(1) What is indifference? . . . It means in reality the achieving of a neutral attitude towards that which is regarded as the Not-Self; it involves a repudiation of similarity; it marks the recognition of a basic distinction; it signifies refusal to be identified with anything save the spiritual reality, as far as that is sensed and known at any given point in time and space. It is, therefore, a much stronger and vital thing than what is usually meant when the word is used. It is active repudiation without any concentration upon that which is repudiated. (10 - 262).
(2) Those who are in preparation for initiation must learn to work consciously with glamour; they must work effectively with the presented truth, ignoring any pain or suffering or mental questioning which is incident to personality rebellion and limitation; they must cultivate that "divine indifference" to personal considerations which is the outstanding hallmark of the trained initiate. (5 - 27).
(3) If I were asked to specify the outstanding fault of the majority of groups of disciples at this time, I would say that it is the expression of the wrong kind of indifference, leading to an almost immovable pre-occupation with their personal ideas and undertakings. (5 - 82).
(4) Your problem is not to get rid of difficulties, but simply to be indifferent as to whether they exist or not. (5 - 659).
(5) Learn that divine indifference which you need - indifference to yourself and to your personality interests, likes and dislikes, indifference to your cares, anxieties and successes. (5 - 661).
See also: "Detachment", and "Impersonality".
(1) A man who has taken the first step into the spiritual kingdom, having passed out of the definitely human kingdom into the super-human. . . . He [Page 198] has entered upon the life of the spirit, and for the first time has the right to be called a "spiritual man" in the technical significance of the word. He is entering upon the fifth or final stage in our present fivefold evolution. (1 - 10).
(2) Each initiation marks the passing of a pupil in the Hall of Wisdom into a higher class, marks the clear shining forth of the inner fire and the transition from one point of polarisation to another, entails the realization of an increasing unity with all that lives and the essential oneness of the self with all selves. It results in a horizon that continually enlarges until it includes the sphere of creation; it is a growing capacity to see and hear on all planes. It is an increased consciousness of God's plan for the world, and an increased ability to enter into those plans and to further them. It is the honour class in the Master's school, and is within the attainment of those souls whose karma permits and whose efforts suffice to fulfil the aim.
Initiation leads to the mount whence vision can be had, a vision of the eternal Now, wherein past, present, and future exist as one. (1 - 13).
(3) Initiation leads to the stream that, once entered, sweeps a man onward until it carries him to the feet of the Lord of the World, to the feet of his Father in Heaven, to the feet of the three-fold Logos.
. . . It leads through the Hall of Wisdom, and puts into a man's hands the key to all information, systemic and cosmic, in graduated sequence. It reveals the hidden mystery that lies at the heart of the solar system. It leads from one state of consciousness to another. As each state is entered the horizon enlarges, the vista extends, and the comprehension includes more and more, until the expansion reaches a point where the self embraces all selves, including all that is "moving and unmoving", as phrased by an ancient Scripture. (1 - 14).
(4) This ceremony of initiation marks a point of attainment. It does not bring about attainment, as is so often the misconception. It simply marks the recognition by the watching Teachers of the race of a definite point in evolution reached by the pupil, and gives two things:
1. An expansion of consciousness that admits the personality into the Wisdom attained by the Ego, and in the higher initiations into the consciousness of the Monad.
2. A brief period of enlightenment wherein the initiate sees that portion of the Path that lies ahead to be trodden, and wherein he shares consciously in the great plan of evolution. (1 - 15).
(5) Initiation is a strictly personal matter with a universal application. It rests upon his inner attainment. The initiate will know for himself when [Page 199] the event occurs and needs no one to tell him of it. . . . It is quite possible for men to be functioning on the physical plane and to be actively employed in world service, who have no recollection of having undergone the initiatory process, yet who, nevertheless, may have taken the first or second initiation in a previous or earlier life. ... A man may be able better to work off certain karma and to carry out certain work for the Lodge, if he is free from occult occupation and mystic introspection during the period of any one earth life. (1 - 102).
(6) He has to equip also, his mental body so that it may be the explainer and transmitter, and not a hindering factor as now. He must likewise develop group activity, and learn to work in a co-ordinated manner with other units. These are the main things that a man must accomplish along the path of initiation, but when he has worked at them, he will find the Way, it will be made clear to him, and he will then join the ranks of the Knowers. (1- 178).
