The participants in the mysteries are generally known, and no secret has been made of the general personnel and procedure.

1.                  This has been the case only since the great revelations offered by HPB—Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. Before her work towards the close the 19th century, the entire process of initiation was shrouded in symbolism. The Masonic Order has preserved the secrets, but the names of the personnel involved in the process were not discussed.

It is only sought here to impart a greater sense of reality to the data already given by a fuller exposition and a more pointed reference to the parts played by such during the ceremony.

2.                  Initiation is a vital, factual reality. Is it so to us? The Tibetan writes in order that it may become so.

3.                  The average individual does not think in these terms, and yet in the coming era, such thinking must become the norm. What is now esoteric must become the common property of the human mind by the end of the 21st century.

 At this stage the student would be wise to bear in mind certain things as he ponders upon the mysteries touched upon here:—

That care must be taken to interpret all here given in terms of spirit and not of matter or form.  We are dealing entirely with the subjective or consciousness aspect of manifestation, and with that which lies back of the objective form.  This realisation will save the student from much later confusion.

4.                  Even students of spirituality have a strong tendency to think, not in terms of quality, but in terms of material and form.

5.                  One of the things shared by the many current distortions of the Teaching is an exaggerated emphasis on matter/form in relation to those dimensions of life to which the limitations of matter/form no longer apply.

6.                  We bear in mind that matter and form are not the same. Matter is related to the First Outpouring of Divinity (to the creation of the substance that underlies manifestation) and form to the geometrical arrangement of that matter by the Second Logos at the Second Outpouring.

7.                  We note that the Tibetan tells us we are to think in terms of “spirit”, but it is evident that He does not exclude “soul” from the consideration, for “soul” relates to the “subjective or consciousness aspect of manifestation”.

8.                  A simple way of understanding the approach that is needed is that we are to think in terms of the “energy” which the form both reveals and conceals, and not in terms of the form itself and the matter that constitutes it.

9.                  In short, the things of the higher planes cannot be accurately expressed in terms of concrete physical plane phenomena. When there is an attempt to do so, distortion and, thus, misrepresentation, are inevitable.

That we are considering facts which are substantial and real on the mental plane—the plane on which all the major initiations take place—but which are not materialised on the physical plane, and are not physical plane phenomena.

10.             We note the important statement that all major initiations take place on the mental plane.

11.             This is an important statement and should not be taken only face value. Since the fifth initiation is a major initiation, does it mean that it, too, takes place on the mental plane? What of the buddhic and atmic associations with the fifth initiation?

12.             Is the sixth initiation, a “major” initiation? One would think so. But does it, too, take place on the mental plane, even long after the causal body has been destroyed?

13.             The same question (considering the destruction of the causal body and the relation of that body to the higher mental plane) also applies to the fifth initiation. The number five, however, has resonance to the fifth plane (considering the mental plane, counting from above downwards, as the fifth) and so we can understand the relationship between the fifth initiation and the fifth plane.

14.             Further, what, really, is a “major” initiation? Are the two initiations of the threshold to be considered major initiations? In other words, are all the initiations with which we are normally familiar, to be considered major initiations, whereas the initiations relating to the elements (occurring between the usual initiations) would be considered minor?

“Four small initiations find their culmination in the initiation proper.  These are the initiations on the emotional plane, called respectively the initiations of earth, fire, water and air, culminating in initiation the second.” (LOM 339)

15.             Note that reality is a relative matter. Phenomena and events are just as real (even moreso) on dimensional levels which we normally consider intangible.

16.             Through the process of esoteric training, the disciple continually expands his understanding of what is “real”.

The link between the two planes exists in the continuity of consciousness which the initiate will have developed, and which will enable him to bring through to the physical brain, occurrences and happenings upon the subjective planes of life.

17.             DK mentions the link between the mental plane and the physical plane.

18.             This link always exists, but if the link is to be realized consciously, that which we call “continuity of consciousness” will be required.

19.             Continuity of consciousness (as here described, and especially involving not only the mental plane but the higher mental plane) is the prerogative of initiates.

Corroboration of Initiation
Corroboration of these occurrences, and proof of the accuracy of the transmitted knowledge will demonstrate as follows:—

20.             One does not have to believe in the reality of the initiation process and its results; the factuality of the process of initiation and its results can be proven—by oneself and for oneself.

21.             This kind of proof is the kind that is important. We first need to prove the reality of inner occurrences to ourselves. This will change our approach from theoretical to practical. We shall no longer be simply ‘talkers’.

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In and through the etheric centres.  These centres will be greatly stimulated, and will, through their increased inherent energy, enable the initiate to accomplish more in the path of service than he ever before dreamed possible.  His dreams and ideals become, not possibilities, but demonstrating facts in manifestation.

22.             We come to understand that there are a number of supernormal faculties related to the centers (chakras) and their awakening. When the centres remain relatively dormant or awakened only to a normal degree (normal for average humanity) the factual existence of these supernormal capacities can be imagined or theorized but not known.

23.             Initiation is a closely guarded process because it releases great potencies into the control of man.

The physical centres, such as the pineal gland and the pituitary body, will begin to develop rapidly, and he will become conscious of the awakening of the "siddhis," or powers of the soul, in the higher connotation of the words.

24.             We are not here speaking of the lower siddhis normally developed before the stage of true intelligence is reached. However, through the initiation process these often dormant siddhis may also be reclaimed and used for higher purposes.

25.             Through initiation it is principally the powers related to the higher centers that are activated.

26.             We note that the siddhis are “powers of the soul” even though they often demonstrate through the personality. (There are higher siddhis which persist long after the personality, as an instrument for soul/triadal expression, is no longer needed.)

27.             We are to understand that if the siddhis are to awaken, then the actual physical centers must be stimulated. The stimulation of the etheric centers is not sufficient in itself, although the stimulation of the etheric head centers through initiation will automatically result in the stimulation of the pineal and pituitary bodies.

  He will be aware of the process of conscious control, and of the self-initiated manipulations of the above powers.  He will realise the methods of egoic contact and the right direction of force.

28.             For the true initiate, the demonstration of such higher powers does not continually happen autonomously. Because the initiate is identified as a soul (or Ego) rather than as a personality, these soul powers come under his direction.

29.             He can demonstrate the powers at will. Occasionally, in the case of high mystics, the powers of the soul will ‘descend’ and demonstrate their presence (unbidden by the mystic), but their demonstration occurs autonomously, unexpectedly and not according to the will of the individual concerned.

30.             There are occultly scientific methods to promote egoic contact. If the siddhis are to be used consciously, these methods must be understood and practiced.

31.             Implicit in this section is the idea that the siddhis are to be regulated and controlled. They are certainly not to control the man.

The nervous system, through which the emotional body or astral nature works, will become highly sensitised, yet strong withal.

32.             An important point is made concerning the relationship between the nervous system and the astral nature. It is readily observed that when the astral nature is uncontrolled and chaotic, the nervous system functions in an uncontrolled and chaotic manner, and the individual is perceived to be “nervous”. Nervousness is really an emotional condition which affects the nervous system.

33.             We note that, with respect to the nervous system, sensitivity and strength are not mutually contradictory.

The brain will become ever more rapidly an acute transmitter of the inner impulses.  This fact is of real importance, and will bring about—as its significance becomes more apparent—a revolution in the attitude of educators, of physicians and others, to the development of the nervous system and the healing of nervous disorders.

34.             The average individual has a relatively un-sensitized brain. The initiation process, however, definitely involves the brain (and not only the inner vehicles). Initiation is the process by which higher faculties are brought into demonstration through the lowest level of matter. This is why initiation must almost invariably be ‘taken’ when one is in incarnation.

35.             It is important to understand the brain not as the origin of faculties of consciousness but as the instrument through which such faculties can be expressed. These faculties pre-exist the formation of the brain. This is hard for modern thinkers (conditioned by materialism) to grasp.

36.             In modern education, no special attention is given to the culture of the nervous system. Since the nervous system is so intimately related to the etheric body, and since the etheric body will become (in coming centuries and under the influence of Aquarius) a great subject of research, a more deliberate (and correct) cultivation of the nervous system will be in order.

37.             An understanding of the seventh ray, promoting the smooth, harmonious and well-regulated functioning of systems, will also be an advantage in relation to this cultivation.

Occult memory.  The initiate finally becomes aware increasingly of the growth of that inner recollection, or "occult memory," which concerns the work of the Hierarchy and primarily his share in the general plan.

38.             Simply stated, this means that the initiate will recall in his waking consciousness his inner affiliations with the Hierarchy.

39.             He may also begin to recall the specifics of an actual ceremony of initiation in which he participated, either as the principal candidate or as one simply present at the initiation of another (of like degree or of lower degree). An initiate is not allowed to witness the initiation of one of higher degree.

40.             We see that “occult memory” is related to a deepening understanding of the initiate’s role in the Divine Plan (here called the “general plan”).

 When the initiate, who occultly recalls, in his waking consciousness, a ceremonial fact, finds all these manifestations of increased growth and conscious realisation in himself, then the truth of his inner assurance is proven and substantiated to him.

41.             In this section, evidence whereby an individual can judge himself to be initiate has been given. No individual needs another to tell him that he is an initiate. Each initiate must prove to himself whether or not initiation has been factually accomplished within himself. If he is not self-assured on the question, no assurance offered by another will be completely convincing. When it comes to occult understanding, every human being must learn for himself.

