28 Rules Group

Commentary on Rule IX Part III

R&I (174 middle-176 top)

(All Highlighting, Bolding and Underlining—MDR)


This realisation necessarily comes to the disciple through the means of graded revelation and in balanced sequence; each contact with the Initiator leads the initiate closer to the centre of pure darkness—a darkness which is the very antithesis of darkness as the non-initiate and the unenlightened understand.  It is a centre or point of such intense brilliance that everything fades out and at the place of tension, and at that darkest point, let the group see a point of clear cold fire.


1.                  The onset of a positive ‘spiritual darkness’ is gradual, just as is the entire initiatory process. Spiritual unfoldment proceeds slowly so that it may be stable and reliable. Revelations are “graded”, just the way the degrees in the ancient mystery schools are graded, and just as classes in our schools, colleges and universities are graded. If gradation is not observed, there can be no proper assimilation. Also, in the language of initiation, there is always the question of whether the candidate will “make the grade”. When building roads, a “grade” is a gradual ascent. “The road winds uphill all the way”.

2.                  The language of the Tibetan becomes both beautiful and paradoxical, but, by now, perhaps we have some flickering understanding of what He means. We are approaching a darkness which is “the very antithesis of darkness as the non-initiate and the unenlightened understand”. Contact with the Initiator (in this case Sanat Kumara, the Hierophant, Who confirms our entry into the World of Triad/Spirit) leads us progressively into this darkness which is really “intense brilliance”.

3.                  Unless we have experienced what DK is relating, it must remain in the realm of beautiful and evocative imagery, suggestive of a state which will one day be real to us.

4.                  Within the darkness of the initiation process is to be found a “center” or “point” of “pure darkness” which is really a center or point of overwhelmingly intense light and greatly heightened vibratory tension. There is a blinding light source and we are moving towards it. Our spiritual ‘eye’ has to become accustomed to it before we can ‘see’ anything.

5.                  A principle emerges: the familiar and customary lighted conditions in which we normally ‘see’ are as darkness compared to the destined, yet unfamiliar, far higher vibratory states in relation to which we are blinded and cannot yet ‘see’. When we can see, under normal conditions, we are really in darkness; when we cannot see in the apparent darkness of spirit, we are really in the light—a light of uncommon intensity. The light is darkness and darkness is light. We have to get used to handling these occult paradoxes. Another one such—familiar and demanding solution—is: life is death, and death is life.

6.                  The initiate has entered the state in all difference is hidden and all form is blotted out. Only the intense reality of the blinding Presence remains.

7.                  Within the center of pure darkness is a point still more intense. It is found “at the place of tension and at that darkest point”. A point of “clear, cold fire” appears. We are reminded of the “clear, cold light” of the buddhic plane but, instead, the term “fire” is used instead of light.

8.                  In these latter rules we have definitely entered the realm of the spiritual triad. While the clear, cold light pertains to the buddhic plane, it is reasonable to think of the clear, cold fire as pertaining to the atmic—the plane much correlated with the fifth initiation, to which Rule IX may be reasonably conceived as referring—at least in part.


It is a tension and a point of attainment that is only possible in group formation.  Even in the earlier initiations, and when the initiate has proved his right to be initiated, the process is still a group proceeding; it is undergone in the protective presence of initiates of the same standing and unfoldment.  It is their united focus that enables the candidate for initiation to see the point of clear cold light and their united will that "brings him upright, [Page 175] standing, unafraid, with open eye before the One Who from the very first has conferred on him the gifts of life and light, and Who now—with lifted rod, surrounded by the fire, reveals to him the significance of life and the purpose of the light."  It is that of which the minds of men know naught, and which even the highest intellect is unable to grasp or even sense.


9.                  In this chapter, there is one astonishing paragraph after another. The secrets of initiation which may be revealed are being, to a degree, revealed

10.              The Tibetan is suggesting that all initiation is really group initiation.

11.              The principle is that the spiritual tension sufficient for the initiatory process can only be generated by the group. All through his years of aspiration and discipline the candidate may think he is working on his own, however the subjective presence of the group of those who stand at a similar vibratory level or just beyond is feeding his capacity to achieve the necessary point of tension.

