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RULE TEN - Part 1

We now come to one of the most abstruse and difficult of all the rules for initiates; yet at the same time it is one of the most practical in application and of the greatest usefulness.  It concerns the etheric levels of activity.  I would have you note that I did not say the etheric levels of consciousness, for there is no such thing as consciousness upon the etheric planes.  The four planes which constitute the etheric levels of the physical plane are the lowest correspondence to the four planes whereon the Monad and the Spiritual Triad are active, and—as I have oft told you—upon those levels there is no such thing as consciousness as we understand it.  There is only a state of being and of activity for which we have no adequate or illustrative words.  The four higher planes of our solar system are the four cosmic etheric planes, and one of the lines of development (confronting the initiate) is to function adequately in response to the life of the planetary Logos upon those planes.  That, in the last analysis, constitutes the main field of unfoldment and of acquired wisdom for all initiates above the third degree.

In the above paragraph I have presented you with a new concept re initiation—one that has always been implicit in the teaching but one entirely and completely untouched as yet in any discussions on initiate-training.

In the rule as given to applicants, the disciple is cautioned to work within those levels according to the methods [179] of the deva or angel evolution.  The rule runs as follows:

The Army of the Voice, the devas in their serried ranks, work ceaselessly.  Let the disciple apply himself to a consideration of their methods; let him learn the rules whereby the Army works within the veils of maya.

These particular devas in "their serried ranks" are the directive agents of the divine energy which implements the purposes of Deity upon the physical plane.  They work only on etheric levels—either upon our physical plane or on the cosmic etheric levels.  They are therefore active in the realm of maya, which is the etheric plane as we usually understand it, or upon the planes of the Spiritual Triad.  They are not active on the three gross physical levels or upon the astral or mental planes, nor are they active upon the highest or logoic plane.  There they are implicit or latent but not active.  They are the great "impulsive factors" in manifestation, organising substance, directing the multiplicity of lives and beings who constitute the forms through which God expresses divinity.  In a peculiar sense, they are the embodiment of the divine purpose upon the planes of the Monad and of the Triad, just as the aggregate of energies in man's etheric body is the result of his inner direction and the cause of his outer manifestation.  To understand more fully the function of the deva forces, a man must arrive at some understanding of the forces in his etheric body which, in their turn, are the consequence of his point of attainment—an attainment demonstrated by his astral (emotional) and mental natures and activities.  These indicate his point of development.

The devas are the agents of the divine will because they are a consequence of the point of attainment of our planetary Logos as He exists outside the seven planes of our sphere of existence, the cosmic physical plane.  They are conditioned by His cosmic astral and mental vehicles.  In a definite sense, they are the agents of the Universal Mind, even though they are not mental as we understand that term.  They are sometimes regarded as blind forces, but that is only because they get their inspiration from levels of [180] divine awareness outside the range of the human consciousness, no matter how high, or when used in its widest connotation.

Their controlling Agent in manifestation is the Triangle of Energy to which we give the name the "Three Buddhas of Activity." They are therefore closely connected with the third aspect of divinity.  They are essentially the "eye within the Triangle"—a most familiar symbol to many today.  They are the expression, in activity, of the "All-Seeing Eye"; through their agency God sees, and through them and the energy directed through them, He directs the creative process.  They are under the complete control of the three Buddhas of Activity, Who are the cosmic Prototypes of the Lords of the three major rays, but not in the sense usually understood when the rays are considered in their relation to man.  They are the correspondence of these three rays and are responsible for the entire manifested universe, but only within the orbit of the third aspect, the expression of the Universal Mind.

They come from the cosmic mental plane, just as the energy—distinctive of the second aspect—comes from the cosmic astral plane.  God is mind.  God is intelligent functioning.  God is creative activity.  These are the qualities of the deva evolution.  God is love.  God is relationship.  God is consciousness.  These are the three qualities of the Christ evolution.  This latter evolution is carried on within the created sphere of influence of the third aspect.  God is life.  God is fire.  God is pure being.  These are the qualities of the spirit aspect, the omnipotent aspect of Deity.  All these three aspects focus themselves and find an outlet for expression upon the levels of the cosmic etheric planes and upon the levels of the etheric planes known to humanity in the three worlds.  The Law of Correspondences is infallible, if rightly approached and applied.

This broad and general presentation must be rightly grasped if the rule, as given to disciples and initiates, is to be correctly understood.