42.             We review the evidences of initiation:

a.      The stimulation of the etheric centers
b.      Stimulation of the pineal and pituitary centers
c.      The sensitization and strengthening of the nervous system
d.      The emerging in consciousness of “occult memory”

43.             We can see that initiation is primarily a stimulation—an experience of inner vivification or vitalization, and its results upon planes lower than the plane on which the stimulation occurred.

It must be remembered that this inner substantiation is of no value to anyone but the initiate.

44.             Many go astray when they attempt unwisely to share their inner experiences along these lines. Initiates do not claim to be initiate. Their lives will demonstrate the fact. Recognition from others may follow, but it is not sought through claim-making.

  He has to prove himself to the outer world through his life of service and the work accomplished and thereby call forth from all his [Page 102] environing associates a recognition that will show itself in a sanctified emulation and a strenuous effort to tread the same path, actuated ever by the same motive,—that of service and brotherhood, not self-aggrandisement and selfish acquirement.
45.             The true initiate is an example to others. Recognizing the demonstrated quality of the initiate’s life, others will seek to emulate him—i.e., to follow in his footsteps. We note that the Tibetan speaks of a “sanctified emulation”, which means that the attempt to follow the example of the initiate will be undertaken with right motive and not as a result of selfishness or ambition.

46.             It is useful that an initiate be recognized—not for the sake of the initiate and his personal welfare, but for the inspiring effect that such recognition has upon the ones who recognize. The true initiate cares not at all that he be recognized in any personal sense. If, however, such recognition can assist the work which he seeks to accomplish in line with the Divine Plan, then the recognition is useful

47.             Since the true initiate demonstrates selflessness, it would not make sense for others to attempt to achieve (through selfish means) the initiate’s selfless state.

48.             Master DK is very clear about the motive that must actuate our aspirations—not “self-aggrandisement and selfish acquirement”, but service and brotherhood. The problem of spiritual ambition is a real one and hard to avoid in the early stages of aspiration. The Path of Initiation is essentially a path of selfless service, and no egotistical motives are adequate to the spiritual attainments required of the initiate.

49.             The soul (the inner man, or inner Ego, who thinks ever in terms of the whole) has no such motives as self-aggrandizement or selfish acquirement.

 It should also be remembered that if the above is true in connection with the work, it is still more true in connection with the initiate himself.  Initiation is a strictly personal matter with a universal application.  It rests upon his inner attainment.  The initiate will know for himself when the event occurs and needs no one to tell him of it.

50.             This is a statement of real importance. The initiate keeps the self-confirmed realization of inner attainment to himself. Initiation is of the utmost importance for the usefulness it generates in the initiate. The inner and personal changes which have occurred through the process of initiation render the initiate an increasingly fit agent or representative of a series of higher wills—the will of the Master, of the Directors of Hierarchy, of Sanat Kumara and ultimately, the will of the Planetary Logos.

51.             In other words, the inner, personal achievements have application in a much wider context than the strictly personal sphere of the initiate. Because he is initiate, he belongs to a wider dimension; he begins to transcend localization. He becomes a “world disciple”.

52.             We note the use of the word “strictly”, admonishing the initiate to keep to himself (or to brothers of like or superior degree, only when necessary, which it rarely is) the recognized inner attainment.

53.             Discussion of personal attainment so often arouses personality competition, jealousy or resentment—states antithetical soul realization.

54.             In all this discussion, the themes of self-reliance and self-counsel are emphasized. The initiate is highly self-reliant. A Master becomes a Master through self-mastery. The Buddha’s Last Sermon stressed self-reliance.

The expansion of consciousness called initiation must include the physical brain or it is of no value.  As those lesser expansions of consciousness which we undergo normally every day, and call "learning" something or other, have reference to the apprehension by the physical brain of an imparted fact or apprehended circumstance, so with the greater expansions which are the outcome of the many lesser.

55.             The practicality of initiation is emphasized. It is not a strictly “other-worldly” matter, but is a manifestation of higher faculty in the densest worlds.

56.             In many respects, initiation is not mysterious, but simply a continuation of the normal learning process.

57.             The physical brain is involved in the learning process and in the process of initiation as well.

58.             Initiation, we see, is a culmination of many lesser expansions of consciousness (each of which we call a learning). It is important to de-glamorize the nature of initiation; it is the culmination of a process which everyone recognizes and in which everyone can and does participate—namely, the process of learning.

At the same time, it is quite possible for men to be functioning on the physical plane and to be actively employed in world service who have no recollection of having undergone the initiatory process, yet who, nevertheless, may have taken the first or second initiation in a previous or earlier life.

59.             Ignorance of having undergone the initiatory process may be more the rule than the exception—especially in relation to the first two initiations (of the threshold).

60.             The likelihood of recollection occurs more in relation to the third initiation and beyond. The third initiation is naturally associated with the third ray. The Ray Lord transmitting the third ray is called the “Lord of Memory”. This pattern of associations is of some significance.

  This is the result, simply, of a lack of "bridging" from one life to another, or it may be the outcome of a definite decision by the Ego.

61.             The failure to retain recollection of the initiation has two causes. Behind the words, “lack of bridging” is concealed a definitely occult process involving access to the content of the permanent atoms. A study of forgetfulness must be undertaken. In all cases it is due to a form of vibratory interference which prevents the flow of information from one vibratory domain to another.

62.             The second reason is stated as “a definite decision by the Ego”. The Ego in this case may mean the Solar Angel, or it may mean the consciousness of the man who is functioning in his causal body between incarnations and, thus, possessed of much fuller consciousness than is possible when limited by the physical brain.

63.             In many respects the human being is Self-determining, but has forgotten his own participation in the determination which he has made from causal levels.

64.             The individual, when focussed in the causal body (and in the presence of the consciousness of the Solar Angel), is interested in the best, most rapid and efficient execution of his/the ‘soul-plan’. Of this plan, the personality has only very incomplete knowledge. If it is seen to be more efficient to induce personality forgetfulness of previous attainments, then forgetfulness is induced (or, shall we say, the connection which would induce remembrance is temporarily deactivated or obstructed). Surely the “Ego” has its technical methods of doing this, of which we, presently, can know little if anything.

  A man may be able better to work off certain karma and to carry out certain work for the Lodge if he is free from occult occupation and mystic introspection during the period of any one earth life.

65.             “Occult occupation and mystic introspection”, as valuable as they may be in their own right, can serve as distractions from the necessary execution of more mundane activities.

66.             It is very interesting that a partially unconscious worker (unconscious of certain established inner facts and inner states) may be a better worker on the physical (in certain situations).

 There are many such amongst the sons of men at this time who have previously taken the first initiation, and a few who have taken the second, but who are nevertheless quite unaware of it, yet their centres and nervous organisation carry proof to those who have the inner vision.

67.             We note that in relation to the first initiation the word “many” is used, while “a few” in relation to the second. The actual numbers are in the possession of the Masters and inner workers associated with such matters. The important thing to realize is that the second initiation is not yet widely achieved. Humanity is still far from controlling its emotional body.

68.             Whether or not initiation has been taken is revealed by the state and organization of the centers and nervous system. DK is speaking of patterns of organization which can only be perceived by those possessed of the inner vision.

69.             If the expansion of consciousness we call “initiation” has been undergone, there will be definitely evidence of the fact.

