Commentary on Rule I for Disciples and Initiates



Rule I: Fifth Sentence

A.                 Together let the band of brothers onward move—out of the fire, into the cold and toward a newer tension.

1.                  The alliteration of the phrase “band of brothers” is arresting. It is one of those inspiring expressions which confers hope and enthusiasm in darkened hours. The note related to the letter “b” is also sounding—a second ray note associated with the second letter of many alphabets.

2.                  The idea that one “travels not alone” is strongly inculcated in the esoteric doctrines of Trans-Himalayanism.

“Upon that road one wanders not alone. There is no rush, no hurry, and yet there is no time to lose. Each pilgrim sensing this presses his footsteps forward until he finds himself surrounded by his fellowmen. Some move ahead, he follows after. Some move behind, he sets the pace. He travels not alone” (Rules of the Road, III)

“The Pilgrim, as he walks upon the Road, must have the open ear, the giving hand, the silent tongue, the chastened heart, the golden voice, the rapid foot, and the open eye which sees the light. He knows he travels not alone”. (Rules of the Road, VI)

3.                  On the higher levels of the Path, we make our progress together. Indeed, we always have, even though we have not realized it, and always there were those unseen making progress in parallel to our own.

4.                  The sentence we are studying points to the fifth Law of the Soul—“The Law of Group Progress” (or the “Law of Elevation”) This Soul Law is correlated with Capricorn (the sign of initiation) and basically reveals to us that if we want to achieve initiation (especially under the new initiatory dispensation necessitated by the time-space schedule of the Planetary Logos), it will have to be done in group formation. The Tibetan tells us the following concerning this law: “It is through obedience to this law that preparation for initiation is instituted by the disciple”. (EP II 177)

5.                  It is the fifth law (correlating, thus, with the Fifth Creative Hierarchy and the members of that Hierarchy—the Solar Angels or “Hearts of Fiery Love”). It necessarily has Sirian associations because the number five is so important in the influence of Sirius upon our solar system and planet. The energy released in the enacting of this law is buddhi or spiritual love and that energy “comes via the love petals of the egoic lotus, and the subsidiary Law of Magnetic Impulse”. (cf. EP II 150)

6.                  The Law of Group Progress is part of the basic ‘spiritual socialization’ of the members of the human race, helping them to realize that they make true and rapid progress together, rather than as “rugged individuals”. Rugged individualism comes under the province of Mars whereas ‘spiritual socialization’ develops through the use of Venusian energies—Venus, being for Earth, the archetypal planet and the one after which Earth patterns itself. Venus, of course, is strongly conditioned by the fifth ray and the Law of Group Progress is the fifth Law of the Soul.

7.                    The kinds of groups which respond to this Fifth Law of the Soul, are described as follows:

“Today the new groups are slowly and gradually coming into being and being governed by these soul laws.  They will, therefore, strike a different note and produce groups which are welded together by a united aspiration and objective.  Yet they will be constituted of free souls, individual and developed, who recognise no authority but that of their own souls, and submerge their interests to the soul purpose of the group as a whole.  Just as the achievement of an individual has, down the ages, served to raise the race, so a paralleling achievement in group formation will tend to raise humanity still more rapidly.  Hence this law is called that of Elevation”.

We should think about our present enterprise and see to what extent the note we strike is that which is here suggested. Surely, it will be so increasingly.

8.                  In the sentence from the first Rule here under study, we are told we are to travel “together”. The awareness of each group member is focussed on the life of the group. The individual members does not think of stepping ahead and leaving the group behind, and yet (though the group travels as one) there are those who, in consciousness, “move ahead” and “set the pace”. This takes place (and this is important) without the disruption of group integrity.

9.                  How can group members travel at different rates of, let us say, ‘spiritual speed’ and yet travel “together”. This is an occult paradox worth pondering and each can arrive at his or her own conclusions.

10.              I would suggest that in an understanding of group love and group loyalty is held the answer.

11.              For example, the Christ, though He travels far on ahead, is still “with us”. His loving magnetic energy suffuses the entirety of the human kingdom. This of course is a very big group compared to ours (and, of course, to any of the groups studying this rules, for humanity represents one of the largest groups with which we have any immediate contact) but a principle can be recognized.

12.              It is possible to deepen one’s spiritual consciousness and potency rapidly and, yet, do so in such a way as to cause no cleavage with one’s group brothers, and so that all within the group benefit from one’s rapidity. In fact, the forging ahead which is the responsibility of every disciple, serves not to separate him from his group, but to enhance the progress of the group.

13.              When we progress “together”, we do not bind ourselves to each other in ways that constrain and limit our freedom of expression. We do not insist that we all do things in the same way and at the same time. Standardization and (worse), regimentation are distortions of togetherness; rather, individual freedom is promoted.

14.              Then, in what consists this togetherness? What does it mean that we “onward move” together? The key elements of this kind of togetherness are: unity of purpose; a shared vision—at least with regard to esoteric essentials; commonalty of plan within a diversity of methods; mutual care and respect; and finally, above all, group love, which is the love of each other as souls and identification with and love of the group soul.

15.              It is certainly a togetherness based on criteria other than liking and disliking—very changeable, unstable factors. Nor is it based upon approval and disapproval, nor on various gratifications of the lower personal ego. It is far deeper than this.

16.              The sense of identity of each individual group member has expanded beyond his/her own ring-pass-not to include and pervade the group. Thus, it might be said that the togetherness in question is based upon a growing sense of identity-as-the-group. In this we find a stage of identification we might call ‘I-as-We’.

17.              Clearly, there is no such togetherness unless selfishness no longer exerts its separative effect.

18.              Our little mantram, “I am with you”, interpreted beyond its more obvious functions, represents participation in this togetherness.

19.              The group is a “band of brothers”. There are, therefore, bonds of a kind between these brothers, but the bonds must not be exoterically binding. The Tibetan speaks of the “banded esoteric organisms” when He looks towards unity between all those who study the Ageless Wisdom. The bonds within this band of brothers are soul bonds, and they are based upon a spirit of freedom within a spirit of love.

20.              A true band is essentially harmonious (regardless of occasional superficial outer frictions), integrated, unified, and on its way to fusion. In a band there is an “esprit-de-corps”, which reflects a high state of shared motivation and aspiration strengthened by a common purpose and plan.

21.              The thought of a “band of brothers” is inspiring. Not only are we not alone as we tread the spiritual Path, but we are together, strengthening each other and spurring each other to higher achievements. In such a band we are supplementary and complementary to each other in every way. We become a unit under the Master’s watchful eye—fused in soul and, eventually, identified in spirit.

22.              It is no small thing to call another “brother”. Brotherhood is based upon a recognized identicality of spirit. Brotherhood is, essentially a great monadic fact in Super-Nature (the Nature of the higher planes).

23.              The bonds of spirit are indissoluble because in spirit no difference is to be found—“hiding all difference, blotting out all form”. (Rule IX for D&I).  Not only do “I Serve my Brother” (EA 332) but ‘I am my Brother’ and “I Serve the One” (EA 332, both under Gemini)

24.              A brother is so—steadfastly. Nothing can change the fact of brotherhood. One day all humanity will participate in a recognized brotherhood. This will occur on a large (but not complete) scale in the latter part of the Aquarian Age (in the approximately seven-hundred year decanate ruled by Venus, a planet strongly promotive of brotherhood). Within the specialized groups that serve the Ashram, the recognition of essential brotherhood in spirit is achievable before the last third of the Aquarian Age and long before the majority of humanity will recognize brotherhood as a monadic reality.

