SECTION TWO - THE ASPIRANT AND THE MAJOR INITIATIONS - Part 5
1. Ambition, implemented by determination.
2. Aspiration, implemented by devotion or one-pointed attention.
3. Revelation, implemented by the will in its two lower aspects.
4. Realisation, implemented by the will in its highest aspect.
That, briefly, is the evolutionary story of the "initiate in good standing" and it is basically the story of the will to self-betterment, the will to human service, goodwill, and finally, the will-to-good. You can see, therefore, how the great first aspect of divinity, through its three aspects, is the hidden, basic, motivating potency of life and of evolution, from the very dawn of the evolutionary cycle.
The initiate in good standing looks into the heart of things; he has forced his way to the very "Heart of the Sun" (using those words in a "planetary" and not in a "solar" sense) and—from that vantage point—he becomes aware of the "Central Spiritual Sun" and the Way of the Higher Evolution which leads inevitably to that assured centre of the Most High. The three worlds of material living and the inner world of meaning which the soul has revealed to him are now left behind; he is suddenly confronted with the world of significances, with the true world of causes and of origination, and by the realm of the universal. He discovers that all he had thought anent the Law of Cause and Effect was so limited that—in the light of this Higher Evolution—it has practically become meaningless, except as the A B C whereby he can teach the children of men. He realises, through the revelation accorded, more clearly than has hitherto been possible, the Purpose of the planetary Logos. From the time of the third initiation, this purpose has been gradually revealing itself; he sees it expressing itself through Sanat Kumara, Who is the Personality expression of the planetary Logos. During the coming interval and cycle of preparation for the sixth  initiation, that purpose will burst upon him in blazing and synthetic glory.
The way to the Central Spiritual Sun is therefore revealed to him, and he knows that he faces a period of intense preparation (not training, as that word is usually understood) for a length of time determined by world need, the nature of his service and certain undefinable ray conditions.
He has to fulfill the magnetic condition which will enable him to form his own Ashram; he has to unfold a new phase of selective spiritual discrimination. The word discrimination is, however, misleading, because the form of it which he can now express carries no quality of rejection or of separation. It is a right knowledge and understanding of those karmically linked to him, a right use of an impelling attractive force which will, occultly speaking, attract the attention of those who should enter his Ashram, plus an esoteric process of blending himself and his Ashram into the full body of the Hierarchy. New Ashrams within the Hierarchy present much the same type of difficulty and problems as the entrance of a new disciple into an Ashram.
It might be said that that which holds the Hierarchy together, and that which produces a coherent Ashram, is the revelation, received in the light which that revelation produced and which leads to realisation. Ashramic responsibility, constant service within the planetary Life and the subjection of Himself and of His Ashram to cyclic stimulation from Shamballa, plus certain mysterious processes which have naught to do with form or consciousness, but with the "sensitivity of the universe," occupy the interim between the fifth and the sixth initiations.
Initiation VI. Decision. Ray III
We have concluded our study of the rays and the five initiations, and there is little more that I can tell you about the remaining four initiations, except one or two points anent the sixth Initiation of Decision; this initiation  is governed by the third Ray of Active Intelligence. The only reason that I am making a few comments upon the sixth initiation is that at this time a number of the Masters are taking this great step, and it has a most peculiar application to the time of the reappearance of the Christ.
At this Initiation of Decision the Master concerned decides usually which of the seven Paths He intends to tread; some Masters decide to remain until the close of our planetary Life, at which time the "last weary Pilgrim will have found his way home"; the Earth can then be prepared for a new Humanity. When this happens, our planet will no longer be known as the planet of sorrow and of pain, but will be distinguished by a quality of tranquillity and by an aura of calm potency wherein the will of God (to be demonstrated in the next solar system) will be focussed; this—in some mysterious way—will enable the solar Logos (not the planetary Logos) to bring the first great divine aspect, that of Will or Power, into expression throughout the solar system. Instead, therefore, of the statement which explains our present solar system, "God is Love," we shall have a dynamic expression of the will-to-good—an energy which will have been generated to some extent upon our Earth. This is the reward which the present Earth humanity will reap, and this is the consummation of the preordained task of our planetary Logos. He undertook, when He came into incarnation (through the medium of our little planet), to aid the work of the Solar Logos in expressing the will aspect of divinity.
It might be simpler if I said that the experiment of manifesting the first divine aspect, through the medium of form and through a humanity which has behind it the experience of five initiations (and is therefore expressing intelligent love), will be attempted. This statement is necessarily misleading, but it embodies a truth and indicates the unfinished story of solar expression.