(7) Initiation is in the nature of a great experiment which our planetary Logos is making during this round. In earlier and perhaps in later rounds the whole process will follow natural law. . . . The whole process is optional, and a man may - if he so choose - follow the normal process, and take aeons of time to effect what some are choosing to do in a briefer period, through a self-chosen forcing process. (3 - 829).
(8) The partial subjugation of glamour, and escape from the complete thralldom of illusion, are indications to the watching Hierarchy that a man is ready for the process of initiation. (10 - 126).
(9) The mark of the initiate is his lack of interest in himself, in his own unfoldment, and his personal fate, and all aspirants who become accepted disciples have to master the technique of disinterestedness. (14 - xxi).
(10) 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. (15 - 12).
(11) The concept which has to supersede the one at present extant, is that of group initiation, and not that of the initiation of an individual aspirant. In the past, and in order to get the idea of initiation into the minds of the people, the Hierarchy chose the mode (now obsolete) of holding out the [Page 200] prospect of initiation before the earnest disciple; upon this they placed an early emphasis of its peculiarity, its rewarding nature, its ritual and ceremonies, and its place in the scale of evolution. Since the fact of initiation had been grasped by many, and achieved by some, it has become possible today to reveal what has always been implied, that initiation is a group event. If clear thinking had taken the place of a selfish individual aspiration, the fact of group initiation would have been obvious, and for the following reasons, inherent and implied in the whole situation:
1. The soul - in its own nature - is group conscious, and has no individual ambitions or individual interests, and is not at all interested in the aims of its personality. It is the soul which is the initiate. Initiation is a process whereby the spiritual man within the personality becomes aware of himself as the soul, with soul powers, soul relationships, and soul purpose. The moment a man realises this, even in a small measure, it is the group of which he is conscious.
2. Only the man whose sense of identity is beginning to expand and become inclusive, can "take initiation" (as it is erroneously termed). If initiation were a purely personal achievement, it would throw the man back into the separative consciousness, out of which he is endeavouring to escape. This would not be spiritual progression. Every step upon the Path of Initiation increases group recognition. Initiation is essentially an expanding series of inclusive recognitions.
3. Initiation admits the aspirant into membership in the Hierarchy. This involves, speaking esoterically, the relinquishing of all separative personality reactions in a series of progressive renunciations; these culminate in the fourth initiation . . .
It dawns on the initiate, as he proceeds from one initiation to another, that each time he moves forward on the path, or penetrates into the heart of the Mysteries in company with those who are as he is, who share with him the same point in evolution, and who are working with him towards the same goal, that he is not alone; that it is a joint effort that is being made. This is in fact the keynote of an Ashram, conditioning its formation. It is composed of disciples and initiates at various stages of initiate-unfoldment, who have arrived at their point of ashramic consciousness together, and who will proceed together until they arrive at that complete liberation which comes when the cosmic physical plane drops below the threshold of consciousness, or of sensitive awareness, and no longer holds any point of interest for the initiate. (18 - 341/2).
(12) No one is admitted (through the process of initiation) into the [Page 201] Ashram of the Christ (the Hierarchy) until such time as he is beginning to think and live in terms of group relationships and group activities. Some well-meaning aspirants interpret the group idea as the instruction to them that they should make an effort to form groups - their own group or groups. This is not the idea as it is presented in the Aquarian Age, so close today; it was the mode of approach during the Piscean Age, now passed. Today, the entire approach is totally different. No man today is expected to stand at the centre of his little world, and work to become a focal point for a group. His task now is to discover the group of aspirants with which he should affiliate himself, and with whom he must travel upon the Path of Initiation - a very different matter, and a far more difficult one. (18 - 344).
(13) An Ashram has in it disciples and initiates at all points of evolutionary development, and of all grades and degrees; these all work together in perfect unison, and yet - within their differentiated ranks, for each degree stands alone, yet united with all the others - with their own established rapport, their coded telepathic interplay, and a shared occult secrecy and silence, which guard the secrets and knowledges of one grade from another and from the unready. Similarly, when an aspirant, seeking upon the physical plane to find those who will share with him the mystery of his next immediate step or demonstrated expansion, discovers his own group, he will find that it has in it those who have not reached his particular point of wisdom, and those also who have already left him far behind. He will be drawn into a vortex of force and a field of service simultaneously. Ponder on this statement. He will learn, therefore, the lessons required by one who is to work in an Ashram, and will know how to handle himself with those who may not yet share with him the secrets which he already knows, and with those who have penetrated deeper into the Mysteries than he has. (18 - 346).
(14) Initiation has been so frequently presented as being a ceremony, that I have felt it necessary to offset strenuously that erroneous significance. If, however, you are to comprehend that which I have to say, you will have to call in what measures of enlightened understanding you may possess.
