CHAPTER VII - The Processes of Integration
In considering this intelligently utilised event as it is employed by the soul, functioning consciously in the three worlds, we shall find it helpful to consider it under two main headings:
First: The processes whereby the cycle of incarnation is brought to an end through the complete integration of soul and personality. This we will approach from three points of view:
The significance of integration.
The state of mind of the soul.
The elimination of the thoughtform of the personality.
Second: The results of this:
Within the Ashram of the Master, as far as the disciple is concerned.
In the mode whereby the liberated disciple can now create a body for physical plane contact and for service in the three worlds—this time not under the Law of Necessity but under the Law of Service, as understood by the initiate.
You will by now have realised that we have discussed the fact of death as it has affected the physical body (a most  familiar happening) and also the astral or mental sheaths—those aggregations of conditioned energy with which we are not so objectively familiar but which even psychology admits exist and which we believe must disintegrate or disappear with the death of the physical body. Has it, however, occurred to you that the major aspect of death with which a human being is ultimately concerned is the death of the personality? I am not here speaking in abstract terms, as do all esotericists when they work at the negation of quality or of the qualities which characterise the personal self. They speak of "killing out" this or that quality, of completely suppressing the "lower self," and similar phrases. Here I am speaking of the literal destruction, dissolution, dissipation or final dispersal of that beloved and well-known personal self.
It must be borne in mind that the life of a personality falls into the following stages:
1. Its slow and gradual construction over a long period of time. For many cycles of incarnations, a man is not a personality, he is just a member of the mass.
2. The conscious identification of the soul with the personality, this stage is practically nonexistent. The aspect of the soul which is concealed within the sheaths is for a long, long period dominated by the life of those sheaths only making its presence felt through what is called "the voice of conscience." However, as time goes on, the active intelligent life of the person is gradually enhanced and coordinated by the energy which streams from the knowledge petals of the egoic lotus, or from the intelligent perceptive nature of the soul on its own plane. This produces eventually the integration of the three lower sheaths into one functioning whole. The man is then a personality.
3. The personality life of the now coordinated individual persists for a large number of lives, and also falls into three phases:
a. The phase of a dominant aggressive personality life, basically conditioned by its ray type, selfish in nature and very individualistic.
b. A transitional phase wherein a conflict rages between personality and soul. The soul begins to seek liberation from form life and yet—in the last analysis—the personality is dependent upon the life principle, conferred by the soul. Wording it otherwise, the conflict between the soul ray and the personality ray starts and the war is on between two focussed aspects of energy. This conflict terminates at the third initiation.
c. The control by the soul is the final phase, leading, to the death and destruction of the personality. This death begins when the personality, the Dweller on the Threshold, stands before the Angel of the Presence. The light of the solar Angel then obliterates the light of matter.
The "control" phase is conditioned by the complete identification of the personality with the soul; this is a reversal of the previous identification of the soul with the personality. This also is what we mean when speaking of the integration of these two; the two are now one. It was of this phase that St. Paul was speaking when he referred (in the Epistle to the Ephesians) to Christ making "out of two, one new man." It is primarily the phase of the final stages of the Probationary Path (where the work consciously begins) and its carrying forward to completion upon the Path of Discipleship. It is the stage of the practical and successful server; it is that wherein the entire focus  and output of the life of the man is dedicated to the fulfillment of hierarchical intent. The man begins to work on and from levels not included in the three worlds of ordinary evolution, but which nevertheless have their effects and their planned objectives within those three worlds.
The Significance of Integration
The emphasis laid by most teachers and aspirants is upon the integration of the personality and its correct orientation towards the world of spiritual values. It should be remembered that this is an earlier stage and rightly so. The integration of the mind, the emotional nature and the brain is the major characteristic of all advanced human beings—the bad, the very bad, the good and the very good. It is, however, no sign of spiritual life, and is frequently quite the reverse. A "Hitler" or an ambitious person with a deeply selfish or cruelly directed life is a personality, with all the powers of his mind dedicated to evil purposes, with the emotional nature so constituted that it presents no obstacle to the furthering of these selfish intentions, and with a high-powered brain receptive to the plans and methods of the two vehicles, carrying out the behests of the personality.
I would point out that the majority of people are not personalities, no matter how glibly they may talk about their personalities. For example, the initial objective before the mass of aspirants and students is, first of all, to integrate the lower threefold man, so that they may become functioning personalities, prior to becoming functioning souls; the work is dedicated to the purpose of producing a conscious personality focus, whilst avoiding that cycle of incarnations wherein the personality is dedicated to lower and selfish ends. Students who are more advanced are dedicated to the purpose of producing a still higher integration of soul and  personality, leading to that final integration which brings in the highest aspect of all, that of monadic life.
