The Third initiation

(A compilation from the works of Alice A. Bailey)


1.             Disciples who have taken the second initiation are regarded as "probationary initiates," and only when they have taken the third initiation are they truly initiate from the standpoint of the Hierarchy. The first initiation is sometimes spoken of as the "Lemurian Initiation" and the second as the "Atlantean Initiation," but the third initiation—that of our Aryan race—is technically regarded by Them as the first initiation. This is a new angle upon which I would ask you to think. The term, therefore, of Accepted Disciple covers the stages of the first and second initiations; when a disciple has taken the third initiation, he is no longer technically an accepted disciple, even though he still remains in a Master's group until he has taken the fourth initiation. I am pointing out these technicalities so that there may be clarity and proportion in your thinking. [DINA I 728]

2.             The third initiation is connected with Shamballa as a planetary centre and to the activity of the first ray.  It should be borne in mind that this is the first initiation in which personality and soul are united and fused so that the two aspects form one unit.  When this initiation has taken place, it happens that for the first time some of its broader group implications become a reality and henceforth constitute the motivating impulse of the initiate's life.  Aspiration ends and the intensest conviction takes its place.  It is interesting also to note that Venus now comes into control in the third decanate of the Aquarian Age.  Venus is esoterically recognised as that mysterious force which is a blend of love and knowledge, of intelligence and synthesis, and of understanding and brotherhood. [DON 140]

3.             The relation between the ajna centre (between the eyebrows) and the thousand-petalled lotus. When these two centres are correctly related to each other, then the man can take the third initiation at which time the potency of the Monad can begin to make its presence felt, linking heart and head and solar plexus. [DINA II 121]

4.             The initiate works from his place upon that inner side. During the early stages of the initiatory process he works in the world of meaning. After the third initiation he works consciously in the world of causes, until such time as he is advanced enough to work in the world of being. The aspirant is endeavouring to grasp the purpose of the world of meaning and to apply the knowledge gained to his daily life with understanding. The disciple is endeavouring to comprehend the significance of the world of causes and to relate cause and effect in a practical manner. The initiate of higher degree utilises the potencies of these three worlds of meaning, cause and being to implement the purpose of Sanat Kumara. [DINA II 282]

5.                    Before the end of this century, thousands will stand before the Initiator and take initiation in group form; they will pass through the door of initiation together and together take their vows. This statement applies to the second and the third initiations. The higher initiations will still be taken individually or in groups of three, but not more. When the Masters take the sixth initiation, They perforce take it alone at the "midway point" between Shamballa and the Hierarchy, apparently deserted by both attentive groups. There, in complete silence and in a condition of "isolated unity," They will make Their great decision. Then and only then will They become aware of the vast attentive spiritual audience which has awaited Their will. [DINA II 337]

6.                    This Point of Revelation brings with it certain revelations of an unexpected nature and imparts to the initiate certain new and significant results which register as truths to the initiate-consciousness. He discovers that he must learn the divine nature of the destroying aspect of the Will; he learns that it is not related, when demonstrating as this particular aspect, to determination or fixed intention, but is a fluid energy which can be directed toward the plane of desire wherever and whenever contacted; he finds out also that, in order to combat this vast and vibrant astral world, an aspect of light must be employed, and that therefore he is being given his first opportunity to work with Light under the inspiration of the Will—as do all the Members of the Hierarchy; he realises, consequently, that he must employ this aspect of light under the action—definitely directed—of the Will, in order to bring about the disappearance of that world as a sentient conscious entity; he knows that he must primarily destroy the astral phenomena for which he is creatively responsible, and that (having done this) he must demonstrate his complete freedom from the phenomenal contact of the astral plane at the second, the third and the fourth initiations. [Page 379] This he must do through the "advancing light" of lower mental substance, and the activity of the buddhic level of activity; then to this he adds the destroying power of the atmic level of activity. He has to take note, in this process, of a certain level of responsibility. Thus he can finally destroy (with the means of the advancing light of the atmic plane) a certain proportion of astral substance for which he is not individually responsible but which is nevertheless related to the group or to the nation with which he is by birth or inclination affiliated. It is the united and synthetic use of the three triadal expressions of energy which makes the work of the world servers effective. [DINA II 378-379]

7.                    At the third initiation of Transfiguration, the control of the personality in the three worlds is broken in order that the Son of Mind, the soul, may be substituted finally for the concrete and hitherto directing lower mind. Again, through the Law of Sacrifice, the personality is liberated and becomes simply an agent of the soul. [DINA II 398]