You have been taught that illusion is the characteristic [181] which must be mastered by the initiate as he "escapes" occultly from the three worlds via the mental plane.  (Glamour:  A World Problem.)  Glamour, you are told, is the characteristic of the astral plane, and must be dissipated by the disciple as he "escapes" mystically on to the Path of Initiation, just as the initiate finds himself (after mastering illusion) on the Path of the Higher Evolution.  Maya is the conditioning factor on etheric levels, and must be evaded and overcome by the probationary disciple as he "escapes" from the thralldom of the physical plane.  Thus he learns to tread the Path of Discipleship.  These characteristics are, however, only the reaction of humanity to the activities of the deva evolution, rightly and divinely proceeding with their task of implementing the divine will.  When the sphere of their activity comes into contact with the human intelligence, the effect upon humanity (before mastery is gained) is to compel men "to wander in the fields of maya, to drown in the sea of glamour, and to respond to the pull of illusion."

In this teaching, you have presented to you, though in a somewhat different form, the ancient problem of duality, involving as it does the immense potency of the deva evolution.  It definitely affects humanity; this is due to the fact that it is an expression of the will aspect of Shamballa.  As man develops the will aspect, he learns to break loose from the aura of the deva evolution, and the major task of the Hierarchy (as far as basic essentials are concerned) is to "provide sanctuary" to those who have liberated themselves from the ocean of deva energies in which their vehicles must perforce move and live and have their being, but with which they have otherwise no point of contact, once liberated by their own effort and will "from the angels."  Let us now study Rule Ten.

Rule X.

The rules for work within the veils of maya are known and have been used.  Let the group widen all the rents within those veils and thus let in the light.  Let the Army of the Voice be no more heard, and let the brothers onward move within the Sound.  Then let them [182] know the meaning of the O.M. and let them hear that O.M. as it is sounded forth by Him Who stands and waits at the very centre of the Council Chamber of the Lord.

I would here remind you that we are considering work that the initiate must accomplish, and are not considering the usual effort of struggling aspirants to deal with and handle those forces which have worked through into physical expression.  These, from the levels of the forty-eight subplanes are waiting to precipitate themselves into the dense physical manifested world.  The aspirant must ever work from the outside to the within and must endeavour to direct his life from above downwards, if these forces are to be dominated by him and are not to control him.  The initiate, however, works "from within the circle," that is the circle or field of maya.  His activity must therefore be carried forward from the very heart of the mystery of these forces; this he can do because he is in a position to know the type of energy with which he has to contend, to understand the nature of the forces with which he can and must manipulate the "mayavic energies," and thus to dominate the etheric planes he is also aware where one veil ends and another begins, and from what level he can successfully bring the swirling and living energies into conformity with the divine pattern.

It should also be noted here that the energies projected by the initiate into the world of maya are directed by him from the various centres in his own body and from the central point of energy in each particular centre employed.  It is the central "jewel in the lotus" from which the initiate works, and these seven central focal points, these seven jewels, so-called, are the correspondence of the jewel in the egoic lotus.  This means, therefore, that successful work "within the veils of maya" involves ever the use of the will aspect and the conscious employment of that quota of the Shamballa force which the initiate is able to appropriate and to use because he has begun to work as a focussing agent of the Spiritual Triad and is no longer working as a [183] soul or as a personality under soul control.  This is an important point to remember.

It is along the antahkarana that the force used by the initiate must pour, and according to the nature of the work to be done will be the particular strand or thread of the rainbow bridge which the initiate employs.  There are four veils of maya, constructed necessarily of seven forces, and these produce the factual and phenomenal aspect (in time and space) of the Great Illusion, in its three forms of illusion, glamour and maya.  There are seven points of energy through which different aspects of the force needed to produce the desired effects within the veils of maya can flow, and these correspond to the seven ray types or qualities.  But the major type of energy with which the initiate works upon the physical plane is the seventh, the ray or energy of ritual, of ceremony, of order and of law.  The work done within the veils is one of rearrangement and the ordination and coordination of the forces, present as existent maya; this must provide, in time and space, the forms through which the plans of the Hierarchy can materialise, the souls of all forms can be subjected to the needed experience, and so progress towards the fulfillment of the will of God.

Maya is not something to be destroyed, dissipated, dissolved or negated.  Maya is in reality an aspect of time, and connotes to the initiate the mass of creative forces with which he must work; these are swept into form generation and activity, and embody in the transitional, ephemeral, present moment the phenomenal point in evolution reached by the life of God.  The work of the initiate, acting under hierarchical inspiration, is to change the present forms into the more adequate forms demanded by the descending life and its dynamic activity.  We are therefore dealing with the precipitated aspect of divine evolutionary process.  We are concerned with the relation of the Army of the Voice to the SOUND which conditions evolution, and with the supervisory work of the Hierarchy as it sustains the work of the [184] soul to be found within all forms—built by the Army of the Voice and by the devas in their serried ranks.

