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SECTION ONE - THE ASPIRANT AND THE MYSTERIES OF INITIATION - Part 4

Masonry, as originally instituted far back in the very night of time and long ante-dating the Jewish dispensation, was organised under direct Sirian influence and modelled as far as possible on certain Sirian institutions and bearing a slight resemblance also to our hierarchical life—as seen in the light of the Eternal Now.  Its "Blue Lodge" with its three degrees is related to the three major groups of Lives on Sirius, for there are there no kingdoms of nature, such as we possess; these groups receive all Those Who choose the fourth Path, and train Them in the mode of existence and the type of livingness which is found on Sirius.  This will make it plain to you that the least developed of the Sirian Lives are—from our standpoint—all of Them initiates of very high degree.  Masonry is, therefore, connected in a peculiar way with the fourth Path.  Down the ages, the Masonic tradition has been preserved, changing its nomenclature from time to time, reinterpreting its Words of Power, and consequently getting further and further removed from its original beauty and intent.

The time has now come, under cyclic law and in preparation for the New Age, for certain changes to be worked by Masons with spiritual understanding.  The present Jewish colouring of Masonry is completely out of date and has been preserved far too long, for it is today either Jewish or Christian and should be neither.  The Blue Lodge degrees are entirely Jewish in phrasing and wording, and this should be altered.  The Higher Degrees are predominantly Christian, though permeated with Jewish names and words.  This too should end.  This Jewish colouring is today one of the main hindrances to the full expression of Masonic intention and should be changed, whilst preserving the facts and detail and structure of the Masonic symbolism intact.  Whatever [419] form the new nomenclature will take (and this change will inevitably come), that too will pass away after due service rendered.  Thus the cyclic transformation will proceed until such time as the bulk of humanity, standing upon the fourth Path, will pass through the initiatory process on Sirius, of which our E.A degree is a faint reflection.

5. The Ray Path

The history of evolution upon the Earth, from the angle of humanity is one of progress, emphatic revolutionary decisions and climaxing crises.  Without such a history we should not realise the progress made and the steady though gradual growth of sensitive response to environment, to contact and to impressions—mental and spiritual.  The history of evolution is in reality and from the occult point of view the history of the freeing of the spirit by the mode of steadily developing forms which—in orderly unfoldment and at the demand of spirit—meet its requirements in any particular cycle and at every stage of growth, consequent upon the response of substance to spiritual impact and impression.

This impact and this impression relate to the bringing together of substance and spirit, of form and matter, and is also closely connected with the cyclic appearance of the rays, with their varying ray influences, qualities and intentions, for they all contribute to the evolutionary process as they cycle in and out of manifested expression.  It should be recognised that each ray Lord, whilst following His own path of development, has certain qualities to express and certain aspects of life to unfold and manifest.  The effect of these intentions of the ray Lords or Lives upon our planet is, from Their angle, purely incidental and takes place without planning, being due to definite cyclic, circulatory and cosmic activities wherein They are eternally engaged.  Their intention and purposes are not, therefore, in any way related to humanity—a fact which men are apt to forget.

It is, however, with these ray intentions that the Initiate of the sixth degree is occupied when He passes on to the fifth or Ray Path.  His decision and the intention of the ray [420] Lord at first, and the united intention of all of Them eventually, are curiously and uniquely connected.  The Master on this Path works at the comprehension of the intention and the life purposes of the ray Lords.  Many first ray souls find their way on to this Path, for there is a close connection between the decision at the sixth initiation and this fifth Path; this might be expected for two reasons:  one, that every Master is on one of the three major rays, and secondly, every Master has to develop an understanding of the world of cosmic Purpose.  It is a connection based upon the use of the will; it is the will-to-power, the will-to-love and the will-to-know, plus the other four aspects of will [vi]* which form the elementary basis of the training given on this fifth Path.  Souls from other rays reach the same goal and occasionally choose this Path, but it is not the one which constitutes for Them the line of least resistance, as it often is for Masters on the first ray.

Masters from the first ray and the second ray tread it often, and each of Them has a different mode of approach, technique and type of realisation:

1. First ray souls have to negate their "isolated unity" and study the beauty and value of differentiation.  This period of training is followed by a mysterious process called "multiple identification."  Note how the adjective here conveys the many and the plural whilst the noun gives the concept of unity and the singular.  In these two words, apparently contradictory though esoterically significant, there is embodied one aspect of the initiation to be experienced on this ray Path.