25.              There is something tremendously uplifting about recognizing a brother as a brother. The recognition carries not only the power of the soul but of the spirit—since, as stated, brotherhood is a monadic reality.

26.              Divine Purpose, as far as we human beings are concerned, emanates from the monadic levels (the first plane of differentiated pattern on the cosmic physical plane). When a group of brothers recognize themselves, purpose from this plane begins to pours through, and together they become inspired.

27.              So the bonds in the band of brothers are, first, soul bonds, yes, but ultimately spirit-bonds which are seamless. “I and my Brother are One”. (Of course it could be asked, philosophically, “how can there be bonds between that which is already the same?”, for is not spirit everywhere identical? In brief, I would say: because even the monad, as it manifests on the second subplane of the cosmic physical plane, is temporarily conditioned by differentiated quality).

28.              The modern esoteric movement sorely needs this kind of mutual recognition in order to carry progressive power into the group work. Such mutual inspiration will advance our contribution to the Great Work far more than a number of theoretically held propositions. Brotherhood in its own nature is essentially progressive because it is of the spirit. Let us remember that the quality of motion characteristic of spirit (i.e., of the first ray) is “progress onward” and “driving forward through space”. So when true brotherhood reigns the brother naturally move onward.

29.              The word let in the phrase “let the band of brothers onward move”, is a word of will. “Let” releases the will. It is something of an irresistible, irreversible command, as in “Let there be Light”.

30.              But the power to move onward does not have to be enforced or imposed because within a true brotherhood that progressive power inheres.

31.              Note that Rule I begins by speaking of the “group”, and does so a second time, as well, within the body of the Rule. By the end of the Rule, however, the group has become a “band of brothers”. Obviously, not all groups are characterized by brotherhood; it represents a group-step towards spirit. We remember that in these more advanced fourteen Rules we are studying and seeking to apply the spirit aspect.

32.              What I am driving at, is that true brotherhood is a very high state, and should be pondered for its implications. There is no true brotherhood in the Black Lodge or in the groups sponsored by them. In such ‘groups’ all bonds operate under what might be called ‘forced cohesion’ for selfish individualistic purposes. They may be well disciplined (as Master M. tells us); they may be well organized, but, essentially, they are disintegrative with no true magnetism to hold them together. They are bound together by fear and selfishness (the desire for individual advantage).

33.              So, real brotherhood is progressive—naturally progressive. It onward moves.

34.              What is progress? In the largest sense it is movement towards the realization and manifestation of the Grand Design. It is certainly not just change, but change which leads in an series of ever more refined approximations towards the actualization of an intended archetype.

35.              Spirit has two great movements—Self-fragmentation (apparently) and Self-re-coalescence. Spirit can never be divided or divided from itself, yet such is the illusion during every successive universe. Spirit is stillness itself and yet ever in motion. Perhaps is should be said that spirit is the great driving force, the “Prime-Mover”.

36.              During the great phase of involution unconsciously experienced as the “Second Outpouring” (to use the Theosophical terminology) the term “onward” would lead into greater and greater differentiation, for during this phase of the total process of out-breath and in-breath, spirit (represented as the Second Logos) was in the process of apparent subdivision.

37.              With respect to the Fourth Creative Hierarchy, however, we are now in the stage of evolution, and so “onward” means a ‘return of spirit to itself’. In the World of Becoming (the world of ceaselessly changing consciousness evolving through mutable forms), opposites attract. In the world of spirit, “like attracts like”—spirit ever seeks to merge with the other apparent fragments of itself.

38.              “Onward”, therefore, means the search of ‘spirits’ for the One Spirit Self, and the passing through all stages of lessening differentiation in order to find that Essential Oneness.

39.              “Onward”, therefore, means return—conscious return to the primeval State which always is. On the way to this state of ‘Home’, many are the encounters on many dimensions.

40.              The encounters here listed are the “fire” and the “cold” and, finally, a state of “tension” higher than the one left behind, but still not a consummated capable of permanently engaging the attention of the ever-progressive individualized spirit or of the spirit-inspired group. Greater points of tension loom ever on ahead—until….the final “Day be with Us”.

41.              Ultimately, then, “progress” is spirit-based. The soul (Solar Angel) inspires progress within the world of form, but its causal impulsion comes from the world of spirit.

42.              Spirit is a word easily spoken or written but, essentially, it means something rather strange to the average human soul embodied in form. The world of the loving, lighted soul is just beginning to come into view; the world of the spirit (immortal and, essentially, ever-free,) is something far more remote and yet, fundamental—“nearer than hands and feet”.

43.              The world of fire (according to the meaning of “fire” in this Rule) is not the world of spirit; the world of the cold, here referenced, is not the world of spirit. Even the point of tension which is the goal of the questing band of brothers is not the world of spirit. That point of tension (in this particular instance) will be found upon the atmic plane. But the last sentence in this rule can be progressively applied to any advanced group at any stage of polarization; it states a universal truth about all ‘progress-in-universe’.

44.              Returning to the particular case which is applicable to spirit/souls at our level of evolution, fire, so long the goal of the adventuring, aspiring human soul, is now something that must be left behind.

45.              In this case, “fire” can be considered the dimension of the higher or abstract mind. “Fire” is a term which often is applied to the mental plane, but there is hardly a plane of nature to which it cannot be rightly applied. Fire is simply a quality of motion; it means, essentially, the vibration to which all phenomena can be reduced, even as flame reduces matter to essence.

46.              The fires of the mental plane (on any of its three levels—concrete, unitive or abstract) must be left behind (as an objective though not as a useful instrument). The focus of the adventuring band of brother must not be there.

47.              Given that the cultivation of the abstract mind is the object of developing humanity during the sixth subrace of the fifth Root-Race, we can see that a very high stage of unfoldment is required by the phrase, “out of the fire”. We are being told that the group is leaving behind what a majority of human beings will be seeking during the next sub-stage of racial unfoldment.

48.              Facility with the abstract mind will be assumed, and of course, it will be needed, but it is not the focus of the band of brothers. Something more living looms on head.

49.              The “cold” beckons and follows the fire. The cold here is not the “cold” condition of the lunar vehicles which have finally been trained no longer to awaken to the call of Fire by Friction. That beneficial unresponsiveness is assumed. The “cold” here referenced is a great clarity of vision, which can only be achieved upon the ‘plane of wisdom’, the buddhic plane. It is a cold which kills all untruth.

50.              Buddhi, in a way, is truth—cold and impartial to personality (and even soul) bias. Does it seem strange to think of the soul as biased? (Note, we are not here speaking of the Solar Angel, but rather of consciousness within the causal body—also frequently called “soul”). Built up as it is from a collection of incarnational experiences, it must necessarily be both limited and biased, though far broader in its understanding that the perspective of the consciousness of the personality.

51.              The fires of the abstract mental plane admit to a relatively wide and comprehensive vision, but they fall short of the truth to be found in the clear cold light of pure reason. In this “cold” above the plane of abstract mentality, a new livingness is to be found. So the “cold” (cold to all that could influence it from the lower planes) is vibrantly alive, because it pulsates with the life of the Solar Logos—the buddhic plane being the lowest plane to which that great Entity can descend.

52.              Abstract thinking is still a veil upon that which the clear cold light of pure reason reveals. Abstract thinking can reveal the plans and patterns upon which the lower worlds are built, but the clear cold light discloses the ideas which are the animating life force within these plans and patterns. Ideas are living beings, and they are first encountered within the realm of buddhi. (They are encountered still livingly upon the monadic plane.)

