SPIRITUAL EVOLUTION OF MAN
(1) At first it is the force of the plane substance, which directs him, causing him to identify himself with the grosser substance and to consider himself [Page 387] a man, a member of the fourth Kingdom, and to be convinced, therefore, that he is the Not-self. Later, as force from the Ego pours in, his psychical evolution proceeds (I use the word "psychical" here in its higher connotation) and he begins to consider himself as the Ego, the Thinker, the One who uses the form. Finally, energy from the Monad begins to be responded to and he knows himself to be neither the man nor the Angel, but a divine essence or Spirit . . . A man is then seen as he is truly - a network of fire with flaming focal points, transmitting and circulating fiery energy. (3 - 1157/8).
(2) The little evolved cannot comprehend completely the much evolved, and in a lesser degree, the advanced Ego comprehends not an initiate. The greater can apprehend the lesser, but the reverse is not the case. (4 - 113).
(3) There comes a stage when a man is verily and indeed "founded on the rock", and though he may experience the alternation of light and shade, though the waves of the purifying waters may roll over him, and threaten to sweep him off his feet, and though he may feel himself deaf and dumb and blind, naught can ultimately defeat the purpose of the soul. (4 - 148).
(4) The disciple . . . can never be static; he can never rest; he is constantly adjusting himself to new conditions; constantly learning to function therein, and then subsequently finding them pass away to give place, in their turn, to new. This goes on until the consciousness is stabilised in the Self, in the One. Then the initiate knows himself to be the onlooking Unity, watching the phenomenal phantasmagoria of life in the form.
. . . This dualistic stage is that of the aspirant and of the disciple, up to the time of his training for the third initiation. He begins with a knowledge that he is a spiritual entity confined in a form. His consciousness for a long period of time remains predominantly that of the form. Gradually this changes - so gradually that the aspirant learns the lesson of endurance (even to the point of enduring the not-self!) until there comes a life of balance, wherein neither preponderates. This produces in man a state of apparent negativity and inertia which may last for one life or two, and he seems to accomplish little in either direction. This is, for workers, a valuable hint in their dealings with people. Then the point of balance changes, and the soul appears to dominate from the standpoint of influence, and the entire consciousness aspect begins to shift into the higher of the two aspects. Duality, however, still persists, for the man is sometimes identified with his soul and sometimes with his form nature; this is the stage wherein so many most earnest disciples are at this time to be found. Little by little, however, [Page 388] he becomes "absorbed" in the soul, and thus comes en rapport with all aspects of the soul in all forms, until the day dawns when he realises that there is nothing but soul and then the higher state of unity supervenes. (4 - 374/5)
(5) Let us simplify matters, if we can, by three clear statements; in them we will sum up the work the disciple accomplishes, as he struggles with and masters the energies of the mental world.
1. Work on the mental plane produces realisation of duality. The disciple seeks to blend and merge the soul with its vehicle, and to do this consciously. He seeks to fuse them into a unity. He aims at the realisation that, here and now, they are ONE. The unification of the self and of the not-self is his objective. The first step in this direction is taken when he begins to cease identifying himself with the form, and recognises (during this transitional period) that he is a duality.
2. The mind, rightly used, becomes therefore a recorder of two types of energy, or of two aspects of the manifestation of the One Life. It records and interprets the world of phenomena. It records and interprets the world of souls. It is sensitive to the three worlds of human evolution. It becomes equally sensitive to the kingdom of the soul. It is the great mediating principle, in this interim of dual recognition.
3. Later, the soul and its instrument become so unified and at-one that duality disappears, and the soul knows itself to be all that is, all that has been, and all that will be. (4 - 385/6).
(6) Be of good cheer, for there is no true defeat of the human spirit; there is no final extinction of the divine in man, for divinity ever rises triumphant from the darkest pit of hell . . . There is no power on Earth which can prevent the advance of man towards his destined goal, and no combination of powers can hold him back. Today that combination is active - a combination of ancient evil and modern aggressive selfishness, released through a group of unscrupulous and ambitious men in every country. They will not finally succeed. They may (but) delay and hinder the emergence of freedom. (9 - 106).