There are in the world today many truly integrated personalities. These, because soul and personality are integrated, can tread the Path of Accepted Discipleship. This is a most hopeful development, if you could but realise its implications and significance, and the question arises as to how the others who are as yet only in the process of reorientation can develop an adequate personality integration. This they will never do if they overestimate themselves or depreciate themselves. Many are apt to regard themselves as personalities because of their natural self-will, or because they are occult students. They forget that an occult student is one who is in search of that which is hidden—in their case of that hidden, integrating thread which will enable them to blend the three bodies and thus truly merit the name of personality. Some of them cannot become personalities during this life, but they can develop the mental concept of its possibility and its nature; they need to remember that "as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." It is not waste of time, but a very necessary process and one through which every Member of the Hierarchy has passed.
Study and meditation combined are the factors which all aspirants should employ if they seek to produce this needed integration and a consequent life of service. Thus the aspirant can test out both his point of integration and the extent of the serving quality produced by this integration. If aspirants would study their physical plane life with care, they would discover that they are either working automatically in response to physical plane conventional ideas of goodwill or of being kind, or they are working emotionally because they like to help, they like to be liked, they like to relieve suffering (owing to their hatred of the discomfort which suffering brings to them), they believe in following  the steps of the Christ Who went about doing good, or because of a natural, deep-seated life tendency. This is a hopeful and finalising unfoldment.
Aspirants will eventually find out (when the physical and emotional phases of the integration are over) that there follows a phase of intelligent service, motivated in the first instance by mercy, then by conviction of its essentiality, then by a stage of definitely spiritual ambition, then by a submissive following of the example of the Hierarchy, and finally by the activity of the quality of pure love; this pure love increasingly expresses itself as the higher integration of soul and personality proceeds. All these phases of intention and of techniques are right in their own place, just as long as they have teaching value, and whilst the higher next phases remain vague and nebulous. They become wrong when they are perpetuated and carried on when the next stage is clearly seen but not followed. Ponder on this. It is of value to you to realise the true significance of these varying phases of integration, carried forward—as they are—under evolutionary law.
All these steps upon the way of integration lead to that culminating stage wherein the personality—rich in experience, powerful in expression, reoriented and dedicated—becomes simply the mediator of soul life between the Hierarchy and Humanity. Again—ponder on this.
The State of Mind of the Soul
And whilst all these phases, stages and realisations are taking place in the life of the personality, what is the attitude of the soul upon its own plane? A consideration of this involves, first of all, a recognition of the three aspects of mind which are to be found upon what we call the mental plane:
1. The lower concrete mind, which is the attitude of thought held by the tiny aspect of the soul which was initially "put down" into manifestation at the time of individualisation. This—during the long cycle of incarnations—has become increasingly sensitive to its overshadowing Self. This overshadowing Self says to its incarnated aspect: "Having pervaded this entire universe with a fragment of myself, I remain." The pull of that overshadowing "remaining Self" is what draws the little fragment back to its originating source.
2. The Son of Mind, the soul, the product of the thought of the Universal Mind, the thinking, perceiving, discriminating, analysing Identity or spiritual Entity. This aspect of the One Life is characterised by pure mind, pure reason, pure love, and pure will. A "Lord of Sacrifice" Who, through incarnating experience, integration and expression, has undertaken the task of redeeming matter, and of raising substance into Heaven! These are familiar truths and ancient platitudes, but they still remain largely theory to you. You can test their theoretical nature by asking yourself: What am I doing, as a soul (if I function as a soul at all), to raise my matter aspect, my three vehicles and the substance out of which they are made, on to higher planes of expression?
3. The higher abstract mind which is to the soul what the lowest aspect of the soul, embodied in the knowledge petals, is to the concrete mind. This abstract mind is the lowest aspect of the Spiritual Triad.
Once integration has taken place between the personality and the soul, then the soul—in its own body and nature and on its own plane—can begin to attend to a higher integration or linking relation which it must eventually bring about between itself and the Spiritual Triad. Accomplishment  upon a lower level ever makes possible accomplishment upon a higher. There is no true higher accomplishment until, step by step, the lower reflected aspect is mastered, used and recognised as an instrument for bringing about still higher activities.
The state of mind of the soul during the processes of lower integration can be briefly summarised as follows:
1. That of a complete disinterest during the earlier stages of the cycle of incarnation. Its "embedded aspect" (as it has been called) is quite adequate to the slow and tedious task of evolving the bodies, developing their characteristics and buying the bitter experience of blindness and ignorance. This period is by far the longest, and whilst it is proceeding the soul goes forward with its own life interest upon its own level of experience, upon its own ray and under the influence of the Master Who will eventually guide the thinking (through gladly accepted impression) of the developing personality. Forget not that this kingdom or this aggregate of souls is what the Christian calls the Kingdom of God and the occultist calls the spiritual Hierarchy of our planet. Remember also that the purpose of its aggregated life is to induce realisation in consciousness of the spiritual polarisation of the planetary LIFE.
