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SECTION TWO - TEACHING ON THE ETHERIC VEHICLE - Part 2

Little has as yet been given out anent the relation of the four physical ethers and the four cosmic ethers; there is nevertheless a direct relation between them, and this the initiatory process reveals. This also brings about significant changes in the vehicles of humanity. There is also a direct relation between the four aspects of karma (the Law of Cause and Effect) and the four physical ethers, as well as the four cosmic ethers; this relationship will later constitute the basis of a new occult science. Therefore, there is yet much to be grasped by students concerning energy, its emanating sources, its mode of transfer or its transitional processes, and its anchorage within the planetary body, or the physical body of the individual. With some of these [169] ideas we will now deal, thus laying the foundation for future investigation, but saying little which will be of immediate use to the individual student.

Relationship Between the Higher and the Lower Centres

It is relatively easy to list the four cosmic ethers and then list the four ethers of the physical plane as we know them, and then make the statement that the average person is controlled by the centres below the diaphragm, which are responsive to the physical plane ethers as they transmit energies from the three worlds of human evolution, and that the initiate is responsive to the cosmic ethers, as they play through and awaken the centres above the diaphragm. It must at the same time be remembered that the seven centres in the etheric vehicle of man are always composed of the physical ethers, but become—upon the Path of Discipleship—the vehicles of the cosmic ethers. To retain the picture with clarity, it might be well to consider very briefly the four aspects of the centres as I have listed them above, or that totality which they present to the eye of the See-er. These are:

1. The Point at the Centre. This is the "jewel in the lotus," to use the ancient oriental appellation; it is the point of life by means of which the Monad anchors itself upon the physical plane, and is the life principle therefore of all the transient vehicles—developed, undeveloped or developing. This point of life contains within itself all possibilities, all potentialities, all experiences and all vibratory activities. It embodies the will-to-be, the quality of magnetic attraction (commonly called love), and the active intelligence which will bring the livingness and the love into full expression. The above statement or definition is one of major importance. This point at the centre is in reality, therefore, all that IS and the other three aspects of life—as listed—are merely indications of its existence. It is that which has capacity to withdraw to its Source, or to impose upon itself [170] layer upon layer of substance; it is the cause of the return of the so-called Eternal Pilgrim to the Father's Home after many aeons of experience, as well as that which produces experiment, leading to eventual experience and final expression. It is also that which the other three aspects shield, and which the seven principles (expressing themselves as vehicles) protect. There are seven of these "points" or "jewels," expressing the sevenfold nature of consciousness, and as they are brought one by one into living expression, the seven subrays of the dominating monadic ray are also one by one made manifest, so that each initiate-disciple is (in due time) a Son of God in full and outer glory.

The time comes when the individual etheric body is submerged or lost to sight in the light emanating from these seven points and coloured by the light of the "jewel in the lotus" in the head, the thousand petalled lotus. Each centre is then related by a line of living fire and each is then in full divine expression.

Much emphasis has been placed by teachers in the past upon the "killing out" of the centres below the diaphragm, or upon the transference of the energies of these centres into their higher correspondences. This I also have pointed out in other writings and instructions, because it is a definite way in which to convey essential truth. These methods of expression are, however, only symbolic phrases, and to that extent are true; nevertheless, at the close of the evolutionary process every single centre in the etheric body is a living, vibrant and beautiful expression of the basic energy which has ever sought to use it. They are, however, energies which are dedicated to divine and not to material living, and are clear, pure and radiant; their central point of light is of such a brilliance that the ordinary eye of man can scarcely register it. At this point it must be remembered that though there are seven of these points, one at the centre of each lotus, [171] there are only three types of such "jewels in the lotus" because the Monad expresses only the three major aspects of divinity, or the three major rays.

2. The Related Energies. This expression has reference to what have been called the "petals" of the lotus: with these differentiations of the various energies I seek not here to deal; too much emphasis has ever been laid upon them both by oriental and occidental writers; there is far too much curiosity about the number of petals in any particular centre, about their arrangement and about their colouring and quality. If these matters interest you, you can search in the standard books for this information, remembering as you garner the proffered information that you are not in a position to prove its accuracy; its usefulness, therefore, to you is highly problematical. I write this for real students and for those who seek to live the life of the spirit; the information which theorists seek is amply provided for both by me and many other exponents of the technicalities of the Ageless Wisdom.

