CHAPTER XIII - THE RODS OF INITIATION
THE RODS OF INITIATION
The Rods of Initiation are of four kinds:
1. Cosmic, used by a cosmic Logos in the initiations of a solar Logos and of the three major Planetary Logoi.
2. Systemic, used by a solar Logos in the initiations of a Planetary Logos. With cosmic initiation we have naught to do; it concerns expansions of realisation beyond even the ken of the highest initiate in our solar system. With systemic initiations we are concerned only in trifling measure, for they are on so vast a scale that the average human mind cannot as yet envisage them. Man appreciates these initiations only in so far as they produce effects in the planetary scheme with which he may be concerned. Particularly is this so should the scheme in which he plays his microscopic part be the centre in the Logoic body receiving stimulation. When that is the case, the initiation of his own Planetary Logos takes place, and consequently he (as a cellular body) receives an added stimulation along with the other sons of men.
3. Planetary, used by a Planetary Logos for initiatory purposes, and for the third, fourth, and fifth major initiations, with the two higher. At the planetary initiation the Rod of Power, wielded by the solar Logos, is charged with pure electrical force from Sirius, and was received by our Logos during the secondary period of creation, from the hands of that great Entity Who is the presiding Lord of the Lords of Karma. He is the repository of the law during manifestation, and He it is Who is the representative in  the solar system of that greater Brotherhood on Sirius Whose Lodges are found functioning as the occult Hierarchies in the different planets. Again, it is He Who, with the solar Logos to assist Him, invests the various Initiators with power, gives to Them that word in secret which enables Them to draw down the pure electric force with which Their rods of office must be charged, and commits to Their keeping the peculiar secret of Their particular planetary scheme.
4. Hierarchical, used by an occult Hierarchy for minor initiations, and for the first two initiations of manas by the Bodhisattva.
When man individualised in Lemurian days, it was through the application of the Rod of Initiation to the Logos of our earth chain, which touched into activity certain centres in His body, with their corresponding groups. This application produced literally the awakening of the life to intelligent work on the mental plane. Animal man was conscious on the physical and on the astral planes. By the stimulation effected by the electric rod this animal man awoke to consciousness on the mental. Thus the three bodies were co-ordinated, and the Thinker enabled to function in them.
All Rods of Initiation cause certain effects:—
a. Stimulation of the latent fires till they blaze.
b. Synthesis of the fires through an occult activity that brings them within the radius of each other.
c. Increase of the vibratory activity of some centre, whether in man, a Heavenly Man, or a solar Logos.
d. Expansion of all the bodies, but primarily of the causal body.
e. The arousing of the kundalini fire (or the fire at the base of the spine), and the direction of its upward progression. This fire, and the fire of manas, are directed  along certain routes—or triangles—by the following of the Rod as it moves in a specified manner. There is a definite occult reason, under the laws of electricity, behind the known fact that every initiate presented to the Initiator is accompanied by two of the Masters, Who stand one on either side of the initiate. The three of Them together form a triangle which makes the work possible.
The force of the Rod is twofold, and its power terrific. Apart and alone the initiate could not receive the voltage from the Rod without serious hurt, but in triangular transmission comes safety. We need to remember here that two Masters sponsor all applicants for initiation, and represent two polarities of the electric All. Part of Their function is to stand with applicants for initiation when they come before the Great Lord.
When the rods are held in the hands of the Initiator in His position of power, and at the stated seasons, they act as transmitters of electric force from very high levels, so high indeed that the "Flaming Diamond," at certain of the final initiations, the sixth and seventh, transmits force via the Logos from outside the system altogether. This major Rod is the one used on this planet, but within the system there are several such Rods of Power, and they are to be found in three grades—if it may be so expressed.
One Rod of Initiation is used for the first two initiations, and is wielded by the Great Lord. It is magnetised by the application of the "Flaming Diamond," the magnetisation being repeated for each new World Teacher. There is a wonderful ceremony performed at the time that a new World Teacher takes office, in which He receives His Rod of Power—the same Rod as used since the foundation of our Planetary Hierarchy-and holds it forth to the Lord of the  World, Who touches it with His own mighty Rod, causing a fresh recharging of its electric capacity. This ceremony takes place at Shamballa.
