Commentary on Chapter XVII

(Underlining, Bolding and Highlighting, MDR)
VSK Proofed Feb 2014

pp 176-185




Major and Minor Initiations.


1.           We have to note the terminology carefully. When the term “major” initiation is used it does not always mean the same thing in various contexts.

2.           Sometimes, only initiations beginning with the third are considered “major”, yet at other times, all the manasic initiations beginning with the Initiation of the Birth are considered “major”. To determine exactly what is meant, the context must be examined carefully.


In dealing with this question of the diversities of initiations it may be of value to the student to remember that the great moment in which a man passed out of the animal kingdom into the human, which is called in many occult textbooks the "moment of individualisation," was in itself one of the greatest of all initiations.

3.           We can say that every transition from one kingdom of nature to another is a moment of great initiation.

4.           The kinds of initiations within which we are most familiar signify the transition of the human being from the fourth kingdom (the human kingdom) to the fifth or Kingdom of Souls.

5.           The individualization of animal man, thus producing the fourth kingdom of nature upon our planet was, from the perspective of the Planetary Logos, also a significant initiation.

6.           Any entrance into a new phase of experience and activity is an initiation.


  Individualisation is the conscious apprehension by the self of its relation to all that constitutes the not-self, and in this great initiatory process, as in all the later ones, the awakening of consciousness is preceded by a period of gradual development;

7.           Here is an excellent definition of individualization. In order for this “conscious apprehension” to occur, the self must ‘see’ or register within the field of consciousness two things—the “not-self” and itself.


 the awakening is instantaneous at the moment of self-realisation for the first time, and is always succeeded by another period of gradual evolution.

8.           DK is telling us that the moment of self-realization is an instantaneous experience following by a long period in which consciousness within this new realization is slowly developed.

9.           Individualization, therefore, comes as a ‘shock’ to consciousness. The same can be said of initiation. One suddenly sees what one has not seen before.

10.       The period of preparation (conscious or unconscious) leading up to this sudden revelation is usually lengthy (though must depends upon the initiation under discussion. The period between individualization and the first initiation is extremely lengthy, taking millions of years. The period between the first and second initiation will take probably thousands of years.

11.       The period between the second and third, and third and fourth may, we are told, be accomplished even in one life-time.

12.       Yet all preparatory periods are ‘long’ when compared to the ‘moment’ of new realization.


  This period of gradual evolution, in its turn leads up to a later crisis which is called Initiation.  In the one case, we have initiation into self-conscious existence, in the other, initiation into spiritual existence.

13.       Individualization is initiation into self-conscious existence. Initiation (as we usually use the term) is entry into spiritual existence or spiritually-conscious existence.


These realisations, or apprehended expansions of consciousness, are under natural law,

14.       Sometimes it is possible for consciousness to expand without registration by the consciousness (or the self within the consciousness) that there has been an expansion.

15.       Growth is the natural order of things.


 and come in due course of time to every soul without exception.

16.       The question is whether this natural time period can be hastened. Expansion of consciousness will come, we are told, but it can be hastened by intelligent adherence to a program of training which facilitates this opening.


  In a lesser degree they are undergone daily by every human being, as his mental grip of life and experience gradually grows, but they only become initiations into the wisdom (as differentiated from expansions of knowledge) when the knowledge gained is:—

17.       DK is telling us that expansion of consciousness is a natural process, even a daily or perhaps hourly process.

18.       Initiations are great expansion of consciousness to be differentiated from the lesser expansions of consciousness in a number of ways.

19.       DK begins by calling those types of expansions which are initiations, “initiations into the wisdom”.

20.       Knowledge is always gained in an expansion of consciousness. If an expansion is an initiation into the wisdom, the knowledge gained will have the following characteristics.


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a. Consciously sought for.

21.       Real initiation is not accidental. It is the result of a long, deliberate, willful search covering, in most cases, a number of lives.


b. Self-sacrificingly applied to life.

22.       The attitude of the true initiate is self-sacrificial. Without the sacrifice of the lower, elemental self, there is no initiation into the wisdom.


c. Willingly used in service for others.

23.       This point is like the one foregoing. The self is sacrificed in order to apply the knowledge gained for the purpose of serving others. This is done willingly.


d. Intelligently utilised on the side of evolution.

24.       Evolution is not only a microcosmic process but applies to the development of the planet and its various kingdoms. The true initiate into the wisdom utilizes the knowledge gained through his expanding consciousness by furthering the greater ends of the planetary context in which he is immersed. Eventually, when he is knowledgeable and powerful enough, he is capable of assisting the entire planet with the knowledge gained.

25.       It is the part of wisdom to seek intelligently to advance the welfare of the whole. When one uses knowledge gained for the welfare of the lower self alone, one is not an initiate into the wisdom. There are, we should note, initiates of the left hand path.


Only souls of a certain amount of experience and development do all these four things consistently and steadily, and thus transmute knowledge into wisdom, and experience into quality.


