(1) Once the second initiation is taken the progress will be rapid, the third and fourth following probably in the same life, or the succeeding.
The second initiation forms the crisis in the control of the astral body. Just as, at the first initiation, the control of the dense physical has been demonstrated, so here the control of the astral is similarly demonstrated. The sacrifice and death of desire has been the goal of endeavour. Desire itself has been dominated by the Ego, and only that is longed for which is for the good of the whole, and in the line of the will of the Ego, and of the Master. The astral elemental is controlled, the emotional body becomes pure and limpid, and the lower nature is rapidly dying. At this time the Ego grips afresh the two lower vehicles and bends them to his will. The aspiration and longing to serve, love, and progress become so strong that rapid development is usually to be seen. This accounts for the fact that this initiation and the third, frequently (though not invariably) follow each other in one single life. At this period of the world's history such stimulus has been given to evolution that aspiring souls - sensing the dire and crying need of humanity - are sacrificing all in order to meet that need.
Again, we must not make the mistake of thinking that all this follows in the same invariable consecutive steps and stages. Much is done in simultaneous unison, for the labour to control is slow and hard, but in the interim between the first three initiations, some definite point in the evolution of each of the three lower vehicles has to be attained and held, before the further expansion of the channel can be safely permitted. Many of us are working on all the three bodies now, as we tread the Probationary Path. (1 - 84/5).
(2) The second initiation marks the crisis of the control of the astral body. (4 - 353).
(3) In order to take the second initiation (the disciple) must demonstrate emotional control; he realises also that he must have some knowledge of those spiritual energies which will dissipate glamour, plus an understanding of the technique whereby illumination from the mind - as the transmitting agent of the light of the soul - can dispel these glamours, and thus "clarify the atmosphere", in the technical sense.
I might emphasise that as yet no initiate demonstrates complete control during the intermediate period between any initiation and the next higher [Page 210] initiation; the intermediate period is regarded as "a cycle of perfecting". That which is being left behind and subordinated to the higher realisation, is slowly dominated by energies which are to be released into the consciousness of the initiate, at the initiation for which he is being prepared. This interim period is always one of great difficulty . . .
The initiatory process between the first and second initiations, is for many the worst time of distress, difficulty, realisation of problems, and the constant effort to "clear himself" (as it is occultly called), to which the disciple is at any time subjected. The phrase stating that the objective of the initiate is "to clear himself" is perhaps the most arresting and illuminating of all possible definitions of the task to be undertaken. The storm aroused by his emotional nature, the dark clouds and mists in which he constantly walks, and which he has created throughout the entire cycle of incarnated living, have all to be cleared away in order that the initiate can say that - for him - the astral plane no longer exists, and that all that remains of that ancient and potent aspect of his being, is aspiration, a sensitive response to all forms of divine life, and a form through which the lowest aspect of divine love, goodwill, can flow without impediment. (18 - 577/8).
It should be remembered that the masses of men can and will take the first initiation, but that a very large group of aspirants (far larger than is realised) will pass through the experience of the second initiation, that of the purifying Baptism. (18 - 579).
(4) Members of the New Group of World Servers should watch with care for all those who show signs of having passed through the "birth" experience, and should help them toward a greater maturity. They should assume that all those who truly love their fellowmen, who are interested in the esoteric teaching, and who seek to discipline themselves in order to attain greater beauty of life, are initiate, and have undergone the first initiation. When they discover those who are seeking mental polarisation, and who evidence a desire and aspiration to think and to know, coupled with the distinguishing marks of those who have taken the first initiation, they can, in all probability, safely assume that such people have taken the second initiation, or are on the verge of so doing. Their duty will then be clear. It is by this close observation on the part of the world servers, that the ranks of the New Group are filled. Today, the opportunity and the stimulation are so great, that all servers must keep alert, developing in themselves the ability to register the quality for which search must be made, and giving the help and guidance which will weld into one co-operative band [Page 211] those disciples and initiates who should prepare the way for the Christ. (18 -667).
(5) This second initiation - as now undergone - is to some extent one of the most difficult. It involves purification, but it is purification by fire, symbolically understood. The occult "application of fire to water" produces certain most serious and devastating results. The water, under the action of fire, "is resolved into steam, and the initiate is immersed in the fogs and miasmas, the glamours and the mists" thus caused. Out of this fog and out of the glamours, the initiate must emerge; out of the present fog of human affairs humanity will also emerge eventually. (18 - 675).
(6) What is the basic goal of the initiate who has taken the second initiation? . . . What, therefore, lies ahead of the initiate who has entered the purificatory water, or rather, fire? To what is he pledged? . . . At the close of the initiatory process, certain energies and divine aspects should be recognised by him as now playing a part in his thinking and his purposes - energies which heretofore (even if present) were quiescent and not controlling.
