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SECTION ONE - THE ASPIRANT AND THE MYSTERIES OF INITIATION - Part 5

There is no initiation for the disciple until he has begun consciously to build the antahkarana, thus bringing the Spiritual Triad and the mind as the highest aspect in the three worlds into a close relationship; later, he brings his physical brain into a position of a recording agent upon the physical plane, thus again demonstrating a clear alignment and a direct channel from the Spiritual Triad straight through to the brain via the antahkarana which has linked the higher mind and the lower.

This involves much work, much interpretive capacity and much power to visualise.  I am choosing my words with care.  This visualisation is not necessarily concerned with form and with concrete mental presentations; it is concerned with a pictorial and symbolic sensitivity which expresses interpretively the spiritual understanding, conveyed by the awakening intuition—the agent of the Spiritual Triad.  The meaning of this becomes clearer as the work proceeds.  It is difficult for the man who is beginning the work of constructing the antahkarana to grasp the meaning of visualisation as it is seen to be related to a growing responsiveness to that which the ashramic group conveys to him, to his emerging vision of the divine Plan as it exists in reality, and to that which is committed to him as the effect or the result of each successive initiation.  I prefer the word "effect" to the word "result," for the initiate increasingly works consciously with the Law of Cause and Effect on planes other than the physical.  We use the word "result" to express the consequences of that great cosmic Law as they demonstrate in the three worlds of human evolution.

It is in connection with this effort that he discovers the value, uses and purpose of the creative imagination.  This creative imagination is all that remains to him eventually of the active and intensely powerful astral life which he has lived for so many lives; as evolution proceeds, his astral body becomes a mechanism of transformation, desire being transformed into aspiration and aspiration itself being transformed [443] into a growing and expressive intuitive faculty.  The reality of this process is demonstrated in the emergence of that basic quality which has always been inherent in desire itself:  the imaginative quality of the soul, implementing desire and steadily becoming a higher creative faculty as desire shifts into ever higher states and leads to ever higher realisations.  This faculty eventually invokes the energies of the mind, and the mind, plus the imagination, becomes in time a great invocative and creative agent.  It is thus that the Spiritual Triad is brought into rapport with the threefold personality.

I have told you in earlier writings that basically the astral plane is non-existent as a part of the divine Plan; it is fundamentally the product of glamour, of kama-manas—a glamour which humanity itself has created and in which it has lived practically entirely since early Atlantean days.  The effect of an increasing soul contact has not simply been to dispel the mists of glamour, but it has also served to consolidate and to bring into effective use, therefore, the imagination with its overwhelmingly powerful creative faculty.  This creative energy, when implemented by an illumined mind (with its thoughtform making ability), is then wielded by the disciple in order to make contacts higher than with the soul, and to bring into symbolic form that of which he becomes aware through the medium of a line of energy—the antahkarana—which he is steadily and scientifically creating.

It might be said (equally symbolically) that at each initiation he tests the connecting bridge and discovers gradually the soundness of that which he has created under the inspiration of the Spiritual Triad and with the aid of the three aspects of his mind (the abstract mind, the soul or the Son of Mind, and the lower concrete mind), combined with the intelligent cooperation of his soul-infused personality.  In the early stages of his invocative work, the instrument used is the creative imagination.  This enables him at the very beginning to act as if he were capable of thus creating; then, when the as if imaginative consciousness is no longer [444] useful, he becomes consciously aware of that which he has—with hope and spiritual expectancy—sought to create; he discovers this as an existent fact and knows past all controversy that "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Building the Antahkarana

With the introductory teaching on the science of the Antahkarana we shall not here deal, for the student will find it in the book, Education in the New Age.  That preliminary presentation should be studied before taking up the more advanced stage which begins here.  Let us now consider, step by step this science which is already proving a useful source of experiment and testing.

The human soul (in contradistinction to the soul as it functions in its own kingdom, free from the limitations of human life) is imprisoned and subject to the control of the lower three energies for the major part of its experience.  Then, upon the Path of Probation, the dual energy of soul begins to be increasingly active, and the man seeks to use his mind consciously, and to express love-wisdom on the physical plane.  This is a simple statement of the objective of all aspirants.  When the five energies are beginning to be used, consciously and wisely in service, a rhythm is then set up between the Personality and the Soul.  It is as if a magnetic field were then established and these two vibrating and magnetic units, or grouped energies, swung into each other's field of influence.  This happens only occasionally and rarely in the early stages; later it occurs more constantly, and thus a path of contact is established which eventually becomes the line of least resistance, "the way of familiar approach," as it is sometimes called.  Thus is the first half of the "bridge," the antahkarana, constructed.  By the time the third initiation is completed, this Way is completed, and the initiate can "pass to higher worlds at will, leaving the lower worlds far behind; or he can come again and pass upon the way that leads from dark to light, from light to dark, and from the under lower worlds into the realms of light."

