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CHAPTER VIII - The Laws and Rules Enumerated and Applied - Part 6

The main task of the spiritual Hierarchy has ever been to stand between the Forces of Evil and humanity, to bring imperfection into the light so that evil can "find no place" for action, and to keep the door open into the spiritual realm.  This the Hierarchy has done, with small help from humanity; this situation is now changed and the world war was the symbol and the guarantee of that change; in it the Forces of Light, the massed United Nations, fought the Forces of Evil from the physical plane and routed them. There has been a far greater spiritual significance to the war than has yet been realised.  It marked a world turning point; it reoriented humanity towards the good; it drove back the Forces of Evil and made definitely clear (and this was new and needed) the true distinction between good and evil, and this not in a theological sense-as stated by the church commentators—but practically and obviously.  It is evidenced by the disastrous economic situation and by the greed of prominent men in every country.  The world of men (through the obviousness of the distinction between good and evil) has awakened to the fact of materialistic exploitation, to the lack of real freedom and to the rights, as yet unclaimed, of the individual.  Man's ability to resist slavery has become apparent everywhere.  That the strugglers towards freedom are employing wrong methods and are endeavouring [667] oft to fight evil with evil is entirely true, but this indicates only transitional techniques and a temporary phase; it is temporary from the point of view of the Hierarchy (though possibly long from the angle of men in the three worlds), but it need not necessarily be long today.

So great has been the progress of man during the past two hundred years that the Council Chamber at Shamballa was forced to take notice.  As a result of this attention by the Great Lives around Sanat Kumara and Their interest in the affairs of men, two things happened:

1. The will aspect of divinity made its first definite and direct contact with the human mind.  The impact was direct and not deflected-as had hitherto been the case-to the Hierarchy and from thence to humanity.  According to the type of man or group who responded or reacted to this contact, so were the results; they were very good or exceedingly bad.  Great and good men appeared and enunciated the truths needed for the New Age, and of these Lincoln, Roosevelt, Browning, Briand and a host of lesser men could be cited.  Evil and pernicious men also emerged, such as Hitler and the group he gathered around him, bringing much evil upon the Earth.

2. At the same time, the will-to-good from Shamballa evoked the latent goodwill in man, so that today and increasingly over the past one hundred years, goodness of heart, kindness in action, consideration for others and mass action to promote human welfare have spread over the Earth.

The emergence of imperfection and the planned effort of evil have been paralleled by the appearance of the New Group of World Servers and by the preparation which the Hierarchy is making towards its externalisation upon the [668] physical plane.  The Hierarchy is at this time exceedingly powerful; its Ashrams are full of initiates and disciples, and its periphery or magnetic field is drawing countless thousands of aspirants towards it.  The war struck a mortal blow to material evil, and its hold on humanity is greatly weakened.

Confound not evil with the activities of the gangster or the criminal.  Criminals and gangsters are the result of the emerging massed imperfections:  they are the victims of ignorance, mishandling when children and misunderstanding down the ages of right human relations; the Law of Rebirth will eventually lead them on the way to good.  Those men are truly evil who seek to enforce a return to the bad old ways, who endeavour to keep their fellowmen in slavery of some kind or another, who block the expression of one or all of the Four Freedoms, who gain material riches at the expense of the exploited, or who seek to hold for themselves and for gain the produce of the earth, and thus make the cost of life's necessities prohibitive to those not richly endowed.  Those who thus work, think and plan are to be found in every nation, and are usually of prominence because of their riches and influence; however, they sin against light and not through ignorance; their goals are material and not spiritual.  They are relatively few compared to the countless millions of men, but are exceedingly powerful; they are highly intelligent but unscrupulous, and it is through them that the Forces of Evil work, holding back progress, promoting poverty, breeding hatred and class distinctions, fostering racial differences for their own ends, and keeping ignorance in power.  Their sin is great and it is hard for them to change, because power and the will-to-power (as it militates against the will-to-good) is a dominant all-controlling factor in their lives; these men are today working against the unity of the United Nations, [669] through their greed, their determination to own the resources of the earth (such as oil, mineral wealth and food) and thus keep the people weak and with inadequate food.  These men, who are found in every nation, thoroughly understand each other and are working together in great combines to exploit the riches of the earth at the expense of humanity.

Russia is today singularly free of such men, so I refer not here to that vast country, as many of her enemies might surmise.  Russia is making great mistakes, but they are the mistakes of a fanatical ideologist or of a gangster who sins because of ignorance, through immaturity or in fury at the evil things with which he is surrounded.  This is something totally different to the evil with which I have been dealing, and it will not last, because Russia will learn; these others do not learn.