2. The second ray Master who decides to go this way has to negate his attractive, magnetic tendencies and learn the meaning of "isolated intention with a multiplicity of goals."  I know not how else to translate the archaic phrase which describes the objective of the Master's training on this Path.  The exclusive has to become the inclusive in an [421] entirely newly apprehended world of realisation, whilst the inclusive has to master the technique of exclusiveness and become exclusive in a new realm of realisation; it is an exclusiveness which has in it no slightest element of the great heresy of separateness.

I may not here even indicate the type or quality of the intentions of the ray Lords which the Master of the sixth initiation has to learn to comprehend.  The training given Him ends in another tremendous decision which will place Him in a group of Lives on some sacred planet or in some solar system which will be a correspondence to Shamballa on our little planet.  Shamballa embodies the will or purpose of our planetary Logos.  The goal which these initiates (trained on the ray Path) eventually reach is some sphere of activity wherein sublime purposes and divine intentions are worked out.

6. The Path the Logos Himself is on

It should be remembered as this peculiarly abstruse subject is approached that the Solar Logos is as far removed (in the evolutionary sense) from our planetary Logos as the latter is from the point of attainment of an accepted disciple.  Yet the two are linked by a subjective unity and similarity of objective.  At certain points upon the Way of the Higher Evolution Their two lines of energy meet and blend.  Our Solar Logos also plays a peculiarly interesting part in the development of our entire planetary life.  For the sake of clarity, yet at the same time speaking symbolically, Sanat Kumara might be regarded as a personal disciple of the Solar Logos, with all that that indicates of cosmic responsibility.

We had much difficulty in considering understandingly the path trodden by Those Masters Who decided to tread the Path of training for planetary Logoi.  It is therefore far more difficult and practically impossible to say anything anent this Path which is trodden by Those Great Beings Who are in training for Solar Logoi.  Of These, Sanat Kumara [422] is One.  Not all the planetary Logoi tread the Path of Solar Logoi, for just as exalted positions await Them elsewhere in the universe.  Those Masters, as I have said in A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, Who tread this Path are rare indeed, and hitherto have had to enter this Path via the angel or deva evolution and by transference then to the fifth or ray Path.  Changes have however been made, and a Master can now pass on to this sixth Path directly and without entering the deva evolution.

This sixth Path is one on which the Masters in training have to work with the devas who are so frequently the mobile agents of the creative process in solar creation.  The Masters Who enter upon this Path, eventually and as part of Their training, enter the Council Chamber of some of the sacred planets, before transferring into the group which guides our Solar Logos; this in its turn is only a temporary phase, though in both cases the time embraced may cover vast periods, from the point of view of humanity.  They work with principles unknown to us on Earth, though two of these principles will later be revealed; many of them are controlling factors on other spheres and in other planetary schemes which are more advanced than ours; the Master in training then acts as the custodian of these "energetic principles" or as distributing agent; in this way Venus was the custodian of what we call the principle of Mind and brought it as a pure gift to embryonic humanity.

7. The Path of Absolute Sonship

As I have previously pointed out, not much can be given out concerning this mysterious Path which leads into a triangle (if I may so express it) formed of three lines of energy of differing and greatly varying vibratory effectiveness.  This triangle is in the nature of an open door, presenting unique and unprecedented opportunity to Those Who discover this Path.  Just as one of the seven Paths produced ultimately relationship to the Pleiades, so this Path relates our solar system to the constellation of the Great Bear.  You have, therefore, the following triangle composed [423] of one stream of energy emanating from the Great Bear, another stream of energy issuing from the Heart of the Sun or from our Solar Logos, and the base line constituted of the seven streams of energy which come from our seven sacred planets.  The potency and the effectiveness of this triangle is therefore unique and apparent; it produces relation between our system, our planets and the universe.  This "open" triangle presents opportunity to Those Lives Who, from the other side of the triangle to that presented to our solar system and its contents, seek to help our solar system and bring the non-sacred planets to the point of liberation which is their particular goal.  Through this triangular door all the great Avatars enter our system and "find the Point where They can serve."

The inflow of extra-solar energy is what produces the seven cosmic Paths.  There is no such grouping as the seven solar Paths.  In most cases, the Paths lead away from our solar system altogether.

If you will study the more abstruse teaching (more veiled and more symbolic than this) you will find certain statements made which—to the esotericist—will throw much light on the simpler presentations in this Treatise on the Seven Rays.  It is simpler because only those points are given which carry in them the germ of possible enlightenment to the general public.  A Treatise on Cosmic Fire is not written for the general public; it is strictly a presentation of truth for the initiated disciple.  Its line is strictly a first ray and third ray presentation, whilst this Treatise is strictly a second ray approach.  This is a statement warranting careful thought, and one that has as yet received no recognition.

