CHAPTER XVIII - THE SEVEN PATHS
THE SEVEN PATHS
As might be expected, very little has appeared in our literature as to the seven Paths which stretch before the man who has reached the fifth initiation. It is obviously impossible, and also unnecessary, to convey to our mind any impression as to the significance of these paths, or as to the attributes needed for their treading. As time progresses and the race reaches a higher point of development, we shall be able to comprehend more, but under the law of economy it would be fruitless effort for the teachers of the race to instruct us on the characteristics needed for the treading of the seven Paths, before we have as yet apprehended or developed those required for traversing the Probationary Path, not to mention the Path of Initiation.
One general fact we do know, and that is, that before these Paths can be trodden, a man must be a Master of the Wisdom, he must he a Brother of Compassion, and he must be able, through intelligence and love, to wield the law. Our part at this time is to fit ourselves for the treading of the Path of Initiation, by the discipline of the Probationary Path, by the careful direction of the life, by obedience to the law as understood, and by service to the race. When we have attained liberation, then these Paths will stretch before us, and the one that we should tread will become apparent to us. All in this system works under the great law of attraction, and therefore, according to our vibration,  according to our colour and tone, will depend, in all probability, our choice. The greater free will of the cosmic system is under limitation, just as is the free will of the system of which we are a part, and the free will of man himself. Upon innate quality will depend the direction of our further progress.
These seven Paths might be enumerated as follows, and certain deductions, based on the law of correspondence, might be given out, provided always that we remember that words serve more to blind than to elucidate, and that the briefest details only are possible.
1. The Path of Earth Service.
This is the Path that keeps a man linked to the Hierarchy that is pledged to the service of our planet, and to the help of its evolutions. It comprises those who work under the Lord of the World in the seven groups into which our Masters of the Wisdom are divided. Not so many Masters follow this Path as some of the others, and only enough are permitted to do so to carry on planetary evolution satisfactorily. More is known about this path than about the others, and more will be found out as members of our humanity fit themselves to contact the Brotherhood. Their field of employ, Their methods of work, will eventually become exoteric knowledge, and as the seven groups are recognised and known, schools of development for the filling of posts in these groups will be the logical sequence.
2. The Path of Magnetic Work.
Those who do the work of wielding forces, or electrical magnetism for the use of the Great Ones on all the planes, pass to this Path. They wield the elemental formative energy, manipulating matter of every density and vibration.  Great waves of ideas and surging currents of public opinion on astral levels, as well as on the higher levels where the Great Ones work, are manipulated by them. A large number of fifth ray people, those who have the Ray of Concrete Knowledge for their monadic ray, pass to this line of endeavour. The inherent quality in the type of the monad settles usually the line of activity. The karma of the fifth ray is one of the factors which produces this. These monads work with Fohat, and must, to the end of the greater manvantara. They have their eventual position on the cosmic mental plane, but as yet the capacity for abstract thought is so little developed that it is impossible for us to comprehend the significance of this expression.
3. The Path of Training for Planetary Logoi.
This Path is trodden by those who will take up the work of the seven Planetary Logoi of the next system, and of the forty-nine sub-planetary Logoi, Their assistants, and of certain other Entities working in that particular department. There will be seven systems, though we are only concerned with the three major systems, of which our present system is the second major system. Each Chohan of a ray takes a certain number of initiates of the sixth initiation and trains them specially for this work; special aptitude in colour and sound predisposes the choice, and the ability to work with "psyche," or the spirits in evolution marks a man out for this high post. We might say that the Planetary Logoi are the divine psychologists, and therefore in the training for this post psychology is the basic subject, though it is a psychology inconceivable as yet to us. Every Planetary Logos has, in His own special planet, schools for the development of subordinate Logoi, and there trains Them for this high office, giving Them opportunity for wide experience. Even  the Logoi Themselves progress onward, and Their places must be taken.
4. The Path to Sirius.
Very little may be communicated about this Path, and the curiously close relation between it and the Pleiades can only be mentioned, further speculation being impossible. The bulk of liberated humanity goes this way, and the prospect holds out glorious possibilities. The seven stars of the Pleiades are the goal for the seven types, and this is hinted at in the Book of Job, in the words, "Canst thou bind the sweet influence of the Pleiades?" In the mystery of this influence, and in the secret of the sun Sirius, are hidden the facts of our cosmic evolution, and incidentally, therefore, of our solar system.
