Navigate the Chapters of this Book

I. The Growth of Soul Influence - Part 2

It should be noted here, therefore, that there are, literally, two points of identification in the long experience of the soul.  One marks the stage wherein form, matter, substance, time and space are controlling factors, and imprison the soul [30] within their types of consciousness.  This connotes identification with form life.  The other connotes identification with all that lies outside of form expression and is released from it.  What that may be lies beyond the grasp of our present advanced humanity, and is only known in its true significance by such great Existences as the Christ, the Buddha and Those of analogous rank in the Hierarchy of Lives.  The qualities generated and developed through the first of these identifications persist and colour the conscious realisation, and it must be remembered that the final identification is the result of the experience gained through the medium of the first.  These qualities will vary according to the dominance of one or other of the ray energies, but there will be—in the final stages—no consciousness of quality or ray type, but simply a state of Being or of livingness that realises identification with the Whole and which, at the same time, holds in solution (if one may use so unsatisfactory a term) all the results of the lesser identifications, the various differentiations and distinctions, and the many ray instincts, impulses, and intuitions.  The garnered and expressed qualities, and the possible actions and reactions and awarenesses are equally eternally present and capable of re-acquisition at will, but they are all held below the threshold of consciousness.  Livingness, Being, Wholeness and Unity are the distinctive characteristics of this highly evolved stage, which is, in its turn, the foundation for that higher evolutionary cycle of which we know nothing but which is hinted at in A Treatise on Cosmic Fire and in all references to the seven Paths which open up before the adept of the fifth initiation.  Absorption into the One Life is the nature of this elevated state of consciousness.  Freedom from all that is implied in the use of the words Form and Ego is the major characteristic, and, therefore, many ancient Scriptures, when attempting to deal with and explain this [31] supernormal and superlative condition, are forced back into the use of negatives, and the so-called "doctrine of negation".  Only by indicating what this state or condition of awareness is not, can any idea be conveyed of what it essentially is.  The negations thus met with (and frequently misunderstood by the occidental reader) are, therefore, the result of the futility and inadequacy of language to express the Reality then known.

After the major initiations are undergone, the state of consciousness of the illumined and liberated adept is such that language serves only to blind and to hinder true understanding.  The consciousness of the initiate is of so lofty a nature that it can only be described in terms of release, of negation, and through the emphasis of that which it is not.  It is a state of No-thing and Non-ego, for all egoic awareness is superseded by a state of Being and of consciousness which is only capable of comprehension and expression when form life is of no further use to the perfected spiritual life.  It is a state of non-individuality, yet with the subconscious knowledge and gains of the individual experience.  The centre of consciousness is so far removed from any individual separate identity that that particular factor has faded entirely out, and only the macrocosmic life is sentiently realised.  It is a state of nonactivity from our present angle of vision, because all individual reactions to the activity of matter or to that state of being which we call egoic, have dropped away, and Life and Mind can no longer be swept into motion by any of the factors which have hitherto produced what we have called soul activity and form existence.

Nevertheless, though the consciousness is other than all that has been hitherto known, and though it can only be expressed in terms of negation, the truth must be borne constantly in mind that the greater awareness must always include [32] the lesser awarenesses.  Consequently all possible actions and reactions, identifications and focussings, awarenesses and contacts, ray impulses, approaches and withdrawals, and all possible expressions of the divine activity and qualities, phenomenal and non-phenomenal, are included in the state of Being which is now the natural state of the liberated and enlightened spiritual Existence.  All are possible of recovery through the will or in response to a need, but the spiritual Being is no longer held by them or identified with them.  Each of the stages on the great Path of Liberation or Enlightenment with which we have been concerned—Individualisation, Initiation and Identification—have led the Life or the spiritual, interior man, from point to point, from quality to quality, from realisation to realisation, from phenomenal appearance to spiritual living, from physical awareness to sentient, emotional awareness, and from that to mental differentiation and separateness.  He has been carried from hell to heaven, from heaven to Nirvana, from the life-conditioning of the personal Ego to that of the group soul, and thence to that of the liberated state of pure intuitional life.  He has passed from form experience as a whole to that complete freedom from all vibratory impressions which it is the nature of pure Being (divorced from phenomenal existence) to demonstrate.  But at the same time, nothing is lost of capacity, or quality or of sentient awareness.  This is beautifully expressed for us in the words of the Old Commentary, found in the archives of the Masters.