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Thus the two are one, and the first great union upon the Path of Return is completed.  A second stage of the Way has then to be trodden, leading to a second union of still further importance in that it leads to complete liberation from the three worlds.  It must be remembered that the soul, in its turn, is a union of three energies of which the lower three are the reflection.  It is a synthesis of the energy of Life itself (which demonstrates as the life-principle within the world of forms), of the energy of the intuition or spiritual love-wisdom or understanding (this demonstrates as sensitivity and feeling in the astral body), and spiritual mind, whose reflection in the lower nature is the mind or the principle of intelligence in the form world.  In these three we have the atma-buddhi-manas of the theosophical literature—that higher triplicity which is reflected in the lower three, and which focusses through the soul body on the higher levels of the mental plane before being precipitated into incarnation—as it is esoterically called.

Modernising the concept, we might say that the energies which animate the physical body and the intelligent life of the atom, the sensitive emotional states, and the intelligent mind, have eventually to be blended with and transmuted into the energies which animate the soul.  These are the spiritual mind, conveying illumination; the intuitive nature, conferring spiritual perception; and divine livingness.

After the third initiation the "Way" is carried forward with great rapidity, and the "bridge" is finished which links perfectly the higher spiritual Triad and the lower material reflection.  The three worlds of the Soul and the three worlds of the Personality become one world wherein the initiate works and functions, seeing no distinction, regarding one world as the world of inspiration and the other world as constituting the field of service, yet regarding both together as forming one world of activity.  Of these two worlds, the subjective etheric body (or the body of vital inspiration) and the dense physical body are symbols on the external plane.

How is this bridging antahkarana to be built?  Where [446] are the steps which the disciple must follow?  I deal not here with the Path of Probation whereon the major faults should be eliminated and whereon the major virtues should be developed.  Much of the instruction given in the past has laid down the rules for the cultivation of the virtues and qualifications for discipleship, and also the necessity for self-control, for tolerance and for unselfishness.  But these are elementary stages and should be taken forgranted by the students.  Such students should be occupied not only with the establishment of the character aspect of discipleship, but with the more abstruse and difficult requirements for those whose eventual goal is initiation.

It is with the work of the "bridge-builders" that we are concerned.  First, let me assure you that the real building of the antahkarana takes place only when the disciple is beginning to be definitely focussed upon mental levels, and when therefore his mind is intelligently and consciously functioning.  He must begin at this stage to have some more exact idea than has hitherto been the case as to the distinctions existing between the thinker, the apparatus of thought, and thought itself, beginning with its dual esoteric function which is:

1. The recognition and receptivity to IDEAS.

2. The creative faculty of conscious thoughtform building.

This necessarily involves a strong mental attitude and reorientation of the mind to reality.  As the disciple begins to focus himself on the mental plane (and this is the prime intent of the meditation work), he starts working in mental matter and trains himself in the powers and uses of thought.  He achieves a measure of mind control; he can turn the searchlight of the mind in two directions, into the world of human endeavour and into the world of soul activity.  Just as the soul makes a way for itself by projecting itself in a thread or stream of energy into the three worlds, so the disciple begins consciously to project himself into the higher worlds.  His energy goes forth, through the medium of the controlled and directed mind, into the world of the higher [447] spiritual mind and into the realm of the intuition.  A reciprocal activity is thus set up.  This response between the higher and the lower mind is symbolically spoken of in terms of light, and the "lighted way" comes into being between the personality and the spiritual Triad, via the soul body, just as the soul came into definite contact with the brain via the mind.  This "lighted way" is the illumined bridge.  It is built through meditation; it is constructed through the constant effort to draw forth the intuition, through subservience and obedience to the Plan (which begins to be recognised as soon as the intuition and the mind are en rapport), and through a conscious incorporation into the group in service and for purposes of assimilation into the whole.  All these qualities and activities are based upon the foundation of good character and the qualities developed upon the Probationary Path.