53.              What is important to realize is that the “cold” towards which the band of brothers strives is not dead and lifeless, but pulsating with life and admits to a stage of livingness beyond anything that can be experienced in the lower three worlds and even within the normal world of soul—the higher mental plane.

54.              The point of tension which beckons to the one who has achieved the “cold” is specific in this case. The band of brothers is being asked to polarize its focus of consciousness upon the atmic plane, the true plane of the spiritual will (as far as humanity is concerned).

55.              Ever progress is from one point of tension to another. Every stabilized change of focus represents the achievement of a new point of tension. But here the point of tension lies beyond both the abstract mental and buddhic planes.

56.              Such a group will begin to inhere within the Will of God which can be found upon the atmic plane.

57.              Note that the band is moving towards a newer tension. It does not yet achieve such a high polarization. Its practical stage of advancement is represented by the words “into the cold”. In practical terms, the buddhic plane is the focus which must be achieved. One can understand why. A fourth degree initiate is truly polarized upon the buddhic plane, and some accounts within the Teaching tell us that a Master of the Wisdom is also polarized there. Atmic polarization is something for the Masters alone. Atmic responsiveness, however, is increasingly possible.

58.              Atmic responsiveness (the point of tension which the group oriented towards the atmic plane is attempting to achieve) will render the group increasingly and consciously responsive to the Divine Plan, and, ultimately, to the Divine Purpose.

59.              The ending of this first Rule (citing three levels—the “fire”, the “cold” and the “newer tension”) is inviting the group to establish itself within the world of the spiritual triad. Such an establishment is a long curriculum spanning three solar initiation (the solar first, second and third, which are the planetary third, fourth and fifth).

60.              A group which intends to follow this Rule successfully, may be working at it for a number of incarnations, or have personnel which have been working at the process for several lives.

61.              We do not need to discourage ourselves, however, by looking at the ultimate meanings of this Rule. Even if a group leaves the fires of lower mind behind and establishes itself within the relative “cold” of the soul, a important step is already being taken. There are not many groups which  are true soul groups, and to this achievement, Rule I, interpreted ‘sub-triadally’ can apply.

62.              The formula holds good for several kinds of groups. A fully soul-infused group would already be a group initiate of the third degree.

63.              Each group can place itself. Our group, for instance, has much to do before it is significantly infused by the soul. We can become increasingly triadally responsive, but we are surely not yet established in the “cold” in its triadal sense. Towards this we strive.

64.              What is the point of tension which beckons to us? At this time, one would have to say it is the soul itself (and, by this I mean the group soul). True, we study the building of the antahkarana, do attempt to build and use it, and thus enter the world of the spiritual triad—but we are not, as a group—‘there yet’-- consciously. As more and more group members develop some facility with the antahkarana work, the light contacted by the group will get ever clearer and colder. Then some significant triadal infusion will occur.

65.              The straining of the abstract mind after fertilization by the intuition is one good way to enter the world of pure reason, a world of living ideas. As a thinker scans the inner worlds for what he or she does not yet know, the bridge from the abstract mind to the intuition is being built. These contacts are never “worked up from below”, and are not the result of any human experience. They are part of the mind, love, wisdom and will of “God”, the Planetary Logos. They have to do with divine, living patterns which direct all outer experience. Contact with them renders us vibrantly alive. Too much contact will destroy the lower form life altogether. One wonders whether a strong factor in the destruction of the causal body is not an increasingly potent buddhic contact which demands, for the sake of fuller expression, that the impediment of causal body be destroyed. The greater, for now, only inspires the lesser, but at a certain point of intense contact, destroys the lesser. This might be called ‘destruction by superior intensification’. In more common parlance, it is called “outliving” the present life pattern. Destruction proceeds as if from within, and is not the result of mistakes or mismanagement ‘below’. This higher form of destruction is often proceeded by a period of intense fatigue which seems to have some mysterious cause. The real cause is the intensification of a hitherto undetected divine aspect; this superior aspect magnetizes the life force and robs the usual, ‘lower’ preoccupations of the energy necessary to sustain them. The greater life ‘above’ forces the outliving of the lower activities. In short: we lose interest and ‘die’ to earlier involvements.

66.               The tiredness incident to a life in or under Pisces is often due to such causes. Pisces is, spiritually, the “end of the trail”, and preparation for the emergence of a powerful, implicate energy is often in progress.

67.              In or under Pisces, for instance, the focus upon Hierarchy can begin to dissolve, and the power of Shamballa can begin to take its place. Those who take their final incarnation in or under Pisces are learning “World Saviourship”, and are strongly influenced by Shamballa in that final incarnation.

68.              On lower turns of the spiral (and even in relation to progressed Moon phases in Pisces), the principle holds good and the steps of a process can be identified: 1) fatigue due to the incompletely sensed build-up of a source of greater energy behind the energy which sustains one’s present pattern of preoccupation; 2) the emergence of that energy accompanied by the destruction of the present ‘pattern of preoccupation’; followed by 3) liberation and a far fuller expression of the source of greater energy and the creation of a new pattern of expression.

69.              The important to thing to realize is that progress is eternal in cosmos. Whether there is any real progress for the ONE SUPREME IDENTITY is a very interesting and debatable question to which my present answer is, “No”. Sometime we can go into this; it is based upon the infinite perfection of the ONE ABSOLUTE SOURCE.

70.              For practical purposes, the stage of brotherhood about which we are today rapidly learning, is intensely progressive and leads us into the higher levels of our energy system and into the worlds/dimensions which correlate with those levels.

71.              There is plenty in cosmos to “keep us going” and once we learn to function as true brothers, our progress, relative to how it has been, will be rapid, indeed.



The Themes Included Under the Sentence 5

B.                 “Out of the fire”: this is a symbolic way of indicating that the personality life is definitely and finally left behind (cf. RI, p. 44)

Here, in very brief form, certain basic instructions are given.  Each of them indicates the new attitudes imposed upon all who have taken initiation.  They cannot be interpreted in terms of the Path of Discipleship or of Probation.  The ordinary and easily-arrived-at significances mean little to the initiate mind.  Let me briefly consider them so that clarity of concept, though not of detail, may prevail.

1.                  The Tibetan issues a warning—in essence, “Don’t be fooled by appearances; think more deeply than you ever have”. These Rules are written for the “initiate mind”. They are not capable of being meaningfully interpreted by those who think of themselves as separate human units, even if animated by a powerful aspiration and strong intention.

2.                  These “new attitudes” are “imposed upon all who have taken initiation”. Why “imposed” and what does the imposing? Might we not say that the intense energies evoked by the initiate beat upon his consciousness, forcing (by their very insistent presence) the initiate to reckon with them. The result is the formation of “new attitudes”. The energies are inescapable hence their effect is an imposed  one. The new point of tension achieved presses upon the initiate forcing certain realizations and conclusions.