2. As evolution proceeds, the three vehicles—now created and developed—become potent, and their vibration becomes strong enough to attract a measure of attention from the preoccupied soul. The first reaction is irritation. Occult irritation is not crossness, as human beings express it, but response to contact—a response which does not please. In other words, it is friction. You will, therefore, better understand the meaning of the statement that the last fetter which the Master casts off is  irritation. The personality no longer attracts attention; friction therefore ceases, and there is nothing left but a pure channel through which spiritual energy can pour. Irritation, as you understand it, takes place when your personal, self-will, self-esteem, ideas and plans are infringed upon by those of another person. It is not this form of irritation which the Master casts off.
The second reaction is that of a meditation process or the generation of power, later to be used in the three worlds to enhance soul energy within the form and to create the field of knowledge, peopled by the thoughtforms into which the personality will later venture. The soul is therefore preparing for its own reorientation towards Life and its expression in the three worlds, and not to the gaining of life experience.
3. When the personality becomes dominant, the soul introduces a new factor into the life of its reflection, the incarnating soul. It mobilises and focusses the energy of the soul ray, and by an act of the will brings it into direct contact with the ray of the personality. This has a reflex action on the rays of the threefold lower man, stimulating them, awakening them, and conditioning the etheric body so that the centres, through which the personality rays are pouring, and the head centre which is responsive to the soul ray, can become more active. The ajna centre, through which the personality works, intensifies its activity, and two things occur:
a. The personality life becomes increasingly potent and the man develops into an intense individual.
b. The head centre begins to exert an influence upon the ajna centre, and slowly and gradually upon the centre at the base of the spine. Self-will grows as do all the qualities.
4. The soul is now in what esotericists call "a process of reversal." This produces a great interest in its reflection in the three worlds, and three things then happen:
a. The lower concrete mind becomes subject to illumination from the soul.
b. The energy of the soul ray increasingly pours into the personality, intensifying its conflict.
c. The path of the man around the zodiac from Aries via Pisces to Taurus is reversed and he then proceeds anti-clockwise.
All these factors produce violent conflict upon the Probationary Path, which increases as the man steps upon the Path of Discipleship. The potency of the personality, dominant and being dominated, is that which induces an intense karmic activity. Events and circumstances pile fast and furiously into the experience of the disciple. His environment is of the highest quality available in the three worlds; his experience fluctuates between the extremes; he works off his karmic obligations and pays the penalty of past mistakes with great rapidity.
All this time, incarnation succeeds incarnation and the familiar process of death, intervening between cycles of experience, goes on. However, all the three deaths—physical, astral and mental—are carried out with a steadily awakening state of awareness, as the lower mind develops; the man no longer drifts—asleep and unknowing—out of the etheric, astral and mental vehicles, but each of them becomes as much an event as is physical death.
Finally the time comes when the disciple dies with deliberation and in full consciousness, and with real knowledge relinquishes his various vehicles. Steadily the soul takes control, and then the disciple brings about death through an act of the soul-will and knows exactly what he is doing.
The Elimination of the Personality Thoughtform
In dealing with this subject (and it can only be done very briefly) two things must be borne in mind:
1. That we are considering solely an idea in the mind of the soul and dealing with the basic fact of the illusion which has controlled the entire cycle of incarnation and so held the soul a prisoner to form. To the soul, the personality connotes two things.
a. The soul's capacity for identification with form; this is first of all realised by the soul when the personality is beginning to react to a measure of real integration.
b. An opportunity for initiation.
2. That the elimination of the thoughtform of the personality, which is consummated at the third initiation, is a great initiation for the soul on its own plane. For this reason, the third initiation is regarded as the first major initiation, since the two previous initiations have very little effect upon the soul and only affect the incarnated soul, the "fragment" of the whole.
These are facts which are little realised and seldom emphasised in any of the literature hitherto published. The emphasis up till now has been upon the initiations as they affect the disciple in the three worlds. But I am specifically dealing with the initiations as they affect or do not affect the soul, overshadowing its reflection, the personality, in the three worlds. What I have said, therefore, will have little meaning for the average reader.
From the angle of the personal self, regarding itself as the Dweller on the Threshold, the attitude or state of mind has been inadequately portrayed as one of complete obliteration in the light of the soul; the glory of the Presence, transmuted  by the Angel, is such that the personality completely disappears, with its demands and its aspirations. Naught is left but the shell, the sheath and the instrument through which the solar light can pour for the helping of humanity. This is true to a certain degree, but is only—in the last analysis—man's attempt to put into words the transmuting and the transfiguring effect of the third initiation, which cannot be done.