Initiation is only a ceremony in so far that there comes a climaxing point in the initiatory process, in which the disciple's consciousness becomes dramatically aware of the personnel of the Hierarchy, and his own position in relation to it. This realisation he symbolises to himself - successively and on an increasingly large scale - as a great rhythmic ceremonial of progressive revelation in which he, as a candidate, is the centre of the hierarchical stage. . . . I am not here saying that the teachings given in the past by various [Page 202] occult groups, or in my book Initiation, Human and Solar, are not correct, or do not recount accurately what the candidate believes has taken place. The point I seek to make is that the ceremonial aspect is due to the thought-form-making capacity of the disciple. (18 - 530/1).
(15) The Initiatory process is in reality the result of the activity of three energies:
1. The energy generated by the disciple as he seeks to serve humanity.
2. The energy made available to the disciple as he succeeds in building the antahkarana.
3. The energy of the hierarchical Ashram, into which he is being "absorbed" or integrated.
It is in these three energies, each with its own mode of expression, and each producing its own specific results, which implement or engineer the initiatory process; these energies are evoked by the disciple himself, and their increasing strength and revelatory capacity, depend largely upon the disciple's determination, purpose and will, his persistence and spiritual integrity. It is through his understanding of the word "process" that the disciple discovers the true meaning of the occult statement, that "before a man can tread the Path he must become that Path himself". Increasingly the disciple finds what it is to become a creative agent, using the creative faculties of the mind and conforming increasingly (as he creates) to the Plan of the Creator, the Lord of the World. (18 - 534/5).
(16) Periods of search, periods of pain, periods of detachment, periods of revelation producing points of fusion, points of tension, and points of energy projection - such is the story of the Path of Initiation.
Initiation is in truth the name given to the revelation of the new vision which ever draws the disciple onward into greater light; it is not something conferred upon him or given to him. It is a process of light recognition and of light utilisation, in order to enter into ever clearer light. Progress from a dimly lighted area in the divine manifestation, into one of supernal glory, is the story of the Path of Evolution. (18 - 538).
(17) It is the recognition of the varying "lights" upon the Lighted Way that signifies readiness for initiation. The initiate enters into light in a peculiar sense; it permeates his nature according to his development at any point in time and space; it enables him to contact and see the hitherto unseen, and on the basis of the newly acquired knowledge to direct his steps still further.
I am not here speaking in symbols. Each initiation dims the light already acquired and used, and then immerses the initiate in a higher light. Each [Page 203] initiation enables the disciple to perceive an area of divine consciousness hitherto unknown but which, when the disciple has familiarised himself with it, and with its unique phenomena, vibratory quality and interrelations, becomes for him a normal field of experience and activity. Thus (if I may so express it) the "worlds of living forms and formless lives become his own". Again duality enters into his mental perception, for he is now aware of the lighted area from which he comes to the point of tension or of initiation; through the initiatory process he discovers a new and more brilliantly lighted area, into which he may now enter. This involves no leaving of the former field of activity in which he has worked and lived; it simply means that new fields of responsibility and of opportunity confront him, because he is - through his own effort - able to see more light, to walk in greater light, to prove more adequately than heretofore his capacities within the greatly increased area of possibility.
Initiation is, therefore, a constant fusion of the lights, progressively entered, thus enabling the initiate to see further, deeper and more inclusively. (18 - 539/40).
(18) Initiation is a growth in experience, and the attainment thereby of a point of tension. Holding that point of tension, the initiate sees that which lies ahead. Initiation permits a progressive entry into the mind of the creating Logos. This last definition is perhaps one of the most important I have ever given. Ponder on my words . . .
As energy is the basis of our entire manifested world, an initiation is a condition of consciousness wherein the fully prepared disciple utilises the available energies (at the time of initiation) to bring about changes within consciousness, of a momentous and revelatory nature. Each initiation puts the initiate in a position to control certain related energies, and enables him to become increasingly a trained manipulator of those energies; each initiation gives him understanding of the related energy and of its field of activity; each initiation reveals to him the quality and the type of stimulation to be evoked when brought into contact with any particular ray energy; each initiation establishes relationship between the initiate and the ray energy involved, so that gradually (no matter what may be his soul ray, or his personality ray) he can work with the quality and the creative aspect of all the rays, though ever retaining a greater facility to work on his own soul ray, and later with the ray of the Monad - one of the three major Rays of Aspect. (18 - 557/8).
