SECTION TWO - THE ASPIRANT AND THE MAJOR INITIATIONS - Part 1
We now approach the second part of our theme, dealing with the major initiations; we will do so primarily from the standpoint of the ray energies, considering the subject from the initiate's point of view. I wonder if you realise, my brother, that this has never before been done? The teaching hitherto given out on initiation has been pictorially and symbolically presented; the understanding of the process was dependent upon right interpretation. In this materialistic age, that interpretation has been largely material in nature; emphasis has been laid upon the tangible and supposed form aspect of initiation.
I here propose a different approach, and would ask you to keep in mind some words out of the ancient Archives which are as follows:
"Energy is all there is, O Chela in the Light, but is not known. It is the cause of knowledge and its application and its comprehension lead to expanded understanding.
Through energy the worlds were made and through that energy they make progression; through energy the forms unfold and die; through energy the kingdoms manifest and disappear below the threshold of the world which ever is and which will be forever.
Through energy the Cross is mounted and from the vortex of the four uniting forces, the initiate passes through the door and is propelled into the Light—a light which grows from cycle unto cycle and is known as supernal Energy Itself."
I shall not be able to avoid a measure of symbolic approach and I am forced to use words which will fail to express the truth. The extent of your understanding will be based upon your point in evolution, upon your attitude  of mind as you approach this theme, and upon the point of tension you are able to achieve.
Initiation is (in its simplest definition) an understanding of the Way, for understanding is a revealing energy which permits you to achieve. Initiation is a growth in experience and the attainment thereby of a point of tension. Holding that point of tension, the initiate sees that which lies ahead. Initiation permits a progressive entry into the mind of the creating Logos. This last definition is perhaps one of the most important I have ever given. Ponder on my words.
Initiation is a system or a scientific process whereby the septenate of energies which compose the sum total of all the existences within our planetary Life are realised and consciously used for the working out of the divine Plan. It might also be stated that initiation is a method whereby the circulation of energies is furthered by the opening or the awakening of certain planetary and human centres to the impact of their ray quality, potency and divine intention. It is this statement which lies at the heart of the teaching on Laya Yoga or the Science of the Centres.
The Relation of the Seven Rays to the Initiations
It will be obvious to you that, as energy is the basis of our entire manifested world, an initiation is a condition of consciousness wherein the fully prepared disciple utilises the available energies (at the time of initiation) to bring about changes within consciousness of a momentous and revelatory nature. Each initiation puts the initiate in a position to control certain related energies and enables him to become increasingly a trained manipulator of those energies; each initiation gives him understanding of the related energy and of its field of activity; each initiation reveals to him the quality and the type of stimulation to be evoked when brought into contact with any particular ray energy; each initiation establishes relationship between the initiate and the ray energy involved, so that gradually  (no matter what may be his soul ray or his personality ray) he can work with the quality and the creative aspect of all the rays, though ever retaining a greater facility to work on his own soul ray, and later with the ray of the Monad—one of the three major Rays of Aspect.
I would ask you to remember that all human beings must finally express the quality and livingness of one of the three Rays of Aspect, even if—in time and space—their souls may originally be upon one of the four Rays of Attribute. It might be useful here to enumerate the rays, and thus refresh the memory of the neophyte:
Rays of Aspect:
1. The Ray of Power, Will or Purpose
2. The Ray of Love-Wisdom
3. The Ray of Active Creative Intelligence
Rays of Attribute:
4. The Ray of Harmony through Conflict
5. The Ray of Concrete Science or Knowledge
6. The Ray of Idealism or Devotion
7. The Ray of Order or Ceremonial Magic
It is contact with the energy of the third Ray of Active Intelligence or (as it is sometimes called) the "acute energy of divine mental perception" which admits the consciousness of the initiate into the "secrets of the Mind of God". It is the four Rays of Attribute which, in the evolutionary cycle, condition his character (or apparatus of contact) and evoke his essential quality. The three Rays of Aspect enable him to take the four higher initiations—initiations 6, 7, 8, 9—and are connected purely with Shamballa. The four Rays of Attribute, particularly as they are synthesised through the medium of the third Ray of Aspect, are related more definitely to the Hierarchy, and therefore are related to the first five initiations. The Rays of Aspect are essentially related to the life or will aspect of divinity; the Rays of Attribute are related to the consciousness aspect.