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Among the changes necessitated by the abnormally rapid development of mankind, with its consequent stepping up of the qualities of disciples, is the fact that no longer does the Master—faced at the sixth initiation with a stupendous decision to make—enter upon the indicated Path entirely blindly, as heretofore.  He is now given a revelation of the true united goal of the seven Paths and likewise a vision of their varying intermediate, individual goals.  Hence the name of the fifth initiation is that of the "Initiation of Revelation."  He can thus make His decision with opened eyes and unblinded by the glory.

One point requires elucidation here.  The whole standard of the mental equipment of entering disciples is so much higher than it used to be, owing to the mental and intuitive development of man, that this fact has forced corresponding changes within the Hierarchy itself.  The Masters Who are now moving forward on to the Path of the Higher Evolution are equally of much greater unfoldment; the will aspect is present to a great degree (little as you may realise it), and this is a new factor, conditioning much.  Love and intelligence distinguished the Masters up to three hundred years ago.  Love and intelligence and will distinguish Them today.  This again is another reason for the comprehensive changes made and it is interesting to note that the bulk of the changes are due to the response of men to the hierarchical work.  It is humanity that has forced these events of so far-reaching a nature; mankind has also forced revelations which it had been believed could not be given to men for thousands of years or until the sixth rootrace had come into being.  An instance of the expansion of the information given can be noted in connection with the second Path.  Nothing is mentioned in my earlier presentation of the seven Paths in Initiation, Human and Solar of a conditioning constellation.  In A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, I mention that energy enters our system from an unknown source, via Gemini.  In this latest contribution on the subject I mention that Libra, the Balances, is involved.  Thus there are found on this Path of [425] Magnetic Work two blended influences, those of Gemini and Libra.  You have, therefore:

The dual energy of Gemini is brought to a point of balance by means of the influence of Libra, and this balanced and dual energy is released then into our solar system.  This entering stream of balanced energies forms the second Path.  I have given you much information in the above statement.

I have asked A.A.B. to incorporate at the close of this instruction a passage from A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, for this teaching anent the seven Paths is as a climaxing comment.  I shall not enlarge upon it, but if you have spiritual imagination and speculative ability you can comprehend much.  I have also asked A.A.B. to add to this instruction the seven tabulations earlier given so as to complete and round out this triple presentation.  I do not urge you to study or to give much time to the consideration of the seven paths.  The treading of one or other of those Paths lies far ahead of you, and it would be a waste of time.  I would however remind you that every effort to live rightly, beautifully and usefully, to control the mind and to achieve loving understanding, lays the foundation for right decision at the sixth initiation; some day you too will stand at this point of unique choice and it is what you do here and now which will determine the way which you will go.

An Extract from A Treatise on Cosmic Fire

Pages 1243-1266

The seven Paths, at a certain stage which may not be defined, become the four Paths, owing to the fact that our solar system is one of the fourth order.  This merging is [426] effected in the following way:

The initiates upon Path I "fight their way" on to Path VI.

The initiates upon Path II "alchemise themselves" on to Path VII.

The initiates upon Path III through "piercing the veil" find Themselves upon Path V.

This leaves Path IV to be accounted for.  Upon this Path pass all those who, through devotion and activity combined, achieve the goal but who lack as yet the full development of the manasic principle.  This being the solar system of love-wisdom or of astral-buddhic development, the fourth Path includes the larger number of the sons of men.  In the Hierarchy of our planet the "Lords of Compassion" are numerically greater than the "Masters of the Wisdom."  The former must therefore pass to the sun Sirius there to undergo a tremendous manasic stimulation, for Sirius is the emanating source of manas.  There the mystic must go and become what is called "a spark of mahatic electricity."

These seven Paths are not concerned with nature or the balancing of the pairs of opposites.  They are concerned only with unity, with that which utilises the pairs of opposites as factors in the production of LIGHT.

PATH I.  EARTH SERVICE

Attributes.............Wise compassion.

Source.................Constellation of the Dragon, via Libra.

Method.................Twelve cosmic Identifications.

Hierarchy..............The sixth.

Symbol.................A green dragon issuing from the centre of a blazing sun.  Behind the sun and overtopping it can be seen two pillars on either side of a closed door.

Quality gained.......  Luminosity.

PATH II.  PATH OF MAGNETIC WORK

Attributes............Responsiveness to heat and knowledge of rhythm.

Source................An unknown constellation, via Gemini.

Method................The entering of the burning-ground.

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Hierarchy............The third and fourth.

Symbol................A funeral pyre, four torches, and a fivefold star mounting towards the sun.

Quality gained........Electrical velocity.

PATH III.  PATH OR TRAINING FOR PLANETARY LOGOI

Attributes............Cosmic vision, deva hearing and psychic correlation.