I have used the above illustration so as to make my theme somewhat clearer.  The whole problem of evil is, however, too vast to contemplate here, nor is it advisable or wise to discuss the source of evil (not of imperfection), the Black Lodge.  Energy follows thought, and the spoken word can be potently evocative:  therefore, until one is a member of the Great White Lodge, it is the part of wisdom to avoid consideration of forces potent enough intelligently to use the latent imperfection in humanity and to impose the vast evil of war, with all its results and far-reaching effects, upon humanity.  The Black Lodge is the problem of the White Lodge, and not the problem of humanity.  For aeons the Hierarchy has handled this problem, and is now in process of solving it.  It is essentially, however, the main consideration and problem of Shamballa, for it is connected with the will aspect, and only the will-to-good will suffice to blot out and annihilate the will-to-evil.  Goodwill will not suffice, though the united and invocative appeal of the [670] men of goodwill throughout the world-increasingly voiced through the Great Invocation-will serve "to seal the door where evil dwells."

It is behind that door and in dealing with the forces there concealed (and mobilised) that the Hierarchy is effective; the methods and modes whereby They protect humanity from mobilised evil, and are gradually driving the evil back, would not be understood by you who have not yet passed through the door which leads to the Way of the Higher Evolution.

What shall I say concerning harmlessness?  It is not easy for me to show or prove to you the effectiveness of the higher aspect, spiral or phase of harmlessness as employed by the Hierarchy, under the direction of the Perfect One, the Christ.  The harmlessness with which I have earlier dealt has relation to the imperfections with which humanity is wrestling, and is difficult for you to apply in and under all circumstances, as well you know.  The harmlessness to which I refer in connection with you is not negative, or sweet or kindly activity, as so many believe; it is a state of mind and one which in no way negates firm or even drastic action; it concerns motive and involves the determination that the motive behind all activity is goodwill.  That motive might lead to positive and sometimes disagreeable action or speech, but as harmlessness and goodwill condition the mental approach, nothing can eventuate but good.

On a higher turn of the spiral, the Hierarchy also employs harmlessness, but it is related to the will-to-good and involves the use of dynamic, electric energy under intuitive direction; this type of energy is never brought into activity by man; it is energy which he cannot yet handle.  This type of harmlessness is based on complete self-sacrifice, wherein the will-to-sacrifice, the will-to-good and the will-to-power (three phases of the will aspect, as expressed through the [671] Spiritual Triad) are all fused into one dynamic energy of a deeply spiritual nature.  This energy is the epitome of complete or perfect harmlessness, where humanity and the subsidiary kingdoms in nature are concerned, but it is expulsive in its effect and dynamic in its annihilating impact, where the Forces of Evil are concerned.

A close but esoteric study of the three temptations of the Christ will reveal three major occasions when the Perfect One, expressing this higher harmlessness, forced the exponent of evil to retreat.  This triple episode is symbolically related, but is factual in nature.  Little thought has ever been given to what would have been the worldwide effect down the centuries if the Christ had not reacted as He did; speculation is of little use, but it might be stated that the entire course of history and of the evolutionary progress of humanity would have been altered, and in a dire and awful manner.  But the dynamic harmlessness, the expression of the will-to-good and the demonstration of the will-to-power (forcing evil to leave Him) marked a most important crisis in the life of the Christ.   The Gospel story (with its resume of the five initiations) concerns the progress and triumph of the Master Jesus; the story of the three temptations indicated the taking of a still higher initiation, the sixth, by the Christ; this conferred on Him complete mastery over evil, and not mastery over imperfection; it was because He was the "Perfect One" that He could take this initiation.

I have given you much for mature consideration and thrown some light upon an initiation of which little, naturally, can be known.  I would call your attention also to the three fundamental requirements for a successful approach to this initiation:  perfect poise, a completed point of view and divine understanding.  You would find it of interest to see how these three qualities work out in relation to the [672] three temptations; in so doing much light would be thrown on the life, nature and character of the Christ.

Under the Law of Perfection we are given the key to the civilisation and cycle of evolution which He inaugurated—the ideal of which is not lost, though the application of the teaching He gave has been neglected by the churches and by mankind.  You will note also that one temptation takes place on the summit of a high mountain; from that elevation both time and space are totally negated, for the vision of Christ ranged from the past, through the present and on into the future.  This state of awareness (I cannot call it consciousness, and awareness is almost as inaccurate a word) is only possible after the fifth initiation, reaching a high point of expression at the sixth initiation.