26.       The true initiate is expected to use his knowledge positively, both consistently and steadily.

27.       He has two transmutative tasks:

a.   The transmutation of knowledge into wisdom. This is accomplished to a great extent under the influence of the planet Venus which is so closely associated with his Solar Angel.

b.  The transmutation of experience into quality. This is the process by which experience is ‘quintessentialized’ so that it can be ‘raised’ as quality into the causal body. Again Venus is involved, this time in its alchemical nature.


  The ordinary average man transmutes ignorance into knowledge, and experience into faculty.

28.       This is a transmutation whereby conscious experience in the three worlds is elevated to the permanent atoms as enhanced ability to perform in the three worlds.

29.       But the ordinary individual does not intend to transmute knowledge into wisdom—which, in a way is knowledge broadly applicable at all time in all places. It is also a broadened understanding of what knowledge is intended to produce in the long run. Wisdom can be considered, therefore, the destiny of knowledge.


  It would be helpful if all of us pondered upon the difference between inherent quality and innate faculty; one is the very nature of buddhi, or wisdom, and the other of manas, or mind.  The union of these two, through a man's conscious effort, results in a major initiation.

30.       Quality results from the generalization of faculty. One who has developed many mental faculties becomes, at length, qualified.

31.       From established quality, faculties needed in any situation can be generated.

32.       DK gives us an important point: the union of inherent quality and innate faculty, through conscious effort, results in a major initiation.

33.       Inherent quality provides an ‘atmosphere of understanding’ in which innate faculty can be rightly applied. There is such a thing as being able to do something and yet not having the understanding and skill-in-action to do that thing wisely and with respect for the context in which it is performed.

34.       We will do as DK suggests and ponder on the distinction.


These results [the accomplishment of a major initiation] are brought about in two ways:—First, by a man's own unaided effort, which leads him in due course of time to find his own centre of consciousness, to be guided and led by the inner ruler or Ego entirely, and to unravel, through strenuous effort and painful endeavour, the mystery of the universe, which is concealed in material substance energised by Fohat. 

35.       The first of the processes leading to initiation is originated by the aspirant/candidate himself, and is pursued under his own power:

36.       Let us tabulate the initial work of the aspirant to initiation:

a.   The aspirant works unaided

b.  Through his efforts he finds his own center of consciousness

c.   He learns to be guided by his inner ruler of Ego entirely

d.  Alone and unaided and through strenuous endeavor he begins to unravel the mystery of the universe—that aspect of the mystery which is concealed in material substance energised by Fohat


Secondly, by a man's efforts, supplemented by the intelligent loving co-operation of the Knowers of the race, the Masters of the Wisdom.  In this case the process is quicker, for a man comes under instruction—should he so desire—and subsequently, when he has on his part provided the right conditions, there is placed at his disposal the knowledge and the help of Those Who have achieved.

37.       The aspirant/candidate will find his task facilitated by the supplementation of the Masters of the wisdom if he provides the conditions under which Their support can be given.


  In order to avail himself of this help he has to work with the material of his own body, building right material into an ordered form, and has therefore to learn discrimination in the choice of matter, and to understand the laws of vibration and of construction.

38.       This part of the aspirant’s work is related to the earth signs in astrology and especially to the discriminative power of Virgo. The capacities of Vulcan (a planet of ‘enduring constructiveness’) are needed and also those of the constructive and orderly seventh ray.

39.       Let us begin to tabulate the aspirant’s task as he begins to fit himself for the kind of aid and support which can be offered by the Hierarchy of Light:

a.   The aspirant must work with the material of his own body. The aspirant is faced with the material/substance of his own lunar nature. Initially, it will be in an impure and inadequate condition; that condition must be improved.

b.  He must build right material into an ordered form. The right material must be provided through the process of elimination and selectivity.

c.   In a way, he must learn what to eat, what to breath, what, in general to ‘take in’, and also what to throw out. This is discrimination in the choice of matter.

d.  He must understand the laws of vibration and align his life with higher rather than lower vibrations.

e.   He must also understand the laws of construction which will involved the ability to stabilize patterns of energy and to work rhythmically with cycles.


 This entails the mastering, in some measure, of the laws that govern the [Page 178] Brahma and Vishnu aspects:

40.       The aspirant is working with the Vishnu aspects within the field of Brahma.


 it means a faculty of vibrating with atomic accuracy, and the development of the quality of attractiveness, which is the basis of the building, or Vishnu aspect.

41.       Here are some requirements related to the Vishnu aspect:

a.   To vibrate with atomic accuracy. The systemic Law of Vibration is involved in this achievement as is the energy of the planet Vulcan, directly associated with the factor of vibration. If he can so vibrate it will mean the capacity to harmonize with the energy structures within which his lot is cast.

b.  He requires the “quality of attractiveness”. This is a soul quality related to the constructive second ray. On the basis of attractive magnetism he can build—his system, the groups in which he participates and the larger community and nation. He eventually becomes a constructive agent in the building of better relations within the human race.