Today, however, in taking this sixth initiation, all of the Masters so doing and under the suggestion of the Christ,  continue to make the decision which will control Their future progress on one of the seven Paths of the Higher Evolution, but—at the same time—all of Them are postponing this proposed progress upon Their chosen Path in order, for a brief time, to implement and aid the work of the Christ and help towards the externalisation of the Hierarchy, through the medium of certain of its Ashrams; They will also form a protecting wall around the Christ, and act as liaison officers between Their great Leader and the Avatar of Synthesis.
Christ Himself took this initiation some time ago and passed through the Resurrection Initiation and the experience of the seventh initiation. These Masters can, in a mysterious fashion, implement the expression of the divine will-to-good on Earth. They will work in collaboration with Those Masters Whose Ashrams will be the first to be anchored on Earth in the sense of physical expression because, esoterically speaking, it is "the will of God which holds them there."
For ages, the potency of that which lies behind the fifth initiation—in the planetary sense and not in connection with the individual initiation with its revelation indicating first ray purpose—has held sway on Earth. Knowledge, the revealing of the Mysteries, the attainment of scientific achievement, producing the activity of the fifth plane of mind, has governed human thinking and advancement; God in nature (i.e., the planetary Logos in concrete and material expression) has been revealed, and this has culminated in that tremendous expression of power—the atomic bomb.
Now, the potency of that which lies behind the sixth initiation will take hold of the evolutionary process and will implement divine purpose. What that potency in truth may be, we cannot yet know; we do know, however, that it is closely related to the will-to-synthesis; this will enable the Christ to break down the barriers and the separating walls which selfish, self-centred and materialistic humanity (largely with the aid of the churches of the world, with their materialistic bias) has built, thereby letting in the  light of understanding and clearing the way for a fuller expression of the will of God.
I felt that the practical aspect of what the Masters are doing might prove useful to you. As to the remaining three initiations:
Initiation VII...The Resurrection...Ray II
Initiation VIII...The Great Transition...Rays IV, V, VI, VII (the four minor Rays)
Initiation IX...The Refusal...Rays I, II, III (the three major Rays)
an analysis of them would prove to you that your comprehension has not yet been developed to the point where understanding is possible; it would therefore be a waste of time further to consider them. If you will re-read the instructions earlier given upon the seven Paths (pp. 395-427) you may glean some ideas about these later initiations; they would still, however, be impossible of application and practical usefulness at your particular stage of evolutionary development.
THE SEVEN AND THE NINE INITIATIONS OF OUR PLANETARY LIFE
Now let us look at these initiations from the angle of the planetary Life, as far as in us lies. We have for long looked at them from the angle of humanity, the world disciple, as well as from the angle of the individual initiate, but it must not be forgotten that these initiations have also a planetary significance. From the standpoint of the Hierarchy and of Shamballa, they constitute the major factors which make possible the initiatory process on Earth among men.
This naturally means in relation to our planetary Logos. It must never be forgotten that it is the progress forward upon His chosen cosmic Path which makes the entire evolutionary process possible. Just as a Master Who has taken the fifth initiation has to project His own specific undertaking, through the medium of His Ashram, thus  proving His response to the will aspect of the planetary Logos and making Himself responsible for a phase of the planetary Plan, so a planetary Logos has likewise—under the Law of Synthesis—to carry forward a specific project in line with the will of the Solar Logos. This our planetary Logos, Sanat Kumara, is in process of doing, providing a definite culture wherein the germ of the solar will can be fostered in one of its aspects. Then—in conjunction with a similar project going on in two other planets, thus fostering two other aspects—the nucleus of the third solar system will be brought eventually into expression.
It is hard for the human mind to appreciate this basic synthesis and this relationship which exists throughout the entire solar system, with the planetary Logoi implementing divine purpose; men cannot yet grasp the relations within the personality aspect of our planetary Logos—the Earth and all that is therein. But that synthesis exists and is the relating factor between our Earth and the Sun, between the various planetary Logoi and the Solar Logos. All that we can do is to get a general picture of the planetary initiations, the seven initiations and the nine.
The only manner in which we can grasp even a small measure of planetary intention is through a study of the great civilisations which have been developed by humanity under impression from the highest spiritual sources on our planet; these have hitherto reached us via the Hierarchy. To these civilisations must be added the cultures which have evolved out of them. This obviously we cannot do, for it would require research into all the known and the unknown historical periods and cycles, plus a consideration of all the evidence—anthropological, architectural and sociological. To this approach to the intent and the purpose of the planetary Logos must be added a consideration of certain crises in the life of mankind which are in the nature of minor initiations to which the planetary Logos has subjected Himself, in the sense that He is the Initiator. Humanity, being the most highly developed evolutionary product upon our planet, reacts to these initiations; they  produce world events, and those stupendous points of crisis which (up to date) have worked destructively where the form aspect is concerned, but which have developed into those stages of sensitive unfoldment and progression when the work of the Builders (the second divine aspect) is added to and takes advantage of the liberty or release brought about by the Destroyer (the first aspect). There are always these two phases.