I would like to consider with you the nature of the three requirements presented as essential for a certain initiation, because they provide the link between Law IX and Rule Six.  The rule is so clear and concise that it needs but little explanation, emphasising, as it does, energy which must be used and that which must not.  It says:

RULE SIX

The healer or the healing group must keep the will in leash.  It is not will which must be used, but love.

These three basic requirements concern attainment on various planes of the universe; though I dealt with them in connection with the approach to the sixth initiation, they have— on a lower turn of the spiral—their correspondences, and are therefore of practical application by the initiated disciple, particularly one who has taken the third initiation. Let us take them, one by one, into our thinking:

Perfect Poise indicates complete control of the astral body, so that emotional upheavals are overcome, or at [673] least are greatly minimised in the life of the disciple.  It indicates also, on the higher turn of the spiral, an ability to function freely on buddhic levels, owing to complete liberation (and consequent poise) from all the influences and impulses which are motived from the three worlds.  This type or quality of poise connotes-if you will think deeply-an abstract state of mind; nothing which is regarded as nonperfection can create disturbance.  You can realise surely that, if you were entirely free from all emotional reactions, your clarity of mind and your ability to think clearly would be enormously increased, with all that that involves

Naturally, the perfect poise of an initiated disciple and that of the initiated Master are different, for one concerns the effect of the three worlds or their non-effect, and the other concerns adaptability to the rhythm of the Spiritual Triad; nevertheless, the earlier type of poise must precede the later achievement, hence my consideration of the subject.  This perfect poise (which is a possible achievement for you who read) is arrived at by ruling out the pulls, the urges, impulses and attractions of the astral or emotional nature, and also by the practice of what I have earlier mentioned:  Divine Indifference.

A Completed Point of View.  This necessarily and primarily refers to the universal outlook of the Monad, and therefore to an initiate of the higher degrees.  It can, however, be interpreted on a lower rung of the ladder of evolution and refers to the function of the soul as an Observer in the three worlds and the completed all-round picture such an observer gradually attains.  This is brought about by the development of the two qualities of detachment and discrimination.  These two qualities, [674] when expressed on the Way to the Higher Evolution, become Abstraction and the Will-to-good.

A completed point of view-as experienced on soul levels—indicates the removal of all barriers and the freedom of the disciple from the great heresy of separateness; he has therefore created an unclogged channel for the inflow of pure love.  Perfect poise, viewed from the same level, has removed all impediments and those emotional factors which have hitherto blocked the channel, thus preparing the way for the Observer to see truly; the disciple then functions as a clear channel for love.

Divine Understanding must also be studied from two points of view.  As a soul quality, it indicates a mind which can be held steady in the light, and can therefore reflect the pure reason (pure love) which qualifies the reflections of the Son of Mind, the soul on its own plane.  On the higher Way of the Master, it relates to that identification which supersedes the individualistic consciousness; all barriers have gone, and the initiate sees things as they are; he knows the causes of which all phenomena are the ephemeral effects.  This, consequently, enables Him to understand the Purpose, as it emanates from Shamballa, just as the lesser initiate understands the Plan as it is formulated by the Hierarchy.

All three of these divine attributes are, in some measure, essential in the development of the initiate-healer; he must work at their unfoldment as part of his necessary equipment; he must know that all reactions of an emotional nature create a wall or barrier between the free flow of healing force and the patient, and that the barrier is created by him and not by the patient.  The emotions of the [675] patient should have no effect upon the healer and should fail to deviate him from the intense concentration needed for his work; these emotions of the patient cannot in themselves create a barrier strong enough to deflect the healing force.

A completed point of view involves at least the attempt by the disciple to penetrate into the world of causes, and thus learn (if possible) what it is that is responsible for the disease of the patient.  This need not involve penetration into previous incarnations, nor is that essential, in spite of what some modern and generally fraudulent healers may claim.  There is usually enough psychological evidence, or indications of inherited tendencies, to give the healer his clue and to enable him to get a somewhat complete picture of the situation.  It is obvious that this "penetration" into the causes of the trouble will only be possible if the healer loves enough; because he loves, he has achieved a poise which brings negation to the world of illusion and of glamour.  Divine understanding is simply the application of the principle of pure love (pure reason) to all men and to all circumstances, plus right interpretation of the existing difficulties of the patient, or of those which may exist between patient and healer.

