Before entering upon the subject matter of the following articles of Initiation, on the Paths that open before the perfected man, and on the Occult Hierarchy, certain statements may be made which seem essential for the judicious study and comprehension of the ideas submitted.

The question arises as to the nature of perfection. Is there such a thing as a “perfect man”? In a way, “yes”, but it is a relative perfection — still perfect enough. Is the Planetary Logos perfect? Only relatively so, and very imperfect when compared with still greater Planetary Logoi. Is our Solar Logos perfect? Only relatively so, and very imperfect when compared, for instance, to the Logos of Sirius. And so it goes. Even the Logos of the entire cosmos is not perfect. There is but one perfect BEING — the ONE AND ONLY, immutable, forever the same. The use of the term “perfect” (which means “complete”) must always be considered in relation to other beings, and to the ONE PERFECT BEING, ITSELF.

Dogmatism and the Intuition

It is to be recognised that throughout this volume facts are alleged and definite statements made which are not susceptible of immediate proof by the reader.  Lest it be inferred that the writer arrogates to herself any credit or personal authority for the knowledge implied she emphatically disavows all such claims or representations.  She cannot do otherwise than present these statements as matters of fact.  Nevertheless, she would urge those who find somewhat of merit in these pages that they be not estranged by any appearance of dogmatism in the presentation.  Nor should the inadequacy of the personality of the writer act as a deterrent to the open-minded consideration of the message to which her name happens to be appended.  In spiritual issues, names, personalities, and the voice of external [Page 2] authority, hold small place.  That alone is a safe guide which holds its warranty from inner recognition and inner direction.  It is not, therefore, material whether the reader receive the message of these pages as a spiritual appeal in an idealistic setting, a presentation of alleged facts, or a theory evolved by one student and presented for the consideration of fellow students.  To each it is offered for whatever of inner response it may evoke, for whatever of inspiration and of light it may bring.

Here we find that Alice Bailey is taking a position of humility. She, herself, believes in what she is saying. For her it is fact. But she takes no authoritative position with respect to the truth of what she imparts. To determine truth is the responsibility of the reader. Thus each reader is thrown back upon his or her own soul as an authority.

Several legitimate methods of regarding the teaching are presented. There is ample room for all these presentations. The importance of each reader as the arbiter of truth is emphasized. Thus, there is an appeal to the essential dignity of each disciple.

In these days of the shattering of the old form and the building of the new, adaptability is needed.  We must avert the danger of crystallisation through pliability and expansion.  The "old order changeth," but primarily it is a change of dimension and of aspect, and not of material or of foundation.  The fundamentals have always been true.  To each generation is given the part of conserving the essential features of the old and beloved form, but also of wisely expanding and enriching it.  Each cycle must add the gain of further research and scientific endeavour, and subtract that which is worn out and of no value.  Each age must build in the product and triumphs of its period, and abstract the accretions of the past that would dim and blur the outline.  Above all, to each generation is given the joy of demonstrating the strength of the old foundations, and the opportunity to build upon these foundations a structure that will meet the needs of the inner evolving life.

We are passing through an amazing time of the shattering of the old and the building of the new. It is a fluid moment in history. The Age of Pisces is ending; the Age of Aquarius is beginning. We are in the midst of a 500 year period of overlap. While preserving the gain of the past, it is our duty to understand the principles upon which the Aquarian Age will unfold. We do not and dare not repudiate the excellences of the past, but new and relatively unfamiliar energies are emerging and they must be recognized, appropriated and utilized. This is not easy at the present time, because before the energies of the Age of Pisces will finally pass away (to return in approximately 23,000 years), they are emerging with renewed vigor (and in their more negative form). Thus there is a conflict between the new and the old, the seventh ray of magic and the seventh ray of devotion.

