Commentary on Rule V for Disciples and Initiates

Rule V: Section II


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A.                 The two parts of this rule are consequently expressive of the new demands for disciples—not applicants.  This becomes apparent when you study the two rules:  one for applicants and one for disciples.  The applicant is referred to the microcosm.  The Macrocosm is held before the vision of the disciple. The two demands are expressed in Rule V as follows: 

1. In unison let the group perceive the Triad shining forth, dimming the light of the soul and blotting out the light of form.

This is the demand for the building of the antahkarana which relates the disciple in his personality to the Triad.

1.                  The Tibetan differentiates between “applicants” and “disciples”. In this paragraph, a “disciple” stands in advance of an “applicant”. But when introducing the Rules of Applicants in Initiation: Human and Solar, it is clear that the true Applicant for Initiation has progressed beyond the stage of the ordinary disciple.

“There are certain aphorisms and injunctions which the applicant for initiation needs to study and obey.  There is a great distinction between the terms "aspirant to the Path" and "applicant for initiation."  He who aspires and strives towards discipleship is in no way pledged to the same specific attitude and discipline as is the applicant for initiation, and he can, if he so choose, take as long as he desires in the treading of the Probationary Path.  The man who seeks initiation is in a different position, and having once made application has to bring his life under a definite rule, and a strict regime which is only optional to the disciple”. (IHS 192)

2.                  It is important to realize that there is a relativity in the terms “applicant” and “disciple”. This is because the Rules for Applicants (to Initiation) can refer to the third initiation as well as the first. There are certainly a number of Rules among the Rules for Applicants (the earlier Fourteen Rules) which clearly cannot be fulfilled by anyone less than a third degree initiate. In fact, this is true for most of these Rules, if one considers that fulfillment of a Rule means complete fulfillment.

3.                  An important distinction between the two sets of Rules is, however, given. The Rules for Applicants refer to the microcosm. The Rules for Disciples and Initiates refer to the wider world of the macrocosm.

4.                  One factor which distinguishes an initiate from a lesser disciple is the ability to think in terms of greater wholes. The soul-personality (the microcosm) is no longer considered in its own right but always in relation to the larger context in which it is found.

5.                  The first sentence of Rule V for Disciples and Initiates is offered: “In unison let the group perceive the Triad shining forth, dimming the light of the soul and blotting out the light of form”.

6.                  The group of disciple/initiates cannot see (in this advanced way) unless there exists among them a state of unison. Having fulfilled Rule IX for Applicants, “but one color blends them” and their “unity [is] seen”.

7.                  People perhaps have very little idea how much harmony promotes sight. When all members of a group of disciples are resounding to the same note of Purpose, the coherence produced opens the “Doors of Perception”.

8.                  That one note of identical purpose (a kind of ‘spiritual unison’) is rare to find, and, thus, accurate group vision is rare to find. The Ashram within Hierarchy has achieved this unison and, thus, a deep and accurate mutual perception. It is as if we, as disciples, should not attempt to see together unless we are all animated by the same coherent, unifying sound (indicating a unified purpose).

9.                  How can one tell the difference between individual perception and group perception? First there is the realization of an idea held in common or a registration perceived in common.

10.              Also, when one perceives the spiritual triad, the one who does so is no longer (strictly speaking) an individual, but is necessarily immersed in group awareness. Approach to these higher levels of being is an approach through group awareness. One cannot ascend to the point of perception without being with the group. It is not a perception appropriate to an individual personality which perceives itself to be only a distinct personality.

11.              When thinking of the “unison”, it is certainly more than “harmony” (as good as harmony may be). It is a shared note which is responsive to the oneness which the spiritual triad represents. While the triad is, naturally, threefold, it is the representative of that which is unitary—namely the monad (which is a ‘three-in-one’).

12.              Before we can be assured that this type of triadal perception will occur, we have to ensure that the unison is established in the group. This will be a deep and subtle process. Only a group which has gone together through many phases of integration can begin to approximate this unison.

13.              An Ashram has achieved the unison; its members have all built the antahkarana and can utilize it. A higher note of impersonal, Plan-inspired purpose dominates all other notes in the consciousness of the participants. Groups can be trained to approach this condition of unison, but it will not be achieved unless all personality and ‘spiritual individualism’ (the life of the soul in the causal body) have been subordinated to that impersonal, Plan-inspired note.

14.              When the Triad shines forth, we are not witnessing some aspect of phenomenal light, though it will be an intense light-demonstration in consciousness. This shining forth is an emergence into prominence of triadal energies within the field of consciousness. Thus, it may be a metaphorical rather than a literal light demonstration. The manner in which it is registered depends upon the ray type and the quality of the various atoms in the individual instrument. (Study in this regard the results of the Techniques of Fusion is Esoteric Psychology Vol. II)

15.              We are all at least somewhat aware of the various types of energy which ‘shine forth’ within the domain of our consciousness. After the personality with its ego-centric demands has shone forth, a period arises when the loving-lighted soul shines forth. All this takes many incarnations. The majority of us, perhaps, are still in the phase when a full shining-forth of the soul would mark a desirable spiritual development. Consequently the full shining forth of the spiritual triad may seem a rather remote possibility.

16.              Truly, this full shining forth is found in the lives of initiates and Masters, and not even in the highly developed disciple who is not yet initiate.

17.              For many the realm of the spiritual triad is only now in process of clarification. Human experience with the triad is not yet extensive; in fact, given the pioneering nature of antahkarana building, the spiritual triad represents the next frontier for rather advanced disciples.