To these requirements I would like to add another factor:  that of the doctor, physician or surgeon who is physically responsible for the patient.  In the coming new era, the healer will work always with the scientific aid of the trained medical man; this is a factor which causes bewilderment, at present, to the average modern healer belonging to some cult or expressing some unorthodox phase of healing.

It will therefore be apparent how these three divine requirements (when stepped down for the use of the disciple in the modern world) indicate a line of training or of self-discipline [676] to which all should apply themselves.  When they have mastered even some of the earliest phases of this triple achievement, they will find that they can apply Rule Six with ease.

What is meant by the words "to keep the will in leash"?  The will aspect here considered is not that of the will-to-good and its lower expression goodwill.  The will-to-good signifies the stable, immovable orientation of the initiated disciple, whilst goodwill can be regarded as its expression in daily service.  The will-to-good, as expressed by a higher initiate, is a dynamic energy having predominantly a group effect; for this reason, the higher initiates seldom concern themselves with the healing of an individual.  Their work is too potent and too important to permit them to do so, and the will energy, embodying as it does divine Purpose, might prove destructive in its effects upon an individual. The patient would not be able to receive or absorb it.  It is, however, assumed that goodwill colours the entire attitude and thinking of the healing disciple.

The will which must be kept in leash is the will of the personality which, in the case of the initiated disciple, is of a very high order.  It also relates to the will of the soul, emanating from the petals of sacrifice in the egoic lotus.  All true healers have to create a healing thoughtform, and through this they consciously or unconsciously work.  It is this thoughtform which must be kept free from a too powerful use of the will, for it can (unless held in leash, stepped down, modified or, if needed, eliminated altogether) destroy not only the thoughtform created by the healer, but it can also build a barrier between healer and patient; the initial rapport is thus broken.  Only a Christ can heal by the use of the will, and He seldom in reality healed at all; in the cases where He is reported to have done so, His reason was to prove the possibility of healing; but-as you will [677] note if you are familiar with the Gospel story—He gave no instructions to His disciples upon the art of healing. This is significant.

The self-will (no matter of how high a quality) of the healer, and his determined effort to heal the patient, create a tension in the healer which can seriously deflect the healing current of energy.  When this type of will is present, as it frequently is in the inexperienced healer or the non-initiated healer, the healer is apt to absorb the patient's difficulty and will experience symptoms of the trouble and the pain.  His willful determination to be of help acts like a boomerang and he suffers, whilst the patient is not really helped.

So the instruction is to use love, and here a major difficulty emerges.  How can the healer use love, freed from its emotional or lower quality, and bring it through in its pure state for the healing of the patient?  Only as the healer has cultivated the three requirements, and has therefore developed himself as a pure channel.  He is apt to be so preoccupied with himself, with the definition of love, and with the determination to heal the patient that the three requirements are neglected.  Then both he and the patient are wasting each other's time.  He need not brood or worry about the nature of pure love, or endeavour too ardently to understand how pure reason and pure love are synonymous terms, or whether he can show sufficient love to effect a healing.  Let him ponder on the three requirements, particularly the first, and let him fulfill within himself these three requirements as far as in him lies and his point in evolution permits.  He will then become a pure channel and the hindrances to the inflow of pure love will be automatically removed for "as a man thinketh in his heart so is he"; then, without obstruction or difficulty pure love will pour through him and the patient will be healed—if such is the law for him.

[678]

We come now to the final and the most mysterious law of all that I have given you.  I called your attention to it earlier, and there pointed out that this "last law is an enunciation of a new law which is substituted for the Law of Death, and which has reference only to those found upon the later stages of the Path of Discipleship and the stages upon the Path of Initiation."  By these later stages I refer to the period after the second initiation and prior to taking the third.  This law does not apply in any way as long as the emotional nature can disturb the clear rhythm of the personality as it responds to the impact of soul energy, and later to monadic.  There is not, therefore, a great deal that I can make clear to you as regards the full working of this law, but I can indicate certain most interesting ideas and correspondences; these will foster in you constructive speculative thinking, yet at the same time they embody proven facts for those of us who are initiated disciples of the Christ or of Sanat Kumara.

LAW X

Hearken, O Disciple, to the call which comes from the Son to the Mother, and then obey.  The Word goes forth that form has served its purpose.  The principle of mind then organises itself and then repeats the Word:  The waiting form responds and drops away.  The soul stands free.