The effort to draw forth the intuition requires directed occult (but not aspirational) meditation.  It requires a trained intelligence, so that the line of demarcation between intuitive realisation and the forms of the higher psychism may be clearly seen.  It requires a constant disciplining of the mind, so that it can "hold itself steady in the light," and the development of a cultured right interpretation, so that the intuitive knowledge achieved may then clothe itself in the right thoughtforms.

It might also be stated here that the construction of the bridge whereby the consciousness can function with facility, both in the higher worlds and in the lower, is primarily brought about by a definitely directed life-tendency, which steadily sends the man in the direction of the world of spiritual realities, plus certain movements of planned and carefully timed and directed reorientation or focussing.  In this last process the gain of the past months or years is closely assessed; the effect of that gain upon the daily life and in the bodily mechanism is as carefully studied; and the will-to-live as a spiritual being is brought into the consciousness with a definiteness and a determination that makes for immediate progress.

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This building of the antahkarana is most assuredly proceeding in the case of every earnest student.  When the work is carried on intelligently and with full awareness of the desired purpose, and when the aspirant is not only aware of the process but alert and active in its fulfillment, then the work proceeds apace and the bridge is built.

It is wise to accept the fact that humanity is now in a position to begin the definite process of constructing the link or bridge between the various aspects of man's nature, so that instead of differentiation there will be unity, and instead of a fluid, moving attention, directed here and there into the field of material living and emotional relationships, we shall have learnt to control the mind and to have bridged the divisions, and so can direct at will the lower attention in any desired manner.  Thus all aspects of man, spiritual and natural, can be focussed where needed.

This bridging work has in part already been done.  Humanity has as a whole already bridged the gap between the emotional-astral nature and the physical man.  It should be noted here that the bridging has to be done in the consciousness aspect, and concerns the continuity of man's awareness of life in all its various aspects.  The energy which is used in connecting, in consciousness, the physical man and the astral body is focussed in the solar plexus.  Many today, speaking in symbolical terms, are carrying that bridge forward and linking the mind with the two aspects already linked.  This thread of energy emanates from or is anchored in the head.  Some people, fewer of course in number, are steadily linking the soul and the mind, which in its turn is linked with the other two aspects.  The soul energy, when linked with the other threads has its anchor in the heart.  A very few people, the initiates of the world, having effected all the lower syntheses, are now occupied with bringing about a still higher union, with that triple Reality which uses the soul as its medium of expression, just as the soul in its turn is endeavoring to use its shadow, the threefold lower man.

These distinctions and unifications are matters of form, [449] symbols in speech, and are used to express events and happenings in the world of energies and forces, in connection with which man is definitely implicated.  It is to these unifications that we refer when the subject of initiation is under consideration.

It will be useful if we repeat here a few statements made in an earlier book:

Students should train themselves to distinguish between the sutratma and the antahkarana, between the life thread and the thread of consciousness.  The one thread is the basis of immortality and the other the basis of continuity.  Herein lies a fine distinction for the investigator.  One thread (the sutratma) links and vivifies all forms into one functioning whole, and embodies in itself the will and the purpose of the expressing entity, be it man, God or a crystal.  The other thread (the antahkarana) embodies the response of the consciousness within the form to a steadily expanding range of contacts within the environing whole.  One is the direct stream of life, unbroken and immutable, which can be regarded symbolically as a direct stream of living energy flowing from the centre to the periphery, and from the source to the outer expression, or the phenomenal appearance.  It is the life.  It produces the individual process and the evolutionary unfoldment of all forms.

It is, therefore, the path of life, which reaches from the Monad to the personality, via the soul.  This is the thread soul and it is one and indivisible.  It conveys the energy of life and finds its final anchor in the centre of the human heart and at some central focal point in all forms of divine expression.  Naught is and naught remains but life.  The consciousness thread (antahkarana) is the result of the union of life and substance or of the basic energies which constitute the first differentiation in time and space; this produces something different, which only emerges as a third divine manifestation after the union of the basic dualities has taken place.

The life thread, the silver cord or the sutratma is, as far as man is concerned, dual in nature.  The life thread [450] proper, which is one of the two threads which constitute the sutratma, is anchored in the heart, whilst the other thread, which embodies the principle of consciousness, is anchored in the head.  This you already know, but this I feel the need to constantly reiterate.  In the work of the evolutionary cycle, however, man has to repeat what God has already done.  He must himself create, both in the world of consciousness and of life.  Like a spider, man spins connecting threads, and thus bridges and makes contact with his environment, thereby gaining experience and sustenance.  The spider symbol is often used in the ancient occult books and the scriptures of India in connection with this activity of the human being.  These threads, which man creates, are triple in number, and with the two basic threads which have been created by the soul, constitute the five types of energy which make man a conscious human being.