Infinitely more difficult is the attempt I am here making to depict the attitude and the reactions of the soul, the one self, the Master in the heart, as it recognises the stupendous fact of its own essential liberation and realises once and for all, that it is now incapable of responding in any way to lower vibrations of the three worlds, as transmitted to the soul by its instrument of contact, the personality form. That form is now incapable of transmission.
The second reaction of the soul, once this realisation has been focussed and admitted, is that—having achieved freedom—that freedom now conveys its own demands:
1. For a life of service in the three worlds, so familiar and now so completely transcended.
2. An overshadowing sense of outgoing love towards those who are, as yet, seeking liberation.
3. A recognition of the essential triangle which has now become the centre of the conceptual life of the soul:
The soul now vibrates between the two points or pairs of opposites and acts as an invocative and evocative centre.
None of the above realisations may be registered in the brain consciousness or in the mind of the illumined personality. Theoretically, some dim vision of the inherent possibilities may be sensed, but the consciousness is no longer that of the serving disciple in the three worlds, using mind, emotions and physical body to carry out behest and hierarchical intent, as far as may be. That has disappeared with the death of the personality consciousness. The consciousness is now that of the soul itself, aware of no separation, instinctively active, spiritually obsessed by the plans of the Kingdom of God, and completely free from the lure or the faintest control of matter-form; the soul is, however, still responsive to and immersed in substance-energy, and its higher correspondence is still functioning on the levels of the cosmic physical plane—the buddhic, atmic, monadic and logoic planes.
What then must take place if the life of the soul is to be full and complete and so thoroughly inclusive that the three worlds form part of its area of awareness and its field of service? The only way in which I can make clear to you what the soul must do after the third initiation is to sum it up in two ways:
First: The soul now becomes a conscious creator because the third aspect—developed and mastered through experience in the three worlds during the long cycle of incarnations—has reached a point of perfected activity. Putting it technically: the energy of the knowledge petals and the energy of the love petals are now so actively fused and blended that two of the inner petals, surrounding the jewel in the lotus, are no longer acting  as veils to that jewel. I am here speaking symbolically. Because of this happening, the death or the elimination of the personality is the first activity in the drama of conscious creation, and the first form created by the soul is a substitute for the personality. Thus an instrument for service in the three worlds is created. This time, however, it is an instrument with no life, no desire, no ambition and no power of thought of its own. It is only a sheath of substance, animated by soul life but—at the same time—responsive to and suited to the period, race and the environing conditions wherein the creating soul chooses to work. Think this statement out and emphasise the words "suited to."
Second. The soul then prepares itself for the coming fourth initiation. This is basically a monadic experience and results—as you know—in the disappearance or destruction of the soul vehicle or causal body, and the establishment, therefore, of a direct relation between the monad on its own plane and the newly created personality, via the antahkarana.
These two points are given to you for the first time in the sequential giving out of the occult teaching; hints have, however, prepared the way for these two facts. Information has also been given anent the mayavirupa through which the Master works and contacts the three worlds and which He deliberately creates in order to serve His purposes and plans. It is a definite substitute for the personality and can only be created when the old personality (built and developed during the cycle of incarnation) has been eliminated. I prefer the word "eliminated" to the word "destroyed." The structure—at the time of elimination—persists, but its separative life has gone.
If you will think clearly about this statement, you will see that a very complete integration is now possible. The personality life has been absorbed; the personality form is still left, but it persists without any real life of its own; this means that it can now be the recipient of energies and forces needed by the working initiate or Master in order to carry on the work or salvaging humanity. Students would find it of value to study the three "appearances of the Christ" as recorded in the Gospel story:
1. His transfigured appearance upon the Mount of Transfiguration. That episode depicts symbolically the radiant soul, and also the three vacated bodies of the personality, and hints also at a future building of a vehicle of manifestation. St. Peter says, "Lord, let us here build three huts" or tabernacles.
2. His appearance as truth itself (silent yet present) before the bar or judgment seat of Pilate—repudiated by the world of men but recognised by the Hierarchy.
3. His radiant appearances after the resurrection initiation:
a. To the woman at the sepulchre—symbolising His contact with Humanity.
b. To the two disciples on the way to Emmaus—symbolising His contact with the Hierarchy.
c. To the twelve disciples in the upper chamber—symbolising His contact with the Council Chamber of the Lord of the World at Shamballa.
You can thus see the factual nature of the results to which I earlier referred in this instruction. The disciple who has eliminated (in the technical sense as well as in the mystical sense) the hold of the personality has now the "freedom of the Ashram," as it is called; he can move at will among his fellow disciples and initiates. There will be nothing in his  vibratory life or his quality which can disturb the rhythm of the Ashram; there will be nothing to call forth the "calming intervention" of the Master, as is frequently the case during the earlier stages of discipleship; nothing can now interfere with those higher contacts and spheres of influence which have hitherto been sealed to the disciple because of the intrusion of his own personality.