  If initiation is taken for [Page 103] the first time in any life, the recollection of it extends to the physical brain.
70.             This is a curious statement, and we must make sure we can understand its meaning. The suggestion is that initiation may be taken more than once in an incarnation, which has been hinted in relation to the third and fourth initiations, or the fourth and fifth. It is also possible to take the second and third initiations in the same incarnation It is never the case in relation to the first and second initiation which are always separated by a series of lives.
71.             Is DK saying that initiations taken in former lives may easily be forgotten, but that if the initiatory event occurs in the present life, that it will be remembered by the consciousness working through the physical brain? It seems that this is what He is saying, but there are other statements which seem to contradict this idea.
72.             It is difficult to understand why if, for instance, the second initiation is taken in a particular life, and remembered, the third initiation (if taken in that same life) should not be remembered. Probably, the Tibetan does not mean this.
73.             DK may also be suggesting the dynamic of initiatory recapitulation. On our way to the taking of any initiation beyond the first, the initiations preceding the one to be taken are recapitulated.
74.             This recapitulation is not a ceremony but the re-attainment of the energy state which was established by the ceremony which established that initiatory level as a fact in the consciousness and being of the individual.
75.             Thus, for instance, a person who took the second initiation in a previous life, and is on the way to taking the third initiation in the present life, will experience a recapitulation of the second initiation in this present life, but may not notice or remember this recapitulation.
76.             The forgoing thoughts are an attempt to make sense of this very important, but somewhat enigmatical statement, by the Tibetan.
Curiosity, or even ordinary good living, never brought a man to the Portal of Initiation.
77.             It is important for us to understand what will not serve to make a man an initiate.
78.             Ordinary good living is necessary and is assumed as present. It is itself insufficient.
79.             Curiosity is a liability.
  Curiosity, by arousing a strong vibration in a man's lower nature, only serves to swing him away from, instead of towards the goal he is interested in;
80.             We can see that curiosity originates in the personality. Curiosity is the desire to know, but a desire dissociated from the responsibility which must be carried by the knower. The mind probes but the heart stays behind, uncommitted.
 whilst ordinary good living, when not furthered by a life of utter sacrifice for others, and by a reticence, humility, and disinterestedness of a very unusual kind, may serve to build good vehicles which will be of use in another incarnation, but will not serve to break down those barriers, outer and inner, and overcome those opposing forces and energies which stand between a "good" man and the ceremony of initiation.
81.             This is really an important paragraph. The value of ordinary good living is affirmed, but that value is seen in relation to future lives rather than the present one.
82.             The Tibetan uses the occasion to present the certain requirements for those who would be initiate, and shows these requirements as distinct from “ordinary good living”
a.      A life of utter sacrifice for others
b.      Reticence
c.      Humility
d.      Disinterestedness of a very unusual kind
83.             These are not easy requirements; in fact, they are demanding. How many ordinary, good people are possessed of such requirements? Reason and experience tell us—very few.
84.             Not only is there to be sacrifice, but there is to be “utter” sacrifice (holding nothing back), and the sacrifice is to take place not for oneself but for others—as it is surely possible to sacrifice many things, and others, in order to achieve one’s own desired objectives.
85.             “Disinterestedness” is directly related to “divine indifference”. One must not care what becomes of one’s personality life, so long as soul objectives are achieved.
86.             Reticence is a respect for the sanctity of the secrets of initiation. The true initiate knows when it is right to speak and when to refrain from speaking.
87.             The Tibetan is realistic about the “opposing forces and energies which stand between a ‘good’ man and the ceremony of initiation”. As long as the “good man” remains undisturbed by the inevitably perturbing spiritual energies, he will not be aware of the barriers between him and real spiritual freedom.
88.             The perturbation has been symbolized in the eighth Labor of Hercules (in Scorpio) as the shooting of fiery arrows into the cave where sleeps the dragon—the dragon, in this case, symbolizing the unrealized negativity harbored by the average good man.
89.             So often, we ourselves, on the Path of Discipleship, do not realize the barriers which stand in our way. The attentive presence of the Master, however, proves both stimulating and disturbing, and our negativity is aroused in a manner which cannot be ignored.
The Path of Discipleship is a difficult one to tread, and the Path of Initiation harder still;
90.             Reading such a statement is enough to deter some who aspire. How deep is our aspiration?
 an initiate is but a battle-scarred warrior, the victor in many a hard-won fight;
91.             There have been many wounds inflicted in the fight with the lower self. The enemy is, above all, within. When the victories over self have been achieved, the enemy without can be confronted successfully.
92.             To confront the enemy without before the enemy within has been recognized and subdued is only to confront oneself projected as an outer enemy.
 he speaks not of his achievements, for he is too busy with the great work in hand; he makes no reference to himself or to all that he has accomplished, save to deprecate the littleness of what has been done.
93.             The attitude of humility is evident. One who speaks of himself and his achievements is, for the moment, distracted from the “great work”.
94.             Because of the initiate’s wide perspective, he realizes that his achievements, which may seem so extensive to people of lesser attainment, are small indeed when compared with the greater need.
95.             The initiate suffers from the pain which widened perspective brings, but, also, is exalted by the joy which accompanies that widened perspective.
  Nevertheless, to the world he is ever a man of large influence, the wielder of spiritual power, the embodier of ideals, the worker for humanity, who unfailingly brings results which succeeding generations will recognise.
96.             DK tells us how the “world” perceives the initiate:
a.      A man of large influence
b.      A wielder of spiritual power
c.      An embodier of ideals
d.      A worker for humanity
e.      One who brings recognizable results, recognizable especially in succeeding generations.
97.             Let us look at the world stage and see who fulfills these requirements. As we do so, can we be sure that we are naming initiates?
98.             There are, of course, many who are initiate, but who work behind the scenes. Such, for the time being, are the Masters.
  He is one who, in spite of all this great achievement, is seldom understood by his own generation.
99.             The initiate thinks of the future and is, thus, often misunderstood in the present.
  He is frequently the butt of men's tongues, and frequently all that he does is misinterpreted;
100.         The initiate seeks to bring change, but real change disturbs comfort. As human beings are so addicted to comfort, they will most often resent the one who disturbs it. Thus, they resent the initiate.
101.         In addition, people usually do have not the mind-set to understand someone who thinks in terms of realities which will only present themselves to the majority at a future date.
 he lays his all—time, money, influence, reputation, and all that the world considers worth while—upon the altar of altruistic service, and frequently offers his life as a final gift, only to find that those whom he has served throw his gift back to him, scorn his renunciation, and label him with unsavory names.
102.         There is the sense that Master DK is speaking, not theoretically, but from personal experience.
103.         The one who would be initiate cannot imagine that the world will adore him for his efforts. Rejection, scorn, contempt and slander are more likely to be his fate and, of course, they will be undeserved.
104.         This condition exists because the lunar nature is so constituted that it rebels against the solar nature, which the initiate represents.
105.         How many have the courage to face what appears here as an inevitability? We can begin to understand the words of the Master Jesus: “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”
  But the initiate cares not, for his is the privilege to see somewhat [Page 104] into the future, and therefore he realises that the force he has generated will in due course of time bring to fulfillment the plan; he knows also that his name and effort are noted in the archives of the Lodge, and that the "Silent Watcher" over the affairs of men has taken notice.
106.         Thus, there is a kind of inner compensation for the initiate which brings to him some sweetness for the bitterness he voluntarily undergoes. It is not that he craves this recognition from ‘above’, but it comes, inevitably, according to law.
107.         The initiate’s prevision is a kind of compensation to him; he sees that (present evidence to the contrary) his sacrifices are not in vain but shall bear fruit in the future.
Planetary Existences.
In considering now the personalities taking part in the initiation ceremonies, the first to be dealt with are Those Who are termed Planetary Existences.
108.         We note that even great Existences have personalities and can be discussed as personalities. Our understanding of this word “personality” must be widened.
  This refers to those great Beings who, for a period of planetary manifestation, overshadow or stay with our humanity.
109.         The term “overshadow” is interesting. Do such Beings stand between humanity and a still more ultimate source, thus casting a ‘shadow’ of a kind? If this is the case, the ‘shadow’ they cast is a means of transmitting the greater energy in a manner assimilable by humanity.
110.         Such Beings may be noticed by the beneficent shadow they cast upon humanity or upon a human being. Usually a shadow is considered a reduction of light, but in the case of such overshadowing or ‘over-lighting’ Beings, their presence is noticed as an intensification of light.
111.         We note that DK discusses “a” period of planetary manifestation and not necessarily the “entire” period of such manifestation.
 They are not very many in number, for the majority of the Great Ones pass on steadily and increasingly to other and higher work, as Their places can be taken and Their functions carried on by members of our earth evolution, both deva and human.
112.         Master DK is here referencing the Seven Cosmic Paths, only one of which leads (temporarily) to “Earth Service”.
113.         It would seem that the tendency is for more and more of the Great Ones to pass to other and higher work.
114.         The term “Great Ones” may cover a wide developmental range of planetary beings. A Master is a “Great One” but so is our Planetary Logos, and the developmental difference between them is immense.
115.         The suggestion seems to be offered that the majority of the present Great Ones did not originate as members of our earth evolution.
116.         If there are human beings who originated on the Moon-chain, there may also be devas who did likewise. On the other hand there are definitely members of humanity who are “members of our earth evolution” and, similarly (so it is suggested) devas who also represent our earth evolution and perhaps had their origin in the Earth-chain.
Among Those directly connected with our Lodge of Masters in its various divisions upon the planet, the following might be enumerated:-
The "Silent Watcher," that great Entity Who is the informing life of the planet,
117.         It seems that, in this context, DK means by the term “planet”, the entire planetary scheme, and not just a globe or a chain.
118.         The term “Silent Watcher” is used here to indicate the Planetary Logos. In other places, a Being less august is indicated by that term—namely, Sanat Kumara.
119.         The word “Silent” reveals the deep identification of the “Watcher” with the will, with being and with synthesis. We also understand something of the uninterrupted attentiveness which characterizes Him. He keeps his ‘Eye’ upon all aspects of His Creation. “Not a sparrow falls…”
 and Who holds the same position to the Lord of the World, Sanat Kumara, as the Ego does to the lower self of man.
120.         This is one of the important analogies: Planetary Logos/Sanat Kumara = Ego/man’s lower self.
121.         But this is not the only comparison between the Planetary Logos and Sanat Kumara to be found in the Tibetan’s Teaching. Elsewhere we learn that the Planetary Logos and Sanat Kumara may be considered as one Being. In other references, Sanat Kumara is likened to the soul and the Planetary Logos to the monad.
122.         By the term “Ego” (in this instance) we probably do not mean the Solar Angel, but the identity of man as that identity is realized within the causal body.
  Some idea of the high stage of evolution of this Great Being may be gathered from the analogous degree of evolutionary difference existing between a human being and a perfected adept.
123.         Is DK offering the following analogy or pattern for understanding: Planetary Logos/Sanat Kumara = Perfected Adept/normal human being?
124.         We might ask, “What is meant by the term, ‘perfected adept’?” A Master of the Wisdom is an “adept”, but is He a perfected adept? Are initiations beyond the fifth required to create the perfected adept? Is such an adept, perhaps, a being who has taken the seventh initiation, or the ninth?
125.         If there is justification at looking at an extended meaning of “perfected adept”, then the gulf between Sanat Kumara and the Planetary Logos may be wider and deeper than often estimated.
126.         Although there are many references contrasting the Planetary Logos and Sanat Kumara (and confusion may easily result because of the many types of comparison, and from those references in which they appear to be one and the same), it does finally emerge that the Planetary Logos is, indeed, a Being more advanced than is Sanat Kumara.
  From the standpoint of our planetary scheme, this Great Life has no greater, and He is, as far as we are concerned, a correspondence to the personal God of the Christian.
127.         It becomes clear that the term, “Silent Watcher”, as here used, definitely means the god of the entire planetary scheme of Earth.
128.         Many Christians are deluded in thinking that when they pray to God, they are communicating with the Absolute Deity. The odds are enormously against this possibility.
129.         The Planetary Logos is so exalted in comparison with a human being that He can easily be conceived as “Almighty God”, although He is far less that a sub-atomic particle when compared to the Logos of the entire universe.
130.         There are many lesser beings (lesser than the Planetary Logos) who are attentive (in degree) to the thoughts and prayers of human beings, and it can be asked whether such thoughts and prayers actually reach the most august Being on out planet. Yet who is to say that it cannot be so (in some way we may easily fail to understand)?
  He works through His representative on the physical plane, Sanat Kumara,
131.         As previously stated, He (the Planetary Logos) may also be working through another Existence (cf. IHS 92) who administers the sixth initiation, whereas Sanat Kumara (as the Hierophant) administers the third, fourth and fifth.  Practically nothing is said of this Existence, who is called “Nameless One” (IHS 92). Can He be, however, the Lord of our planetary chain, the fourth chain?
132.         May it be that Sanat Kumara embodies or pervades a globe, that the “Nameless One” embodies or pervades a chain, and that the Planetary Logos embodies or pervades the entire planetary scheme?
 Who is the focal point for His life and energy.
133.         We might say, ‘the immediately effective focal point”
 He holds the world within His aura.
134.         By “the world” is means the entire Earth Scheme. The words “embodies” and “pervades” are also suggestive.
  This great Existence is only contacted directly by the adept who has taken the [Page 105] fifth initiation,
135.         Whereas, Sanat Kumara is contacted at the third.
136.         It may be questioned whether “Silent Watcher” is directly contacted at the sixth initiation or whether His energy is still mediated by the nameless Existence mentioned be Master DK as administering the sixth initiation.
 and is proceeding to take the other two, the sixth and seventh.
137.         We might say that after the fifth initiation the “Silent Watcher” (Planetary Logos) is far more cognizant of the individual (who has now become a Master).
  Once a year, at the Wesak Festival, the Lord Buddha, sanctioned by the Lord of the World, carries to the assembled humanity a dual stream of force, that emanating from the Silent Watcher, supplemented by the more focalised energy of the Lord of the World.
138.         This is a really important piece of occult information. We normally think of the Buddha as the Representative of Shamballa, but He is carrying a much higher energy as well—that of the “Silent Watcher” (Planetary Logos)—an energy which has significance for the entire planetary scheme.
139.         We are given a way of contrasting the two types of energies—that of the Silent Watcher and that of the Lord of the World. The second is more focalized, and the first, we might imagine, is more pervasive and suffusing.
140.         We note that the energy made available by the Buddha is not only for the Hierarchy but for an “assembled humanity”. This means that the energy of so exalted a Being as the Planetary Logos is reaching humanity at the time of the Wesak Festival. This is an amazing thought.
 This dual energy He pours out in blessing over the people gathered at the ceremony in the Himalayas, and from them in turn it flows out to all peoples and tongues and races.
141.         Thus, the Planetary Logos or Silent Watcher reaches all of humanity at the time of the Wesak Festival. This festival is truly universal where humanity is concerned.
  It may not perhaps be generally known that at a certain crisis during the Great War[WW I], the Hierarchy of our planet deemed it well nigh necessary to invoke the aid of the Silent Watcher, and—employing the great mantram whereby the Buddha can be reached—called the attention of the latter, and sought his agency with the Planetary Logos.
142.         We learn from this section that the Buddha has access to the ‘ear’ of the Planetary Logos. We also learn that Hierarchy may not directly approach this great Being, but requires the Buddha to do so.
143.         We also learn that World War I was serious indeed—amazingly serious, if what is here said is to be credited as truth.
144.         When the Tibetan speaks of World War II, He does not mention any such invocation of the Planetary Logos. Instead, the great Beings Who had to be reached (to save the situation) were the Lords of Liberation (essentially, Shamballic Beings).
145.         We also notice that Hierarchy functions according to the laws of invocation, and has specific methods of contacting higher Beings—for instance, as given her, the “great mantram whereby the Buddha can be reached”.
  In consultation between the Planetary Logos, the Lord of the World, one of the Buddhas of Activity, the Buddha, the Mahachohan, and the Manu (these names are given in order of their relative evolutionary stage)
146.         We remember that at the time of consultation (probably 1916 or 1917) the Master R. was not yet Mahachohan.
147.         We learn as well that there is definitely a distinction between the Planetary Logos and Sanat Kumara, regardless of those instances in which they seem to be referenced as the same Being.
148.         Elsewhere we learned that Sanat Kumara had bypassed His pupils (the three Buddhas of Activity) because of Their sacrifices and, probably, from another perspective, because of His as well.
149.         What is perhaps surprising is the high status of the Buddha, even though the Mahachohan and the Manu had held their posts for a great length of time—the Mahachohan for a far longer time than the present Manu, who assumed His post, we are told, about one hundred thousand years ago. (IHS 42)
150.         We are in the presence of one of the apparently great discrepancies in the Teaching. The Aryan Race is the fifth root race, and it is often stated to have begun about a million years ago. Yet in the present references we find the figure one hundred thousand given (IHS 42). Perhaps, it is the Teutonic division of the Aryan race that is referenced as beginning then—a relatively short time ago.
151.         In any case, the Mahachohan took His post during the second subrace of the fourth root race, and this was certainly millions of years ago—even more than ten millions years ago. Who was the Buddha at that time? Was His then attainment higher than that Mahachohan? It was not. It seems that He, like the Christ, made very rapid progress.
152.         At the time of His enlightenment, about 2500 years ago, the Buddha is said to have been the Head of the Spiritual Hierarchy, thus on a somewhat equal level with the Mahachohan. For how long had He (the Buddha) held that post? (The post of Bodhisattva). Probably nowhere near as long as has the Mahachohan as Bodhisattvas hold their position for a period far shorter than Manus or Mahachohans. When the Christ, for instance, completes His work for humanity, He will have held the post of Bodhisattva for a bit less that 5000 years.
153.         As a matter of fact the Mahachohan who held that post before the Master R. assumed it, had achieved adeptship on the Moon-chain, which was not at all the case in relation to the Buddha. This means that the Buddha (if now more advanced than that Mahachohan), as stated above, must have made very rapid progress upon the Earth-chain (to which he arrived as a virtual third degree initiate) and must have developmentally outstripped the Mahachohan. I use the word virtual, because we are told that the Buddha’s attainment was equivalent to the third degree, but that the opportunities for Him to take the third initiation were not available to Him on the Moon-chain, or perhaps at that period on the Moon-chain.
154.         Mahachohans, we are told, may hold their positions for several rootraces, so their tenure is altogether longer than that of their two brothers, the Manu and Bodhisattva.
155.         We see that there are many mysteries concerning time and evolutionary development which are not easy to solve. Sometimes we see a great figure making phenomenally rapid progress and at other times millions of years seem to pass between initiations. We have learned that the Mahachohan preceding Master R. was an adept on the Moon-chain; was an adept an initiate of the fifth or fourth degree? From what is said below, it appears to have been the fourth.