8.                    The procedure carried forward under the impulse of the Law of Sacrifice which "destroys all hindrances, breaks down all impediments and removes all individual [Page 399] obstacles, thus releasing the initiate into that vortex of force in which he learns the method of handling the planetary correspondence of that which he has individually overcome." These words should be carefully studied in relation to the second, the third and the fourth initiations. [DINA II 398-399]

9.                    The location of this particular point of revelation is on the mental plane; through the alignment of the concrete, lower mind, the Son of Mind and the abstract mind, a direct channel for vision is created. The medium of revelation at this initiation is the antahkarana, which is rapidly being constructed and can thus prove the connecting link and the esoteric mode of vision. The instrument of reception is the third eye which—for a moment—is temporarily suspended from its task of directing energy upon the physical plane and then becomes a stationary, receptive organ, turned inward toward the higher light. The head centre is therefore involved, and a secondary alignment takes place between the ajna centre, the head centre and the soul body. All this takes place at a high point during the third initiation; for the first time in his personal history the initiate is completely [Page 400] aligned and can function straight through from the head centre to the highest point of the Spiritual Triad. You have, therefore, the reason for the sudden inflow of transfiguring glory. [DINA II 399-400]

10.                 The senior Members of the Hierarchy will not at first be the ones who will make the needed approach (of the externalization of the Hierarchy). Under Their direction and Their close supervision, this approach will be made—in the early stages—by initiates of and under the degree of the third initiation, and also by those disciples who will be chosen and designated to implement Their efforts and so will work under Their direction. It is only in the later stages, and when the time has come for the return into recognised physical expression of the Christ, leading to the definite restoration of the Mysteries, that certain of the senior Members of the Hierarchy will appear and take outer and recognisable physical control of world affairs. The time for this will be dependent necessarily upon the success of the steps taken by the members of the Hierarchy who are not so advanced. [EXH 570]

11.                 A new factor now enters in, the discriminating faculty of the mind. By means of it, the disciple can bring the mental life under control and dedicate it to the life of the kingdom of God, which is consummated at the third initiation. Through the correct use of the mind, the disciple is led to make right choice, and to balance (with wisdom) the endless pairs of opposites. [FBC 100]

12.                 Intuition is the synthetic understanding which is the prerogative of the soul and it only becomes possible when the soul, on its own level, is reaching in two directions: towards] the Monad, and towards the integrated and, perhaps (even if only temporarily) coordinated and at-oned personality. It is the first indication of a deeply subjective unification which will find its consummation at the third initiation. [GWP 2-3]

13.                 The stage wherein the intelligent thinking man, whether disciple or well-meaning aspirant, or an initiate of the first and second degrees, has to learn to distinguish between the truth and the truths, between knowledge and wisdom, between reality and illusion. When this stage has been passed through it leads to the third initiation, wherein the personality (which is prone to maya, glamour and illusion) stands free. It again experiences a sense of at-one-ment. This is due to the development of the sense of the intuition which puts into the disciple's hand an infallible instrument whereby to discriminate and to discern. His perception is becoming accurate and he stands relatively free from deception and wrong identifications and interpretations. [GWP 101]

14.                 The story of illusion is one which must not be confounded with glamour; illusion is related to the whole process of revelation. Glamour can be and often is related to the distortion of that which has been revealed, but it must be borne in mind that illusion is primarily concerned with the reaction of the mind to the unfolding revelation, [Page 173] as the soul registers it and seeks to impress it on the highest aspect of the personal lower self. Illusion is, therefore, the failure of the mind correctly to register, to interpret or translate that which has been transmitted and it is consequently a sin (if you care for that word) of the intelligent and highly developed people, of those who stand on the Path and who are in process of becoming rightly oriented; it is also a sin of accepted disciples as they seek to expand their consciousness in response to soul contact. When they have "seen through illusion" (and I use this phrase in its esoteric sense) then they are ready for the third initiation. [GWP 172-173]

15.                 This dualistic consciousness culminates at the time of the third initiation in the final fight between the pairs of opposites and the triumphant victory of the Angel—the embodiment of the Forces of Good in the individual, in the group and in humanity. Then dualism and the desire for that which is material and not oneself (as identified with the Whole) dies out. Unity and the "life more abundantly" is achieved. [GWP 203]

16.                 Again, the four initiations, prior to that of the adept, mark respectively the attainment of certain proportions of atomic matter in the bodies—for instance, at the first initiation one-fourth atomic matter, at the second one-half atomic matter, at the third three-quarters atomic matter, and so on to the completion.  Since buddhi is the unifying principle (or the welder of all), at the fifth initiation the [Page 17] adept lets the lower vehicles go, and stands in his buddhic sheath.  He creates thence his body of manifestation. [IHS 16-17]

