(1) The Seven Rays: We are told that seven great rays exist in the cosmos. In our solar system, only one of these seven great rays is in operation. The seven sub-divisions constitute the "seven rays" which, wielded by our solar Logos, form the basis of endless variations in His system of worlds. These seven rays may be described as the seven channels through which all being in His solar system flows, the seven predominant characteristics or modifications of life, for it is not to humanity only that these rays apply, but to the seven kingdoms as well. In fact there is nothing in the whole solar system, at whatever stage of evolution it may stand, which does not belong, and has not always belonged, to one or other of the seven rays. (14 - 163).
(2) A ray is but a name for a particular force or type of energy, with the emphasis upon the quality which that force exhibits, and not upon the form aspect which it creates. (14 - 316).
(3) It might be useful here to enumerate the rays, and thus refresh the memory of the neophyte:
Rays of Aspect:
1. The Ray of Power, Will and Purpose.
2. The Ray of Love-Wisdom.
3. The Ray of Active Creative Intelligence.
Rays of Attribute:
4. The Ray of Harmony through Conflict.
5. The Ray of Concrete Science or Knowledge.
6. The Ray of Idealism or Devotion.
7. The Ray of Order or Ceremonial Magic. (18 - 558).
(4) Every human being is basically an expression of five ray forces:
1. The ray of the soul.
2. The ray of the personality.
3. The ray governing the mental body.
4. The ray governing the astral equipment.
5. The ray of the physical nature. (17 - 52).
(5) According to the ray on which initiation is taken, so very largely depends the subsequent path of service. (1 - 182).
(6) The sub-ray on which a man is found, that minor ray which varies from incarnation to incarnation, largely gives him his colouring for this life. It is his secondary hue. Forget not, the primary ray of the Monad continues through the aeon. It changes not. It is one of the three primary rays that eventually synthesise the sons of men. The ray of the Ego varies from round to round, and, in more evolved souls, from race to race, and comprises one of the five rays of our present evolution. It is the predominating ray to which a man's causal body vibrates. It may correspond to the ray of the Monad, or it may be one of the complementary colours to the primary. The ray of the personality varies from life to life, till the gamut of the seven sub-rays of the Monadic ray has been passed through.
. . . With average advanced men, who are struggling to approximate themselves to the ideal, similarity of the egoic ray will produce mutual comprehension, and friendship follows . . . But when (added to the egoic similarity of ray) you have the same ray of personality, then you have one of those rare things, a perfect friendship, a successful marriage, an unbreakable link between the two. This is rare indeed. (4 - 111/2).
(7) Every form in nature, and every human being, is found upon one or other of the seven qualifying rays, and his appearance in a phenomenal form is coloured by the quality of his basic ray. It is qualified predominantly by the ray of the particular life upon whose emanation he issued forth, but it will include also in a secondary measure, the six other ray types. (14 - 21).
(8) Every human being finds himself upon one of the seven rays. His personality is found, in every life, upon one of them, in varying rotation, according to the ray of the ego or soul . . . .
A ray confers, through its energy, peculiar physical conditions, and determines the quality of the astral-emotional nature; it colours the mind body; it controls the distribution of energy, for the rays are of differing rates of vibration, and govern a particular centre in the body (differing with each ray) through which that distribution is made. Each ray works through one centre primarily, and through the remaining six in a specific order. The ray predisposes a man to certain strengths and weaknesses, and constitutes his principle of limitation, as well as endowing him with capacity. It governs the method of his relations to other human types, and is responsible for his reactions in form to other forms. It gives him his colouring and quality, his general tone on the three planes of the personality, and it moulds his physical appearance. Certain attitudes of mind are easy for one ray type, and difficult for another, and hence the changing personality shifts from ray to ray, from life to life, until all the qualities are developed and [Page 333] expressed. Certain souls, by their ray destiny, are found in certain fields of activity, and a particular field of endeavour remains relatively the same for many life expressions. . . . When a man is two-thirds of the way along the evolutionary path, his soul ray type begins to dominate the personality ray type, and will therefore govern the trend of his expression on earth. (14 - 128/9).
(9) I wonder sometimes if any of you realise the epoch-making importance of the teaching which I have given out anent the seven rays as manifesting energies . . . With all that I have given you concerning the seven rays and the seven Ray Lords, much more can be discovered; these seven great Lives can be seen and known as the informing essences and the active energies in all that is manifested and tangible upon the physical plane, as well as on all the planes of divine expression. (17 - 583).
(10) Disciples upon the different rays will all have the same goal, make the same experiments, go through the same experience, and arrive equally at divine expression. However, their qualities and their modes of approach, their reactions and their distinctive natures, will differ according to their ray type; this constitutes a most interesting and little known phase of our study of initiation. (18 - 338).