In the third chain, the moon chain, we have an interesting related fact.  On the moon chain the point of attainment for the individual was the arhat or fourth Initiation,—the initiation which marks the final breaking with the three worlds, and the disintegration of the egoic body. (TCF 583)
156.         The Mahachohan preceding Master R has certainly attained the sixth degree. One cannot be a Chohan without attaining the sixth degree. If this is the case then, millions of years elapsed since He took the sixth degree.
157.         He was an adept on the Moon-chain. This would mean that He had achieved, there, most probably, the fourth degree. When He came to the Earth-chain, He would not have had a very long time to move through the fifth to the sixth degree, which as Mahachohan He must have achieved.
158.         There are also Chohans of the seventh degree; the Christ, in a way, is becoming a Chohan of the seventh degree as is the Buddha. Was the previous Mahachohan a Chohan of the seventh degree or did He become so? There is nothing given to indicate this (even though He had been so long at His post—millions of years).
159.         In fact, quite to the contrary, it is indicated that both the previous Mahachohan and the present Manu are initiates of the sixth degree, since in a list given later in this chapter, the Buddha (who has not yet achieved the full seventh degree) is said to be developmentally in advance of the previous Mahachohan and the present Manu.
160.         Now let us think. To become a Mahachohan, one must obviously be a Chohan—i.e., an initiate of the sixth degree. This would mean that over ten million years ago the previous Mahachohan took the sixth degree and that He was (at the time that IHS was written) still a sixth degree initiate. Recently, this may have changed. But, regardless, over millions of years, His initiatory status would not have changed.
161.         This shows the peril of generalizing about the number of years, centuries or millennia it may take to move from initiation to initiation.
 it was decided to watch proceedings a little longer before interfering with the trend of affairs, as the karma of the planet would have been delayed should the strife have been ended too soon.
162.         This principle has general application. There is strife in the life of every disciple, and really, of every human being. That strife is spiritually healthy in the long run, since we are members of the fourth kingdom of nature and advance by means of “Harmony through Conflict”, the energy of the fourth ray. It is just that the strife must not be allowed to pass certain limits.
  Their confidence in the ability of men duly to adjust conditions was justified, and interference proved needless.
163.         We do not know at what point in the war the conference occurred. The turning point of the war came when America
entered the battle in 1917. Perhaps this was what was meant by adjustment, or perhaps it was the forced abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm and the decision to reach an armistice.
164.         We understand that the Hierarchy must allow human suffering to run its course so that important lessons may be learnt.
  This conference took place at Shamballa.
165.         This means that the Planetary Logos was also focussed in Shamballa (which point of tension is usually considered to be the major focus of the Lord of the World).
166.         Shamballa, while supervising the development of the war, did not become involved in it. During World War II, there was a kind of involvement by Shamballa, for the Lord Buddha was active on behalf of the representatives amongst humanity of the Forces of Light (the “Allies”), and the Lords of Liberation, at one point, responded to human invocation.
167.         And yet in EXH 552, we are told that there must not be a “next war” (meaning one following WWII),

