke.

  1. Through comprehension of the words of Christ, enjoining men to "let their light shine," he begins to construct the "path of light" which leads to the centre of life and guides him out of darkness into light, from the unreal to the real, and from death to immortality. This is the true path of the antaskarana, which the disciple weaves from out of himself (speaking symbolically), just as the spider weaves his thread.

Service, an understanding of the Way, and the building of the true line of escape—that is the task to be carried forward upon the Path of Discipleship. Such is the object set before all the students of the esoteric sciences at this time; provided they desire it enough, and can train themselves to work selflessly for their fellow men. As they succeed in doing this and approximate ever more closely to that which is not the pairs of opposites (and thus achieve "the Central Way"), steadily the Law of Repulse begins to swing into operation. When the third initiation is taken, this law will begin to hold the dominant place in the ruling of the life.

The way of discrimination, the method of dispassion and the discipline of the life have been made plain and clear by the teachings of the past two thousand years, and through the many books written to emphasise the teaching of the Christ and of the Buddha. Through a right understanding of these, right choice can be made, and that which should not be cherished or desired can be "repulsed". Many an earnest student (such as those who will read this Treatise) has found it of advantage to write down for himself his own personal understanding of the four words:

  1. Discrimination
  2. Dispassion
  3. Discipline
  4. Decentralisation

One page given to each definition should suffice, if it embodies truly one's highest thought. Students will realise that as they practice these four virtues, the prime characteristics of a disciple, they are thereby automatically calling into play the Law of Repulse, which, upon the Path of Initiation, brings revelation and realisation. The expression of this law upon the Path of Initiation is too advanced for those who are not yet versed in the basic discriminations, and who are still far from being dispassionate. Is there need therefore to enlarge upon this law as it works out in the life of the initiate? I think not. The disciple seeks to achieve, without passion, pain or suffering, the distinction which lies between:

  1. Right and wrong
  2. Good and evil
  3. Light and dark, spiritually understood
  4. Prison and liberty
  5. Love and hate
  6. Introversion and extraversion
  7. Truth and falsehood
  8. Mystical and occult knowledge
  9. The self and the not-self
  10. Soul and body

Many, many other dualities can thus be listed. Having then discovered the fact of these pairs of opposites, the task of the disciple is to discover that which is neither of them. It is this central, intermediate way that is revealed to the initiate, through the working of the Law of Repulse which occultly enables him to "push with either hand, to a distance afar from his way, that which intrudes and veils the central way of light. For neither on the right nor on the left lies safety for the man who seeks that lighted way."

c.    THE LAW OF REPULSE AND THE PILGRIM ON THE WAY OF LIFE

We shall base our thoughts upon the words earlier quoted:  “The Law of Repulse drives in seven directions, and forces all it thus contacts back to the bosom of the seven spiritual Fathers." We have come definitely to a consideration of the Way of Repulsion, governed by this law, which is the way or technique for each ray type. Though the same law can be seen working in all seven cases and in all seven directions, yet the results will differ, because the quality and the phenomenal appearance upon which the law of the divine will makes its impact and consequent impression, differ so widely. The complexity of the problem is therefore great. These seven soul laws lie behind all the various presentations of truth as they have been given out by the world Teachers down the ages. It requires much spiritual insight, however, to enable the average disciple to see the correspondence or the trend of ideas which link, for instance:

  1. The beatitudes (enunciated by the Christ) and these seven laws.
  2. The stages of the Noble Eightfold Path and these soul potencies.
  3. The eight means to Yoga or union of the soul, and this septenate of influences.
  4. The Ten Commandments of the Semitic religion, and these seven spiritual laws.

Students would find it of interest to test their understanding of the esoteric relationships existing between these groups of teaching and see if they can, for themselves, trace the basic meanings. Let us, by way of illustration, trace or indicate the relation between the seven laws and the eight means to Yoga, because this will give us an illustration of the difference existing between the means to Yoga as understood by the average yogi or esotericist, and as they can be understood by the trained disciple or initiate.

***

1. The five Commandments - Second ray force - The Law of Magnetic Impulse. The universal duty. Inclusion.

Attraction.

2. The Rules  -  Fourth ray force - The Law of Sacrifice. For self training "I die daily."

3. Posture -  Sixth ray force - The Law of Service. A poised attitude to right relations and the world of right

ideals.

4. Pranayama - Seventh ray force - The Law of Group The law of rhythmic        Progress. The Law living of spiritual

development.

5. Abstraction - First ray force - The Law of  Repulse. Pratyahara. Withdrawal. The repudiation of desire.

6. Attention - Third ray force - The Law of Expansive Correct Orientation. Response.

7. Meditation  - Fifth ray force - The Law of the Lower Four.  Right use of the mind.

8. Result - Contemplation - Complete spiritual detachment.

A close study of these relationships will be found suggestive to the disciple and illuminating to the initiate. Let us not, however, confuse illumination with a new or bright idea! It is something far different to that. The difference is that between the light of a star, and the light of a steadily waxing sun. One reveals the fact of night. The other reveals the world of daylight and of conscious Being.