The supervisory, directive work of the Hierarchy, carried forward by the Masters and Their groups and by the initiates within those groups, is seldom considered; it is, however, a work of major importance and is one definitely referred to in this rule.  Fundamentally, the task set before the Hierarchy is to "let in the light"; but this time not in the sense of revelation, of vision or of illumination.  These latter are all aspects of soul light; the work of the initiate is to aid in the construction of the planetary body of light—substance which will finally reveal the nature of Deity and the glory of the Lord.  It is the planetary correspondence to the light-body through which Christ and all the Sons of God Who have reached perfection finally manifest.  It is a vehicle created by the energy of Will, and it is implemented and "held in being" by the Will.  It expresses itself exoterically by the projection of this will energy, via the central point in each of the seven chakras or lotuses.

In studying these rules for the initiate, it must ever be remembered that they concern primarily the use of the will or first aspect.  This is the energy of the Monad, utilised via the Spiritual Triad and related to the personality via the antahkarana.  Secondary interpretations and tertiary correspondences are always possible, but the main significance of these rules is related to the first divine aspect.  You have therefore, as you reflect, think, study and correlate, to bear constantly in mind:

1. The seven ray types.

2. The Monad, the Spiritual Triad and the threefold personality; these constitute another septenate. 

3. The seven groups of Masters.

4. The seven centres and their seven central points, or jewels.

5. The four veils of maya.

Various other septenates could also be related, but such relationship is not required by the initiate who has consciously discarded all these lower septenates and works now [185] with the seven major energies, the sevenfold field of their activity and the septenary aspect of the implementing instrument, whether planetary or individual.

Simplification proceeds rapidly as one nears the goal of the spirit.  Will ever concerns itself with the essentials and not with the details of manifestation.  Love concerns itself with transitional, evolutionary fundamentals, whilst intelligence concerns itself with the detail and its coherent coordination in response to the impulse and attractive force of divine love and the dynamic impulse of the spirit.

Let us now proceed, after these few preliminary remarks, to take this tenth rule sentence by sentence.  These are five in number, and the first which we will consider is:

1. The rules for work within the veils of Maya are known and have been used.

Students should remember that the work of the Hierarchy is constantly conditioned by the point in evolution of the human hierarchy.  In the early days of human history, thinking, and progress had practically no place, and therefore little or no effect upon the forces and energies which were active upon etheric levels.  At that period, they were left in a relatively quiescent state or else were swept into activity by definite and planned impression from the Hierarchy; any effect coming from the human kingdom was due solely to mass impulse or impression.  This was very little, owing to the lack of coordinated relation between units and groups within the human family.  Later, as family units massed together and formed tribes, and then tribe united with tribe to form larger tribes or embryonic nations, this mass effect increased, but there was still but little thinking or direction connected with it; it was largely instinctive and—if I might so express it—the etheric plane was in reality more in the nature of a matrix surrounding a valuable creation, and was essentially protective, separating and slightly energising.

In Atlantean days, the plane whereon humanity received its major direction or unfoldment was such that the [186] emotional, impulsive nature and the field of maturing desire became dominantly active.  Then the real difficulty within the realm of maya started.  Hitherto only two energies had been felt upon the etheric plane:  the energy of life itself, via the sutratma, as it passed through the etheric plane in order to produce exoteric livingness upon the physical plane, and secondly, the energy of the Hierarchy as a whole, producing a slow, broad, though somewhat negative organisation of the prevalent forces.  But then a third and most potent force, generated by humanity, was beginning to make an impact upon the etheric forces.  Men were beginning, at this early period of human history, to desire, and this desire was not, as hitherto, of a purely animal nature and hence an emanation from dense physical substance (and, therefore, not related to a principle), but it embodied a new type of energy and was—in reality—man's first expression of the highest divine aspect.  Desire is the lowest reflection within the human consciousness of the will aspect.

This potent vibration of desire was evoked by men who were as yet without any spiritual vision of any kind; they were purely material in their instinctive reactions (and rightly so at that particular time), and these reactions attracted the attention of certain purely evil energies or Beings.  These Beings availed themselves of the situation in order to satisfy their desire for power—again a distortion of the will or first aspect.  Thus the Black Lodge was founded.  It fed upon human desire and resembled a vast overshadowing vampire.  It vitiated human living and increased the growth of desire far beyond normal expectancy or hierarchical planning, thus creating false goals and standards, building a barrier between the lowest planetary centre, Humanity, and the "middle point" or centre, the Hierarchy.  It will be apparent, therefore, that the following energies were let loose within the realm of maya:

1. The instinctive force of animal desire.  This was not wrong in itself and is subject to negation in time, and normally is controlled.