17.                 Instruction is given in what might be termed synthesis.  This information is only possible as the intuitional vehicle co-ordinates.  It is really the occult apprehension of the law of gravitation or attraction, (the basic law of this, the second solar system) with all its corollaries.  The disciple learns the meaning of occult cohesion, and of that internal unity which holds the system as a homogeneous unit.  The major part of this instruction is usually given after the third initiation, but a beginning is made early in the training. [IHS 66

18.                 Many lives may intervene between the first initiation and the second.  A long period of many incarnations may elapse before the control of the astral body is perfected, and the initiate is ready for the next step.  The analogy is kept in an interesting way in the New Testament in the life of the initiate Jesus.  Many years elapsed between the Birth and the Baptism, but the remaining three steps were taken in three years.  Once the second initiation is taken [Page 85] the progress will be rapid, the third and fourth following probably in the same life, or the succeeding. [IHS 84-85]

19.                 After the second initiation the teaching shifts up a plane.  The initiate learns to control his mental vehicle; he develops the capacity to manipulate thought matter, and learns the laws of creative thought building.  He functions freely on the four lower sub-planes of the mental plane, and before the third initiation he must,—consciously or unconsciously,— be complete master of the four lower sub-planes in the three planes of the three worlds.  His knowledge of the microcosm becomes profound, and he has mastered theoretically and practically, in great measure, the laws of his own nature, hence his ability experimentally to be master on the four lower sub-planes of the physical, astral, and mental planes.  The last fact is of interest.  The control of the three higher sub-planes is not yet complete, and here is one of the explanations as to the failures and mistakes of initiates.  Their mastery of matter in the three higher sub-planes is not yet perfect; these yet remain to be dominated. [IHS 86]

20.                 The personality has now reached a point where its vibrations are of a very high order, the matter in all three bodies relatively pure, and its apprehension of the work to be done in the microcosm, and the share to be taken in the [Page 88] work of the macrocosm is very advanced.  It is apparent, therefore, why it is only at the third initiation that the great Hierophant, the Lord of the World, Himself officiates.  It is the first at which He contacts the initiate.  Earlier it would not be possible.  For the first two initiations the Hierophant is the Christ, the World-Teacher, the Firstborn among many brethren, one of the earliest of our humanity to take initiation. " [IHS 88]

21.                 The function of the three Kumaras, or the three Buddhas of Activity at initiation is interesting.  They are three aspects of the one aspect, and the pupils of Sanat Kumara.  Though Their functions are many and varied, and concern primarily the forces and energies of nature, and the direction [Page 108] of the building agencies, They have a vital connection with the applicant for initiation, inasmuch as They each embody the force or energy of one or other of the three higher subplanes of the mental plane.  Therefore at the third initiation one of these Kumaras transmits to the causal body of the initiate that energy which destroys third subplane matter, and thus brings about part of the destruction of the vehicle; at the fourth initiation another Buddha transmits second plane force, and at the fifth, first subplane force is similarly passed into the remaining atoms of the causal vehicle, producing the final liberation.  The work done by the second Kumara, with second subplane force, is in this solar system the most important in connection with the egoic body, and produces its complete dissipation, whereas the final application causes the atoms themselves (which formed that body) to disperse. [IHS 107-108]

22.                 At the third initiation the Ego stands before the initiate as a perfected triplicity.  Not only is the Self known to be intelligent, active love, but it is revealed also as a fundamental will or purpose, with which the man immediately identifies himself, and knows that the three worlds hold for him in the future naught, but only serve as a sphere for active service, wrought out in love towards the accomplishment of a purpose which has been hid during the ages in the heart of the Self.  That purpose, being now revealed, can be intelligently co-operated with, and thus matured. [HIS 115]

23.                 At the third initiation there is revealed to the initiate the purpose of the subray of the ray to which he belongs, that upon which his Ego finds itself.  All egoic units are upon some subray of the monadic ray.  This knowledge is conferred upon the initiate so as to enable him eventually to find for himself (along the line of least resistance) the ray of his Monad.  This subray bears upon its stream of energy many groups of Egos, and the initiate is therefore made aware not only of his egoic group and its intelligent purpose, but of many other groups, similarly composed.  Their united energy is working towards a clearly defined goal. [IHS 121]

