CHAPTER XI - THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE MYSTERIES
THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE MYSTERIES
The participants in the mysteries are generally known, and no secret has been made of the general personnel and procedure. It is only sought here to impart a greater sense of reality to the data already given by a fuller exposition and a more pointed reference to the parts played by such during the ceremony. At this stage the student would be wise to bear in mind certain things as he ponders upon the mysteries touched upon here:—
That care must be taken to interpret all here given in terms of spirit and not of matter or form. We are dealing entirely with the subjective or consciousness aspect of manifestation, and with that which lies back of the objective form. This realisation will save the student from much later confusion.
That we are considering facts which are substantial and real on the mental plane—the plane on which all the major initiations take place—but which are not materialised on the physical plane, and are not physical plane phenomena. The link between the two planes exists in the continuity of consciousness which the initiate will have developed, and which will enable him to bring through to the physical brain, occurrences and happenings upon the subjective planes of life.
Corroboration of Initiation
Corroboration of these occurrences, and proof of the accuracy of the transmitted knowledge will demonstrate as follows:—
In and through the etheric centres. These centres will be greatly stimulated, and will, through their increased inherent energy, enable the initiate to accomplish more in the path of service than he ever before dreamed possible. His dreams and ideals become, not possibilities, but demonstrating facts in manifestation.
The physical centres, such as the pineal gland and the pituitary body, will begin to develop rapidly, and he will become conscious of the awakening of the "siddhis," or powers of the soul, in the higher connotaion of the words. He will be aware of the process of conscious control, and of the self-initiated manipulations of the above powers. He will realise the methods of egoic contact and the right direction of force.
The nervous system, through which the emotional body or astral nature works, will become highly sensitised, yet strong withal. The brain will become ever more rapidly an acute transmitter of the inner impulses. This fact is of real importance, and will bring about—as its significance becomes more apparent—a revolution in the attitude of educators, of physicians and others, to the development of the nervous system and the healing of nervous disorders.
Occult memory. The initiate finally becomes aware increasingly of the growth of that inner recollection, or "occult memory," which concerns the work of the Hierarchy and primarily his share in the general plan. When the initiate, who occultly recalls, in his waking consciousness, a ceremonial fact, finds all these manifestations of increased growth and conscious realisation in himself, then the truth of his inner assurance is proven and substantiated to him.
It must be remembered that this inner substantiation is of no value to anyone but the initiate. He has to prove himself to the outer world through his life of service and the work accomplished and thereby call forth from all his  environing associates a recognition that will show itself in a sanctified emulation and a strenuous effort to tread the same path, actuated ever by the same motive,—that of service and brotherhood, not self-aggrandisement and selfish acquirement. It should also be remembered that if the above is true in connection with the work, it is still more true in connection with the initiate himself. Initiation is a strictly personal matter with a universal application. It rests upon his inner attainment. The initiate will know for himself when the event occurs and needs no one to tell him of it. The expansion of consciousness called initiation must include the physical brain or it is of no value. As those lesser expansions of consciousness which we undergo normally every day, and call "learning" something or other, have reference to the apprehension by the physical brain of an imparted fact or apprehended circumstance, so with the greater expansions which are the outcome of the many lesser.
At the same time, it is quite possible for men to be functioning on the physical plane and to be actively employed in world service who have no recollection of having undergone the initiatory process, yet who, nevertheless, may have taken the first or second initiation in a previous or earlier life. This is the result, simply, of a lack of "bridging" from one life to another, or it may be the outcome of a definite decision by the Ego. A man may be able better to work off certain karma and to carry out certain work for the Lodge if he is free from occult occupation and mystic introspection during the period of any one earth life. There are many such amongst the sons of men at this time who have previously taken the first initiation, and a few who have taken the second, but who are nevertheless quite unaware of it, yet their centres and nervous organisation carry proof to those who have the inner vision. If initiation is taken for  the first time in any life, the recollection of it extends to the physical brain.