42.       Let us remind ourselves that in discussing what the aspirant must do to achieve initiation we are discussing the union of “inherent quality” related to the Vishnu aspect and to the second ray, and “innate faculty” related to Brahma aspect and the third ray.


He has to equip, also, his mental body so that it may be an explainer and transmitter, and not a hindering factor as now.

43.       DK assesses the role of the mental body in the life of the average individual. It is a hindering factor and not light-bearing factor, explaining and transmitting the wisdom.

44.       So far we have addressed requirements relating to the quality of matter/substance within his energy system. That quality must be improved.

45.       We have also discussed the degree and quality of his magnetism. Magnetism affects primarily the astral body and is enhanced as soul energy pours into the personality.

46.       Now our focus is the equipping of the mental body.


 He must likewise develop group activity, and learn to work in a co-ordinated manner with other units.

47.       This ability definitely accords with the magnetic Vishnu energy.

48.       The aspirant begins to respond to the Aquarian impulse and to work with the coordinating, organizing seventh ray.

49.       Initiation is, essentially, a group process and the true initiate is always related constructively to his group.


 These are the main things that a man must accomplish along the path of initiation, but when he has worked at them, he will find the Way, it will be made clear to him, and he will then join the ranks of the Knowers.

50.       The aspirant to initiation (the candidate for initiation) must constantly work at rendering himself qualified for the vibratory enhancement initiation represents. Saturn, the planet of work is also a leading planet of discipleship.

51.       Before a man is initiate he is not a “Knower”. He does not see; rather he feels groping his way towards greater freedom.


Another point to be remembered is that this effort to make people co-operate intelligently with the Hierarchy, and to train them to join the ranks of the Lodge, is, as earlier pointed out, a special effort (inaugurated in Atlantean days and continued to this time) made by the Hierarchy of the planet, and is very largely in the nature of an experiment.

52.       We have read in other texts how the program of initiation was inaugurated in Atlantean days. In those days, the intelligence of the race had reached a sufficient degree of elevation to make this possible.

53.       We notice that there is some degree of pressure applied. The effort by Hierarchy is to make people cooperate intelligently with them, and to train them to join the ranks of the Lodge.

54.       The factor of pressure and discipline was asserted from the first.

55.       We note that what was started then as an “experiment” is still so regarded. It may not work—on Earth. Elsewhere we are told that it did work on Venus. There is much promise for success on Earth, but the obstacles are also formidable.

56.       The entire system of initiation is really a kind of divine intervention. Given the retardation which befell the planet Earth due to the Moon-chain tragedy, it is a much-needed intervention.


 The method whereby a man assumes conscious place in the body of a Heavenly Man differs in different planetary Schemes; the Heavenly Man, Who uses our planetary Scheme as His body of manifestation, chooses to work in this particular way during this particular period for His own specific purposes; it is part of the process of vitalising one of His centres, and of linking up His heart centre with its connection in the head.

57.       We gather from what is said that initiation becomes a “method whereby a man assumes conscious place in the body of a Heavenly Man”.

58.       The experiment of initiation is not operative on all schemes.

59.       We are given a hint concerning our Heavenly Man—the Heavenly Man of the Earth-scheme.

60.       Not only is He vitalizing his centers, but He is linking up His heart center “with its connection in the head”. Is He linking the heart with the “heart in the head” (the great twelve petalled lotus found in the midst of the center above the head)? Or is the link between the heart center and that one of the seven head centers which correlates with the heart center?

61.       In any case the process seems to be one which promotes the emergence of Love-Wisdom (the soul ray of our Planetary Logos). The love of the heart is being joined to the wisdom of the head.

62.       The following from the Old Commentary may be linked to the process:


"Out of the lotus in the head springs the flower of bliss.

Its earliest form is joy.

Out of the lotus in the heart springs the flower of love.

Its earliest indication, wisdom is.

Out of the lotus in the throat emerges the flower of living forms.

The earliest sign is understanding of the Plan." (DINA I 157-158)

 As other of His centres are vitalised, and come into full activity, other methods of stimulating the cells in His body (the deva and human monads) may be followed, but for the present the cosmic Rod of Initiation, which is applied to a Heavenly Man, in much the same manner as the lesser rods are applied to man, is being utilised in such a way that it produces that specific stimulation which demonstrates in the activity of man on the Path of Probation and the Path of Initiation.

63.       This is an important section of text. We gather that the emergence of those who are now treading the Path of Probation in large numbers and the Path of Initiation in significant numbers is due to an initiatory process through which our Planetary Logos is passing.

64.       The application of the “cosmic Rod of Initiation” is the application of the “Sevenfold Flaming Fire”, the Rod of the Solar Logos, conferred to Him by the Logos of Sirius.

65.       It is called “cosmic” because the Solar Logos and even the Planetary Logoi are considered, in a number of contexts, “cosmic” Beings.

66.       As suggested, our Solar Logos is passing through a kind of minor fourth initiation through our planetary scheme.

67.       It appears that the application of the Rod occurs over time and is not an instantaneous event (as least as man judges time).