(7) He (man) has come to a point where success, popularity, and diverse gifts are his, and yet from their use he derives no content; always the urge within persists, until the pain is so severe that the desire to reach out and up, to ascertain something and someone beyond, overcomes all obstacles. The man begins to turn within, and to seek the source from whence he came. Then he begins to meditate, to ponder, to intensify vibration, until in process of time he garners the fruit of meditation. (2 - 10).
(8) In all work that is truly occult, expected effects are very slowly achieved. Should a man seem in any one incarnation to make spectacular progress, it is due to the fact that he is but demonstrating what has already been earlier acquired (. . . in previous incarnations), and is preparing for a fresh period of slow, careful, and painstaking endeavour. He recapitulates in the present life the processes surmounted in the past, and thus lays the foundation for renewed effort. . . . What the personality spends many thousands of lives in establishing, is
(9) The wonder and the immensity of the drama unfolding in the universe, is a proof of its reality, and the grasp of man, small though it may appear to be, is a guarantee of his divinity. Stage by stage we slowly make our approach to the goal of conscious and intelligent awareness. Step by step we are mastering matter, and making more adequate the mechanism of awareness and of contact. Little by little we (and by that I mean the human family as a whole) are approaching the "place of recognition", and are preparing to climb the mountain of vision. If aspirants but realised the wonders of that revelation, and if they grasped the magnificence of the reward given to their efforts, we should have less failure, more courage, a greater and steadier achievement, and consequently a more rapidly illumined world . . . The vision cannot be appropriated. It is ever on ahead, but if the entire life is given to vision, and if the serving of one's fellow man is overlooked, the vision profits not. (14 - 156/7).
(10) 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 - individualisation, 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. (15 - 27).
(11) It is essential, however, that (the average reader) avoid the concept that the attainment of the highest initiation upon this planet, marks the end or the consummation of a great and final stage. It only marks the beginning of significance. This is a statement of esoteric value. Just as the attainment of physical control sets the neophyte free for the learning of higher lessons in preparation for the major initiations, so the surmounting of the conditions [Page 390] presented by the seven planes of our planetary life, sets the initiate (such as the Buddha or the Christ) free for still higher and more important conditioning circumstances. Their real work as Members of the White Brotherhood is on the point of beginning, and the true purpose of the existence of the Great White Lodge begins faintly to dawn upon Their entranced and amazed understanding. It is of real value to us, therefore, to endeavour to grasp the continuity of revelation, and the vast future or vista of unfolding wonder which, stage by stage, grade by grade, and plane by plane, unfolds before the initiate-consciousness.
We enter here into a consideration of realms of advancement, of which even advanced humanity has no faintest idea; we are touching upon goals and objectives which confront the advanced Members of the Hierarchy; we are dealing with ideas and concepts for which we have no adequate terminology, and which are of such a nature, that the human mechanism of thought proves incapable of registering them. (18 - 203).
(12) If you will note your own present attitudes and actions, you will discover that primarily (I might add almost necessarily) they centre around yourselves, your own recognitions, your own grasp of truth, and your own progress upon the Path. But - as you achieve initiate status - self-interest declines until it disappears and, as an ancient Word has it, "only God is left"; only that remains in consciousness which is THAT, which is beauty, goodness and truth; which is not form, but quality, which is that which lies behind the form and that which indicates destiny, soul, place, and status. Ponder on these words, for they convey to you where (as evolution goes on) you will later lay the emphasis. (18 - 293).
(13) To be static, to have attained all that can be attained, and to be at a complete standstill, would be utter death and, my brothers, there is no death. There is only progress from glory to glory, a moving forward from point to point - on the divine Way, and from revelation to revelation, towards those points and revelations which are perhaps part of the Goal of God himself. What the goals are upon the Higher Way is as yet utterly unknown to you; what divine qualities and objectives may be revealed to the Master and the Christ as They tread the Way which leads Them off the cosmic-physical plane altogether, you cannot know or sense, and if you could, you would not comprehend the meaning. "Eye hath not seen nor ear heard" the things which God will reveal to those who tread the way to the innermost centre, to those who love. This ancient writing can be paraphrased as follows: It is impossible to realise the wonder of the future which the planetary Logos will unfold before those who have unfolded the second divine [Page 391] aspect, Love, and who are therefore full Members of the Hierarchy, the centre where the energy of Love is anchored.