18.              But there will come a time when (along the antahkarana) the ‘planetary agenda’ will force itself into the consciousness of the aspiring, serving, demanding group. All that is personal and individual will fade from sight and that which the spiritual triad ‘sees’ and knows will become the main preoccupation of the advancing (and advanced) group.

19.              Are we familiar with these states or with flickers of such states? Have we entered (in unison) into the planetary mind, the planetary heart, the planetary will? Are we compelled, animated and inspired by something so ‘large’ and imposing that our normal concerns (even relatively high concerns) are dwarfed by that ‘impelling Presence’?

20.              There is no way for the group (and its constituent individuals) to see the triad shining forth until so many lesser things have been dropped away.

21.              Perhaps, if we continually ask ourselves, “what, planetarily, is of the essence” we shall enter more readily into the triadal perspective. Our consciousness will undergo a great simplification, and simplicity, we know, is that quality which leads into Shamballa. At least, simplicity will render the consciousness more responsive to Shamballic impulses and to the ‘main agenda’ of Shamballa at any one time on our planet (interpreted, of course, within the possibilities of our very considerable limitations of understanding).

22.              When the spiritual triad shines forth in the consciousness of the group, the Divine Plan is made apparent (again, within the limits of the perceiving consciousnesses—for they are not yet full members of the Hierarchy).

23.              We are told that this shining forth has two results: “dimming the light of the soul and blotting out the light of form”.

24.              Lesser lights seem to fade as the greater light waxes.

25.              Two levels of human experience are subject to this reduction of apparent intensity: the level of form and the level of soul. The light from the level of soul is dimmed. More drastically, the light from the level of form is blotted out.

26.              From this we may gather that strictly form-related considerations are expunged from awareness. They truly slip below the horizon of consciousness.

27.              The dynamic occurring within the realm of soul is different; it is not a blotting out, but a “dimming”, so there is still awareness of that level of activity, though it is reduced in importance.

28.              The dimming of the light of the soul can also mean several things:

a.                   The individual content of the causal body has less and less importance in its own right (and as a source of motivation), and is sacrificed to the Divine Plan.

b.                  The transpersonal dimension of living slowly gives place to the transcendental dimension. That which is transpersonal relates to the accumulated content of the causal body. That which is transcendental relates to the monad and its expression, the spiritual triad.

c.                   The light which reveals relationship subsides and in its place emerges the light which reveals identity of being, or identity in being.

d.                  The long-necessary guidance of the Solar Angel is superseded (because its guidance has been largely absorbed and assimilated) and the guidance of the threefold Will of God (demonstrating manasically, buddhically and atmically) takes its place.

29.              When dimming and blotting out have done their work, the ‘group disciple’ is functioning according to yet another new sense of spiritual values. First things have been put first, and nothing personal or, even, ‘individual’/transpersonal is allowed to interfere. The normal and more familiar “contents of consciousness” have been reduced to proper proportion, and the secondary is not allowed to usurp the place of the essential.

30.              We well might ask whether our consciousness is truly hierarchicalized. For many individuals, less important things assume more important positions, and the truly essential is relegated to a secondary or, even, tertiary position.

31.              When, however, form and even soul have faded in importance, the world of the spiritual triad assumes it proper place. The ‘group disciple’ becomes, increasingly, the ‘group initiate’ and the ‘matters which are on God’s mind’ (so to speak) become the primary issues in the group mind.

32.              A ‘group disciple’ (consisting of advanced disciples and initiates) when in this state does not become impractical. This is important to note. It is not that such people and such a group cannot ‘handle’ the world of form and of ‘soul relationship’. Indeed, they will be accomplished in these directions.

33.              However, the light of form and the light of the soul will not be the major lights. A new and arresting interest has supplanted them, and the group members are living at an altogether higher ‘elevation’, even while normally handling and expressing through the worlds of form and soul. This type of expression is becoming increasingly automatic and subconscious—especially in relation to form.

34.              Can we see examples of individuals in the world (or groups) who seem to be demonstrating such an achievement? Perhaps, it is easier to see individuals (remembers that, inwardly, they are representatives of groups). Perhaps one or two stand out, distinct in the achieved “planetarization” of their consciousness.

35.              Let each of us search humanity for its most accomplished individuals to see whether the triadal light is shining forth demonstrably. If such individuals are found, it will be found that they emphasize very much the essence of the moment—aspects of the Divine Plan which are both presently necessary and presently emerging.

36.              Simplifying the entire matter, can we learn to think broadly, deeply and with simplicity about our humanity, our planet and its destiny? If so, perhaps the spiritual triad is beginning to shine forth and the lights of form and of ‘soul-as-individual’ are fading from our attention, and a greater light is taking their place.

37.              We can see that in most of our group work, we are far indeed from this achievement. Much of harmonization, integration and unification have yet to occur. But the ideal is ‘noted’ and our steady movement towards such states can be envisioned.

38.              Following the first sentence we read these words: “This is the demand for the building of the antahkarana which relates the disciple in his personality to the Triad.” The word “let” signals the beginning of a demand. “In unison, let….”

39.              We could say that the word “let” indicates the requirements which fall upon all groups, or upon the ‘group disciple’ if the world of the spiritual triad is to be made real and entered.

40.              Following the next sentence, there is another demand.

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B.                 2. The Macrocosmic Whole is all there is.  Let the group perceive that Whole and then no longer use the thought, "My soul and thine."