Through the past civilisations and their eventual catastrophic destruction, the planetary Logos has gradually prepared the ground or planetary field for the "planting of the germ of Will"—the nurturing of which is a future part of human destiny. The seven major phases of the unfoldment of the human race (of which our modern Aryan race is the fifth) are in the nature of seven planetary initiations or unfoldments; the word "initiation" is not to be understood in the exact sense in which human initiations are understood and interpreted. Men are initiated into phases of the divine consciousness through applied stimulation, whereby their vehicles evidence readiness; in connection with the planetary Logos, it is He Who initiated a new process in seven phases, preparatory to the expected divine planting. It must be borne in mind that the use of the word "planting" is purely symbolic. Each phase brings the original divine purpose or spiritual project nearer to fruition, and it is for this that Sanat Kumara came into manifestation or incarnation.
Each of these phases affects all the four kingdoms in nature, producing a higher stage of sensitivity in each successive one, but it is only in the fourth kingdom, the human, that there exists the possibility of a conscious registering and recognition of divine intent and a faint vibrating response to the will aspect of divinity. It has taken a millennia of years to bring this about. When you remember that it has only been in the present world crisis that the planetary Logos dared subject the forms in all the four kingdoms to the direct stimulation of His impelling will, you will realise the long, long patience which is perhaps  His most distinctive characteristic. Patience is a quality of will; it is of the nature of a strict adherence to a fixed intention. At each transition from one civilisation to another (each being built upon the cultural seed of the preceding one, after a due flowering of the civilisation) we could say of Sanat Kumara what has been said of the Christ, that "He sees of the travail of His soul and is satisfied." So blind are men that when a civilisation comes to an end, when the familiar mode of cultural expression is brought (as is usual) under the hand of the destroyer, humanity regards it as a major disaster and dreads and fears the ruin which usually surrounds such an event. But from the standpoint of the world of significances, progress is seen and the day of fulfillment draws much nearer.
Our modern civilisation today (under the hammer of the destroyer aspect) is being changed; old things are passing away, having served their purpose. The new thing is not yet noted or appreciated, though already present. The work of preparation for the planting of the germ or seed of the divine will on Earth is nearly over; when the Hierarchy is externalised, and men as a whole recognise the position on Earth of the Christ and of His church "invisible" (the union of all souls made perfect, which is a true description of the Hierarchy), then—in a manner unforeseen by humanity—Shamballa will assume control, and from the Council Chamber of Sanat Kumara will issue forth the Sower of the seed; He will sow it within the ground prepared by humanity, and thus the future is assured, not for the planetary Logos alone, but for that greater Whole in which our planet plays its little part. That moment lies ahead in the civilisation which shall be, and in the next great race which will emerge out of all our modern races and nations, the sowing will take place. The next race will be a fusion of the whole, and a world-wide recognition of the One Humanity is an essential prerequisite of the sowing. It is the creation of this universal recognition which will be one of the major tasks of the reappearing Christ and His attendant Hierarchy. When the "little wills of  men" are beginning to respond on a measurably large scale to the greater Will of the divine Life, then the major task of Shamballa will become possible; nevertheless, prior to that, humanity must respond to the light and the love which are the preparatory streams of spiritual energy and which are already pouring forth in response to human invocation.
In comprehending the planetary initiatory processes as instituted by the planetary Logos, men must relate them to the great crises which have occurred in all the races of men. Just as the initiate-disciple passes from one initiation to another through a process of continuously leaving behind those aspects of the form life which have been destroyed by him as useless, so humanity leaves behind civilisation after civilisation under the stimulus of the evolving purpose of Sanat Kumara Who initiates constantly that which is new and that which will better serve His will. Men are apt to think that the whole evolutionary process—including the development of the subhuman kingdoms in nature—is merely a mode whereby men can reach perfection and develop better forms through which to manifest that perfection. But in the last analysis, human progress is purely relative and incidental. The factor of supreme importance is the ability of the planetary Logos to carry out His primary intention and bring His "project" to a sound consummation, thus fulfilling the task given to Him by His great superior, the Solar Logos.
The eighth and the ninth initiations (of which neither you nor I can know practically anything) relate to the initiations of those methods and techniques whereby the "seed of will," which will later flower into the third solar system, can be nurtured and fostered and its growth promoted. This nurturing and fostering will be the task of a group of Masters (to be developed in the next major race) Who, at the Initiation of Decision, the sixth initiation, will dedicate Themselves, as a group, to the Path of Earth Service. They will specifically and with full enlightenment pledge Themselves to the promotion of Sanat Kumara's project. With this our present group of Masters are not specifically  concerned; Their task is the application of the evolutionary process with a view to the preparation of the field of the world for the future divine sowing.