The triple threads created by man are anchored in the solar plexus, the head and the heart.  When the astral body and the mind nature are beginning to function as a unit, and the soul also is consciously connected (do not forget that it is always unconsciously linked), an extension of this five-fold thread—the basic two and the human three—is carried to the throat centre, and when that occurs man can become a conscious creator on the physical plane.  From these major lines of energy lesser lines can radiate at will.  It is upon this knowledge that all future intelligent psychic unfoldment must be based.

In the above paragraph and its implications you have a brief and inadequate statement as to the Science of the Antahkarana.  I have endeavoured to express this in terms, symbolic if you will, which will convey a general idea to your minds.  We can learn much through the use of the pictorial and visual imagination.  This bridging must take place:

1. From the physical to the vital or etheric body.  This is really an extension of the life thread between the heart and the spleen.

2. From the physical and the vital, regarding them as a [451] unity, to the astral or emotional vehicle.  This thread emanates from, or is anchored in, the solar plexus, and is carried upwards, by means of the aspiration, till it anchors itself in the love petals of the egoic Lotus.

3. From the physical and astral vehicles to the mental body.  One terminus is anchored in the head, and the other in the knowledge petals of the egoic Lotus, being carried forward by an act of the will.

Advanced humanity is in process of linking the three lower aspects, which we call the personality, with the soul itself, through meditation, discipline, service and directed attention.  When this has been accomplished, a definite relation is established between the sacrifice or will petals of the egoic Lotus and the head and heart centres, thus producing a synthesis between consciousness, the soul and the life principle.  The process of establishing this inter-linking and inter-relation, and the strengthening of the bridge thus constructed, goes on until the Third Initiation.  The lines of force are then so inter-related that the soul and its mechanism of expression are a unity.  A higher blending and fusing can then go on.

I can perhaps indicate the nature of this process in the following manner:  I have stated here and elsewhere that the soul anchors itself in the body at two points:

1. There is a thread of energy, which we call the life or spirit aspect, anchored in the heart.  It uses the blood stream, as is well known, as its distributing agency, and through the medium of the blood, life energy is carried to every part of the mechanism.  This life energy carries the re-generating power and coordinating energy to all the physical organisms and keeps the body "whole."

2. There is a thread of energy, which we call the consciousness aspect or the faculty of soul knowledge, anchored in the centre of the head.  It controls that response mechanism which we call the brain, and through its medium it directs activity and induces awareness throughout the body by means of the nervous system.

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These two energy factors, which are recognised by the human being as knowledge and life, or as intelligence and living energy, are the two poles of his being.  The task ahead of him now is to develop consciously the middle or balancing aspect, which is love or group relationship.  (See Education in the New Age, pages 26-27, 32-33, 92.)

The Nature of the Antahkarana

One of the difficulties connected with this study of the antahkarana is the fact that hitherto the work done upon the antahkarana has been entirely unconscious.  Therefore, the concept in men's minds relating to this form of creative work and this construction of the bridge meets at first with little response from the mind nature; also, in order to express these ideas, we have practically to create a new terminology, for there are no words suitable to define our meaning.  Just as modern sciences have evolved a complete new terminology of their own during the past forty years, so this science must develop its own peculiar vocabulary.  In the meantime, we must do the best we can with the words at our disposal.

The second point I would make is to ask those who are studying along these lines to realise that in time they will arrive at understanding, but that at present all that they can do is to depend upon the unalterable tendency of the subconscious nature to penetrate to the surface of consciousness as a reflex activity in the establishing of continuity of consciousness.  This reflex activity of the lower nature corresponds to the development of continuity between the superconscious and the consciousness which develops upon the Path of Discipleship.  It is all a part—in three stages—of the integrating process, proving to the disciple that all of life is (in terms of consciousness) one of revelation.  Ponder on this.