1.                  Instead of studying the sentences in Rule V separately, we are attending to them all in one instruction. For some reason Rule V is laid out differently than the other Rules have been studied.

2.                  The next sentence, “The Macrocosmic Whole is all there is”, is one of the great occult platitudes. In one way or another there are many people who say this constantly: “All is One”; “There is only One Life”; “All Beings are One Being”.

3.                  Such people have grasped the general idea, but the statement is still, relatively, an intellectual formulation. It is not accompanied by full depth of realization. Yet, perhaps we can never speak of full depth of realization, because this idea is capable of seemingly endless deepening. The manner in which Oneness is realized by a Planetary Logos is shallow compared to the manner in which it is realized by as Solar Logos, and so forth.

4.                  Therefore, when the idea appears and is expressed in the consciousness of limited man, it is, nevertheless, a good sign, because it demonstrates that there is an attempt to think synthetically (however vague such ‘synthetic’ thinking may be).

5.                  The statement, “The Macrocosmic Whole is all there is”,  is rather exclusive. It is a bit like the Biblical injunction, “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me”.

6.                  The reality of all things, other than the Macrocosmic Whole, is denied.

7.                  This is a tremendous assertion. We can repeat it endlessly, but does it mean anything to us? Of course, it bears repeating, and the constant repetition of this assertion will make inroads in the consciousness, because it asserts a great truth.

8.                  It is obvious that consciousness is normally presented with many things other than the Macrocosmic Whole. As we ‘look around’ with all senses (inner and outer) we are registering a staggering diversity. The registration of that diversity does not, however, stop even in one for whom the Macrocosmic Whole is, in fact, the sole reality.

9.                  What, then, must be done with apparent diversity to make the statement factual in our consciousness?

10.              I would say that diversity must be transformed into homogeneity. This transformation, however, cannot be accomplished merely by asserting the foundational reality of homogeneity.

11.              A special mode of mind must be developed which sees all things in relation to their source and, further, as one with their source.

12.              Any item of diversity must be resolvable into homogeneity. Any item of diversity must be retraced to the One. This may entail a knowledge of occult chemistry and physics and of the origin of differing vibrations.

13.              We may practice this reduction, resolution, retracing—call it what you will. We may select any item within the vast diversity and (both logically and intuitively) bring it back to One.

14.              When in this mode of mind, no thing is discussed as it is only in itself, but only has it has been derived from homogeneity. And, indeed, according to emanatory theory, all things are so derived.

15.              This is what it means to perceive a thing “in God”. The great mystics and occultists knew how to do this, and we can practice it.

16.              An analogous practice (relating to Time and Duration) would be to take any unit of time and bring it back to eternity, to the Eternal Now or Endless Now.

17.              Thus much for taking any one unit within the many and resolving it into its Source, the One.

18.              However, another type of perception is required if it is to be truly perceived that “The Macrocosmic Whole is all there is”. The faculty of perceiving “Isolated Unity” is necessitated.

19.              We have discussed this on several occasions, but there must be an ability to isolate the whole by registering it rather than any one of its parts. In other words, the perception of the whole is the dominant perception, overwhelming all other possible perceptions. One ‘thinks with the Whole in mind’, and is capable of holding that thought (which is really, more than a thought, but a triadally induced perception).

20.              Most of us are very much preoccupied with the parts of the Whole. It is a labor (and often considered an impractical one) to have the Whole in mind. One has to labor against a natural tendency to fragmentation in order to achieve it. But achieve it we must.

21.              One would think that such a perception of the Macrocosm would necessarily be vague. At first this may be the case, but increasing sharpness of perception may be expected.

22.              At length, to the very highly developed consciousness (let us call it ‘God-consciousness’) the Whole and all included parts are held with equal clarity.

23.              We of course, have neither possibility. We cannot apprehend the entirety of the Whole nor can we engage with more than a few of the countless ‘parts’. But this dual movement in consciousness can be understood, and we can begin to practice.

24.              When we practice the “Presence of God” we are taking steps toward the apprehension of the Macrocosmic Whole.

25.              Some minutes every day should be given to the perception intended to reveal that “The Macrocosmic Whole is all there is”. It would not be a waste of time.

26.              We come then to the injunction, “Let the group perceive that whole…”

27.              An initiate group must be well along in the task of perceiving that Macrocosmic Whole. In a way, it is foremost in their consciousness, even as they attend to the registration and application of the Divine Plan (to the extent they can register it).

28.              When the group mind or group consciousness is rooted in the Macrocosmic Whole, a great adjustment of perception has occurred, and the hierarchicalization of consciousness is being established.

29.              When some apprehension of the Macrocosm Whole is established in the consciousness of the group, they receive one more injunction: “…and then no longer use the thought, ‘my soul and thine’.”

30.              When the Whole is perceived, separatism comes to an end. All separations (even so slight a separation as that of one soul from another) are actually seen to be illusory.

31.              Thought is fundamental; speech is secondary. The Rule cuts illusion at its roots by insisting on the discarding of an illusory thought which is the cause of all manner of separative action and behavior. The thought “My soul and thine”, is to be eliminated.

32.              The group which has mastered Rule V for Disciples and Initiates is perceiving and living “Isolated Unity”. For them, distinctions are not equivalent to separations. Practical distinctions between appearances there will always be, but the state of mind which renders distinction into separation has been eliminated.