“c. Because Shamballa would be involved, and this has never been the case.”
168.         So apparently the kind of involvement of certain high spiritual figures associated with Shamballa during WWII was not involvement of the kind that DK envisions, should there be another (and religious) war. We are told on the same page that “the next war would annihilate the greater part of the human race”.
 This is mentioned to show the close scrutiny given to everything concerning the affairs of men by the various Planetary Existences.  It is literally true, in an occult sense, that "not a sparrow falleth" without its fall being noticed.
169.         The point of tension known as Shamballa may seem remote from the affairs of men (and in general from the three lower worlds), but such affairs below are given close scrutiny by those above.
170.         The illusion of ‘distance’ is a human illusion and has no basis in fact.
It may be asked why the Bodhisattva was not included in the conference.  The reason was that the war was in the department of the Manu, and members of the Hierarchy concern Themselves with that which is strictly Their own business;
171.         The involvement of the Buddha points to a first ray factor in His nature, even though He is a second ray ‘soul’ (though the term soul cannot mean, in His advanced state, what it usually means for us).
172.         Those on the second ray who follow the Buddha’s path do go to Shamballa. (cf. DINA II 518) The Path of Wisdom has much first ray in it.
173.         Even were this not the case, the third ray monad of the Buddha and, presumably, of the then Mahachohan, is directly related to the first ray.
174.         In the later war, 1939-1945, the Christ, or Bodhisattva, became “the inner spiritual Commander of the Armies of the Lord.” (EXH 434), so something of real importance appears to have transpired in relation to His role in such world conflicts.
 the Mahachohan, being the embodiment of the [Page 106] intelligent or manasic principle, participates in all conferences.
175.         Here is another and general explanation of the Mahachohan’s involvement. The Mahachohan is very close to all the affairs of men. The Mahachohan works principally upon the third ray and humanity represents the third (or throat) center of the planet (a center ruled naturally by the third ray).
 In the next great strife the department of religions will be involved, and the Bodhisattva intimately concerned.
176.         This book was written in the very early 1920’s. We may gather that Master DK may have foreseen the coming of the World War II (or at least its possibility). Elsewhere, we are told that it might have been avoided.
177.         We see from the role which the Christ assumed in the Second World War, that DK’s statement proved to be correct.
178.         Why should the Bodhisattva have been involved in WWII and not WWI? World War II was total war, and represented a complete attack on humanity by the Black Lodge. All levels of civilization were under attack, and, it would seem, a more synthetic response was required of Hierarchy.
179.         No doubt there are other and deeper reasons.
  His Brother, the Manu, will then be relatively exempt, and will proceed with His own affairs.
180.         The implication is that the Manu would not be (and was not) very much involved in the conflict we call WWII.
181.         It may be that the soul of humanity had to be mobilized in that war (WWII)—a process directly related to the Department of the Bodhisattva—the Christ.
182.         One must analyze the occult nature of these two wars (often seen by the Hierarchy, really, as one war, 1914-1945), and I do not think we are equipped to do so adequately.
183.         The two wars, together, however, represented a concerted attack by the Forces of Materialism against the emergence of humanity into the New Age. The light of the New Age is very close; for this reason the dark was evoked.
184.         Interestingly, when contrasting WWI and WWII, DK finds that during WWII, less hatred was in evidence, overall.

“Up to date and in spite of appearances, the Forces of Light are victorious and are definitely holding things steady. It is for this reason that nothing has yet quenched the spirit of goodwill and of sympathetic understanding which exists among the peoples of all nations, not excluding Germany
; this has been the outstanding significant characteristic of the present conflict. There is little hate or vindictiveness to be found, and this fact constitutes the difference between this war and the last, in 1914.” (EXH 138)
  And yet withal there is the closest co-operation in all departments, with no loss of energy.  Owing to the unity of consciousness of those who are free from the three lower planes, what transpires in one department is known in the others
185.         The Triangle of Three Great Lords presents an outstanding model for us of ideal triangular work.
186.         We see that “unity of consciousness” really requires freedom from the three lower planes.
As the Planetary Logos is only concerned in the two final initiations, which are not compulsory as are the earlier five, it serves no purpose to enlarge upon His work.
187.         The concern of the Planetary Logos is distinct in each these final two initiations; it is far more focussed in the seventh initiation. At the sixth, the major Initiator is a great nameless Existence.
188.         Here the sixth and seventh initiations are called “final”. Later in the text, what appear to be the eighth and ninth are considered “final”
189.         What does not mean that the sixth and seventh initiations are not compulsory? Shall we think of this statement as meaning—not compulsory on our planet? Eventually, all beings have to pass through the equivalent of the sixth and seventh initiations (somewhere).
190.         We see from the text immediately below that the term “final” cannot here refer to the eighth and ninth initiations, because the eighth and ninth are not taken on the buddhic and atmic planes, but definitely on higher planes (as liberation onto the cosmic astral plane is being prepared)
 These initiations are taken upon the buddhic and atmic planes, whereas the first five are taken upon the mental.
191.         Here lies a partial clarification to questions asked earlier. We can certainly understand the relationship between the sixth initiation and the buddhic plane (for buddhi is called the “sixth principle”) and the seventh initiation in relation to atma—for atma is an archetypal plane of law and order.
192.         The following from TCF 696-697, gives, however, a different perspective on which initiations are associated with which planes:

“But it must ever be remembered that the major initiations are taken in the causal body or—dissociated from that body—on the buddhic plane.  At the final two initiations, which set a man free from the three worlds and enable him to function in the logoic body of vitality and to wield the force which animates that logoic  vehicle, the initiate becomes the five-pointed star, and it descends upon him, merges in him, and he is seen at its very centre.  This descent is brought about through the action of the Initiator, wielding the Rod of Power, and puts a man in touch with the centre in the Body of the planetary Logos of which he is a part; this is consciously effectedThe two initiations, called the sixth and seventh, take place on the atmic plane; the five-pointed star "blazes forth from within itself" as the esoteric phrase has it, and becomes the seven-pointed star; it descends upon the man and he enters into the Flame.”
193.         It is clear that we must be very careful about the term “final two initiations”, because in the quotation immediately above it appears to reference the fourth and fifth initiation; in the previous section, the “two final initiations” references the sixth and seventh, and later in the text, it appears that the term references the eighth and ninth!!! The context keeps changing and we must be alert.
194.         And in R&I, 733, another locus of initiation is given for the seventh degree:

“It is this revelation which is accorded to the initiate at this seventh Initiation of Resurrection.  He takes this initiation upon what (for lack of a better phrase) we call the "logoic plane," or on the level of consciousness of the Lord of the World.”
195.         Yet another perspective if offered in the following from TCF 121:

“At the fifth Initiation he ascends with the Heavenly Man on to the fifth plane (from the human standpoint), the atmic, and at the sixth he has dominated the second cosmic ether and has monadic consciousness and continuity of function.  At the seventh Initiation he dominates the entire sphere of matter contained in the lowest cosmic plane, escapes from all etheric contact, and functions on the cosmic astral plane.”
196.         In relation to the fifth initiation, for instance, the references tell us that it is taken upon the mental plane, the buddhic plane, and also that (at that initiation) the initiate ascends to the atmic plane.
197.         We must hold these different perspectives in mind. At our stage of evolution, we are not capable of resolving them, but we are capable of thinking about how and why these various high initiations can be related to different planes. We can be sure that in the consideration of particulars to which we do not have access, resolution will come.
The Lord of the World, the One Initiator, He Who is called in the Bible "The Ancient of Days," and in the Hindu Scriptures the First Kumara,
198.         The Lord of the World is sometimes called the “First Kumara”, and at one point, the fourth. (TCF 74)
199.         No matter what His number, He is preeminent among the seven Kumaras.
 He, Sanat Kumara it is, Who from His throne at Shamballa in the Gobi desert,
200.         We might say that this is His lowest throne
presides over the Lodge of Masters, and holds in His hands the reins of government in all the three departments.  Called in some Scriptures "the Great Sacrifice," He has chosen to watch over the evolution of men and devas until all have been occultly "saved."
201.         There is a deep question: “What constitutes salvation?” We see that DK uses the word “occultly” to describe the kind of salvation meant.
202.         May we say that it represents liberation from the possibility that the forces of materialism will prevail in the life of any unit.
203.         Sanat Kumara has also been called the “Silent Watcher” (IHS 29, TCF 728), especially with respect to humanity.
204.         It is interesting and noteworthy and that devas must also be occultly “saved”. What can such salvation mean for them? That they can no longer build or can be built into forms which do not serve the Divine Plan?
205.         Although Sanat Kumara may have been assigned His great task, we note that it is one that He chose.
  He it is Who decides upon the "advancements" in the different departments, and Who settles who shall fill the vacant posts;
206.         We see Sanat Kumara as the great Director and Overseer of planetary process.
207.         Organization within Hierarchy (and Shamballa) is based not on personalities but on functions which must be fulfilled or offices that must be filled. Thus, the essential impersonality of life within these two great centers is evident.
 He it is Who, four times a year, meets in conference with all the Chohans and Masters, and authorises what shall be done to further the ends of evolution.
208.         We note that the meetings between Sanat Kumara and the Chohans occur with fair frequency. The meetings may occur at the times of four full moons, or, perhaps, at the solstice and equinox points (as these events constitute a persistently repeated fourness in the planetary life). Hierarchy attends carefully to these four cardinal points and determines its rhythms accordingly.
Occasionally, too, He meets with initiates of lesser degree, but only at times of great crises, when some individual is given the opportunity to bring peace out of strife, and to kindle a blaze whereby rapidly crystallising forms are destroyed and the imprisoned life consequently set free.
209.         In some of the earlier Theosophical writings certain authors claim to have been at gatherings at which Sanat Kumara was present—whether such claims are fact or fiction.
210.         We see that the Law of Economy is strictly observed.
211.         From what it said it appears that such unusual meetings would occur mostly with first ray initiates (lower than the rank of Master), for it is they who would be related to the destruction of forms for the sake of liberation.
212.         Let us simply say that the claims of having met with Sanat Kumara (so often heard) must be measured against the statement above indicating the rarity of any meetings of the Lord of the World with initiates of rank lower than Master.
At stated periods in the year the Lodge meets, and at [Page 107] the Wesak Festival gathers under His jurisdiction for three purposes:
213.         Either the Wesak gathering is included under the four yearly meetings, or it is independent of them. If included, the four yearly gatherings are likely to occur in relation to the full moons of the fixed signs of the zodiac. If independent, the solstices and equinoxes are good candidates for meeting times.
214.         Considering the four cardinal points and the four fixed signs we have an approximation of an eight-armed geometrical figure formed by two crosses—a very occult figure we are told.
215.         We have also seen the hint that there is a special hierarchical event occurring in August/Leo:

“Later, much later, he participates at that august recognition which comes when the Voice issues forth—as annually it does—from the centre at Shamballa and the seal is set on the acceptance of the Hierarchy, with all its new associates, by the Lord of the World.” (R&I 58)

Should this be the case, there would be a strong case for the meeting occurring at fixed sign points.
1. To contact planetary force through the medium of the Buddha.
216.         The planetary force to be contacted must be trans-hierarchical, emanating from the realm of “Planetary Lives” at least (i.e., the realm of energies wielded by those of the sixth degree and beyond).
2. To hold the principal of the quarterly conferences.
217.         This is a hint that the quarterly conferences occur in relation to full moons occurring during the signs of the Fixed Cross.
218.         It becomes clear that all, in relation to Shamballa, proceeds rhythmically.
3. To admit to the ceremony of initiation those who are ready in all grades.
219.         The occasion of the Wesak Festival is a time of major initiatory opportunity. We have learned of the dual stream of energy transmitted by the Buddha (one stream from the Planetary Logos and another from Sanat Kumara). These two great energies promote initiatory possibilities.
Three other initiation ceremonies take place during the year:—
220.         It begins to seem more likely that these ceremonies take place at the times of the Fixed Cross full moons. The major one would then occur at Wesak, with the other three occurring in Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius.
221.         The connection of Leo with the first initiation is well established. Scorpio is archetypally associated with the second initiation. Aquarius (according to various references) is involved in both the third and fourth initiations.
1. For the minor initiations administered by the Bodhisattva, all of which are in the department of the Mahachohan, and on one or other of the four lesser rays, the rays of attribute.
222.         What does DK mean by the minor initiations? In the next two sections, something enigmatical is being suggested. It is as if the “minor initiations” here references are not initiations one and two, for these are covered in point number two below.
223.         To back up this point of view, we have the following:

“4. Hierarchical, used by an occult Hierarchy for minor initiations, and for the first two initiations of manas by the Bodhisattva.” (IHS 127)

224.         The following also points to minor initiations which are not the two usual “initiations of the threshold”:

“These four-fold influences and relationships produce the minor initiations of the astral plane which ever precede the major initiations in Capricorn, in their turn prepared for in Scorpio.” (EA 362)
225.         The following from LOM 340, also points to minor initiations which are not the usual first and second initiations (themselves, from another perspective, considered minor):

“Remember that the work is gradual, and as the polarisation shifts up, the moment of transition from one subplane to another is marked by certain tests applied at night, what one might term a series of small initiations that eventually will be consummated in the second great initiation, that marks the perfection of the control of the body of the emotions.

Four small initiations find their culmination in the initiation proper.  These are the initiations on the emotional plane, called respectively the initiations of earth, fire, water and air, culminating in initiation the second.  
226.         The initiations mentioned immediately above are initiations of the astral plane which occur specifically between the first and second initiations. These are “minor”, but it is not given whether they are supervised by an Initiator, or whether, if so, the Bodhisattva is that Initiator. Yet this possibility should be contemplated.
227.         The first four initiations, as usually considered, are the Birth, the Baptism, the Transfiguration and the Crucifixion, and, in relation to them, the four rays of attribute are rays controlling. The Birth is controlled by the seventh ray, the Baptism by the sixth, the Transfiguration by the fifth and the Crucifixion/Renunciation by the fourth.
2. For the major initiations on one or other of the three major rays, the rays of aspect, which are administered by the Bodhisattva, and are therefore the first two initiations.
228.         Although this section seems straightforward enough, it is enigmatical. If the “first two initiations” here referenced are the Birth and Baptism, then they are not given on the “major rays, the rays of aspect”, and even if we start the numbering system with initiation three, calling it the “first initiation”, it too, and the one following it are also not conditioned by rays of aspect, but by the fifth and fourth rays respectively—both rays of attribute.
229.         Of the initiations normally considered, the Bodhisattva administers only at the first and second. Why should these two initiations be called “major initiations”, as they are here, when elsewhere, the major initiations are said to begin at the third degree?
230.         There are ninety-eight references to “major initiation” and “major initiations”, and in examining them it becomes evident that the terms are used differently in different contexts. Sometimes they refer only to initiations from the third and beyond, and sometimes they include the first two (when compared to truly minor initiations such as those upon the astral plane).
231.         We still have the problem of deciding how the three major rays relate to the first two initiations. Ways can be found in which this is so, but they are not the usual ways of thinking.
3. For the higher three initiations at which Sanat Kumara wields the Rod.
232.         Elsewhere, we are told that Sanat Kumara wields the Rod of Initiation at the third, fourth and fifth initiations—the Transfiguration, the Crucifixion and the Revelation.
At all initiations the Lord of the World is present, but at the first two He holds a position similar to that held by the Silent Watcher, when Sanat Kumara administers the oath at the third, fourth and fifth initiations.
233.         This is another statement of real importance, indicating the presence of the Lord of the World at all initiations. It is one thing to be present at an initiation (as a presence) and another to administer the oath at a particular initiation.
234.         Just as the monad is involved in even the two initiations of the threshold, so Sanat Kumara (related to the monad—as the monad is a resident of Shamballa) is also involved (though abstracted from the immediate process).
  His power streams forth and the flashing forth of the star before the initiate is the signal of His approval, but the initiate does not see Him face to face until the third initiation.
235.         We learn that at each initiation, not only the third, the star flashes forth before the initiate. It is the third initiation (the Transfiguration) which is usually associated with the appearance of the star shining forth.
236.         Now, another apparent contradiction. Close study of the books reveals that the initiate does not see Sanat Kumara “face to face” until the fifth initiation—certainly not at the third. So is Master DK, as He here uses the term “third initiation”, really meaning the fifth?
237.         If He is doing so, then He is shifting perspectives within just a very few sentences (but this kind of shifting is not unusual, and is a method of occult blinding).
238.         In DK’s sentence immediately above, the perspective seems to be that which begins numbering the real initiations as beginning at the third—naming it the first.
The function of the three Kumaras, or the three Buddhas of Activity at initiation is interesting.  They are three aspects of the one aspect, and the pupils of Sanat Kumara.
239.         Which is the “one aspect” of which the Buddhas of Activity are three aspects? Is it the third aspect? It seems so.
240.         Of the relationship between the Buddhas and Sanat Kumara, the following is said:

“Sanat Kumara has now moved one step ahead of Them upon the great cosmic ladder of evolution, for an aspect of the Law of Sacrifice has conditioned Them.” (R&I 268)
241.         This is interesting in as much as it is the sacrifice of Sanat Kumara that is usually emphasized, and it would surely seem that His sacrifice is as great as theirs.
242.         In any case, He is their Teacher and they are His pupils. We cannot know the details, or whether at one point, they stood developmentally in advance of Him.
  Though Their functions are many and varied, and concern primarily the forces and energies of nature, and the direction [Page 108] of the building agencies,
243.         These functions indicate primarily the third ray.
 They have a vital connection with the applicant for initiation, inasmuch as They each embody the force or energy of one or other of the three higher subplanes of the mental plane.
244.         The first three initiations involve the higher subplanes of the mental plane.
245.         At the first initiation (if not sooner—in the case of “advanced man” who is not yet a first degree initiate) the causal body transfers to the second subplane.
246.         At the third initiation, force from the third aspect of the spiritual triad (transmitted through the manasic permanent atom) becomes especially effective.
247.         If we were wondering why or how the rays of aspect could be related to the first two initiations (over which the Christ-as-Bodhisattva presides), these rays of aspect are related to the subplanes involved in those initiations. Subplane three is related to the third ray, subplane two to the second and subplane one to the first.
248.         The Christ is does not administer the third initiation, but He is present and occupies a responsible position in the geometrical configuration which characterizes that initiation.
  Therefore at the third initiation one of these Kumaras transmits to the causal body of the initiate that energy which destroys third subplane matter, and thus brings about part of the destruction of the vehicle;
249.         We find that although the causal vehicle is entirely destroyed at the fourth initiation, its destruction begins at the third initiation. This destruction will focus in the area of the knowledge petals.
250.         Yet it cannot be said that the knowledge petals are entirely destroyed at the third initiation, for the full egoic lotus shines forth in all its glory just before its destruction at the fourth degree. We might say that the destruction begins with as de-emphasis of the knowledge petals and third subplane matter.
251.         It is certain that the knowledge petals are composed of third subplane matter, but there is reason to believe that (since causal bodies were initially established on the third subplane), all petals are composed of this kind of matter. Perhaps over time, the various petals change their vibratory frequency and can thus be said to be related to subplanes higher than the third.
252.         A deeper question is, “Can matter of a higher plane exist upon or within a lower?” Then we would have to analyze the meaning of “upon” or “within”.
253.         It would seem that the Buddha of Activity involved in this first phase of destruction is the one that wields the third ray (even though they are all more or less under the third ray).
254.         Following the third initiation, even if the knowledge petals are not completely destroyed, the following tells us something of the change which occurs:

“The knowledge petals, not being the subject of the attention of this central fire in due time cease to be active; knowledge is superseded by divine wisdom and the love petals have their forces equally absorbed.” (TCF 1119)
 at the fourth initiation another Buddha transmits second plane force, and at the fifth, first subplane force is similarly passed into the remaining atoms of the causal vehicle, producing the final liberation.
255.         We can infer that it is second plane force (impulsed by buddhi) which is majorly responsible for the destruction of the causal vehicle. Elsewhere we are told that it is the second aspect of the will which is responsible for the destruction of the causal body:

“What, therefore, brings about the destruction of the soul body?  The destroying agent is the second aspect of the Will.  The third or lowest aspect of the Will, working through the mind or the manasic principle, was the sustaining factor in the long cycle of personality development; it was the principle of intelligent synthesis, holding the life principle intact and individualised through the long series of successive incarnations. (R&I 216)
256.         The matter of the causal vehicle is not entirely dispersed at the fourth degree. The energy of the first ray transmitted through the first subplane of the mental plane, assists in this final dispersion.
  The work done by the second Kumara, with second subplane force, is in this solar system the most important in connection with the egoic body, and produces its complete dissipation, whereas the final application causes the atoms themselves (which formed that body) to disperse.
257.         The causal form is dissipated by second ray force, for the second ray is the form building ray. Loosening the magnetic bonds causes the dissipation.
258.         But there is a difference between dissipation (the falling apart of a form) and dispersion (the scattering of the atoms of that form). The latter occurs under the impact of first ray and first subplane force. It is well known that that the first ray has a dispersive, scattering effect.
259.         It becomes clear that an initiate is not really free at the fourth initiation. He is still hampered by the remaining atoms of the dissipated causal body.
During the initiation ceremony, when the initiate stands before the Lord of the World, these three great Beings form a triangle, within whose lines of force the initiate finds himself.  At the first two initiations, wherein the Bodhisattva functions as the Hierophant, the Mahachohan, the Manu, and a Chohan who temporarily represents the second department perform a similar office.  At the highest two initiations, those three Kumaras who are called "the esoteric Kumaras" form a triangle wherein the initiate stands, when he faces the Planetary Logos.
260.         This is an exceedingly occult paragraph. It details the nature of the supportive triangle present at each type of initiation. It becomes evident that members of the supportive triangles are not the same as the “sponsors” of the candidate, for the officiants participating in an initiation are given as follows:

“1. The Initiator.
2. The triangle of force formed by three adepts or three Kumaras.
3. The sponsors.” (IHS 111)

The sponsors are of a lower order than the members of the supportive triangle.



The Members of the Supportive Triangle

First and Second

The Bodhisattva

The Manu, the Mahachohan and a Chohan representing the Second Department, as the Christ is the Hierophant.

Third, Fourth and Fifth Initiations

The Lord of the World

The Three Buddhas of Activity

The Sixth and Seventh Initiations

The Nameless Existence (sixth initiation)  and the Planetary Logos (seventh initiation)

The three Esoteric Kumaras

261.         In this paragraph, we find that the nameless Existence who presides over the sixth initiation is not mentioned, and the Planetary Logos is said (here) to preside over both the sixth and seventh.

262.         While the esoteric Kumaras are said to occasionally change position with those who are now the Buddhas of Activity, in this paragraph, it seems evident that the esoteric Kumaras uphold a higher office or position than do the three Buddhas of Activity (who, relatively, can be considered exoteric Kumaras.

These facts are imparted to teach two things, first, the unity of the method, second, that the truism "as above so below" is an occult fact in nature.

263.         We see that with every ascent in process, a similarity of geometry is preserved.

At the final two initiations many members of the Hierarchy who are, if one might so express it, extra-planetary, and who function outside the dense physical and the etheric globe of our planet, take part, but a stricter enumeration is needless.

264.         The final two initiations (in this context only) may be considered the eighth and the ninth.

265.         We must discriminate the terms, “highest two initiations” from “final two initiations”. A careful reading of the sections immediately above requires this.

266.         At least one definition of the term “extra-planetary” is clearly given; it refers to those who function outside the dense physical and the etheric globe of our planet”.

267.         The term “extra-planetary” could, however, refer to those who function outside the boundaries of the planetary scheme.

268.         It all depends on what we mean by a planet—do we reference the dense physical plane and its etheric counterpart, or do we discuss the entire planetary scheme. Each context must be examined closely.

 Sanat Kumara is still the Hierophant, yet in a [Page 109] very esoteric manner it is the Planetary Logos Himself who officiates.  They are merged at that time into one Identity, manifesting different aspects.

269.         This is another extraordinarily occult statement, having to do with emanation theory. It is not that Sanat Kumara is no longer the Hierophant at the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth initiations, but that a merging with the being of the Planetary Logos has occurred. At the sixth initiation the “Nameless One”, the nameless Existence (IHS 42) is also part of this merging.

“At the seventh initiation that One of Whom Sanat Kumara is the manifestation, the Logos of our scheme on His own plane, becomes the Hierophant.  At the sixth initiation the expression of this Existence on an intermediate plane, a Being Who must at present remain nameless, wields the Rod and administers the oath and secret.  In these three expressions of hierarchical government—Sanat Kumara on the periphery of the three worlds, the Nameless One on the confines of the high planes of human evolution, and the planetary Spirit himself at the final stage—we have the three great manifestations of the Planetary Logos Himself.  Through the Planetary Logos at the final great initiation flows the power of the Solar Logos, and He it is Who reveals to the initiate that the Absolute is consciousness in its fullest expression, though at the stage of human existence the Absolute must be regarded as unconsciousness.” (IHS 92)

270.         The merging here discussed could only be operative, if Sanat Kumara and the nameless Existence were to be considered emanations of the Planetary Logos.

271.         Other and still higher Presences may overshadow the Planetary Logos at the final initiations. One may infer that, in some manner, the Solar Logos may be involved, and, in fact, in the section just quoted, it is stated.

272.         We are told that when their work has been accomplished for humanity during the Aquarian Age, the Buddha and Christ will pass before the Lord of the World (and presumably complete the seventh initiation). The information presented immediately above explains how it is that the Lord of the World (merged with the Planetary Logos) can still be considered the Hierophant at that high initiation.

Suffice it to say, in concluding this brief statement, that the making of an initiate is an affair with a dual effect, for it involves ever a passing on of some adept or initiate to a higher grade or to other work, and the coming in under the Law of some human being who is in process of attainment.

273.         Nature abhors a vacuum. The rising of a high initiate draws an initiate of lower attainment upward. Every advance draws those below upwards. We see that our rising is not left entirely to our own efforts but that we are assisted by a kind of ‘upward-tending spiritual suction’. Vacated positions must be filled.

  Therefore it is a thing of great moment, involving group activity, group loyalty, and united endeavour, and much may depend upon the wisdom of admitting a man to high office and to a place in the council chambers of the Hierarchy.

274.         DK illustrates that the making of an initiate is a group process affecting and involving far more individuals than the initiate.

275.         We must surely feel a deep sense of responsibility as we realize the interdependent process by means of which initiates are made and by which all advance.

The Departmental Heads.

The Manu.

The Bodhisattva.

276.         The term suggests a balance achieved (sattva). The balance is buddhic in nature and characteristic of the second ray.

277.         The Christ (as “Prince of Peace”) has much of Libra in His nature. Perhaps this astrological sign can be related to the equilibrizing nature of the office of Bodhisattva. The heart has wings; the winged heat is a much related to both the Bodhisattva and Libra.

The Mahachohan.