  1. THE SEVEN DIRECTIONS OF THE LAW OF REPULSE

It must be remembered that the Law of Repulse, which is the Law of the destroying Angels, works in seven directions; that it produces effects upon seven different types of beings and of men, and that by reason of its activity, it draws the prodigal son back to the Father's home. It causes him to "arise and go." But we must remember that, when Christ was relating this story, He made it abundantly clear that there was no impulse to return until the pilgrim in the far country had come to himself or to his senses, as a result of satisfied desire, through riotous living. This was followed by consequent satiety and loss of contentment, and then by a period of intense suffering, which broke his will to wander or to desire. A study of this story will be found revealing. In no Scripture is the sequence of events (as they deal with the pilgrim's existence and life in a far country and his return) so concisely or so beautifully treated. Seek out your Bibles, and study this tale, and read for yourselves the pilgrim's way.

The effect of this Law of Repulse, as it works out in the world of discipleship and destroys that which hinders, sends the pilgrim hurrying back consciously along one of the seven rays that lead to the centre. This cannot be handled in detail here. Our present task is that of treading the Path of Probation or of Discipleship and of learning discipline, dispassion, and the other two necessities on the Way; discrimination and decentralisation. It is possible, nevertheless, to indicate the goal and point out the potency of the forces to which we shall be increasingly subjected as we pass—as some of us can so pass—on to the Path of Accepted Discipleship. This we will do in the form of seven stanzas which will give a hint (if one is an aspirant) of the technique to which one will be exposed; if one has passed further on the Way, they will give one a command which, as a disciple with spiritual insight one will obey, because one is awakened; if one is an initiate, they will evoke the comment: "This I know."

The Direction of Ray I

"The garden stands revealed. In ordered beauty live its flowers and trees. The murmur of the bees and insects on their winged flight is heard on every side. The air is rich with perfume. The colours riot to the blue of heaven.

The wind of God, His breath divine, sweeps through the garden. Low lie the flowers. Bending, the trees are devastated by the wind. Destruction of all beauty is followed by the rain. The sky is black. Ruin is seen. Then death.

Later, another garden! but the time seems far away. Call for a gardener. The gardener, the soul, responds. Call for the rain, the wind, the scorching sun. Call for the gardener. Then let the work go on. Ever destruction goes before the rule of beauty. Ruin precedes the real. The garden and the gardener must awake! The work proceeds.

The Direction of Ray II

"The Scholar knows the truth. All is revealed to him. Surrounded by his books, and sheltered in the world of thought, he burrows like a mole, and finds his way into the darkness; he arrives at knowledge of the world of natural things. His eye is closed. His eyes are opened wide. He dwells within his world in deep content.

Detail on detail enter into the content of his world of thought. He stores the nuggets of the knowledge of the world, as a squirrel stores its nuts. The storehouse now is adequately full. Suddenly a spade descends, for the thinker tends the garden of his thought, and thus destroys the passages of mind. Ruin arrives, destroying fast the storehouse of the mind, the safe security, the darkness and the warmth of a satisfied enquiry. All is removed. The light of summer enters in and the darkened crannies of the mind see light. Naught is left but light, and that cannot be used. The eyes are blinded and the one eye seeth not as yet.

Slowly the eye of wisdom must be opened. Slowly the love of that which is the true, the beautiful and good must enter the dark passages of worldly thought. Slowly the torch of light, the fire of right must burn the garnered treasures of the past, yet show their basic usefulness.

The seven ways of light must wean away the attention of the Scholar from all that has been found and stored and used. This he repulses and finds his way into that Hall of Wisdom which is built upon a hill, and not deep under ground. Only the opened eye can find this way."

The Direction of Ray III

"Surrounded by a multitude of threads, buried in folds and folds of woven goods, the Weaver sits. No Light can enter where he sits. By the light of a tiny candle, carried upon the summit of his head, he dimly sees. He gathers handful after handful of the threads and seeks to weave the carpet of his thoughts and dreams, his desires and his aims. His feet move steadily; his hands work swiftly; his voice, without cessation, chants the words: 'I weave the pattern which I seek and like. The warp and woof is planned by my desire. I gather here a thread and here a colour. I gather there another. I blend the colours and I mix and blend the threads. As yet I cannot see the pattern, but it will surely measure up to my desire.'

Loud voices, and a movement from outside the darkened chamber where the Weaver sits; they grow in volume and in power. A window breaks and, though the Weaver cries aloud, blinded by the sudden light, the sun shines in upon his woven carpet. Its ugliness is thus revealed.