24.                 The secrets, as imparted sequentially to the initiate, are roughly three in number, though within them may be found lesser mysteries which are earlier revealed.  At the third initiation the first of the three fundamental secrets of the solar system is imparted to the initiate, immediately after he has taken the oath.  This we might, for lack of a better term, call "the secret of electricity."  It concerns the phenomena of the dense objective manifestation of the Logos.  It would be wise here for the student to remember that the three planes of the three worlds, physical, astral, and mental, form the dense physical body of the solar Logos, whilst the [Page 169] four higher form His etheric body.  Students are apt to forget that our seven planes are the seven sub-planes of the cosmic physical.  This has a very definite bearing on the secret of electricity.  This is why the secret is not revealed till the third initiation, and is prepared for by the impartation of two lesser secrets which concern the physical and astral planes, and which are imparted at the first two initiations by the Bodhisattva. [IH S 168-169]

25.                 The polarisation shifts during the fifth period (the period of the Path of Initiation) entirely from the Personality to the Ego, until, at the close of that period, liberation is complete, and the man is set free.  Even the [Page 29] causal body is known as a limitation and the emancipation is completed.  The polarisation then shifts higher into the Triad—the shifting beginning at the third initiation.  The physical permanent atom goes and the polarisation becomes higher mental; the emotional permanent atom goes and the polarisation becomes intuitional; the mental unit goes and the polarisation becomes spiritual.  The man then becomes a Master of the Wisdom and is of the symbolic age of forty-two, the point of perfected maturity in the solar system. [LOM 29]

26.                 True capacity to invoke and evoke (within initiate ranks) is based upon a mysterious development—impossible before the time of the third initiation—of the esoteric sense. The active use of the esoteric sense in the occult training offered to aspirants, disciples and initiates of lesser degree produces certain changes within the brain, with corresponding changes within the buddhic vehicle; these changes enable one at will (after the third initiation of Transfiguration) to contact the Being, Life, or the monadic POINT of contact with Whom he will be increasingly affiliated, or the Member of the Hierarchy Whom he may desire to consult. It does not involve the use of speech or words but is simply a technical method whereby an initiate within the Hierarchy or en rapport with Shamballa can make his presence felt and certain ideas can be presented by him. Upon this I will not further enlarge. [TEV 72]

27.                 Eventually, after the two fires of matter and the fire of mind have begun to blend (a slow and gradual process), the web itself is destroyed [Page 185] and by the time the third initiation is reached, the man should have continuity of consciousness.  This is so unless for certain work and for certain specific ends, the man consciously and willingly foregoes the burning of the web, a thing which can be brought about by the conscious action of the will. [TCF 184-185]

28.                 By the time the third initiation is taken, the inner circle of petals is opened and the full-blown lotus in all its beauty can be seen. [TCF 830]

29.                 The pituitary body (in all cases of correct normal development) forms the centre which receives the threefold vitalisation pouring through the sutratma from the lower mental, the astral, and the etheric planes.  The pineal gland comes into activity when this action is enhanced by the pouring through of energy from the Ego on its own plane.  When the antaskarana is in process of utilisation the alta major centre is likewise employed, and the three physical head centres begin to work as a unit, thus forming a kind of triangle.  By the time the third initiation is reached, this triangle is fully awakened and the fire (or energy) is circulated freely. [TCF 962]

30.                 At the third initiation, the Moon and Mars struggle to assume ascendancy, and there is his battle-ground.  Hence at the great Transfiguration, the body is "transfigured" as the indication of triumph. [EP I,  246]

31.                 These three words—individualization, initiation and identification,—cover the whole process of man's career from the time he emerges into the human kingdom till he passes out of it at the third initiation, and functions freely in the fifth kingdom, the kingdom of God.  By that time, he has learnt that consciousness is free and unlimited, and can function in form or out of form according to the behest of the soul, or as the Plan can best be served.  The soul is then in no way conditioned by form.  Just as man can express himself in what is called three-dimensional living, so, by the time he takes the third initiation, he can function actively and consciously in four dimensions, and in the final stages of the Path of Initiation he becomes active fifth-dimensionally. [EP II 26-27]

32.                 After the third initiation the "Way" is carried forward with great rapidity, and the "bridge" is finished which links perfectly the higher spiritual Triad and the lower material reflection.  The three worlds of the soul and the three worlds of the Personality become one world wherein the initiate works and functions, seeing no distinction, viewing one world as the world of inspiration and the other world as constituting the field of service, yet regarding both together as forming one world of activity.  Of these two worlds, the subjective etheric body (or the body of vital inspiration) and the dense physical body are symbols on the external plane. [EP II 70]

33.                 When the living, vibrating antaskarana or bridge is built, this "way of escape" becomes the normal path of life.  Escape from pain is then automatic, for the centre of consciousness is elsewhere.  In the cases mentioned above, and where the antaskarana is not a consummated, established fact, the tiny thread of the partially constructed "way of escape", under tremendous pressure and excitation, shoots forward like a quivering band of light, and momentarily touches the light that is the Self.  Hence ecstasy and exaltation.  But it does not last, and cannot be consciously recovered until the third initiation has been taken.  After that the "way of escape" becomes the "way of daily livingness" (to translate inadequately the occult and ancient phrase).  Then pain is steadily transcended, and the pairs of opposites—pleasure and pain—have no longer any hold over the disciple. [EP II 102-103]