"The quality of life fades out.  It flickers and is gone.  Yet the Blessed Ones reveal at will that quality.  The colour pure remains.

The nature of life in form fails to appear.  It flashes forth a little while, then disappears.  The Blessed Ones, at will, can take a form, yet are not then the form.

The seven great rays sweep into manifested life.  They are, [33] and then are not.  All is and all is not.  But the Blessed Ones at any time can sweep forth into manifested light.  They carry then the potencies of spirit to meet the need expressed.  Light holds Them not; Their purpose is not imprisoned; Their will is not subdued.  They appear and disappear at will."

(An expression of the truth of this can be seen demonstrating in the world each full moon of May, when the Buddha flashes forth into manifestation, for the fulfillment of the Plan and at the urgent behest of His own spiritual will.)

"Naught holds the Blessed Ones.  Neither the deities nor form; neither desire nor mind; nor any quality of life.  Pure life they are; pure being and pure will; pure love and pure intent; this is all that unenlightened man can grasp, and only that in part.

The Blessed Ones are not, and yet They are.

The Blessed Ones know naught, and yet know all.

The Blessed Ones love not, yet offer love divine.

The Blessed Ones remember not, yet all is recollection.

The Blessed Ones remain in isolation pure; and yet at will can take a form.

The Blessed Ones dwell ever in the high and lofty place, yet oft can walk on earth in light phenomenal.

The Blessed Ones manifest not through form; yet are all forms and all intents."

Then the Old Commentary runs through what would constitute many pages of writing, shewing that the Blessed Ones are naught and yet are all there is; that They possess nothing and yet are in Themselves the expression of all reality; that They dwell nowhere and yet are found everywhere; that They have faded out and yet are shining in full radiance and can be seen.  Negation after negation is piled up, only promptly to be contradicted in an effort to shew how divorced from, and yet inclusive of, form is the life of the Blessed Ones.  It ends with the wonderful injunction:—

"Therefore be full of joy, O pilgrim on the Way towards [34] enlightened Being, for gain and loss are one; darkness and light eternally reveal the True; love and desire eternally invoke the Life.

Naught disappears but pain.  Nothing remains but bliss,—the bliss of knowledge true, of contact real, of light divine, the Way to God."

Such is the true goal, as yet unrealisable by us.  What is it that we are endeavoring to do?  We are treading the Way of Release, and on that way, all drops from our hands; everything is taken away, and detachment from the world of phenomenal life and of individuality is inevitably forced upon us.  We are treading the Way of Loneliness, and must learn eventually that we are essentially neither ego nor non-ego.  Complete detachment and discrimination must finally lead us to a condition of such complete aloneness that the horror of the great blackness will settle down upon us.  But when that pall of blackness is lifted and the light again pours in, the disciple sees that all that was grasped and treasured, and then lost and removed, has been restored, but with this difference—that it no longer holds the life imprisoned by desire.  We are treading the Way that leads to the Mountain Top of Isolation, and will find it full of terror.  Upon that mountain top we must fight the final battle with the Dweller on the Threshold, only to find that that too is an illusion.  That high point of isolation and the battle itself are only illusions and figments of unreality; they are the last stronghold of the ancient glamour, and of the great heresy of separateness.  Then we, the Beatific Ones, will eventually find ourselves merged with all that is, in love and understanding.  The isolation, a necessary stage, is itself but an illusion.  We are treading the Way of Purification and step by step all that we cherish is removed,—lust for form life, desire for love, and the great glamour of hatred.  These disappear and we stand purified and [35] empty.  The distress of emptiness is the immediate result; it grips us and we feel that the price of holiness is too high.  But, standing on the Way, suddenly the whole being is flooded with light and love, and the emptiness is seen as constituting that through which light and love may flow to a needy world.  The purified One can dwell then in that place where dwell the Blessed Lords, and from that place go forth to "illumine the world of men and of the deities".