Every human being, in the earlier stages of his development (in ancient Lemuria and Atlantis, or possessing  today the Lemurian or Atlantean state of consciousness—and there are many such), comes into incarnation upon one of the four Rays of Attribute, because these rays are peculiarly and uniquely related to the fourth kingdom in nature, and therefore to the fourth Creative Hierarchy. During the long, long cycle of the present fifth race, the so-called Aryan race, there came a period (lying now in the far distant and forgotten past) when individuals who had attained a certain state of consciousness transferred on to one of the three Rays of Aspect, according to the predominance of the energy or the line of force which was conditioned by these rays. One of the Rays of Aspect and two of the Rays of Attribute (rays 3, 5, 7) are conditioned by the first Ray of Power of Will, whilst rays 4 and 6 are conditioned by the second Ray of Love-Wisdom. This I much earlier pointed out. A cycle of lives upon the third Ray of Creative Intelligence (as I prefer to call it) always precedes this transference. This ray experience covers a vast period of time. Except in the occult teaching and the Archives which remain in the custody of the Masters, history—as we know it and as it expresses the emergence from primitive and primeval times—does not exist. From the angle of occultism, history only covers the emergence of those cultures and civilisations which are called the fifth rootrace, only a small part of it being recognised as Aryan; the latter is simply a modern and scientific nomenclature covering a small period of modern history. The Aryan cycle covers the period of the relation between groups and nations though positing (as a necessary hypothesis) previous but unknown cycles of human living wherein primitive man roamed the earth; or positing sometimes the existence of previous civilisations which have completely disappeared, leaving behind them faint traces of ancient organised civilisations and cultural remains, plus indications of interworld relationships of which there is no positive proof; these, it is suggested, must have existed owing to the similarity of architecture, language roots, traditions and the myths of religions.
During these earlier periods all human beings were conditioned by the four Rays of Attribute; both as souls and as incarnated persons they were upon one of these four rays. Towards the middle of the Atlantean cycle (untold millions of years ago) the influence of the third Ray of Active Intelligence became exceedingly potent. Certain of the advanced humanity of the period gradually found their way on to, or rather into, the stream of divine energy which we call the third ray. The possibility, therefore, of their becoming integrated personalities was for the first time recognised, and humanly recognised. Such an integration must ever precede conscious human initiation.
Forget not my earlier statement that all the Rays of Attribute are focussed in and absorbed by the third Ray of Aspect. A study of the charts which I gave and permitted to appear in A Treatise on Cosmic Fire will help you to understand this. They will prove helpful, provided that you remember always that they are only symbolic in nature and constitute attempts to indicate visually a truth.
The Atlantean race was predominantly a race wherein its leading exponents (the "flower of the race" or the "crest wave," as it is called) expressed an active intelligence. It was intelligence which its initiates had to demonstrate, and not love-wisdom, as is the case today. This expressed itself in a mental focus, a trained mind capable of illumination, and great creative ability. In the Aryan race, which from the occult point of view can be regarded as encompassing practically the totality of history as we have it, the influence of the second Ray of Love-Wisdom is slowly becoming the dominating factor; men are rapidly finding their way on to that ray, and the number of people found upon that line of energy is already very great, though not yet as great as those upon the third ray, as it today expresses itself through one of the four Rays of Attribute. This latest of the human races (again through its foremost exponents) has to manifest the spirit of love through wisdom; the basis of this expression is an unfolding inclusiveness, a developing understanding, and a heightened spiritual perception  which is capable of envisaging that which lies beyond the three worlds of human evolution.
It might here be said that the one-pointed life of the focussed intellectual (that life which the higher initiates demonstrated in the Atlantean initiations) and the extensive inclusive life of the modern or Aryan initiate, is the objective held before the disciple upon the Path of Discipleship and in the Masters' ashrams. The presence in humanity today of an ardent intelligence and a growing inclusiveness is symbolised under the words "the vertical and the horizontal life"; it is therefore visually portrayed under the symbol of the Cross. I have here indicated to you, therefore, that the Cross is strictly the symbol of Aryan unfoldment. The symbol of old Atlantis was a line, indicating the vertical line of mental unfoldment and aspiration. The Christian consciousness, or the consciousness of the soul, is the perfecting and control of the mind, plus the demonstration of love in service; these are the outstanding characteristics of the Hierarchy and the essential qualities of those who form the kingdom of God.
In the coming race, which lies still far ahead and of which only initiates of degrees higher than the fifth are the expression, the Ray of Aspect which embodies the Will of God will gradually become dominant. Its symbol cannot yet be revealed. There will then come a blending of divine will energy with the developed and manifesting energies of intelligence and love. In the final race (lying untold ages ahead) there will appear a creative synthesis of all these three Rays of Aspect. Then all souls will be upon one of these three rays, and all personalities on one of the four Rays of Attribute. There will then be a perfect expression—through Humanity, the third divine planetary centre—of the livingness, the quality and the creative potency of all the rays.