34.                 Service, an understanding of the Way, and the building of the true line of escape—that is the task to be carried forward upon the Path of Discipleship.  Such is the object set before all the students of the esoteric sciences at this time,—provided they desire it enough, and can train themselves to [Page 161] work selflessly for their fellow men.  As they succeed in doing this and approximate ever more closely to that which is not the pairs of opposites (and thus achieve "the Central Way"), steadily the Law of Repulse begins to swing into operation.  When the third initiation is taken, this law will begin to hold the dominant place in the ruling of the life. [EP II 160-161]

35.                 It is only when the soul is becoming more alive within the form and the man is aware of his duality that the energies of the Fixed Cross supersede in effectiveness those of the Mutable Cross, just as after the third initiation the energies of the Cardinal Cross begin to control the man and are of more insistent incentive than those of the other two crosses. [EA 119-120]

36.                 That which is fluid and changeable in Gemini produces the great shift in consciousness which distinguishes the initiate from the disciple. This, at the third initiation becomes a fixed attitude in Capricorn. The concrete form life is transcended and the inner man reorients and assumes an unchangeable direction. [EA 390]

37.                 In Aquarius, the initiate consummates all that has been achieved in Leo through the influence of the Sun, for in Leo there is an almost unique condition where humanity is concerned as the Sun governs all expressions—exoteric, esoteric and hierarchical. It rules the personality, the soul and the fourth Creative Hierarchy. Hence the Sun (the physical Sun) is lessened in its power in Aquarius. The third initiation has been undergone and the light of the personality has been "put out" or dimmed by the light of the subjective Sun, influencing the soul. There is much to think out here but little more can be directly indicated, as the curious fact of this triple control by a planet constitutes one of the mysteries of initiation. It is tied up with the relation between Leo and Aquarius, for Leo is unusual in having all its ruling influences concentrated through the medium of one planet. Leo indicates the height of achievement of the human soul.  [EA 147]

38.                 These generalisations will be useful only if you remember that they are generalisations.  No aspirant at any stage is perfectly clear cut in his endeavour until after the third initiation, nor is he entirely particularised in his life and effort.  Men are at all imaginable stages of development, and many of these stages are intermediate to the five stages above mentioned.  These all merge and blend into each other, and often constitute a formidable and confusing arena for thought and activity. [EH 139]

39.                 The Kundalini Fire, about which so much is taught and written in the East, and increasingly in the West, is in reality the union of these three fires, which are focussed by an act of the enlightened will, under the impulse of love, in the basic centre.  This unified fire is then raised by the use of a Word of Power (sent forth by the will of the Monad) and by the united authority of the soul and personality, integrated and alive.  The human being who can do this in full consciousness is therefore an initiate who has left the third initiation behind him.  He, and he alone, can safely raise this triple fire from the base of the spine to the head centre. [EH 185]

40.                 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. [EA 515]

41.                 The "secret" referred to is the revelation of the manner in which good health may be preserved.  It is not the secret [Page 598] of how to cure the physical vehicle when "bodily ills" are present.  But there is a secret of good health which is known to all initiates above the third initiation; and this they can simply employ, if they so choose.  However, they may not so choose always unless they are working with other parts of the Plan which have nothing to do with humanity.  If they are among those who are occupied with the unfolding consciousness in man and who are workers for and in the human kingdom, they may know the secret but may, at the same time, choose not to profit by it because of the need they feel to be completely identified with mankind; they therefore choose to share consciously all human experience and to die along lines which are common to the rest of men. [EH 598]

42.                 The secret of the third initiation is the demonstration of complete freedom from the claims and demands of the personality.  It does not involve the achievement of  a completely perfect expression of the spiritual life, but it does indicate that the service of the initiate and his life demonstration—regarded in a broad and general way, from the angle of the life-tendency and of entire dedication to humanity—remains untouched by the limitations, still existent, of the personal lower self. [R&I 44-45]

43.                 When a man perfectly empresses the A.U.M., he can then sound the O.M. with effectiveness from progressive points of tension, until the third initiation.  Then the effect of the O.M. is such that the personality as a separate identity disappears, the soul emerges in all its glory, and the first faint sound of the originating SOUND breaks upon the ear of the transfigured initiate.  This is the Voice referred to in the Biblical account of the Transfiguration.  This Voice says, "This is my beloved Son."  The initiate registers the fact that he has been accepted by Shamballa and has made his first contact with the Planetary Logos, the Hierophant, the Initiator at the third initiation, just as the Christ, the Master of all the Masters, is the Initiator and the Hierophant at the first two initiations. [R&I 56]