More I cannot tell you. All I have done is to give you a hint as to the significance of the initiations, instituted by the Lord of the World. These are not, may I repeat, initiations to which the planetary Logos is Himself subjected. The world crises, which ever precede initiation on a planetary scale, are part of the preparatory work, tests and trials which make possible some cosmic initiation to which He has been and will eventually be subjected. With them we have no concern, nor would you understand if I were to be in any way explicit. The Law of Analogy and of Correspondences breaks down at a certain point upon the path of understanding, and something new and utterly different enters in. The Law of Analogy holds good when considering the microcosm within the life of the Macrocosm, but if you ventured outside that limited and manifested Life (if that were possible, which it is not) you would contact other Laws and other approaches to truth, existent on cosmic levels.
There is little more that I can tell you anent the planetary initiations or—as they might be more correctly called—the planetary initiatory processes. These affect our entire planetary life but are not essentially initiations as we understand the term, or as that word could be applied to Sanat Kumara. They are a definite part of cosmic process and particularly of solar evolution, but they are, as we have seen, only preparatory to that initiation for which our world was made—the manifestation on Earth of the highest of the three aspects: the WILL of God, as it is universally called.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE INITIATIONS
We now start our consideration of the nine initiations, only this time we shall be occupied with the relationship and the detail connected with each initiation,  viewing them when possible from the angle of the Hierarchy and its effort on behalf of the evolutionary progress of the race, and not so much from the angle of the soul-infused personality of the disciple. It must be remembered from the start that no disciple can pass through the initiatory experience unless he is a soul-infused individual and is consciously aware on soul levels of the various happenings, possibilities, undertakings and implications.
In all the many books which I have given to the world I have taught much anent initiation; I have sought to bring a saner, more reasonable presentation of these great crises in the life of every disciple. It is wise to note that an initiation is in reality a crisis, a climaxing event, and is only truly brought about when the disciple has learnt patience, endurance and sagacity in emerging from the many preceding and less important crises. An initiation is a culminating episode, made possible because of the self-inspired discipline to which the disciple has forced himself to conform.
Much has been said in the occult books about the preparatory work to be done and the effort which such a task entails, plus the realisation of the consequences initiated and expressing themselves through the individual aspirant. Little has been said anent the more important truth that initiation admits a man into some area or level of the divine consciousness—into a plane or rather a state of being hitherto regarded as sealed and closed.
I shall not touch upon the ray effects, because we have already considered them, and because each level of consciousness, each phase or revealed area of the "lighted Way" is open to souls on all the rays and to every type of initiate.
From the standpoint of the Hierarchy, it is not the individual initiate who is of importance, but the groups in every land who face initiation, and who fall into three categories:
1. Those in the group who have caught the vision, who accept the fact of the Hierarchy and of proffered opportunity,  but who are nevertheless quite unready for their next step and must be taught and prepared to take it. Yet they are "set apart for fulfillment," as it is esoterically called, and in spite of fluctuations and the many vicissitudes of the Path, they will eventually attain their goal.
2. Those in preparation for some specific initiation, particularly the first initiation to the third (inclusive). They have set their hands to the plow—another way of saying symbolically that they are toiling for and serving their fellowmen.
3. Those who have had the needed training and await the hour of initiation. As I have said, the first two initiations—those of the Birth and the Baptism—are not regarded by the Hierarchy as major initiations. They are in the nature of initiations of the threshold and are simply phases of, or preparatory to, the third initiation (as occult students call it), which is in reality the first major initiation. This must be most carefully held in mind, for these initiations indicate the process through which the personality can become soul-infused and the energy of the Spiritual Triad can make its presence felt.
For the sake of clarity, however, and because the Birth and Baptism initiations have been counted in with the true major initiations by the modern teachers of theosophy and similar occult bodies, and because people are therefore accustomed so to consider them, we will preserve the old method of counting them. The thought of soul-infusion must be held in mind—a soul-indwelling which culminates at the third initiation, and of monadic control which increasingly possesses the soul-infused personality. This higher possessiveness steadily increases from the time of the third initiation until the seventh initiation; after the seventh initiation a condition can be seen which is extra-planetary in nature and of which little can be known. This brings in—for the first time—a registration or recognition of cosmic consciousness.
Let us now consider these initiations, one by one.
Initiation I. The Birth at Bethlehem
I have preserved the above Christian nomenclature because of its familiarity and because (symbolically speaking) it conveys an aspect of a major truth. Just as the birth of a child is an entrance into light, literally speaking, and the beginning of an entirely new way of life, so each successive initiation is in an exactly similar manner an entrance into light, involving the revelation of a different world to the one hitherto known, and the undergoing of entirely new experiences. If students would keep this symbology and this definition carefully in mind, they would arrive at a keener concept of the processes which lie ahead of them. This is particularly true in connection with this first initiation; the analogy holds good from the very dawn of history, where humanity is considered.