These are facts which I would have you bear in mind as we consider the relation of the seven rays to initiation in this particular world period and during the cycle of treading the Paths of Discipleship and Initiation. Great  transitions are then made; the power to include and to love in the truly esoteric sense automatically produces changes and a basic refocussing in the life of the accepted disciple and of the initiate; these changes, transitions and reactions are brought about by the action of the ray potencies during the period of initiation; the initiate then enters into relationship with rays which are conditioning him at the time. They affect his soul-infused personality, and also the ashram with which he is affiliated. The quality and potency of an ashram is definitely affected by the admission of an initiate; he brings into it not only his own potency and ray qualities as a soul, but also the energy of the rays which produced the changes and which conditioned him during the initiatory process he has just undergone. He then moves into a new stage of conscious contact within the Ashram. This new state of perceptive spirituality permits the initiate to enter into a relation with all those who have undergone a similar initiation. He therefore becomes increasingly a constructive and creative agent in the ashram.
It is this which necessitates his careful preparation, which must be paralleled by a demonstration of his understanding of the initiatory process upon the outer plane of activity in service. He cannot be permitted to enter the life of the ashram and become the recipient of exceedingly active energies until he has proved that these energies will not be "occultly retained" by him but will become the "strength and potency" of his service among men.
We are entering now upon a somewhat close analysis of the energies of the seven rays and their effects upon the initiatory processes which face the disciple. Every initiate enters upon the period of initiatory process possessed of a certain definite energy equipment. His personality is expressing itself within the periphery of the three worlds through clearly defined ray forms and relationships. He is a personality through the integration of his mind, his emotional nature and his physical body—the energy of the latter phenomenal factor being focussed in the physical  brain. All of these are composed of and conditioned by the energy units of which they are constituted, and all of them "focus their intention" through the medium of the physical brain, thus enabling the personality to be a self-directed entity upon the physical plane. To this personality a fifth major energy must be added: the energy of the soul. Each of these personality expressions is composed of and governed by one of the seven ray energies, so that a great and dynamic synthesis is present which—at the time when the initiatory process is begun—is in reality a composite of five energies:
1. The energy of the soul, in itself a threefold energy.
2. The energies of the personality which is of such a potency (being a fusion of three ray energies) that it has evoked a ray which dominates the personality and is called the personality ray:
a. The energy composing the mental vehicle.
b. The energy which demonstrates as the emotional nature.
c. The energy of the physical body, focussed on the physical plane and conditioning the brain.
All this information is elementary, but I repeat it for the sake of clarity and in order that we may know what it is that we are considering. In the case of the accepted disciple who is in preparation for initiation, the term applied to this system of integrated energies is "soul-infused personality." The fusion is necessarily not complete, but enough soul energy is present to guarantee that minimum of soul control which will make the initiatory process effective.
It might also be said that this system of integrated energies is (through the initiatory process) confronted with still higher fusions, because initiation is a process whereby successive integrations—attended by consequent expansions of consciousness—become possible. These are—in their broader significance, seven, though entailing many minor points of integration—as follows:
1. Fusion of the energies of the soul-infused personality with the triple energies of the Spiritual Triad.
2. Fusion with the Monad—of which the Spiritual Triad is an expression.
3. Fusion with the world consciousness of the planetary Logos to a degree which makes the planetary life, with all its states of consciousness and phenomena, a major confining and constricting form for the initiate.
In connection with this final fusion, it is worth while to point out that, when this stage of development is attained, it then becomes possible to enter into the "exalted state of mind" which holds the planetary Logos focussed in the consciousness of the sacrifice which He has made by means of the entire process of manifestation. As The Secret Doctrine has pointed out, this sacrifice which He has made on behalf of the untold myriad of lives which compose His body of manifestation, holds Him in physical expression until "the last weary pilgrim" has found his way home.
The extent and essential purpose of this divine sacrifice become increasingly clear to the initiate after the fifth initiation and constitute one of the prime factors which are considered by him when he faces the Initiation of Decision (the sixth initiation). At no stage of his unfoldment does he comprehend the basic purpose and (speaking occultly) the "dynamic extent" of this sacrifice, as it is implemented by the will of the planetary Logos. Nevertheless, he does respond to a mental understanding of the lowest objective aspect of this sacrifice and to the nature of the periphery, or to the imprisoning form (the sum total) in which the planetary Logos has chosen to imprison Himself. For the first time in his life experience he arrives at a comprehension of the principle of limitation. Beyond this exalted state of mental perception the initiate is not yet able to penetrate; he is limited by that sphere of activity which we call the seven planes, and which in their totality constitute the cosmic physical plane.