33.              Instead, we have “unity in diversity”, and “analysis within the field of synthesis”. Yet there is never an unbridgeable gulf between ‘this’ and ‘that’. It is always possible to bridge, moving from one thing to another, finding not only their commonalities but, at length, their identicality.

34.              The perception of distinction is seen to be an inherent fact of presently limited consciousness, having no substantial reality. It is a ‘convenient illusion’ based upon the ‘necessity of multiplicity in manifestation’.

35.              But the consciousness, per force, perceiving a practical distinction, is not, thereby, deceived. The Whole in its entirety, the Homogeneity and Oneness of the Whole is a foundational realization, though the fleeting phantasmagoria demonstrate to consciousness apparent distinctions.

36.              This realization can be practiced. Unity can be practiced in the face of diversity, and wholeness in the face of the part. The One can be held in perception while subjected to the apparent presence of the Many.

37.              If the practice is successful, consciousness will be altered (‘triadalized’). Let us engage in the process and see what results eventuate. Such practice, too, is an aspect of building and utilizing the antahkarana.


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C.                 This is the demand for a sense of synthesis which is occult vision and not mystic vision.  These two demands will be the two basic requirements for the new schools of occultism.

1.                  The Tibetan looks at the two sentences we have considered and calls them demands.

2.                  The second “demand” concerns the necessity for a vision of the whole in any group that would live the triadal life.

3.                  Such a group must know the reality of synthesis and think and perceive in accordance with that synthesis.

4.                  A very important distinction is made here between occult vision and mystic vision. Mystic vision is based upon the dualism of the perceiver and the perceived. In occult vision, the perceiver is included within that which is perceived.

5.                  DK says much when He states that “these two demands will be the two basic requirements for the new schools of occultism”: the building and utilization of the antahkarana and the establishment of the reality of synthesis, leading to practical internal and external action as a result of that sense of synthesis.

6.                  We realize that the newer schools of occultism must, in this case, mean the “advanced schools” in which the second set of 14 Rules are to be studied.

7.                  We also realize that, since the process which builds the antahkarana can only be effectively inaugurated as the disciple nears the second initiation (and after), it must be the more advanced schools that DK is here referencing, for the advanced schools are involved with preparing initiates of the second degree for the third degree.

8.                  More explicitly, we know that DK speaks of the two sets of Fourteen Rules as the basis of the curricula, respectively, for the coming Preparatory Schools and Advanced Schools. As we are studying Rule V for Disciples and Initiates, it must refer to possibilities within the Advanced Schools.


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D.                 In view of all the instructions given earlier in this volume, and in view also of the clarity of the statement made above, there is little that it will be necessary for me to say anent this first demand.  The word "demand" which has been used perhaps requires explanation.  In considering this subject it should be remembered that admittance to Shamballa and a divine expression in life and service of the first great divine aspect, the will aspect, is the goal held before the members of the Hierarchy.  They too are on the way of evolution, and Their goal is to pass through the "eye of the needle," on Their way to the higher evolution.  This higher evolution is that which opens up before a Master of the Wisdom.  The use of this esoteric term by Christ in The New Testament story gives us a hint as to the nature of the exalted consciousness which He expressed.  Faced by the rich young man who possessed so much, Christ indicated that he needed to prepare himself for a great negation and for a step forward.  The true significance of this has never [Page 116] been grasped and lies in the fact that the phrase "rich young man" is in reality a technical term which is frequently applied to an initiate of the third degree, just as the words "little ones" or "little child" apply to an initiate of the first or second degree.  This rich young man was rich in his range of awareness, rich in his personality equipment, rich in his aspiration and in his recognition; he was rich as the result of age-long experience and evolutionary development.  He is told by the Christ that he must now prepare himself for what is called in Rule V "the Triad shining forth"; he must now prepare for the unfoldment of the monadic consciousness and for the fourth initiation.  In that initiation, the causal body, the body wherein the soul experiences and reaps the fruit of experience, must be and will be destroyed.  This has to take place before the initiate can enter into the Council Chamber of the Most High and express the will-to-good and the will of God in fulfillment of the purposes of God.  The will of this particular "rich young man," initiate though he was, was not yet adequate to the requirements, so he went sadly away; he had to prepare himself for the fourth initiation, the Great Renunciation, the Crucifixion, and thus fit himself to pass through the needle's eye.

1.                  Master DK launches into an explanation of the word, “demand”.

2.                  The “will aspect”, the first great divine aspect, is the goal of the members of Hierarchy.

3.                  It would appear that DK is considering initiates of the third degree to be “members of Hierarchy”, for the Master of the fifth degree has already passed through the “eye of the needle”.

4.                  The original “eye of the needle” is said to be a series of narrowly spaced barriers surrounding oases—barriers creating spaces too narrow for a camel to pass through them into the oasis. A little thought on this likens the initiate of the third degree (carrying much without and within) to a camel! There is a lesson to be learned concerning the distinction between carrying and being.

5.                  The other and more common interpretation conceives of the normal needle used for sewing. In this case the exaggeration would be extreme, given the tiny size of the normal needle’s eye and the relatively huge size of a camel. The first interpretation, it would seem, is the more likely to be correct and requires some knowledge of life as it was lived two thousand years ago.

6.                  DK calls the “eye of the needle” an “esoteric term”. Perhaps it had come to be used that way in the language of the initiates.

7.                  If Christ could speak knowledgably of these things, it certain indicated that He had been through the process. Interestingly, Master Jesus had not, since He had not yet taken the Crucifixion Initiation when the teaching on the “eye of the needle” given by Christ (utilizing the body of the Master Jesus) was being given.