68.       DK is telling us of the present mode of stimulating the cells in the body of the Planetary Logos. Other modes may eventuate, but we are very much in the middle of the experiment with the ‘initiatory mode of cellular advancement’.


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Therefore man must recognise the cyclic nature of initiation, and the place of the process in time and space.  This is a special period of activity in the cycle of a Heavenly Man, and it works out on our planet as a vast period of trial or initiatory testing; it is, nevertheless, equally a period of vitalisation and of opportunity.

69.       We have learned that on other chains within out planetary scheme man advanced in different ways—often through his own inherent energy and forced.

70.       The process of initiation as it is now applied may not always be operative.

71.       From the human perspective, the period through which our Planetary Logos is passing (and in which the experiment with initiation is undertaken) seems a vast period. For modern man it has been going on for millions of years—ever since middle Atlantean days.

72.       The whole process brings its trials and tests as well as its opportunities. The spiritual vitalization of the human race can be greatly increased through initiatory procedure.


We must also endeavour to realise the fact that initiation may be seen taking place on the three planes in the three worlds, and the thought must ever be borne in mind of the relative value and place of the unit, or cell, in the body of a Heavenly Man.

73.       The focus of the initiations with which we are most familiar seems to be the lower three systemic planes.

74.       Something of real significance, however, lies behind the changes to be seen on the lower three planes. Man is a monadic cell within a center of his Planetary Logos. Through initiation the relative value and place of the unit man as such a cell is enhanced.

75.       The initiation of man is ultimately not for his own elevation but for the improvement of the body corporate of his Planetary Logos.

76.       Thus, initiation is ever a group process even when it seems individual in its effect.


 The point must here be emphasised that the major initiations, or the initiations of manas, are those taken on the mental plane and in the causal body.

77.       In this statement the “major initiations” include the Birth and the Baptism—two Initiations of the Threshold. These two initiations, like the Transfiguration and the Renunciation are taken on the mental plane and in the causal body.

78.       There are minor initiations which may be taken on the astral plane. DK refers to these as initiations of the elements.


 They mark the point in evolution where the unit recognizes in fact, and not only in theory, his identity with the divine Manasaputra in Whose body he has place.


79.       The “divine Manasaputra” is the Planetary Logos in which the unit “lives and moves and has his being”. The initiatory procedure reveals to the unit his place and function within his Planetary Logos.

  Initiations can be taken on the physical plane, on the astral, and on the lower mental, but they are not considered major initiations, and are not a conscious, co-ordinated, unified stimulation that involves the whole man.


80.       DK does not say to much about such initiatory experiences except to distinguish them from the greater manasic initiations.

81.       Various parts of the man may be tested out on the eighteen lower sub-planes, but the entire man is not subjected to a “unified stimulation” thereby.

82.       There are significant energy transfers which occur on the physical plane. Also, at night (or deep in meditation), there may be certain kinds of initiatory experiences which occur on the astral and lower mental planes.

83.       To such events we should remain alert realizing that they are preparatory steps towards the conscious, co-ordinated unified stimulation characteristic of the great manasic initiations—the first through the fifth initiation. Beyond that point, we have left the world of Brahma.


A man, therefore, may take initiation on each plane, but only those initiations which mark his transference from a lower four into a higher three are considered so in the real sense of the word,

84.       In one way we are speaking of energy transferences between the center: sacral to throat, solar plexus center to heart, base of the spine center to crown, and others.

85.       In another way we are speaking of the personality as the “lower four” and the soul or spiritual triad as the “higher three”

86.       Each of the first four initiations marks a higher focus within the causal body through the opening of more interior petals.

87.       We also read in TCF that when the first three initiations are experienced, there is a corresponding activation in the permanent atoms of the spiritual triad—and thus a transference from the permanent atoms which represent the quaternary into those which represent the higher triangle of soul life.

88.       We should remember that the spiritual triad is the true soul and the soul with the causal body is the ‘shrouded soul’.


and only those in which a man transfers his consciousness from the lower quaternary into the triad are major initiations.  We have, therefore, three grades of initiations:—

89.       With each of the first three initiations a greater degree of triadal perception pervades the initiate. The influence of the spiritual triad makes its way into the personality and conversely, man is able to elevate the point of tension he can achieve in meditation.

90.       We will now focus on three grades of initiations:

a.   those involving shifts of sub-plane focus;

b.  those involving shifts of planar focus;

c.   those involving the minor and major initiations of a Heavenly Man.


First, initiations in which a man transfers his consciousness from the lower four subplanes of the physical, astral, and mental planes respectively, into the higher three subplanes.

91.       These are a definite type of initiation. On each systemic plane, the three hover above the four. Successful polarization of consciousness on one of the higher three sub-planes is a kind of initiation with respect to consciousness as expressed upon that particular plane.


 When this is done upon the mental plane a man is then known technically as a disciple, an initiate, an adept.

92.       The higher three sub-planes of the mental plane are known as the higher mind. They are, relatively, arupa dimensions when compared to the concreteness of the lower eighteen sub-planes.