The Rod of Initiation known as the "Flaming Diamond," is used by Sanat Kumara, the One Initiator. This Rod lies hidden "in the East," and holds the fire hidden that irradiates the Wisdom Religion. This Rod was brought by the Lord of the World from Venus, and once in every world period it is subjected to a similar process to that of the lesser Rod, only this time it is recharged by the direct action of the Logos Himself, the Logos of the solar system. The exact location of this Rod is known only to the Lord of the World and to the Chohans of the rays, and being the talisman of this evolution the Chohan of the second ray is—under the Lord of the World—its prime guardian, aided by the deva Lord of the second plane. The Buddhas of Activity are responsible for its custody, and under Them the Chohan of the ray. It is produced only at stated times, when specific work has to be done. It is used not only at the initiating of men, but at certain planetary functions of which nothing is at present known. It has its place and function in certain ceremonies connected with the inner round, and the triangle formed by the Earth, Mars, and Mercury.
The purpose of the Rods of Power.
In the sceptre of a ruling monarch at this day is hidden the symbolism of these various Rods. They are duly recognised as symbols of office and of power, but it is not generally appreciated that they are of electrical origin, and that their true significance is concerned with the dynamic stimulation of all the subordinates in office who come under their touch thus inspiring them to increased activity and service for the race.
The great Rod of Power of the Logos Himself is hidden in the sun.
To recapitulate, the esoteric location of the various rods is as follows:—
1. The Rod of the Bodhisattva lies hidden in the "heart of the wisdom," that is, at Shamballa.
2. The Rod of the One Initiator is hidden in "the East," a definite planetary location.
3. The Rod of the solar Logos is hidden in "the heart of the sun," that mysterious subjective sphere which lies back of our physical sun, and of which our physical sun is but the environing shield and envelope.
4. The Rod of the cosmic Logos associated with our solar Logos is secreted in that central spot in the heavens around which our solar system revolves, and which is termed "the central spiritual sun."
One Rod is charged anew at Shamballa for each new World Teacher; the Rod of Sanat Kumara is charged afresh at each recurring world period, and therefore seven times in the history of a planetary scheme. The Logoic Rod of Power is electrified at the recurrence of each new period of creation, or for each solar system through which the Logos manifests, as a man manifests through his physical body life. The first two ceremonies take place at Shamballa, the sacred point of planetary manifestation, that central location in our physical planet which corresponds to the heart of a human being. Many of the places on the earth's surface, for instance, which are famed for their healing properties, are thus noted because they are magnetised spots, and their magnetic properties demonstrate as healing influences. The recognition of these properties by man is but the preamble of a later and more definite recognition, which will eventuate when his etheric sight is normally developed.
These magnetic spots are magnetised in three ways:—
1. By Sanat Kumara working through the Manu. This occurs when it is desirable to form a central magnetic point which, by its attractive power, will draw into a coherent whole some race, nation, or large organisation. Every nation has its "magnetic point," formed in etheric matter by the application of the "Flaming Diamond" to the ethers; it is the national heart and the basis of the national character. Usually the chief city of a nation is built up around it, but this is not invariably so.
2. By Sanat Kumara working through the Bodhisattva. In this case, the electric force in the Rod is wielded in order to draw closer together those influences which demonstrate in the great religions of the world. The lesser Rod of Power is used here in conjunction with the greater. By their means the attractive quality or keynote of any religion is struck, and of any organisation with a religious basis.
3. By Sanat Kumara working through the Mahachohan. By the wielding of the Rod of Power the magnetic focal points of those great organisations which affect the civilisation and the culture of a people are brought into coherent activity.
All physical plane organisation—governmental, religious, or cultural—is the working out of inner forces and causes, and, before they definitely appear in physical manifestation, a focalisation—if it might be so expressed—of these influences and energies, takes place on etheric levels. The organisation of the Freemasons is a case in point. It has two magnetic centres, one of which is in Central Europe. In all the cases cited, the Lord of the World was the officiating agent, as is ever the case in the founding of great and important  movements. In all lesser movements for the helping of the race, initiated by the Masters working through Their disciples, the aid of the Bodhisattva is invoked, and the lesser Rod of Power employed.