8.                  DK speaks of the true meaning of the “rich young man”; the term indicates an initiate of the third degree. To pass beyond that degree “a great negation” is needed. The “camel” will never fit through the “needle’s eye” and yet the initiate must fit himself to fit.

9.                  Master DK is letting us in on the allegorical language of the initiates. Terms like “rich young man” and “little ones” and “little child” are shown to have meanings far deeper than their literal meanings. They are shown to apply to differing levels of initiatory consciousness. This is something which the fundamentalist and literal interpreter of the Bible has not fathomed.

10.              DK points to the various ways that the “rich young man” whom the Christ addressed was rich:

This rich young man was rich in his range of awareness, rich in his personality equipment, rich in his aspiration and in his recognition; he was rich as the result of age-long experience and evolutionary development”.

This “rich young man” has many impressive qualities: broad consciousness, an experienced, well-endowed personality, lofty aspirations, recognition of life’s realities. In short, his causal body has accumulated much of value; he is a highly accomplished human being. However, the ‘will to negation’ is missing.

11.              The Master gives us a very valuable hint. We might normally think that Rule V refers very much to the realization of the third degree, but we learn that the third degree, really, is but the platform from which Rule V can be fulfilled.

12.              The triad cannot shine forth (in fulness, at least) until the fourth degree is taken and the causal body is destroyed. Really, it is the presence of the causal body (considered as a shroud upon the real soul) which prevents the triad from being registered as shining forth. Certainly, however, triadal light is increasing for the initiate of the third degree on his/her way to the fourth. But the shining forth is not liberated.

13.              Further we learn that the fourth initiation is associated with “the unfoldment of the monadic consciousness” (even though at that degree monadic consciousness cannot yet be in full flower). Again, it is the obstructing presence of the causal body which inhibits this unfoldment of monadic consciousness.

14.              We also come to understand that this fifth Rule speaks of realizations which are the proper realization of the monad. To truly know that the “Macrocosmic Whole is all there is” and to “perceive that Whole” is something a Master can do far better even than the initiate of the fourth degree.

15.              Therefore, we see that the Rule implies quite a span in consciousness.

16.              Synthesis is the perception of the monad, and in its fulness (as far as man is concerned) only the monad.

17.              Something important is said about the “causal body”: it is “that body wherein the soul experiences and reaps the fruit of experience”. By “soul” (in this case) we mean the fulness of the human soul before it has been released from the lower three worlds (including the higher mental plane). The Solar Angel experiences far more widely than can the human soul (even the human soul focussed clearly within the causal body), and, thus, only a small aspect of the solar angelic consciousness is engaged with the causal body.

18.              The causal body is under the influence of both Saturn and Venus as the soul “reaps the fruit of experience”. Saturn, as “Reaper”, has many functions, but it is Venus which alchemizes experience in the lower three worlds into quality which can find ‘residence’ within the causal body.

19.              We always must remember that it is never the “soul”, per se, which is destroyed by the fourth initiation. In fact, it is the soul which is liberated at the fourth degree, because the spiritual triad is a truer soul than the consciousness enshrouded within the causal body. In fact, it would be well to realize that even monad has soul, for soul is but another name for consciousness or awareness.

20.              We learn that the causal body must be destroyed before the initiate can “enter into the Council Chamber of the Most High and express the will-to-good and the will of God in fulfillment of the purposes of God”. This is an amazing and powerful statement. Does it imply that a fourth degree initiate can so do? I think it does not, as even Masters of the fifth degree are not (all of them) allowed free entry into Shamballa.

21.              What is important about all this is that the causal body also veils the will. That will cannot be released as long as the transpersonal-focus (which the presence of the causal body implies) yet remains.

22.              Those of us who aspire to cultivate the will-to-good, must therefore realize that the causal body is an obstacle to its full expression. The implication is that we should ‘round it out’ and sacrifice it with all expedience, but great understanding is required before this is possible.

23.              The “rich young man” whom Christ addressed was initiate but not yet ready for the Great Renunciation. He “went sadly away” because he realized his unreadiness. The sacrifice required seemed to him too much, and yet, as one would imagine, he was torn because he could not meet the demand of the Christ (which was really the demand of his own spiritual triad). By now, of course that “rich young man” is probably a Master of the Wisdom! Nothing succeeds like failure and nothing fails like success—a paradox of the occult Path, but one, the reasonableness of which, we can quite well understand.

24.              DK remarks that the “will” of that rich young man “was not yet adequate to the requirements”. In a simple way, this means that he was not yet willing to go through the relinquishments required. The counterforces in his energy system (even those emanating from the causal body) were too strong, and the will (as he appropriated it) was too weak to offset them.

25.              We are led to ask the question: “how adequate is my will, to the presented requirements, whatever they might be”? Strength of will is related to the presence of an irresistible, dynamic factor which will not abate until it is fulfilled. For this reason, the higher will may be experienced as “not one’s own”. It is not that “I will” to do what must be required, but that, in me, there is a potent willing which drives forward to the fulfillment of its objective. “I” the personality, may feel like a rather different unit compared to this “driving will”. Truly, “Not my Will, Father, but thine be done”. This will is ultimately the Father’s Will, in us (as soul infused personalities, triadally and, eventually, monadically inspired). The experience is very different from ‘personality willing’.