44.                 This initiate realisation is all brought about by the sudden appreciation or apprehension of sound, by the awakening of the inner ear to the significance of the Voice, just as the disciple in the earlier stage awakened to the significance of vision.  That is why, at the third initiation, the initiate sees the star and hears the sound.  At the first two initiations, he sees the light and hears the Word; but this is something different and is the higher correspondence to the earlier experience.  It will be obvious that I can say no more upon this subject. [R&I 83]

45.                 It will be apparent, therefore, that the more rapidly the individual aspirant approaches the third initiation, the more rapidly and directly will the individual's karma be worked out.  Monadic relation, as it becomes established, lets loose the destructive aspect of the basic energy, and all hindrances are destroyed with expedition.  [R&I 85]

46.                 It will be apparent, therefore, that the more rapidly the individual aspirant approaches the third initiation, the more rapidly and directly will the individual's karma be worked out.  Monadic relation, as it becomes established, lets loose the destructive aspect of the basic energy, and all hindrances are destroyed with expedition.  [R&I 115-116]

47.                 I would point out that the third initiation is approached from a level tableland of experience and of consciousness, and not from the heights of aspiration, or from fanatical sacrifice, or from the standpoint of a devotion which handicaps the service of the devotee and of the Master he seeks to serve.  He knows, as a candidate for initiation, that….Life is one and naught can ever take or touch that life. His sense of proportion as to form becomes adjusted.  He is forward-looking towards the soul, and not backward-looking towards the form nature.  Some very sincere devotees and promising applicants are so preoccupied with form and its disciplining that they have no real time to give to soul expansion.  They are so interested in their reactions to their self-imposed discipline or to their capacity to conform or their failure to accept the discipline, that the spiritual truths—seeking entrance into their hearts—fail to make such an entrance.  Temperance in all things, the wise use of all sustaining forms and self-forgetfulness are the hallmark of the disciple, but not of the beginner.  Many disciples today who should be functioning in the Hall of Wisdom are still fanatically working in the Hall of Knowledge and are still so earnest over the physical disciplines that the disciplines of the soul are ignored.  I would ask you to reflect on this.  Applicants have to learn the significance of the words of Rule VI for disciples, "the lesser rules are rules in time and space and cannot hold the group." [R&I 127.

48.                 Coming down to the immediate practical issues, the initiate is confronted with the problem of work within the individual framework, for I am not here dealing with the [Page 155] requirements for the initiations above or beyond the third.  Here the initiate has reached the point where he grasps the significant fact that the way into the innermost Centre is most securely guarded; no one can pass onward and take those more advanced steps which admit into the higher worlds of being and of unparalleled potency until he has demonstrated within the framework of his own life a definite control of energy (and this the black adept also possesses), purity of motive (which the black adept can likewise have, if by purity of motive you mean single-hearted and one-pointed intent), deep love of humanity (which the black adept never has), selflessness, willingness to follow the light wherever it may lead, ability to begin work within the larger framework the moment such an attempt becomes possible, clear vision and spiritual insight, a developed intuition, and an undeviating intention and strong faith in the future.  When these qualities begin to show themselves, it then becomes possible to admit the initiate to further advancement upon the Way. [R&I 154-155]

49.                 Thus he goes from strength to strength.  All the time the Hierarchy is aiding in his development and at the same time protecting the Way from him until such time as glamour cannot reach him.  This individual security of his is only reached between the time of taking the second initiation and the third. Prior to that, he is still regarded as a potential hazard and as unstable.  After that, he may suffer from illusion, but there is then no fear of his permanently turning back and reaching the left-hand path and so perhaps, in rare cases, finding his way into the Black Lodge.  The major liability of the average initiate is sloth or lack of speed.  Ponder on that. [R&I 155-156]

50.                 The greatest problem facing aspirants and disciples prior to the third initiation is that of comprehending the nature of identification.  This concerns (in the first instance) the relation of the self to the Self and of all selves to the all-inclusive SELF.  It involves the mystery of duality with which they are occupied, and the very moment that theory as to essential unity becomes definite realisation, then the realm of synthesis is entered.  For that type of realisation, language as we now have it has no words, and it is therefore impossible to formulate concepts to interpret the consequent and resultant state of being.  [R&I  172]