In ancient Lemuria, with the coming in of the mental idea and mechanism, the low grade animal life (which, to a certain extent, looked human but was definitely mindless, unknowing and unseeing) became suddenly aware of that which threw light upon its way. It meant little to the animal men of those days, but it came increasingly to have significance as millennia of years elapsed; civilisations came and went; races developed and disappeared. In Lemurian days, the indwelling light of perception (though it was a perception so remote from ours as to be practically inconceivable) revealed the physical world and that found upon it which the human being of that time would deem desirable. Later, in Atlantean times, that same indwelling light and unfolding light of the mind served to reveal the world of emotions, and in the later half of that period it revealed the more aesthetic values; the arts began to flourish; colour and beauty were registered. In our more modern Aryan race, the light has revealed the world of thought and has brought us to a synthesis of the senses; these senses were developed in earlier cycles of human living. Each of these three races, in a mysterious manner, has a correspondence on a racial scale to the first three initiations.
Today, as we enter the new era, the symbology of the fourth initiation, that of the Renunciation, has application; men face the necessity of renouncing the material values and of substituting the spiritual. The ferment of the initiation process goes on all the time, undermining the materialism of the race of men, revealing more and more of the reality underlying the phenomenal world (the only world recognised by the Lemurians) and—at the same time—providing that cultural field of experience in which those sons of men who are ready to do so can undergo the five initiations, technically understood. This is the factor of importance. This, therefore, is our starting point.
The historical process can (and will) reveal the gradual entrance of mankind into ever-expanding "lighted areas" of consciousness; into these areas the way of evolutionary unfoldment has led the race of men right up to the point where there are many, many thousands (and millions if you consider all of humanity—those in incarnation today and those that are out of incarnation upon the inner planes) who have been enabled to step out of the lighted field of the three worlds into another area where the light of the mind can be blended with the still greater light of the soul. They have (in past lives, even though recollection may be lacking) undergone the birth experience and initiation, and as a result of this, that which can reveal what the mind is unable to illumine is now developing and functioning within them. The "light of life" is now available, in a sense far more literally true than you can at this time perceive, and each successive initiation will see this fact more clearly demonstrated. The Birth Initiation lies behind in the experience of many, and this is factually proved by the lives of those who are consciously and willingly oriented towards the light, who see a wider world than that of their own selfish interests, who are sensitive to the Christ life and to the spiritual consciousness in their fellowmen and who see an horizon and vistas of contact unperceived by the average man; they realise a possible spiritual achievement, unknown and undesired by those whose  lives are conditioned entirely by either the emotions or the lower concrete mind. At this stage of unfoldment they have a sense of conscious dualism, knowing the fact of the existence of that "something other" than the phenomenal, emotional and mental self.
The first initiation might be regarded as the goal and the reward of the mystical experience; it is fundamentally not an occult experience in the true sense of the term, for it is seldom accurately realised or consciously prepared for, as is the case of the later initiations, and this is why the first two initiations are not considered major initiations. In the mystical realisation there is naturally and normally an emphasis upon dualism, but in the new area of unfoldment—visioned and later to be struggled for and attained, initiation by initiation—unity is achieved and dualism disappears. Students should therefore have in mind the following definite occult concept: The mystical Way leads to the first initiation. Having achieved its purpose, it is then renounced, and the "lighted Way" of occultism is then followed, leading to the lighted areas of the higher states of consciousness.
Thus both ways are seen to be essential; the mystical way is for the majority at this time, and an increasingly large number of mystics will emerge out of the modern masses of men; paralleling this, the occult way is attracting more and more of the world intelligentsia. Its experience is not basically religious, as the orthodox churchman understands the word. The way of science is as deeply needed by mankind as is the way of religion, for "God" is found equally on both ways. The scientific way leads the aspirant into the world of energies and forces, which is the true world of occult endeavour, revealing the Universal Mind and the workings of that great Intelligence which created the manifested universe. The "new man" who has come to birth at the first initiation must and will tread the occult or scientific way, which inevitably leads him out of the world of mysticism into the scientific and assured perception of God as life or energy.
The first initiation marks the beginning of a totally new life and mode of living; it marks the commencement of a new manner of thinking and of conscious perception. The life of the personality in the three worlds has for aeons nurtured the germ of this new life and fostered the tiny spark of light within the relative darkness of the lower nature. This process is now being brought to a close, though it is not at this stage entirely discontinued, for the "new man" has to learn to walk, to talk, and to create; the consciousness is now, however, being focussed elsewhere. This leads to much pain and suffering until the definite choice is made, a new dedication to service is vouchsafed, and the initiate is ready to undergo the Baptism Initiation.