12.              The group strengthens the individual; the group protects the individual.

13.              All of us have surely had the experience of feeling our concentration, focus and point of tension heightened in group meditations. A higher analogy of this effect as it pertains to the ceremony of initiation is here being discussed. The surrounding group of ‘brothers of like degree’ augments the candidates focus and strengthens his will. This strengthening is indicated by the words, “brings him upright…”

14.              The candidate stands in “spiritual being”, upright, unafraid. Obviously, he is being stimulated by the first ray regardless of the ray of his soul. He is, after all, to stand in the Presence of the King—the great Exponent of the first ray upon our planet.

15.              That the candidate is brought “upright” tells us something about his spiritual posture and the necessary alignment between his vehicles and centers which are about to receive the intense stimulation of the Rod of Initiation.

16.              The One Who from the very first has conferred on him the gift of life and light is the One Initiator. Though the candidate meets the Christ as the Initiator during the first two initiations, the One Initiator stands energetically behind the process.

17.              It is the “one eye” that is open. The candidate is now, temporarily and within the specialized conditions of initiation, beyond the influence of duality—with its two eyes.

18.              What follows is a beautiful sentence we should all ponder well. It is so evocative that perhaps some intimation of what is to come (or some memory of what has transpired) will dawn upon the contemplative reader. A sublime experience is indicated—beyond mind and intellect. It from such sentences as this that the individual and the group can gather inspiration for the persistent arduous training required if the scene described is ever to become an experienced reality.

19.              This Rule applies to advanced initiations—from the third and beyond. One does not see the One Initiator “face to face” until the fifth degree—Mastership. In this Rule, the One Initiator is appearing—not just as a star or an “eye”; thus the application of the Rule to the fifth initiation is clear. The following words describe the initiation process from the third through the fifth initiations:

“Even now, at this much later initiation, he cannot see ‘eye to eye’—as the phrase goes.  He becomes aware of a growing point of light which, from a pin-point of intensest brilliance develops before him into a five-pointed star.  At the fourth initiation, it is not a star which shines forth before him, but a triangle; and within that triangle he will perceive an eye regarding him, and for the first time he does see the Most High ‘eye to eye.’  At the fifth initiation no symbol or light substance separates or protects him, but he stands before the Initiator face to face, and the freedom of the City of God is his.” (R&I 176-177)

20.              We note that the One Initiator is surrounded by the fire. This statement offers us a picture of that which is seen by the initiate as he faces the Initiator—especially at the fifth initiation.

21.              We remember that the candidate at the third and fourth initiations will see, respectively, only a star and an eye (beholding him). At the first and second initiations the candidate sees the Christ wielding the Rod of the Bodhisattva and at the fifth, the One Initiator “with lifted rod”. It may be asked whether the initiate (who does not behold Sanat Kumara at the third and fourth degrees) actually sees the Rod of Initiation as it performs its work.

22.              Do we think we now know the “significance of life and the purpose of the light”? I think we do not. We can ponder with our minds and search with the faculty of intuition, but dim apprehensions are all that presently can be gathered. Yet in the utterly clarified consciousness bestowed by the One Initiator, the significance and purpose are revealed.

23.              Is it not reasonable to conclude that the in apprehending the significance of life and the purpose of the light, the power of atma is involved? The atmic plane is the first of the Brahmic planes and the third subplane of the cosmic physical plane. Hence the relation of atma to both life (one) and light (three).

24.              The great majority of those who are equipped to study these more advanced Rules will already have experienced the first initiation (and, in some cases, the second) and the clarified conditions which exist in the presence of the Initiator (in the case of the first and second degrees, the Christ). But the normal conditions of the lower worlds cover the memory and it remains beneath the threshold of consciousness—forgotten in detail but present as a motivating force, driving the disciple forward towards the next initiatory opportunity.

25.              DK is telling us that we must move beyond mind, per se, if we are to grasp that which is hinted in this excerpt. Atma-buddhi are required for apprehension.