Three basic facts to be recognised

The ideas that are elaborated here find their corroboration in certain facts that are stated in the occult literature now extant.  These facts are three in number, and are as follows:—

(a)    In the creation of the sun and the seven sacred planets composing our solar system, our Logos employed matter that was already impregnated with particular qualities.  Mrs. Besant in her book,  "Avataras," (which some of [Page 3] us think the most valuable of all her writings, because one of the most suggestive), makes the statement that "our solar system is builded out of matter already existing, out of matter already gifted with certain properties . . . " (page 48).  This matter, therefore, we deduce, held latent certain faculties that were forced to demonstrate in a peculiar way, under the law of Cause and Effect, as does all else in the universe.

Here an important idea is suggested. We are in the midst of a series of three solar systems — three incarnations of our Solar Logos. Presently, we are experiencing the second. In all of Nature there is a Law of Occult Continuity. Just as the energies and forces of our most recent incarnations are influential and conditioning in our present incarnation, so it is for our Solar Logos. The energies, forces and patterns of His most recent incarnation strongly condition the way of life in His present incarnation, i.e., His expression through our present solar system with its seven sacred planets (and many, many more planets and planetoids — upwards of 115, plus thousands of asteroids).

As with a human being, new patters of energy and force must be substituted for old patterns. This progressive substitution we call the Principles of Transmutation, Transformation and Transfiguration.

(b)   All manifestation is of a septenary nature, and the Central Light which we call Deity, the one Ray of Divinity, manifests first as a Triplicity, and then as a Septenary.  The One God shines forth as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, and these three are again reflected through the Seven Spirits before the Throne, or the seven Planetary Logoi.  The students of occultism of non-Christian origin may call these Beings the One Ray, demonstrating through the three major Rays and the four minor, making a divine Septenary.  The Synthetic Ray which blends them all is the great Love-Wisdom Ray, for verily and indeed "God is Love."  This Ray is the indigo Ray, and is the blending Ray.  It is the one which will, at the end of the greater cycle, absorb the others in the achievement of synthetic perfection.  It is the manifestation of the second aspect of Logoic life.  It is this aspect, that of the Form-Builder, that makes this solar system of ours the most concrete of the three major systems.  The Love or Wisdom aspect demonstrates through the building of the form, for "God is Love," and in that God of Love we "live and move and have our being," and will to the end of aeonian manifestation.

Different ways of viewing the One, the Three and the Seven are here presented. Numbers are Archetypal Beings. Different traditions speak of these Beings in diverse ways, but Their essential nature is the same — no matter how colored by various religious, philosophical, mythological or occult presentations.

Although there are many succeeding divisions following the One, the Three and the Seven (for instance — the Twelve, the Fourteen, the Fifteen, the Twenty-One, the Twenty-Eight, the Thirty-Five, the Forty-Nine, etc.), all of these Archetypes or Entities are, nevertheless, One Great Synthetic Entity. The color of this Entity is given — indigo blue, and its musical note is ‘G’.

It is interesting to consider that our solar system (the second in  a series of three — {some say it is a series of seven}) is the most concrete — more concrete that the one preceding or the one following. The great Second Ray of Love-Wisdom is the form builder; hence, the concretion of our present system.

From the point of view of consciousness, perhaps we could say that the first solar system was the most concrete, and the last solar system (or Will system) will be the least concrete. In any case, in this solar system, we are learning to disengage from preoccupation with matter, and consciously enter the realm of consciousness. We become the Observer — not merely the Actor.

It is important to realize that standard Christian terminology accords very well with the terminology of occultism. In all the great religio-philosophical presentations of Truth, there is really no great variation. The conflicts arising between the adherents of the various systems arise in the little minds of men and must be solved by the expansion of consciousness afforded by soul infusion.

(c)    The seven planes of Divine Manifestation, or the seven major planes of our system, are but the seven subplanes of the lowest cosmic plane.  The seven Rays of which [Page 4] we hear so much, and which hold so much of interest and of mystery, are likewise but the seven sub-rays of one cosmic Ray.  The twelve creative Hierarchies are themselves but subsidiary branches of one cosmic Hierarchy.  They form but one chord in the cosmic symphony.  When that sevenfold cosmic chord, of which we form so humble a part, reverberates in synthetic perfection, then, and only then, will come comprehension of the words in the Book of Job:  "The morning stars sang together."  Dissonance yet sounds forth, and discord arises from many systems, but in the progression of the aeons an ordered harmony will eventuate, and the day will dawn when (if we dare speak of eternities in the terms of time) the sound of the perfected universe will resound to the uttermost bounds of the furthest constellation.  Then will be known the mystery of "the marriage song of the heavens."