Source................Betelgeuse, via the sign Sagittarius.

Hierarchy.............The fifth.

Method................Prismatic identification.

Symbol................A coloured cross with a star at the centre and backed by a blazing sun, surmounted by a Sensa Word.

Quality gained........Cosmic etheric vision or septenary clairvoyance.

PATH IV.  THE PATH TO SIRIUS

Attributes............Cosmic rapture and rhythmic bliss.

Source................Sirius via the Sun which veils a zodiacal sign.

Hierarchy.............Veiled by the numbers 14 and 17.

Method................Duplex rotary motion and rhythmic dancing upon the square.

Symbol................Two wheels of electric fire, revolving

around an orange Cross, with an emerald at the centre.

Quality gained........Unrevealed.

PATH V.  THE RAY PATH

Attributes............A sense of cosmic direction.

Source................The Pole Star via Aquarius.

Hierarchy.............The first and the second.

Method................Process of electrical insulation and the imprisonment of polar magnetism.

Symbol................Five balls of fire enclosed within a sphere.  Sphere is formed of a serpent inscribed with the mantram of insulation.

Quality gained........Cosmic stability and magnetic equilibrium.

PATH VI.  THE PATH OF THE SOLAR LOGOS

Not given.............Not given.

PATH VII.  THE PATH OF ABSOLUTE SONSHIP

Not given.............Not given.

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The World Tension Analysed

The tension in the world today, [vii]* particularly in the Hierarchy, is such that it will produce another and perhaps ultimate world crisis, or else such a speeding up of the spiritual life of the planet that the coming in of the long looked-for New Age conditions will be amazingly hastened.  I would have you consider carefully what I have said here, remembering what I have told you in the past anent points of tension.  This present tension constitutes a major problem for the disciple in training, and therefore our particular theme in this instruction is peculiarly apposite.

There is a great deal of glamour in the world today and a great deal of that glamour is concentrated in Russia, owing to the youth and the basic political inexperience of that people.  The United States of America is also young and inexperienced, but not to the same extent as are the Russian people.  Today, the Russians are suffering from the glamour of power, the glamour of planning, the glamour of what they consider a great ideal (and such it is), the glamour of prestige and the inevitable—but ephemeral—glamour of totalitarianism.  It is this same totalitarianism which also constitutes their weakest point, because it leads inexorably to a revolt of the human spirit.  That human spirit is to be found in Russia to exactly the same extent as it is to be found in any other country in the world.

Freedom is an essentially spiritual attribute, underlying the entire evolutionary process; this should always be remembered as a strengthening and conditioning reality by all men everywhere.  It has survived aeons of opposition from the principle of enslaving selfishness and is largely responsible, at this time, for the struggle in which we are all participating.

The country which is the most free from selfishness today is Great Britain; she is experienced, old, and therefore mature in her thinking; she has learnt much in a relatively short time and her judgment is sound.  The most [429] selfish country in the world today is France, with the United States (though along totally different lines) running her a close second; both are materially selfish and capitalistically engrossed.  Russia is also selfish but it is the selfishness of a fanatical ideal, held by an immature, a too young a people.  The selfishness of the United States is also due to youth, but it will eventually yield to experience and to suffering; there is—fortunately for the soul of this great people—much suffering in store for the United States.  The selfishness of France is less excusable; France too is old and experienced; again and again she has been the victim of the armed forces of Germany and cries aloud to the world about it.  France forgets that she frequently over-ran central Europe in the Middle Ages, and the Napoleonic conquests are relatively modern history.  Her evil destiny (as she regards it) does, nevertheless, give her the opportunity to become spiritual in her life and attitudes, instead of grossly and intellectually (though brilliantly) material.  She has not yet learned her lesson, and as yet shows little inclination to do so.  Strain, economic privations and anxiety may teach her; the result will be stability.

In the hands of the United States, Great Britain and Russia, and also in the hands of France, lies the destiny of the world disciple, Humanity.  Humanity has been passing through the tests which are preparatory to the first initiation; they have been hard and cruel and are not yet entirely over.  The Lords of Karma (four in number) are today working through these four Great Powers; it is, however, a karma which seeks to liberate, as does all karma.  In the coming crisis, true vision and a new freedom, plus a wider spiritual horizon may be attained.  The crisis, if rightly handled, need not again reach the ultimate horror.

The area of difficulty—as is well known—is the Near East and Palestine.  The Jews, by their illegal and terroristic activities, have laid a foundation of great difficulty for those who are seeking to promote world peace.  As a Jewish member of my Ashram pointed out (and I commend him on his soul vision), the Jews have partially again opened the door [430] to the Forces of Evil, which worked originally through Hitler and his evil gang.  The "sealing" of that door had not been successfully accomplished, and it is the part of wisdom to discover this in time.  These Forces of Evil work through a triangle of evil, one point of which is to be found in the Zionist Movement in the United States, another in central Europe, and the third in Palestine.  Palestine is no longer a Holy Land and should not be so regarded.