A voice proclaims: 'Look from out thy window, Weaver, and see the pattern in the skies, the model of the plan, the colour and the beauty of the whole. Destroy the carpet which you have for ages wrought. It does not meet your need. Then weave again, Weaver. Weave in the light of day. Weave, as you see the plan."

The Direction of Ray IV

"'I take and mix and blend. I bring together that which I desire. I harmonise the whole.' Thus spoke the Mixer, as he stood within his darkened chamber. 'I realise the unseen beauty of the world. Colour I know and sound I know. I hear the music of the spheres, and note on note and chord on chord, they speak their thought to me. The voices which I hear intrigue and draw me, and with the sources of these sounds I seek to work. I seek to paint and blend the pigments needed. I must create the music which will draw to me those who like the pictures which I make, the colours which I blend, the music which I can evoke. Me, they will therefore like, and me, they will adore.'

But crashing came a note of music, a chord of sound which drove the Mixer of sweet sounds to quiet. His sounds died out within the Sound and only the great chord of God was heard. A flood of light poured in. His colours faded out. Around him naught but darkness could be seen, yet in the distance loomed the light of God. He stood between his nether darkness and the blinding light. His world in ruins lay around. His friends were gone. Instead of harmony, there was dissonance. Instead of beauty, there was found the darkness of the grave.

The voice then chanted forth these words: 'Create again, my child, and build and paint and blend the tones of beauty, but this time for the world and not thyself.' The Mixer started then his work anew and worked again."

The Direction of Ray V

"Deep in a pyramid, on all sides built around by stone, in the deep dark of that stupendous place, a mind and brain (embodied in a man) were working. Outside the pyramid, the world of God established itself. The sky was blue; the winds blew free; the trees and flowers opened themselves unto the sun.

But in the pyramid, down in its dim laboratory, a Worker stood, toiling at work. His test tubes and his frail appliances he used with skill. In rows and rows, the retorts for fusing, and for blending, for crystallising and for that which sought division, stood with their flaming fires. The heat was great, the toil severe.

Dim passages, in steady progress, led upward to the summit. There a wide window stood, open unto the blue of heaven, and carrying one clear ray down to the worker in the depths. He worked and toiled. He struggled onwards toward his dream, the vision of an ultimate discovery. He sometimes found the thing he sought, and sometimes failed; but never found that which could give to him the key to all the rest....In deep despair, he cried aloud unto the God he had forgot: 'Give me the key. I alone can do no more good. Give me the key.' Then silence reigned.

Through the opening on the summit of the pyramid, dropped from the blue of heaven, a key came down. It landed at the feet of the discouraged worker. The key was of pure gold; the shaft of light; upon the key a label, and writ in blue, these words: 'Destroy that which thou has built and build anew. But only build when thou has climbed the upward way, traversed the gallery of tribulation and entered into light within the chamber of the king. Build from the heights, and thus shew forth the value of the depths.'

The Worker then destroyed the objects of his previous toil, sparing three treasures which he knew were good, and upon which the light could shine. He struggled towards the chamber of the king. And still he struggles."

The Direction of Ray VI

"'I love and live and love again,' the frenzied Follower cried aloud, blinded by his desire for the teacher and the truth, but seeing naught but that which lay before his eyes. He wore on either side the blinding aids of every fanatic divine adventure. Only the long and narrow tunnel was his home and place of high endeavor. He had no vision except of that which was the space before his eyes. He had no scope for sight; no height, no depth, no wide extension. He had but room to go one way. He went that way alone, or dragging those who asked the way of him. He saw a vision, shifting as he moved, and taking varying form; each vision was to him the symbol of his highest dreams, the height of his desire.

He rushed along the tunnel, seeking that which lay ahead. He saw not much and only one thing at a time; a person or a truth, a bible or his picture of his God, an appetite, a dream, but only one! Sometimes he gathered in his arms the vision that he saw, and found it naught. Sometimes, he reached the person whom he loved and found, instead of visioned beauty, a person like himself. And thus he tried. He wearied of his search; he whipped himself to effort new.

The opening dimmed its light. A shutter seemed to close. The vision he had seen no longer shone. The Follower stumbled in the dark. Life ended and the world of thought was lost...Pendent he seemed. He hung with naught below, before, behind, above. To him, naught was.

From deep within the temple of his heart, he heard a Word. It spoke with clarity and power: 'Look, deep within, around on every hand. The light is everywhere, within the heart, in Me, in all that breathes, in all that is. Destroy thy tunnel, which thou has for ages long constructed. Stand free, in custody of all the world.' The Follower answered: 'How shall I break my tunnel down? How can I find a way?' No answer came.

Another pilgrim in the dark came up, and groping, found the Follower. 'Lead me and others to the Light,' he cried. The Follower found no words, no indicated Leader, no formulas of truth, no forms or ceremonies. He found himself a leader, and drew others to the light; the light that shone on every hand. He worked and struggled forward. His hand held others, and for their sake, he hid his shame, his fear, his hopelessness and his despair. He uttered words of surety and faith in life, and light and God, in love and understanding.