51.                 It (the consciousness of the third degree ) is a blinding conviction of an unalterable will, carrying all before it, oblivious of time and space, aware only of intensity of direction, and carrying with it two major qualifications or basic recognitions to the initiate:  a sense of essential being which obliterates all the actions and reactions of time and [Page 176] space, and a focussed will-to-good which is so dynamic in its effect that evil disappears.  Evil is after all only an impelling sense of difference, leading inevitably to separative action. [R&I 175-176]

52.                 When the third initiation is taken the initiate becomes aware, not only of the significance of the command to Know and of his innate ability to Express the will nature of the monad in carrying out the Purpose of Shamballa, but that (through his fused personality-soul) he is now in a position to "make revelation" to the Hierarchy that he is en rapport with the monadic source from which he originally came.  He can now obey the command to Reveal, because the Transfiguration is consummated.  He is not now revealing the soul only, but all the three aspects now meet in him and he can reveal the life aspect as will and not only the soul aspect as love or the matter aspect as intelligence.  This is, as you know the first major initiation from the angle of the greater Lodge on Sirius, because it is the first initiation in which all the three aspects meet in the initiate.  [R&I 316]

53.                 The electrical energy of the mind now creates the door for the third initiation, and the obstruction which confronts the initiate is that of the electrical figments of his own thinking, shining with a light which is all their own (for they are of the highest order and type), but veiling the pure light which shines behind them.  They constitute the sumtotal of illusion.  This "door" is formed by the coming together of the three types of energy:  fire by friction, solar fire (playing in full force at this third initiation), and electrical fire from the Spiritual Triad, making its first impact on the other two fires, for all three are in full activity at this initiatory crisis.  All are localised and concentrated in that symbol of progress, the "door of initiation." [R&I 353]

54.                 In the Gospel story there are two major episodes in the life of the Master Jesus which throw some light upon this fourth entrance through the door of initiation:  the Transfiguration and the Crucifixion.  In both of them the three aspects of the personality are symbolised.  In the first case, they are symbolised by the three apostles who in bewilderment and profound humility took part in the third initiation, [Page 354] the Transfiguration; in the second case, the three were depicted by the three Crosses—the two thieves and the central Master.  The difference in the fourth initiation is definite; it lies in the fact that the four aspects of the personality (counting the dense physical body as one aspect and the etheric vehicle as a second aspect of the physical body) are involved, for this fourth emanation of fire by friction has a potent and destructive effect upon the dense physical body.  The Great Renunciation involves the rejection of the physical life at any cost, and that cost frequently involves its physical death. [R&I 353-354]

55.                 The third initiation, therefore, releases the initiate from the planes of unprincipled substance (the lower subplanes of the cosmic physical plane), whilst the next two initiations make it possible for him to work with intelligence [Page 360] and love on the two lower levels of the cosmic etheric plane—the buddhic and the atmic, the planes of spiritual love and intelligent will. [R&I 359-360]

56.                 As you know, the first human being out of that "centre which we call the race of men" to achieve this point was the Christ; in that first great demonstration of His point of attainment (through the medium of what was then a new type of initiation) the Christ was joined by the Buddha.  The Buddha had attained this same point prior to the creation of our planetary life, but conditions for taking the third initiation [Page 386] were not then available, and He and the Christ took the initiation together.  At this initiation, and since then for all initiates of that degree of attainment, They stood in the Presence of the One Initiator, the Lord of the World, and not in the Presence of the Initiate Who was then Head of the Hierarchy.  This third initiation was taken in a fourth ray Ashram, the Ray of Harmony through Conflict.  This Ashram had taken form and attained functioning activity some time earlier.  You can see, under the Law of Correspondences, why this was so.  The first human being in the fourth kingdom in nature to take this initiation did so in a fourth ray Ashram and then, esoterically speaking, "the Way lay open toward the Cross"; the initiate faced the process of extension on the Cross, and from that vantage point could view the three worlds.  The fourth initiation then became a possibility; the crucifixion faced the disciple of the third degree with its promise of complete liberation and final resurrection. [R&I 385-386]

57.                 This antahkarana is the product of the united effort of soul and personality, working together consciously to produce [Page 455] this bridge.  When it is completed, there is a perfect rapport between the monad and its physical plane expression, the initiate in the outer world.  The third initiation marks the consummation of the process, and there is then a straight line of relationship between the monad and the lower personal self.  The fourth initiation marks the complete realisation of this relation by the initiate.  It enables him to say:  "I and my Father are one."  It is for this reason that the crucifixion, or the Great Renunciation, takes place.  Forget not that it is the soul that is crucified.  [R&I 455]

58.                 Initiation is only a ceremony in so far that there comes a climaxing point in the initiatory process in which the disciple's consciousness becomes dramatically aware of the personnel of the Hierarchy and of his own position in relation to it.  This realisation he symbolises to himself—successively and