When disciples initiate a movement on a relatively tiny scale, the Master with Whom they work can similarly assist them, and though He wields no Rod of Power, He has methods whereby He can stimulate and cause to cohere the little endeavour of the faithful followers. Thus in all departments of human life the Rods of Initiation and the Words of Power are used. The entire world government functions under law and order, and the whole scheme is interdependent.
To return to the subject of human initiation, and these Rods of Power. At the time of the Initiation ceremony, after the two great revelations there comes a moment of utter silence, and in the interim the initiate realises within himself the meaning of "Peace." He stands, as it were, in a void, or in a vacuum, wherein naught seemingly can reach him; he stands betwixt earth and heaven for a brief second, conscious of naught but the meaning of things as they are, realising his own essential divinity, and the part which he must play when he again returns to earth service from the Council Chamber of Heaven. He is conscious of no anxiety, fear, or doubt. He has contacted the divine "Presence," and has seen the vision. He knows what he has to do and how he must do it, and peace and joy unutterable fill his heart. This is an interlude of stillness before a period of renewed activity, which begins at the moment that the Rod is applied. Whilst he has been thus withdrawn within himself, with all his forces centred in his heart, the attendant Lodge of Masters have been performing certain ceremonies and chanting certain words, preparatory to the appearance of the Initiator upon the throne, and the wielding  of the Rod. The Hierophant has hitherto been present, but the work has been handled by the Lodge and the Sponsors. He now ascends to the place of power, and the Rod is brought to Him by its legitimate custodians.
It is not possible here to publish the details of the next stage, beyond using the description as embodied in the words "fire descends from heaven." Through the utterance of certain words and phrases, which are one of the secrets of initiation, and which vary with each initiation, the electrical force to be employed descends upon the Rod, passing through the heart and the hand of the Initiator to the Three Who stand in triangular relation to the throne of office. They receive it in turn, and circulate it by act of will through Their hearts, thus passing it to the Sponsors. They again, by an act of will, prepare to transmit it to that centre in the body of the Initiate which is (according to the initiation) to receive stimulation. Then succeeds an interesting interlude, wherein the united wills of the Hierarchy are blended in order to transmit that force which the Rod has put into circulation. The Hierophant utters the word, and the force is literally thrown into the initiate's bodies and centres, passing down through the centres on the mental plane, via the astral centres, to the centres on etheric levels, which finally absorb it. This is the stupendous moment for the initiate, and brings to him a realisation of the literal absolute truth of the phrase that "God is a consuming fire." He knows past all gainsaying that fiery energy and electric force constitute the sumtotal of all that is. He is literally bathed in the fires of purification; he sees fire on all sides, pouring out through the Rod, circulating around the Triangle, and passing through the bodies of the two sponsoring adepts. For a brief second, the entire Lodge of Masters and initiates, standing in Their ceremonial places without the Triangle, are hidden from view by a wall of  pure fire. The initiate sees no one, save the Hierophant, and is aware of nothing but a fiery blaze of pure, blue-white flame, which burns, but destroys not, which intensifies the activity of every atom in his body without disintegrating, and which purifies his entire nature. The fire tries his work, of what sort it is, and he passes through the Flame.
The Effect of the Application of the Rod.
A. Upon the Initiate's bodies:
The effect is four-fold and lasting, but varies according to the initiation taken. The action of the Rod is most carefully and scientifically regulated, and at each succeeding initiation the voltage is increased, and the activity of the resulting fire and its heat intensified. By the application of the Rod the initiate finds:—
1. That the activity of each individual atom in the various bodies is increased, resulting in a greater degree of nervous energy and an elasticity and resistance which will serve him in good stead in the strenuous life of service ahead.
2. That matter of an undesirable type in his bodies is shaken loose, and the atomic wall somewhat destroyed, making the atoms radioactive—if it might be so expressed—and therefore more easily eliminated.
3. The fires of the body are stimulated, and the total energy of the threefold lower man is co-ordinated, so that there is less waste of energy and a greater coherence and uniformity in action.
4. The aligning of the various bodies in connection with the causal, or egoic body is aided, and thus continuity of consciousness, and receptivity to the behests of the Ego, become possible.