Many lesser fusions take place within the phase of initiatory development which intervenes between initiation  and initiation—a triple mental fusion between the three aspects of the mind (the lower mental vehicle, the soul or the Son of Mind, and the higher or abstract mind), fusion with the Master's consciousness, fusion with the ashram created by the ray energy which conditions his soul, fusion in consciousness with the sum total of the integrated ashrams which form the Ashram of Sanat Kumara. These successive and subsidiary fusions reveal to him the phenomena and quality of the two higher states of consciousness of the Spiritual Triad: the buddhic or the state of pure reason and the atmic or state of spiritually direct will intention. In giving you some insight into the relationship of the rays and the initiations, I find it essential to discover new and arresting words and word phrases by which to express the familiar hints and indications given by the occult groups who have sought to awaken the modern consciousness to the fact and purposes of initiation.
Initiation is a progressive sequence of directed energy impacts, characterised by points of crisis and of tension and governed—in a sense not hitherto realised—by the Law of Cause and Effect. This Law of Cause and Effect (from the spiritual angle) appears to the progressing initiate to reverse the process which has up till now governed his life. Instead of his being impelled forward on the path of evolution by spiritual energies which from higher spheres invoke and evoke his response and a developing expansion of consciousness, each successive initiation undergone, understood and demonstrated upon the physical plane becomes the cause and influence which propels the initiate forward upon the Path of Initiation. In one case the cause of progression is a streaming downward of the energies, producing effects in that which is thus stimulated; in the other case, the cause is to be found in the soul-infused personality and constitutes an upward movement of the initiatory self-directed activity, of the measure of love energy which his soul can express, and of the energy of will which is in itself the result of all the fusions he has at any given moment been capable of consciously focussing  and using. These are points which it will be difficult for you to grasp but which are of major importance.
The human being is influenced upon the path of evolution from above downwards; the initiate is directed from within upwards. It is this which formulates the underlying significance of the energy of free will and is something only truly possible through self-direction; this can be seen struggling for expression today in that great world disciple, Humanity.
These concepts are worthy of your careful consideration. The sevenfold energy which is today agitating mankind marks a turning point in human history and indicates the possibility of the transition of humanity on to the Path of Discipleship; on that Path freedom of expression and conscious self-directed living will become increasingly possible.
The Rays and the five Initiations confronting Humanity
Let us now consider our theme of the rays and initiation. This signifies in reality a study of the rays as they actively condition the Path of Initiation. Forget not, we are dealing here with the Path of Initiation and not primarily with the Path of Discipleship, even though the two paths are very closely related; we are not dealing with the disciple's character and actions. We are considering one thing only: the type of ray energy which makes any specific initiation possible, irrespective of the rays of the initiate.
We are in fact considering initiation as a planetary process, and not that process as it affects the individual initiate. That we shall consider under our point "The Significance of the Initiations." Then we shall take each initiation and consider it as outlined on page 340. This you will probably find more interesting, but you will comprehend what I then say with greater facility if you grasp some of the implications—as far as in you lies—of what I have now to impart.
These five initiations are under the energy impulses of Rays 7, 6, 5, 4, plus the dynamic influence of Ray 1 at the time of the fifth initiation. You will note, therefore, that these initiations which confront average humanity are all of them conditioned by a minor ray, yet finally bring in the energy of the highest Ray of Aspect, that of Will or Power. This dynamic electric energy has to act in a new and different sense if the four higher initiations are to become living objectives in the initiate's consciousness. It is for this reason that the fifth initiation is called the Initiation of Revelation. Some understanding of the first or will aspect is "conceded" at this initiation, and for the first time the nature of divine Purpose is revealed to the initiate; hitherto he has been preoccupied with the nature of the Plan, which is after all an effect of the Purpose.
In these five preliminary initiations the true nature of the minor rays, in their creative aspect and as expressions of the quality of the manifested world, begins progressively to dawn upon the initiate. In the higher four initiations he slowly arrives at a dim understanding of the purpose of creation; the true purpose, however, and the nature of the will of the planetary Logos will only be revealed in the next solar system wherein the soul-infused Personality of the planetary Logos will demonstrate living purpose within the ring-pass-not of the three lower cosmic planes.
With these abstruse ideas we need not concern ourselves. Let us study the energy conditions wherein the initiate proceeds from one initiation to another until he stands at the portal of revelation.
Initiation I. The Birth at Bethlehem. Ray VII.
The Energy of Order or Ceremonial Magic.
First of all, let us consider the type of energy which the seventh ray expresses and wherein lies its potency and efficacy, from the angle of the initiation. As we study these initiations and their conditioning rays, we will divide our ideas into three parts:
1. The type of energy and its quality in relation to the processes of the particular initiation with which it is associated.
2. Its effect upon humanity, regarding humanity as a world disciple.
3. The stimulating nature of the energy as it expresses itself:
a. In the three aspects of the initiate's nature—mental, astral and physical.
b. Through the soul-infused personality, the initiate "in good standing" a phrase of the deepest occult implication.