I would have you bear these points in mind while you investigate the world picture.  This picture is taking shape and warrants recognition.  It involves the Jews (who are not a nation but a religious group) the Near East and Russia.  In the maps which are to be found in the Archives of the spiritual Hierarchy, the entire area of the Near East and Europe—Greece, Yugoslavia, Turkey, Palestine, the Arab States, Egypt and Russia—are under a heavy overshadowing cloud.  Can that cloud be dissipated by the right thinking and planning of Great Britain, the United States and the majority of the United Nations or—must it break in disaster over the world?  Will it present a task too hard for correct handling by that inexperienced disciple—Humanity?

In what I have written above you have the picture of the true situation; it is one which finds Great Britain temporarily weakened and ineffective (except for the clear thinking of her people and her political maturity); it finds the United States, unused to power, somewhat arrogant, with a strong superiority complex, inexperienced and yet at the same time exceedingly well-intentioned and fundamentally sound.  It is the mass of the people who are sound in their thinking and not their representatives in Congress.

It is not for me to tell you what will happen, although the Hierarchy knows.  Humanity must (as must all disciples) be left entirely free to settle its own destiny.  Humanity has not yet learned the difficult lesson which all disciples have to master:  the lesson of the dual life of the man whose soul is functioning and whose physical brain is constantly aware of this fact.

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THE DUAL LIFE OF THE INITIATORY PROCESS

In all the many books which I have written, I have said relatively little about the brain and its relation to the personality and the soul.  It is not possible to enlarge at any length on that theme here, but I will make certain statements without which this whole process of dual living would be most difficult to explain.  I will sum up what I have to say in the form of three basic statements:

1. The brain is a most delicate receiving and transmitting apparatus:

a. It is responsive to information relayed to it, via the senses, from the emotional plane and from the mind. 

b. Through its medium the personal lower self becomes aware of its environment, of the nature of its desires, and of its mental peculiarities, as well as of the emotional states and the thoughts of the people contacted in the environment.

2. The brain is largely conditioned by the endocrine system, and this far more than the endocrinologists would care to admit:

a. It is powerfully conditioned by three major glands which are found in close relation to the brain substance.  These are the pituitary body, the pineal gland and the carotid gland.

b. These form a triangle, practically unrelated in primitive man, occasionally related in average man, and closely related in the spiritual man.

c. These glands are objective correspondences of the three energy centres, by means of which the soul, or the indwelling spiritual man, controls his physical vehicle.

d. Where the relation is close between the three glands—as is increasingly the case where disciples are concerned—a triangle of circulating energies is always established.

e. This triangle, through the carotid gland in the [432] medulla oblongata, becomes related to other glands and centres.

3. The brain, as transmitter, becomes a powerful directing agency:

a. As a recipient and transmitter of pure energy or life it uses the carotid gland controlled by the alta major centre, and establishes a close relation with the heart and the heart centre.

b. As a recipient of mental energy or of energy from the soul, the ajna centre becomes the directing agency; this is the centre which controls the pituitary body.

c. These energies are received via the head centre, which controls the pineal gland.  Emotional energy enters the personality system via the solar plexus centre, where it either controls or is transmuted and elevated.

It is this triple mechanism in the head—both objective and subjective—which uses the physical brain as a receiving agent and as a transmitting agent.  It is this which is brought into creative activity and thus under the control of the disciple in training or in process of being prepared for initiation.  I have not hitherto emphasised this, nor do I wish to do so, for it is not desirable for the disciple or aspirant consciously and deliberately to deal with the mechanism in the head.  Let him learn to control and consciously employ the mind; let him train his mind to receive communications from three sources:

The three worlds of ordinary living, thus enabling the mind to act as the "common-sense."

The soul, and thus consciously become the disciple, the worker in an Ashram, illumined by the wisdom of the soul, and superseding gradually the knowledge gained in the three worlds.  That knowledge, rightly applied, becomes wisdom.

The Spiritual Triad, acting as the intermediary between the Monad and the brain of the personality.  This can eventually take place, because the soul and personality [433] are fused and blended into one functioning unit, this superseding again what we mean when we use the erroneous phrase "the soul."  Duality then takes the place of the original triplicity.

It has been necessary to make these somewhat elementary remarks and to clarify these points, if there is to be true understanding as to what constitutes the dual life of the disciple or the Master, and wherein they differ.