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2. The stream of descending life, and this in two aspects:

a. The life aspect, as it bestows being. 

b. The life aspect, as it preserves form.

3. The steady impact of the attractive power of the soul, implemented by the Hierarchy and increasing in potency as time elapses.

4. The impelling power of material desire, focussed in the Black Lodge, both feeding human desire and drawing a form of life from the massed desire of humanity.

5. Human development along astral lines, expressing itself as certain well-defined energies or force directions:

a. Material desire for possessions. 

b. Desire for that which is owned by others.  To this the commandment "Thou shalt not steal" has reference.

c. Personality aims and ambitions; these constitute a form of focussed desire of a compelling, life-determining nature.

d. Aspiration, leading to vision and to the mystic Way.

e. Purification, the conscious handling of desire upon the Probationary Path.

f. Initiation.  The first two initiations are taken, as you know, upon the astral plane, and bring complete release both from that plane of glamour and from the realm of maya.

All throughout this period, the organisation of the etheric plane has been going on, subject to the impact of energies and forces as listed above, plus certain other energies (latent or potent) with which we have no immediate concern.  Both the great White Lodge and its opponent, the Black Lodge, increased steadily in potency.  Gradually the forces took organised form and the four "veils of maya" or the seven separating energies became well-defined.  When this differentiation was complete, two great planetary events (if I might call them so) were consummated:

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1. The seven centres in the human body (five up the spine and two in the head) were esoterically "in shape."  The seven lotuses or chakras were functioning, some powerfully, whilst others remained unawakened.  These seven were now visible to clairvoyant vision. 

2. The seven Ashrams of the Masters in Their seven groups (conditioned by the seven Rays) appeared, motivated from Shamballa, organised at this time upon the higher levels of the mental plane, and gradually supplied with personnel from the ranks of humanity itself, as one by one men achieved initiation. 

Paralleling this activity and implemented, fed and sustained by the Black Lodge, was the appearance of glamour upon the astral plane, and to this thickening glamour humanity steadily contributed and responded.  Then as evolution progressed and the human intellect began to make itself felt, "the four veils of maya" and the great "curtain of glamour" began to condition the mental plane.  Illusion then appeared, and the distinction between truth and falsehood, between good and evil, and between the left hand Path and the Path of Initiation became apparent to the advanced humanity of the time.  These distinctions had always been known to the Hierarchy, but now human beings were faced with them and recognised them:  the great potency of intellectual choice confronted humanity and the Aryan race (as that name is correctly used to denote modern intelligent humanity) came into being.

As the ages slipped away, men contributed more and more both to the problem and to the solution of maya, of glamour and of illusion.  The potency of human thought began to make itself felt; men in increasing numbers sought the Path of Liberation and so passed on into the Hierarchy; they became active and instructed opponents of the Black Lodge and intelligent wielders of energy as it can be projected downwards and used to destroy the four veils, to dissipate glamour and to dispel illusion.  Humanity responded more and more sensitively to impacts—both subjective and objective—and their cooperation began to be [189] effective and useful to the Hierarchy, necessitating some changes in hierarchical techniques, releasing hierarchical workers for other and different activities, and greatly complicating the problem and menacing the safety and the status of the Black Lodge.

One of the results of this mental development was the sending of the disciples out into the world of men; they issued forth in large numbers, and whilst preserving their conscious link with the Ashram with which they were affiliated, they could be trusted to live among men as men and to bring their potency to bear upon the problem of maya and glamour, doing so from below upwards.  This work had to be done by disciples who could stand under pressure, who would, in spite of all difficulties, live nobly and prepare for and take the initiation which was for them their next step.  Several hundred years ago, only a few could be so trusted.  Today (1944) there are many in every land, though there are very few in Germany, owing to the concentration in that unhappy land of the power of the Black Lodge and also to the misuse of the Shamballa force.  This force has been isolated and its destructive aspect utilised in Germany, and this has been done without the paralleling activity of the love energy of the Hierarchy.  It is this fact that has made it impossible (since 1933) for disciples of the White Lodge to enter.  Elsewhere, however, the concentration of active disciples is greater than at any other time in human history.