It is interesting to realise that the unfoldment of the love nature is that which opens the door which leads to the Way of the Higher Evolution, and that nothing else will open it. This Way leads the Master off the cosmic physical plane on to the cosmic astral plane, or to a level of cosmic awareness whereon is generated that cosmic impulse which we call Love.
It will be obvious to you that as this Treatise is not written to instruct Members of the Hierarchy, but only for aspirants and disciples and initiates below the grade of the third initiation, much that I will say will be somewhat "blind" or veiled in symbol; much that I could say (if words existed of an adequate nature) will not be said. Those that have eyes to see and ears to hear, will read between the lines, and correctly interpret my symbols, hints and references. To many what I will say will be as meaningless as A Treatise on Cosmic Fire is to the average reader, and as the entire theme of initiation is to the ignorant and the undeveloped man. Much, however, should be of practical service to the struggling disciple, and I want in these concluding pages to fire his zeal, deepen his understanding, stimulate his capacity to love, and enlighten his mind. Such is what I seek to do. On his part, let him approach this subject with deep humility, with a meditative and reflective attitude, and with a refusal to materialise the presented concepts, as is so easy a thing to do. Let him refuse to step down the teaching to the level of his physical consciousness. In these words I have conveyed a basic hint.
Love and light are the great revealers, and if the student truly seeks to understand and profit by what I am endeavouring to teach, let him love all men more deeply, and let him see to it that his light shines forth in the dark place, for "in that light shall he see Light". It is the lesser light within that reveals the greater light; when the light of the soul combines with the light of the lower man, then that fused and blended light will enable the aspirant to see the Door which opens upon the Way of the Higher Evolution. (18 - 328/9).
(14) When man becomes the aspirant, and takes the first steps upon the path towards spiritual maturity, he begins to play a crucial role, which he maintains until he attains spiritual liberation and himself becomes a member of the Hierarchy, of the fifth or spiritual kingdom, through perfected service in the fourth or the human kingdom. (11 - 194).
(15) But in the meantime, great and momentous happenings are taking [Page 392] place within the Hierarchy and in relation to Its Membership. Disciples upon the periphery of any Ashram are apt to be observant of the training and attitudes of Those Who are senior to them in an Ashram; they frequently overlook the fact that They too - from the Christ down to the humblest initiate - are in process of steady and increasing hierarchical discipline, training and instruction. Because the senior disciples and initiates have reached a goal which has seemed for long quite unattainable to the average aspirant, it is assumed that they have attained; the fact that they have only passed a milestone upon the endless Way of Bliss, is entirely forgotten. But, owing to the impulsion of life itself, progress ever continues; knowledge must ever be transmitted into wisdom; love must ever be accompanied by divine will; planning must ever give way to divine purpose; light must ever be succeeded by life; from the Hierarchy the initiate must pass to Shamballa, and from Shamballa he will follow one or other of the seven Paths; the Path of Evolution gives place to the Way of the Higher Evolution; planetary recognitions eventually expand into solar contacts; the Christ-consciousness eventually unfolds into something so all-inclusive that we have as yet no word for it, or any need for words; recognition of the Father and of monadic being causes all lesser recognitions to fade out, and soul-consciousness and progressive life in form are no longer goals, but are left far behind.
In spite of all this, it is necessary to remember that the gain of all experience for ever persists, nothing is ever lost; that which life in form has conferred is still in the possession of the immortal spiritual entity; that which the soul-consciousness has enfolded and included is
 SPIRITUAL MAN
(1) We discover that behind all subjective phenomena there lies an essentially spiritual incentive. This incentive, this latent spiritual cause, is the object of attention of the spiritual man.
The spiritual man is he, who having been both a man of the world and an occult student, has reached the conclusion that behind all those causes [Page 393] with which he has been hitherto engaged is a cause; this causal unity then becomes the goal of his search. This is the mystery lying behind all the mysteries; this is the secret of which all that has hitherto been known and conceived is but the veil; this is the heart of the Unknown which holds hid the purpose and the key to all that IS, and which is only put into the hands of those exalted Beings Who - having worked Their way through the manifold web of life - know Themselves indeed and in truth to be Atma, or Spirit itself, and veritable sparks in the one great Flame. (3 - 1236/7).