5. The Ray Path.
It is difficult to know by what other name to call this Path, as so little is known about it. In treading it, a man stays on his own ray, and works thereon in the various kingdoms on all the planes, carrying out the behests of the Lord of the World, and working under His direction. It carries a man to every part of the solar system, yet links him definitely with the synthetic ray. It is a very complex path, for it necessitates a capacity for the most intricate mathematics, and an ability to geometrise in a manner incomprehensible to our three-dimensional brains. This path is taken by the man to whom the law of vibration is of profound importance. He works first in the council chamber of the Lord of the World at Shamballa, manipulating the law of vibration on his own ray. Later he will have his habitat on the planet corresponding to his own ray, and  not on the earth unless he is on the ray of the Planetary Logos holding sway upon the earth. Later again as his evolution progresses, he will pass to the sun; then having mastered all connected with vibration in this system he will pass to the cosmic system, going off his own ray (which is but a subsidiary ray of one cosmic ray), on to the corresponding cosmic ray.
Just as the evolution of man in this system is fivefold, so in the above we have enumerated the principal five Paths from which a Master has to choose. The remaining two can only be touched upon still more briefly, for they hold but a very few of the evolving sons of men, owing to the high point of attainment necessitated for their entrance, and the fact that those who enter upon them pass out of the system altogether. They do not lead to Sirius, as do some of the other Paths. It will be noted that four groups remain in the system, passing eventually, in dim and distant aeons, to the cosmic planes. One group passes directly to Sirius, and the remaining two groups pass directly after initiation to the cosmic planes, with no period of intermediate work on earth, in the system, or on Sirius. These two Paths are:—
6. The Path the Logos Himself Is On.
It will have become apparent to all occult students who have studied with care the world processes in the light of the law of correspondences, that the Logos on the cosmic planes is evolving inner cosmic vision, just as man in his lesser degree is aiming at the same vision in the system. This might be called the development of the cosmic third eye. In the physical plane structure of the eye lies hid the secret and in its study may come some revelation of the mystery.
A certain part of the eye is the nucleus of sight, and the apparatus of vision itself; the remainder of the eye acts as a protecting shell, and both parts are required, and neither can exist without the other. So in this greater case, only the analogy exists on such high levels that words only blur and dim the truth. Certain of the sons of men, a nucleus who reached a very high initiation in the previous solar system, formed an esoteric group around the Logos when He decided upon further progress. In consequence He formed this system, cosmic desire for incarnation driving Him on. This esoteric group remains with the Logos on the atomic, or first plane of the system, on the subjective inner side, and it corresponds, in an occult sense, to the pupil of the eye. The real home of these great Entities is upon the cosmic buddhic plane.
Gradually, by dint of hard effort, certain Masters have qualified Themselves, or are qualifying Themselves, to take the place of the original members of the group, permitting of Their return to a cosmic centre around which our system, and the greater system of Sirius revolve. Only one adept here and there has the necessary qualifications, for it involves the development of a certain type of response to cosmic vibration. It means a specialising in the inner sight, and the development of a certain measure of cosmic vision. More of the deva evolution pass to this path than do the human. Human beings pass to it via the deva evolution, which can be entered by transference to the fifth Path, the ray Path. On this latter Path, the two evolutions can merge, and from the fifth Path the sixth can be entered.
7. The Path of Absolute Sonship.
This Sonship is a correspondence on the highest plane to that grade of discipleship which we call "Son of the Master."  It is the Sonship to a Being higher than our Logos, of whom we may not speak. It is the great controlling Path of Karma. The Lipika Lords are on this Path, and all who are fitted for that line of work, and who are close to the Logos in a personal intimate sense, pass to the Path of absolute Sonship. It is the Path of the special intimates of the Logos, and into Their hands He has put the working out of karma in the solar system. They know His wishes, His will and His aim, and to Them He entrusts the carrying out of His behests. This group, associated with the Logos, forms a special group linked to a still higher Logos.