There are four ways which stretch before the disciples of the Lord of the World.  They must all be trodden before the inner Being is released, and the liberated Son of God can enter, at will, what are symbolically called "the four gates into the City of Shamballa",—that city of the Most High God, which is ever swept by the Life of Those who have achieved liberation through loneliness, detachment, isolated unity, and purification.  A realisation of the goal and the way to that goal is of service at this time, and it is to this realisation that the teachers of humanity seek to stimulate the Sons of God.

According to the ray type or quality, so will be the reaction of the life to the great stages of Individualisation, Initiation, and Identification.  This is a major occult platitude, but it is one that is much in need of consideration and reflection.  Let us bear in mind always that we are considering qualities which govern appearances and express the life.  What is called in the Eastern literature "the Blessed One" refers to One who is perfectly expressing some ray quality through some chosen phenomenal appearance, which is assumed at will for purpose of service, but which in no way constitutes a limitation and in no way holds the Blessed One a prisoner, because His consciousness is in no way identified with the phenomenal appearance, nor with the quality it expresses.

[36]

a. INDIVIDUALISATION AND THE SEVEN RAY TYPES

We will express the reaction of these seven ray types to the process of Individualisation (which is the process of identification with form) by seven occult statements which can, if properly understood, give the keynote of the new psychology.  They state the major impulse, the native quality, and the technique of unfoldment.

Ray One

"The Blessed One flies like an arrow into matter.  He destroys (or ruptures) the way by which he might return.  He grounds himself deeply in the depths of form.

He asserts:  'I will return.  My power is great.  I will destroy all obstacles.  Nothing can stop my progress to my goal.  Around me lies that which I have destroyed.  What must I do?'

The answer comes:  'Order from chaos, O Pilgrim on the way of death, this is the way for you.  Love you must learn.  Dynamic will you have.  The right use of destruction for the furtherance of the Plan, must be the way for you.  Adherence to the rhythm of the planet will release the hidden Blessed One and order bring.'"

Ray Two

"The Blessed One built him an ark.  Stage by stage he built it, and floated upon the bosom of the waters.  Deeply he hid himself, and his light was no more seen,—only his floating ark.

His voice was heard:  'l have built and strongly built, but am a prisoner within my building.  My light is hidden.  Only my word goes forth.  Around me lie the waters.  Can I return from whence I came?  Is the word strong enough to open wide the door?  What shall I do?'

The answer came:  'Build now an ark translucent, which can reveal the light, O Builder of the ark.  And by that light you shall reveal the lighted way.  The power to build anew, the right use of the Word, and the using of the light,—these will release the Blessed One, deep hidden in the ark.'"

[37]

Ray Three

"The Blessed One gathered force.  He hid himself behind a veil.  He rolled himself within that veil, and deeply hid his face.  Naught could be seen but that which veiled, and active motion.  Within the veil was latent thought.

The thought reached forth:  'Behind this veil of maya I stand, a Blessed One, but unrevealed.  My energy is great, and through my mind I can display the glory of divinity.  How can I, therefore, demonstrate this truth?  What shall I do?  I wander in illusion.'

The word went forth:  'All is illusion, O Dweller in the shadows.  Come forth into the light of day.  Display the hidden glory of the Blessed One, the glory of the One and Only.  The glory and the truth will rapidly destroy that which has veiled the truth.  The prisoner can go free.  The rending of the blinding veil, the clear pronouncing of the truth, and practice right will render to the Blessed One that golden thread which will provide release from all the maze of earth existence.'"

Ray Four

"The Blessed One rushed forth to combat.  He saw existence as two warring forces, and fought them both.  Loaded with the panoply of war, he stood midway, looking two ways.  The clash of battle, the many weapons he had learned to use, the longing not to fight, the thrill of finding those he fought were but brothers and himself, the anguish of defeat, the paean of his victory,—these held him down.

The Blessed One paused and questioned:  'Whence come the victory and whence defeat?  Am I not the Blessed One Himself?  I will invoke the angels to my aid.'

The trumpet sound went forth:  'Rise up and fight, and reconcile the armies of the Lord.  There is no battle.  Force the conflict to subside; send for the invocation for the peace of all; form out of two, one army of the Lord; let victory crown the efforts of the Blessed One by harmonising all.  Peace lies behind the warring energies.'"