3.                  As well, closer affiliation with the Master’s ashram makes the initiate more sensitive to the quality of thought generated with that ashram. As these thoughts impinge upon the initiate’s consciousness, new patterns of orientation resonant to ashramic thought are created.


a. Out of the fire.  This is a symbolic way of indicating that the personality life is definitely and finally left behind.  It is this phrase which gives the clue to the initiation which is referred to in this Rule.  Each of these Rules contains within itself the clue to the particular initiation to which reference is being made.  The Rules are not placed in their right order, having sequential reference to the seven initiations.  The intuition of the aspirant must be invoked if he is to arrive at right knowledge.  I shall sometimes indicate the initiation involved, but not always, as it would profit not.  The clue to the seventh initiation which lies ahead for such high Beings as the Christ would be of no service to you at all.  The clue to the initiation of the Transfiguration can be of importance, as it involves the personality, and many of you in the not so distant future (from the angle of the aeonial life cycle of the soul) will face that.  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 [Page 45] 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.

1.                  In this paragraph the Tibetan tells us that various of the Rules apply to the various initiations—quite possibly, but not necessarily, the first seven initiations. He invites us to study the Rules intuitively so we can discern the initiation to which a given Rule may apply.

2.                  The Tibetan tells us “I shall sometimes indicate the initiation involved, but not always, as it would profit not”. From this sentence, we do not know whether he is indicating the initiatory level which correlates with this first Rule, yet as we read, we gather the impression that He is definitely doing so.

3.                  He does tell us that the phrase, “Out of the fire”  “is a symbolic way of indicating that the personality life is definitely and finally left behind”. So, then, this first Rule tells us that a stage of evolution has been reached in which the personality life is, indeed, left behind. Later, in the same paragraph, He tells us that “the secret of the third initiation is the demonstration of complete freedom from the claims and demands of the personality”. It does not require too much reasoning to reveal that “complete freedom from the claims and demands of the personality” is the same as leaving the personality life “definitely and finally behind”. The conclusion, therefore, is that Rule I for Disciples and Initiates refers to the third initiation. This is our starting point. The succeeding Rules will, therefore, not be in order, at least as regard the initiation to which they refer. They may well be in order in terms of some deeper design. Perhaps, later, we may make an attempt to place them in order in terms of the initiation to which they refer and see how a reading of them in such an order may reveal the initiate’s progress.

4.                  In our attempt to place these Rules in initiatory order, we may or may not be correct, but the attempt to do so will teach us much. We will have to know the main theme and requirements of each initiation, and how the ancient language of the Rule does or does not correlate with such themes and requirements. In the attempt to make the correlation our powers of discrimination and discernment are being tested.

5.                  Studying this first Rule carefully, we can see many “earmarks” of the third initiation:

a.                   clear mental focussing;

b.                  the possible appearance of the light in the head (though since such an appearance is “phenomenal”, it need not necessarily appear in the life of all third degree initiates);

c.                   the work has been accomplished on the triple burning ground (after the third initiation, the testing period faced before initiation is not so much referred to as a burning ground);

d.                  focus upon the higher mental plane through which the “clear, cold light shines forth”

e.                   integrated group consciousness in the field of soul love

f.                    the “door of initiation” stands behind. Really the “door” passed at the third degree is the door to real initiation as the Hierarchy considers initiation. The first two initiations are not, technically, real, (i.e., solar initiations)

g.                   the Way does not open up before the eye of the initiate until after the third initiation

h.                   the “cold” of the spiritual triad does not admit of penetration until  after the third initiation.

We can see, can we not, how the stage and requirements of the third initiation are multiply indicated in this Rule.

6.                  The implication in the paragraph under study is that even the seventh initiation is indicated in the Rules, but that no clue will be given by the Tibetan to alert us to which Rules may indicate it. Whether all seven initiations are indicated in the first seven Rules, or whether all fourteen must be scanned, is something we shall have to determine as we go.

7.                  Note that knowledge, per se, may not necessarily be of service. We might be quite interested in the seventh initiation and which Rule pertains to it, but the knowledge to be gathered would not be capable of application and hence would not serve. There are many things which are “nice to know”, but, essentially, quite useless. The Buddha recognized this very well, and stuck in His Teaching to the fundamental knowledge which would release a human being from the thralldom of desire. The mind can range the entire planet, piling the nuggets of knowledge one atop the other—but to what end? Probably a few things—understood, assimilated and applied—would better serve.

8.                  The Tibetan tells us that

The clue to the initiation of the Transfiguration can be of importance, as it involves the personality, and many of you in the not so distant future (from the angle of the aeonial life cycle of the soul) will face that”.

This statement certainly puts the time equation in proportion. Many students of esotericism (given the pressure of the times and the great possibilities) are in a “rush”, even though we are wisely advised that “there is no rush, no hurry, and yet there is no time to lose”.

The personality may wish that the phrase, “not so distant future”, tells a story of years or perhaps decades; probably, however, it tells a story of “lives”. The soul persists through aeons and has a different, wider and more elevated perspective than the personality can possibly have. The effort to think in terms of soul perspective (rather than in terms of the time-conscious personality) is much to be recommended. The personality is the “hare” of the ancient fable; the soul is the tortoise.

9.                  Then comes this most important sentence:

The secret of the third initiation is the demonstration of complete freedom from the claims and demands of the personality”.

It is important to realize that this does not mean that the personality will no longer have “claims and demands”; it will. But the attitude of the consciousness of the initiate is such that these claims and demands are not allowed to disrupt the initiate’s sustained purpose and plan.  Basically, the personality can no longer deviate the initiate from his will-intended course. He lives undeviatingly at a point of tension ‘above’ that of the personality, which must obey, even though it like it not.

10.              Of course, the personality of a third degree initiate is not so likely to present the problems resident in a personality of lower grade, but subtle problems will, nonetheless, remain (otherwise, how could the “rich young man” {ever an initiate of the third degree}”go sadly away” when the Christ asked him to “sell everything, give the money to the poor and follow me”?!. The personality is not truly defeated until the fourth degree, and even afterwards, the “Dweller on the Threshold” remains, to be finally disposed (through synthetic identification) at the fifth initiation when the debris of the exploded causal body is, at last, dissipated.

“3. In the third initiation, the initiate can employ the intuition for the right perception of truth, and in that initiation he catches the first real glimpse of the Dweller on the Threshold and the Angel of the Presence.
4. In the fourth initiation, the initiate demonstrates his ability to produce complete at-one-ment between the higher and lower aspect of the soul in manifestation and sees the Dweller on the Threshold merge into the Angel of the Presence.
5. In the fifth initiation—and here words fail to express the truth—he sees the Dweller on the Threshold, [Page 104] the Angel, and the Presence merged into a divine synthesis”
(GWP 103-104).

11.              The Tibetan describes the attitude of the third degree initiate to his personality demonstration:

It does not involve the achievement of [Page 45] 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”.

We have to remember that perfection is associated with the number four. The fourth ray is the “Corrector of the Form” and that form is finally corrected at the fourth degree, then to be discarded, in most instances.

It is said that the “devil is in the details”. Note that the Master is not looking too closely at the life of an initiate of the third degree, but rather “in a broad and general way” and in terms of “life-tendency” and “of entire dedication to humanity”. If these large themes and tendencies are in place, then all is well. Limitations do exist, that is certain, but they are not allowed to touch the service of the initiate who works as if above them.

12.              The personality, as a disturbance,  is negated. Perhaps this is what it means to conquer the Moon and Mars at that degree, for these two planets signify the power of the lunar lords to disrupt and retard.

13.              Note, in considering this paragraph as a whole, the several ways that the word, “fire” can be interpreted. The Tibetan interprets it as indicative of the entire personality life—the eighteen lower fires, burning with “Fire by Friction”.