Here the Tibetan speaks of greater and lesser planes, of greater and lesser rays. It is important to keep all factors in perspective. We are always discovering that the sevenfold world in which we live, is simply one- seventh of a still greater world, which, itself, is no doubt, but a seventh of a still greater system of some kind.

The Ray of our Solar Logos lies behind and infuses the seven rays of each of the seven major Planetary Logoi. The same is true of the Twelve Creative Hierarchies (or twelve orders of spirits/monads) — the twelve are but one.  Musical analogies are offered, and, indeed, one who wishes to understand cosmos, must understand music, for our Solar Logos is singing His own note, as are each of the Planetary Logoi, and each of the Creative Hierarchies. The many (sung or sounded simultaneously) are creating great chords, which characterize the unified expression of the related many. The many geometries are combining to form the One Universal Geometric Figure.

The Tibetan Teacher ends with a perfectly beautiful image of a time of universal harmony, when the “morning stars” will sing together. Already (on the archetypal planes they are singing in a manner we would call ‘perfect’). All the many colors are in the process of coalescing into an harmonious rainbow; the many notes are uniting to form harmonious universal chords.

In our lower worlds we are acutely aware of dissonances. Much harmonization remains to be accomplished — both microcosmically and macrocosmically. The entire theme of our spiritual progress is the resolution of dissonances — first dissonances between the personality vehicles of man; then dissonances between the personality and the soul; and, finally, dissonances between the soul-infused personality and the spirit. In the resolution of dissonances lies much pain, but the final outcome is happiness, joy and bliss.

Five points to remember

The reader is also asked to remember and weigh certain ideas prior to taking up the study of Initiation.  Due to the extreme complexity of the matter it is an utter impossibility for us to do more than get a general idea of the scheme; hence the futility of dogmatism.  We can do no more than sense a fraction of some wonderful whole, utterly beyond the reach of our consciousness,—a whole that the highest Angel or Perfected Being is but beginning to realise.

In the paragraph above we are given a sense of proportion. Who are we (tiny “man”) to seek to understand cosmos, when even the highest angel or perfected being can only begin to do so. One of the first thing to be established in any student of the Mysteries, is a sense of proportion. Such a sense is easy to talk about but difficult to achieve, for it necessitates much living and much experience.

The Tibetan is wise to emphasize the impossibility of dogmatism, or utterly authoritative, complete statements which admit of no expansion. We are but learning the ABC’s no matter how profound and wonderful they may seem. If we can keep our sense of proportion as we read, we will avoid falling into glamor and illusion — two factors which any student of the Mysteries must cautiously avoid. There is much potential inflation upon this Path to the Light, and distortions can easily seize upon the unwary. Even those who are cautious must be still more cautious.

When we recognise the fact that the average man is as yet fully conscious only on the physical plane, nearly conscious on the emotional plane, and only developing the consciousness of the mental plane, it is obvious that his comprehension of cosmic data can be but rudimentary.  When we recognise the further fact, that to be conscious on a plane and to have control on that plane are two very different conditions, it becomes apparent how remote is the possibility of our approximating more than the general trend of the cosmic scheme.

The Tibetan is gently putting us in our place and thus, inducing a healthy state of mind. If one considers the state of consciousness of many students of spirituality, one will discover a sad lack of proportion. The small is made to seem big, and the big, little. We human beings have not yet the mind to see things as they are — in fact. We are being led out of profound darkness into a blinding light, and it will take centuries, even millennia for our ‘eyes’ to adjust. We are also admonished that there is a difference between knowing and doing.