Another of the difficulties in considering any of these esoteric sciences that deal with what has been called the "conscious unfoldment of the divine recognitions" (which is true awareness) is the ancient habit of humanity to materialise [453] all knowledge.  Everything man learns is applied—as the centuries pass—to the world of natural phenomena and of natural process, and not to the recognition of the Self, the Knower, the Beholder, the Observer.  When, therefore, man enters upon the Path, he has to educate himself in the process of using knowledge in reference to the conscious self-aware Identity, or to the self-contained, self-initiating Individual.  When he can do this, he is transmuting knowledge into wisdom.

Previously I spoke of "knowledge-wisdom" which are words synonymous with "force-energy."  Knowledge used is force expressing itself; wisdom used is energy in action.  In these words you have the expression of a great spiritual law, one which you would do well to consider carefully.  Knowledge-force concerns the personality and the world of material values; wisdom-energy expresses itself through the consciousness thread and the creative thread, as they constitute in themselves a woven dual strand.  They are (for the disciple) a fusion of the past (consciousness thread) and the present (the creative thread), and together they form what is usually called, upon the Path of Return, the Antahkarana.  This is not entirely accurate.  The wisdom-energy thread is the sutratma or life thread, for the sutratma (when blended with the consciousness thread) is again also called the antahkarana.  Perhaps it might clarify the issue somewhat if I pointed out that though these threads eternally exist in time and space, they appear distinct and separate until a man is a probationary disciple, and therefore becoming conscious of himself and not only of the not-self.  There is the life thread or sutratma and the consciousness thread—the one anchored in the heart and the other in the head.  Throughout all the past centuries, the creative thread, in one or other of its three aspects, has been slowly woven by the man; of this fact in nature his creative activity during the past two hundred years is an indication, so that today the creative thread is a unity, generally speaking, as regards humanity as a whole and specifically of the individual disciple, and forms a strong closely woven thread upon the mental plane.

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These three major threads which are in reality six, if the creative thread is differentiated into its component parts, form the antahkarana.  They embody past and present experience and are so recognised by the aspirant.  It is only upon the Path itself that the phrase "building the antahkarana" becomes accurate and appropriate.  It is in this connection that confusion is apt to arise in the mind of the student.  He forgets that it is a purely arbitrary distinction of the lower analysing mind to call this stream of energy the sutratma, and another stream of energy the consciousness thread and a third stream of energy the creative thread.  They are essentially, all three of them together, the antahkarana in process of forming.  It is equally arbitrary to call the bridge which the disciple builds from the lower mental plane—via the egoic, central vortex of force—the antahkarana.  But for purposes of comprehending study and practical experience, we will define the antahkarana as the extension of the threefold thread (hitherto woven unconsciously, through life experimentation and the response of consciousness to environment) through the process of projecting consciously the triple blended energies of the personality as they are impulsed by the soul, across a gap in consciousness which has hitherto existed.  Two events can then occur:

1. The magnetic response of the Spiritual Triad (atma-buddhi-manas), which is the expression of the Monad, is evoked.  A triple stream of spiritual energy is slowly projected towards the egoic lotus and towards the lower man.

2. The personality then begins to bridge the gap which exists on its side between the manasic permanent atom and the mental unit, between the higher abstract mind and the lower mind.

Technically, and upon the Path of Discipleship, this bridge between the personality in its three aspects and the monad and its three aspects is called the antahkarana.

This antahkarana is the product of the united effort of soul and personality, working together consciously to produce [455] this bridge.  When it is completed, there is a perfect rapport between the monad and its physical plane expression, the initiate in the outer world.  The third initiation marks the consummation of the process, and there is then a straight line of relationship between the monad and the lower personal self.  The fourth initiation marks the complete realisation of this relation by the initiate.  It enables him to say:  "I and my Father are one."  It is for this reason that the crucifixion, or the Great Renunciation, takes place.  Forget not that it is the soul that is crucified.  It is Christ Who "dies."  It is not the man; it is not Jesus.  The causal body disappears.  The man is monadically conscious.  The soul-body no longer serves any useful purpose; it is no more needed.  Nothing is left but the sutratma, qualified by consciousness—a consciousness which still preserves identity whilst merged in the whole.  Another qualification is creativity; thus consciousness can be focussed at will on the physical plane in an outer body or form.  This body is will-created by the Master.

But in this task of unfoldment, of evolution and of development, the mind of man has to understand, analyse, formulate and distinguish; therefore the temporary differentiations are of profound and useful importance.  We might therefore conclude that the task of the disciple is:

1. To become conscious of the following situations (if I may use such a word):

a. Process in combination with force.

b. Status upon the path, or recognition of the available qualifying agencies, or energies.

c. Fusion or integration of the consciousness thread with the creative thread and with the life thread.

d. Creative activity.  This is essential, for it is not only through the development of creative ability in the three worlds that the necessary focal point is created, but this also leads to the building of the antahkarana, its "creation."