The initiate will find, when he returns from the ceremony, and takes up his work in the world, that the stimulation received will bring about in his bodies a period of great activity, and also of strife. This strife, persisted in to the point of victory, will result in his taking out of his body undesirable matter, and building in new and better material; he will find that his powers for service are enormously increased, and his nervous energy intensified, so that he can draw upon reserves of force in service hitherto unsuspected. He will find, also, that the response of the physical brain to the voice of the higher Self, and its receptivity to the higher and subtler impressions, is greatly furthered. Eventually, through the work accomplished, he will succeed in eliminating all matter of a subatomic character, and will then build bodies of substance of the highest subplane on each plane; he will become aware that all his energies can be consciously and constructively controlled, that he knows the real meaning of continuity of consciousness, and can function simultaneously on the three planes with full inner realisation.
B. Upon the causal or egoic body.
It is only possible to touch very briefly upon the effect of the application of the Rod to the causal body of the initiate. The subject is immense, and will be more fully dealt with in A Treatise on Cosmic Fire. There are just two ways in which some idea of the fundamental truth will be conveyed to the mind of the student, which we might now consider.
First, the student should bear in mind the interesting significance of the fact that he, on the physical plane, is a functioning personality, with known and realised characteristics, and yet withal, that he is a subjective Life, who  uses that personality as a medium of expression, and who—through the agency of the physical, emotional, and mental bodies which comprise the threefold lower man—makes his contacts with the physical plane and thus develops. The same general idea of development must be now extended to the higher Self, the Ego on its own plane. This Ego is a great solar angel, who is the medium of expression for the Monad or pure spirit, just as is the personality for the Ego on the lower level. From the point of view of man in the three worlds, this Ego, or Solar Lord, is eternal; he persists throughout the entire cycle of incarnations, just as the personality persists during the tiny physical life cycle. Nevertheless, this period of existence is only relatively permanent, and the day dawns when the life which expresses itself through the medium of the Ego, the Thinker, the Solar Lord or Manasadeva, seeks to loose itself from even this limitation, and to return to the source from which it originally emanated.
The life then, which manifested as a solar angel, and which, through inherent energy, held together through long ages the form egoic, withdraws itself gradually, and the form slowly dissipates; the lesser lives of which it has been constituted, return to the general fount of deva substance, plus the increased consciousness and activity which is theirs through the experience of being built into a form, and utilised by a still higher aspect of existence. Similarly, in the case of the personality, when the life egoic withdraws, the threefold lower self dissipates; the little lives which form the body of what has been called the lunar self (in contradistinction to the solar self, being but its reflection) are absorbed into the general reservoir of deva substance of a lower vibration to that which composed the body egoic. Similarly, also, their evolution has been furthered through  having been built into a form for the use of the higher Self.
Through the application of the Rod of Initiation, the work of separating the spiritual self from the higher self is furthered, and the imprisoned life gradually escapes, whilst the causal body is slowly absorbed or dissipated.
This has led to the expression, sometimes used in occult books, of "the cracking of the causal body" at each initiation, and to the idea of the inner central fire gradually breaking through and destroying the confining walls, and also of the destruction of the Temple of Solomon through the withdrawal of the Shekinah. All these phrases are symbolic wordings, and are attempts to convey to the mind of man fundamental truth from different angles.
By the time the fourth initiation has been reached, the work of destruction is accomplished, the solar angel returns to his own place, having performed his function, and the solar lives seek their point of emanation. The life within the form mounts up then in triumph to the bosom of its "Father in Heaven," just as the life within the physical body at the moment of death seeks its source, the Ego, and this likewise in four stages:—
1. By the withdrawal from the dense physical body.
2. By the withdrawal from the etheric body.
3. By a later vacating of the astral body.
4. A final leaving of the mental body.
Another way of emphasising the same truth is to regard the egoic body as a centre of force, a wheel of energy, or a lotus, and to picture it as a lotus with nine petals, hiding within these petals a central unit of three petals; these in their turn secrete the central life, or the "jewel in the lotus." As evolution proceeds, these three circles of three petals gradually unfold, having a simultaneous effect on one or  other of the central three. These three circles are called respectively the petals of Sacrifice, Love, and Knowledge. At initiation the Rod is applied to the petals in a scientific manner, and regulated according to ray and tendency. This brings about the opening of the central bud, the revelation of the jewel, the withdrawal of that jewel from the casket which has so long shielded it, and its transference to "the crown," as it is occultly called, meaning its return to the Monad whence it came.