(19) Many who read these instructions, and who study the books I have written, are in process of preparation for one or other of the initiations, [Page 204] and the entire theme should therefore be of major interest to you. You should decide (at least tentatively) which initiation lies ahead of you, and then discover all you possibly can about it, and its prerequisites, endeavouring to make practical application of the imparted information; either that which I give to you is true, or it is not; if true, it is vital to your future progress and you should aim at achieving a measure of real understanding. (18 - 669).
(20) Initiation is not really the curious mixture of self-satisfied attainment, ceremonial, and hierarchical recognition, as portrayed by the major occult groups. It is far more a process of excessively hard work, during which process the initiate becomes what he is. This may entail hierarchical recognition, but not in the form usually pictured. The initiate finds himself in the company of those who have preceded him, and he is not rejected, but is seen and noted, and then put to work.
It is also a graded series of liberations, resulting in the attainment of increased freedom from that which lies behind in his experience; this carries with it the permission (soul enjoined or given) to proceed further on the WAY. These freedoms are the result of Detachment, Dispassion, and Discrimination. At the same time Discipline enforces, and makes possible the hard work required to pass the grade. All these four techniques (for that is what they are) are preceded by a series of disillusionments which, when realised and comprehended, leave the aspirant no choice but to move forward into greater light.
I would like to have you study initiation from the angle of liberation, looking upon it as a process of strenuously attained freedoms. This basic aspect of initiation - when realised by the initiate - ties his experience into a firm relation with that of the whole of humanity, whose fundamental struggle is the attainment of that freedom "whereby the soul and its powers can unfold, and all men be free because of an individually attained freedom". (18 - 685).
(21) The initiate, on his tiny scale, likewise has to learn to work behind the scenes, unknown and unrecognised and unacclaimed; he must sacrifice his identity in the identity of the Ashram and its workers, and later in the identity of his working disciples out in the world of daily life. He institutes the needed activities and brings about the required changes, but he receives no reward, save the reward of souls salvaged, lives rebuilt, and humanity led onward upon the Path of Return. (6 - 288).
See also: "Teachings on Initiation" (6 - 243/439).
INITIATION: APPLICANTS FOR-
(1) There is a great distinction between the terms "aspirant to the Path" and "applicant for initiation". He who aspires and strives towards discipleship is in no way pledged to the same specific attitude and discipline as is the applicant for initiation, and he can, if he so choose, take as long as he desires in the treading of the Probationary Path. The man who seeks initiation is in a different position, and having once made application, has to bring his life under a definite rule, and a strict regime which is only optional to the disciple. (1 - 192).
(2) The disciple's attitude of mind must be that he cares not whether he takes initiation or not. Selfish motive must not enter it. Only those applications which reach the Master through the energy engendered through pure altruistic motive are transmitted by Him to the recording angel of the Hierarchy; only those disciples who seek initiation because of the added power to help and bless that it confers, will find a response to their plea . . . Those who are keen to serve, those who are weighed down with a sense of world need, . . . knock and meet with response . . .
When the lower life upon the physical plane is fertilised, the emotional stabilised, and the mental transmitted, then naught can prevent the latch on the door being lifted, and the disciple passing through. (1 - 193/4).
(3) Many people are regarded as initiates, who are only endeavouring 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-centredly, 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. (15 - 13).
(4) The major liability of the average initiate, is sloth or lack of speed. Ponder on that. (18 - 156).
FIRST INITIATION: (Birth)
(1) At the first initiation, the control of the Ego over the physical body must have reached a high degree of attainment. "The sins of the flesh", as the Christian phraseology has it, must be dominated; gluttony, drink, and licentiousness must no longer hold sway. The physical elemental will no longer find its demand obeyed; the control must be complete and the lure departed. A general attitude of obedience to the Ego must have been achieved, and the willingness to obey must be very strong. The channel between the higher and the lower is widened, and the obedience of the flesh practically automatic. (1 - 82).
(2) After this (first) initiation the initiate is taught principally the facts of the astral plane; he has to stabilise his emotional vehicle and learn to work on the astral plane with the same facility and ease as he does on the physical plane; he is brought in contact with the astral devas; he learns to control the astral elementals; he must function with facility on the lower sub-planes, and the value and quality of his work on the physical plane becomes of increased worth. He passes, at this initiation, out of the Hall of Learning into the Hall of Wisdom. At this time, emphasis is consistently laid on his astral development, although his mental equipment grows steadily . . . A long period of many incarnations may elapse before the control of the astral body is perfected, and the initiate is ready for the next step. (1 - 84).