(11) Each great ray, as it comes into incarnation, transforms the speech of the cycle, enriches the existent vocabulary, and brings new knowledge to humanity; the many civilisations - past and present - are the result of this. (18 - 646).
The third quality which must be utterly rooted out and destroyed, is that of all reaction towards recognition, whether that recognition is accorded by the world of men, by other disciples, or by the Master. The ability to work without any token of recognition, to see others claim the reward of action taken, and even to be unaware that the results of the good initiated by the individual disciple or his group are claimed by others, are the hallmarks of the hierarchical worker. The Masters get no recognition for the work done by Their disciples, though They initiated the original impulse, and have given both guidance and direction; the disciple carries out the Plan; he shoulders the responsibility; he pays the price, either good or bad, or the karmic results of instituted activity, and he is the one who gains the recognition of the crowd. But - until the disciple seeks no recognition, [Page 334] until he fails to think in terms of results, and is unaware of the reaction of the world to his work as an individual disciple - he has as yet far to go in order to gain the higher initiations. (18 - 211/2).
(1) The average Christian confuses the Law of Rebirth with what he calls "the transmigration of souls", and frequently believes that the Law of Rebirth signifies the passing of human beings into the bodies of animals or of lower forms of life. Such is by no means the case . . .
Beyond the fact that there is such a law (Rebirth), we know little . . . Only a few things can be said with accuracy about it, and these few warrant no contradiction:
1. The Law of Rebirth is a great natural law upon our planet.
2. It is a process, instituted and carried forward under the Law of Evolution.
3. It is closely related to, and conditioned by, the Law of Cause and Effect.
4. It is a process of progressive development, enabling men to move forward from the grossest forms of unthinking materialism, to a spiritual perfection and an intelligent perception, which will enable a man to become a member of the Kingdom of God.
5. It accounts for the differences among men and - in connection with the Law of Cause and Effect (Karma) - it accounts for differences in circumstances and attitudes of life.
6. It is the expression of the will aspect of the soul, and is not the result of any form decision; it is the soul in all forms which reincarnates, choosing and building suitable physical, emotional and mental vehicles, through which to learn the next needed lessons.
7. The Law of Rebirth (as far as humanity is concerned), comes into activity upon the soul plane. Incarnation is motivated and directed from the soul level, upon the mental plane.
8. Souls incarnate in groups, cyclically, under the law and in order to achieve right relations with God and their fellowmen.
9. Progressive unfoldment, under the Law of Rebirth, is largely conditioned by the mental principle, for "as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he". These few brief words need most careful consideration.
10. Under the Law of Rebirth, man slowly develops mind, then mind [Page 335] begins to control the feeling, emotional nature, and finally reveals the soul and its nature and environment to man.
11. At that point in his development, the man begins to tread the Path of Return, and orients himself gradually (after many lives), to the Kingdom of God.
12. When - through a developed mentality, wisdom, practical service, and understanding - a man has learnt to ask nothing for the separated self, he then renounces desire for life in the three worlds, and is freed from the Law of Rebirth.
13. He is now group conscious, is aware of his soul group, and of the soul in all forms, and has attained - as Christ had requested - a stage of Christlike perfection, reaching unto the "Measure of the stature of the fulness of the Christ". (Eph. IV: 13) (8 - 115/9).
(2) Beyond this generalisation, no intelligent person will attempt to go. When Christ reappears, our knowledge will become more true and realistic; we shall know that we are eternally related to the souls of all men, and that we have a definite relationship to those who reincarnate with us, who are learning with us the same lessons, and who are experiencing and experimenting with us. (8 - 120).
(3) Civilisation, cultures, races and nations appear and disappear, but the same individualities come and go with them, garnering the fruits of experience, and progressively marching on to fuller Self/-government and group organisation and synthesis. (12 - 113).
(4) It would appear that as yet only two rules are posited in connection with the return of an ego to physical incarnation. The first is that if perfection has not been achieved, then the soul must return and continue the perfecting process upon the Earth. The second is that the impulse predisposing the ego to such action, is some form of unsatisfied desire. Both these statements are true in part, and generic in effect, but they are only partial truths, and incident to larger truths which have not yet been sensed or noted accurately by esotericists; they are secondary in nature and are expressed in terms of the three worlds of human evolution, of personality intent, and of time-space concepts. Basically, it is not desire which prompts return, but will and knowledge of the Plan. It is not the need for achieving an ultimate perfection, which goads the ego on the experience in form, for the ego is already perfect. The main incentive is sacrifice and service to those lesser lives that are dependent upon the higher inspiration (which the spiritual soul can give), and the determination that they too may attain planetary status, equivalent to that of the sacrificing soul . . . In themselves, [Page 336] rebirth and reincarnation, are misleading terms, and "cyclic impulsion", "intelligent purposeful repetition", and "conscious in-breathing and out-breathing" would describe more accurately this cosmic process. It is, however, difficult for you to grasp this idea, for it necessitates the ability to identify oneself with the One Who thus breathes - the planetary Logos - and the entire theme must therefore remain relatively obscure until initiation has been taken. Esoterically speaking, the point of greatest interest lies in the fact that it is group rebirth which is taking place all the time, and that the incarnation of the individual is only incidental to this greater happening. This has been largely ignored or forgotten, because of the intense and selfish interest in personal experience and living, evidenced in the speculative details anent individual return given in the current so-called occult books, most of which are largely inaccurate, and certainly unimportant. (16 - 324/5).