All I would remark is that as the point in the centre is the point of life and the permanent, persistent Eternal ONE, so the related energies or petals are indicative of the state of consciousness which that Eternal One is able—at any stated point in time and space—to express. This may be the relatively undeveloped state of consciousness of the savage, the consciousness of the average man or the highly developed consciousness of the initiate up to the third degree, or the still more vibrant awareness of the initiate of still higher grades. It is ever concerned with CONSCIOUSNESS; only the point at the centre is concerned with the first or life aspect; the petals concern the second or the consciousness aspect, and this must be most carefully borne in mind.

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The state of the consciousness is ever indicated by the size, the colour and the activity of the energies which compose the petals of the lotus; their unfoldment and their development is conditioned by the governing rays, as well as by the age and the length of the soul's expression. The extent and the nature of the relative "brightness" is also conditioned by the point of focus in any particular life, as well as by the trend of the thinking of the soul which is in incarnation; it must be remembered here that "energy follows thought." The natural focus or point of polarisation is at times most definitely offset by a man's line of thought (whatever that may currently be) or by the fact that he is living, consciously or unconsciously, the life of every day. An instance of this can be found in the fact that a disciple's natural focus might be the solar plexus centre, but because of his fixed and determined thought, the energy which he wields can be directed to one of the centres above the diaphragm, thus producing a temporary atrophying of the centre below the diaphragm and the consequent stimulation of that which lies above that dividing line. Thus are the needed changes made.

When the cycle of evolution is nearing its close and the initiate-disciple has well-nigh run his course, the energies are all fully developed, active and vibrant, and are therefore consciously used as essential aspects of the initiate's contact mechanism. This is often forgotten and the emphasis of the student's thinking is laid upon the centres as expressions of his natural unfoldment, whereas that is of relatively secondary importance. The centres are, in reality, focal points through which energy can be distributed, under skilled direction, in order to make a needed impact upon those centres or individuals which the disciple seeks to aid. These impacts can be stimulated or vitalised at need, or they can be deliberately [173] destructive, thus aiding in the liberation from substance or matter of the one to be aided.

It is high time that students paid attention to the service angle of the centres, and to the focussing and the use of energy in service. It is here that the knowledge of the number of the petals which form a centre is involved, because this knowledge indicates the number of the energies which are available for service, i.e., two energies, twelve energies, sixteen energies, and so forth. No attention has hitherto been paid to this important point, but it embodies the practical use of the new occultism in the coming New Age. The oriental symbols which are often superimposed upon the illustrations of the centres should now be discontinued, because they convey no real use to the occidental mind.

3. The Sphere of Radiation. This obviously concerns the radius of influence or the outgoing vibratory effect of the centres, as they are gradually and slowly brought into activity. These centres, or their vibrations, are in reality what creates or constitutes the so-called aura of the human being, even though that aura is frequently confused with the health aura. Instead of the word "frequently" I had almost said "usually," because that would be more definitely correct. It is the etheric body which indicates and conditions the aura, which is presumed to demonstrate what the personality is, emotionally and mentally, and (occasionally) what is indicated of soul control. This is not a false premise, and I would have you register this fact. It is, however, excessively limited in its import, because the aura is in reality indicative of the subject's centres. From the study of this aura certain things can be ascertained:

a. Whether the development is above or below the diaphragm.

b. Whether the centres are undeveloped or developed.

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c. Whether the nature of the controlling rays is adequately clear.

d. Whether the point at the centre and the petals of the lotus are controlled, or whether a balance is being achieved.

e. Whether the personality is outgoing, and is therefore in a state of livingness, or whether a withdrawing is taking place due to introspection and self-centredness, or to the slow oncoming of the death process.

f. Whether the personality or the soul is in control, and whether, therefore, a struggle between the two is going on.

You can see, therefore, how revealing the aura can be to the individual who has the ability to read it with accuracy, and how thankful you should be that such a capacity is relatively rare, or is in the possession of an Initiate or of a Master Whose nature is LOVE.

The "sphere of radiation" is a potent instrument in service, and its extent and purity of contact should he cultivated by the pledged disciple. There is true occult teaching in the statement in The New Testament that "the shadow of Peter passing by healed." His aura was of such a nature that it had a beneficent effect wherever and whenever it touched or contacted those in his environment. The control of the Christ over His aura was such that "He knew when virtue had gone out of Him"—He knew, therefore, that healing energies had poured through one of His centres to a needy person or group of persons. It is the aura, and its potency of attraction, and its stability, which also holds a group together, which also keeps an audience listening, and which makes an individual of importance along some definite [175] line of approach to his fellowmen. The "sphere of radiation" is easily determined by those who seek it out and who watch the effect of the radiation upon people in their community and environment. One highly emotional person, working through an overdeveloped and uncontrolled solar plexus centre, can wreck a home or an institution. I give this as an illustration. One radiant, creative life, consciously using the heart or the throat centres, can carry inspiration to hundreds. These are points well worth careful consideration. You must, however, bear in mind that these centres are brought into activity by the cultivation of certain major virtues, and not by meditation or concentration upon the centres. They are brought automatically into the needed radiatory condition by right living, high thinking and loving activity. These virtues may seem to you dull and uninteresting, but they are most potent and scientifically effective in bringing the centres into the desired radiatory activity. When the task is done, and when all the centres are living spheres of outgoing, radiatory activity, they swing into each others' orbit so that the initiate becomes a centre of living light and not a composite of seven radiant centres. Think on this.