14.              Fire also, as previously suggested, can indicate the mental plane in general. During the progressive application of these rules, the different fires characteristic of the three levels of the mental plane have to be transcended, and consciousness eventually polarized on that level of fire we call the buddhic plane—a level which is “cold” to the eighteen lower fires. Coldness can, of course, apply to various conditions within the eighteen lower fires. In early days they are cold or unresponsive to the impact by soul energies. Later, as spiritual progress takes hold, these eighteen lower fires are subdued and the matter of the eighteen lower subplanes becomes “cold” to the fires of passion. Then the meaning of “cold” shifts into the higher planes and begins to relate to qualities of consciousness.


C.                 “Into the cold”: this means that the focus of the life is now in the realm of clear truth and of pure reason (cf. RI, p. 45)

b. Into the cold.  This means that the focus of the life is now in the realm of clear truth and of pure reason.  The life of the initiate is being rapidly transferred out of the egoic centre, the soul vehicle, on to the level of the buddhic life or state of being.  Note, I do not say "of consciousness."  This is formless, but preserves the fruitage of form experience.  It is being oriented towards a realised unity and identification with the life aspect of divinity, and yet preserves its own recognised and achieved identity.  On this level of pure impersonality and of right orientation the group stands, obedient to the rule which governs this particular stage of development.

1.                  Here the higher “cold” is described. The life is not longer deluded by partial and relative truths and the vagaries of reasoning. Clear truth is seen when the veils of personality no longer obscure. Pure reason prevails when fire has done its work. We might think of it as ‘reason purified by fire’.

2.                  At this stage (“into the cold”) there is still focus in the egoic center (the higher ego, not the personal ego), and polarization upon the buddhic plane is not yet established.

3.                  The Tibetan says that the “life of the initiate is being rapidly transferred”—not just the consciousness (though that, too, no matter how defined, is also involved). The initiate has been living within his causal center, and knows that he is the individual he has made himself to be over millions of years. He stands amidst his “tested accumulations” (as Master M. puts it). But soon the initiate will feel the degree of livingness characteristic of the egoic center (the causal body) to be a limitation; his life will long for greater Life; he will seek the higher, wider, freer spaces of the buddhic plane.

4.                  Upon the buddhic plane consciousness, as we usually know it, does not obtain—yet, forever and always in-cosmos, consciousness, itself, is inescapable. The Tibetan emphasizes the word “being” instead of “consciousness”, because a necessary adjustment in our ideas about the spiritual triad is more powerfully induced by the word “being” with its connotation of the life aspect.

5.                  Wherever the life is focussed, there the greatest magnetism occurs. When life is focussed within the causal periphery, the majority of the initiate’s experience is referred to it. When life focus is transferred to the buddhic plane, the buddhic vehicle becomes a center of magnetism more potent than the causal body, and the quality of experience (call it, ‘in-perience’) changes.

6.                  Consciousness necessarily changes too, and will be distinguished by intuitive apprehension and the blending and merging of subject and object. Sight as if ‘from within’ will replace the older and more habitual modes of conscious perception.

7.                  We are given to understand that buddhic awareness “is formless, but preserves the fruitage of form experience”.  The final transfer of causal content to triadal levels occurs at the fourth degree. How this occurs is mysterious, and is ‘hintingly’ suggested, perhaps, by the word “translation”—the translation of content with form into content without form, yet without loss of quality and potency even though form be lost. The principle is that the greater includes the lesser, just as the idea includes the many thoughts generated from the idea. When form is sacrificed, quality is not lost. When the form through which causal quality manifested is lost, the essence of that quality is not lost but distilled, appearing, it would seem, in greater potency on the higher plane to which it is translated.

8.                  In cosmos nothing can be permanently lost. The akashic record (the memory of nature) records all; the record is complete. The hardest thing, says Master M., is to lose what we have created. Benevolently, we cannot lose the quality we have worked so hard to generate. As well, we cannot lose our “tail”—the retrogressive tendencies every dragging behind us. The lesson is apt, as Master M. once again compares us to the animal kingdom just to arrest our attention and stimulate enough pride of evolutionary place to ensure that we shake off atavism!

9.                  Upon the buddhic plane, the life of the initiate finds a new, mid-way focus.

It is being oriented towards a realised unity and identification with the life aspect of divinity, and yet preserves its own recognised and achieved identity”. 

The atmic plane is the antechamber of a type of identification which can only be realized by conscious monads of the sixth degree. The high mentality of the abstract mental plane still preserves the identity achieved over millennia of labor. Buddhic awareness is a plane of “realised unity” and “divine harmony”, falling short of the complete identification which is the province of the monad, but standing in advance of the high individualism which is the perspective of the consciousness focussed within the causal body.

10.              The group which has ventured “into the cold” is standing in a new place, relatively:

 On this level of pure impersonality and of right orientation the group stands,…”

The loving understanding of the buddhic plane is a friend to “pure impersonality”, which, so it seems, is not encountered before this point. “Right orientation” takes into account an awareness of the “Heart of the Sun” (an awareness common to the buddhic plane, whereon the Solar Logos has its lowest point of conscious demonstration).

11.              The group is now “obedient”. The rebellious tendencies associated with the eighteen lower fires have been subdued, and the refined individualism of causal consciousness is put in its proper place. The will of the ashram is making itself felt in an incontestable manner. The initiate and the initiate group simply know, through pure reason, that it is necessary to obey that which the buddhic intuition reveals. Personal distortion is over and causal refraction is coming rapidly to an end (terminated at the fourth degree). The revealed truth cannot be challenged, nor is there the lower will to do so.


D.                “Toward a newer tension”: The esoteric significance of tension is ‘focussed immovable Will’. Right tension is the identification of brain and soul with the will aspect, and the preservation of that identification — unchanged and immovable — no matter what the circumstances and the difficulties (cf. RI, p. 45)

c. Toward a newer tension.  The interpretation of the phrase presents difficulty.  This is owing to the false impression which the word "tension" conveys at this time.  It is associated in the minds of the reading public with the thought of nerves, with points of crisis, with courage and with fatigue.  Is this not so?  But in reality tension, occultly understood, is not associated with these aspects of personality reaction at all.  The esoteric significance of tension (as far as I can explain it by limiting words) is "focussed immovable Will."  Right tension is the identification of brain and soul with the will aspect, and the preservation of that identification—unchanged and immovable—no matter what the circumstances and the difficulties.

1.                  Much anent tension has been discussed in the earlier Commentaries. What is important to realize is that right tension does not arise within the personality at all, not even within the causal body. Both personality and soul are to be aligned with the spiritual will, the true source of which is (for practical purposes) the atmic plane—though the true origin of will far transcends that source and ends within the Universal Logos itself.

2.                  The normal personality states which we call “tense” are the very negation of right tension which subdues and harmonizes all contending forces. As higher points of tension are first accessed, the effect upon the personality nature may, indeed, be “nerves”, points of crisis, the necessity for courage, and fatigue resulting from long conflict between higher and lower points of tension. But if these lower effects preoccupy the consciousness, the disciple is not really living at a higher point of tension, but is still very much in the process of disidentifying with personality states. Thus, tension is not stress, though the approach to it may temporarily induce stress.

3.                  The final sentence is the telling one:

Right tension is the identification of brain and soul with the will aspect, and the preservation of that identification—unchanged and immovable—no matter what the circumstances and the difficulties”.

Once I did a compilation on “no matter what”, just to see how far a second ray Master would carry such an injunction; rather far, I discovered. A key phrase is “preservation of identification”. Note, He is not speaking of preserving intensity or a certain attitude or asana, but of preserving identification. This must be a most subtle interior act. How is it done?