In the familiar words (familiar to all esotericists) which are so often said or chanted at moments of highest spiritual aspiration, the neophyte refers to the time when "we stand where the One Initiator is invoked, when we see His star shine forth."  Two ideas then stand forth:  the idea of invocation and of the result of that invocation, which is the sudden and unexpected shining forth of the Star.  This star is simply a point of vivid light.  This invocation, though used as the affirmation of a fixed objective by the aspirant to initiation, is nevertheless a mantram definitely appropriate to the third initiation.  It is only effective in its invocative appeal when used in conjunction with a Word of Power.  This Word of Power is communicated to the candidate (ever an initiate of the second degree) by the Christ Who has initiated him in the first two initiations but Whose protective aura (in conjunction with the initiate's Master and another Master or an adept of the fourth initiation) is required before the star can shine forth—the focussed light of the One Initiator.  For the first time the expanded consciousness of the initiate can contact Shamballa and the One Who rules there, the Lord of the World.  For the first time, the focussed purpose which brought Sanat Kumara into incarnation makes an impact upon the enlightened brain of the initiate, bringing something new and different into his equipment, into his nature and his consciousness.  I know not how else to express these ideas.  It is a blinding conviction of an unalterable will, carrying all before it, oblivious of time and space, aware only of intensity of direction, and carrying with it two major qualifications or basic recognitions to the initiate:  a sense of essential being which obliterates all the actions and reactions of time and [Page 176] space, and a focussed will-to-good which is so dynamic in its effect that evil disappears.  Evil is after all only an impelling sense of difference, leading inevitably to separative action.


26.              The following words pertain especially to the third initiation: “we stand where the One Initiator is invoked, when we see His star shine forth.” The place “where” we stand is not a ‘place’ at all, but a point of tension—a vibratory condition sufficient to invoke the Presence of the Hierophant.

27.              Notice that it is “we” who stand; this mantram suggests group initiation. Although it applies directly to the third initiation and beyond, it is useful, also, to the candidate for the earlier initiations.

28.              At the initiation of any candidate, the already initiated brothers of like degree contribute to the process of invoking the Initiator.

29.              The Tibetan is acquainting us with the occult facts of the initiation process. The five-pointed star is (or begins with) a point of intense light. Elsewhere, He says that the figure of a star actually appears before the candidate—just as later an eye within a triangle appears, and at last, at the fifth degree, the ‘face’ of the one Initiator. (cf. R&I 176-177)

30.              Note that the shining forth of the star is “sudden and unexpected”. These are two words which describe rather well the dynamics of the planet Uranus, which planet the Hierophant or One Initiator represents. Uranus is the “Heavenly One” and, in a way, the ‘living One’. The One Initiator is raising the candidate into life, which electrifying Uranus bestows.

31.              Those who have passed through these degrees may describe that which occurs to those who have not, but at the moment the expected happenings will still have the aura of spontaneity and unexpectedness. Throughout life it is true that “you don’t believe it unless it happens to you”.

32.              If we carefully study the excerpt above we shall see that the Rule applies to all three initiations over which Sanat Kumara presides—the third, fourth and the fifth. It would be differently interpreted by each type of candidate.

33.              Note that the mantram, “until we stand where the One Initiator is invoked, until we see His star shine forth”, is only invocatively effective if used with a Word of Power (in this case, communicated by the Christ to the candidate).

34.              Sound is creative. Certain sounds inevitably have certain effects. There are magical words—certain sounds to which the various orders of builders necessarily respond.

35.              Words of Power create mathematically correct conditions in substance which allow the transmission of energies which were confined or unreleased before these words were pronounced. This is why these words are guarded with such care. Man cannot be trusted with the creative words until he can be trusted to create in line with the Plan and Purpose. Many of these words, we are told, were common property in Atlantean times; because of the unreadiness of man to handle them responsibly, havoc and destruction were the result.

36.              We can see this principle at work in the cyber-world. Human intelligence has discovered and developed the process of electronic communication. There is a world wide web which signals the integration of the mental body of humanity. Yet, there are some who use this advanced knowledge maliciously, creating viruses to destroy the work of others simply for the malicious thrill of doing so. Always new gifts of power that have been conferred upon humanity are abused by those who are not morally ready to use them constructively. The need for caution in the realm of “magic” is very great.

37.              Even in human discourse, the pronouncing of certain words invokes certain energies. Words of love are an invocation which evoke love; words of hate evoke hatred. In these years before the Spiritual Hierarchy truly externalizes, we are in a rehearsal period, preparing for the later use of real Words of Power.

38.              The Words of Power which are conveyed to us in the Teaching, are not the real words, but they can be effective in preparing to receive and use the real words. Mantrams and Words of Power communicated in books feed correct understanding and produce right alignment, but something is withheld to keep them from being willfully applied—perhaps the exact pronunciation, the rhythm, the note on which they are to be intoned, or, more likely, the exact words themselves. The Teaching is guarded by Those Who are responsible for the safe-guarding of human evolution.