Curiosity, or even ordinary good living, never brought a man to the Portal of Initiation. Curiosity, by arousing a strong vibration in a man's lower nature, only serves to swing him away from, instead of towards the goal he is interested in; whilst ordinary good living, when not furthered by a life of utter sacrifice for others, and by a reticence, humility, and disinterestedness of a very unusual kind, may serve to build good vehicles which will be of use in another incarnation, but will not serve to break down those barriers, outer and inner, and overcome those opposing forces and energies which stand between a "good" man and the ceremony of initiation.
The Path of Discipleship is a difficult one to tread, and the Path of Initiation harder still; an initiate is but a battle-scarred warrior, the victor in many a hard-won fight; he speaks not of his achievements, for he is too busy with the great work in hand; he makes no reference to himself or to all that he has accomplished, save to deprecate the littleness of what has been done. Nevertheless, to the world he is ever a man of large influence, the wielder of spiritual power, the embodier of ideals, the worker for humanity, who unfailingly brings results which succeeding generations will recognise. He is one who, in spite of all this great achievement, is seldom understood by his own generation. He is frequently the butt of men's tongues, and frequently all that he does is misinterpreted; he lays his all—time, money, influence, reputation, and all that the world considers worth while—upon the altar of altruistic service, and frequently offers his life as a final gift, only to find that those whom he has served throw his gift back to him, scorn his renunciation, and label him with unsavory names. But the initiate cares not, for his is the privilege to see somewhat  into the future, and therefore he realises that the force he has generated will in due course of time bring to fulfilment the plan; he knows also that his name and effort are noted in the archives of the Lodge, and that the "Silent Watcher" over the affairs of men has taken notice.
In considering now the personalities taking part in the initiation ceremonies, the first to be dealt with are Those Who are termed Planetary Existences. This refers to those great Beings who, for a period of planetary manifestation, overshadow or stay with our humanity. They are not very many in number, for the majority of the Great Ones pass on steadily and increasingly to other and higher work, as Their places can be taken and Their functions carried on by members of our earth evolution, both deva and human.
Among Those directly connected with our Lodge of Masters in its various divisions upon the planet, the following might be enumerated:-
The "Silent Watcher," that great Entity Who is the informing life of the planet, and Who holds the same position to the Lord of the World, Sanat Kumara, as the Ego does to the lower self of man. Some idea of the high stage of evolution of this Great Being may be gathered from the analogous degree of evolutionary difference existing between a human being and a perfected adept. From the standpoint of our planetary scheme, this Great Life has no greater, and He is, as far as we are concerned, a correspondence to the personal God of the Christian. He works through His representative on the physical plane, Sanat Kumara, Who is the focal point for His life and energy. He holds the world within His aura. This great Existence is only contacted directly by the adept who has taken the  fifth initiation, and is proceeding to take the other two, the sixth and seventh. Once a year, at the Wesak Festival, the Lord Buddha, sanctioned by the Lord of the World, carries to the assembled humanity a dual stream of force, that emanating from the Silent Watcher, supplemented by the more focalised energy of the Lord of the World. This dual energy He pours out in blessing over the people gathered at the ceremony in the Himalayas, and from them in turn it flows out to all peoples and tongues and races. It may not perhaps be generally known that at a certain crisis during the Great War[WW I], the Hierarchy of our planet deemed it well nigh necessary to invoke the aid of the Silent Watcher, and—employing the great mantram whereby the Buddha can be reached—called the attention of the latter, and sought his agency with the Planetary Logos. In consultation between the Planetary Logos, the Lord of the World, one of the Buddhas of Activity, the Buddha, the Mahachohan, and the Manu (these names are given in order of their relative evolutionary stage) it was decided to watch proceedings a little longer before interfering with the trend of affairs, as the karma of the planet would have been delayed should the strife have been ended too soon. Their confidence in the ability of men duly to adjust conditions was justified, and interference proved needless. This conference took place at Shamballa. This is mentioned to show the close scrutiny given to everything concerning the affairs of men by the various Planetary Existences. It is literally true, in an occult sense, that "not a sparrow falleth" without its fall being noticed.