As has been said, these three great Beings represent the triplicity of all manifestation, and might be expressed under the following form, remembering that all this deals with subjectivity, and therefore with the evolution of consciousness and primarily with self-consciousness in man.

278.         We are forever warned not to overly materialize our conceptualization.


The Manu                   The Bodhisattva        The Mahachohan

Matter aspect            Spirit aspect             Intelligence aspect.

Form                           Life                              Mind.

The Not-Self               The Self                      The relation between.

Body                           Spirit                           Soul.

279.         The correspondences in this table vary from other often-presented correspondences.

280.         Usually spirit and life are related to the first aspect of divinity. The second aspect is considered the relating aspect and the third aspect has a material association.

281.         But in this presentation, the triangle has ‘revolved’. The Manu and his group are associated with matter, not-Self and body, which is, in a way fitting, for the Manu determines the evolution of the racial form.

282.         There is much similarity between the Mahachohan and Mercury, and Mercury (the ‘Star of Intelligence’) is a relational planet. Intelligence is relational.

283.         The second aspect is associated with the purest subjectivity. This is especially so in our second (or fifth) solar system.

284.         This tabulation shows the second and first aspects as the great pairs of opposites (spirit and matter) and the third aspect as the mediating principle.

285.         From a certain, if not ultimate, perspective, this is conceivable and justifiable. At the heart of every atom of substance, buddhi is to be found.

286.         Although the second aspect is the form-building aspect, it can easily (at this time) be seen as relating to that aspect of man which is least conditioned by the form.

287.         From a simple dualistic (not triplistic) perspective, rays one and three represent form, and ray two, content.

[Page 110]

Or, in words strictly dealing with self-conscious realisation,

Politics                       Religion          Science.

Government               Beliefs            Civilisation.

Races                         Faiths             Education.

288.         There is nothing surprising in the tabulation immediately above, except that education is placed in relation to the third aspect (where, indeed, it belongs, from one perspective). Yet, let us remember, that the “teacher” is found upon the second ray.

289.         Just the way we read across on the row holding Politics, Religion and Science, reading across on the other two words may also be revelatory.

All human beings belong to one or other of these three departments, and all are of equal importance, for Spirit and matter are one.  All are so interdependent, being but expressions of one life, that the endeavour to express the functions of the three departments in tabular form is liable to lead to error.

290.         It often seems reasonable to prioritize (hierarchicalize) the first, second and third rays, but ultimately, it is not reasonable to do so. They are, really, all one thing.

291.         We are reminded that each of the three aspects is to be found with the other two, making a ninefold division in all.

The three Great Lords closely co-operate in the work, and that work is one, just as man, though a triplicity, is yet an individual unit.

292.         The Tibetan is speaking of the essential indissolubility of all trinities.

  The human being is a form through which a spiritual life or entity is manifesting, and employing the intelligence under evolutionary law.

Therefore the Great Lords are closely connected with the initiations of a human unit.  They are too occupied with greater affairs and with group activities to have any relationship with a man until he stands upon the probationary path.

293.         We might say that the probationer may (early in his probationary process) be briefly noticed, but that such a relationship cannot be extensive or based upon the constant attentiveness of the part of the Great Lords.

 When he has, through his own effort, brought himself on to the Path of Discipleship, the particular Master Who has him under supervision reports to the head of one of the three departments (this being dependent upon a man's ray) that he is nearing the Portal of Initiation and should be ready for the great step during such and such a life.

294.         Entry upon the Path of Discipleship means a fuller recognition of the individual by one of the Great Lords, according to ray.

295.         The implication here is that discipleship is equivalent to preparation for initiation.

  Each life, and later each year, report is made, until the final year upon the Path of Probation, when closer and more frequent reports are handed in.

296.         There is an intensified frequency of reporting. It is here suggested that reports may be made a number of times during the final year upon the Path of Probation. We gather from this that scrutiny upon the proposed candidate becomes increasingly intense during the final years leading to the final year, during which it is most intense.

297.         The period here referenced is most likely after the first initiation, since before a man is an accepted disciple, he is on the Probationary Path.

298.         Yet, the Probationary Path may also be trodden before the first degree. One must surely be tested before the first degree becomes possible. That degree will require reports, ballots and sponsors.

299.         What really is the meaning of the “final year upon the Path of Probation”; in different contexts, the “Path of Probation” can mean different things.

300.         Does this “final year” mean, in this context, the year before which initiation is to be taken? It would seem so.

301.         But in other contexts we understand that the Probationary Path extends up to acceptance as an “accepted disciple”. This acceptance occurs not at initiation, but begins, usually, no sooner than midway between the first and second initiations.

  During this final year also, the applicant's name is submitted to the Lodge, and after his own Master has reported upon him, and his record has been briefly summarised, his name is balloted, and sponsors are arranged.

302.         These procedures are dimly reflected in the procedures of current Masonic Lodges.

303.         It would seem that we are dealing with Rule I for Applicants which should reviewed in terms of the information given (or implied) on reporting, balloting and sponsoring.

[Page 111]

During the initiation ceremony the important factors are:—

1. The Initiator.

2. The triangle of force formed by three adepts or three Kumaras.

3. The sponsors.

304.         The Initiator clearly represents the first aspect of divinity; the triangle, the second aspect; and the sponsors the third.

In the case of the first two initiations, two Masters stand, one on each side of the applicant, within the triangle;

305.         There are, in all, seven participants—which is significant

a.      The candidate for initiation

b.      Two Masters acting as sponsors

c.      The supportive/protective/guardian triangle (in the case of the initiate at either of the first two initiations, the Manu, the Mahachohan and a Chohan on the second Ray--Master KH, most likely)

d.      The Initiator (the Christ)

 at the third, fourth and fifth initiations, the Mahachohan and the Bodhisattva perform the function of sponsor;

306.         At this initiation, the supportive triangle is formed by the three Buddhas of Activity.

307.         We might wonder why the Manu is left out of this picture.

 at the sixth and seventh initiations two great Beings, Who must remain nameless, stand within the esoteric triangle.

308.         The Initiators at the sixth initiation are the “Nameless One” (sixth) and the Planetary Logos (seventh)

309.         The Hierophant, we have been told, is still, apparently (and according to some foregoing text) Sanat Kumara (but He is pervaded, and merged into, by the “Nameless One” and the “Planetary Logos”).

310.         We realize that the sponsors at the sixth and seventh degrees must be higher in rank than the Bodhisattva and Mahachohan. This means that such sponsors must be initiates of the seventh degree or beyond.

311.         May it be that two of the Buddhas of Activity serve as Sponsors (perhaps the second and third Buddha) with the three esoteric Kumaras forming the supportive triangle? This is simply speculation, the necessary progression initiatory status would hold. Further, on various charts we have seen how the three Great Lords (and their functions) reflect the three Buddhas of Activity and their functions.

  The work of the sponsors is to pass through Their bodies the force or electrical energy emanating from the Rod of Initiation.  This force, through radiation, circles around the triangle and is supplemented by the force of the three guardians; it next passes through the centres of the sponsors, being transmitted by an act of will to the initiate.

312.         This is a very clear description of the circulation of forces during the process of initiation.

313.         The following tabulation may clarify the process by which energy circulates

a.      The Initiator

b.      The Rod of Initiation

c.      The three Guardians, plus the addition of their force

d.      The Sponsors, and particularly their chakras (probably certain of the chakras, depending upon the initiation being taken). A willful transference of force from the Sponsors to…

e.      The Initiate

314.         A deep question relates to the relationship between the Initiator and the Rod. Does the initiating energy emanate from the Rod or from the Initiator, or from a combination of both?

Enough has been said elsewhere in this book anent the Lodge of Masters and Their relation to the applicant for Initiation, whilst the work of the initiate himself has been likewise touched upon.  That work is not unknown to the children of men everywhere, but remains as yet an ideal and a far-off possibility.

315.         We are, apparently, the “children of men”, little ones who are not yet proven.

316.         The purpose of this book is to bring the “far-off possibility” closer to actualization.

  Yet when a man strives to reach that ideal, to make it a demonstrating fact within himself, he will find that it becomes not only a possibility, but something attainable, provided he strives sufficiently.

317.         The value of fiery striving is here accentuated. Such fiery striving is integral to the new yoga, Agni Yoga.

  The first initiation is within the reach of many, but the necessary one-pointedness and the firm belief in the reality ahead, coupled to a willingness to sacrifice all rather than turn back, are deterrents to the many.

318.         This is extraordinarily true, and yet applies to an initiation which so many assume they have taken—the very first initiation!

319.         What are the requirements?

a.      The necessary one-pointedness (Sagittarius)

b.      A firm belief in the reality ahead (“faith is the substance of things hoped-for, the evidence of things unseen”)

c.      A willingness to sacrifice all rather than turn back (“I count all things but loss that I may win Christ.” (Paul)

320.         We should know where we stand with respect to such requirements.

321.         Let not our zeal dampen! Fire rightly directed and sufficiently intense will take us where we need to ‘go’.

  If this book serves no other purpose than to spur some one to renewed believing effort, it will not have been written in vain.

322.         The Master DK as various times in His recent incarnations appears to have had much of the sixth ray, and it is here demonstrated.

323.         The word “spur” is so important, with its Sagittarian associations. We have a vehicle, a horse, a steed, a personality, and it has to be “spurred on”.

324.         We do not yet see the entirety of the goal, but if we believe truly and act upon our belief, we touch that toward which we are striving.

325.         Let us renew our “believing effort” realizing its indispensability.