At this particular time in world history, seventh ray energy is of a growing potency because it is the new and incoming ray, superseding the sixth ray which has for so long held sway. When we speak of ray energy we are in reality considering the quality and the will-purpose aspect of a certain great Life to Whom we give the name "Lord of a Ray." You will find much about these Ray Lords in the earlier volumes of A Treatise on the Seven Rays. His divine intention, will, purpose, or the determined projection of His mind, creates a radiation or stream of energy which—according to type and quality—plays upon all forms of manifested life within our planetary ring-pass-not. These Lords of the Rays are the creating and sustaining energies which implement the Will of the planetary Logos. They cooperate with Him in the defining and the expression of His supreme purpose. Their radiating emanations are cyclically objectified and are cyclically withdrawn. As they radiate forth into the three worlds, the impacting energies produce changes, disturbances, progress and unfoldment; they create the needed new forms and vitalise and qualify that through which the immediate divine intention is expressing itself; they intensify both the quality and the receptivity of consciousness.
At other times, during the process of being withdrawn "to their own place," they cause the fading out or the dying of form aspects, of institutions, and the "organising  organisms" (to use a peculiar phrase); they therefore produce cycles of destruction and of cessation and thus make room for those new forms and life expressions which an incoming ray will produce. It has been the gradual withdrawing of the sixth Ray of Idealism and of one-pointed Devotion which has been responsible for the ferment, crystallisation, destruction, death and cleavages of the past century; old things are passing away as the Lord of the sixth Ray withdraws His attention, and therefore His energy; His radiation is today no longer centred or focussed in the life of the three worlds. Simultaneously, the energy and radiation of the Lord of the seventh Ray are becoming steadily more powerful in the three worlds.
This incoming of a ray always produces an intensified period of initiatory activity, and this is the case today. The major effect, as far as humanity is concerned, is to make possible the presentation of thousands of aspirants and applicants for the first initiation; men on a large scale and in mass formation can today pass through the experience of the Birth Initiation. Thousands of human beings can experience the birth of the Christ within themselves and can realise that the Christ life, the Christ nature and the Christ consciousness are theirs. This "new birth" initiation of the human family will take place in Bethlehem, symbolically understood, for Bethlehem is the "house of bread"—an occult term signifying physical plane experience. These great initiations, implemented by the ray energies, must be registered in the physical brain and recorded by the waking consciousness of the initiate, and this must be the case in this amazing period wherein—for the first time since humanity appeared on Earth—there can take place a mass initiation. The experience need not be expressed in occult terms, and in the majority of cases will not be; the individual initiate who takes this initiation is aware of great changes in his attitude to himself, to his fellowmen, to circumstances and to his interpretation of life events. These are peculiarly the reactions which attend the first initiation; a new orientation to life and a new  world of thought are registered by the initiate. This will be equally true on a large scale where modern man, the world initiate of the first degree, is concerned. Men will recognise the evidences in many lives of the emergence of the Christ-consciousness, and the standard of living will increasingly be adjusted to the truth as it exists in the teachings of the Christ.
This developing Christ-consciousness in the masses of men will create necessarily a ferment in the daily life of peoples everywhere; the life of the personality, oriented hitherto to the attaining of material and purely selfish ends, will be at war with the new and inner realisation; the "carnal" man (to use the words of Paul, the initiate) will be battling the spiritual man, each seeking to achieve control. In the early stages, after the "birth" and during the "infancy of the Christ-Child" (again speaking in symbols), the material aspect is triumphant. Later, the Christ life triumphs. This you well know. Each initiation indicates a stage in the growth and the development of this new factor in the human consciousness and expression, and this continues until the third initiation, when there emerges the "full-grown man in Christ." The initiate is then ready, at the fifth initiation, to register, realise and record the long awaited revelation.
In connection with the individual and the first initiation, the seventh ray is always active and the man is enabled consciously to register the fact of initiation because either the brain or the mind (and frequently both) are controlled by the seventh ray. It is this fact which is of importance today in connection with humanity, for it will enable mankind to pass through the door admitting them to the first initiatory process. It will be apparent to you why the present period in which human beings (in large groups) can take the first initiation corresponds to a situation in which bread is the major interest of men everywhere. Humanity will pass through this "birth" initiation and manifest the Christ life on a large scale for the first time during a period of economic adjustment of  which the word "bread" is but a symbol. This period started in the year 1825 and will continue until the end of this century. The unfoldment of the Christ life—as a result of the presence and activities of the second divine aspect of love—will result in the ending of economic fear, and the "house of bread" will become the "house of plenty." Bread—as the symbol of material human need—will eventually be controlled by a vast group of initiates of the first initiation—by those whose lives are beginning to be controlled by the Christ-consciousness, which is the consciousness of responsibility and service. These initiates exist in their thousands today; they will be present in their millions by the time the year 2025 arrives. All this re-orientation and unfoldment will be the result of the activity of the seventh ray and of the impact of its radiation upon humanity.