It may be asked why the Bodhisattva was not included in the conference. The reason was that the war was in the department of the Manu, and members of the Hierarchy concern Themselves with that which is strictly Their own business; the Mahachohan, being the embodiment of the  intelligent or manasic principle, participates in all conferences. In the next great strife the department of religions will be involved, and the Bodhisattva intimately concerned. His Brother, the Manu, will then be relatively exempt, and will proceed with His own affairs. And yet withal there is the closest co-operation in all departments, with no loss of energy. Owing to the unity of consciousness of those who are free from the three lower planes, what transpires in one department is known in the others
As the Planetary Logos is only concerned in the two final initiations, which are not compulsory as are the earlier five, it serves no purpose to enlarge upon His work. These initiations are taken upon the buddhic and atmic planes, whereas the first five are taken upon the mental.
The Lord of the World, the One Initiator, He Who is called in the Bible "The Ancient of Days," and in the Hindu Scriptures the First Kumara, He, Sanat Kumara it is, Who from His throne at Shamballa in the Gobi desert, presides over the Lodge of Masters, and holds in His hands the reins of government in all the three departments. Called in some Scriptures "the Great Sacrifice," He has chosen to watch over the evolution of men and devas until all have been occultly "saved." He it is Who decides upon the "advancements" in the different departments, and Who settles who shall fill the vacant posts; He it is Who, four times a year, meets in conference with all the Chohans and Masters, and authorises what shall be done to further the ends of evolution.
Occasionally, too, He meets with initiates of lesser degree, but only at times of great crises, when some individual is given the opportunity to bring peace out of strife, and to kindle a blaze whereby rapidly crystallising forms are destroyed and the imprisoned life consequently set free.
At stated periods in the year the Lodge meets, and at  the Wesak Festival gathers under His jurisdiction for three purposes:
1. To contact planetary force through the medium of the Buddha.
2. To hold the principal of the quarterly conferences.
3. To admit to the ceremony of initiation those who are ready in all grades.
Three other initiation ceremonies take place during the year:—
1. For the minor initiations administered by the Bodhisattva, all of which are in the department of the Mahachohan, and on one or other of the four lesser rays, the rays of attribute.
2. For the major initiations on one or other of the three major rays, the rays of aspect, which are administered by the Bodhisattva, and are therefore the first two initiations.
3. For the higher three initiations at which Sanat Kumara wields the Rod.
At all initiations the Lord of the World is present, but at the first two He holds a position similar to that held by the Silent Watcher, when Sanat Kumara administers the oath at the third, fourth and fifth initiations. His power streams forth and the flashing forth of the star before the initiate is the signal of His approval, but the initiate does not see Him face to face until the third initiation.
The function of the three Kumaras, or the three Buddhas of Activity at initiation is interesting. They are three aspects of the one aspect, and the pupils of Sanat Kumara. Though Their functions are many and varied, and concern primarily the forces and energies of nature, and the direction  of the building agencies, They have a vital connection with the applicant for initiation, inasmuch as They each embody the force or energy of one or other of the three higher subplanes of the mental plane. Therefore at the third initiation one of these Kumaras transmits to the causal body of the initiate that energy which destroys third subplane matter, and thus brings about part of the destruction of the vehicle; at the fourth initiation another Buddha transmits second plane force, and at the fifth, first subplane force is similarly passed into the remaining atoms of the causal vehicle, producing the final liberation. The work done by the second Kumara, with second subplane force, is in this solar system the most important in connection with the egoic body, and produces its complete dissipation, whereas the final application causes the atoms themselves (which formed that body) to disperse.
During the initiation ceremony, when the initiate stands before the Lord of the World, these three great Beings form a triangle, within whose lines of force the initiate finds himself. At the first two initiations, wherein the Bodhisattva functions as the Hierophant, the Mahachohan, the Manu, and a Chohan who temporarily represents the second department perform a similar office. At the highest two initiations, those three Kumaras who are called "the esoteric Kumaras" form a triangle wherein the initiate stands, when he faces the Planetary Logos.