4.                  A mantram to help us approach this preservation of identification is, “I will not be less than I am”. It is easy to descend upon the ladder of possible identifications simply by attending overmuch to the noisy demand of some lower vehicle. As a simple example, we have all seen how hunger, a bad mood or a jumble of chaotic thoughts can distract our attention and incline us to “forget ourselves”. But in right tension, there is such clarity of perception, such a felt sense of extended being, that it is not likely that this clarity will be fogged or this felt sense will be compromised. In a way, right tension depends upon “never forgetting oneself”. Even though we are always enjoined towards “self-forgetfulness”, it is “Self-remembering” or “Self-recollection” we must achieve, and what is to be forgotten is, really, the “not-Self”.

5.                  What would happen if for one whole hour an individual would not forget who he or she really is. The sense of true identity is usually the first thing to go—victim of every passing preoccupation of consciousness. But what if real identification could be preserved.

6.                  My own experience with this demonstrates that specially devised mantrams are useful—though they, too, can become a preoccupation inducing the wrong king of Self-forgetfulness.

7.                  I would recommend that group members devise their own ‘mantrams of Self-remembrance’. Each will have his or her own approach. The mantrams can be repeated (with intervals of silence to allow their effect to “sink in”), and at length, once a steady vibration is established, relinquished as unnecessary—at least for that session.

8.                  Also a wide focus of consciousness is useful—let us call it a ‘preserved extended consciousness’. We simply do not allow consciousness to go into a ‘cramp’ and, thus, shut out a higher reality which we have managed to apprehend.

9.                  Another useful exercise is a holding of the sense of ‘within-ness’—the contemplative consciousness.

10.              Always, it is a question of holding and sustaining. When any difference from the sustained state is noticed, it is deflected, not allowed. Thus the requisite perception remains intact. This is more easily said than done and, of course, must be practiced.

11.              The idea, “I will not descend” is a good reminder. All of normal life prompts descent from reality—for those who are unpracticed. The Master does not so descend.

12.              As well, the simple “Who am I” exercise—asked of oneself and answered by oneself is an excellent expedient in the apprehension of true Identity. The personality, seeking novelty and relief from boredom, may grow to despise this exercise, dreading its implementation, but used well, the personality is quieted and the Greater Identity steps to the fore.

13.              Living a life without Self-remembering is like suffocation; high points of tension are available to the rightly identified Self.


You can see, therefore, how far ahead of present attitudes and goals this teaching is.  Identification with the soul and with the Hierarchy is dependent upon the ability of the disciple rightly to love.  It is the emergence of the second divine aspect, for love is the expression of group life, and [Page 46] that is rare indeed to find in these days.  Right tension indicates the emergence of the first aspect, of the will, and this is seldom to be found as yet, save among the more advanced disciples and initiate members of the Hierarchy.

1.                  The Tibetan reminds us that we are studying advanced matters—something we should bear in mind should we become frustrated with the apparently insufficient depth of our comprehension and the seemingly slow rate of our application.

2.                  Identification is such a wholesome state of consciousness. Frictions and dissonances subside, and the sense of “arriving home” supervenes. The disciplines of identification repay the exacting efforts expended.

3.                  The first stage of identification to achieve is identification with the soul and the Hierarchy, and depends upon our ability “rightly to love”.  If we succeed in “asking nothing for the separated self” we can enter this love. Whenever love seems not to flow, something is being asked for the separated self. The discriminations involved are subtle, for some of these ‘askings’ are not obvious.

4.                  Love is difficult enough to achieve. What of will and the emergence of the first aspect of divinity? Rare to find, D.K. tells us, except among advanced disciples and those who are initiate. An advanced disciple is an individual approaching the third degree and an initiate is someone who has experienced the revelations of the “mountain top”.

5.                  What seems clear and important is that the way to identification (as the will reveals it) is through love. There should be no short cuts and side-steps. “No man commeth to the Father except through Me”, says the Christ. The Christ is the energy of love, and the Father is the monad expressed through the will aspect. If one is to achieve identification with the Father, it should be based upon the established power to love.


E.                 Love governs the Way into the life of the Hierarchy (cf. RI, p. 46)

Love governs the Way into the life of the Hierarchy and is the foundation for all approach to, and appreciation and acceptance of truth.

1.                  A potent reminder, this. Mind (though necessary) does not govern the way into the Hierarchy. It is, after all, principally the Hierarchy of Love, the heart center of our little planet (whether globe, chain or scheme may be debated).

2.                  Love helps one appreciate the truth. Love helps one accept  the truth. There are all kinds of distortions to truth which real love negates. The flow of love adjusts our sense of values, thus putting our desires in order, hierarchicalizing them. Desire it is (with its inevitable bias) which distorts the truth. True love, neutralizing desire—especially lower desire—removes the cause of distortion.

3.                  The implication is that truth will reveal itself to one who loves. One may think about the truth without much love in the heart, but one will not know the truth (intuitively and immediately) without the power of love.



F.                  Will governs the way into Shamballa (cf. RI, p. 46)

Will governs the Way into Shamballa and is the foundation for all approach to, appreciation of and identification with, Being.

1.                  Perhaps Hierarchy is a goal sufficiently lofty. None of us is a full member of the Hierarchy, and none of us loves as one day we will. This sentence tells us that the Law of Synthesis is inclusive of the Law of Attraction. In this solar system, the Law of Attraction is supreme, but in the system to come, which will be climactic for our Solar Logos, the Law of Synthesis will prevail.

2.                  It is probable that for many working in our group, Shamballa is not the ‘Place of Destiny’. Other paths may call, and fully eighty percept of humanity treads the Path to Sirius (which is not normally directed through Shamballa except in the case of those who choose the Path of Earth Service and then proceed to Sirius having first registered their choice of Sirius before working in further service to the Earth).

3.                  Nevertheless, though Shamballa may not be our destination, a term of service will come, between the fifth and sixth initiation, when we will necessarily be increasingly responsive to this higher Center. In any case, our will must be unfolded, and planetary Plan and Purpose revealed.

4.                  Shamballa is, after all, but a point of tension—supreme tension, planetarily—but a point of tension nonetheless. The will must be cultivated.

5.                  Some of the best ways for doing so are through a study of the expression of the Divine Plan in history. A great and wide impersonal perspective is thus developed, and the tiny person or individual is seen in truer proportion to the whole. Shamballa’s vision (and hence the vision which will reveals) is profoundly impersonal.

6.                  How will we know when will characterizes our lives? There is no way to be exhaustive about this, and a book could easily be written on the subject. Perhaps we shall feel ourselves unusually vital and electric; Walt Whitman (very probably a third degree initiate-poet) felt this. Perhaps “no matter what” will become a meaningful mantram and we shall find ourselves applying it with increasing frequency. Perhaps our sense of timing will develop so that our actions and thoughts accord with great purposes, far beyond our personal desires. Perhaps we will, at last, become patient, for patience is one of the last beneficent qualities to emerge, and is closely related to the will. Perhaps our sense of values will be so adjusted that the claims of the personality will recede tremendously, and decisions will be made according to the Common Good. Many are the possibilities.

7.                  In any case, the cultivation of the will is before us as that which must be attempted. We are groping our way, perhaps, and our early steps falter, but we are on our way and the increase of true will (and hence of the power to identify-as-life) will surely increase.