(5) Each soul, withdrawn from the body, has come to earth repeatedly, and many millions are here today, particularly those who were present in later Atlantean times and who are, therefore, the flower and the highest product of that highly emotional race. They bring with them the predispositions and the innate tendencies with which their past history has endowed them. (17 - 227).
(6) A particular incarnation is not an isolated event in the life of the soul, but is a part and an aspect of a sequence of experience, which are intended to lead to one, clear, definite goal - the goal of free choice, and a deliberate return out of matter to spirit, and eventual liberation. (17 - 259)
(7) Man has consciously to bring about his own liberation. These results are self-induced by the man ... as he is emancipated from the three worlds, and has broken the wheel of re-birth himself instead of being broken upon it. (3 - 126).
(8) All incarnations on the physical plane are not of equal importance, but some are of more moment than others; some, from the point of view of the Ego, are practically negligible, others count. . . (3 - 303).
(9) When the life of the personality has been full and rich, yet has not reached the stage wherein the personal self can consciously co-operate with the ego, periods of personality nirvana are undergone, their length depending upon the interest of the life, and the ability of the man to meditate upon experience. Later, when the Ego dominates the personality life, the interest of the man is raised to higher levels, and the nirvana of the soul becomes his goal. He has no interest in devachan. Therefore, those upon the Path [Page 337] (either the probationary Path, or the Path of Initiation) do not, as a rule, go to devachan, but immediate incarnation becomes the rule in the turning of the wheel of life; this time it is brought about by the conscious co-operation of the personal Self with the divine Self or Ego. (3 - 737/8).
(10) At the close of evolution, when the human unit is upon the Path and consciously controlling his destiny, and working off karma, the intervals intervening between two incarnations are brief or not, as the man may choose in the interests of the work to be done, and according to his intention to achieve liberation from the form. (3 - 791/2).
(11) If the deva, or solar Angel, is as yet in love with manifestation, and has a desire for objective existence, thus identifying himself voluntarily with substance, there ensues the phenomenon of reincarnated physical life. (3 - 1013).
(12) Some Egos cycle through their incarnations and their pralayas very rapidly; others spend untold aeons, and hence it is impossible to say that there are even "averages" connected with the appearance of Egos on the astral plane. (3 - 1036).
(13) Human units . . . when out of incarnation pass through the astral to the mental and descend again to incarnation from the mental levels. (3 - 1136).
(14) The factors governing the appearance in incarnation of a disciple are as follows:
First, his desire to work off karma rapidly and so liberate himself for service. The Ego impresses this desire upon the disciple during incarnation, and thus obviates any counter desire on his part for the bliss of devachan, or even for work on the astral plane. The whole objective, therefore, of the disciple after death is to get rid of his subtler bodies, and acquire new ones. There is no desire for a period of rest . . . The man, therefore, absents himself from the physical plane for a very brief time, and is driven by his Ego into a physical body with great rapidity.
Second, to work out some piece of service under direction of his Master. This will involve some adjustments, and occasionally the temporary arresting of his karma . . .
Third, a disciple will return into incarnation occasionally so as to fit into the plan of a greater than himself. When a messenger of the Great Lodge needs a vehicle through which to express Himself, and cannot use a physical body Himself, owing to the rarity of its substance, He will utilise the body of a disciple. We have an instance of this in the manner the Christ used the [Page 338] body of the initiate Jesus, taking possession of it at the time of the Baptism . . .
Fourth, a disciple may, through the lack of rounded development, be very far advanced along certain lines, but lack what is called the full intensification of a particular principle. He may, therefore, decide (with the full concurrence of his Ego and of his Master) to take a series of rapidly recurring incarnations with the intention of working specifically at bringing a certain quality, or series of qualities, to a point of higher vibratory content, thus completing the rounding of his sphere of manifestation. This accounts for the peculiar, yet powerful, people who are met at times; they are so one-pointed and apparently so unbalanced that their sole attention is given to one line of development only, so much so that the other lines are hardly apparent. Yet their influence seems great, and out of all proportion to their superficial worth. A realisation of these factors will deter the wise student from hasty judgments, and from rapid conclusions concerning his fellowmen.