The seventh ray is, par excellence, the medium of relationship. It brings together the two fundamental aspects of spirit and matter. It relates soul and form and, where humanity is concerned, it relates soul and personality. In the first initiation, it makes the initiate aware of that relation; it enables him to take advantage of this "approaching duality" and—by the perfecting of the contact—to produce upon the physical plane the emergence into manifestation of the "new man." At the first initiation, through the stimulation brought about by seventh ray energy, the personality of the initiate and the hovering overshadowing soul are consciously brought together; the initiate then knows that he is—for the first time—a soul-infused personality. His task is now to grow into the likeness of what he essentially is. This development is demonstrated at the third initiation, that of the Transfiguration.
The major function of this seventh ray is to bring together the negative and positive aspects of the natural processes. It consequently governs the sex relationship of all forms; it is the potency underlying the marriage relation, and hence as this ray comes into manifestation in this world cycle, we have the appearance of fundamental sex  problems—license, disturbance in the marriage relation, divorce and the setting in motion of those forces which will eventually produce a new attitude to sex and the establishing of those practices, attitudes and moral perceptions which will govern the relation between the sexes during the coming New Age.
The first initiation is therefore closely related to this problem. The seventh ray governs the sacral centre and the sublimation of its energy into the throat or into the higher creative centre; this ray is therefore setting in motion a period of tremendous creative activity, both on the material plane through the stimulation of the sex life of all peoples and in the three worlds through the stimulation brought about when soul and form are consciously related. The first major proof that humanity (through the medium of the majority of its advanced people) has undergone the first initiation will be the appearance of a cycle of entirely new creative art. This creative urge will take forms which will express the new incoming energies. Just as the period governed by the sixth ray has culminated in a world wherein men work in great workshops and factories to produce the plethora of objects men deem needful for their happiness and well-being, so in the seventh ray cycle we shall see men engaged on an even larger scale in the field of creative art. Devotion to objects will eventually be superseded by the creation of that which will more truly express the Real; ugliness and materiality will give place to beauty and reality. On a large scale, humanity has already been "led from darkness to light" and the light of knowledge fills the land. In the period which lies ahead and under the influencing radiation of the seventh ray, humanity will be "led from the unreal to the Real." This the first initiation makes possible for the individual and will make possible for the mass of men.
Seventh ray energy is the energy needed to bring order out of chaos and rhythm to replace disorder. It is this energy which will bring in the new world order for which all men wait; it will restore the ancient landmarks, indicate  the new institutions and forms of civilisation and culture which human progress demands, and nurture the new life and the new states of consciousness which advanced humanity will increasingly register. Nothing can arrest this activity; all that is happening today as men search for the new ways, for organised unity and peaceful security, is being implemented through the incoming Ray of Order or Ceremonial Magic. The white magic of right human relations cannot be stopped; it must inevitably demonstrate effectively, because the energy of this seventh ray is present, and the Lord of the Ray is cooperating with the Lord of the World to bring about the needed "reforming." Soul-infused personalities, acting under this ray influence, will create the new world, express the new qualities and institute those new regimes and organised modes of creative activity which will demonstrate the new livingness and the new techniques of living. It is the distortion of these seventh ray ideals and the prostitution of this incoming energy to serve the unenlightened and selfish ambitions of greedy men which has produced those totalitarian systems which today so terribly imprison the free spirit of men.
To sum up what I have said:
1. The energy of the seventh ray is the potent agent of initiation when taken on the physical plane, that is, during the process of the first initiation.
2. Its effect upon humanity will be:
a. To bring about the birth of the Christ-consciousness among the masses of intelligently aspiring human beings.
b. To set in motion certain relatively new evolutionary processes which will transform humanity (the world disciple) into humanity (the world initiate).
c. To establish in a new and intelligible manner the ever-existent sense of relationship and thus bring about upon the physical plane right human relations. The agent of this is goodwill, a reflection  of the will-to-good of the first divine aspect. Of this first Ray of Will or Purpose, goodwill is the reflection.
d. To readjust negative and positive relationships, and—today—this will be carried forward primarily in connection with the sex relation and marriage.
e. To intensify human creativity and thus bring in the new art as a basis for the new culture and as a conditioning factor in the new civilisation.
f. To reorganise world affairs and so initiate the new world order. This is definitely in the realm of ceremonial magic.