G.                Until the fourth initiation is undergone, it is the soul as a ‘focal point for descending light and for ascending radiance (cf. RI, p. 46)

This developed will expresses itself as tension, esoterically understood.  It embodies the ideas of orientation, implacable determination, ability to wait and to preserve intention and orientation unmoved by aught which may occur.  It also involves the determination to take the intended action (always of a creative nature and based on loving understanding) at the psychological moment (right timing), or that exact moment which the psyche or soul determines to be correct.  Here you have one of the interesting transferences of meaning and of relationship which occur in the Ageless Wisdom.  The Son or soul emerges into manifestation with the concurrence and aid of the Mother or of the matter aspect.  This is to you a most familiar truth.  In the next stage, that of initiate-development, the Son, in its turn, becomes the feminine or negative aspect and, demonstrating as the Psyche, enables the initiate to bring into expression another divine aspect—that of the will.  Until the fourth initiation is undergone, it is the soul as a "focal point for descending light and for ascending radiance."  This dual activity reveals the nature of the will.  Note how this phrase from an ancient writing describes the antahkarana.

1.                  In this paragraph the relation of right tension to will is developed.

2.                  Will involves orientation. With correct orientation we symbolically “face the East”. We know where the Sun rises. We face the Sun of Hierarchy (the “Heart of the Sun”), and then the Sun of Shamballa (the “Central Spiritual Sun”—microcosmically, the monad.). Those lacking will are forever becoming disoriented, and facing every which way. They do not know where they are going; their sense of destiny is compromised. They have lost the ability to proceed along a straight line—reputedly (though not always) the “shortest distance between two points”. Practically, each willing disciple must learn to “face the East”—whatever that may mean to him or her. The Sun, though a great second ray Entity, is symbol also of the first ray, and is extremely powerful in two of the signs which distribute the first ray—Aries in which it is exalted, and Leo in which it rules on all three levels. Even in Capricorn as case can be made for the power of the Sun (the “Sun upon the Mountain Top”).

3.                  Will involves “implacable determination”. The initiate-disciple is not to be placated, dissuaded from his objective by blandishments. Placation carries the note of appeasement—in short, “selling out to the lower forces”. The willing initiate will not make peace with the forces of form which are intent on deflecting or blunting his purpose. Implacability, in this case, indicates integrity, principle, and the refusal, “at all costs” to change the correct orientation. Moderation (as compromise for comfort) is gone and mollification is not accepted. Such an initiate is not a “wild man” nor does he appear insane and ‘crazed with intent”—yet within, he will not deviate and cannot be dissuaded from his decision.

4.                  Then, there is the “ability to wait and to preserve intention and orientation unmoved by aught which may occur”. Patience and the refusal to move. A strong will is one that will not be moved. There are other approaches to the will—the good will, the skillful will, etc.—and these are very necessary as moderations of the strong will. I suspect, however, that all mature expressions of the will—from fierce to milder—have the ability to wait and are characterized by the preservation of intention, “no matter what”

5.                  Personality, alone, will not hold the necessary tension to accomplish in the manner above suggested. The power must come from a more interior and far stronger source. Only real contact with and inspiration by the high energy of will will work out qualities enumerated above.

6.                  Notice in the following how will, in its correct execution, is dependent upon love and intelligence:

It also involves the determination to take the intended action (always of a creative nature and based on loving understanding) at the psychological moment (right timing), or that exact moment which the psyche or soul determines to be correct”.

The greater includes the lesser, and will does not forget the foundation which has taken so many millions of years to build. Will is not crude; it does not manifest through blundering and its symbol is not the “bull in the china shop”. Without intelligence and love, the power of will is untrustworthy. We have seen on numerous occasions throughout the twentieth century, how will, unguided by love and creative intelligence, has become murderous. A step was skipped and the skip was disastrous.

The education of the will, therefore, is a very thorough curriculum, and involves the mastery of all beneficial qualities that go before.

7.                  The Tibetan takes up the issue of polarity. Is the personality positive or negative?; is the soul positive or negative?; is even the spirit positive or negative? The answer to these questions depends upon relativity—positive or negative relative to what. Occultism presents a world view in which polarization is ever rising once a sufficient stage of development has been reached. That which is positive today, becomes negative or receptive tomorrow. There is no fixity in the world of relativity. The attempt to freeze relations in the world of relativity is a demonstration of evil; “evil is that good which we should have left behind”. (R&I 350)

8.                  Psyche is negative to will. A well-developed psyche, infused by loving-understanding, is an excellent servant of will. How can will apply itself with skill-in-action, unless psyche serves to reveal and interpret the sensitivities of the world of form to which that will must be applied?

9.                  The paragraph closes with a very occult thought:

“Until the fourth initiation is undergone, it is the soul as a "focal point for descending light and for ascending radiance."  This dual activity reveals the nature of the will.  Note how this phrase from an ancient writing describes the antahkarana”.

Three techniques are used by disciples and initiates to bring the higher and lower principles into closer relationship and eventual fusion. Before the second initiation, the Techniques of Integration are applied to integrate the personality and bring it into effective coordination with the soul. Before the third initiation the Techniques of Fusion are applied to create those meditative and applied states by means of which soul and personality may actually fuse and blend. Before the fourth initiation the Technique of Duality is utilized, to perfect the previously established antahkaranic rapport between the spiritual triad and the soul-infused personality.

All of us are still very much dealing with the soul (as sponsored by the Solar Angel) and are not yet “free souls” (which would mean we were polarized within the spiritual triad and free of the causal body—i.e., initiates of the fourth degree)

10.              While the will is involved progressively in both the Techniques of Integration and the Techniques of Fusion, it is vitally necessary in the pursuit of the Technique of Duality.  By means of this technique, the personality learns faithfully to reflect the ‘higher personality’—the spiritual triad which serves as personality expression to the monad. The higher cosmic ethers make their way into their counterparts on the etheric plane, and the will of each of the triadal aspects masters its lower counterpart in the world of personality—higher mind masters the etheric-physical mechanism; buddhi masters the emotional vehicle; and atma masters the lower mind (by this time filled with soul light, for the infusion process is well-progressed) Note that the correspondential triad/personality relationship is different from the reflected relationship between soul and personality, in which the etheric body reflects the life-consciousness content of the sacrifice petals and the lower mind reflects the life-consciousness content of the knowledge petals.


H.                Aspirants have to learn the nature of the will by the power of inner illumination and certain intelligent recognitions (cf. RI, p. 46)

Aspirants pass from the expression of the will which is purely selfish, self-sufficient and self-focussed, to the grasp of the group will and to the effort to embody that group will (cf. RI, p. 46-47)

It is not possible in these brief instructions to deal adequately with the will aspect of divinity, nor would it profit at this time.  Aspirants have to learn the nature of the will by the power of inner illumination and by certain intelligent recognitions.  They learn the nature of the self through the aid of the personality, the shadow or distortion of the divine will.  They pass from the expression of the will which [Page 47] is purely selfish, self-sufficient and self-focussed, to the grasp of the group will and to the effort to embody that group will.  This group will is always concerned with that which is not the will of the separated self.

1.                  It seems, does it not, that the Tibetan has given us quite a bit about the will, both here and elsewhere in His writings.  But He knows what adequate treatment of the subject would mean, and refrains. Much, therefore, is left to us, as we seek to understand from what has been given to us.