Respond, O Rising One, to the call which comes within the sphere of obligation; recognise the call, emerging from the Ashram or from the Council Chamber where waits the Lord of Life Himself.  The Sound goes forth.  Both soul and form together must renounce the principle of life, and thus permit the Monad to stand free.  The soul responds. The form then shatters the connection.  Life is now liberated, owning the quality of conscious knowledge and the fruit of all experience.  These are the gifts of soul and form combined.     

[679]

This Law X is the forerunner of many new laws concerning the relation of soul to form or of spirit to matter; this one is given first for two reasons:

1. It can be applied by disciples and thus proven to be true to the mass of men, and above all, to the scientific world.

2. In the mass of testimony and in the type of death (called at this stage "transference") the fact of the Hierarchy and of Shamballa can be established.

There are three sources of the abstraction which we call "death" if we exclude accident (which may be incident to other people's karma), war (which involves planetary karma) and natural catastrophes (which are connected entirely with the body of manifestation of the One in Whom we live and move and have our being).

I might pause here at this thought and make somewhat clearer to you the distinction between this "unknown God," who expresses himself through the planet as a whole, and Sanat Kumara in His high place at Shamballa.  Sanat Kumara is in Himself the essential Identity, responsible for the manifested worlds, but so great is His command of energies and forces—owing to His cosmic unfoldmentthat He requires the entire planet through which to express all that He is.  Having the full consciousness of the cosmic astral plane and of the cosmic mental plane, He can apply energies and forcesunder cosmic law—which create, sustain and utilise, for the ends of His divine Purpose, the entire planet.  He animates the planet with His life; He sustains the planet and all that is in or on it through His soul quality, which He imparts in varying measure to every form; He creates continuously the new forms needed to express the "life more abundantly" and the "increasing purpose of His will" which the progress of the ages makes [680] cyclically possible.  We live at this time in a cycle wherein His intense activity is utilising the technique of divine destruction for the release of the spiritual life, and He is simultaneously creating the new structure of civilisation which will express more fully the evolutionary attainment of the planet and the kingdoms in nature, leading eventually to the perfect expression of His divine life and purpose.

It would perhaps be wise if we took this tenth Law somewhat in detail, where possible, so as to arrive at the synthesis which it is intended to convey:  we will thus gain some realisation that death itself is a part of the creative process of synthesising.  It is essential that new ideas and a new approach to the entire problem of dying are inaugurated.

Hearken, O Disciple, to the call which comes from the Son to the Mother, and then obey.

Even whilst we realise from the context that this refers to the discarding of the physical body, it is useful to remember that this form of wording can signify much more than that.  It can be interpreted to mean the entire relation of soul and personality, and to involve the prompt obedience of the Mother (the personality) to the Son (the soul).  Without his prompt obedience, involving as it does the recognition of the informing Voice, the personality will remain deaf to the call of the soul to relinquish the body.  No habitual response has been developed.  I would ask you to ponder on the implications.

I am, I know, recapitulating when I point out that the Mother aspect is the material aspect and the soul—on its own plane—is the Son.  This injunction, therefore, concerns the relation of matter and soul, and thus lays the foundation for all the relationships which the disciple has to learn to recognise.  Obedience is nor here enforced; [681] it is contingent upon hearing; then obedience follows as the next development.  This is an easier process, little as you may think it.  This distinction, relative to the process of obedience, is interesting because the process of learning by hearing is always slow and is one of the qualities or aspects of the stage of orientation.  Learning by sight is definitely connected with the Path of Discipleship, and any who wish to become wise and true workers must learn to distinguish between the hearers and those who see.  A realisation of the difference would lead to basic changes in technique.  In the one case, you are working with those who are definitely under the influence and control of the Mother, and who need to be trained to see.  In the other, you are dealing with those who have heard and who are developing the spiritual correspondence of sight.  They are therefore susceptible to the vision.

The Word goes forth that form has served its purpose.

This word, or this "spiritual proclamation" of the soul, may have a twofold purpose:  it may produce death, or it may simply result in a withdrawal of the soul from its instrument, the threefold personality.  This might consequently result in leaving the form uninformed and without any dweller in the body.  When this happens the personality (and by this I mean the physical, astral and mental man) will continue to function.  If it is of a high grade quality, very few people will realise that the soul is absent.  This frequently happens in old age or serious illness, and it may persist for years.  It sometimes happens where infants are concerned, and you then have either death or imbecility, as there has been no time to train the lower personality vehicles.  A little thinking along the lines of this "forthgoing Word" will throw much light on circumstances which are [682] regarded as baffling, and on states of consciousness which have hitherto constituted almost insoluble problems.