One of the tests of the initiatory process is a hitherto totally unexpected one.  Tests which are expected and for which preparation has been made do not constitute true tests in the real sense of the word, esoterically understood.  It is a test—imposed with increasing rigidity as initiation after initiation is taken—to see just how far the initiate is capable of retaining or preserving in his brain consciousness the registered facts of several worlds or planes of consciousness; i.e., the three worlds of human endeavour and the world of soul consciousness, or both of these and the world of the Ashram; or again these and the activity of the Hierarchy itself, viewing it as a complete whole; or again, of all these and the world of Triadal experience, until the point is reached where a straight continuity of consciousness can be registered and held which comes directly from the Council Chamber of the Lord of the World to Those Masters Who are functioning in a physical body and must therefore use a physical brain.  In every single case the test (in order to be passed correctly) must involve the brain consciousness; the facts, registered upon the subtler planes, must be correctly registered, recognised and interpreted simultaneously upon the physical plane.

You can see for yourselves that this is a major and most necessary indication of a developing awareness; a Master has to be aware at any time on any plane and at will.  It will also be obvious to you that this will be a growing and an increasing perception for which the intermediate stages, between initiations, prepare the initiate.  Gradually, each one of the five senses, plus the common-sense (the mind), has to demonstrate the effectiveness of its higher correspondence [434] and thus of a developing subtle apparatus.  Through this apparatus the initiate is put in touch with widening areas of the divine "state of mind" or with the planetary consciousness, until "the mind that is in Christ" becomes truly the mind of the initiate, with all that those words entail of meaning and esoteric significance.  Consciousness, Sensitivity, Awareness, Planetary Rapport, Universal Consciousness—these are the words which we must consider, sequentially developed and in their truly esoteric sense.

You have here a wide and general picture, involving the goal, the means or mode, the testing point and the physical brain; these are four factors which have received little or no attention where initiation has been dealt with in the occult writings.  They are nevertheless of major importance.  I am dealing with them here because of the stage of development now reached by the human mind, because of their increasingly close relation to the physical brain, and because there are now so many aspirants ready to tread the Path of Discipleship, the Path of Initiatory Training.  They are now in a position to work consciously at the task of a dual and constant process of spiritual and physical recognitions.

The Dual Life of the Disciple

I have divided this theme into two parts, owing to the fact that the dualism displayed by a Master and that demonstrated by a disciple are not identical or one and the same thing at advancing points of distinction.  The subject, when you first approach it, seems of a relative simplicity, but a closer consideration of it will present great and unexpected dissimilarities.

In connection with the dual life of the disciple, the factors involved are the threefold personality (with an awakening or onlooking consciousness centred or focussed in the brain), the soul which seems at first the ultimate goal of attainment but is later seen as simply a system or collection of fusing spiritual attributes, and the lowest aspect of the Spiritual Triad, the abstract mind.  The disciple feels that, if he can attain the immediate and fused consciousness [435] of the three, he has attained; he realises also that this involves the construction of the antahkarana.  All these factors, for one who has just been admitted to the Path of Discipleship and who is just finding his place within an Ashram, seem an adequately difficult undertaking and one that engrosses every power which he possesses.

This, for the time being, is true and—until the third initiation—these objectives, their conscious fusion, plus a recognition of the divine planes of awareness to which they all admit him, indicate the disciple's task and keep him fully occupied.  To the recognitions entailed he has to add a growing capacity to work on the levels of consciousness involved, remembering always that a plane and a state of consciousness are synonymous terms, and that he is making progress, becoming aware, building the antahkarana, training as a hierarchical worker within an Ashram, familiarising himself with new and opening spiritual environments, widening his horizon, stabilising himself upon the Path, and living upon the physical plane the life of an intelligent man within the world of men.  He is demonstrating also no freakish peculiarities, but appears as a man of goodwill, of benevolent intelligence, of unalterable goodness, and of stern and unchangeable spiritual purpose.  Is that enough of a goal for a disciple?  Does it seem well-nigh impossible of accomplishment?  Can you undertake such a proposition and make good your undertaking?

Most assuredly you can, for the factor of time enters in and the disciple is free to submit to its conditioning, particularly in the early stages of his discipleship; this he usually does at first, knowing nothing else to do, but the speed or the sattvic or rhythmic nature of the spiritual life eventually changes this attitude; he then works with no true consciousness of time except as it affects other people and his associates upon the physical plane.