2.                  It is not that we have to wait until the third initiation before we can begin cultivating the will. Aspirants may undertake the study of the nature of the will.  That nature will reveal itself through “the power of inner illumination and by certain intelligent recognitions”. These two qualities direct our attention to the second initiation which requires an “illumined mind” and “spiritual intelligence”. Interestingly, it is at the second initiation, through Vulcan and Taurus in contrast with Scorpio and Mars, that the first real lessons in contrasting will and desire are drive home. Note that illumination is necessary to reveal the will. The will is seen, as it were, “in the light”. The Plan is revealed to some extent, for at the second degree it must be expressed. Mind, thus, is very much involved in learning the nature of will.

3.                  The Tibetan tells us that the personality is the shadow or distortion of the will. This is always interesting. The monad and its three triadal vehicles and the personality with its three lunar expressions are closely related. The soul reflects the monad, and the personality distorts it. Yet there are strong analogies between the two (monad and personality)—through they are esoterically distant.

4.                  An integrating personality reveals the mysteries of lower selfhood. Thus personality is an indispensable stage in complete development. Without it, the eventual focus for higher will within the three worlds would be missing.

5.                  The movement from personal will to group will is described in the following:

They pass from the expression of the will which [Page 47] is purely selfish, self-sufficient and self-focussed, to the grasp of the group will and to the effort to embody that group will.  This group will is always concerned with that which is not the will of the separated self.

In the development of group will, the personal ring-pass-not is expanding, and man no longer lives unto himself alone. He is his “brothers keeper”. The Tibetan gives us a touchstone to distinguish selfish personal will from group will, in telling us that group will is always concerned with that which is not the will of the separated self. Personal satisfactions suffer as group will is applied; energy normally going to the sustainment of personal desire is redirected. Personality, for a time, starves, and the welfare of the group is promoted.

6.                  Sometimes there is a well-meaning confusion between a high form of personal will and group will. The differentiation may well be seen in the question, “Who stands to gain”. If all stand to gain (both the group and its constituent personnel) then a method of integrating group will and individual will has been found. This is the Libran phase. In the Scorpio phase, the will of the group soul becomes more exacting, seemingly ‘wanting all for itself’—a temporary expedient to break the selfish personal will of the individual or the will of the group personality.


I.                   As the ability to be selflessly centralised grows and develops, the aspirant reaches a point where the group life and the group good is seen as an integral part of a much greater Whole; this greater Whole is BEING Itself (cf. RI, p. 47)

As this ability to be selflessly decentralised grows and develops, the aspirant reaches a point where the group life and the group good is seen as an integral part of a much greater Whole.  This greater Whole is Being Itself, divorced from form but ever working through form whilst in manifestation, and working with planned purpose.  The realisation then grows that intelligence and love are not enough, but that they must be supplemented and implemented by will, which is active intelligent purpose, lovingly applied.

1.                  Application of the values of group life and the promotion of group good are positive developments but go only so far; the vision of further possibilities is not yet completely unfolded. A vision of the Whole must come into focus.

2.                  It is always difficult to sacrifice the present good for an anticipated greater good. The path of discipleship and initiation are ever full of risks, one of the main risks being—giving away the good for the better, and the better for the best. These risks are far more easily attempted when the consciousness is filled with trust—which is another way of saying, ‘when there is consciousness of the Immortal Self’.

3.                  The Tibetan speaks of the greater Whole which is Being itself. The divorce between Being and form, while real, is not a true separation, for Being must work through form, lovingly and intelligently. This means that the highest states of realization we may achieve when identified with and as Being, must be applied to the lower worlds. This differentiates the rather ‘escapist approach’ of some older traditions with the ultra-responsible approach of modern Trans-Himalayan Occultism.

4.                  Thus we have a “divorce” which, effectively, is not a divorce. The wise policy is, “in the world yet not of the world”.

5.                  One of the excellent definitions of will is here offered: “will, which is active intelligent purpose, lovingly applied”. This, seemingly an obvious idea, bears meditation. We remember, in this respect, the third ray Word of Power: “Purpose itself am I”. Notice how all the three aspects of divinity are beautifully fused in the definition. The Trinity is really a three-in-one and one-in-three. In this definition is the essence of the Science of Triangles.

The difficulty of this subject is inherent in the fact that basically (no matter how strange this may seem) love is the line of least resistance for the developed human being.  It is the governing principle of the present solar system.  Will is the governing principle of the next or coming solar system, which will be brought into manifestation through the agency of those human beings who—in this solar system—arrive at the full expression of the will aspect.  Then, in the coming consummating manifestation, love will be to the will aspect what intelligence is, in this solar system, to love.

1.                  Some interesting ideas are offered in this final paragraph describing Rule I for Disciples and Initiates.

2.                  The preeminence of love is stated. It is the line of least resistance and therefore the way in which the majority will achieve. Much depends upon the monadic ray. There are, we are told, thirty five billion monads of love, twenty billion monads of intelligence and five billion monads of will.

3.                  These three groups of monads are related, respectively to the three solar systems—the monads of intelligence to the last system, those of love to the present one, and those of will to the next.

4.                  The majority of first ray monads came in during Atlantean times and are still rather undeveloped in terms of human evolution. Some came from the Moon Chain and none (or practically none) in the Lemurian phase of the Earth Chain.

5.                  The goal of third ray monads is to raise their focus to the second subplane of the monadic plane where second ray monads are already focussed. Yet, withal, third ray monads, in the main, are much more advanced than second ray monads as they represent the majority of Moon Chain monads who have had much more time to evolve than the average second ray monad will have had. Only those second ray monads from the Moon Chain may be equally unfolded with the third ray monads therefrom.

6.                  It may be hard for us to imagine a time when, in the “coming consummating manifestation” we call the next solar system, “love will be to the will aspect what intelligence is, in this solar system, to love”. Love is such a worthy object of cultivation that we can hardly imagine a time when its misuse will prove retrogressive to a far more advanced evolution, just as the misuse of intelligence is now to those who will to love. But this is the prediction.

7.                  Maybe we can see something of this problem working out on a microcosmic level when we think of the possible expression of the highest purposes we can conceive, and how our attractions, loyalties, and ‘love’ of that which lies within the world of form (even the causal body) seems to prevent the enactment envisioned. For the moment, our only problem is to solve the matter microcosmically. We may or may not be among those being prepared for fuller expression in the third solar system—the one based on will. The odds, however, are against it. Not only is the number of first ray monads very small, but the majority are not yet found among the ranks of disciples due to their seemingly “late start” during the Atlantean period.

8.                  The practical approach is to hold the macrocosmic possibility in the back of our minds. Right now we would be doing well to develop real love. But there is always a possibility that we may receive a ray of true will, one day, and that this ray will seem to be at odds with our normal expression of love. The Christ ran into this problem, we are told, in the Garden of Gethsemene. His solution was to choose Will while, of course, not abandoning Love. Really, in our solar system, any true expression of Will will be infused by Love—since it is the distinguishing quality of our Solar Logos.

9.                  Through the thoughts created by the Tibetan we are seeing far, far ahead. We are seeing beyond the stage of our present development and even beyond the stage of the institution of that which we are now strenuously working to develop. Perhaps, through it all, we will come to understand the Divine Will (and our tiny reflection of it) in truer proportion. It is so easy to blunder on the path of spirituality. The pitfalls are many and the unwary fall into traps with alarming regularity. The great vision presented by the Tibetan Master guards against this possibility (while not ensuring that it will not happen).

10.              It is as if we are kindergarteners being told by someone who can “speak our language” what we will be studying when we undertake post-graduate training. There is a lot of schooling between now and then, but at least, to the degree possible, we have a fairly accurate idea of where we are going!