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We must recognise also that danger lies in dogma and in the hide-bound facts of textbooks, and that safety lies in flexibility, and in a shifting angle of vision.  A fact, for instance, looked at from the standpoint of humanity (using the word "fact" in the scientific sense as that which has been demonstrated past all doubt and question) may not be a fact from the standpoint of a Master.  To Him it may be but part of a greater fact, only a fraction of the whole.  Since His vision is fourth and fifth dimensional, His realisation of the place of time in eternity must be more accurate than ours.  He sees things from above downwards, and as one to whom time is not.

Again, we are reminded of relativity. Einstein’s Theory of Relativity appeared first in 1906. This great thinker was but voicing an aspect of the Ageless Wisdom, known for ages by the sages who are the custodians of the Mysteries. Occultism envisions a many-dimensional universe. The Theory of Relativity applied only the physical and etheric dimensions of cosmos. When the Tibetan speaks of the fourth and fifth dimensions (and fourth and fifth dimensional vision), He is speaking of the buddhic and atmic planes and the intuitional and dynamic faculties which pertain to those planes. A Master of the Wisdom is especially focussed on these two planes.

The Tibetan uses an interesting phrase: “the place of time in eternity”. From one perspective, an initiate is one who has overcome the conventional sense of time (so conditioned by the limitations of brain consciousness) and is beginning to apprehend the meaning of eternity which is both cyclic and endless in duration. To the Master, time is no longer the limitation (or the seeming reality) it is to us. He lives in the Presence, and in that Presence, the present moment (strangely eternal in duration) is the one reality.

Fundamental mysteries pertaining to time and space are solved and the third initiation. This initiation is the pivot between time and eternity. In our highest moment (our “peak experiences”) we can, perhaps, catch a glimmer of the state of consciousness in which the Master perpetually lives.

An inexplicable principle of mutation exists in the Mind of the Logos, or the Deity of our solar system, and governs all His actions.  We see but the ever changing forms, and catch glimpses of the steadily evolving life within those forms, but as yet have no clue to the principle which works through the shifting kaleidoscope of solar systems, rays, hierarchies, planets, planes, schemes, rounds, races, and sub-races.  They interweave, interlock, and interpenetrate each other, and utter bewilderment is ours as the wonderful pattern they form unfolds before us.  We know that somewhere in that scheme we, the human hierarchy, have our place.

The unfoldment of cosmos appears kaleidoscopic. This is simply because we do not have a sufficient knowledge of cycles. Such knowledge is not granted until the fifth initiation, in which “all knowledge” (again, relatively) is achieved.

Certain important words are used in this section — “solar systems, hierarchies, planes, planes, schemes, rounds, races, and sub-races”. Each of these has a location (dimensionally) and a duration, and a quality and quantity. When an understanding of these is achieved, our planet, solar system (and to an extent, the cosmos) will appear far more coordinated and orderly. The principal Ray of our solar system, the Second Ray of Love-Wisdom, is called the “Ray of the Divine Pattern”. Under the instruction imparted by the agents of this Ray, we can begin to apprehend the great patterns in which we are living and moving and having our being. Any attempt to reduce bewildering complexity to a pattern is a step in the right direction. To this end, a study of the astrology, rayology, numerology and the science of cycles are extremely useful.

All, therefore, that we can do is to seize upon any data that seems to affect our own welfare, and concerns our own evolution, and from the study of the human being in the three worlds seek to understand somewhat the macrocosm.  We know not how the one can become the three, the three become the seven, and so proceed to inconceivable differentiation.  To human vision this interweaving of the system forms an unimaginable complexity, the key to which seems not to be forthcoming.  Seen from the angle of a Master we know that all proceeds in ordered sequence.  Seen from the angle of divine vision the whole will move [Page 6] in harmonious unison, producing a form geometrically accurate.

The Tibetan is offering several perspectives — and the sight from each differs profoundly — the human being, the Master, and that of a Chohan (or still higher Master — from Whose perspective “divine vision” is possible). We human beings see principally disorder and chaos. Some of the more intelligent among us, and those with greater incarnational experience are beginning to grasp the order of things, which a Master always sees. Beings still greater than a Master see all moving together in the “Eternal Now”, and know beyond all doubt that “God geometrizes”. One can reasonably think that Pythagoras and Plato (a great beings on the second ray) were beginning to understand the profundity of God as the “Great Geometrician”.