Before him lies the third Initiation of the Transfiguration. Facing him is a great transition from an emotional aspirational focus, to an intelligent, thinking focus. He has, theoretically at least, cast off the control of the astral body and nature; much still remains to be done; old desires, ancient astral reactions and habitual emotions are still powerful, but he has developed a new attitude to them, and a new perspective to the astral body. Water, fire, steam, glamour, delusion, misinterpretation and emotional continuity, still mean something specific and undesirable to him. He is now negative to their appeal, and positive to the higher demanding focus. That which he now loves and longs for, desires and plans for, lies in another and higher dimension. He has, through his willingness to pass through the second initiation, struck the first blow at his innate selfishness, and has demonstrated his determination to think in wider and more inclusive terms. The group begins to mean more to him than himself.
. . . At the second initiation, he is granted a vision of a higher focus, and his place in the larger whole, begins slowly to reveal itself. A new creativity, and a new focus become his immediate goals, and for him life can never again be the same. The old physical attitudes and desires may still at times assume control; selfishness may continue to play a potent part in his life expression, but - underlying these, and subordinating them - will be found a deep dissatisfaction about things as they are, and an agonising realisation of failure. It is at this point that the disciple begins to learn the uses of [Page 212] failure, And to know certain fundamental distinctions between that which is natural and objective, and that which is supernatural and subjective. (18 - 677/8).
(7) The three keynotes for the second initiation are: Dedication. Glamour. Devotion. . . . Dedication, resulting in glamour, which is dissipated by devotion. (18 - 682/3).
(8) The longest period between initiations is that to be found between the first and the second initiations. This is a truth which must be faced, but it should also be remembered that it is by no means the hardest period. The hardest period for the sensitive, feeling aspirant, is to be found between the second and the third initiations.
It is a period of intense suffering, of the penalty of applying factors of glamour and illusion, of pronounced involvement in situations which, for a long time, remain unclarified, and of a steady moving forward as best the beleaguered aspirant can - under the influence of right direction and spiritual determination. This he has usually to do in the dark, working under the action of the logical and understanding mind, but seldom under the influence of inspiration. Nevertheless, the good work goes on. The emotions are brought under control, and necessarily the factor of the mind assumes an increasingly right importance. Light - flickering and as yet uncertain and unpredictable - pours occasionally in from the soul, via the mind, adding frequently to the complications, but producing eventually the needed control which will lead to and result in freedom.
Ponder on these things. Freedom.is the keynote of the individual who is facing the second initiation and its aftermath - preparation for the third initiation. Freedom is the keynote for the world disciple today, and it is freedom to live, freedom to think, and freedom to know and plan, which humanity demands at this time. (18 - 683/4).
(9) Many, many long lives can elapse between the first initiation and the second - long, long interludes of silent and almost unapparent growth. (5 - 94).
(10) The second initiation is a profoundly difficult one to take. For those upon the first or second rays of aspect it is probably the most difficult of them all. (6 - 525).
(1) After the second initiation the teaching shifts up a plane. The initiate learns to control his mental vehicle; he develops the capacity to manipulate thought matter, and learns the laws of creative thought building. He functions freely on the four lower sub-planes of the mental plane, and before the third initiation he must - consciously or unconsciously - be complete master of the four lower sub-planes in the three planes of the three worlds . . .
At the third initiation, termed sometimes the Transfiguration, the entire personality is flooded with light from above. It is only after this initiation that the Monad is definitely guiding the Ego, pouring His divine life ever more into the prepared and cleansed channel . . . (1 - 86).
(2) Again a vision is accorded of what lies ahead; the initiate is in a position at all times to recognise the other members of the Great White Lodge. . . . The aim of all development is the awakening of the spiritual intuition; when this has been done, when the physical body is pure, the astral stable and steady, and the mental body controlled, then the initiate can safely wield and wisely use the psychic faculties for the helping of the race. Not only can he use these faculties, but he is able now to create and vivify thoughtforms that are clear and well defined, pulsating with the spirit of service and not controlled by lower mind or desire. These thought-forms will not be (as in the case with those created by the mass of men) disjointed, unconnected, and uncorrelated, but will attain a fair measure of synthesis. Hard and ceaseless must the work be before this can be done, but when the desire nature has been stabilised and purified, then the control of the mind-body comes more easily. Hence the path of the devotee is easier in some ways than that of the intellectual man, for he has learnt the measures of purified desire, and progresses by the requisite stages. (1 - 87).
(3) This third initiation is . . . the first initiation, from the angle of the Hierarchy; it is the one in which the spiritual man demonstrates his complete control of the personality. The physical body has been controlled through the medium of the physical disciplines; the emotional nature has been reorganised and made receptive to spiritual impression coming from the plane of pure reason (the buddhic plane), through the transforming processes of the mind, or the fifth principle. In this connection, the mind has acted as an organiser of astral reaction, and as dispeller of glamour.