26.              That which is ‘inspirited’ can pass through the “needle’s eye”. The spiritual triad has no occult ‘bulk’ because it is so aligned with the Will, Love and Mind of the Father. This alignment is essentializing. The spiritual triad is no camel!


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E.                 There is a symbolic utterance in the Old Commentary which throws light upon the great opportunities which are found in the critical moments in the life of the soul as it experiences incarnation and becomes enriched thereby:

"Within the womb of time and circumscribed by space and limited by darkness—though sustained always by warmth—the life evolves.  It develops faculty.  It becomes in miniature that which it is.  It takes on form and knows the divinity of separation.  Such is its goal.  Reflect.  Knowledge will come.”

1.                  We now are referred to the symbolism of the Old Commentary to consider various critical opportunities in the life of the soul—the incarnating human soul as it expands through the opportunities presented by incarnation.

2.                  What is first described is the experience upon the Mutable Cross. The incarnating human soul is passing through the Hall of Ignorance.

3.                  The “womb of time” can be thought of as patterned processes from which the incarnating soul cannot escape. These processes are of a certain duration, and there is no release for the incarnated soul until the processes are completed. As the processes continue, the consciousness is growing (as in a womb). The biological womb does not release its fruit until the ‘time is right’ and thus it is in relation to the “womb of time”. There is no release from the repetitive but growthful processes until the fruitage of consciousness has unfolded to a pre-ordained degree.

4.                  The incarnating soul is limited in its extension through space. It is encapsulated in a body (the first limitation), and its locomotion through available “space” is also limited. This circumscription by space ensures that certain needed experiences will be repeated often enough to impress the Plan-intended pattern, for the unit of life is unconsciously subject to the Divine Plan even whilst in the “womb of time”.

5.                  It is interesting to think of “space” as a circumscription. Space is presented to the incarnating soul as ‘many spaces’ in relation to which the possibility of locomotion can be envisioned. Really, in this case, “space” is the presentation of ‘bounding matter’. It is the limitations of consciousness which create the illusion of space and spaces. If consciousness were not limited by the innate faculty of ‘differential perception’, space and spaces would not be perceived.

6.                  Circumscription by space is also ‘vibratory circumscription’. There are many levels of vibration which the incarnated soul cannot penetrate and through which it cannot locomote.

7.                  Think of your own life and the degree to which space and spaces limit your perception and locomotion. We do not yet have full freedom in relation to ‘presented space and spaces’. To the Master, however, space (as presented to us) creates no barriers. The Master has mastered the ‘trans-factor’ and can permeate presented spaces at will.

8.                  ‘Limitation by darkness’ is obvious enough; there are levels of vibration we cannot penetrate. The little light of mind serves to illumine only a ‘small space’. Ignorance of many, many vibratory fields is the darkness in which the incarnating human soul is enshrouded.

9.                  In a way “darkness” is all that we have not ‘touched’ and do not, therefore, ‘know’. Beyond the range of our awareness lie untouched vibratory fields symbolized by the term “darkness”. That “darkness” is a relative term is obvious, because what one cannot touch and know, another can.

10.              ‘Sustainment by warmth’ has to do with the animation received from the sustaining soul, and from the warmth of fire within atomic life which keeps the processes in the three lower worlds ‘alive’, and thus provides the continuing milieu in which the incarnating soul seeks experience. If the various ‘environments’ in which the incarnating soul is immersed were not sustained by warmth, the possibility of incarnation would end.

11.              The little immersed life (with its consciousness) evolves and develops “faculty”—abilities within the three lower worlds.

12.              We are told that this little life “becomes in miniature that which it is”. It becomes a ‘little sun’ which reflects the greater sun of the soul—a lesser conscious intelligence reflective of a greater conscious intelligence.

13.              This immersed life “takes on form”; repetitively it is engaged with and expressing through a developing form (a form which develops as the consciousness develops).

14.              We are told that the incarnated human soul, the immersed life, knows the “divinity of separation”. This is, perhaps, the first phase of divinity—a phase related to the factor of individuality (which got its start at individualization). Personality is a divine developmental factor even though we often think of it as obstructive when we seek to unfold within the personality the consciousness of the soul on its own plane.

15.              It is a distinct and self-directing personality which must be developed. This is the goal of the incarnated human soul. For the time (and while within the “womb of time”) the immerse unit of life has no other goal. Only as that goal is nearing completion can the next phase of development be entered.

16.              DK tells us to “reflect”. Always the stanzas from the “Old Commentary” are presented for reflection, for the intuition is demanded for their deciphering.

17.              If we reflect upon the first stanza, “Knowledge will come”. Knowledge pertains to the ways of the incarnated soul in matter and form. Of course, “knowledge” is a generic term and can be seen as applicable on many higher levels, but when used relatively, it always refers (unlike “wisdom”) to a greater apprehension by consciousness of the ways/patterns of matter and form.


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F.                  "Beyond the door is greater light and life.  It knows itself for what it is.  It suffices not unto itself and knows that it is That—part of the Whole, divinely one with others.  Reflect.  Union will come.  

1.                  The “door” here referenced is the “door of initiation”, which admits to vastly greater perception and experience—“greater light and life”.

2.                  We may be speaking of the first planetary initiation, but the third initiation would be even more fitting.

3.                  The human soul (no longer so immersed in the ignorance of the three lower worlds) now knows itself divorced from its involvement with the lower planes. “It knows itself for what it is”.

4.                  At last, true Self-knowledge dawns. This is only possible to a limited extent during the period when the incarnated soul is deeply immersed in matter/form.