Incidentally, to see all in “harmonious unison” would mean the perfection of buddhic vision. To see all things in complete geometric accuracy, would suggest the vision of the monadic plane from which Divine Geometry emanates — as far as we human beings are concerned.

  Browning had hold of a part of this truth when he wrote:

"All's change, but permanence as well" … and continued:

"Truth inside, and outside, truth also; and between each, falsehood that is change, as truth is permanence."

"Truth successively takes shape, one grade above its last presentment …"

It has been suggested by Dr. Douglas Baker that the English poet laureate, Robert Browning was a second ray soul. Alice Bailey seems to suggest this as well. The idea of “truth as permanence” is principally a second ray, Platonic idea. Change is related to the third ray, to lie, deception, and illusion. After every season of change, comes a clarification in which the great archetypes are reflected in experience. We are passing through great periods of change and uncertainty, but before long the prevailing Truths will again display themselves, and we shall know with greater certainty the true “Pattern in the Heavens”.

In poetic form, Browning has given us a vision of the World of Being and the World of Becoming — the latter intended to faithfully reflect the former. Each human being is both being and becoming. For practical purposes, one can think of the personality as related to the World of Becoming and the soul as related to the World of Being. Later, the monad will reflect the World of Being. One of the paradoxes which every initiate must master is the seeing contradiction between change and changelessness. The Master Koot-Hoomi is said to have said: “Brahman and Samsara are one”. This is  profound truth reflecting the identicality of the ABSOLUTE and the ever-shifting world of change and illusion.

We must remember also that beyond a certain point it is not safe nor wise to carry the communication of the facts of the solar system.  Much must remain esoteric and veiled.  The risks of too much knowledge are far greater than the menace of too little.  With knowledge comes responsibility and power—two things for which the race is not yet ready.  Therefore, all we can do is to study and correlate with what wisdom and discretion may be ours, using the knowledge that may come for the good of those we seek to help, and recognising that in the wise use of knowledge comes increased capacity to receive the hidden wisdom.  Coupled also with the wise adaptation of knowledge to the surrounding need must grow the capacity for discreet reservation, and the use of the discriminating faculty.  When we can wisely use, discreetly withhold, and soundly discriminate, we give the surest guarantee to the watching Teachers of the race that we are ready for a fresh revelation.

Many of us are brought up on the idea that it is good to have more and more knowledge. Here, Master D.K. tells us that there is a limit to the knowledge which it is wise for the Guides of the race to impart. In the fall of Atlantis we have an extraordinary example of the catastrophic effects of wrongly-used knowledge. The Masters are anxious that no such disaster should again overtake humanity, so knowledge of the true funda­mentals of the Wisdom and of the Mysteries is withheld from the many and imparted only to the trusted few.

To become initiate signifies that one may be trusted with secrets which, imparted to the unready, would be dangerous or even disastrous. We are asked to learn to be discrete in the impartation of occult knowledge — to distribute the treasures of the Ageless Wisdom only where they will really do more good than harm. The virtues of the planets Saturn and Mercury (the two planets of discipleship) are invoked — Saturn for withholding and Mercury for discrimination. The idea of “use” and utilization is also related to these two planets — planets of intelligent application.

The Mysteries of Initiation are so constructed that only those who are truly fit can partake. All others (i.e., those who do not meet the required standards), simply because of their vibratory condition, are spared the dangers of premature revelation and cannot (yet) become initiate.

So, we see, there is no wisdom in rushing forward. The tortoise wins the race and not the hare. When we are truly ready, revelation comes. So, the best policy is — with all humility — to see to our readiness. We prove our fitness for further revelation not only by our application, reservation and discrimination, but also (and perhaps, most importantly) through service. When all that we have is used wisely and lovingly in service, then we show that we are ready for further illumination. “There is no rush, not hurry, and yet there is not time to lose”.