(2) Later, when the race sees its problem with clarity, it will act with wisdom, and train with care its Observers and Communicators. These will be men and women in whom the intuition has awakened at the behest of an urgent intellect; they will be people whose minds are so subordinated to the group good, and so free from all sense of separativeness, that their minds present no impediment to the contact with the world of reality and of inner truth. They will not necessarily be people who could be termed "religious" in the ordinary sense of that word, but they will be men of goodwill, of high mental calibre, with minds well stocked and equipped; they will be free from personal ambition and selfishness, animated by love of humanity, and by a desire to help the race. Such a man is a spiritual man. (14 - 181).
(3) The reason for the corrupt politics and the greedy ambitious planning of so many of the world's leading men, can be found in the fact that the spiritually minded men and women have not assumed - as their spiritual duty and responsibility - the leadership of the people. They have left the power in the wrong hands and permitted the selfish and the undesirable to lead.
. . . Spirituality is essentially the establishing of right human relations, the promotion of goodwill, and finally the establishing of a true peace on earth, as the result of these two expressions of divinity. (7 - 168/9).
(4) Do not work so hard, strenuously and furiously at the spiritual life. It is a state of being and not so much state of achievement. (5 - 660).
Spiritualism was the religion of old Atlantis . . .
It is through the correct development of spiritualism along psychological lines and the withdrawal of its emphasis upon phenomena (which is its [Page 394] outstanding characteristic and emphasis today) that the true nature of death and of the hereafter will be revealed . . . The work of the seventh ray is,
Spiritualism, in its lowest and material aspect, is a low grade expression of the seventh ray and is - for the masses - definitely a line of least resistance, and therefore, of no great spiritual importance to their evolutionary development. The masses of the people are today Atlantean in their consciousness and are only slowly emerging into the Aryan point of view. This must change and the mind activity be rapidly enhanced, or else true spiritualism will be unable to express itself and - through the present spiritualistic movement - there can be let loose upon the world, forces and entities of a most undesirable character. The negativity of the majority of those who are interested in spiritualism and the entire negativity of the bulk of the mediums, throws the door wide open to very definite dangers. Fortunately, there is
 STAGE REACHED ON EVOLUTIONARY LADDER
(1) The problem consists in ascertaining upon which step of the ladder and in which phase one finds oneself at any particular time. Behind each human being stretches a long series of lives and some are now headed towards the stage of dominant selfish personality expression, and are making themselves individuals in full conscious awareness. This is, for them, as much a step forward as is discipleship for all of you. Others are already personalities and are beginning to experiment with the energy flowing through them, and to gather around themselves those people who vibrate to their note, and for whom they definitely have a message. Hence the myriads of small groups all over the world, working in every known field of human expression. Others have passed beyond that stage and are becoming decentralised from the personality expression in the three worlds of human life and are motivated by an energy which is the higher aspect of the personality energy. No longer do they work and plan and struggle to express their personalities, and to make their individual impact upon the world, or to gather magnetically around themselves a group of people who look up to them, and thus feed the springs of their pride and ambition and who make them both influential and important. They are beginning to see things in a newer and truer perspective. In the light of the Whole, the light of the little self fades out, just as the light that is inherent in every atom of the body is gathered together and obliterated in the light of the soul when that blazes forth in all its glory.
When the stage of selflessness, of service, of subordination to the One Self, and of sacrifice to the group becomes the objective, a man has reached the point where he can be received into that group of world mystics and knowers and group workers which is the physical plane reflection of the planetary Hierarchy. (4 - 397/8).
(2) So much misinformation has been spread abroad, and so much emphasis has been unwisely laid upon status and position in the so-called [Page 396] hierarchy of souls, that sane and balanced disciples now seek to turn their thoughts elsewhere, and to eliminate as far as may be all thought of grades and spheres of activity . . . If these stages are regarded sanely for what they are - states of extended consciousness, and grades of responsibility - then the danger of personality reaction to the terms "accepted disciple, initiate, adept, master", would be negligible and much trouble would be eliminated. It must ever be remembered that individual status is rigidly kept to oneself, and the point of evolution . . . will be demonstrated by a life of active, unselfish service, and by the manifestation of an illumined vision which is ahead of the racial idea.