At first, his registration of that which is sensed or seen upon the subtler planes or the soul plane is slow; it takes time for contacts and for knowledge gained to penetrate from the higher levels to his physical brain.  This fact (when [436] he discovers it) tends to upset his time-awareness, and the first step is therefore taken on the path of timelessness, speaking symbolically.  He gains also the capacity to work with greater rapidity and mental coordination than does the average intelligent man; in this way he learns the limitations of time as a brain condition, and learns also how to offset it and to work in such a way that he does more within a set time limit than is possible to the average man, no matter how ardently he may pursue the effort.  The overcoming of time and the demonstration of spiritual speed are indications that the dual life of discipleship is superseding the integrated life of the personality, though leading in its turn to a still greater synthesis and higher integration.

The dual life which all disciples lead produces also a rapidity of mental interpretation which is essential to the sane registration of the phenomenal life of the various higher planes and states of consciousness.  Forget not that all our planes are subplanes of the cosmic physical plane, and are therefore phenomenal in nature.  As they are contacted and recorded and the knowledge is transmitted to the physical brain, via the mind, there must always accompany them a true interpretation and a correct recognition of "things as they are."  It is here that the non-disciple and the psychic go wrong, for their interpretation is almost always fundamentally in error, and it takes time (coming within that cycle of limitation) intelligently to interpret and truly register what the perceiving consciousness has contacted.  When the time factor no longer controls, the interpretations registered by the brain are infallibly correct.  I have here given you a major piece of information.

You will see, therefore, that in the earlier initiatory process, the factor of time is noted by the initiate and also by the presenting Masters.  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 [437] 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.  This is due entirely to the factor of time, leading to their inability to "bring through" past events with accuracy, by a false humility as well (inculcated by the Christian Church, as it attempts to keep people subjugated by the sin idea), and by the intensely forward-looking anticipatory consciousness of the average aspirant.  When a true perspective and a balanced point of view have been attained, and some awareness of the Eternal Now is beginning to penetrate into their understanding, then the past, the present and the future will be lost to sight in the consciousness of the inclusiveness of the moment that IS; then the limitations of time will be ending and the Law of Karma will be negated; it is at present so closely related to past and future.  The dual life of the disciple will then be ended, giving place to the cosmic dualism of the Master.  The Master is free from the limitations of time, though not of space, because space is an eternal Entity.

You will see, therefore, the great necessity for a constant emphasis, at this stage in the training of the average aspirant, on the need for alignment, or for the creation of a channel of direct relation from the brain to the desired point of contact.  To this trained alignment must eventually be added the building of the antahkarana and its subsequent use in a growing system of alignments.  The antahkarana must be completed and direct contact must be established with the Spiritual Triad by the time the third initiation has been taken.  Then follows the fourth initiation with its destruction of the egoic, causal or soul body, owing to the complete fusion of soul and personality.  The dual life of the disciple ends.

The Dual Existence of the Master

I would have you note here the difference between the two headings.  I refer in one place to the dual life of the [438] disciple but in another to the dual existence of the Master.  That distinction is deliberate and intentional.  The disciple lives in the three worlds and, until the third initiation, he demonstrates his livingness strictly in relation to the soul and the personality, and therefore strictly to the phenomenal world and to the various levels of the dense cosmic physical plane.

The Master functions on the plane of BEING and demonstrates the fact that He eternally IS, that He exists as a divine aspect upon the formless levels of the cosmic etheric planes; this is a very different matter to the life of the disciple and to which little attention has been paid.  Existence, Being, Essential Life, Dynamic Energy, electric Fire are all of them distinctive of the higher initiations; they produce basic distinctions between their constitution and mode of life expression and that of those who live, who are in process of becoming, who express quality, and who fuse and blend solar fire and fire by friction.  Being and Existence are not the same as Becoming or of Qualified Appearance.  It is largely a question of emphases.  A Master has synthesised within Himself all for which the advancing disciple longs to express, all that is possible as Expansion, plus an emphasis upon the dynamic life aspect, plus an ability to stand immovable in pure Being.  Here again I find it hard to express that for which no words are to be found.

In the Master, all the divine aspects are proved capable of expression in accordance with this particular time, in this particular round and chain (reverting to the old symbolism of The Secret Doctrine) and through any particular racial expression.  These divine characteristics—viewed from the angle of time and space—are shewn in a definitely relative form; later cycles and time periods will show these aspects in a still more perfected form.  But the relativity of these matters does not really concern us, and the perfection is—from the angle of the human disciple today—exactly what we understand by perfection.  The Masters know, however, that a higher, deeper and more intensive manifestation of divinity is potentially possible, but it causes Them no [439] concern or strain, no anxiety or fiery aspiration; They know, as no disciple can know, the workings of the Law of Inevitability.  This Law releases the Masters (under the accompanying Law of Service), at the sixth initiation, into a wider field of experience, with all the divine assets and qualities so developed within Them that They know that Their equipment is adequate to the undertaking and that They can, without hesitancy and concern, take the next required steps.