We must resign ourselves to the fact that the only way in which we can find the clue to the mystery of the rays, systems, and hierarchies, lies in the study of the law of correspondences or analogy.  It is the one thread by which we can find our way through the labyrinth, and the one [Page 7] ray of light that shines through the darkness of the surrounding ignorance.  H. P. Blavatsky, in "The Secret Doctrine," has told us so, but as yet very little has been done by students to avail themselves of that clue.

Here the Tibetan draws our attention to a great interpretive law — the Law of Correspond­ences, a more exacting version of the Law of Analogy. As we study the Tibetan, we see that He uses these laws constantly. We have to learn to do the same. Very little has yet been done along these lines. To thing expansively and analogically is a great mental discipline, but one certainly worthy of cultivation. We simply begin by noting a pattern and asking ourselves, “What higher pattern does this pattern resemble?”; “What lower pattern does this pattern resemble”? The word “like” is the pivot to revelation. In a way, this is algebraic thinking. We are using “knowns” to solve for “unknowns”, and the intuition is stimulated in the search.

The Tibetan has said that the fourth ray mind is very important in His work. Via the fourth ray, analogical thinking may be successfully pursued and the intuition cultivated. Let us set ourselves some exercises. For instance, Venus is to the Earth as ‘x’ is to the Sun. Or, the higher correspondence of the fourth ether is what systemic plane? Or, the monad is to its man as Shamballa is to what? And so forth. These examples are drawn from technical occultism, however many more homely examples can be used to sharpen the analogical faculty.

In the study of this Law we need to remember that the correspondence lies in its essence, and not in the exoteric working out of detail as we think we see it from our present standpoint.  The factor of time leads us astray for one thing; we err when we attempt to fix stated times or limits; all in evolution progresses through merging, with a constant process of overlapping and mingling.  Only broad generalities and a recognition of fundamental points of analogy are possible to the average student.  The moment he attempts to reduce to chart form and to tabulate in detail, he enters realms where he is bound to err, and staggers through a fog that will ultimately overwhelm him.

The Tibetan offers us a warning: do not insist on too much detail as you use the Law of Correspondence and the Law of Analogy. Broad and general outlines are possible, revelatory and useful, but if there is an insistence on too much concrete detail, error will almost certainly enter. We do not yet know enough to work out the details. The concrete mind, though both necessary and useful, is (to quote the old teaching) “the slayer of the real”. Humanity, in many respects, has quite enough of the concrete mind, and needs to transform it into the abstract and intuitional mind — the mind of “buddhi-manas”.

It is a detailed knowledge of the Science of Cycles that is missing. Too little is known about cyclic time — and because of that insufficiency of knowledge, we will be led astray when we try to bring great analogies down into local space-time. For instance, we are told that there are 777 incarnations in the life of man (700 + 70 + 7), but if we become too literal and think (perhaps that each incarnation lasts about 70 years, and that the cycle between lives may last for some multiple of 70) we will go sadly astray in calculating the duration of the total incarnational experience of the human being. Is it literally true, for instance, that the first phase of incarnation lasts ten times longer than the second and the second, ten times longer than the first — thus the first, one hundred times longer than the third. (700/7=100) — or is it only symbolically true and not literally true. When we being analogizing from symbolical proportions (turning them into literal figures) much error can creep in.

The antahkarana, or the bridge between the concrete and the abstract is not yet entirely built, thus allowing the many failures in analogizing accurately from symbolic to accurate ratios and applying them to the concrete world of time and space.

Nevertheless, in the scientific study of this law of analogy will come a gradual growth of knowledge, and in the slow accumulation of facts will gradually be built up an ever-expanding form, that will embody much of the truth.  The student will then awake to the realization that after all the study and toil he has at least a wide general conception of the Logoic thoughtform into which he can fit the details as he acquires them through many incarnations. 

An important principal of occultism is herewith offered: reason from the great to the small, from the general to the particular, from the abstract to the concrete. Yes, the many details will all fall into place, but first must come the broad and general outlines, which a proper (and wisely humble) use of the Law of Analogy and of Correspondence can reveal.