His tunnel disappeared. He noticed not its loss. Upon the playground of the world he stood with many fellow-players, wide to the light of day. In the far distance stood a mountain blue, and from its summit issued forth a voice which said: 'Come forward to the mountain top and on its summit learn the invocation of a Saviour.' To this great task the Follower, now a leader, bent his energies. He still pursues this way."

The Direction of Ray VII

"Under an arch between two rooms, the seventh Magician stood. One room was full of light and life and power, of stillness which was purpose and a beauty which was space. The other room was full of movement, a sound of great activity, a chaos without form, of work which had no true objective. The eyes of the Magician were fixed on chaos. He liked it not. His back was towards the room of vital stillness. He knew it not. The arch was tottering overhead.

He murmured in despair: 'For ages I have stood and sought to solve the problem of this room; to rearrange the chaos so that beauty might shine forth, and the goal of my desire. I sought to weave these colours into a dream of beauty, and to harmonise the many sounds. Achievement lacks. Naught but my failure can be seen. And yet I know there is a difference between that which I can see before my eyes and that which I begin to sense behind my back. What shall I do?'

Above the head of the Magician, and just behind his back, and yet within the room of ordered beauty, a magnet vast began to oscillate. It caused the revolution of the man, within the arch, which tottered to a future fall. The magnet turned him round until he faced the scene and room, unseen before.

Then through the centre of his heart the magnet poured its force attractive. The magnet poured its force repulsive. It reduced the chaos until its forms no longer could be seen. Some aspects of a beauty, unrevealed before, emerged. And from the room a light shone forth and, by its powers and life, forced the Magician to move forward into light, and leave the arch of peril."

We have studied an interesting sequence of Laws. In Law One, we find that three major ideas emerge:

First of all, that the Eternal Pilgrim, of his own free will and accord, chose "occultly" to die and took a body or series of bodies in order to raise or elevate the lives of the form nature which he embodied. In the process of so doing, he himself "died", in the sense that, for a free soul, death and the taking of a form and the consequent immersion of the life in the form, are synonymous terms.

Secondly, that in so doing, the soul is recapitulating on a small scale what the solar Logos and the planetary Logos have likewise done, and are doing. These great Lives come under the rule of the laws of the soul during the period of manifestations, even though they are not governed or controlled by the laws of the natural world, as we call it. Their consciousness remains unidentified with the world of phenomena, though ours is identified with it until such time that we come under the rule of the higher laws. By the occult "death" of these great Lives, all lesser lives can live and are proffered opportunity.

Thirdly, that through death, a great at-one-ing process is carried forward. In the "fall of a leaf" and its consequent identification with the soil on which it falls, we have a tiny illustration of this great and eternal process of at-one-ing, through becoming and dying as a result of becoming.

In Law Two, the sacrificing unit—again freely and by choice—comes under the influence of the method whereby this death is brought about. By the impact of the pairs of opposites and through his being "pendent" 'twixt the two, he knows the outer darkness as Christ knew it finally at the Crucifixion, where He hung, symbolically pendent 'twixt heaven and earth, and through the potency of His own inner vibration and magnetism, has drawn and will draw all men to Himself. This is the first great idea emerging. The second emerging idea concerns the balancing of the forces which have been mastered. The symbol of the scales is here appropriate, and, of this truth, the three Crosses on Mount Golgotha are also symbols. Libra governs this law, and certain forces from that constellation can be sensed when the soul consciousness comes under the influence of the law. These forces are quiescent where the personality is concerned; their effect does not register, even though necessarily present.

In Law Three, the sacrificing God and the God of the dualities come under certain influences which produce more easily recognised effects. By his death and by his victory over the pairs of opposites, the disciple becomes so magnetic and vibrant, that he serves the race by becoming what he knows he is. Immersed, physically, from the angle of the personality, in the waters of earthly existence, yet at the same time he is aware—in consciousness—of other conditions, of his essential purpose in dying for other lives, and aware also of the method which he must employ in achieving and attaining the releasing equilibrium. When these ideas are dominant in the mind, he can serve his fellow men. These laws have this effect only as they emerge in the consciousness of the man who is building the antaskarana and who is proceeding with the Science of Union.

It is when the fourth Law of Repulse is beginning to produce its effects that the disciple becomes aware of the Angel with the Flaming Sword, Who stands before the portal of initiation. By this portent, he knows that he can now enter; but, this time, not as a poor blind candidate, but as an initiate in the mysteries of the world. The truth of this has been summed up for us in an ancient chant which used to be sung in the ante-chamber of the Temples. Some of the words may be roughly expressed as follows:

"He enters free, he who has known the prison walls. He passes into light with open eyes, he who for aeons long has groped the darkened corridor. He passes on his way, he who has stood for ages before a fast closed door. He speaks with power the Word which opens wide the Gate of Life. He stands before the Angel and takes away his sword, releasing thus the Angel unto a higher task. He himself guards the doorway into the Holy Place. He died. He entered the strife. He learnt the way of service. He stands before the door."