2. To construct the antahkarana between the Spiritual Triad and the personality—with the cooperation of the [456] soul.  These three points of divine energy might be symbolised thus:

See Diagram

In this simple symbol you have a picture of the disciple's task upon the Path.

Another diagram may serve to clarify:

See Diagram

In these you have the "nine of initiation" or the transmuting of nine forces into divine energies:

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The Bridge between the three Aspects of the Mind

There is one point which I would like to clarify if I can, for—on this point—there is much confusion in the minds of aspirants, and this is necessarily so.

Let us for a moment, therefore, consider just where the aspirant stands when he starts consciously to build the antahkarana.  Behind him lie a long series of existences, the experience of which has brought him to the point where he is able consciously to assess his condition and arrive at some understanding of his point in evolution.  He can consequently undertake—in cooperation with his steadily awakening and focussing consciousness—to take the next step, which is that of accepted discipleship.  In the present, he is oriented towards the soul; he, through meditation and the mystical experience, does have occasional contact with the soul, and this happens with increasing frequency; he is becoming somewhat creative upon the physical plane, both in his thinking and in his actions; at times, even if rarely, he has a genuine intuitive experience.  This intuitive experience serves to anchor the "first tenuous thread spun by the Weaver in fohatic enterprise," as the Old Commentary puts it.  It is the first cable, projected from the Spiritual Triad in response to the emanation of the personality, and this is the result of the growing magnetic potency of both these aspects of the Monad in manifestation.

It will be obvious to you that when the personality is becoming adequately magnetised from the spiritual angle, its note or sound will go forth and will evoke response from the soul on its own plane.  Later the personality note and the soul note in unison will produce a definitely attractive effect upon the Spiritual Triad.  This Spiritual Triad in its turn has been exerting an increasingly magnetic effect upon the personality.  This begins at the time of the first conscious soul contact.  The response of the Triad is transmitted necessarily, in this early stage, via the sutratma and produces inevitably the awakening of the head centre.  That is why the heart doctrine begins to supersede the doctrine of the eye. [458] The heart doctrine governs occult development; the eye doctrine—which is the doctrine of the eye of vision—governs the mystical experience; the heart doctrine is based upon the universal nature of the soul, conditioned by the Monad, the One, and involves reality; the eye doctrine is based on the dual relation between soul and personality.  It involves the spiritual relationships, but the attitude of dualism or of the recognition of the polar opposites is implicit in it.  These are important points to remember as this new science becomes more widely known.

The aspirant eventually arrives at the point where the three threads—of life, of consciousness and of creativity—are being focussed, recognised as energy streams, and utilised deliberately by the aspiring disciple upon the lower mental plane.  There—esoterically speaking—"he takes his stand, and looking upward sees a promised land of beauty, love and future vision."

But there exists a gap in consciousness, though not in fact.  The sutratmic strand of energy bridges the gap, and tenuously relates monad, soul and personality.  But the consciousness thread extends only from soul to personality—from the involutionary sense.  From the evolutionary angle (using a paradoxical phrase) there is only a very little conscious awareness existing between the soul and the personality, from the standpoint of the personality upon the evolutionary arc of the Path of Return.  A man's whole effort is to become aware of the soul and to transmute his consciousness into that of the soul, whilst still preserving the consciousness of the personality.  As the fusion of soul and personality is strengthened, the creative thread becomes increasingly active, and thus the three threads steadily fuse, blend, become dominant, and the aspirant is then ready to bridge the gap and unite the Spiritual Triad and the personality, through the medium of the soul.  This involves a direct effort at divine creative work.  The clue to understanding lies perhaps in the thought that hitherto the relation between soul and personality has been steadily carried forward, primarily by the soul, as it stimulated the personality [459] to effort, vision and expansion.  Now—at this stage—the integrated, rapidly developing personality becomes consciously active, and (in unison with the soul) starts building the antahkarana—a fusion of the three threads and a projection of them into the "higher wider reaches" of the mental plane, until the abstract mind and the lower concrete mind are related by the triple cable.