39.              Note the need at the third initiation for a triangular protective aura around the candidate. This is formed by the Christ, the candidate’s Master and another Master or an adept of the fourth initiation. Only in the presence of this protective triangle can the One Initiator be invoked and His star shine forth. The arrangement is based upon occult laws pertaining to the distribution of energy. The triangle is the symbol of balance. Note that Libra, the sign of balance, has a glyph or symbol which is triangular, and that the Libran Creative Hierarchy (cf. EA, 35) are called the “Triads” and relate particularly to the processes of life and consciousness within the spiritual triad.

40.              In an interesting way, every candidate for initiation ‘standing’ within the triangle becomes an “eye within the triangle”. He is standing there for purposes of empowerment and revelation. He is about to ‘see’ that which hitherto he has not seen. His spiritual eye is to be opened (to some extent) by the special forces combined (on his behalf) during the initiation ceremony (whether outer or inner)—though it is predicted that, in the coming Age, only the first and second initiations will be given or performed exoterically. Perhaps some hint will come to us about the conditions in life necessary for the enhancement of vision; perhaps the balancing of forces plays a significant role in the invocation of revelation. This is certainly the case in relation to the etheric triangle surrounding the head (head center, ajna center and alta major center) the proper and vivid functioning of which evokes the functioning of the “third eye”.

41.              We are told here, that the initiate is contacting Shamballa for the first time. Shamballa is only contacted in groups, but let us remember that at his initiation, candidates of like degree are in attendance and standing by, so the contact is actually taking place in group formation.

42.              As well, because the candidate/initiate is taking the third initiation (or those beyond), he has already entered into an awareness of group consciousness.

43.              If we think carefully about what is stated, we shall see that Shamballa cannot be energetically experienced before the third degree. At each succeeding degree, the experience of Shamballa is intensified.

44.              We are told,

“For the first time, the focussed purpose which brought Sanat Kumara into incarnation makes an impact upon the enlightened brain of the initiate, bringing something new and different into his equipment, into his nature and his consciousness.”

If the initiation is taking place within the causal body (which it is, if it is the third or fourth), how is the “enlightened brain” of the initiate involved? The impact of the energies conferred at initiation impresses the brain during the initiation (from the energetic perspective, for the human energy system is an organic unity) and especially after the moment of initiation from the consciousness perspective. The initiate at initiation is not standing in his etheric or physical brain consciousness; he is in causal consciousness and the limitations of the brain are left far ‘below’. But of course, that which impresses the consciousness during initiation is transferred to the brain shortly—even if the transference is not utterly complete.

Further, we can see that the candidate is, at last, contacting planetary purpose. He may have speculated upon this purpose prior to initiation, but now he is shown and, therefore, knows—at least he knows in the measure allowed by the degree through which he is passing.

He also is coming to understand something about the nature of sacrifice (which he must demonstrate fully at the fourth degree). Sanat Kumara is the “Great Sacrifice”, and His purpose was from the first and still is sacrificial. It is interesting that before the third initiation can be taken, the so-called “sacrifice petals” of the initiate must be unfolded.

45.              Something “new and different” is brought into the initiate’s equipment. Perhaps this is a responsiveness to an entirely higher order of life. The third initiation is the first solar initiation. It is interesting that until the disciple is an initiate of the third degree, he cannot respond consciously to the “fixed stars”. Of course, the stars are not really “fixed”—they only appear to be—but the stars are suns, and Sanat Kumara is a “Son” of the Solar Logos. So the responsiveness now possible at the third degree is to the solar factors within cosmos—to our Solar Logos, and increasingly (though initially) faintly, to the other Logoi associated with ours—whether within the system of Seven Suns, or in our local cosmos.

46.              The initiate of the third degree is now impressed with Sanat Kumara’s Purpose and thus experiences:

“a blinding conviction of an unalterable will, carrying all before it, oblivious of time and space, aware only of intensity of direction, and carrying with it two major qualifications or basic recognitions to the initiate:  a sense of essential being which obliterates all the actions and reactions of time and [Page 176] space, and a focussed will-to-good which is so dynamic in its effect that evil disappears.”