4. The Central Triangle of Energies. This central triangle indicates unmistakably the three rays which condition a man's "periodical vehicles," as H.P.B. expresses it. These are: the monadic ray, the soul ray and the personality ray. To the watching and attentive Master it is also apparent which ray is the controlling ray, but this is not possible to anyone below the grade of Master. Disciples and other onlookers must form their conclusions from the "nature of the sphere of radiation." An element of error can creep in at this point, which is not possible to a Master; it must, however, be remembered that until the sixth Initiation of Decision, "the Monad guards two secrets, but loses three [176] when it takes control and the soul fades out." This, I may not further elucidate.

I have here given a somewhat new slant or picture of the centres. It is one of great value to students could they but realise it, because it is not truly in line with the information given to them in the occult books. An understanding of what I have said will lead the earnest student to a more practical application of his attitude to the centres, and also to a fixed endeavour to make his sphere of radiatory activity more useful to his fellowmen. The reason for this will be that his attitude will express the quality of the subjective spirit and not the quality—hitherto rampant—of objective matter. Forget not that the etheric body is a material and substantial body, and is therefore an integral part of the physical plane; forget not that it is intended, first of all, to carry the energies of the emotional and of the mental plane in the unconscious experimental stage of incarnation; that it is also intended to carry the threefold energies of the soul in the stage of consciously gaining experience; and that also, as the antahkarana is built, it is intended to carry the energies of the Monad in the stage of consciously expressed divinity. See you, therefore, the beauty of the spiritual process, and the planned aid given to the sons of men at all stages of their return to the centre from whence they came?

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V. THE NATURE OF SPACE

Certain wide generalisations anent the etheric body should be recalled at this point. The existence of an etheric body in relation to all tangible and exoteric forms is accepted today by many scientific schools; nevertheless the original teaching has been amended in order to bring it into line with the usual theories of energy and its forms of expression. Recognition is given today, by thinkers, to the factual nature of energy (and I am using that word "factual" most advisedly); energy is now regarded as all that IS; manifestation is the manifestation of a sea of energies, some of which are built into forms, others constitute the medium in which those forms live and move and have their being, and still others are in process of animating both the forms and their environing substantial media. It must also be remembered that forms exist within forms; this is the basis of the symbolism which is to be found in the intricate carved ivory balls of the Chinese craftsmen where ball within ball is to be discovered, all elaborately carved and all free and yet confined. You—as you sit in your room—are a form within a form; that room is itself a form within a house, and that house (another form) is probably one of many similar houses, placed the one on top of another or else side by side, and together composing a still larger form. Yet all these diverse forms are composed of tangible substance which—when coordinated and brought together by some recognised design or idea in the mind of some thinker—creates a material form. This tangible substance is composed of living energies, vibrating in relation to each other, yet owning their own quality and their own [178] qualified life. I dealt with much of this in A Treatise on Cosmic Fire and you would find it profitable to reread what I there said. I will not repeat it here as I am seeking a different approach.

It might be profitable to point out that the entire universe is etheric and vital in nature and of an extension beyond the grasp of the greatest mind of the age, mounting into more than astronomical figures—if that statement even conveys sense to your minds. This extent cannot be computed, even in terms of light years; this cosmic etheric area is the field of untold energies and the basis of all astrological computations; it is the playground of all historical cycles—cosmic, systemic and planetary—and is related to the constellations, to the worlds of suns, to the most distant stars and to the numerous recognised universes, as well as to our own solar system, to the many planets, and to that planet upon which and in which we move and live and have our being, as well as to the smallest form of life known to science and perhaps covered by the meaningless term "an atom." All are found existing in Space—Space is etheric in nature and—so we are told in the occult science—Space is an Entity. The glory of man lies in the fact that he is aware of space and can imagine this space as the field of divine living activity, full of active intelligent forms, each placed in the etheric body of this unknown Entity, each related to each other through the potency which not only holds them in being but which preserves their position in relation to each other; yet each of these differentiated forms possesses its own differentiated life, its own unique quality or integral colouring, and its own specific and peculiar form of consciousness.