Members of the New Group of World Servers should watch with care for all those who show signs of having passed through the "birth" experience and should help them toward a greater maturity. They should assume that all those who truly love their fellowmen, who are interested in the esoteric teaching, and who seek to discipline themselves in order to attain greater beauty of life, are initiate and have undergone the first initiation. When they discover those who are seeking mental polarisation and who evidence a desire and aspiration to think and to know, coupled with the distinguishing marks of those who have taken the first initiation, they can, in all probability, safely assume that such people have taken the second initiation or are on the verge of so doing. Their duty will then be clear. It is by this close observation on the part of the world servers that the ranks of the New Group are filled. Today, the opportunity and the stimulation are so great that all servers must keep alert, developing in themselves the ability to register the quality for which search must be made, and giving the help and guidance which will weld into one cooperative band those disciples and initiates who should prepare the way for the Christ.
The first initiation should be regarded as instituting a new attitude towards relationships. This is not yet the case. The relationships hitherto recognised, speaking generally,  have been those karmically, physically and emotionally instituted; they are largely objective and predominantly concern the phenomenal plane with its contacts, duties, responsibilities and obligations. The new relationships however, to be increasingly recognised, are subjective and may have but little phenomenal indication. They embrace the recognition of those who must be served; they involve the expansion of the individual consciousness into a growing group awareness; they lead eventually to an eager response to hierarchical quality and to the magnetic pull of the Ashram. Such a development in the recognition of relationships leads finally to a recognition of the Presence of the Christ and to relationship with Him. With the recognition of and the relationship to the planetary Logos we need not at this point deal. All these relationships begin, in their truest connotation and with a correctly realised objective, at the birth of the "new man." To this the Christ referred when He said: "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God." I am here using the Christian terminology but prefer to speak of the "new man" rather than the strictly Christian phrase "the birth of the Christ Child in the heart." It is by means of the touchstone of relationships that world servers can contact the initiates and the accepted disciples in the world, and can discover those aspirants who can be helped and trained.
Let me bring another point to your attention. In the phenomenal world of the average human being who has not yet passed through the initiatory experience of the rebirth, the emphasis has ever been and is today upon the dual relationship of the sexes and to this our novels, plays, movies and affairs of all men bear testimony. Creativity expresses itself mainly through the propagation of the race, brought about through the relation of male and female, or of the positive and negative poles in the human family. This is right and good and part of the divine Plan. Even though men have prostituted their capacities and debased their relationships, the basic plan is divine and ideal. After the first initiation, the entire sex relationship shifts gradually  and steadily into its proper place as simply a natural phase of existence in the three worlds and as one of the normal and correct appetites, but the emphasis changes. The higher experience and correspondence, that of which physical sex is only the symbol, becomes apparent. Instead of male and female, there emerges the magnetic relationship between the now negative personality and the positive soul, with consequent creativity upon the higher planes. Of this relationship the head centre and the centre between the eyebrows (the ajna centre) are the agents and eventually—through the medium of the pituitary body and the pineal gland—they condition the personality, rendering it soul-infused.
I have given you so much information anent initiation and the rays and centres in my many books that there is no need for me to repeat it here; there is, however, great need for you to collect and tabulate the scattered information so that you can register it as a whole. Many who read these instructions and who study the books I have written are in process of preparation for one or other of the initiations, and the entire theme should therefore be of major interest to you. You should decide (at least tentatively) which initiation lies ahead of you and then discover all you possibly can about it and its prerequisites, endeavouring to make practical application of the imparted information; either that which I give to you is true or it is not; if true, it is vital to your future progress and you should aim at achieving a measure of real understanding.
You have been taught that the activity or the inactivity of the centres conditions the personality, working through the endocrine system; the energies which the centres channel and the forces which they generate can be controlled and directed by the soul, by the spiritual man. You have likewise been told that the energy of the sacral centre (the centre most implicated and active at the time of the first initiation) has to be transmuted and raised to the throat centre, thereby transforming the physical creative act into the creative process of producing the good,  the beautiful and the true. This is the A B C of your fundamental knowledge: the transmutation of sex. In that transmutative process men have greatly erred and have approached the subject from two angles:
1. They have sought to stamp out natural desire and have endeavoured to emphasise an enforced celibacy; they have thus frequently warped the nature and subjected the "natural man" to rules and regulations which were not of divine intent.
2. They have tried—at the other extreme—to exhaust normal sexual desire by promiscuity, license and perversions, damaging themselves and laying up the basis for trouble for many incarnations ahead.