The disciple is now focussed in his every-day consciousness upon the mental plane, and the triangular relation of the three aspects of the mind upon this plane, is now dominant. (18 - 597/8).
(4) At the third initiation the control of the soul-illumined mind is finally established, and the soul itself assumes the dominant position and not the phenomenal form. All the limits of the form nature are then transcended. (18 - 674).
(5) The first three major initiations have always to be taken when in a physical body and upon the physical plane, thus demonstrating initiate consciousness through both mind and brain. This is a point not oft emphasised and sometimes contradicted. (5 - 95).
(1) Before the fourth initiation can be taken, the work of training is intensified, and the hastening and accumulation of knowledge has to be unbelievably rapid. The initiate has frequent access to the library of occult books, and after this initiation he can contact not only the Master with Whom he is linked and with Whom he has worked consciously for a long time, but he can contact and assist (in measure) the Chohans, the Bodhisattva, and the Manu.
He has also to grasp the laws of the three lower planes intellectually, and likewise wield them for the aiding of the scheme of evolution. He studies the cosmic plans and has to master the charts; he becomes versed in occult technicalities and develops fourth dimensional vision, if he has not already done so. He learns to direct the activities of the building devas, and at the same time, he works continually at the development of his spiritual nature . . .
The life of the man who takes the fourth initiation, or the Crucifixion, is usually one of great sacrifice and suffering. It is the life of the man who makes the Great Renunciation, and even exoterically it is seen to be strenuous, hard, and painful. He has laid all, even his perfected personality, upon the altar of sacrifice, and stands bereft of all. All is renounced, friends, money, reputation, character, standing in the world, family, and even life itself. (1 - 88/9).
(2) After the fourth initiation . . . the initiate is admitted into closer fellowship in the Lodge, and his contact with the devas is more complete.
He is rapidly exhausting the resources of the Hall of Wisdom, and is mastering the most intricate plans and charts. He becomes adept in the significance of colour and sound, can wield the law in the three worlds, and can contact his Monad with more freedom than the majority of the human race can contact their Egos. He is in charge, also, of large work, teaching many pupils, aiding in many schemes, and is gathering under him those who are to assist him in future times. This refers only to those who stay to help humanity on this globe . . . (1 - 90).
(3) When a man takes the fourth Initiation, he functions in the fourth plane vehicle, the buddhic, and has escaped permanently from the personality ring-pass-not.
This great act of renunciation (the fourth Initiation), marks the moment when the disciple has nothing in him which relates him to the three worlds of human evolution. His contact with those worlds in the future, will be purely voluntary, and for the purpose of service. (18 - 696).
(4) Since he first put his foot upon the Path, he has been trying to build the antahkarana. Even that has meant for him an act of faith, and he proceeds in the early stages with the work of building, yet scarcely knowing what he does. He follows blindly the ancient rules, and attempts to accept as factual that which has not been proven to him to be a fact, but which is testified to by countless thousands down the ages. The whole process is in the nature of a culminating triumph of that innate sense of Deity, which has driven man forward from the most primitive experiences and physical adventures, to this great adventure of constructing a pathway for himself, from the dense material world into the spiritual. These higher spiritual energies have hitherto been recognised by him through their effects; now he has to learn to handle them, first of all, by letting them pour into and through him, via the antahkarana, and then to direct them towards the immediate objective of the divine plan.
Hitherto he has worked primarily with the thread of consciousness; this is anchored in the head, and through that consciousness his personality and his soul are linked together until he has become a soul-infused personality; he has then attained unity with his higher self. Through the building of the antahkarana, another thread is added to the soul-infused personality, and the true spiritual individual is linked with, and comes under the direction of the Spiritual Triad. At the fourth initiation, the soul body, the causal body (so called) disappears, and the thread of consciousness is occultly snapped; neither the soul body, nor the thread, are any longer required; they become now only the symbols of a non-existent duality. The [Page 216] soul is no longer the repository of the consciousness aspect as hitherto. All that the soul has stored up of knowledge, science, wisdom and experience (garnered in the life cycle of many aeons of incarnation), are now the sole possession of the individual spiritual man. He transfers them into the higher correspondence of the sensory perceptive apparatus, the instinctual nature, on the three planes of the three worlds.
Nevertheless he still possesses awareness of all the past events, and knows now why he is what he is; much of the information anent the past he discards; it has served its purpose, leaving him with the residue of experienced wisdom. His life takes on a new colouring, totally unrelated to the three worlds of his past experience. He, the sum total of that past, faces new spiritual adventures, and has now to tread the Path which leads him away from normal human evolution, on to the Way of the Higher Evolution. This new experience he is well equipped to face. (18 - 710/1).