Ray Five

"The Blessed One came forth in ignorance.  He wandered in a darkness deep of spirit.  He saw no reason for this way of life.  He sought among the many threads that weave the [38] outer garment of the Lord, and found the many ways there be, leading to the centre of the web eternal.  The forms that weave that web hide the divine reality.  He lost himself.  Fear entered in.

He asked himself:  'Another pattern must be woven; another garment formed.  What shall I do?  Shew me another way to weave.'

The Word for him came forth in triple form.  His mind responded to the vision clear evoked:—'The truth lies hidden in the unknown Way.  The Angel of the Presence guards that Way.  The mind reveals the Angel and the door.  Stand in that Presence.  Lift up thine eyes.  Enter through that golden door.  Thus will the Angel, who is the shadow of the Blessed One, reveal the open door.  That Angel too must disappear.  The Blessed One remains and passes through that door into the light sublime.'"

Ray Six

"The Blessed One caught the vision of the Way, and followed the Way without discretion.  Fury characterised his efforts.  The way led down into the world of dual life.  Between the pairs of opposites, he took his stand, and as he swung pendent between them, fleeting glimpses of the goal shone forth.  He swung in mid-heaven.  He sought to swing into that radiant place of light, where stood the door upon the higher Way. But ever he swung between the pairs of opposites.

He spoke at last within himself:  'I cannot seem to find the Way.  I try this way, and tread with force that way, and always with the keenest wish.  I try all ways.  What shall I do to find The Way?

A cry went forth.  It seemed to come from deep within his heart:  'Tread thou, O Pilgrim on the Way of sensuous life, the middle, lighted way.  It passes straight between the dual worlds.  Find thou that narrow, middle way.  It leads you to your goal.  Seek that perceptive steadiness which leads to proved endurance.  Adherence to the chosen Way, and ignoring of the pairs of opposites, will bring this Blessed One upon the lighted way into the joy of proved success.'"

Ray Seven

"The Blessed One sought the pathway into forms but held [39] with firmness to the hand of the Magician.  He sought to reconcile the Pilgrim, who was himself, to life in form.  He sought to bring the world of disorder in which he found himself into some kind of order.  He wandered far into the deepest depths and became immersed in chaos and disorder.  He could not understand, yet still held to the hand of the Magician.  He sought to bring about that order that his soul craved.  He talked with all he met, but his bewilderment increased.

To the Magician thus he spoke:  'The ways of the Creator must be good.  Behind all that which seems to be, must be a Plan.  Teach me the purpose of it all.  How can I work, immersed in deepest matter?  Tell me the thing that I must do?'

The Magician said:  'Listen, O Worker in the furthest world, to the rhythm of the times.  Note the pulsation in the heart of that which is divine.  Retire into the silence and attune yourself unto the whole.  Then venture forth.  Establish the right rhythm; bring order to the forms of life which must express the Plan of Deity.'

For this Blessed One release is found in work.  He must display his knowledge of the Plan by the sounding of those words which will evoke the Builders of the forms and thus create the new."

It might be of value, if here were summarized in more simple and less occult terms, the significance of the above esoteric stanzas, to express their true meaning in a few succinct and terse phrases.  The stanzas are of no use unless they convey to the ray types among the students of this Treatise some useful meaning, whereby they can live more truly.

The individualised Spirit expresses itself through the various ray types in the following manner:—

Ray One

Dynamic one-pointedness.

Destructive energy.

Power realised selfishly.

Lovelessness.

Isolation,

[40]

A longing for power and authority.

Desire to dominate.

Expressed strength and self-will,

leading to

A dynamic use of energy for the furtherance of the Plan.

The use of destructive forces in order to prepare the way for the Builders.

The will to power in order to cooperate.

Power realised as the major weapon of love.

Identification with the rhythm of the Whole.

The cessation of isolation.

Ray Two

The power to build for selfish ends.

Capacity to sense the Whole and to remain apart.

The cultivation of a separative spirit.

The hidden light.

The realisation of selfish desire.

Longing for material well-being.

Selfishness, and subordination of all soul powers to this end,

leading to

Building wisely, in relation to the Plan.

Inclusiveness.

A longing for wisdom and truth.