5.

The Law of Group Progress

Esoteric Name:  The Law of Elevation.

Symbol:  The Mountain and the Goat.

Ray Energy:  Progressive energy, seventh ray, factor of evolution.

This law begins to function and to be registered in the personal consciousness when the aspirant has achieved certain definite realisations, and knows certain ideals as facts in his experience. These might be listed in a very simple way and would then connote to the superficial student the simplest achievement of the Probationary Path. It would, however, be well if we could grasp this fact with clarity, that this simple formulation of requirements and their achievement within the aspirant's consciousness, demonstrate as the outer and veiled reactions of his mind to some deeply esoteric cosmic truths. This statement contains the very essence of the esoteric knowledge. The quite ordinary formulations of loving, living and of daily instinctive self-sacrifice suffer from being so vitally familiar and yet—if we could only realise it—they are only on the outer fringe of the deepest world truths. They are the A.B.C. of esotericism and through them, and only through them, shall we arrive at the words and sentences which are, in their turn, the essential key to the highest knowledge.

A brief example will serve to illustrate this, and we can then consider some simple facts which indicate that the aspirant is beginning to function as a soul and is ready for conscious life in the kingdom of God.

The disciple in training for these higher realisations is urged to practice the faculty of discrimination. You have been so urged. The initial and normal interpretation and the immediate effect of the practice is to teach the disciple to distinguish between the pairs of opposites. Yet just as the disciple in his early training discovers that the discriminating process has naught to do with the choice between recognised evil (so-called) and recognised good, but concerns the more subtle pairs of opposites such as right and wrong silences, right and wrong speech, right understanding and right indifference and their opposites, so the man who is reacting to these higher laws discovers that the discrimination to be shown is again still more subtle and is—for the bulk of the aspirants in the world today—still a meaningless objective. This type of discrimination is not even being evoked. It is that which must be shown in relation to the following subtle contacts:

  1. The vibration of the soul itself.
  2. The vibration of the inner group with which he is, even if unconsciously, affiliated.
  3. The vibration of the Master as the focal point of the group.
  4. His ray vibration, as sensed via his soul and the Master.
  5. The vibration resulting from the interplay between his soul and his personality.
  6. The three different vibrations of his vital body, his emotional body and the mind.
  7. The vibration of the groups or the group with which he must work upon the outer plane.
  8. The soul vibration of other people whom he contacts.
  9. The vibration of such a group as the New Group of World Servers.

These are only some instances of the type of discriminations which are required. These he will learn to distinguish instinctively when he is further developed. I would like to remind you that it is when we try to discriminate entirely mentally that the problem seems insuperable. When the rule of the soul and the recognition of the soul have been firmly established, these different recognitions become instinctual reactions. Intuitional response is the name we give to the instinctual life of the soul—the higher correspondence to the instinctual life of the human body. In the above paragraphs we have a simple summary of some of the deeper significances of the simple injunction: "Learn to discriminate." How much have we truly understood this injunction? Intellectually, the mind may give assent. Practically, the words frequently mean nothing. Do they signify to us the power of the soul to separate vibrations into differing categories? Yet we are told that the soul knows naught of separation; such are some of the paradoxes of esotericism to the uninitiate.

The Law of Group Progress can only begin to have a conscious effect in the life of the disciple who has been pledged and accepted. When he has established certain rhythms, when he is working effectively along certain well recognised group lines, and when he is definitely and in understanding consciousness preparing himself for the expansions of initiation, then this law begins to sway him and he learns to obey it instinctively, intuitively and intellectually. It is through obedience to this law that preparation for initiation is instituted by the disciple. The previous sentence is so worded because it is important that all should grasp the self-initiated necessity of initiation. Do we understand this importance? Some of the effects earlier mentioned in the initial discussion of this fifth law can here be enumerated. Let us not forget their esoteric and unseen significances.

  1. The disciple will then learn effectively to decentralise himself. This means that:

  1. He will ask nothing for the separated self. One can therefore easily see why aspirants are taught to pledge allegiance to their Higher Self, and to foreswear all claims of this separated self. One can see also why so many react against it. They are not ready for it, and such a pledge therefore acts as a great discriminating agent. To those for whom the standard of selflessness is set too high, it is neither understood nor desired. Therefore the unready criticise it. Later these will come back and with understanding take this obligation in the light.

  1. His eyes are towards the light and not towards desire for contact with the Master. This, therefore, rules out that spiritual selfishness which has been expressed by the desire, innate and deep, for recognition by one of the Great Ones. When this freedom from the personal is found, then the Master can dare to make a contact and to establish a relation with the disciple. It would be well for us to ponder on this.