It is hard for the disciple—struggling with glamour and illusion—to realise that the higher initiations are free from all concern and from any emotional or self-centred reactions to the work which lies ahead or to the form side of manifestation; it is well-nigh impossible for the neophyte to vision a time when he will be free from all reactions engendered by life on the dense cosmic physical planes and from all the limitations of life in the three worlds.  Today, aspiration provides a constant source of anxious questioning, of painful deliberations and of high voltage spiritual ambition, with their consequent limitations and moments of sensed failure and lack of achievement.  The Master has left all this behind, knowing that even this so-called "spiritual responsiveness" is a form of self-centred attitude.  Eventually—and disciples should take courage and hope from this statement—all this agonising reaction to the spiritual urge will be left behind.  The Master knows the Law and is entirely free from any consideration of the time equation, as far as He Himself is concerned.  He only regards time as it may affect the working of the Plan in the three worlds.

The dual existence of the Master involves what we might call the two poles:  that of the monadic consciousness, whatever that may be, and that of the self-created form which He may use as a member of the Hierarchy and a worker in the three worlds of human enterprise.  I would here remind you that there are many groups and types of Masters, and most of Them are quite unknown to occult students either from Their work or from rumour or from knowledge of the many evolutionary processes of which the human is only [440] one.  Not all the Masters work in the three worlds; not all the Masters need or possess physical bodies; not all the Masters "have Their faces turned towards the realm of dark light, but many face for aeons towards the clear cold light of spiritual existence"; not all the Masters make or are required to make the sacrifices which work for the fourth kingdom in nature entails.  Not all souls liberated or limited constitute the Kingdom of God in the sense which that phrase conveys to us; that term is limited to the soul which informs units in the human family; not all the Masters work under the great Buddha of Activity Who is responsible to Sanat Kumara for the Plan working out in connection with Humanity.  He works through the three Great Lords of the Eternal Ashram of Sanat Kumara, but His two Brothers have Each of Them an equally important work and are responsible—as He is—to the Council Chamber.  Each of Them also works through a triangle of energies with grouped subsidiary forces working in seven departments and differentiated also into forty-nine lesser departments, as is the Ashram which we call the Hierarchy.  Forget not, there are many Hierarchies and the Human Hierarchy is but one.

This whole theme is one of great complexity and yet at the same time so simple that when the simplicity of the planetary constitution is truly grasped and the analytic disputations of the concrete mind are overcome, the liberated Master enters a world of spiritual endeavour which is free from forms and symbols or the veils which hide the basic truth and the underlying mystery.

Being is simple, free, unlimited and unimpeded and in that world the Master moves and works.  Becoming is complex, imprisoning, limited and subjected to hindrances, and in that world the disciple and the lesser initiates live and move and have their being.  The Master works simultaneously in two worlds or states of awareness; i.e., that related to pure existence, to the untrammelled life of the planes controlled by the Monad, and also by the Hierarchy.  There naught but the Plan engrosses His attention.  He deals safely with "the simplicity which is Shamballa" and its [441] sphere or aura of influence and "with the field of relationships which are nurtured from the Ashram of the Christ."  I am here quoting one of the Masters Who was endeavouring to explain to a disciple the simplicity of the life which a Master expresses.

THE SCIENCE OF THE ANTAHKARANA

As we enter on the consideration of "The dual life of the initiatory process" I would call your attention to the wording used, and particularly to its significance in reference to the initiatory process.  This deals, as we shall see, not with the effort of the disciple to live simultaneously the life of the spiritual world and the practical life of physical plane service, but entirely with the preparation of the disciple for initiation, and therefore with his mental life and attitudes.

This statement might be regarded as concerning itself primarily with two major aspects of his mental life and not with the life of relation between soul and personality.  It is proper, consequently, to see a duality existing in the consciousness of the disciple, and both of its aspects existing side by side:

1. The life of awareness in which he expresses the soul attitude, soul awareness and soul consciousness, through the medium of the personality upon the physical plane; this he learns to register and express consciously.

2. The intensely private and purely subjective life in which he—the soul-infused personality—oriented upon the mental plane, brings into increasing rapport:

a. His lower concrete mind and the higher abstract mind.

b. Himself and the Master of his ray group, thus developing the ashramic consciousness.

c. Himself and the Hierarchy as a whole, becoming increasingly aware of the spiritual synthesis underlying the united Ashrams.  He thus consciously and steadily approaches the radiant Centre of this solar Ashram, the Christ Himself, the first Initiator.

[442]

This inner life with its three slowly revealed objectives concerns essentially the life of preparation for initiation.