93.       When consciousness is transferred into the causal body a man is an initiate of the third degree. He is also a disciple of some kind, but in describing him, the term “initiate” usually supplants the word “disciple”.

94.       But what sort of “adept” is he; he is certainly not a Masters of the Wisdom (the stage that the term “Adept” usually indicates).

95.       As stated in text below, he is actually a lesser adept. There are certain accomplishments at which he has become adept.


 He uses then each of the three higher subplanes of the mental plane as a point from [Page 180] which to work his way completely out of the three worlds of human manifestation into the triad.

96.       This process of working one’s way completely out of the three worlds and into the triad is the process which occurs in a conscious and focussed manner between the third and fourth initiation. At the fourth initiation a man is completely free from the lure of the three lower worlds and the necessity of incarnating within those worlds.

97.       Even before the third degree, the man has some degree of causal contact which he can use to achieve ever greater freedom from the lower, elemental worlds, but before the third degree he cannot polarize his consciousness at will upon the higher mental sub-planes.


  Therefore it is apparent that what one might consider as lesser initiations can be taken on the physical and astral planes, in the conscious control of their three higher subplanes.  These are true initiations, but do not make a man what is technically understood as a Master of the Wisdom.  He is simply an adept of a lesser degree.

98.       We note that the word “adept” can be used to indicate a unit of less attainment than a Masters of the Wisdom.

99.       Just as there are lesser Dragons of Wisdom so there are lesser adepts.

100.    Here the lesser initiations are confined to the physical and astral sub-planes. Early the lower mental plane was also mentioned.

101.    There seems to be the hint that at the first initiation some new degree of conscious focus is found upon the third sub-planes of the higher mental plane; at the second degree upon the second sub-plane and at the third degree upon the third sub-plane.

102.    The consciousness of being focussed upon the higher mental plane, however, occurs only at the third degree.

103.    All elevations from sub-plane to sub-plane (followed by polarization upon the higher sub-plane) are initiations of a kind.


Secondly, initiations in which a man transfers his consciousness from plane to plane, instead of from subplane to subplane.  Herein comes a point to be carefully recognised.  A true Master of the Wisdom has not only taken the lesser initiations referred to above, but has also taken the five steps involved in the conscious control of the five planes of human evolution.

104.    Here we are speaking of a greater process—the transference of consciousness from plane to plane instead of from sub-plane to sub-plane.

105.    We are speaking of large contrasts between those whose consciousness is polarized on the systemic/solar physical, astral, mental, buddhic or atmic planes.

106.    We can question whether a Masters of the Wisdom has achieved complete control on the buddhi and atmic planes. He certainly has done so with respect to the lower three planes. He has, at least, taken definite steps towards the control of the buddhic and atmic planes even if this control is not complete.

107.    An Arhat is buddhically polarized; a Masters of the Wisdom is atmically polarized (to some extent at least). References vary in relation to this degree of atmic polarization.


  It remains for him then to take the two final initiations which make him a Chohan of the sixth degree, and a Buddha, before that control is extended to the remaining two planes of the solar system.

108.    DK differentiates a Chohan from a Buddha. It appears that Gautama Buddha was called a “Buddha” when He was a Chohan and before He had attained a certain footing in the seventh degree.

109.    In any case, it is suggested that a Chohan has extended His control to the sixth systemic plane and that a Buddha has extended control to the seventh. In this respect, the Christ is now a Buddha—Maitreya Buddha.

110.    Thoughts about initiatory status and planar control are given here in a very linear fashion. No doubt there is great truth to what is said, even if other references show a Master focussing primarily buddhically and a sixth degree initiate focussing primarily atmically.


  It is obvious, therefore, that it is correct to speak of the seven initiations, yet it would be nevertheless equally correct to enumerate five, ten, or twelve initiations.

111.    This is an important if highly abstruse point and should encourage us to take a guarded attitude when enumerating the initiations which are possible to the unit, man.

112.    So much will depend upon our starting point and how many ‘interim initiations’ are included in our enumeration.


  The matter is complicated for occult students, owing to certain mysterious factors about which they can naturally know nothing, and which must remain to them, as yet, utterly incomprehensible.

113.    Well, it is certain that we are not going to penetrate this statement. It is tremendously veiled.


  These factors are founded in the individuality of the Heavenly Man Himself, and involve such mysteries as His particular karma, the aim He may have in view for any particular cycle, and the turning of the attention of the cosmic ego of a Heavenly Man to His reflection, the evolving Heavenly Man of a solar system.

114.    Three factors are related to our inability to clearly enumerate the number of initiations which can face the human being.

a.   The particular karma of a Heavenly Man

b.  The aim of the Heavenly Man for any particular cycle

c.   The turning of the “cosmic ego” (i.e., the causal expression of the Heavenly Man) to His reflection in the lower three worlds—cosmically considered. In other words, there is an unfathomable relationship between the Solar Angel of a Heavenly Man and the personality expression of that Heavenly Man in a solar system. The analogy is similar to the relationship of the Ego of man on the higher mental plane to the personality functioning in the lower three worlds.