Sensitivity to the Whole.

Renunciation of the great heresy of separativeness.

The revelation of the light.

True illumination.

Right speech through generated wisdom.

Ray Three

Force manipulation through selfish desire.

Intelligent use of force with wrong motive.

Intense material and mental activity.

The realisation of energy as an end in itself.

Longing for glory, beauty and for material objectives.

Submergence in illusion, glamour, and maya,

[41]

leading to

The manipulation of energy in order to reveal beauty and truth.

The use of forces intelligently for the furtherance of the Plan.

Ordered rhythmic activity in cooperation with the Whole.

Desire for right revelation of divinity and light.

Adherence to right action.

The revelation of glory and good will.

Ray Four

Confused combat.

The realisation of that which is high and that which is low.

The darkness which precedes form expression.

The veiling of the intuition.

The sensing of inharmony, and cooperation with the part and not the whole.

Identification with humanity, the fourth Creative Hierarchy.

Undue recognition of that which is produced by speech.

Abnormal sensitivity to that which is the Not Self.

Constant points of crisis,

leading to

Unity and harmony.

The evocation of the intuition.

Right judgment and pure reason.

The wisdom which works through the Angel of the Presence.

I could here point out a constant misconception on the part of esotericists.  This Fourth Ray of Harmony, Beauty and Art is not the ray, per se, of the creative artist.  The creative artist is found equally on all rays, without exception.  This ray is the ray of the intuition and of the harmonising of all that has been achieved through the activity of form life, as later synthesised and absorbed by the solar angel; it manifests [42] eventually as all that can be evoked and evolved through the power of the One Life (the Monad) working through form expression.  It is the point of meeting for all the energies flowing through the higher spiritual triad and the lower triplicity.

Ray Five

The energy of ignorance.

Criticism.

The power to rationalise and destroy.

Mental separation.

Desire for knowledge.  This leads to material activity.

Detailed analysis.

Intense materialism and temporarily the negation of Deity.

Intensification of the power to isolate.

The implications of wrong emphasis.

Distorted views of truth.

Mental devotion to form and form activity.

Theology,

leading to

A knowledge of reality.

The realisation of the soul and its potentialities.

Power to recognize and contact the Angel of the Presence.

Sensitivity to Deity, to light and to wisdom.

Spiritual and mental devotion.

The power to take initiation.  (This is a point of real importance.)

Ray Six

Violence.  Fanaticism.  Willful adherence to an ideal.

Short sighted blindness.
Militarism and a tendency to make trouble with others and with groups.

The power to see no point except one's own.

Suspicion of people's motives.

Rapid reaction to glamour and illusion.

Emotional devotion and bewildered idealism.

Vibratory activity between the pairs of opposites.

[43]

Intense capacity to be personal and emphasise personalities,

leading to

Directed, inclusive idealism.

Steadiness of perception through the expansion of consciousness.

Reaction to, and sympathy with, the point of view of others.

Willingness to see the work of other people progress along their chosen lines.

The choosing of the middle way.

Peace and not war.  The good of the Whole and not the part.

Ray Seven

Black magic, or the use of magical powers for selfish ends.

The power to "sit upon the fence" till the selfish values emerge.

Disorder and chaos, through misunderstanding of the Plan.

The wrong use of speech to bring about chosen objectives.

Untruth.

Sex magic.  The selfish perversion of soul powers.

leading to

White magic, the use of soul powers for spiritual ends.

The identification of oneself with reality.

Right order through right magic.

Power to cooperate with the Whole.

Understanding of the Plan.

The magical work of interpretation.

Manifestation of divinity.