This etheric body—vast and unknown as it is, as to its extent—is nevertheless limited in nature and static (relatively speaking) in capacity; it preserves a set form, a form [179] of which we know absolutely nothing, but which is the etheric form of the Unknown Entity. To this form the esoteric science gives the name of SPACE; it is the fixed area in which every form, from a universe to an atom, finds its location.

We speak at times of an expanding universe; what we really mean is an expanding consciousness, for this etheric body of the Entity, Space, is the recipient of many types of informing and penetrating energies, and it is also the field for the intelligent activity of the indwelling Lives of the Universe, of the many constellations, of the distant stars, of our solar system, of the planets within the system, and of all that constitutes the sum total of these separated living forms. The factor which relates them is consciousness and nothing else, and the field of conscious awareness is created through the interplay of all living intelligent forms within the area of the etheric body of that great Life which we call SPACE.

Every form within the etheric body is like a centre in a planet or in the human body, and the resemblance—based upon what I gave you herein in relation to the human centres—is correct and recognisable.

Each form (because it constitutes an aggregated area of substantial lives or atoms) is a centre within the etheric body of the form of which it is a constituent part. It has, as the basis of its existence, a living dynamic point which integrates the form and preserves it in essential being. This form or centre—large or small, a man or an atom of substance—is related to all other forms and expressing energies in the environing space, and is automatically receptive to some, and repudiates others through the process of non-recognition; it relays or transmits other energies, radiating from other forms, and it thus becomes in its turn an impressing agent. You see, therefore, where differentiated truths approach each other and blend, forcing us to use the [180] same terminologies in order to express the same factual truths or ideas.

Again, each point of life within a centre has its own sphere of radiation or its own extending field of influence; this field is necessarily dependent upon the type and the nature of the indwelling Consciousness. It is this magnetic interplay between the many vast centres of energy in space which is the basis of all astronomical relationships—between universes, solar systems and planets. Bear in mind, however, that it is the CONSCIOUSNESS aspect which renders the form magnetic, receptive, repudiating and transmitting; this consciousness differs according to the nature of the entity which informs or works through a centre, great or small. Bear in mind also that the life which pours through all centres and which animates the whole of space is the life of an Entity; it is, therefore, the same life in all forms, limited in time and space by the intention, the wish, the form and the quality of the indwelling consciousness: the types of consciousness are many and diverse, yet life remains ever the same and indivisible, for it is the ONE LIFE.

The sphere of radiation is conditioned always by the point of evolution of the life within the form; the correlating, integrating factor, relating centre to centre, is life itself; life establishes contact; livingness is the basis of every relation, even if this is not immediately apparent to you; consciousness qualifies the contact and colours the radiation. Thus again we are returned to the same fundamental triplicity to which I gave the names of Life, Quality, Appearance in an earlier book. [xiv]*  A form is therefore a centre of life within some aspect of the etheric body of the Entity, Space, where a living animated existence, such as that of a planet, is concerned. The same is true also of all lesser forms, such as those found upon and within a plane.

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This centre has within it a point of life and is related to all surrounding energies; it has its own sphere of radiation or of influence which is dependent upon the nature or strength of its consciousness and upon the dynamic conditioning factor of the ensouling entity's thought life. These are points worthy of your most careful consideration. Finally, every centre has its central triangle of energies; one of these energies expresses the ensouling life of the form; another expresses the quality of its consciousness, whilst the third—the dynamic, integrating life which holds form and consciousness together in one expressive livingness—conditions the radiation of the form, its responsiveness or non-responsiveness to the environing energies and the general nature of the informing life, plus its creative ability.

Much that I have given you here will serve to elucidate that which I have written upon esoteric astrology; [xv]* it will give you the key to that science of relationships which is essentially the key to astrology and also to the science of Laya Yoga. This latter science has (fortunately for the Aryan race) fallen into disrepute since later Atlantean days; it will, however, be restored and used upon a higher turn of the spiral, during the next five hundred years. When correctly and rightly restored, its emphasis will not be upon the nature of the centre involved, but upon the quality of the consciousness which distinguishes any particular centre and which will then necessarily condition its sphere of radiation. Under the great Law of Correspondences, all that I have here given or indicated can be applied by the student to all forms of life: to a universe, to a solar system, to a planet, to a human being, to any subhuman form and to the tiniest atom of substance (whatever you may mean by that last term!).

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VI. THE PLANETARY LIFE — A CENTRE IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM

We shall now endeavour to apply whatever knowledge is available to you at this time in relation to the planetary Life, expressing itself as a centre in the solar system. We shall also study its secondary expression through the medium of three major centres: Shamballa, the Hierarchy, and Humanity.