In the gathering together in the world at this time of the New Group of World Workers, true caution must be preserved. Each worker is responsible for himself and his service, and for no one else. It is wise to gauge and approximate the evolutionary status, not upon claims made, but upon work accomplished and the love and wisdom shown. (4 - 602/3).
(3) The point reached by a Master is high, but only relatively so, and you must not forget that when attained by Him, it seems low indeed, for He measures it up with the vista expanding before Him. Each expansion of consciousness, each step upon the ladder, but opens before the Initiate another sphere to be embraced, and another step ahead to be taken; each initiation achieved but reveals still higher ones to be mastered, and never comes the point where the aspirant (be he an average man, an initiate, a Master, a Chohan, or a Buddha) can remain in a condition static, and is incapable of future progress. Even the Logos Himself aspires, and even the One to Whom He aspires, reaches up to a Greater. (2 - 264).
(4) What happens in the system, transpires likewise on cosmic levels, and what is mastered here, must be repeated on a vaster scale in the cosmos itself. In this thought lies inspiration and development, and not despair and weariness. The reward that comes with each step forward, the delight that lies in increased comprehension, rewards the struggling aspirant in adequate fashion . . . (2 - 265).
(5) It will be apparent to you, how essential it is that all disciples and initiates should know exactly where they stand on the Path, the final aspect of the ladder of evolution; otherwise, they will misinterpret the call, and fail to recognise the source of the outgoing sound. How easily this can happen becomes apparent to every advanced teacher of occultism and esotericism, when he perceives how easily unimportant people and beginners interpret calls and messages they hear or receive, as coming to them from some high and elevated source, whereas they are in all probability hearing [Page 397] that which emanates from their own subconsciousness, from their own souls, or from some teacher (not a Master) who is attempting to help them. (17 - 688).
(6) You need to remember that the world of men today is full of those who have taken one or other of the initiations, and that there are great disciples, from all the rays, working on the physical plane as senior workers for humanity under the Hierarchy; there will be many more during the next one hundred years. (Written in 1949). Some of these do not know their particular hierarchical status in their physical brains, having deliberately relinquished this knowledge in order to do certain work. That which I here write is intended - during the next forty years - to find its way into their hands, with the deliberate intent of bringing to the surface of their brain consciousness, who and what they are in truth. This is part of the programme planned by the Hierarchy, prior to the externalisation of the Ashrams. The Masters feel that these senior disciples and initiates (being on the spot), should soon begin to work with more authority. This does not mean that they will assert their spiritual identity, and claim initiate status. This they could not do on account of their point on the ladder of spiritual evolution. But - knowing who they are from the angle of the Hierarchy, and what is expected of them - they will strengthen their work, bring in more energy, and point the way with greater clarity. Their wisdom will be recognised as well as their compassion, but they themselves will recede into the background; they may even appear to be less active outwardly, and so be misjudged, but their spiritual influence will be growing; they care not what others think about them. They recognise also the mistaken views of all the modern religions anent the Christ; some may even be persecuted in their homes, or by those they seek to help. None of this will matter to them. Their way is clear, and their term of service is known to them. (18 - 707/8).
(7) Discipleship warrants recognition. There is no false pride in knowing that one is a disciple . . . Recognition of status, however, is purely a personal matter; it should be faced and accepted, and then followed by silence. (5 - 562).
(8) She (A.A.B.) has steadily set herself, with my full approval, against the unwholesome curiosity as to status and title, which is a blight on so many occult groups, leading to the full tide of competition, jealousy, criticism and claim-making which distinguishes the majority of the occult groups, which renders futile so many of their publications, and which [Page 398] hinders the general public from receiving the teaching in its purity and simplicity. Status and title, place and position count for nothing. It is the teaching that counts - its truth and is intuitive appeal. This you must constantly bear in mind. (5 - 781).
See also: (6 - 413, - 632/635).