A close study of the above suggested phrases, showing as they do the wrong and the right major expressions of ray force, will aid the student correctly to comprehend his own ray nature, and also whereabouts he stands in his development.  One of the major faults of disciples today is the paying [44] of too close attention to the faults, errors and activities of other disciples, and too little attention to their own fulfillment of the law of love, and to their own dharma and work.  A second failing of disciples (and particularly of the working and accepted disciples in the world at this present time) is incorrect speech conveying ambiguous meanings and motivated by criticism, or by an individual desire to shine.  In olden days, the neophyte was forced into a prolonged silence.  Speech was not permitted.  This was inculcated as a check upon physical utterance of wrong words and ideas, based on inadequate knowledge.  Today, the neophyte must learn the same lesson of attention to personal perfection and to personal work through the means of that inner silence which broods over the disciple and forces him to attend to his own work and business, leaving others free to do the same, and so learn the lesson of experience.  A great deal of present right activity is hindered by the speech interplay between disciples, and much time is lost through wordy discussion of the work and activities of other disciples.  Humanity, as a whole, needs silence at this time as never before; it needs time in which to reflect, and the opportunity to sense the universal rhythm.  Modern disciples, if they are to do their work as desired and to cooperate with the Plan correctly, need that inner reflective quiet which in no way negates intense outer activity but which does release them from wordy criticisms, feverish discussions, and constant preoccupation with the dharma, the motives and the methods of their fellow disciples.

b. THE RAYS AND INITIATION

It will not be possible for me to make clear the ray reactions to the final process which we have considered briefly, namely the stage in the liberation of the spirit which we call Identification.  All that is possible, even in the case of Initiation, [45] is to give the elementary stanzas which convey to accepted disciples some of the significance of the first initiation.  As regards identification, the reactions of the illumined initiate are made available to his intelligence in symbolic form, but if these forms were described, they would be completely misunderstood.  When the third initiation takes place and the wider open door looms before the initiate, he will then discover the meaning of that type of realisation which is here called (for lack of a better name) Identification.

Ray One

"The Angel of the Presence stands within the light divine—the centre and the meeting place of many forces.

These forces meet and blend.  They focus in the head of him who stands before the Angel.

Eye to eye, and face to face, and hand to hand, they stand.  Will reinforces will, and love meets love.  The will-to-power merges with the will-to-love and strength with wisdom meets.  These two are one.  From that high spot of unity, the One who is released stands forth and says:—

'I return from whence I came; from the formless to the world of form I make my way.  I will to be.  I will to work.  I will to serve and save.  I will to lift the race.  I serve the Plan with will, the Whole with power.'"

Ray Two

"The Angel of the Presence draws the wanderer to him.  Love divine attracts the seeker on the Way.  The point of merging is achieved.

Mouth to mouth, the breath is drawn forth, and the breath is drawn in.  Heart to heart, the beating of these twain is merged in one.  Foot to foot, the strength is passed from the greater to the less, and thus the Way is trodden.

Force inspires the Word, the Breath.  Love inspires the heart, the life.  Activity controls the treading of the Way.  These three produce the merging.  All then is lost and gained.

The word goes forth: 'I tread the Way of Love.  I love the Plan.  Unto that Plan, I surrender all I have.  Unto the [46] Whole, I give my heart's deep love.  I serve the Plan; I serve the Whole with love and understanding.'"

Ray Three

"The Angel of the Presence stands within the centre of the whirling forces.  For ages long, thus has he stood, the centre of all energies from above and from below.

With intelligence, the Angel works to make the One Who is above and the one who is below to blend and be as one.  With twelve clear notes, the hour sounds forth, and then the two are one.  The Angel stands entranced.

Ear to ear, breast to breast, right hand to left, the two (who are the three) produce the merging of their lives.  Glory shines forth.  Truth is revealed.  The work is done.

Then man, who is the soul, cries forth with power:—'I understand the Way—the inner Way, the silent Way, the manifested Way, for these three Ways are one.  The Plan proceeds upon the outer Way; it shews itself.  The Whole will stand revealed.  That Plan I know.  I will, with love and mind, to serve that Plan.'"

Ray Four

"The Angel of the Presence stands in his beauty rare upon the lighted Way.  The glow of the Presence pours throughout the field of combat and ends, in peace, the strife.

The warrior stands revealed.  His work is done.  Back to back, the Angel and the Warrior stand, their auras meeting in a radiant sphere of light.  The two are one.

The Voice goes forth:—'Harmony is restored and the beauty of the Lord of Love shines forth.  Such is the Plan.  Thus is the Whole revealed.  The higher and the lower meet; form and the formless merge and blend, and know themselves as one.  In harmony with all united souls, I serve the Plan.'"