The fundamental concept of hylozoism underlies all the esoteric teaching upon the theme of manifesting life. All forms are composed of many forms, and all forms—aggregated or single in nature—are the expression of an indwelling or ensouling life. The fusion of life with living substance produces another aspect of expression: that of consciousness. This consciousness varies according to the natural receptivity of the form, according to its point in evolution, and to its position also in the great chain of Hierarchy.

However, dwarfing every other concept, is the concept of life itself. There is—as far as we have ever been permitted to know—only one Life, expressing itself as Being, as responsive consciousness, and as material appearance. That One Life knows itself (if such a term can be used) as the will-to-be, the will-to-good, and the will-to-know. It will be obvious to you that these are only terms or methods organised to convey a better picture than heretofore.

This is also a brief preamble to another statement, which can be worded as follows: The planetary Logos, the One in Whom we live and move and have our being, is the informing, ensouling life of this planet, the Earth; it is His life which integrates the planet as a whole, and His life which pours through all forms—great or small—which, [183] in their aggregate, constitute the planetary form. Preserve, therefore, in your conscious imagination and by means of the innate symbol-making faculty which all men possess, the concept of our planet as a great lotus composed of many interweaving energies, located within the greater form of the solar system which is, as we know, esoterically portrayed as a twelve-petalled lotus. This lotus, the Earth, is responsive to the many entering energies with which I dealt at some length in my book upon Esoteric Astrology. [xvi]*

At the heart of this vast sea of energies is to be found that cosmic Consciousness to Whom we give the name of Sanat Kumara, the Lord of the World, the Ancient of Days. It is His Will-to-Be which brought His manifested form into the tangible arena of life; it is His Will-to-Good which activates the Law of Evolution and carries His Form, with the myriad lesser forms of which it is composed, on to the ultimate glory which He alone visions and knows. It is His consciousness and His sensitive response to all forms and to all states of being and to all possible impacts and contacts which guarantees the developing consciousness of all the many lives within or upon this Earth of ours.

This great Centre of Existence works through a triangle of energies or through lesser centres, each of which is brought into active expression by one of the three major Rays or Energies. The Centre which is created by the Ray of Will or Power is called Shamballa and its major activity is bequeathing, distributing and circulating the basic principle of life itself to every form which is held within the planetary ring-pass-not of the planetary Life or Logos. This energy is the dynamic incentive at the heart of every form and the sustained expression of the intention of Sanat Kumara—an intention working out as the planetary Purpose which is known only to Him.

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The second Centre is created by the Ray of Love-Wisdom; this is the basic energy which brought into being the entire manifested universe, for it is the energy of the Builder Aspect. To it we give—as far as humanity is concerned—the name of Hierarchy, for it is the controlling factor of the great chain of Hierarchy. The prime activity of this Centre is related to the unfolding consciousness of the planet, and therefore of all forms of life within or upon the planet; it is not related to the life aspect in any sense.

The task of the "units of Energy" who constitute the personnel of this Centre is to awaken and arouse the sense of awareness and of consciousness which is sensitive in its response to the life within all forms. Just as the basic mode of activity in and through Shamballa could be called the Science of Life or of dynamic livingness, so the basic science by means of which the Hierarchy works could be called the Science of Relationships. Consciousness is not only the sense of identity or of self-awareness, but it concerns also the sense of relation of that recognised self or the "I" to all other selves. This consciousness is progressively developed, and the Members of this second Centre, the Hierarchy, have the major and important task, in this particular solar systemic cycle, of bringing all the units in each kingdom of nature to an understanding of place, position, responsibility and relationships. This probably sounds entirely meaningless in relation to those conditions where the units of life are, for instance, in the vegetable or the animal kingdom, but a glimmering of understanding may come when you remember that the seed or germ of all states of consciousness is latent in every form, and of this the instinct to perpetuate and the instinct to mate are the major incubating areas.

The third Centre is that of the Human Kingdom, which is brought into being by means of the energy of the third [185] Ray of Active Intelligence. Its major function is intelligent creation; but it has nevertheless a secondary activity which is to relate the second and the third Centres to each other and to assume progressive control of the subhuman kingdoms and relate them to each other. This secondary function is only now assuming proportions which can be recognised and noted.

Central Triangle of Energies

Each of these three Centres has a governing and controlling Triangle or central Triangle of Energies. In relation to Shamballa, this Triangle is composed of the three Buddhas of Activity Who represent conscious intelligent life, conscious, intelligent and active wisdom, and conscious, intelligent and active creation.