59.                 on an increasingly large scale—as a great rhythmic ceremonial of progressive revelation in which he, as a candidate, is the centre of the hierarchical stage.  This is definitely so (from the ceremonial angle) in the first two initiations, and in relation to the Christ as the Initiator.  After the third initiation, the ceremonial angle lessens in his consciousness because the higher initiations are not registered by the mind (with its ability to reduce realisation into symbolic form) and thus transmitted to the brain, but they reach the brain and are there registered via the antahkarana; the results of the experience of expansion are now definitely of such a nature that they cannot be reduced to symbols or to symbolic happenings; they are formless and remain in the higher consciousness. [R&I 530-531]

60.                 This third initiation …..  is the one in which the spiritual man demonstrates his complete control of the personality.  The physical body has been controlled through the medium of the physical disciplines; the emotional nature has been reorganised and made receptive to spiritual impression coming from the plane of pure reason (the buddhic plane) through the transforming processes of the mind or the fifth principle.  In this connection, the mind has acted as an organiser of astral reaction and as a dispeller of glamour.  The disciple is now focussed in his everyday consciousness upon the mental plane, and the triangular relation of the three aspects of the mind upon this plane is now dominant.  [R&I 597-598]

61.                 The personality is now possessed of knowledge, for fifth ray energy has done its needed work; the disciple is also aware that he is in possession of the wisdom which enables him to use knowledge in the furtherance of the Plan, and therefore to work as an illuminating factor in the world of men.  He knows clearly what has been accomplished and senses something of what lies ahead.  The great principle of cleavage (which the fifth ray governs) is the dominating factor in his time sense; he now differentiates sharply between past and present and that which has to be ascertained in the future.  Cleavage, in the sense of separateness, is finished for him and he now feels and knows something of the essential unity of all manifested life; therefore, from the angle of space, he has dominated and overcome cleavage and division; in the sense of time he has not.  The great heresy of separateness no longer exists in his consciousness; the consciousness of the initiatory process is not yet over, however for that involves the recognition of time. [R&I 599-600]

62.                 During the initiatory process between the second and the third initiations, the initiate has to battle with illusion in exactly the same sense as he earlier had to battle with glamour.  Illusion is, in the last analysis, the control of the mental processes by great and massive thoughtforms; this conflict persists from the moment that the disciple has achieved mental polarisation (at a midway point between the second and the third initiations) until he stands before the Initiator at the sixth Initiation of Decision, when the last illusion disappears.  You will feel and comment that the Masters are therefore subject to illusion.  This They definitely are, and there are great and basic illusions governing life within the Hierarchy.  Nevertheless, they are illusions of such a high order that—for advanced humanity—they would signify achievement. ….. [R&I  600]

63.                 True sharing definitely involves many little renunciations, and it is upon these small renunciations that the capacity for freedom is slowly being generated and the habit of renunciation can eventually be stabilised; this capacity and these habits, these unselfish activities and these spiritual habitual attitudes are the preparatory stages for the Initiation of Renunciation, just as the effort to serve one's fellowmen is preparatory to the taking of the third initiation, of the Transfiguration. [R&I 614]

64.                 At the third initiation the control of the soul-illumined mind is finally established, and the soul itself assumes the dominant position and not the phenomenal form.  All the limits of the form nature are then transcended.  It is the vision of this transcendence which is communicated at the time of the second initiation under the symbolism of a positively applied purification. [R&I 674]

65.                 Before him (2nd degree initiate) lies the third initiation of the Transfiguration.  Facing him is a great transition from an emotional aspirational focus to an intelligent, thinking focus.  He has, theoretically at least, cast off the control of the astral body and nature; much still remains to be done; old desires, ancient astral reactions and habitual emotions are still powerful, but he has developed a new attitude to them and a new perspective to the astral body.  Water, fire, steam, glamour, delusion, misinterpretation and emotional continuity still mean something specific and undesirable to him.  He is now negative to their appeal and positive to the higher demanding focus.  That which he now loves and longs for, desires and plans for, lies in another and higher dimension.  He has, through his willingness to pass through the second initiation, struck the first blow at his innate selfishness and has demonstrated his determination to think in wider and more inclusive terms.  The group begins to mean more to him than himself. [R&I 677-678]

66.                 We are told (and it is factually true) that the longest period between initiations is that to be found between the first and the second initiations.  This is a truth which must be faced, but it should also be remembered that it is by no means the hardest period.  The hardest period for the sensitive, feeling aspirant is to be found between the second and the third initiations. [R&I 683-684]