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As we start this new part of our study, we can proceed to consider man as he is upon the physical plane, in the majority of cases.  Speaking with a broad generalisation, we could say that human beings can be grouped into four classes:

1. A few who are under the influence of their souls, or who are rapidly becoming susceptible to this influence.

2. Personalities, of whom there are many today.

3. A vast number of people who are awakening to mental consciousness.

4. The great mass of humanity, who are the unawakened human beings and the bulk of the population of the world.

In every phase of human history, the quality of the civilisation is the only thing that can in any way be conditioned by the Great White Lodge.  The Members of the Lodge are only permitted to work with the emerging qualitative aspects of the divine nature.  This is, in its turn, slowly conditioning the form life, and in this way the form aspect is steadily altered and adapted, as it progresses towards an increasing perfection.  This conditioning process is carried forward [260] through the souls who are returning to incarnation, for just in so far as they are awakened or are in process of awakening, is it possible for the Hierarchy to prevail upon them or influence them to regard the time factor as a definitely important matter in considering the subject of incarnation.

The majority of the souls in the human family come into incarnation in obedience to the urge or the desire to experience, and the magnetic pull of the physical plane is the final determining factor.  They are, as souls, oriented towards earth life.  Increasingly, awakening souls, or those who are (occultly speaking) "coming to themselves", enter into physical life experience only dimly aware of another and higher "pull."  They are, therefore, without as true an orientation to the physical plane as are the bulk of their fellow men.  These awakening souls are the ones who can at times be influenced to retard or delay their entry into physical life in order to effect a conditioning of the processes of civilisation.  Or again, they can be prevailed upon to hasten their entrance into life so as to be available as agents for such a conditioning process.  This process is not carried forward by them through any emphasised or intelligently appreciated activity, but it is naturally brought about by the simple effect of their living in the world and there pursuing their life objectives.  They thus condition their surroundings by the beauty, the power, or the influence of their lives, and are themselves frequently quite unconscious of the effect that they are having.  It will be apparent therefore, that the needed changes in our civilisation can be brought about rapidly or slowly, according to the number of those who are living as souls in training.

About the beginning of the eighteenth century, after a [261] meeting of the Hierarchy at its great centennial gathering in 1725, an effort was determined upon which would bring a more definite influence to bear upon a group of souls awaiting incarnation, and thus induce them to hasten their entry into the life of the physical plane.  This was done, and the civilisation of modern times came into being, with both good and bad results.  The era of culture which was the outstanding characteristic of the Victorian age, the great movements which awakened the human consciousness to a recognition of its essential freedom, the reaction against the dogmatism of the Church, the great and wonderful scientific developments of the immediate past, and the present sexual and proletarian revolutions now going on, are the result of the "impulsive" hastenings into incarnation of souls whose time had not truly come but whose conditioning influence was needed if certain difficulties (present since 1525) were to be averted.  The bad effects above mentioned are indicative of the difficulties incident to premature development and to the undesirable unfoldments of what might be termed (injudiciously nevertheless) evil.

These incoming souls have, through their highly developed understanding and by means of their "self-willed power," frequently wrought havoc in various directions.  However, if we could look on, as can Those on the inner side and if we were in a position to contrast the "light" of humanity as it is today with what it was two or three hundred years ago, we would recognise that enormous strides had been made.  This is evidenced by the fact that the emergence of a band of "conditioning souls", under the name of the New Group of World Servers, has been possible since 1925.  They can now come in because of the work already done by the group of souls who hastened their entrance into incarnation, under the impulse of the Hierarchy.  The words "condition" or [262] "conditioning" are here used quite frequently because of the aptness of the phrase to indicate function.  These souls, because of their point in evolution, because of their stage in unfoldment and because of their impressibility to the group idea and to the Plan, can come into incarnation and begin, more or less, to work out that Plan and evoke a response to it in the human consciousness.  They are thus in a position to "prepare the way for the coming of the Lord."  This latter is a symbolic phrase indicating a certain level of spiritual culture in humanity.  They are sometimes dimly conscious of this stupendous task, but they are, in the majority of cases, quite unconscious of their "qualifying" destiny.  As souls, under the guidance of the Hierarchy and prior to incarnation, they are conscious of the impulse to "go in and help the sorrowing planet and thus release the prisoners held in durance hard by low desire" (quoting from the Old Commentary), but once the garment of flesh has been assumed, that consciousness too dies out and in the physical brain they are not aware of that which their souls have purposed.  Only the urge for specific activities remains.  The work nevertheless proceeds.

A few souls come into incarnation of their own free will and accord; they work with clear knowledge and proceed to the task of the day.  They are the key people in any age, and the determining factors, psychologically, in any historical period.  It is they who set the pace and do the pioneering work.  They focus in themselves both the hatred and the love of the world; they work as the Builders or as the Destroyers, and they return eventually to their own place, carrying with them the spoils of victory in the shape of the freedom which they have won for themselves or for others.  They bear the scars, psychologically speaking, which have been given to them by opposing workers, and they bear also the assurance [263] that they have carried forward the task to which they have been assigned and which they have successfully undertaken.

This first category of people in incarnation has been greatly augmented during the past century and it is for this reason that we can look for the rapid development of the characteristics of the incoming Aquarian Age.

The second category of human beings, who are here designated as personalities, is also becoming powerful.  It merges with both the first group and the third.