3. The stimulation of this seventh ray will, in relation to the individual initiate,
a. Bring into being upon the mental plane a widespread and recognised relation between the soul and the mind.
b. Produce a measure of order in the emotional processes of the initiate, thus aiding the preparatory work of the second initiation.
c. Enable the initiate—upon the physical plane—to establish certain service relationships, to learn the practice of elementary white magic, and to demonstrate the first stage of a truly creative life.
As far as the individual initiate is concerned, the effect of seventh ray energy in his life is potent in the extreme; this is easily realised, owing to the fact that his mind and his brain are conditioned by the seventh ray at the time that the initiatory process is consciously taking place. The effect of this upon the mental plane is similar to that seen—on a much larger scale—in the planet, for it was this ray energy which the planetary Logos utilised when He brought together the major dualities of spirit and matter at the commencement of His creative work. The two aspects of the mind (the lower concrete mind and the soul, the Son of Mind) become more closely related and enter eventually into a conscious, recognised association on the  astral plane; it is the seventh ray which restores order within the astral consciousness, and (on the mental plane), it is this influence which produces creativity, the organising of the life, and the bringing together "within the head" of the lower and higher energies in such a manner that "the Christ is born." This latter point we shall consider in some detail when we take up the significance of the initiations; we shall then find that the relationship between the pituitary body and the pineal gland is involved.
Finally, it is seventh ray energy which—in the initiatory process between the first and the second initiations—enables the initiate (in his physical plane life) to demonstrate a developing sense of order and of organisation, to express consciously and increasingly a desire to help his fellowmen, and thereby establish relationship with them, and to make his life creative in many ways.
All these factors are embryonic in his nature, but he now begins to consciously lay the foundation for the future initiatory work; the physical disciplines are at this time of great importance, though their value is frequently over-emphasised and their effect is not always good; the relationships established and fostered are sometimes of small value, owing to the disciple being usually self-centered and thus lacking—from ignorance and lack of discrimination—complete purity of motive. Nevertheless, the changes brought about by the influence of this ray become increasingly effective from life to life; the disciple's relation to the Hierarchy, the reorganising of his life on the physical plane, and his growing effort to demonstrate the esoteric sense of white magic will become more and more vital until he is ready for the second initiation.
Initiation II. The Baptism in Jordan. Ray VI.
The Energy of Idealism and Devotion.
In the initiatory process between the first initiation of the Birth of the Christ and the beginning of the conscious unfoldment of the Christ life and awareness, the life of the initiate has undergone a pronounced reorientation.  He is now capable of an equally pronounced and often fanatical adherence to the programme of aspiration and of devotion to the good (as he sees it at this stage). This is symbolised for us in the story of the twelve year old Jesus Who was so conscious that He "must be about His Father's business" that He defied His parents, caused them distress, and astonished those older than He by His spiritual poise and knowledge. This He offset by going down to Galilee and being "subservient" to His parents. A somewhat similar attitude (without the developed and inclusive understanding manifested by the Christ) can be seen expressing itself in the disciple during the period wherein the new orientation is taking place; the disciple is learning to discipline his lower nature and to achieve a measure of mastery over his physical inclinations; he thus releases physical energy and brings order into his life. This takes a very long time and may cover a cycle of many incarnations. He is constantly fighting against his lower nature, and the requirements of his soul (as he somewhat ignorantly interprets them) are in constant session against the animal nature, and increasingly in relation to the emotional nature.
Above all, he becomes aware of a secondary relation, involving a most difficult problem and one which enhances the fight and intensifies his problem. He discovers that his emotional nature, his lower psychic faculties, his astral development and the potency of glamour are now all arrayed against him.
The reorientation with which he is now faced has to be brought about primarily upon the astral plane, because that has been for untold aeons the level of his major polarisation and the sphere of activity and the state of consciousness which has dominated him. The physical body is not a principle; his etheric body has, since Atlantean days, been the agent of his astral energy, for the mind nature is not yet developed and cannot, therefore, adequately take control. He discovers that he lives in a chaos of emotional reactions and of conditioning glamours. He slowly begins  to realise that in order to take the second initiation he must demonstrate emotional control; he realises also that he must have some knowledge of those spiritual energies which will dissipate glamour, plus an understanding of the technique whereby illumination from the mind—as the transmitting agent of the light of the soul—can dispel these glamours and thus "clarify the atmosphere", in the technical sense.