We must clearly recognise that all the above is but an attempt, through the limiting agency of words, to describe the method and the rites whereby spiritual liberation is finally achieved in this cycle; first, through the method of evolutionary unfoldment, or gradual development, and then in the final stages through the Rod of Initiation.
C. Upon the centres.
At the time that initiation is taken, the centres are all active, and the lower four (which correspond to the Personality) are beginning the process of translating the fire into the three higher. The dual revolution in the lower centres is clearly to be seen, and the three higher are commencing to be similarly active. By the application of the Rod of Initiation at the time of the initiation ceremony, definite results are achieved in connection with the centres, which might be enumerated as follows:—
The fire at the base of the spine is definitely directed to whichever centre is the object of special attention. This varies according to ray, or the specialised work of the initiate.
The centre has its activity intensified, its rate of revolution increased, and certain of the central spokes of the wheel brought into more active radiance. These spokes  of the wheel, or these petals of the lotus, have a close connection with the different spirillae in the permanent atoms, for instance, and in their stimulation comes into play one or more of the corresponding spirillae in the permanent atoms on the three lower planes. After the third initiation a corresponding stimulation takes place in the permanent atoms of the Triad, leading to a co-ordination of the buddhic vehicle, and the transference of the lower polarisation into the higher.
By the application of the Rod of Initiation, the downflow of force from the Ego to the personality is tripled, the direction of that force being dependent upon whether the centres receiving attention are the etheric or the astral at the first and second initiations, or whether the initiate is standing before the Lord of the World. In the latter case, his mental centres, or their corresponding force vortices on higher levels, will receive stimulation. When the World Teacher initiates at the first and second initiations, the direction of the triadal force is turned to the vivification of the heart and throat centres in their position of synthesising the lower. When the One Initiator applies the Rod of His power, the downflow is from the Monad, and though the throat and heart intensify vibration as a response, the main direction of the force is to the seven head centres, and finally (at liberation) to the radiant head centre above, synthesising the lesser seven head centres.
The centres, at initiation, receive a fresh access of vibratory capacity and of power, and this results in the exoteric life as:—
1. A sensitiveness and refinement of the vehicles which may result at first in much suffering to the initiate, but which produce a capacity to respond, that far outweighs the incidental pain.
2. A development of psychic faculty that again may lead to temporary distress, but which eventually causes a recognition of the one self in all selves, which is the goal of endeavour.
3. A burning away of the etheric web, through the gradual arousing of kundalini and its correct geometrical progression, and a resultant continuity of consciousness that enables the initiate consciously to utilise time as a factor on the planes of evolution.
4. A gradual grasp of the law of vibration as an aspect of the basic law of building, the law of attraction, is brought about, and the initiate learns consciously to build, to manipulate thought matter for the perfecting of the plans of the Logos, to work in mental essence, and to apply the law on mental levels, and thereby affect the physical plane. Motion originates cosmically on cosmic levels, and in the microcosm the same will be seen. There is an occult hint here that, pondered on, will reveal much. At initiation, at the moment of the application of the Rod, the initiate consciously realises the meaning of the Law of Attraction in form building, and in the synthesis of the three fires. Upon his ability to retain that realisation, and himself to apply the law, will depend his power to progress.
5. The Hierophant transmits higher manasic energy to the initiate, so that he is enabled consciously to know and recognise the plan for his group centre, through the immensely increased stimulation. This force descends from the manasic permanent atom via the antahkarana, and is directed to whichever centre the Hierophant—under the law—sees should be stimulated.
6. The Initiator stabilises the force and regulates its flow, as it circulates through the egoic body, so that when the work of unfoldment is accomplished, the seventh principle  at the Heart of the Lotus can stand revealed. After each initiation the lotus is more unfolded, and light from the centre begins to blaze forth—a light or fire which ultimately burns through the three enshrining petals, and permits the full inner glory to be seen, and the electric fire of spirit to be manifested. As this is brought about on the second subplane of the mental plane (whereon the egoic lotus is now situated) a corresponding stimulation takes place in the dense substance which forms the petals or wheels of the centres on the astral and etheric levels.