(3) The first initiation is within reach of many, but the necessary one-pointedness and the firm belief in the reality ahead, coupled to a willingness to sacrifice all rather than turn back, are deterrents to many. If this book serves no other purpose than to spur some one to renewed believing effort, it will not have been written in vain. (1 - 111).
(4) The first initiation simply stands for commencement. A certain structure of right living, of thinking and of conduct has been attained; the form that the Christ is to occupy has been constructed, and now that form is to be vivified and indwelt. The Christ life enters and the form becomes alive. (4 - 352).
(5) 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 [Page 207] at the third initiation, to manifest forth as a "full-grown man in Christ". . . . Between the first and second initiations . . . much time can elapse, and much change must be wrought during the many stages of discipleship. (15 - 14).
(6) (The throat) centre is related to the first initiation, and develops great activity when that point in experience is achieved, as it has been achieved by the vast majority of men who are at this time the aspirants and the probationary disciples of the world. (Forget not that, technically speaking, the first major initiation from the hierarchical angle, is the third. The first initiation is regarded by the Masters as signifying admission to the Path). (17 - 152).
(7) Many thousands of people in the world today, have taken the first initiation, and are oriented towards the spiritual life and the service of their fellowmen; their lives, however, frequently leave much to be desired, and the soul is obviously not in constant control; a great struggle is still being waged to achieve purification on all three levels. The lives of these initiates are faulty, and their inexperience great, and a major attempt is instituted in this particular cycle to achieve soul fusion. When that is attained, then the third initiation (the first, hierarchically speaking) is taken. (18 - 385).
(8) An instance of a slow permeation of information from the plane of initiation to the physical brain, can be seen in the fact that very few aspirants and disciples register the fact that they have already taken the first initiation, the birth of the Christ in the cave of the heart. That they have taken it is evidenced by their deliberate treading of the Way, by their love of the Christ - no matter by what name they may call Him - and by their effort to serve and help their fellowmen; they are still, however, surprised when told that the first initiation lies behind them. (18 - 436/7).
(9) It can be assumed that all earnest and true aspirants and disciples, who work undeviatingly for spiritual advancement (with pure motive), and who are oriented unswervingly towards the soul, have taken the first initiation. (18 - 484).
(10) The Energy and radiation of the Lord of the seventh Ray, are becoming steadily more powerful in the three worlds.
This incoming of a ray always produces an intensified period of initiatory activity, and this is the case today. The major effect, as far as humanity is concerned, is to make possible the presentation of thousands of aspirants and applicants for the first initiation; men on a large scale, and in mass formation, can today pass through the experience of the Birth Initiation. Thousands of human beings can experience the birth of the Christ within [Page 208] themselves, and can realise that the Christ life, the Christ nature, and the Christ consciousness are theirs. . . . The experience need not be expressed in occult terms, and in the majority of cases will not be; the individual initiate who takes this initiation, is aware of great changes in his attitude to himself, to his fellowmen, to circumstances, and to his interpretation of life events. These are peculiarly the reactions which attend the first initiation; a new orientation to life, and a new world of thought are registered by the initiate.
. . . Each initiation indicates a stage in the growth and the development of this new factor in the human consciousness and expression, and this continues until the third initiation, when there emerges the "full-grown man in Christ". (18 - 569/70).
(11) The lives of initiates of the first initiation, are beginning to be controlled by the Christ-consciousness, which is the consciousness of responsibility and service. These initiates exist in their thousands today; they will be present in their millions by the time the year 2025 arrives. All this reorientation and unfoldment will be the result of the activity of the seventh ray, and of the impact of its radiation upon humanity. (18 - 571).
(12) The first initiation marks the beginning of a totally new life and mode of living; it marks the commencement of a new manner of thinking, and of conscious perception. The life of the personality in the three worlds has for aeons nurtured the germ of this new life, and fostered the tiny spark of light within the relative darkness of the lower nature. This process is now being brought to a close, though it is not at this stage entirely discontinued, for the "new man" has to learn to walk, to talk, and to create; the consciousness is now, however, being focussed elsewhere. This leads to much pain and suffering until the definite choice is made, a new dedication to service is vouchsafed, and the initiate is ready to undergo the Baptism of Initiation. (18 - 667).
(13) All true aspirants have taken the first initiation. This fact is indicated by their intensive struggle to grow into the spiritual life, to follow the way of determined orientation to things of the spirit, and to live by the light of that spirit. (5 - 716).