In connection with the Hierarchy, the central Triangle is composed of the Manu, representing loving intelligent life, the Christ, representing loving intelligent consciousness, and the Mahachohan, representing loving intelligent activity, and therefore between Them representing every phase of group livingness, group expression and group action; these qualities focus through the Mahachohan, primarily because He is the Lord of Civilisation and the civilisations of humanity represent progressive growth and unfoldment.

Only in the final root-race of men upon our planet will the essential central Triangle make its appearance and function openly in the third planetary Centre, that of Humanity. Men are not yet ready for this, but the areas of conscious creative activity, out of which this triangle of functioning embodied energies will emerge, is already in preparation. One point of this future triangle will emerge out of the field of world governments, of politics and of statesmanship; another will appear out of the world religions, and a third out of the general field of world economics and finance. Today no such men of spiritual will, of spiritual love and of [186] spiritual intelligence are to be found upon Earth; even if they did emerge in these three fields of expression they could do little good, for the sense of recognition and of responsibility is as yet inadequately developed; later, they will appear and will then openly relate the department of the Manu to that of world government, the department of the Christ to that of the world religions, and the department of the Lord of Civilisation to that of the social and financial order. That time will surely come, but it will come only after the externalisation of the Hierarchy and its open functioning upon the physical plane. Then, some senior disciples from each of the three hierarchical departments will appear and will attempt the experiment of this centralising and embodiment of the three qualities of the central Triangle. They will then discover, by direct action, when and if mankind is ready for such an experiment of direct control and if it has developed the needed sense of responsibility—a responsibility which will produce cooperation.

All these three Centres can therefore be depicted in the following manner: with the completed circle of the entire energy form, with the central triangle of energies carrying the qualities of the three major rays, and then the point at the centre which stands for the

dynamic embodied Life. In connection with Shamballa, that point is Sanat Kumara Himself; when the right time comes (though the hour is not yet) He will place His Representatives as the central points in both the Hierarchy and in Humanity. For this relatively distant event the doctrine or the theory of Avatars, of Mediators or of Inter-Mediaries is preparing the way, thus enabling men to think in these representative and inclusive terms. Not even in the Hierarchy is the time yet [187] ripe for the "residence in state of the divine Representative." Each year, the Buddha comes and carries the force of Sanat Kumara to the Hierarchy but—He cannot stay. The "units of energy," the Members of the Hierarchy, cannot bear for long the strong quality of the incoming vibration, except after due preparation and in group form, and then only for a few scant minutes; nevertheless the "period of dynamic potency" is being prolonged during this century from one day to five; the next century may see an even longer period of registration instituted.

At the close of the age, the three major Centres will be in complete, unified and synchronised activity, with Sanat Kumara in Shamballa overshadowing and informing His Representatives in the hierarchical and human Centres; then the central Triangle in each Centre will not be only actively functioning, but they will be working together in the closest rapport, thus forming symbolically a "Star with nine points, ever revolving"; then the massed energies of the three major Centres will dominate the other four centres, controlling the manifestation of the Life Expression in all the kingdoms of nature.

When one comes to the consideration of the sphere of radiation of these three major Centres, it is interesting to note that, at this time and in this present world cycle, the most potent radiation and the widest range of influence is that of the Hierarchy. Apart from "giving life" to all forms upon and within the planet, the influence or radiation of Shamballa is definitely and consciously restricted, until such time as the Hierarchy and Humanity can respond constructively. It is present, needless to say, and evokes response from those able to swing within its sphere of radiation; but it is felt that as yet there are too many forms of expression which could not react correctly to the work of the "Destroyer of forms," which is the most potent [188] aspect of this first ray centre and the one which manifests first, because its work must be accomplished before the two other aspects of its potency can function rightly. The centre called humanity has as yet an inadequate radiation because of its—at present—inadequate development; its sphere of influence is relatively limited, though men are beginning to work outward in the direction of the subhuman kingdoms and to attract more forcefully the kingdom of souls than heretofore. The Hierarchy has, however, no interior restrictions such as are consciously and deliberately imposed upon itself by Shamballa or which are unconsciously imposed by humanity; any blocking of the hierarchical radiation (if I may use such a term) will come from the forms on which the impact of its radiation is sought, but the outgoing influence of the central Triangle of the Hierarchy is unique and far-reaching.