  1. He will have learnt to serve instinctively. He may, and usually does, need to learn to discriminate in his service; but his attitude to life and toward all men is a divine rushing forth to aid, to lift, to love and to succour.

  1. He will have learnt to use the mind in two directions, increasingly and at will, and instantaneously:

  1. He can cast the search-light of the mind into the world of the soul, and know and recognise those truths which must, for him, become his experienced knowledge.

  1. He can also cast it into the world of illusion and dispel the glamours of the personal. When he can do that, then he begins to dispel the world glamours for he is nearing initiation.

  1. THE LINK OF THE WORLD GROUPS

It would be possible to go on listing the various developments which indicate to the onlooking Hierarchy that a disciple, or a group of disciples, are now ready for "more light." The major indication is, however, their reaction to the Law of Group Progress. It is this Law which is the coming new law to be sensed by the world disciples and which is already becoming more effective in its potency, even though this will not be realised by humanity for a long while yet. It will bring into activity the work of the world groups. In the past, groups have been formed for mutual benefit, for mutual interest and study, for mutual strengthening. This has been their glory, and also their curse, for great and good though their motives may have been, yet these groups have been basically and primarily selfish, with a form of spiritual selfishness most difficult to overcome, and calling for the expression of the true discrimination to which I have earlier referred. Such groups have ever been battlegrounds wherein the least able and the least integrated have been absorbed and standardised or regimented, and the most powerful have dominated eventually, and the indefinite ones have been eliminated and rendered totally quiescent. The successful group has eventually turned out to be one composed of kindred souls who are all thinking alike, because no one thinks with intuition, but who are governed by some school of thought, or because some central figure in the group dominates all the rest, hypnotising them into an instinctual, quiescent, static condition. This may be to the glory of the teacher and of the group, but it certainly is not to the glory of God.

Today the new groups are slowly and gradually coming into being and being governed by these soul laws. They will, therefore, strike a different note and produce groups which are welded together by a united aspiration and objective. Yet they will be constituted of free souls, individual and developed, who recognise no authority but that of their own souls, and submerge their interests to the soul purpose of the group as a whole. Just as the achievement of an individual has, down the ages, served to raise the race, so a paralleling achievement in group formation will tend to raise humanity still more rapidly. Hence this law is called that of Elevation.

The time has now come when this method of raising the race can begin to be tried. Those who have entered upon the Path of Probation have attempted to raise humanity and have failed. Those who have passed upon the Path of Discipleship have also tried and failed. Those who have themselves mastered circumstance and the illusion of death, and have consequently been raised unto life, can now attempt the task in united formation. They will succeed. The word has gone forth with the request for this united activity, and the urge to bend every effort to raise the dead body of humanity. A great and possible achievement of the Lodge of Masters is now imminent and all aspirants and all disciples can be swung into a synthetic recognition of power and of opportunity.

It is for this end that the teaching anent the New Group of World Servers was given out broadly. This is the first attempt to form a group which would work as a group and attempt a world task. They can act as an intermediate group between the world of men and the Hierarchy. They stand between what is occultly called the "dead Master" and the "living Masters." Masons will understand what is here described. The true esotericist will also see the same truth from another angle.

I would like here to give you some thoughts anent the new groups which come into functioning activity under the Law of Group Progress. It must be constantly remembered, as one considers these coming new groups, that they are primarily an experiment in Group Activity, and are not formed for the purpose of perfecting the individual member in any group. This is a fundamental and essential statement, if the objectives are rightly to be understood.

In these groups the members supplement and fortify each other, and, in the aggregate of their qualities and capacities, they should eventually provide groups capable of useful spiritual expression, and through which spiritual energy can flow, unimpeded, for the helping of humanity. The work to be done is very largely upon mental levels. The spheres of daily service of the individual members of the new groups remain as their destiny and inner urge indicates upon the physical plane; but—to the differing fields of individual effort — there will be added (and this is the point of importance) a group activity which will be a joint and united service. Each person in such groups has to learn to work in a close mental and spiritual cooperation with all the others, and this takes time, given the present point of evolutionary development of the world aspirants. Each has to pour forth love on all, and this is not easy. Each has to learn to subordinate his own personality ideas and his personal growth to the group requirements, for at present some will have to hasten their progress in certain directions, and some must slow it down as a service to the others. This process will take place automatically as the group identity and integration becomes the dominant thought in the group consciousness, and the desire for personal growth and spiritual satisfaction is relegated to a secondary place.