I have emphasised this point because our second phrase, "let the group widen all the rents within those veils," has reference here to disciples and the groups which they have everywhere gathered around themselves.  It is these groups, many in number and differing in ray potency, which will lead the world through the post-war period into the New Age.  It is their pressure upon the physical plane which has precipitated the crisis between the great White Lodge and the Black Lodge.  Their work is to let in the light, and where the light goes the Black Lodge must fade out and disappear.  It feeds on glamour and illusion and uses the [190] veils of maya as a protection.  Students would do well to avoid naming and differentiating the four veils.  The veils themselves are transient and variable.  They differ as they come under the impact of the seven rays.  It is not possible or practical to distinguish them one from the other, except from the angle of the Hierarchy, and their destruction today (though it was not so earlier) has to come from the dense physical plane, and the attack must be made by personalities and individualities dwelling in physical bodies.  This is a somewhat new mode of approach, for hitherto only a very few disciples and initiates have been able so to work.  Today, hundreds and thousands of disciples are working, and thus learning to use the ancient rules for work within the veils of maya.  Let me here give you some of these rules or formulas as they are to be found in The Masters' Book of Rules and as I can translate them.  Some are untranslatable:

1. Focus the force at the jewel's point and find the veil that it can touch.

2. Carry the force from point to point and then project.

3. Look for the energy in form behind the veil attacked.  A rent within the veil exists.  Find it and see.

4. A path lies through the veils, giving access to the several courts.  Walk on that path, wielding destruction and clearing out the refuse in the court.  The court of the money changers is the last.

5. Meet the descending forces and find the current which is yours.

6. Watch for the evil stream of force which seeks to mend the rents.  Project upon that stream the energy of which you know.  It led you from the Ashram into the veils.  Use it and drive the evil back unto the astral plane.

7. Work with the Sound and know it as the source of power.  Use first the Voice; then use the O.M., and later use the Sound.  All three together will suffice. 

There are other rules, but these will give you the [191] major recognitions needed to do this type of work; these are the rules which the adventuring disciple needs to know.  They have been used, and should not be interpreted by the lower mind, but with the aid of the initiate consciousness.

The second phrase runs as follows:

2. Let the group widen all the rents within those veils and thus let in the light.

We come now to a definite group injunction or instruction.  The aid of the group is invoked almost in the form of an order.  The point of this formulated injunction is that in the new era and in the interlude between the past (wherein prominent disciples worked within the veils of maya) and the New Age (wherein humanity itself will consciously function upon the etheric plane), the work of the esoteric groups, under the direction of the New Group of World Servers, is needed.  They will have the capacity to recognise the distinction between the various veils.  This is the next needed development.  The groups must focus the energy at the very centre of the group being; the group must carry the force from point to point and from veil to veil; the group must project the destroying energy and become unitedly aware of what each veil hides; the group must perform the activities (seven in all) of purification; the group must meet, accept and distribute the descending spiritual energy which will finally consummate the work done.  The group—through the use of that descending current—will drive the forces of evil back on to the astral plane and will together work with the three aspects of the first ray.  These are typified by the Voice, the O.M. and the Sound.

In the above you have in reality a great formula for group activity and also a potent method (once the group can unitedly work together) for the cleansing and the re-organisation of the forces active in the world today.  These forces are now raging and running wild; their effect is almost tangible (being in etheric substance) and factually and visibly present under the control of the Black Lodge.  This [192] Lodge uses the voices of lying propaganda, the Word of death (which I shall not give to you for the O.M., the Word of Life, suffices), and the Sound of the densest aspect in manifestation—the sound of power in the mineral kingdom.  This constitutes an unparalleled condition and creates a unique concentration of the Forces of Good and the forces of evil upon the etheric plane.  The task of all groups which are working under the Masters of the Wisdom is to let in the light, utilising those rents which already exist within the Veils of maya.

Three major rents within these Veils might here be noted.  They are symbolically referred to in The Bible, though their essential meaning has not been noted or comprehended.

The first major rent was made by the establishment of the Law of God, and this is portrayed for us symbolically in The Old Testament in the story of Moses.  He went up into the Mount of God and there received the Ten Commandments.  This is the expression of divine law as adapted for humanity and as needed in the projection of those forces which will destroy, purify and reorganise.  Moses, the Lawgiver, penetrated to one of the halls within the Veils of maya, and there encountered the glory of the Lord.  This was of such a radiance that, as the Old Commentary  puts it:

"He who entered among the first to penetrate within the veils absorbed the light and knew not how to pass it on.  Neither he nor they were ready, but the light was there and likewise the two directing eyes.  But only one can use, project and send the light upon its mission.  The other must be blinded, and of this fact the Lawgiver was aware.  He therefore veiled the light, assuming towards this end a fragment of that which he had helped destroy, and so descended from the mountain top, back to the darkness of the earth."