Occasionally a variation of this reason for rapid and immediate incarnation is seen when an initiate (who has nearly completed his cycle) appears in incarnation to express almost entirely one perfected principle. This he does for the good of a particular group which - though engaged in work for humanity - is failing somewhat in its objective through the lack of a particular quality, or stream of force. When this becomes apparent on the inner side, some advanced disciple puts the energy of that particular quality at the disposal of the Hierarchy, and is sent forth to balance that group, and frequently to do so for a period of rapidly succeeding lives.
These are a few of the causes governing the periodic manifestation of those who are grouped in the Hierarchical records as "the aligned points of fire". They are distinguished by the energy flowing through them, by the magnetic quality of their work, by their powerful group effects, and by their physical plane realisation of the plan. (3 - 1149/51).
(15) The Law of Rebirth holds hidden the secret of the present crisis. Groups of egos come together to work out certain karma involved in past days. (4 - 114).
(16) The diversities among men are innumerable, but in each life there is a predominant trend towards which all the energies of his nature turn . . . The day comes, however, when the soul awakens to the need of dominating the situation and of asserting its own authority. (4 - 202).
(17) All souls incarnate and re-incarnate under the Law of Rebirth. Hence each life is not only a recapitulation of life experience, but an [Page 339] assuming of ancient obligations, a recovery of old relations, an opportunity for the paying of old indebtedness, a chance to make restitution and progress, an awakening of deep-seated qualities, the recognition of old friends and enemies, the solution of revolting injustices, and the explanation of that which conditions the man, and makes him what he is. Such is the law which is crying now for universal recognition. (14 - 300).
(18) The new psychology must inevitably be built upon the premise that this one life is not man's sole opportunity in which to achieve integration and eventual perfection. The great Law of Rebirth must be accepted, and it will then be found to be, in itself, a major releasing agent in any moment of crisis, or any psychological problem case. The recognition of a further opportunity, and a lengthened sense of time, are both quieting and helpful to many types of mind. (15 - 431).
(19) Practically all the teaching given anent rebirth or reincarnation, has emphasised the material phenomenal side, though there has always been a more or less casual reference to the spiritual and mental gains acquired in the school of life upon this planet, from incarnation to incarnation. The true nature of the unfolding awareness, and the growth of the inner consciousness of the true man, have been little noted; the gain of each life in added grasp of the mechanism of contact, and the result of increased sensitivity to the environment, are seldom if ever stressed. (15 - 432).
(20)The entire subject of rebirth is but little understood at present. Its modern interpretation, and the emphasis which has been laid so strongly on small and unimportant details, have distorted and diverted the wide sweep of the subject and ignored the true import of the process; the broad general lines of the incarnation process, have been largely overlooked. In the debate as to the length of time a man is out of incarnation, and in the consideration of foolish items of unproved and unprovable information, and in the puerile reconstruction of the past lives of theosophically inclined people (none of them based on any truth), the real truth and the real beauty of the theme have been lost to sight. (16 - 316/7).
(1) 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 [Page 340] 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 learned the lesson of renunciation . . .
The soul has also . . . 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 secondary 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 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.
The soul has to relinquish also the sense of responsibility for that which other disciples may do . . . The relation between disciples is egoic and not personal. The link is of the soul and not of the mind. Each personality [Page 341] 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 . . .
The establishing of an inner contact and relationship (with other servers), 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 co-operation Must be established and developed, in spite of the outer divergencies 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 other's 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 . . .
1. Relinquish or sacrifice the age-old tendency to criticise and adjust another's 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.
2. 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.
3. 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 the Plan with freedom, for in freedom and in the sense of joy, and in the strength of inner co-operative 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 [Page 342] 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 co-operation. 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 favour 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 co-operation with each other as disciples, nor their service to the world. (15 - 104/9).
(2) The Great Renunciation becomes possible only when the practice of the little renunciations governs the life of a disciple and a group. The renouncing of ambition, of all personality ties, and the renunciation of all that hinders progress as it is revealed to the eye of the soul, lays a sound foundation for the final great transference, based upon the renunciation of that which for aeons has connoted beauty, truth, and goodness, and which has seemed the ultimate goal of all aspirational effort. The endeavour to see that which lies ahead and beyond the apparent finality of soul fusion faces disciples, among them some of you, at this time; and that all of you may penetrate beyond the veil of the soul, and eventually see that veil "rent from the top to the bottom", and thus be enabled to say with those of like degree "It is finished", is my earnest hope. Then will open for you, as for others, the Way of the Higher Evolution, and the glory of the Lord will be seen in a new light - the light which will dim and throw into the shade all previous goals and visions. (18 - 224).