The principle of mind then organises itself and then repeats the Word.  The waiting form responds and drops away.

In the aspect of death here dealt with it is the mind which acts as the agent of authority, transmitting to the brain (where the thread of consciousness is located) the instructions to vacate.  This is then passed on by the man in the body to the heart (where the life thread is anchored), and then—as you well know—the process of withdrawal begins.  What transpires in those timeless moments prior to death no one as yet knows, for no one has returned to tell us.  If they had done so, the question is:  Would they have been believed?  The probability is that they would not.

The first paragraph of this Law X deals with the passing out from the body (meaning the form aspect of the threefold lower man) of the average intelligent aspirant, looking at this law from one of its lowest correspondences; however, under the same Law of Correspondences, the death of all men, from the lowest type of man up to and inclusive of the aspirant, is basically distinguished by the same identical process; the difference exists in the degree of consciousness evidenced—consciousness of process and intention.  The result is the same in all cases:

The soul stands free.

This moment of true freedom can be brief and fleeting as in the case of the undeveloped man, or it can be of long duration, according to the usefulness of the aspirant upon the inner planes; with this I have earlier dealt and have no need to repeat myself here.  Progressively, as the urges and influences of the three lower levels of consciousness [683] weaken their hold, the period of dissociation becomes longer and longer, and is characterised by a developing clarity of thought and by a recognition of essential being, and this in progressive stages.  This clarity and progress may not be brought through into full realisation or expression when rebirth again takes place, for the limitations imposed by the dense physical body are excessive; nevertheless, each life sees a steady growth in sensitivity, and also the storing up of esoteric information, using the word "esoteric" to signify all that does not concern normal form life or the average consciousness of man in the three worlds.

Esoteric living (as it develops) falls into three stages, broadly speaking;  these are carried forward within the consciousness of the man and parallel the recognition and ordinary aspects of form life on the three levels of experience:

1. The stage of reception of concepts, of ideas and of principles, thus gradually asserting the existence of the abstract mind.

2. The stage of "light reception," or that period when spiritual insight is developed, when the vision is seen and accepted as true, and when the intuition or "buddhic perception" is unfolded.  This carries with it the assertion as to the existence of the Hierarchy.

3. The stage of abstraction, or the period wherein complete orientation is brought about, the way into the Ashram is made clear, and the disciple begins to build the antahkarana between the personality and the Spiritual Triad.  It is in this stage that the nature of the will is dimly seen, carrying with its recognition the implication that there is a "centre where the will of God is known."

[684]

Students are apt to think that death ends things, whereas from the angle of termination we are dealing with values which are persistent, with which there is no interference, nor can there be any, and which hold within themselves the seeds of immortality.  I would have you ponder on this and know that everything that is of true spiritual value is persistent, ageless, immortal and eternal.  Only that dies which is valueless, and—from the standpoint of humanity—that means those factors which emphasise and assume importance where the form is concerned.  But those values which are based on principle and not upon the detail of appearance have in them that undying principle which leads a man from the "gates of nativity, through the gates of perception, to the gates of purpose"—as the Old Commentary expresses it.

I have endeavoured to show you how the first part of this Law X has a simple application to mankind, as well as an abstract and abstruse meaning for esotericists.

The last paragraph in this Law X cannot be interpreted in this same manner nor applied in this way.  it concerns only the "passing over" or the "discarding of hindrances" by very advanced disciples and initiates.  This is made clear by the use of the words, "O Rising One"—a term applied only to those who have taken the fourth initiation and who are therefore held by no aspect whatsoever of the form nature, even so high or transcendental a form as the soul in its own vehicle, the causal body or the egoic lotus.  Yet again, facility in response to this law must be and is developed in the earlier stages of discipleship, where listening, responsiveness and occult obedience are developed and have their extensions in the higher levels of spiritual experience.

Here we must again consider words and phrases if we are to understand their true meaning.

[685]

Respond, O Rising One, to the call which comes forth from the sphere of obligation.

What is this sphere of obligation to which the initiate of high standing must pay attention?  The whole of life experience, from the sphere of nativity up to the highest limits of spiritual possibility, are covered by four words, applicable at various stages of evolution.  They are:  Instinct, Duty, Dharma, Obligation; an understanding of the differences serves to bring illumination, and consequently, right action.