5.                  From one perspective we have passed from the Virgo stage, “the womb of time” and circumscription by space, darkness and warmth (incubation), into the more radiant Leo phase, where the higher Self is known as it is.

6.                  The dependency of the incarnated human soul upon matter/form is ended. It no longer defines itself by its perception of matter/form. Its separative individualism is ended also.

7.                  The human soul (now aware of itself on levels other than those of the three worlds) is affected by the energy of unity and relation. That soul is now functioning under the Law of Attraction and not alone the Law of Economy with its rotary, self-encapsulating motion.

8.                  The great ‘Principle of Relation’ dawns, and the unit of consciousness knows itself to be but a part of something much larger. “It suffices not unto itself” and knows itself as part of “That”. The word “That” (as in the mantram, “I am That”) relates to the second aspect of divinity, or to a relation to Reality rather than a complete identification as Reality.

9.                  The “Whole” is sensed (perhaps vaguely) but participation within that Whole (of all selves) is more clearly understand. ‘We are all a part of It’.

10.              At this stage we sense not only that we are “part of others” but “divinely one with others”. The use of the word “divinely” is important, as the presence of the spirit aspect is implied.

11.              There are, as we know, lower ways to be ‘one with others’. True oneness, however, cannot be approached on the level of matter/form. The higher aspects of human nature are those aspects which reveal the oneness and provide the experience of being ‘one with others’. In fact, it begins to be seen that there are no others.

12.              The disciple (for he/she must be at least that if this paragraph is to be understood) is again told to reflect. In this case, what comes is not “knowledge” but “union”—related to the second aspect.

13.              From self-encapsulating rotary motion, the immersed life passes into realized spiritual/divine relationship and, thus, to the perception of union with others and with the Whole.


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G.                 "Before the rampart of the place of God Himself, a [Page 117] Son Of God comes forth.  He stands before the needle's eye and seeks to pass the hindering wall.  He is not circumscribed by time or space, but light and life are his.  He realises beauty and he knows that That exists.  Instead of time and space and all the rich inducements of the form, he knows himself as rich in love, in knowledge, wisdom, insight, and all the panoply of God (as he can grasp it), except one thing.  Reflect.  Purpose will reveal itself; the Whole will stand revealed and then the soul—loaded with riches and the fruits of labour long—will vanish as the mist and only God, the living One, be left."

1.                  Then a most powerful stanza appropriate for the consideration of one making application to the fourth degree.

2.                  In fact, all three stanzas or phrases are to be contemplated by such an individual on the verge of liberation, for then he knows from whence he has come.

3.                  The “place of God” must be the Hierarchy (though within the ‘sight’ of Shamballa).

4.                  The “place of God” is a stronghold, and the rampart is that which reinforces and upholds the stronghold.

5.                  The one who comes forth is now a “Son of God” instead of simply “the life” (as in the first stanza). Much realization has arisen. The “Son of God” knows that he is “That” and is related to all others and to the Whole. The energy of Love-Wisdom conditions him no matter what may be his ray.

6.                  He seeks to pass the “needle’s eye” which is here presented as a “hindering wall”. The “needle’s eye” leads into the “place of God”. He seeks a fuller and irrevocable membership in Hierarchy and is, in a way, also making application to Shamballa, towards participation in which he can be trained.

7.                  Circumscription by both time and space have ended, and he is free to move and can pervade. “Light and life” are his, and love as well. He is, relatively, a radiant unit of life. He is equipped.

8.                  Since he “realizes beauty” he has built the antahkarana and has touched the buddhic plane (the place of beauty). Perhaps, even, he is inspired by the buddhic plane, the plane of intuition.

9.                  Since he knows that “That” exists, he knows of the One Life, the ‘Unifying Whole”. He “knows” but he is not yet totally identified with and as “That”.

10.              He is no longer interested in the “rich inducements of the form”. We can ponder on what such inducements mean for us. Much of the evolutionary process has been aimed at developing the capacity to acquire those “rich inducement”. But now, as a third degree initiate, acquisition is relatively easy. His desire for such inducements (which would induce him to remain within the bondage of matter/form/individuality) must subside. The inducements must be seen for the limitations that they are, no matter how appealing to him they may at times be. This is a struggle point for the initiate of the third degree facing the possibility of the fourth initiation.

11.              The initiate at this point is rich in many ways—in love, knowledge, wisdom, insight and many other faculties which are considered a “panoply”—a full outfitting of necessities (though the panoply is limited by his grasp).

12.              One thing, however, is missing. This must be the will or willingness which we discussed above and which DK identified as of insufficient adequacy in the case of the “rich young man”.

13.              The stanza enjoins us to “reflect” upon what is missing. If we do se, we will probably find that the ‘irresistible force’ is not yet sufficiently kindled and present within us—driving the process to completion.

14.              We are told that “Purpose will reveal itself; the Whole will stand revealed”. This is important, for the revelation of purpose and the intuition of the reality of the Whole will so strengthen the will of the candidate that the Great Renunciation can be undertaken. There are the “rich inducements of the form” but there are the still richer inducements of the higher life. The vision of these fortifies the lower man for what must be done.

15.              The candidate for the fourth degree has, therefore, much work to be done in the realm of consciousness, for the enlarged and deepened consciousness educates the will and renders it adequate for the great demands which the fourth degree places upon it.

16.              We are told is words of rare beauty that, “then the soul—loaded with riches and the fruits of labour long—will vanish as the mist and only God, the living One, be left.”