115.    When does the Solar Angel supervising a human unit turn His attention to that unit? During the development of the fifth petal of the egoic lotus. Perhaps there is an analogy when we seek for that point in time with the “cosmic ego of a Heavenly Man” turns his attention to His reflection? What stage of cosmic egoic unfoldment is required for such a “turning” of “attention”?


A further factor may also be found in certain periods of stimulation, and of increased vitalisation, such as a cosmic initiation produces.

116.    Our Solar Logos is in the midst of a cosmic initiation involving, for instance, the Earth-scheme.

117.    The initiatory interplay between the Solar Logos and our Planetary Logos may create unfathomable conditions which make it impossible for man to confidently understand the nature and numbering of the various initiations through which he may pass.


  These outside effects naturally [Page 181] produce results in the units or cells in the body of the Heavenly Man, and lead often to events unforeseen and apparently inexplicable.

118.    DK is pointing to causes far beyond our understanding or control. If there are obscurities encountered as we study spiritual occultism, the cause of all obscurities cannot be attributed to our dullness as students.


Thirdly, initiations in which a Heavenly Man may take either a minor or a major initiation, thereby involving His entire nature.

119.    As far as the tiny unit man is concerned, these initiations (whether major or minor from the perspective of a Heavenly Man) will always be of the utmost moment.

120.    Our Heavenly Man is passing through a fourth initiation of this kind at this time. It is, however, not a cosmic initiation. (cf. TCF 384)


 For instance, when individualisation took place during the Lemurian, or the third root race, and the human family in this cycle definitely came into manifestation, it signified a major initiation for our Heavenly Man. 

121.    It may be necessary to differentiate between the terms “major initiation” and “cosmic initiation”. We have seen how the Birth and the Baptism are (in the context here used) to be considered as “major” initiations, even though in other contexts the third degree begins the cycle of “major” initiations.

122.    It is possible for the Heavenly Man to be experiencing a series of “major” initiations, even though they are not yet “cosmic” initiations.

123.    “Major” initiations would be those experienced through a planetary chain. A “cosmic” initiation would be one involving the entire planetary scheme.

124.    Much depends, as well, on what is meant by “our Heavenly Man”. Not only is the Lord of the Earth-scheme a Heavenly Man, but so is a Chain Lord and even a Globe Lord. Caution in required.

125.    The Heavenly Man of our Earth-scheme has as His goal the second “cosmic” initiation. Would it make sense to think that some twenty-one million years ago He experienced His first cosmic initiation? The time frame seems too short.


The present stimulation in hierarchical effort is leading up to a lesser initiation.  

126.    The present stimulation in hierarchical effort is leading towards a fourth initiation for our Planetary Logos through our fourth chain and fourth globe. Yet this initiation must be considered as “lesser” when compared to the individualization of man through the coming of the Lords of the Flame.


Each great cycle sees a major initiation of a Heavenly Man taken on one or other of the globes, and herein again complication lies, and much food for thought.

127.    We do not know what DK means here by a “great cycle”. Does He mean a scheme round? A chain round?

128.    Seven initiations are the objective of “our” Heavenly Man. Are these the ones which are referred to as major? It would seem that such initiations should refer to the seven chains, with one for each chain. Was the coming of the Lord of the Flame the “major” initiation for our chain?

129.    It would seem that within the Earth-scheme we are experiencing the fourth scheme round just as the Logos of the Venus-scheme is experiencing the fifth.

130.    Perhaps Individualization was the major initiation for the fourth scheme round whereas the fourth initiation now in process has more bearing on our chain.

131.    Obviously, the complication is great and much intuitive thought (pursued over time) will be necessary to unravel the mystery.


To the three above points we might also briefly add that of the coming in, or passing out, of any particular ray.  The little that can be said upon this point, which is one of the greatest difficulty, might be summed up in the following three statements:

132.    We are speaking of the types of initiation to be encountered as the tiny unit man attempts to find his place and position within his Planetary Logos.

133.    The entry and exit of ray energies contribute to the initiatory process and add more complication.

134.    It would be reassuring if occultism dealt only with great and simple principles, but it must be obvious that Master DK sees a very complicated world, the complexity of which we would probably find staggering if we could cognize it at all.

135.    We are now going to sum up points relating to the effect of rays upon the initiatory procedure through which man is passing.


 First, that initiations taken on the four minor rays rank not in equality with initiations taken upon the major three.  This is complicated somewhat by the fact that within the planetary Scheme, during cyclic evolution, a minor ray may be temporarily regarded as a major ray.  For instance, at this particular time in our planetary Scheme, the seventh Ray of Ceremonial Law or Order is regarded as a major ray, being a ray of synthesis, and one on which the Mahachohan is blending His work. 

136.    The initiations leading up to the fifth initiation are taken on the seventh, sixth, fifth and fourth rays respectively. The fifth initiation is taken on the first ray, the sixth initiation on the third ray and the seventh initiation on the second ray.