1. The sphere of instinct.  This refers to the fulfillment, under the influence of simple animal instinct, of the obligations which any assumed responsibility brings, even when assumed with no true understanding.  An illustration of this is the instinctual care of a mother for her offspring or the relation of male and female.  With this we need not deal in any detail, as it is well recognised and understood, at least by those who have passed out of the sphere of elementary instinctual obligations.  To them no particular calls come, but this instinctual world of give and take is superseded by a higher sphere of responsibility eventually.

2. The sphere of duty.  The call that comes from this sphere comes from a realm of consciousness which is more strictly human and not so predominantly animal as is the instinctual realm.  It sweeps into its field of activity all classes of human beings and demands from them—life after life—the strict fulfillment of duty.  The "doing of one's duty," for which one gets small praise and little appreciation, is the first step towards the unfoldment of that divine principle which we call the sense of responsibility, and which—when unfolded—indicates a steadily growing soul control.  The fulfillment [686] of duty, the sense of responsibility, and the desire to serve are three aspects of one and the same thing:  discipleship in its embryonic stage.  This is a hard saying for those who are caught in the seemingly hopeless toils of duty fulfillment; it is hard for them to realise that this duty which seems to keep them chained to the humdrum, apparently meaningless and thankless duties of daily life, is a scientific process leading them to higher phases of experience, and eventually into the Master's Ashram.

3. The Sphere of Dharma.  This is the outcome of the two previous stages; it is that in which the disciple recognises, for the first time with clarity, his part in the whole process of world events and his inescapable share in world development.  Dharma is that aspect of karma which dignifies any particular world cycle and the lives of those implicated in its working out.  The disciple begins to see that if he shoulders his phase or part in this cyclic dharma and works understandingly at its right fulfillment, he is beginning to comprehend group work (as the Masters comprehend it) and to do his just share in lifting the world karma, working out in cyclic dharma.  Instinctual service, the fulfillment of all duty, and a sharing in group dharma are all blended in his consciousness and become one great act of living faithful service; he is then at the point of moving forward upon the Path of Discipleship, in which the Path of Probation is completely lost to sight.

These three aspects of living activity are the embryonic expression in the life of the disciple of the three divine aspects:

 

a. Instinctual living

intelligent application.

b. Duty

responsible love.

c. Dharma

will, expressed through the Plan.

 

[687]

4. The sphere of obligation.  The initiate, having learnt the nature of the three other spheres of right action, and-through the activity of those spheres—having unfolded the divine aspects, passes now into the sphere of obligation.  This sphere, which can be entered only after a large measure of liberation has been achieved, directs the reactions of the initiate in two phases of his life:

a. In the Ashram, where he is governed by the Plan; this Plan is recognised by him as expressing his major obligation to life.  I use the word "life" in its deepest esoteric sense.

b. In Shamballa, where the emerging Purpose of Sanat Kumara (of which the Plan is an interpretation in time and space) begins to have meaning and significance according to his point in evolution and his approach to the Way of the Higher Evolution.

In the Ashram, the life of the Spiritual Triad gradually supersedes the life of the soul-controlled personality.  In the Council Chamber at Shamballa, the life of the Monad supersedes all other expressions of the essential Reality. More I may not say.

Recognise the call, emerging from the Ashram or from the Council Chamber where waits the Lord of Life Himself.

Here again we come up against the whole underlying, evolutionary theme of Invocation and Evocation.  Here, it is the two higher centres of the divine Existence which are invoking ceaselessly the lower centre; one of the factors governing the whole creative process is dependent upon the [688] skill of the Great Lives in evoking response from the human and subhuman kingdoms or grouped lives within the three worlds of form life.  Men are so pre-occupied with their own problems that they are apt to think that-in the long run—what happens is entirely due to their behaviour, conduct, and invocative powers.  There is, however, another side to the picture; this involves the skill in action, the understanding hearts and the clear unimpeded will of both the Hierarchy and Shamballa.

It will be apparent to you, therefore, 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 bow 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 that which emanates from their own subconscious, from their own souls, or from some teacher (not a Master) who is attempting to help them.

The call referred to here, however, comes from the highest possible sources and must not be confused with the little voices of little men.

The SOUND goes forth.

It is not my intention here to deal with the creative sound, beyond calling to your attention the fact that it is creative.  The Sound which was the first indication of the activity of the planetary Logos is not a word, but a full reverberating sound, holding within itself all other sounds, all chords and certain musical tones (which have been given the name of the "music of the spheres") and dissonances, [689] unknown as yet to the modern ear.  It is this Sound which the "Rising One" must learn to recognise, and to which he must respond not only by means of the sense of hearing and its higher correspondences, but through a response from every part and aspect of the form nature in the three worlds.  I would remind you also that from the angle of the fourth initiation even the egoic vehicle, the soul body, is regarded and treated as a part of the form nature.