True transmutation is in reality the achieving of a correct sense of proportion in relation to any phase of human life, and for the race of men today has particular reference to the sacral centre and the energies which bring it into activity. When a proper recognition of the place the sex life should play in the daily life is paralleled by the concentration of thought anent the throat centre, that centre becomes automatically magnetic and attracts the forces of the sacral centre upward through the spine into "the place of creative building"; the normal sex life is then regulated and not atrophied, and is relegated to its rightful place as one of the usual faculties or appetites with which man is endowed; it is brought under control through the lack of directed interest and is subordinated to the law of the land as regards its relation to its opposite pole—either negative and feminine or masculine and positive. To the aspirant it becomes mainly the agent for the creation of the vehicles needed for reincarnating souls. Thus by force of example, by the avoiding of all extremes, by the dedication of the bodily energies to the higher uses, and by the acceptance of the law of the land in any given country and at any given time, the present disorder and the current misuse of the sex principle will give way to orderly living and to the right use of this major bodily function.
This regulated physical life comes about when the  personality is sufficiently integrated and coordinated and the ajna centre (the centre between the eyebrows) is active and is coming under the control of the soul. This has an immediate effect—automatically induced—upon the gland associated with this centre; it becomes a balanced part of the general endocrine system and past imbalance is avoided. Simultaneously, the head centre becomes active as a result of the aspirant's mental perception, meditation and service; this brings the allied gland, the pineal gland, into action. All this is again only the A B C of occultism.
What is oft omitted from normal consideration is the fact that the increasing activity of these two "points of light within the head" is basically related to what is occurring in the sacral and throat centres, as the transmutative process proceeds and the energies of the sacral centre are gathered up into the throat centre—without, however, withdrawing all the energy from the lower centre; thus its normal activity is properly preserved. The two centres in the head then become correspondingly active; the negative and the positive elements affect each other, and the light in the head shines forth; a line of light, permitting free interplay, is established between the ajna centre and the head centre, and therefore between the pituitary body and the pineal gland. When this line of light is present and there is an unobstructed relation between the two centres and the two glands, then the first initiation becomes possible. When this takes place, it must not be inferred that the task of transmutation going on between the lower and the higher centres and the relationship between the two head centres is fully and finally completed and established. The line of light is still tenuous and unstable, but it is in existence. It is the energy let loose at the first initiation and distributed into the sacral and the throat centres (via the slowly awakening head centre) which brings the transmutation process to a successful conclusion and stabilises the relationship within the head. This process may take several lives of steadily intensifying effort on the part of the initiate-disciple.
Thus the work of magical reformation starts, and it is here that the influence of the seventh ray (which governs the first initiation) enters in; one of the functions of this ray is to bring together soul and body, the higher and the lower, life and form, spirit and matter. This is the creative task confronting the disciple who is engaged in lifting the energies of the sacral centre to the throat centre and of establishing a right relation between the personality and the soul. Just as the antahkarana has to be constructed and established as a bridge of light between the Spiritual Triad and the soul-infused personality, so a similar bridge or correspondence is established between the soul and the personality, and, in connection with the mechanism of the disciple, between the two head centres and the two glands within the head.
When that line of light has related the higher spiritual aspects and the lower, and when the sacral centre and the throat centre are in true related alignment, the initiate-disciple becomes a creative worker under the divine Plan and a "magical exponent" of the divine building work; he is then a constructive force, wielding energy consciously on the physical plane. He creates forms as expressions of reality. This is the true work of magic.
You can see, therefore, that in the creative work three energies are brought into a related activity:
1. The energy concentrated in the ajna centre and which is indicative of the personality life.
2. The energy concentrated in the head centre as a result of soul activity.
3. The energy of the seventh Ray of Ceremonial Order or Magic, making possible true creative activity under the divine Plan.
There is nothing spectacular to be told anent the first initiation; the initiate-disciple still works in the dimly lit "cave of the spiritual birth"; he has to continue his struggle to reveal divinity, primarily on the physical plane—symbolised for us in the word "Bethlehem" which means the "house of bread"; he has to learn the dual function of  "lifting up the lower energies into the light" and—at the same time—of "bringing down the higher energies into bodily expression." Thus he becomes a white magician.
At this initiation he sees, for the first time, what are the major energies which he must bring into expression, and this vision is summed up for him in the Old Commentary in the following words:
"When the Rod of Initiation descends and touches the lower part of the spine, there is a lifting up; when the eyes are opened in the light, that which must be lowered into form is now perceived. The vision is acknowledged. The burden of the future is assumed. The cave is lighted up and the new man issues forth."
That this may be true of all of you who read these words is the prayer and the wish of your friend and counsellor.
Initiation II. The Baptism in Jordan
The initiation which we are now to study is perhaps one of the most important, because it concerns that aspect of the personality which gives the most difficulty to everybody: the emotional or astral body. Today the mass of men are swept by the emotions and by a sensitive response to circumstance; they are not swept usually by an intelligent reaction to life as it is. The normal and usually violent reaction serves only to increase the confusion and the attending difficulties, producing vortices of uncontrolled energies, glamour and delusion. Even though it may at the same time produce a saving aspect in some cases, the violence of the astral testing and the potency of the astral temptation (as it might well be called) leads to a greatly increased sphere of suffering. To this must be added the materialistic bias of the many presented solutions, bringing in the force of the world maya and thus greatly complicating the problem.