This contemplated group unity will have its roots in group meditation, or in the contemplative life (in which the soul knows itself to be one with all souls). This in its turn will work out in some form of group activity which will constitute the distinguishing contribution of any particular group to the raising of the human race esoterically. Within the group life, the individual will not be dealt with as such by those who seek to train, teach and weld the group into an instrument for service. Each person will he regarded as a transmitter of the type of energy which is the predominant energy in any ray type, either egoic or personality rays. Each can, in time, learn to transmit the quality of his soul ray to the group, stimulating his brothers to greater courage, clearer vision, finer purity of motive, and deeper love, and yet avoid the danger of vitalising his personality characteristics. This is the major difficulty. To do this effectively and correctly, we must all learn to think of each other as souls, and not as human beings.

Therefore, as a preliminary statement, we have the following objectives in the group work of the New Age, as they make their tentative beginnings at this time. The later and more esoteric objectives will emerge as the earlier ones are reached:

  1. Group Unity. This must be achieved through the practice of love, which is part of the practice of the Presence of God, through the subordination of the personality life to the group life, and constant, loving, living service.

  1. Group Meditation. These groups will eventually be grounded in the kingdom of souls, and the work done will be motivated and carried forward from the higher mental levels in the demonstration of the contemplative life. This involves the dual activity of the life of the disciple, wherein he functions consciously both as a personality and as a soul. The life of the personality should be that of intelligent activity; that of the soul is loving contemplation.

  1. Group Activity. Each group will have some distinguishing characteristic and this will be dedicated to some specific form of service.

When the groups are properly established (and the time is imminent) and after they have worked together subjectively for a certain necessary period of time (to be determined by the quality of the life of the individuals composing it, and their selflessness and service) then they will begin to function outwardly and their life aspect will begin to make its presence felt. The various lines of activity will emerge when the group vibration is strong enough to make a definite impact on the consciousness of the race. Therefore, it will be apparent that the first and foremost requirements are group integrity and group cohesion. Nothing can be accomplished without these. The subjective linking of each group member with each, and the emergence of a group consciousness is a vital objective for the next few decades. Thus there will emerge a group circulation or transmission of energy which will be of real value in world salvage. For the individual it should be remembered that purity of body, control of the emotions, and stability of mind are fundamental requirements and should be the goal of the daily practice. Again and again we must come back to these prime character requirements, and tiresome as the reiteration may be, I urge upon you the cultivation of these qualities. Through these groups it may be possible to restore some of the ancient Mysteries, and some of the groups mentioned previously in Letters on Occult Meditation, will be found among the emerging New Age groups.

  1. THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE NEW GROUPS

This brief summary will serve to give some of the elementary requirements and, by means of a broad generalisation, to indicate the major reasons why such groups are being formed. We can now perhaps widen our vision a little and at the same time look at the groups in greater detail.

One of the characteristics distinguishing the groups of world servers and knowers, is that the outer organisation, which will hold them integrated, will be so nebulous and fine that, to the outer observation, it will be practically nonexistent. The group will be held together by an inner structure of thought and a close telepathic interrelation. The Great Ones, Whom we all seek to serve, are thus linked, and can at the slightest need and with the least expenditure of force, get into rapport with each other. They are all attuned to a particular vibration, and so must these groups be attuned. There will be thus collected together, people demonstrating the wide difference in nature, who are found on differing rays, who are of varying nationalities, and the product of widely separated environments and heredity. Besides these factors, which immediately attract attention, there will also be found an equal diversity in the life experience of the souls concerned. The complexity of the problem confronting the group members is also tremendously increased when one remembers the long road which each has travelled, and the many factors and characteristics, emerging out of a dim and distant past, which have tended to make each person what he now is. When, therefore, one dwells on the difficulties and the possible barriers to success, the question will arise and rightly so: What makes it possible to establish this group inter-relation? What provides a common meeting ground? The answer to these questions is of paramount importance and necessitates a frank handling.

We find in the Bible the words: "In Him we live and move and have our being". This is the statement of a fundamental law in nature, and the enunciated basis of the relation which exists between the unit soul, functioning in a human body, and God. It determines also, in so far as it is realised, the relation between soul and soul. We live in an ocean of energies. We ourselves are congeries of energies, and all these energies are closely interrelated and constitute the one synthetic energy body of our planet.

It must be carefully borne in mind that the etheric body of every form in nature is an integral part of the substantial form of God Himself—not the dense physical form, but what the esotericists regard as the form-making substance. We use the word "God" to signify the one expression of the One Life which animates every form on the outer objective plane. The etheric or energy body, therefore, of every human being, is an integral part of the etheric body of the planet itself and consequently of the solar system. Through this medium, every human being is basically related to every other expression of the Divine Life, minute or great. The function of the etheric body is to receive energy impulses and to be swept into activity by these impulses or streams of force, emanating from some originating source or other. The etheric body is in reality naught but energy. It is composed of myriads of threads of force or tiny streams of energy, held in relation to the emotional and mental bodies and to the soul by their co-ordinating effect. These streams of energy, in their turn, have an effect on the physical body and swing it into activity of some kind or another, according to the nature and power of whatever type of energy may be dominating the etheric body at any particular time.