All that we have here been considering takes place within the etheric body of the planet, for all these centres exist etherically, and only etherically, and are not affected by the fact that the "units of energy" in Shamballa or in the Hierarchy may be functioning in physical vehicles. Some are and some are not. The conditioning Lives in both these Centres work entirely through etheric means, wielding and controlling energies; the Human Centre, with its "units of energy" works largely at present upon purely physical levels or in the medium of that type of substance which we call "material"; men work with outer forms, with the tangible elements and with material factors. The "units" in the other Centres work with substance and not with matter. This is an interesting and vital distinction. The Hierarchy is existent upon the buddhic plane, which is the first of the cosmic ethers, and it works from there, impressing mental matter. Shamballa works on the levels of the three highest ethers whilst Humanity works primarily in the three worlds [189] of the dense cosmic physical plane. The New Group of World Servers has in it "units of energy" who can work both with matter and with substance.

There is here a most interesting distinction and one that is seldom grasped. Esoterically speaking, the word "matter" or material is given to all forms in the three worlds; and though the average human being finds it difficult to understand that the medium in which the mental processes take place and that of which all thoughtforms are made is matter from the spiritual angle, yet so it is; substance—technically speaking and esoterically understood—is in reality cosmic etheric matter, or that of which the four higher planes of our seven planes are composed. From the human angle, ability to work with and in the cosmic etheric substance demonstrates first of all when the abstract mind awakens and begins to impress the concrete mind; an intuition is an idea clothed in etheric substance, and the moment a man becomes responsive to those ideas, he can begin to master the techniques of etheric control. All this is, in reality, an aspect of the great creative process: ideas, emanating from the buddhic levels of being (the first or lowest cosmic ether) must be clothed in matter of the abstract levels of the mental plane; then they must be clothed in matter of the concrete mental plane; later, with desire matter, and finally (if they live so long) they assume physical form. An idea which comes from the intuitive levels of the divine consciousness is a true idea. It is noted or apprehended by the man who has, within his equipment, substance of the same quality—for it is the magnetic relation between the man and the idea which has made its apprehension possible. In the great creative process he must give form to the idea, if he possibly can, and thus the creative artist or the creative humanitarian comes into being and the divine creative intention is thereby aided. [190] Ideas can, however, be stillborn and abortive, and thus fail to arrive at manifestation.

The Sequence of Inter-Related Triangles

The student is well aware that the three major Centres have their correspondences in the human etheric body and that each of them is related to its higher correspondence and can thus be "impressed" or affected and awakened by the corresponding higher agent. It might be stated that:

1. Energy from the planetary centre, Shamballa, utilises the head centre, the thousand petalled lotus, when the man is adequately developed. This centre is the agent of the divine will within the life of the spiritual man, working through the Spiritual Triad. It is only actively useful when the antahkarana is constructed or in process of construction.

2. Energy from the planetary centre, the Hierarchy, utilises the heart centre. This centre is the agent of divine love (expressing basically the will-to-good) working through the soul of the individual aspirant or disciple; this becomes possible when contact with the soul has been attained in some measure and the aspirant is on the way to become a soul-infused personality.

3. Energy from the third planetary centre, Humanity, utilises the throat centre, working through the integrated personality, and therefore only when a relatively high degree of evolutionary unfoldment has been attained. The throat centre only becomes creatively and spiritually active when the lower nature has been to some degree subordinated to idealistic aspiration: this aspiration need not be one that is usually regarded as spiritual and religious by the orthodox and therefore imprisoned thinker. It must, however, be one of which the whole integrated man [191] is the instrument and which will be of such a large nature that it will call all his creative faculty into expression.

In this solar system, the heart centre is the first usually to be awakened and active; as soon as there is life in that centre and a measure of activity, the other two major centres can begin to awaken. The correspondence to this can be seen in the fact that the Hierarchy is the mediating or middle factor between the planetary head and throat centres, between Shamballa and Humanity. That is why the emphasis is laid upon the heart aspect in all the teachings.

There are two centres which are regarded as "receptive and distributing agents" in an unique manner:

1. The Ajna Centre (the centre between the eyebrows) works in connection with the three major centres but mainly, at this stage of human development, as the distributor of soul force and of spiritual energy as received from the heart and throat centres.

2. The Solar Plexus Centre works in connection with the sacral centre and with the centre at the base of the spine, the centre of life; it works also with all subsidiary centres below the diaphragm, gathering and transmuting their energies and transmitting "that which has been purified" into the higher major centre.

It might here be added that the will-to-be is, from one angle, the energy of immortality; it is the energy which pours into and works through the head centre, whilst the will-to-live demonstrates as the fundamental instinct of self-preservation and is to be found positively focussed in the centre at the base of the spine. The latter is related to the personality [192] and is closely allied to desire, and therefore to the solar plexus centre; there is a direct line of hitherto unrecognised energy between the lowest centre in the spine and the solar plexus; the other is related to the divine-spiritual man and is closely allied to the soul, and therefore to the heart centre.