Distressing as all this may be, and significant of the end of this age and the cessation of the Atlantean vibration and quality which has carried over so potently into  this Aryan cycle, it is however indicative of the attainment of a definitely racial opportunity. Humanity—on a relatively large scale—faces the second initiation, or the Baptism Initiation.
The concept of baptism is ever associated with that of purification. Water has ever been the symbol of that which purifies; it is also the symbol of the astral plane, with its instability, its storms, its tranquillities, its overwhelming emotional reactions and its pliability, which makes it such a good agent for the deceptive thought-forming faculties of the unregenerate man. It reacts to every impulse, every desire and every possible magnetic "pull" coming from the material or substantial form side of nature. In its cycles of tranquillity it reflects equally the good as well as the bad; it is the agent, therefore, of deception when manipulated by the Black Lodge, or of aspirational reaction when influenced by the great White Lodge, the spiritual Hierarchy of our planet. It is the battleground between the pairs of opposites; the problem is complicated by the fact that men have to learn to recognise these opposites before right choice, leading to spiritual victory, is theirs.
Today, desire for peace at any price, for adequate food, warmth and housing, for the restoration of stability and security and for the cessation of anxiety controls the mass of human reactions and makes the astral plane loom so large in men's affairs and in world decisions. This is so dominantly so that the realisation which the mind could reveal and of which the intelligentsia are the custodians is lost to sight and has small influence.
At the third initiation the control of the soul-illumined mind is finally established, and the soul itself assumes the dominant position and not the phenomenal form. All the limits of the form nature are then transcended. It is the vision of this transcendence which is communicated at the time of the second initiation under the symbolism of a positively applied purification.
I am not here emphasising the Biblical account of that purificatory process. That summarised symbolically  the watery nature of the astral plane and the "washing by water" of the initiate. It expressed the purely Atlantean form of the initiatory process, giving us the concept of a descent into water and of ascent out of water in response to a Word of Power from on high. The Aryan approach to this same initiation has not yet been fully understood.
This second initiation—as now undergone—is to some extent one of the most difficult. It involves purification, but it is purification by fire, symbolically understood. The occult "application of fire to water" produces certain most serious and devastating results. The water, under the action of fire, "is resolved into steam and the initiate is immersed in the fogs and miasmas, the glamours and the mists" thus caused. Out of this fog and out of the glamours, the initiate must emerge; out of the present fog of human affairs humanity will also emerge eventually. The success of the individual initiate is the guarantee of the racial destiny. The complications, produced by water in conjunction with fire in these Aryan days, are far greater than those produced entirely by water in Atlantean times; this age is kama-manasic and not simply kamic or strictly astral. Remember therefore as you read these words that I am speaking symbolically. The fire of mind today has to be reckoned with in conjunction with the water of desire, and it is owing to this that much of humanity's problem develops. It is because of this that the second initiation has become one of the most difficult which the modern disciple has to take.
The result, however, of the modern initiatory process is of a much higher order. This statement is related to the emerging fact that the Hierarchy and its personnel in process of assembling will be of a much higher order than that previously responsible for human guidance. A more advanced humanity demands a more advanced Hierarchy and hierarchical supervision; this has ever been the case. The evolutionary process covers all that is. Even Sanat Kumara is learning and advancing from a relative imperfection to perfection.
This baptism of fire (to which reference is made in  the Western Scriptures) carries with it inevitably the connotation of pain, and this to an extent hitherto unknown. Even a casual glance at world affairs will reveal the truth of this statement.
What, therefore, is really happening, and what are the major facts involved? Much will depend upon my answer and upon your interpretation of it. I would ask you consequently to give careful consideration to my reply to these two questions.
Under the influence of the Piscean cycle which is now in process of termination, the sixth Ray of Idealism or Devotion was predominantly active. This is the ray of one-pointed determination and—from one angle—it is the ray of blind procedure. The individual, the group or humanity, sees only one aspect of reality at any one time, and (because of man's present point in the evolutionary process) usually the least desirable aspect. All else is sealed to them; they vision only one picture; their horizon is limited to only one point of the compass (speaking esoterically). To the mass of humanity, the aspect of reality which was visioned and for which men lived and died was the material world, material comfort, material possessions and material enterprises; to this the labour movement today and the tendencies already apparent in the United Nations bear incontrovertible testimony. To a much smaller group of human beings the world of the intelligence appears paramount, and the concrete mind is the desired ruler or controlling factor. All, therefore, remains within the area of material control and interest.