The second, and much the most important rent, was made by the power of the second aspect when the Christ subjected the Master Jesus to the fourth initiation and Their joint influence was triumphant over death.  Then we read [193] that the veil of the Temple was split in twain from the top to the bottom.  The lawgiver assisted at the first rending as the climax to the third initiation, and there was a somewhat similar process of glorification.  A similar event took place at the Transfiguration of the Christ, overshadowing or rather working through the Master Jesus.  But at the triumph over death and through the Great Renunciation or Crucifixion episode, a great and major rending took place.  The Law, when rightly kept and interpreted, defines man's attitude upon the mental plane and serves to make a rent in the etheric veil, separating the etheric vehicle in its fourfold aspect from the dense physical form.  The rending of the second veil at the time of the Crucifixion let in light on to the second level of the etheric plane, and a new type of illumination was spread abroad upon the earth.  Law and Love could now penetrate into the consciousness of humanity in a new and direct manner, as the brain of man became involved through the substance of the etheric counterpart of the physical brain; the instinct to self-preservation (one of the lowest aspects of Law) and the tendency to sensitivity (feeling or emotion, one of the lowest forms of Love) could be expressed in a more comprehensive manner.

Another rending of the veil, and one of relatively minor importance, took place when Saul of Tarsus saw the glory of the Lord and was changed into Paul the Apostle.  His forward moving and potent directness and sincerity, pushing along "the road to Damascus," forced him to penetrate through one of the separating veils.  The Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence and the violent take it by force.  This force, working in Saul, drove him through the veil which prevented vision, and the rent thereby made brought him a new revelation.  He was, we are told, completely blinded for three days, and this the esoteric records corroborate.  This is a well-known correspondence to the three days in the tomb and one recognised by esotericists; it corresponds also to the penetration into the third heaven to which Paul testified later in his life.  He realised the nature of the Law, as his later epistles demonstrate; he was brought [194] to the feet of the Initiator through the effect of love, and thus he availed himself of the two earlier rents in the veil.  Whilst thus reaching out to the light, he wrote that epistle about which so much controversy has raged—The Epistle to the Hebrews.  In it the results of the rending of the third veil provide the keynote and express the first and highest aspect, as the two earlier rents lead to the revelation of the third and second divine qualities.  This first aspect is seen as synthesis, as the Communion of Saints, and as related to the Lord of the World, Melchizedek.  Read that epistle in the light of these remarks, and note how a great initiate endeavoured to reveal some facts, inherent in the will or power aspect.  These were, however, far beyond the ken of the disciples and aspirants of the time, but can today form a true part of the realisation of humanity.  Law, Love, Union or Synthesis—all these great energies have seeped into the human consciousness and now provide the platform upon which the new civilisation can be founded, the new approach to God be taken, and new human relations be implemented.

Three great rents, therefore, now exist, as well as numerous smaller and less important ones, to which no reference has been or need be made.  Three great Sons of God at the moment of initiation made a major contribution to the human consciousness through their determined will-to-law, will-to-love and will-to-synthesis.  Mankind was thereby aided to move forward more easily along the "lighted Way," to pass through the halls of maya, aided by the light pouring through the rents made in the separating veils by perfected divine Men at the very moment of Their triumph.  A fourth great rent still remains to be made as a result of the energies released and the gained good which the three earlier rents have made possible.  This fourth major rent will be made by humanity itself, standing with "massed intent," focussed through the groups which are externalisations of the Ashrams of the Masters.  It will therefore be made at the time that the Hierarchy takes physical shape upon the earth again.

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Bear in mind the symbolical nature of this teaching.  The veils are not actually existing veils in the usual sense of that term.  They are in the nature of opposing forces and energies which act as inhibitory factors to the aspirant as he seeks to make progress, and to the entire human family as it moves onward upon the Path of Evolution.  They are not basically related to consciousness at all, for in the majority of cases these veils "lie on the earthward side of being and not upon the side of light"; they are essentially physical forces, and although they are the result of man's own effort and activity down the ages, they are largely unrealised, unseen obstacles to his progress.  They constitute the lowest concentration of forces precipitated from levels of activity other and higher than the physical, as you understand physical substance.  If one might use a phrase which, even if true, is misleading, they lie between the subtle inner man, mental and astral, and his physical brain.  They are that which prevents brain registration of the world of causes and of meaning.  This inner world can be emotional or mental in its focus and in its force precipitation on to the etheric plane.  It can be the fused result of personality integration and be a combination of energies; or it can be dominated by the effects of soul energy.  These, if evoked, can penetrate occultly and drive out or break down and through the separating veiling forces, thus producing coordination eventually between soul and brain.

These veils are as curtains over the windows of vision.  They prevent realisation of that which lies beyond the room or area of average or mediocre experience, and they prevent the light from penetrating.

The work of the three Sons of God referred to above is not concerned with the rending of the veils of their own interior life and forces, thus bringing about soul contact unimpeded and dear, or with the illumination of experience upon the physical plane.  That had long ago been effected in these special and individual cases.  Their service was rendered to humanity and They made rents in the veils which separated mankind as a whole from the higher spiritual [196] experience and from registration of the fact of the existence of the Hierarchy.  Theirs was a universal service, and made possible further human progress, for until some greater measure of light had been let in it was not possible for man to see and grasp the necessity to destroy the obstacles to light.  The veils remain unperceived by the average aspirant until some light appears through the rents in the "curtain of impediment."