(1) The objective of all inner training, is to develop the esoteric sense, and to unfold that inner sensitive awareness, which will enable a man to function, not only as a Son of God in physical incarnation, but as one who also possesses that continuity of consciousness which will enable him to be interiorly awake as well as exteriorly active. This is accomplished through developing the power to be a trained Observer. (4 - 609).
(2) My underlying motive is ever the same: to indicate the way of living process, and to stimulate that divine curiosity, and that sense of outgoing spiritual adventure and eager aspiration for progress which is latent in all disciples and which, when stimulated, will enable them to proceed more serenely and sanely upon the Path of Return. Otherwise the practical value of that which I seek to impart is of no real importance at all. (16 - 202).
(3) Increasingly must your inner life be lived upon the mental plane. Steadily and without descent must the attitude of meditation be held - not for a few minutes each morning or at specific moments throughout the day, but constantly, all day long. It infers a constant orientation to life, and the handling of life from the angle of the soul. This does not refer to what is so often referred to as "turning one's back upon the world". The disciple faces the world but he faces it from the level of the soul, looking clear-eyed upon the world of human affairs. "In the world, yet not of the world" [Page 217] is the right attitude - expressed for us by the Christ. Increasingly must the normal and powerful life of the emotional, astral, desire and glamorous nature be controlled and rendered quiescent by the life of the soul, functioning through the mind. The emotions which are normally self-centred and personal, must be transmuted into the realisations of universality and impersonality; the astral body must become the organ through which the love of the soul can pour; desire must give place to aspiration and that, in its turn, must be merged in the group life and the group good; glamour must give place to reality, and the pure light of the mind must pour into all the dark places of the lower nature. (5 - 50).
(4) As you extend your power to grasp the needed lessons and learn to train your minds to think in ever wider and more abstract terms, you draw from me a correspondingly adequate instruction. The limitation to the imparted truth lies on your side and not on mine. (6 - 10).
"What is the standing or value of inoculation or vaccination, from an occult or esoteric standpoint?" This question is often in the minds of healers as they ask the further question, which is the real basis of their interest, "Does it affect the subtler bodies? How?"
There is no occult standard or value in inoculation, any more than there is an occult standard or value in giving a hypodermic injection. The entire question concerning serums and inoculations has been tremendously overemphasised by the so-called occult students. The human body, at the present time, is the recipient of such a vast amount of substance, extraneously precipitated into the interior of the body, that the whole subject is of vaster import, yet of lesser importance, than men think. Such is the paradox which I present to you. Wrong food of every kind, the inhalation of smoke down the centuries, the breathing in of tainted air, the taking of medicines and pills and tablets of every possible description, the rifling of the vegetable and mineral kingdoms in search of their ingredients, and the injection of mineral substances, of drugs and of serums, till one wonders sometimes at the remarkable assimilative powers of the human frame.
In all fairness, however, I would remind you that, as far as the physical well-being of man is concerned, these methods and techniques of the West, have resulted in the production of a healthier race than in the East, in a very definite prolongation of human life, and in the elimination of many [Page 218] dire physical scourges, which used to take their toll of man. This I, an Oriental, do admit. I have stated the situation thus in order to expand your view from the specific to the whole.
In relation to disease and inoculation, I would remind you that there are three groups of diseases which are not peculiar to man, but which are indigenous in the planet itself. These diseases are found in widely differing forms, in all the kingdoms of nature. These three families or groups of diseases are:
1. The great cancer group of diseases.
2. The syphilitic group.
Most of the objections made by the doctors with occult tendencies, are based unconsciously on a feeling that there should be higher methods of controlling diseases in man, than by injecting into the human body substance taken from the bodies of animals. That is most surely and definitely correct, and some day it will be demonstrated. Another reaction on their part is one of sensitive disgust, again largely unrecognised. A more vital objection should be based on the suffering entailed on the animals providing the vaccine and other substances.
The effect on the inner bodies is practically nil, and far less than the diseases themselves. Herein lies for the future a most interesting question. How far do diseased conditions in the human body, carry through and affect the inner bodies from the structural angle? It is a question I do not intend to answer. The controlling of modern disease is being handled by modern medicine, primarily in three ways: through the science of sanitation, through preventive medicine, and through inoculation. These are the lower correspondences to methods of activity emanating from the astral plane, from the etheric levels, and from the earth itself.
The science of sanitation, the use of water, and the growing knowledge of hydrotherapy, are the precipitation on earth of certain inner activities on the astral plane, of a most definite nature. From the angle of the aspirant, these methods are called purification.
The science of prevention (both of diseases and of death) is the precipitation on earth of certain modes of procedure on the etheric plane, whereby forces are correctly used, and certain destructive agencies are controlled and prevented from going the destructive way.
The science of inoculation is purely physical in origin, and concerns only the animal body. This latter science will shortly be superseded by a higher technique, but the time is not yet. (17 - 322/4).