Though the "shattering of the Temple of Solomon" takes place at the time of the fourth initiation, those qualities of which it was composed have been absorbed into the vehicles which the initiate is using for all His contacts in the three worlds.  He is now essentially the essence of all His bodies, and—from His point of view and technical understanding—it must be borne in mind that the entire mental plane is one of the three planes which constitute the cosmic dense physical plane; this is a point oft forgotten by students, who almost invariably place the soul body and the mental permanent atom outside the form limits and what they call the three worlds.  Technically and from higher angles, this is not so, and this fact definitely changes and conditions the thinking and work of the initiate of the fourth and higher degrees.  It accounts also for the need for the egoic body to disappear.

The Sound reverberates throughout the four higher subplanes of the cosmic physical plane; these are the higher correspondence of the four etheric levels of the physical plane in the three worlds—the three dense physical and the four etheric planes.  It must be remembered, therefore, that our planes, with which we are so familiar, are the cosmic physical, and that the one we know the best is the densest of the seven—hence so much of our struggle and difficulty.

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From "the silence which is sound, the reverberating note of Shamballa," the sound focusses itself either in the Spiritual Triad or in the Ashram, according to the status of the initiate and whether he is high in the ashramic circles, or still higher, in the circles through which radiates the light from the Council Chamber.  In the first case, it will be the heart centre which responds to the sound, and from thence the whole body; in the second case, consciousness has been superseded by a still higher type of spiritual recognition, to which we have given the inadequate name of identification.  Where the sound has been registered in the heart of the initiate, he has unfolded all possible types of knowledge which the form nature—soul and body—can make possible; when the registration is in the head, identification has produced such complete unity with all spiritual expressions of life, the word "more" (meaning increased) must perforce give way to the word "deep," in the sense of penetration.  Having said this, brother of mine, how much have you comprehended?

It is at this point that the initiate is confronted for the first time with the Seven Paths, because each Path constitutes a mode of penetrating into realms of realisation beyond our planet altogether.

In order to do this, the initiate has to demonstrate his mastery of the Law of Differentiation and arrive at a knowledge of the Seven Paths through differentiating the seven sounds which make up the one Sound, but which are not related to the seven sounds which compose the threefold AUM.

Both soul and form together must renounce the principle of life, and thus permit the Monad to stand free.  The soul responds.  The form then shatters the connection.

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You can see here why I emphasised the fact that the initiate is the recipient of the essential quality or qualities which form has revealed and developed, and which the soul has absorbed.  At this particular crisis, the initiate within the Ashram or "on His way of glory to the Place where dwells the Lord" (Shamballa) summarises or contains within himself all the essential good which was stored in the soul prior to its destruction at the fourth initiation.  He epitomises in himself the knowledge and the wisdom of aeons of struggle and of patient endurance.  Nothing further is to be gained by adhering either to the soul or to the form.  He has taken all they had to give which throws light on the spiritual Law of Sacrifice. It is interesting to note how the soul becomes at this point simply the intermediary between the personality and the initiate of high degree.  But now there is nothing more to relate, to report or to transmit, and—as the Sound reverberates—the soul disappears, as testimony of response.  It is now but an empty shell, but its substance is of so high an order that it becomes an integral part of the buddhic level, and its function there is etheric  The principle of life is renounced and returns to the reservoir of universal life.

I would have you take notice of the importance of form activity.  It is the Form which shatters the connection (the usually despised, belittled, frustrated form is that which performs the final act), bringing complete liberation.  The "Lunar Lord" of the personality has achieved his goal, and those elements which have composed his three vehicles (physical, astral, mental), together with the life principle, will constitute the atomic substance of the first body of manifestation of some soul seeking incarnation for the first time.  This is closely related to the abstruse subject of the permanent atoms.  It marks a moment of high initiation for this Lunar Lord when he shatters the connection [692] and severs all relation with the hitherto informing soul.  He is no longer just a shadow, but has now those qualities which make him "substantial" (in the esoteric sense) and a new factor in time and space.

The remaining words of this law need no explanation and mark a fitting finish for this section of our studies:

Life is now liberated, owning the qualities of conscious knowledge and the fruit of all experience. These are the gifts of soul and form combined.