The glory of the Christ and the uniqueness of His accomplishment lies in the fact that He was the first to bring about the rending of the veils from "the top to the bottom."  This He could do because He acted as the World Saviour, outside and independent of humanity; He was free from the aura of the human family and—again quoting the Old Commentary, as far as it is possible to translate these archaic terms:

"From above He worked and from the further side issued the force which tore its way into the separating forces, driving them in a threefold direction, from the point which is the highest, to the right and to the left, thus letting in that streaming force which resolved itself as light, as love, as lifting energy.  Thus worked the One for Whom all men must wait.  He is as man, but works not as a man.  He works as light divine, as energy supreme and as the Saviour of the world of men."

Let me again quote from the same source and give you the ancient names of the veils:

"Next to the earthly plane is found the Veil of Impulsion and then the Hall of Concentration.  To that succeeds the Veil of Distortion, related to the world of glamour as impulsion is to force.  Beyond that veil is found the Hall of Choice.  And then we find another veil, the Veil of Separation, and beyond it lies the Hall of Blinded Men—blinded by light but facing towards the final veil, the Veil of Aspiration.  Four veils, three halls and many men."

I will leave you to make due application of this paragraph [197] of stated truth and of condensed realisation.  I would remind you that concentration is one thing to the aspirant, and a very different thing to the initiate, and that the choices made by the initiate resemble not those made by the disciple.  The blinding force referred to can range all the way from the deep spiritual darkness in which the average man moves, through the blindness of which Saul of Tarsus was the exponent, up to that condition which overwhelms the highest Initiate as He awaits entrance into the Council Chamber of the Lord.

Blindness is a prelude to initiation of no matter what degree.  It is only at the last and highest initiation that the "tendency to blindness" comes to a complete end.  In the early stages of evolution, blindness is natural, innate, unavoidable and impenetrable.  For ages man walks in the dark.  Then comes the stage wherein this normal blindness is a protection, but has also entered a phase wherein it can be overcome.  Technically speaking, the blindness to which I have referred is something different.  From the moment when a human being catches the first, faint glimpse of the "something other" and sees himself in juxtaposition to that dimly sensed, distant reality, the blindness with which I have dealt is something imposed by the soul upon the hastening aspirant, so that the lessons of conscious experience, of discipleship, and later of initiation may be correctly assimilated and expressed; by its means, the hurrying seeker is defended from making too rapid and superficial progress.  It is depth and a profound "rootedness" (if I may coin such a word) for which the inner Teacher and later the Master looks, and "occult blindness," its need, its wise handling and its final elimination are part of the curriculum imposed upon the candidate.  This truth is recognised, though not truly interpreted, by the Masonic Fraternity.  In one of the most important and highest initiations, the candidate enters with unblinded eyes and no hoodwink is applied.  Then, halfway through the ceremony, he is blinded, and in that condition passes through the terrific tests, symbolic of a certain high stage upon the Path.

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Blindness is therefore, esoterically speaking, the place of learning and is related to the eye, throat and heart doctrine.  It is not related to the dim vision, the sensing of half truths and the gropings of the aspirant in the process of learning about himself, or as he visions the goal and seeks to walk the Path.  That is a familiar condition and one to which all beginners are subjected and which they cannot avoid for it is inherent in their natures.  Occult blindness is spiritually induced and "blacks out" the glory and the promised attainment and reward.  The disciple is thrown back upon himself.  All he can see is his problem, his tiny field of experience, and his—to him—feeble and limited equipment.  It is to this stage that the prophet Isaiah refers when he speaks of giving to the struggling aspirant "the treasures of darkness."  The beauty of the immediate, the glory of the present opportunity and the need to focus upon the task and service of the moment are the rewards of moving forward into the apparently impenetrable darkness.  For the initiate, this blindness is still more esoteric; there remains for him absolutely no light whatsoever—no earth light nor any light within the three worlds at all.  There is only blackness.  To this the mystic has given the name "the dark night of the soul."  The true dark night (of which the mystic's dark night is only a dim reflection, to speak paradoxically) marks a very exalted state of Being and stage of development.  It was into the blackness and darkness that Christ penetrated as He overshadowed one of His Masters, the Master Jesus upon the Cross.  This will strike a new note for many, and can only now be revealed.  It is concerned with the facility with which a Master participates in the experience, subjectively realised, of the disciples whom He has prepared for initiation.  It relates also to the still higher identification of the Christ with those initiates who are taking the fourth and fifth initiations, such as the Master Jesus in the experience referred to above.  Christ is no longer the Initiator, but stands to the initiate as the Master does to the disciple.  It is a curious phase of "identical participation," which evokes no reaction from the Master or the [199] Master of the Masters, the Christ, except in so far as it enables the divine Participator Himself to face another area of darkness, veiling and hiding a still more supernal glory.  The above paragraph is far beyond the comprehension of the average student, but will be comprehended by those whose eyes are open to be blinded.