Ray Five

"The Angel of the Presence serves the three—the One above, the one below, and the One who ever is.  [This refers to the fact that on the fifth plane the Angel is definitely met and known, and the three aspects of the higher triad, buddhi, the abstract mind and spirit, plus the ego in the causal body, and the lower mind are here blended and fused.]

[47]

The great Triangle begins its revolutions, and its rays reach out in all directions, and permeate the Whole.

The man and Angel face each other, and know themselves to be the same.  The light that radiates from the heart, the throat, and from the centre which stands midway meet and merge.  The two are one.

The Voice that speaks within the silence can be heard:  'The power that reaches from the highest point has reached the lowest.  The Plan can now be known.  The Whole can stand revealed.  The love that stretches from the heart, the life that issues forth from God, have served the Plan.  The mind that gathers all with wisdom into the boundaries of the Plan has reached the outer limits of the sphere of God's activity.  That power informs my life.  That love inspires my heart.  That mind enlightens all my world.  I therefore serve the Plan.'"

Ray Six

"The Angel of the Presence reaches down, and, at the midway point, pierces the fog of glamour.  The Path stands clear.

The One who treads the path and stops to fight, who wrestles blindly with the two who seek to hinder and to blind, sees the Way free.  It stands revealed.  He ceases from the clamour and the fight.  He finds his way into the Presence.

Knee to knee, and foot to foot, they stand.  Hand to hand, and breast to breast, forehead to forehead, see them stand.  And thus they merge and blend.

The trumpet call goes forth:  'The warfare is no more.  The battle ends.  The glamour and the clouds have disappeared.  The light and glory of the Way is here.  That light reveals the Plan.  The Whole is with us now.  The purpose is revealed.  With all I have, I serve that Plan.'"

Ray Seven

"The Angel of the Presence lifts one hand into the blue of heaven.  He plunges deep the other into the sea of forms.  Thus he connects the world of form and formless life.  Heaven to earth he brings; earth into heaven.  This the man, who stands before the Angel, knows.

He grasps the meaning of the painted sign which the Angel holds aloft.  [Then follows a phrase which is incapable [48] of translation into modern language.  It signifies that complete merging which the mystic endeavours to express in terms of the "marriage in the heavens", and which has been wrongly twisted into the false teaching anent sex magic.  This phrase, expressed by a painted symbol, symbolises complete unity between the outer and the inner, the objective and the subjective, between spirit and matter, and between the physical and the essential.]

The two are one.  Naught more remains to grasp.  The Word is manifest.  The work is seen complete.  The Whole is visioned.  The magic work is wrought.  Again the two are one.  The Plan is served.  No word need then be said."

These phrases are an attempt to express some of the realisations of the true initiate when he stands—at the third initiation—before the Angel and sees that Angel also pass away, so that naught is left but conscious knowledge and realisation.  Although this statement may signify but little to us at present, it will, nevertheless, serve to demonstrate the futility of dealing with the secrets of the mysteries and with initiation through the medium of words.  When this is better realised, the true work of the Masonic dramas will begin to measure up to the need.

This section expresses some of the basic emerging truths which will carry meaning to the senior disciples and the initiates of the world, who are battling, at this time, in the service of the Plan.  They are present in the world at this time, and their work is bearing fruit, but they need at times the incentive of the future achievable glory to aid them to carry on.

This treatise is, therefore, somewhat abstruse and quite symbolical.  It may appear difficult to comprehend, and it may mean little to some and nothing at all to others.  If the disciples of the world are truly struggling and if they are applying practically the teaching given, as far as in them lies, they will find as time elapses, and their reason and intuition awaken, [49] that such symbolic and abstruse statements become clearer and clearer, serving to convey the intended teaching.  When this happens, the Angel of the Presence approaches ever closer, and lights the disciple on his way.  The sense of separateness diminishes until, at last, light permeates the darkness, and the Angel dominates the life.

2. The Two Cycles of Egoic Appropriation

We shall now enter upon a somewhat technical consideration of the relation of the Ego and its ray to the sheaths or vehicles through which it must express itself, and through which it must enter into contact with certain phases of divine experience.  The foundation of what is here elaborated in relation to the cycles of appropriation, will be found briefly touched upon in A Treatise on Cosmic Fire (pages 787-790), and the following statements, gathered from those pages, will be elucidated in the succeeding pages.