137.    Obviously, the fifth, sixth and seventh initiations are of greater moment than the earlier four.

138.    In our present era humanity is having the opportunity to take the first initiation. This opportunity may correlate with the fact that the seventh ray (usually not a major ray) is now considered to be so. Of course, there are many other reasons why this first degree opportunity can now be offered to humanity.


Secondly, that the first three initiations are taken upon the ray of the Ego, and link a man up with the great White Lodge; the last two are taken upon the ray of the monad, and have a definite effect upon the path for service that will be chosen later by the adept.

139.    This is a most important statement but an alternative view is possibly given in LOM p. 267, where it is suggested that after the second initiation a man may change to the ray Ashram which corresponds to his monadic ray.

140.    A question arises as to the importance of the monadic ray at the taking of the third initiation. Is it implicit or active in that initiation?

141.    While it has been affirmed in a number of references that the Cosmic Paths on the Way of Higher Evolution are not, per se, ray Paths, it is clear from this reference that the monadic ray and the final two initiations (the fourth and fifth planetary initiations) have a definite impact upon the Higher Path which will be chosen by the initiate at the Great Decision (the sixth initiation).


 This statement must be linked up with that earlier made, which stated that the fifth initiation made a man [Page 182] a member of the Greater Lodge, or Brotherhood, on Sirius, being literally the first of the Sirian initiations.

142.    The Master of Wisdom is but a humble “Entered Apprentice” in relation to the Brotherhood on Sirius.

143.    If the fifth initiation is taken on the ray of the Monad, then the first Sirian initiation is taken on the ray of the Monad.

144.    Probably, it is the monadic ray which determines in large measure whether the initiate of the sixth degree will tread the Path to Sirius.

145.    Do third ray Monads tread the Path to Sirius—endowed are they are with a great deal of manasic development. We cannot say, “No”, because the Buddha, a third ray Monad, was to have taken that Path (even though, it is presumed, He will not now do so).


  The fourth initiation is the synthesis of the Initiations of the Threshold in the Sirian Lodge. 

146.    For the human being engaged in planetary and solar initiations, the first two initiations (the Birth and Baptism) are considered “Initiations of the Threshold”.

147.    For one who is entering the Sirian system of initiations, the first four of Earth’s planetary initiations are considered “Initiations of the Threshold”.


Finally, according to the ray on which initiation is taken, so very largely depends the subsequent path of service.

148.    This is a restatement of what was earlier suggested. We are speaking of the fourth and fifth initiations, the ray upon which they are taken (the monadic ray) and the impact of those initiations and the ray on which they are taken upon the “subsequent path of service”.


The Day of Opportunity.

The question might here be asked wherein this information is of value to the student.  In illustration of this it would be wise if students would ponder the significance of the coming in of the present Ray of Ceremonial Law or Magic.  It is the ray that deals with the building forces of nature, that concerns itself with the utilisation of the form intelligently by the life aspect.


149.    DK is suggesting that the information imparted in IHS can, indeed, be used, especially because the entry of the Seventh Ray of Ceremonial Law of Magic will make utilization more possible.

150.    Readers of this magnificent little book might wonder how the very abstruse information could find application.


 It is largely the ray of executive work, with the object of building, co-ordinating and producing cohesion in the four lower kingdoms of nature.  It is distinguished largely by the energy which manifests itself in ritual, but this word ritual must not be narrowed down to its present use in connection with Masonic, or religious ritual.  Its application is far wider than this, and includes the methods of organisation which are demonstrated in all civilised communities, such as in the world of commerce and of finance, and the great business organisations everywhere to be seen.

151.    DK is speaking of the incoming of this most practical ray—the seventh.

152.    It is clear that the seventh ray is a great financial ray, as is the third, in a more abstract sense.

153.    The seventh ray promotes cohesion as does the second ray.


 Above all, its interest lies for us in the fact that it is the ray which brings opportunity to the occidental races, and through the medium of this life force of executive organisation, of government by rule and order, by rhythm and by ritual, will come the time wherein the occidental races (with their active, concrete mind, and their vast business capacity) can take initiation,—an initiation, we must remember, upon a ray which is temporarily recognised as a major ray.

154.    DK arrives at the point. The incoming of the seventh ray signals initiatory opportunity for the occidental races.

155.    He is largely speaking of opportunity in relation to the first initiation.


 A large number of the initiates and [Page 183] those who have obtained adeptship in the last cycle, have been orientals and those in Hindu bodies.  This cycle has been dominated by the sixth ray, which is just passing out, and the two preceding.

156.    Is DK speaking of two preceding rays or of two preceding cycles?

157.    We may here be speaking of a larger cycle than simply an equinoctial age. The sixth ray in a larger cycle has been in expression for thousands of years:


For instance, the seventh Ray of Ceremonial Organisation is now coming in, and the sixth Ray of Devotion is going out; yet this sixth ray is a major ray cycle and its influence will not entirely disappear for another 21,000 years. (EP I 190)

 In the preservation of equilibrium the time now comes when a period of attainment by occidentals will be seen, and this upon a ray suited to their type of mind.