We have in the world today the following types of personalities:

1. Personalities who are rapidly shifting into the category of "conditioning souls."

2. Personalities who are integrated, coordinated men and women, but who are not yet under the influence of the soul.  Their "self-will and self-love" is such a powerful factor in their lives that they exert a determining influence upon their environment.  It would be well to note the esoteric difference between conditioning and determining.  The first leaves the subject (be it a man or a race, or a civilisation) free.  It simply provides the influence and the conditions wherein the best in the race can flower forth to a state of perfection.  The second does not leave the subject free, but "determines" through the exercise of power, selfishly applied and utilised for personality ends, the way that a person, a race, or a civilisation shall go.

3. Awakening personalities are also found.  These merge with our third classification and are the cream or the best expression of the third group.

It is with these personalities in their three groups that we are primarily to deal in this division of our treatise.  The [264] word, however, is very loosely used, and it might be of value to give here a list of definitions of the word "personality", both those in common usage and those used in the true spiritual significance.  It is of value (is it not?) if students know the many ways in which this word is used, both correctly and erroneously.  Let us here list them:

A personality is a separated human being.  We could perhaps equally well say a separative human being.  This is the poorest and most loosely used definition; it applies to common usage, and regards each human being as a person.  This definition is consequently not true.  Many people are simply animals with vague higher impulses, which remain  simply impulses.  There are those also who are primarily nothing more or less than mediums.  This term is here used to apply to all those types of persons who go blindly and impotently upon their way, swayed by their lower and dense desire nature, of which the physical body is only the expression or medium.  They are influenced by the mass consciousness, by mass ideas, and mass reactions, and therefore find themselves quite incapable of being anything definitely self-initiated, but are standardised by mass complexes.  They are, therefore, mediums with mass ideas; they are swept by urges which are imposed upon them by teachers and demagogues, and are receptive—without any thought or reasoning—to every school of thought (spiritual, occult, political, religious and philosophical).  May I repeat that they are simply mediums; they are receptive to ideas which are not their own or self-achieved.

A personality is one who functions with coordination, owing to his endowment and the relative stability of his emotional nature, and his sound and rounded out glandular equipment.  This is aided by his urge to power and the proper environing [265] conditions.  The above situation can work out in any field of human endeavor, making a man either a good foreman in a factory or a dictator, according to his circumstances, his karma, and his opportunity.  I am not here referring in any sense whatever to the desirable coordination of soul and body, which is a later development.  I am simply postulating a good physical equipment, and a sound emotional control and mental development.  It is possible to have a superlative inner development and yet have such a poor instrument on the physical plane that coordination is not possible.  In such cases the subject seldom affects his environment in any permanent or powerful sense.  He cannot bring through or radiate out his inner power because he is blocked at every point by his physical equipment.  A man of much less inner development but with a responsive physical body and glands which are functioning well will frequently prove a more effective agent of influence in his environing circumstances.

A personality is a man with a sense of destiny.  Such a man has sufficient will power to subject his lower nature to such a discipline that he can fulfil the destiny of which he is subconsciously aware.  These people fall into two groups:

a. Those with no soul contact of any kind.  Those people are urged forward to their destiny by a sense of power, by self-love, by exalted ambition, by a superiority complex, and by a determination to reach the top of their particular tree.

b. Those with a small measure of soul contact.  These are people whose methods and motives are therefore a mixture of selfishness and of spiritual vision.  Their problem is a difficult one, as their measure of soul contact does bring in an inflow of force which stimulates the lower nature, even whilst increasing [266] soul control.  It is not, however, powerful enough to subordinate the lower nature entirely.

A personality is a completely integrated human being.  In this case, we have a man whose physical, emotional and mental natures can be fused and can subsequently function as one, and thus produce a mechanism which is subordinated to the will of the personality.  This can take place with or without a definite soul contact, and it is at this stage that there comes a predisposition to the right, or to the left hand path.  The coordination proceeds as follows:

a. Coordination of the emotional or astral nature with the physical body.  This took place in the racial sense in Atlantean times; it is going on today among the lower groupings in the human family.  It should be the objective of the development of children from the ages of seven to fourteen.

b. Coordination of the physical, astral and mental natures into one blended whole.  This is taking place racially in the Aryan race today and the process will be completed (for the bulk of humanity) when the sun enters the zodiacal sign, Sagittarius, just as now it is entering Aquarius.  This coordination is going on rapidly among the advanced members of the human family and should be the objective of the training of all adolescents between the ages of fourteen and twenty-one.

c. Next, coordination is commenced between the soul and the personality, with the focus of the soul's attention upon the astral or desire nature.  This is the immediate task of the world aspirants at this time, and will be the goal of the next race succeeding to that of the Aryan.


d. Coordination between soul, mind and brain to the exclusion of the body of illusion, the astral body.  This is the peculiar goal of the world disciples.

e. Coordination then has to be established between the soul, the purified personality and the Hierarchy.  This is the goal of the initiates in the world at this time, and of all who are in preparation for the first, the second and the third initiations.  This consummation is finally achieved at the Transfiguration initiation.

f. Coordination between the soul, the personality and the spirit.  This takes place via the Hierarchy of Souls—a phrase which only initiates can properly interpret and understand.  This process is carried on after the third initiation.

A man can be regarded as a personality in truth when the form aspect and the soul nature are at-one.  When the soul influences the personality and pervades all the lower manifestation, then and only then, does the personality measure up to its true significance, which is to constitute the mask of the soul, that which is the outer appearance of inner spiritual forces.  These forces are expressions of the soul, and the soul is the central identity or fundamental focus upon the mental plane of the life of God Himself.  Essence, consciousness and appearance are the three aspects of divinity and of man; the personality, when fully developed, is the "appearance of God on earth."  Life, quality, and form is another way of expressing this same triplicity.

These definitions have been made of a real simplicity and also exceedingly brief.  Intricacy of definition does not necessarily ensure correctness, and the clear outlines of a truth are oft lost in a maze of words.