It is to this process that our studies are related; earlier experience in relation to the three threads is logically regarded as having occurred normally.  The man now stands, holding the mind steady in the light; he has some knowledge of meditation, much devotion, and also recognition of the next step.  Knowledge of process gradually becomes clearer; a growing soul contact is established; occasional flashes of intuitive perception from the Triad occur.  All these recognitions are not present in the case of every disciple; some are present; some are not.  I am seeking to give a general picture.  Individual application and future realisation have to be worked out by the disciple in the crucible of experience.

The goal towards which the average disciple has worked in the past has been soul contact, leading eventually to what has been called "hierarchical inclusion."  The reward of the disciple's effort has been admittance into the Ashram of some Master, increased opportunity to serve in the world, and also the taking of certain initiations.  The goal towards which higher disciples are working involves not only soul contact as its primary objective (for that has to some measure been attained), but the building of the bridge from the personality to the Spiritual Triad, with consequent monadic realisation and the opening up to the initiate of the Way to the Higher Evolution in its various branches and with its differing goals and objectives.  The distinction (I said not "difference," and would have you note this) between the two ways can be seen in the following listed comparisons:

 

Desire—Aspiration

Mind—Projection

The 1st and 2nd Initiations

The 3rd and 4th Initiations

Universal Love and Intuition

Universal Will and Mind

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The Path of Light

The Way of the Higher Evolution

The Point of Contact

The Antahkarana or Bridge

The Plan

The Purpose

The Three Layers of the Egoic Petals

The Spiritual Triad

The Hierarchy

Shamballa

The Master's Ashram

The Council Chamber

The Seven Paths

The Seven Paths

 

In reality, you have here the two major approaches to God or to the Divine Whole, both merging at the time of the fifth initiation in the one Way, which in itself combines all Ways.  Forget not a statement which I have several times made, that the four minor rays must merge eventually into the third ray, and that all five must then finally merge into the second and the first rays; bear also in mind that all these rays or modes of Being are aspects or sub-rays of the second cosmic Ray of Love and of Fire.

I would like here also to point out some further relationships.  You know well that upon the mental plane the three aspects of mind, or the three focal points of mental perception and activity, are to be found:

1. The lower concrete mind.  This expresses itself most completely through the fifth Ray of Concrete Science, reflecting the lower phase of the will aspect of divinity and summarising within itself all knowledge as well as the egoic memory.  This lower concrete mind is related to the knowledge petals of the egoic lotus and is capable of pronounced soul illumination, proving eventually to be the searchlight of the soul.  It can be brought under control through the processes of concentration.  It is transient in time and space.  Through conscious, creative work, it can be related to the manasic permanent atom or to the abstract mind.

2. The Son of Mind.  This is the soul itself, governed by the second aspect of all the seven rays—a point I would ask you seriously to register.  It reflects the lower phase of the love aspect of divinity and summarises in itself the results of all accumulated knowledge which is wisdom, illuminated [461] by the light of the intuition.  Another way of expressing this is to describe it as love, availing itself of experience and knowledge.  It expresses itself most fully through the love petals of its innate being.  Through dedicated and devoted service it brings the divine Plan into activity in the three worlds of human accomplishment.  It is therefore related to the second aspect of the Spiritual Triad and is brought into functioning activity through meditation.  It then controls and utilises for its own spiritual ends the consecrated personality, via the illumined mind, referred to above.  It is eternal in time and space.

3. The abstract mind.  This reveals itself most completely under the influence of the first Ray of Will or Power, reflecting the higher aspect of the will of divinity or of the atmic principles it summarises in itself when fully developed the purpose of Deity, and thus becomes responsible for the emergence of the Plan.  It energises the will petals until such time as the eternal life of the soul is absorbed into that which is neither transient nor eternal but which is endless, boundless and unknown.  It is brought into conscious functioning through the building of the antahkarana.  This "radiant rainbow bridge" unites the illumined personality, focussed in the mind body, motivated by the love of the soul, with the Monad or with the One Life, and thus enables the divine manifesting Son of God to express the significance of the words:  God is Love and God is a consuming Fire.  This fire, energised by love, has burnt out all personality qualities, leaving only a purified instrument, coloured by the soul ray and no longer necessitating the existence of a soul body.  The personality has by this time completely absorbed the soul, or to put it perhaps more accurately, both soul and personality have been fused and blended into one instrument for the use of the One Life.