158.    We may question whether this attainment must occur within the next 2500 years or so, or whether with the coming in of the greater Age of Aquarius of 25,000 years, a greater seventh ray expression will also be with us lasting also those many thousands of years.


  It is interesting to note that the oriental type attains its objective through meditation, with a modicum of executive organisation and ritual, and that the occidental will achieve largely through the organisation which lower mind produces, and a type of meditation of which intense business concentration might be considered an illustration.

159.    We cannot interpret western progress in oriental terms. Those actively engaged in the occident in business and organizational work are progressing spiritually along their own line.

160.    It is interesting however to note how the East has picked up western ways and is increasingly engaged in intense business and organizational work.


 The one-pointed application of the mind by a European or American business man might be regarded as a type of meditation.  In the purification of motive lying back of this application will come, for the occidental, his day of opportunity.

161.    Right now the motive for business and organizational work can justly be considered rather selfish and personal—although there are naturally exceptions.

162.    If motive is purified and service is rendered, the abilities of the European or American business-person can as easily lead to initiation as the more abstract abilities demonstrated by the eastern student.


By availing themselves of the present day of opportunity, and by conformity to the rules for treading the Path, will come to many in the West the chance to take these further steps.  That opportunity will be found by the man who is ready in the place where he is, and among the familiar circumstances of his daily life.

163.    DK is telling the western student that he need not abandon his western ways if he is to find achievement. This would be counter-productive. There are many ways to earn the right to stand before the Initiator.

164.    Some student in the West feel they must run away from the “madding world” and enter into seclusion in order to achieve spiritually. DK is trying to tell such students to stay where they are and achieve in the place where karma and dharmic opportunity has placed them.


 It will be found in attention to duty, in the surmounting of tests and trials, and in that inner adherence to the voice of the God within, which is the mark of every applicant for initiation.

165.    This attention, this surmounting of tests and trials, this inner adherence to the soul can be achieved no matter what may be the circumstances.


 Initiation involves the very thing that is done from day to day by any who are consciously endeavoring to train themselves:—the next point to be reached, and the next bit of work to be accomplished is pointed out by the Master (either the God within or a man's Master if he is consciously aware of Him) and the reason is given.

166.    DK’s presentation of initiation is intensely practical. It involves much physical plane work and no escape into spiritual vacuity.


 Then the Teacher stands aside and watches the aspirant achieve.  As He watches, He recognises points of crisis, where the application of a test will do one of two [Page 184] things, focalise and disperse any remaining unconquered evil—if that term might here be used—and demonstrate to the disciple both his weakness and his strength.

167.    DK discusses what the Teacher ‘sees’ as He watches the aspirant attempt to achieve. Points of crisis come and these points have the following effect:

a.   They focalize and disperse any remaining unconquered evil. Yes, there is “evil” in the aspirant to initiation and it must be seen, focused and dispersed.

b.  These points of crisis demonstrate to the disciple both his weaknesses and strengths. He must learn to know himself—for better or for worse. Only thus can he take himself intelligently in hand and make real progress.


 In the great initiations, the same procedure can be seen, and the ability of the disciple to pass these greater tests and stages is dependent upon his ability to meet and surmount the daily lesser ones.

168.    A picture of gradual progress is presented. Greater achievements are dependent upon lesser achievements. Each achievement leads to greater opportunity.


 "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much," is an occult statement of fact, and should characterise the whole daily activity of the true aspirant;

169.    This is profoundly true and to realize this truth would restore common sense to many aspirants who sorely need it.

170.    Nothing is too small to warrant the careful attention of the aspirant to initiation. As Master M. suggests: “the smallest grain of sand can stop the largest wheel”.


the "much" is surmounted and passed, because it is regarded simply as an intensification of the normal,

171.    DK is pointing to the “sanctified normality” of the initiate.

172.    The progressing initiate has build a foundation of good spiritual habits and productive rhythms which will see him through the ever greater difficulties he will encounter.


 and no initiate has ever passed the great test of initiation who has not accustomed himself to pass lesser tests every day of his life; tests then come to be regarded as normal, and are considered, when encountered, as part of the usual fabric of his life. 

173.    These are such sobering words. As simple as they are, we should ponder on them and see where we may be overlooking preparatory opportunity to be found within our immediate life circumstances.

174.    The usual, well performed, leads to successful performance of that which now seems unusual.


When this attitude of mind is attained and held, there exists no surprise or possible defeat.

175.    Essentially, DK is telling us that along the Path of Initiation  we shall encounter “more of the same” but its intensity will increase.

176.    We are to develop the sense that we are “on our way”. We are to realize that here and now and in the circumstances of our normal, daily life, we are preparing to face the Initiator who will but confirm the initiate state of consciousness which we have built through successful performance in all the circumstances (outer and inner) with which we have been confronted.