I might emphasise that as yet no initiate demonstrates complete control during the intermediate period between any initiation and the next higher initiation; the intermediate period is regarded as "a cycle of perfecting" That which is being left behind and subordinated to the higher realisation is slowly dominated by energies which are to be released into the consciousness of the initiate at the initiation for which he is being prepared. This interim period is always one of great difficulty. The energies being registered, made active and finally used are steadily increasing in number and potency at each initiation; these impacts upon the rays of the soul and the personality rays of the initiate, and on the subsidiary vehicles through which he works in the three worlds and upon their individual conditioning rays, produce at first tremendous difficulties; these the initiate must master and the problems involved he must solve. He thereby becomes a Master, and the process, as it goes forward from initiation to initiation, becomes (after the third initiation, the Transfiguration) less hard and distressing; the reason for this is that he is increasingly master of his own individual situation. He is, however, occultly involved in the difficulties and the problems of the group and of that totality of groups which we call humanity.
The initiatory process between the first and the second initiations is for many the worst time of distress, difficulty, realisation of problems and the constant effort to "clear himself" (as it is occultly called), to which the disciple is at any time subjected. The phrase stating that the objective of the initiate is "to clear himself" is perhaps the most  arresting and illuminating of all possible definitions of the task to be undertaken. The storm aroused by his emotional nature, the dark clouds and mists in which he constantly walks and which he has created throughout the entire cycle of incarnated living, have all to be cleared away in order that the initiate can say that—for him—the astral plane no longer exists, and that all that remains of that ancient and potent aspect of his being is aspiration, a sensitive response to all forms of divine life and a form through which the lowest aspect of divine love, goodwill, can flow without impediment.
From the larger point of view, it is this struggle to clear the world atmosphere which will confront humanity after the first initiation, so close at hand today. You will see, therefore, why the Christ must come at this time, for He is the One Who presides at the first and second initiations, and it is His coming which will indicate that humanity has taken the first initiation, which will confirm and consolidate the work done and which will inaugurate the world cycle and period in which the task of reorganising the emotional and psychic life of humanity will take place; this period will release the energy of goodwill and thus automatically bring about right human relations.
As regards humanity as a whole, polarised as it is in the emotional nature, the effect of this sixth ray is potent in the extreme. Its energy has been playing upon men ever since it came into incarnation, and the last one hundred fifty years have seen that potency become extremely effective. Two factors have enhanced this effect:
1. The sixth Ray of Idealism or of Devotion is the ray which normally governs the astral plane, controlling its phenomena and colouring its glamour.
2. The stream of energy, coming into our planetary life from the constellation Pisces, has for two thousand years conditioned human experience and is peculiarly fitted to blend with and complement this sixth ray energy and to produce exactly the situation which is today governing world affairs.
The united activity of these two great streams of cosmic energy, playing upon and through the third planetary centre, Humanity, has created the unique condition in which "the race of men" can stand before the planetary Initiator, the Christ, and under the focussed stimulation of the Hierarchy, pass through the appropriate initiation.
It should here be remembered that the masses of men can and will take the first initiation, but that a very large group of aspirants (far larger than is realised) will pass through the experience of the second initiation, that of the purifying Baptism. These are the people who express the essential qualities of ideological recognition, devoted adherence to truth as sensed, profound reaction to the physical disciplines (imposed since they participated in the first initiation many lives earlier) and a growing responsiveness to the aspirational aspect of the astral body; this aspiration is occupied with reaching out towards contact with and expression of the mental principle. This particular group in the human family are "kama-manasic" initiates, just as those taking the first initiation are "physico-etheric" initiates.
It is the activity of this sixth ray which has brought out into the light of day the growing ideological tendencies of mankind. These world ideologies (of which there are many present in the world today) are created by a triple reaction to the two streams of energy mentioned above:
1. The unfoldment of the mental principle in mankind during this Aryan Age has forced desire into the form of great mass concepts; these unitedly are governing the mass tendency toward mental unfoldment.
2. The steadily growing soul influence, working like a leaven on the astral plane, has lifted kama or desire out of its purely self-centred focus and brought in a new and hitherto unexpressed group emotional consciousness; this leads the fused emotional nature of men into great ideological mass expression, still selfish; expressed and impulsed as yet by emotional excesses, but indicating new and better goals. These goals will assume clearer and more desirable  outlines when the second initiation is undergone by the world aspirant.
3. The influence generated by the Shamballa energy which has, for the first time, made direct contact with Humanity, is producing an emotional vortex in which old ideals and institutions are seen divorced from their hitherto controlling glamours, thus permitting the new and better ideologies to emerge in the consciousness of the race.
All these factors are responsible for the world situation at this time; great ideologies, potent groupings of workers and thinkers dedicated to the changing of the old order, and massed efforts to end separativeness are all present simultaneously. The essential etheric world unity (of which the telephone, the radio and the airplane are the tangible expression) is swinging vast groups of men everywhere into united emotional activity, thus creating those preliminary testings which ever precede initiation, and by means of which those capable of taking the second initiation are today passing.