17.              Again, we are not talking of the vanishing of soul per se, but of that which limits consciousness by the accumulation of personal quality transpersonally displayed (i.e., the causal body).

18.              When the word “mist” is used, we think of glamor and its dissipation, for the Sun dissipates the early morning fogs and miasmas, and the soul-illumined mind dissipates glamors.

19.              The causal body (to the perspective of the spiritual triad) is something of a glamor—is an illusion which refracts (‘bends’ and distorts) a higher reality.

20.              In the realization of divine purpose, the illusion or limitation represented by the causal body is ‘seen through’. Blinding flashes of intuition cause illusion to vanish. Deep understandings of what the causal body really is and the illusion that it represents contribute to its vanishing.

21.              If the causal body is really to vanish, an act of will (and perhaps, now, an act of group will) is required. “Let them destroy by their dynamic will that which has been created at the midway point” (Rule XI). This will produce the necessary conflagration. Still, understanding must precede the application of the will, or it cannot be rightly applied.

22.              Who is the “God”, the “living One” Who remains? We can say it is the monad as that monad expresses through the spiritual triad. We can also say it is the apprehension of the Presence of Sanat Kumara as He represents the Planetary Logos. We can also say that intimations of ‘Cosmic Oneness’ also begin vaguely to dawn upon the triadally focussed consciousness.

23.              The realization will be one of “Isolated Unity” and of the “One Life”. The light of the soul will not only be dimmed, but blotted out just as the light of form has been. Though, since the spiritual triad is the real soul, we cannot say that the light of the soul is no longer seen.

24.              The whole process is eliminative and reduces all things to essence so that life may be appreciated, and so identification with and as life may supervene.


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H.                 There is still another set of phrases dealing with that through which the perfected Sons of God in Their high place must pass when Their work is done on Earth and a greater glory reveals itself ahead.  But this I give not.  I give only three symbols, which are:  

The womb...individualisation...separation.

Leading to personality integration and self-realisation.

Climaxing on the Path of Initiation...the birth of the Christ.

Producing intelligent activity.


1.                  A fourth series of phrases is hinted. They would pertain to the initiates of the fifth initiation Who were about to take the sixth.

2.                  Such phrases or stanzas must speak of untold glories, but it would not serve for DK to given them to us, as they concern realizations towards which He, Himself, is striving.

3.                  Instead, He offers summaries of the three stanzas already communicated.

4.                  We grasp the essence of what we have been discussing by reading DK’s summation.

5.                  We note the growth of the individual, his movement towards personality integration and self-realization. Though it is the lower self that is realized.

6.                  The climax come when the Path of Initiation is trodden, even its earlier phases.

7.                  The immersed unit of life, now a self-conscious, self-directing individual, has now entered the first phases of the Hall of Wisdom.

8.                  Matter is being mastered; form is utilized. The initiation process is begun. The unit of life is intelligent and seeks love and wisdom.


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I.                    The two-leaved consciousness.
Leading to soul expression.

Climaxing in the third initiation.

Producing loving living.

The third initiation.

1.                  The next summation leads to the third initiation, at which point it is realized that “I am That”.

2.                  The faculty/aspect of love is acquired and expressed.

3.                  The practical result of this phase is “loving living”, and this is a thought which should recommend itself to all those who dream of expressing the consciousness required of the third degree initiate.

4.                  The “two leaved door” is the “door of initiation”. What is it two-leaved? Instructions in the DINA books identify the two leaves as opened by love and will. Love and will are especially the qualities of the monad. The presence of Intelligence is assumed.

5.                  The two-leaved door presents itself at each of the first three initiations, for a process is described here which begins at the first planetary initiation and climaxes at the third degree.


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J.                   The eye of the needle..higher evolution..monadic consciousness.

Leading to life expression.

Climaxing in the fifth initiation.

Producing purposeful life.


Such are the three points of entrance to the three planetary centres:  Humanity, Hierarchy and Shamballa.

1.                  The third summation, relating to the third set of phrases, describes the process occurring between the third and fifth degrees.

2.                  The Way of Higher evolution, though beginning at the sixth degree, is ‘sited’ at the fourth degree when the monad applies its destructive power to liberate the enshrouded soul.

3.                  After the third degree, monadic consciousness grows apace. It was inhibited by the presence of that ‘great but beautiful distraction’, the causal body.

4.                  True monadic consciousness (though still limited by the spiritual triad) flowers at the fifth degree.

5.                  The process here summed, leads to the “purposeful life”. This is no casual statement, for it suggests an alignment with divine purpose (on a planetary scale), and nothing less.

6.                  The fourth degree is a degree of consummation, but the real consummation occurs at the fifth, after the debris from the destruction of the causal body is cleared and the monadic sun shines as fully as may be within triadal limitations. Only another act of destruction will liberate the monad.

7.                  We see also that DK has been describing wider movements than those simply related to the individual. He is describing entry into three higher planetary centers: Humanity, Hierarchy and Shamballa.

8.                  Hierarchy is entered, peripherally, at the first degree, with confirmed entry at the third.

9.                  Shamballa is truly entered at only the sixth degree, but the first conscious impact of the monad as a directing agent of which the soul-infused personality is conscious occurs at the third, hence the justification for assigning the third group of phrases and their summation to the period of Shamballic Entry.

10.              One first attunes with a destined source; the day of full entry may occur much later, but cannot arrive unless one has spent a number of lives “on the beam” emanating from that source.