We seem to be told that it will require many incarnations before the details may be acquired. Incarnation is concrete living. In such living, details are revealed. One may also reason towards the acquisition of details; if one’s reasoning is accurate (and if one’s premises are sure), then detailed knowledge may also be reached in this way. As well, the intuition (infallible “straight knowledge”) may also reveal concrete detail.

We seem to be told that we must now rush ahead unwisely. Limits are being set, and we are told that we cannot accomplish everything in one incarnation. Many students of spirituality hope unduly for too much. What they hope to achieve is unrealistic, because their sense of co-measurement is not cultivate. The sign Libra is most useful in the attempt to keep a sense of proportion. Libra holds the balance between the general and the particular, and between many of the other pairs of opposites as well.

This brings us to the last point to be considered before entering upon the subject proper, which is: That the development of the human being is but the passing from one state of consciousness to another.  It is a succes­sion of expansions, a growth of that faculty of awareness that constitutes the predominant character­istic of the indwelling Thinker.  It is the progressing from consciousness polarised in the personality, lower self, or body, to that polarised in the higher self, ego, or soul, thence to a polarisation in the Monad, or Spirit, till the con­scious­ness eventually [Page 8] is Divine.  As the human being develops, the faculty of awareness extends first of all beyond the circumscribing walls that confine it within the lower kingdoms of nature (the mineral, vegetable and animal) to the three worlds of the evolving personality, to the planet whereon he plays his part, to the system wherein that planet revolves, until it finally escapes from the solar system itself and becomes universal.

In the first solar system, evolution meant principally the development of form. In this second solar system, the emphasis is upon the growth of consciousness, and the development of the form is an incidental, meant to serve the expansion and refinement of consciousness. The breath becomes the stone, the stone the plant, the plant the animal, the animal the man and the man the god. All is sequential and progressive. Consciousness is forever exactly what it is, and essentially is colorless and everywhere, essentially, the same. But the vehicle through which consciousness works changes progressively — with evolution. The same consciousness entrapped in mineral life, will one day look out (self-consciously) upon the human experience, and still later upon divine experience.

The monad descends and the monad ascends. This simply means that the monad is sub­ject­ed to certain ‘initial compulsory perceptions’, but that later these compelled perceptions give way to ever broader and more ample perceptions, until at length, perceptions become universal — another way of saying solar systemic perceptions.

Initiation is not a matter of form. The form of the initiate may demonstrate that he/she is, indeed, initiate, but the main focus is the initiate’s consciousness — which continues to grow even though (and, perhaps, because) the form may suffer in many incarnations. What happens to the form is not at all the main point. The form may prosper and the consciousness stagnate. The form may be wracked by every imaginable ill and distress, and yet the consciousness may advance. Evaluation of success is based upon the expansion and refinement of consciousness.

In all we have read in this chapter, humility and co-measurement are enjoined upon us. We can set our sights towards the “great beyond” but must be realistic about the time-equation realistically related to attainment. Our origin and destiny are both great. Our present condition is very limited — at least during our waking hours, though this will soon give way to a more cognizant and sensitive state.

The true student of initiation is always practical. We are aiming for the “stars” (quite literally), but our feet must be on “terra firma”. If not, we will fall and delay our progress as well as the progress of those karmically and dharmically related to us. We are staring a Path which may take many lives to complete — perhaps five thousand years, perhaps ten, perhaps more. If we are impatient, it shows that we are under the spell of the lower ego — something which all initiates must eventually shatter. If we are too sluggish, it simply demonstrates that our sense of values need adjusting, and that we are putting second things first, and first things second.

The Noble Middle Path (involving, for most, spiritual moderation) leads straight to the goal, and under Libra, to Shamballa as well. We begin with the fundamentals. We make sure we have really mastered them, and then we proceed to more abstruse consideration — but all slowly, carefully, gradually.

The Path of Initiation is long — though relatively shorter than the Path of Discipleship, and much shorter than the normal Path of Evolution, but we are being given a picture of what is really involved — not at all a glamorous picture, not a picture appealing to the selfish, little largely, unconscious personality. Initially, we will show our fitness for initiation by the manner in which we respond to such instruction as the Tibetan offers.

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