Through the etheric body, therefore, circulates energy emanating from some mind. With humanity in the mass, response is made unconsciously to the rulings of the Universal Mind; this is complicated in our time and age by a growing responsiveness to the mass ideas—called sometimes public opinion—of the rapidly evolving human mentality. Within the human family are also found those who respond to that inner group of Thinkers, Who, working in mental matter, control from the subjective side of life, the emergence of the great Plan and the manifestation of divine purpose.

This group of Thinkers falls into seven main divisions and is presided over by three great Lives or super-conscious entities. These Three are the Manu, the Christ and the Mahachohan. These three work primarily through the method of influencing the minds of the adepts and initiates. These latter, in Their turn, influence the disciples of the world and these disciples, each in his own place and on his own responsibility, work out their concept of the Plan and seek to give expression to it as far as possible. These disciples have hitherto worked very much alone except when karmic relationships have revealed them to each other and telepathic intercommunication has been fundamentally confined to the Hierarchy of adepts and initiates, both in and out of incarnation, and to Their individual work with Their disciples.

These groups, therefore, which have hitherto worked entirely subjectively, can and will be duplicated externally, and, the new groups will come into being largely as an externalisation—experimental as yet—of the groups which have functioned behind the scenes, motivated from the central group, the Hierarchy of Masters.

This experiment is primarily as yet one of group integration and the method whereby it can be developed. The reason why Those on the Inner Side are now experimenting with this group idea is because it is definitely a New Age trend. They are seeking to utilise the increasing bias of the human being towards coherence and integration. It must be remembered, however, and with constancy, that unless there is a subjective coherence, all outer forms must eventually disintegrate or never cohere at all. It is only the subjective links and the subjective work that determines success, and these must (particularly in the new group work) be based on egoic relations and not on personal attachments and predilections. These help where there is at the same time a recognition of the egoic relation. Where that exists, then something can be formed which is immortal and as lasting as the soul itself.

One practical point should be made clear. These groups will for some time be what might be called "pattern-groups" and, therefore, must be formed very slowly and with much care. Each person forming part of the new groups will be tested and tried and subjected to much pressure. This will be necessary if the groups are to stand through this transition period of the present. It will not be easy for disciples to form these groups. The methods and techniques will be so different to those of the past. People may evince real desire to participate in the group life and to form part of the group activity, but their real difficulty will consist in bringing their personal life and vibration into conformity with the group life and rhythm. The narrow path which all disciples have to tread requires obedience to certain instructions which have been handed down to us from the ancient past. These are followed willingly and with the eyes open, but no rigid adherence to the letter of the law is ever asked or expected. Flexibility within certain self-imposed limits is always needed, yet that flexibility must not be set in motion by any personality inertia or mental questioning.

This great group training experiment, now being initiated on earth through a new activity of the Hierarchy, will demonstrate to the watching Guides of the race just how far the disciples and aspirants of the world are ready to submerge their personal interests in group good; how sensitive they are, as a group, to instruction and guidance; how free the channels of communication are between the groups on the outer plane and the Inner Group, and between them also and the masses whom they are expected eventually to reach. A Masters group of disciples, on the inner side of life, forms an integrated organism, characterised by mutual love, life and interplay. The relationships in that group are entirely mental and astral, and hence the limitations of the etheric force body and of the physical brain and dense physical body are not felt. This leads to a greater inner facility in understanding and to a reciprocal interplay. It is wise here to remember that the astral potency is far more strongly felt than on the physical levels, and hence the emphasis laid upon emotional-desire control in all treatises on discipleship and on preparation for that state.

Now an effort is being made to see if such a group activity and interplay can be set up on the physical plane, which will consequently include the physical body apparatus and the brain. The difficulties are, therefore, great. What has to be the technique employed in handling this more difficult situation, which is only possible because the work of the Masters' groups has been so effective? Much may depend upon just how far we will react to this interplay and how much it will mean to us in our lives. This embodies a most practical occult method of work. The astral-physical brain reactions should be regarded as non-existent and allowed to lapse below the threshold of the group consciousness, there to die for lack of attention. The emphasis is held steadily on mental and egoic relations.

  1. THE EXPERIMENTAL NATURE OF THE GROUPS

I have said that these groups constitute an experiment. This experiment is fourfold in nature and a concise statement about it may clarify conjecture:

  1. They are an experiment in founding or starting focal points in the human family through which certain energies can flow out into the entire race of men. These energies are ten in number.

  1. They are an experiment in inaugurating certain new techniques in work and in modes of communication. It is to be noted that in these last three words is summed up the whole story. These groups are intended to facilitate interrelation or communication as follows:

  1. They will be occupied with an endeavor to facilitate communication between