A little thought about these energies and qualities will show how “new and different” they really are. A “blinding” conviction is one which blinds the initiate to all that would interfere with that conviction. He is “blinded” to the possibility that this “unalterable will” does not exist; he is, in fact, certain that it does exist. He feels it within himself. He has entered, experientially, into the stream of the Will to Good.

He knows within himself that nothing can alter or deviate this higher Will/Purpose, and so a tremendous sense of certainty and spiritual confidence infuses him. No factors in time and space can resist it. Thus, to the degree that he is taken by this greater Will/Purpose, time and space cannot again capture his attention as hitherto they have.

47.              He has entered the world of pure being. It is important to realize that the apprehension of pure being obliterates the “actions and reactions of time and space”. This is hinted in the following stanza:

“2. Time IS. Being descends to manifest. Creation is. Time then and form agree. Being and time do not agree.” (DINA II 284-285)

48.              The initiate receives two major qualifications or recognitions. First, he is impressed by a “sense of essential being which obliterates all the actions and reactions of time and space”. The principle to bear in mind is that intensity of being obliterates time and space. The apparent reality of the actual world is now called into questions; it is revealed as part of the Great Illusion. The initiate is so taken by being, that his concern for time-space actualities is greatly reduced—even obliterated. Time and space are seen as phantasmagoria—“the result of the activity of substance in its form-making capacity…” (R&I 174); yet he continues to serve within that illusory world because, for those whose consciousness is still ensnared by it, it is ‘real’ enough.

49.              The second qualification or basic recognition is “a focussed will-to-good which is so dynamic in its effect that evil disappears”. Evil disappears in the intensified consciousness of the Good. It does not disappear from the illusory time-space world. The essential unreality of evil is understood, and the necessity of its certain defeat by the reality of the Good—the will to which is now greatly strengthened. It comes back to Socrates’ idea that if a man knows the Good, he will do it. Now (although relatively) the initiates knows the Good, and wills to do it. The hold of evil over him is greatly weakened, though not entirely so until the ninth degree when the illusion of the cosmic physical plane is dispelled.

50.              Then this revelatory sentence: “Evil is after all only an impelling sense of difference, leading inevitably to separative action”. Thus we see that evil is based upon illusion, for only in and under illusion is separation seen or thought to be a reality. The great Will and Purpose of Sanat Kumara (resulting in an ability to focus intensively within and as the Good) blot out all form and obliterate the sense of separation, thus obliterating that perception which is the mainspring of evil.

51.              We might say that those who realize themselves as the Good, see no difference and separation, and, therefore, have destroyed the seeds of evil within themselves. The conscious performance of evil begins with the misperception of reality.

52.              We might say that the Lords of Materialism cannot get over their sense of being isolated, distinct and different. This, they inherited from their advanced development in a previous solar system, and, for many of them, on the Moon Chain—ruled by the third aspect which rules them. It is the Christ-love (which they have strenuously rejected) which dissolves this sense of being separate and irreconcilably different—i.e., this sense of forever and only themselves. The bestowed energy and consciousness of Sanat Kumara (received at initiation) would reveal to them the fundamental illusion in which they stand, but they cannot experience initiation under the One Initiator because they have rejected love, and the “Triads” (the third Creative Hierarchy) and have, thus, committed themselves to another, dark, initiatory path. Thus, they are cut off from the “saving force” by deliberate choice.

53.              We find these dark lords, therefore, motivated by a sense of isolated individuality which they cannot transcend. The Tibetan calls this an “impelling sense of difference” because it motivates them to separative action, which continues to reinforce their sense of being isolated, different and distinct. They seek the continual empowerment and enhancement of their individuality—forever separated (at least in consciousness) from the One Life in which even they “live and move and have their being”. Thus, they become what might be called ‘resistant, hardened atoms of isolation’ within a gradually integrating and fusing system. At length they are expelled from the system when it has reached a certain degree of cohesion. At some point within the cosmic process they are, however, necessarily redeemed, as the Universal Pralaya demands the reabsorption of all entities within the cosmic whole. All entities are, in fact, but One Entity. Nothing can be left outside a Universal Pralaya or the ABSOLUTE DEITY could not be “all-in-all”, to which state IT periodically (and paradoxically) returns.

54.              One clear way of thinking about the initiates of the Black Lodge, is that they are incapable of right relationship. Conversely, the theme of Shamballa is “right relationship”.