1. As the ego or soul appropriates to itself a sheath for expression and experience, points of crisis will inevitably occur:—

a. The work of passing onto a particular plane for purposes of incarnation is one such point.  This concerns the passing down to a lower plane, or from a lower plane onto a higher.  Indications of the importance and the crucial nature of such transition can be seen in certain formulas which are used when passing from one degree in Masonry to another, as in raising a Lodge from a lower to a higher degree.

b. Another such point of crisis occurs when the mental body is swept into activity and the etheric body is similarly vitalised.

[50]

2. Relationship between the ego or soul and the dense physical body is established when

a. Matter of the three lowest subplanes of the physical plane is built into the etheric body, prior to physical incarnation, and the potential channels of communication and of exit are established.  These are the main channel or line of communication found between the centre at the base of the spine and that in the head, via the spleen.

b. A corresponding activity takes place in the process of liberation upon the Path of Return in which the bridge (or the antaskarana) is established between the lower mental body, the causal body, and the higher mental worlds.

When the work under the first category is accomplished upon the physical plane and its technique is understood, man can then achieve escape from the physical body in full, waking continuity of consciousness.  When a similar work has taken place on the higher plane and the "bridge" is satisfactorily built, then the "initiate" can escape from the limitations of form life and enter into that state of consciousness called Nirvana, by the Buddhist.  This high state of being has to be entered also in full continuity of consciousness.  Both these major crises in the life of the soul,—one leading to physical incarnation and one producing the liberation of the soul from that condition,—are, and must always be, the result of group vibration, of group impulse, group incentive and group impetus.  One impetus originates in the group of souls, of which an incarnating ego is an integral part; the other is the result of the activity of the groups of atoms which are vibrating in response to (but not in unison with) that egoic impulse.  In this phrase is summed up the work and opportunity [51] of the soul, for it works towards the regeneration of matter and not towards the consummation of its own salvation.  It might be stated that the liberation of the soul or ego comes about when its work of salvaging matter (through utilising it and building it into forms) has been carried forward to a desired point.  It is not primarily due to the attainment of a certain spiritual stature by the man and the demonstration of certain spiritual qualities.  This desired stature and these spiritual qualities are manifested when the vehicles have been "occultly saved", and matter has thus been transformed, transmuted and symbolically "raised up into heaven".  When the vehicles vibrate in unison with the soul, then is liberation achieved.

a. THE POINTS OF CRISIS

Just as there are five points of crisis in the life of a man as he achieves the goal of initiation (which we call the five Initiations), so there are five similar points of crisis in the process of taking form in the three worlds, with three of more importance,—the first, the third and the fifth.  When (speaking again in symbols) a soul, functioning under divine impulse, comes into incarnation and undergoes racial experience in order to develop certain manifested qualities, there are five points of crisis.  I am here speaking in terms of humanity as a whole, as mankind expresses what we call the "human state of consciousness".  I am not speaking in terms of an individual soul, if such a misnomer may be permitted.  These five points of crisis mark the transfer of soul life from one race to another.  Each time such an event happens, there is racial unfoldment, and the appropriation, more or less consciously, by the race of another vehicle of expression.  The following tabulation shows the appropriations marking the five racial crises.

[52]

1. In the Lemurian civilisation

the appropriation of the physical body, with its five senses.

2. In the Atlantean civilisation

the appropriation of the astral body.

3. In the present Aryan world

the appropriation of the mental body, with consequent intellectual unfoldment.

4. In the coming race

conscious appropriation and integration of the threefold personality.

5. In the final race

the expression, in fullest measure, of the soul and its vehicles, plus some measure of spiritual manifestation.

 

Here, therefore, we have five points of crisis in the life of the individual, in conjunction with the whole, with the first stage (called individualisation) in Lemuria, the third stage in our race, and a final stage at the end of the age.  These stages are carried forward over so long a period of time, and are so closely interrelated, that one stage and period makes possible that of another, and only the analytical mind sees or seeks differentiation.  The reflection of this fivefold experience in any individual life takes place in the following order in the life of the average intelligent aspirant, who responds to, and takes advantage of the civilisation and education of the present time.