Man’s Integral Relationship and Creative Function Within the Whole

The intricacy of all these relationships is most difficult for the neophyte to grasp, and this difficulty is further increased by the many and varying stages of development, of ray distinctions, and also by the numerous emphases or principles which are laid upon vehicles, upon differing planes and planetary levels of consciousness and of existence. With all this the student is not asked to deal. The factors of importance which he should attempt to realise and upon which he can construct the temple of his life and his current mode of living are simply the following—and they are the same for each and all, no matter what his ray or his point in evolution may be:

1. Man's etheric body is an integral part of the planetary etheric body and is responsive to the free distribution of the many circulating energies.

2. The three periodical vehicles which compose the expression of the human being and which make him what he is (the Monad, the Soul, and the Personality) are each related to the three planetary centres: Shamballa, the Hierarchy, and Humanity, and therefore to each of man's individual three major centres.

3. The three centres in the human being which are to be found above the diaphragm (the head, the heart and the throat centres) are the organs of reception for energies coming from the three planetary centres.

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4. The agent for the distribution of the energies received via the head, the heart and the throat centres is the ajna centre between the eyebrows.

5. The agent for the purification, transmutation and transmission of the energies of all centres below the diaphragm is the solar plexus centre. It is this centre through which the majority of human beings are at this time working. It is the major controlling centre, both for the reception and the distribution of energies, until such time as the heart centre is awakening and beginning to control the personality.

There is necessarily much more to be said anent this subject of the major planetary and human centres, but I have here given the student enough upon which to ponder (I had almost said upon which to puzzle). The one important thing to be borne in mind is the relationship between the centres, i.e.:

1. Between the centres below the diaphragm and those above it.

2. Between the three major centres with each other.

3. Between the three major centres and the three planetary centres.

All of this must be thought of in terms of circulating and freely moving energies, distributing themselves throughout the etheric body of the planet (and therefore through the human etheric body) under the essential purpose of Shamballa and under the direction of the Hierarchy.

It is the theme of relationship therefore, which is the basic pattern in the evolutionary process of unfoldment in this, the second solar system (of three systems) which is [194] that of the Son, wherein the quality of the second divine aspect, Love, is being perfected. In this perfecting process man participates unconsciously at first, during the long cycle of evolutionary unfoldment under the Law of Necessity; but when he becomes the aspirant and takes the first steps upon the path towards spiritual maturity, he begins to play a crucial role which he maintains until he attains spiritual liberation and himself becomes a member of the Hierarchy, of the fifth or spiritual kingdom, through perfected service in the fourth or the human kingdom.

The relationship between the fourth and the fifth kingdoms is being continually increased. bringing new powers and more vital livingness into the human family which is registered by its most advanced members consciously. The distribution of energies from the Hierarchy constitutes a very interesting sequence, some of which can be indicated briefly. As we know the Hierarchy is the ashram of the Lord of Love, the Christ; we also know that this greater Ashram is constituted of the seven Ray Ashrams, each having at its centre a Chohan or a Master of the Wisdom; each of the seven Ashrams has connected with it one or more subsidiary Ashrams.

An Ashram is an emanating source of hierarchical impression upon the world. Its "impulsive energies" and its inciting forces are directed toward the expansion of the human consciousness, through the magnetic lives of the group members as they carry on their duties, obligations and responsibilities in the outer world: it is aided also by the steady vibratory activity of the members of the Ashram who are not in physical incarnation and by the united clear thinking and convinced awareness of the entire Ashram. Beginners, such as are most aspirants (though not all), are usually engrossed with the fact of the Ashram. Trained disciples are engrossed with the work to be done, and the [195] Ashram—as an Ashram—plays little part in their thinking; they are so preoccupied with the task ahead and with the need of humanity and of these to be served that they seldom think of the Ashram or of the Master at its centre. They are an integral part of the ashramic consciousness and their conscious occupation is called, in the ancient writings, "the emanating of that which flows through them, the teaching of the doctrine of the heart which is the force of truth itself, the radiating of the light of life, borne upon the stream to which the non-initiate gives the name, `the light of love'."

The members of the Ashram constitute a united channel for the new energies which are, at this time, entering the world; these energies pour dynamically through the Ashram out into the world of men; they stream with potency through the Master at the heart of the Ashram; they move with "luminous speed" throughout the inner circle; they are stepped down by those who constitute the outer circle, and this is right and good; they are delayed by the beginner and the new disciple from breaking forth into the world of men, and this is not so good. They are delayed because the new disciple has turned his back upon the world of men and his eyes are fastened upon the inner goal and not upon the outer service; they remain fixed upon the Master and His senior disciples and workers, and not upon the mass of human need.