This is but a picture or a symbolic use of words in order to express the unifying goal of material and spiritual evolution, as it is carried to its conclusion—for this world cycle—through the development of the three aspects of mind upon [462] the mental plane.  The cosmic implications will not be lost to you, but it profits us not to dwell upon them.  As this process is carried forward, three great aspects of divine manifestation emerge upon the theatre of world life and on the physical plane.  These are Humanity, the Hierarchy and Shamballa.

Humanity is already the dominant kingdom in nature; the fact of the Hierarchy and of its imminent approach into physical appearance is becoming well known to hundreds of thousands of people today.  Its recognised appearance will later set the stage for the needed preparatory phases which will finally lead to the exoteric rule of the Lord of the World, emerging from His aeonial seclusion in Shamballa, and coming forth into outer expression at the end of this world cycle.

Here is the vast and necessary picture, presented in order to give reason and power to the next stage of human evolution.

The point which I seek to emphasise is that only when the aspirant takes his stand with definiteness upon the mental plane, and keeps his "focus of awareness" increasingly there, does it become possible for him to make real progress in the work of divine bridge building, the work of invocation, and the establishing of a conscious rapport between the Triad, the soul and the personality.  The period covered by the conscious building of the antahkarana is that from the final stages of the Path of Probation to the third initiation.

In considering this process it is necessary, in the early stages, to recognise the three aspects of the mind as they express themselves upon the mental plane and produce the varying states of consciousness upon that plane.  It is interesting here to note that, having reached the developed human stage (integrated, aspiring, oriented and devoted), the man stands firmly upon the lower levels of that mental plane; he is then faced by the seven subplanes of that plane with their corresponding states of consciousness.  He is therefore entering upon a new cycle where—this time equipped with full self-consciousness—he has seven states of mental awareness [463] to develop; these are all innate or inherent in him, and all (when mastered) lead to one or other of the seven major initiations.  These seven states of consciousness are—beginning from the first or lowest:

Mental Plane

1. Lower mental awareness.  The development of true mental perception.

2. Soul awareness or soul perception.  This is not the perception of the soul by the personality, but the registering of that which the soul perceives by the soul itself.  This is later registered by the lower mind.  This soul perception is, therefore, the reversal of the usual attitude of mind.

3. Higher abstract awareness.  The unfoldment of the intuition and the recognition of intuitive process by the lower mind.

Buddhic Plane

4. Persistent, conscious, spiritual awareness.  This is the full consciousness of the buddhic or intuitional level.  This is the perceptive consciousness which is the outstanding characteristic of the Hierarchy.  The life focus of the man shifts to the buddhic plane.  This is the fourth or middle state of consciousness.

Atmic Plane

5. The consciousness of the spiritual will as it is expressed and experienced upon atmic levels or upon the third plane of divine manifestation.  There is little that I can say about this condition of awareness; its state of nirvanic awareness can mean but little to the average disciple.

Monadic Plane

6. The inclusive awareness of the Monad upon its own plane, the second plane of our planetary and solar life.

Logoic Plane

7. Divine consciousness.  This is the awareness of the whole on the highest plane of our planetary manifestation.  This is also an aspect of solar awareness upon the same plane.

As we strive to arrive at some dim comprehension of the nature of the work to be done in building the antahkarana it might be wise, as a preliminary step, to consider the nature [464] of the substance out of which the "bridge of shining mind stuff" has to be built by the conscious aspirant.  The oriental term for this "mind stuff" is chitta; it exists in three types of substance, all basically identical but all qualified or conditioned differently.  It is a fundamental law in this solar system, and therefore in our planetary life experience, that the substance through which divinity (in time and space) expresses itself is karmically conditioned; it is impregnated by those qualities and aspects which are the product of earlier manifestations of that Being in Whom we live and move and have our being.  This is the basic fact lying behind the expression of that Trinity or Triad of Aspects with which all the world religions have made us familiar.  This trinity is as follows:

 

1. The Father Aspect
  The Will Aspect
   Purpose      

This is the underlying Plan of God.
  The essential Cause of Being.
  Life purpose, motivating evolution.
     The note of synthetic sound

Utilises the sutratma

  

 

2. The Son Aspect
   The Love Aspect.
    Wisdom.  Understanding.
      Consciousness.  Soul.                       

The quality of sensitivity.
  The nature of relationship.
  The method of evolution.
  The note of attractive sound.

Utilises the consciousness thread

 

 

3. The Mother Aspect
  The Intelligence Aspect.
   The Holy Spirit.