Students must remember that the four veils upon the etheric plane are only the lower symbolic correspondences to certain great areas of divine expression, and that ever the glory must be approached through the darkness.  Such is the Law.  These higher veiling factors can be mentioned and enumerated, but more information concerning these mysteries, this separating darkness encountered by the initiate, may not be given:

VEIL I.  That which faces the disciple as he wrestles with the Dweller on the Threshold and becomes conscious of the Angel of the Presence, though as yet he sees Him not.

VEIL II.  That which the initiate encounters at the fourth initiation and which forces him to cry out in his blindness:  "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me."  The words uttered by the Christ at that time, and as the Participator, have been forgotten by the orthodox, though preserved by the esotericist.  To them H.P.B. refers in The Secret Doctrine.

VEIL III.  That mysterious blindness which overwhelms the initiate when—as the Embodiment of all the forces of the Spiritual Triad—He faces the Monad and is impelled forward by the "devastating Will" of the first aspect.  Of this I may not write.  It concerns the sixth and seventh initiations.

VEIL IV.  That "unknown impenetrable Void, the utter darkness of negation" which Those Who are in the Council Chamber of the Lord of the World and Who are focussed in Shamballa face when the time comes for Them to "negate" our planetary life-expression and experience altogether.  They must then leave behind all the seven planes of spiritual and human experience [200] and pass onward and out into phases of Life and being for which we have no words, and of which we have no conception.  They leave through the fourth veil on the cosmic physical etheric levels (on the highest plane of our seven planes) and pass on to the cosmic astral plane.  There They negate its existence as They have earlier negated the existence of the astral plane, so familiar an illusion to all of us.  The initiate passes on to the cosmic astral plane and finds—What?  Who knows?  I do not.

Thus the veils serve their purpose; blindness nurtures and protects, provided it is innate and natural, soul-imposed or spiritually engendered.  If it is willfully self-induced, if it provides an alibi for grasped knowledge, if it is assumed in order to avoid responsibility, then sin enters in and difficulty ensues.  From this may all of you be protected.

Step by step, the Brothers of the Light and others who tread consciously the Lighted Way have removed Themselves from the lure of form; the Army of the Voice no longer can succeed in deflecting Their footsteps and the veils of illusion no longer block Their vision and Their moving forward.  A relative freedom has been gained and the initiate stands free from much that has hitherto hindered his progress; the world of form, of glamour and of seduction has for him no further appeal.  He comprehends the significance of the injunction which is embodied in the third phrase of this tenth rule:

3. Let the Army of the Voice be no more heard, and let the brothers onward move within the Sound.

Putting the idea into esoteric terms, the above sentence could be paraphrased as follows:  The voices and the Voice fade out.  The A.U.M. is replaced by the O.M. and at the centre of that O.M. the brother stands.

The many voices of the world, the flesh and the devil are no longer distinguished; there is nothing within the consciousness of the initiate which can respond to them.  The Voice of the Silence dies out also and the Word itself [201] cannot be heard.  Only the SOUND remains.  This is the Sound which reverberates in the formless worlds; it is the Sound to which the Spiritual Triad responds and of which the initiate is a part, because the Sound which he makes as he proceeds upon his creative way is a part of the universal Sound.  It should be pointed out that He Who stands at the very centre of the Council Chamber of Shamballa sounds forth all words, the Word, and He also utters the SOUND.  This is apt to be forgotten.  He it is Who intones the A.U.M. and all things come to be; He it is Who voices the Word, the O.M., and God incarnate in humanity appears on earth:  He it is Who utters the SOUND, and upon that outgoing Breath holds all things in life; and—in the rise and fall of its cadences—there is found the cyclic rhythm of the creative process.  He it will be Who will withdraw the Sound and centering the vibration within Himself, will some day bring to a close this periodic manifestation and carry the Sound to other localities in space, holding it in quiescence on the withdrawn breath until a later cycle of expression dawns.  Then it will again be exhaled and sent forth to provide a new field of experience for the Lives which, in cyclic rhythm, again seek to manifest.  The entire story of incarnation is hidden in the understanding of the SOUND and its differentiation into the O.M. and the A.U.M.