These facts are imparted to teach two things, first, the unity of the method, second, that the truism "as above so below" is an occult fact in nature.
At the final two initiations many members of the Hierarchy who are, if one might so express it, extra-planetary, and who function outside the dense physical and the etheric globe of our planet, take part, but a stricter enumeration is needless. Sanat Kumara is still the Hierophant, yet in a  very esoteric manner it is the Planetary Logos Himself who officiates. They are merged at that time into one Identity, manifesting different aspects.
Suffice it to say, in concluding this brief statement, that the making of an initiate is an affair with a dual effect, for it involves ever a passing on of some adept or initiate to a higher grade or to other work, and the coming in under the Law of some human being who is in process of attainment. Therefore it is a thing of great moment, involving group activity, group loyalty, and united endeavour, and much may depend upon the wisdom of admitting a man to high office and to a place in the council chambers of the Hierarchy.
The Departmental Heads.
As has been said, these three great Beings represent the triplicity of all manifestation, and might be expressed under the following form, remembering that all this deals with subjectivity, and therefore with the evolution of consciousness and primarily with self-consciousness in man.
The Manu The Bodhisattva The Mahachohan
Matter aspect......................... Spirit aspect .......................... Intelligence aspect.
Form ..................................... Life ....................................... Mind.
The Not-Self ......................... The Self ................................ The relation between.
Body ..................................... Spirit ..................................... Soul.
Or, in words strictly dealing with self-conscious realisation,
Politics................................... Religion.................................. Science.
Government........................... Beliefs.................................... Civilisation.
Races...................................... Faiths..................................... Education.
All human beings belong to one or other of these three departments, and all are of equal importance, for Spirit and matter are one. All are so interdependent, being but expressions of one life, that the endeavour to express the functions of the three departments in tabular form is liable to lead to error.
The three Great Lords closely co-operate in the work, and that work is one, just as man, though a triplicity, is yet an individual unit. The human being is a form through which a spiritual life or entity is manifesting, and employing the intelligence under evolutionary law.
Therefore the Great Lords are closely connected with the initiations of a human unit. They are too occupied with greater affairs and with group activities to have any relationship with a man until he stands upon the probationary path. When he has, through his own effort, brought himself on to the Path of Discipleship, the particular Master Who has him under supervision reports to the head of one of the three departments (this being dependent upon a man's ray) that he is nearing the Portal of Initiation and should be ready for the great step during such and such a life. Each life, and later each year, report is made, until the final year upon the Path of Probation, when closer and more frequent reports are handed in. During this final year also, the applicant's name is submitted to the Lodge, and after his own Master has reported upon him, and his record has been briefly summarised, his name is balloted, and sponsors are arranged.
During the initiation ceremony the important factors are:—
1. The Initiator.
2. The triangle of force formed by three adepts or three Kumaras.
3. The sponsors.
In the case of the first two initiations, two Masters stand, one on each side of the applicant, within the triangle; at the third, fourth and fifth initiations, the Mahachohan and the Bodhisattva perform the function of sponsor; at the sixth and seventh initiations two great Beings, Who must remain nameless, stand within the esoteric triangle. The work of the sponsors is to pass through Their bodies the force or electrical energy emanating from the Rod of Initiation. This force, through radiation, circles around the triangle and is supplemented by the force of the three guardians; it next passes through the centres of the sponsors, being transmitted by an act of will to the initiate.
Enough has been said elsewhere in this book anent the Lodge of Masters and Their relation to the applicant for Initiation, whilst the work of the initiate himself has been likewise touched upon. That work is not unknown to the children of men everywhere, but remains as yet an ideal and a far-off possibility. Yet when a man strives to reach that ideal, to make it a demonstrating fact within himself, he will find that it becomes not only a possibility, but something attainable, provided he strives sufficiently. The first initiation is within the reach of many, but the necessary one-pointedness and the firm belief in the reality ahead, coupled to a willingness to sacrifice all rather than turn back, are deterrents to the many. If this book serves no other purpose than to spur some one to renewed believing effort, it will not have been written in vain.