Chapter VII

Preparation for Initiation.

The Probationary Path precedes the Path of Initiation or Holiness, and marks that period in the life of a man when he definitely sets himself on the side of the forces of evolution, and works at the building of his own character.  He takes himself in hand, cultivates the qualities that are lacking in his disposition, and seeks with diligence to bring his personality under control.  He is building the causal body with deliberate intent, filling any gaps that may exist, and seeking to make it a fit receptacle for the Christ principle. 

  1. Initiation requires preparation. Two stages of development precede the Path of Initiation: these are the Path of Probation and the Path of Discipleship (to be elaborated in the next chapter of IHS, Chapter VIII).

  2. In this portion of the text, only two Paths are mentioned. The “Probationary Path” and the “Path of Initiation”.

  3. The Probationary Path is the ‘Path of Trials and Testing’. From one perspective, it can be considered to include the Path of Discipleship, for there many trials and tests in the life of a disciple, and disciples (before they become “accepted disciples” are called “probationary disciples”). Tests and trials on the Path of Discipleship are, however, of a different and more advanced nature that those upon the Path of Probation, per se.

  4. The Path of Initiation is the Path of Holiness or ‘Wholeness’, for on this Path certain great unifications (of energies and in consciousness) occur and the nature of the Whole is better appreciated and understood. On this Path, the disciple’s energy system becomes well-integrated and he/she achieves what can be called ‘spiritual wholeness’ — a state of con­sciousness and living no longer wracked by conflicts occurring within the field of the lunar vehicles. There will, of course, be other kinds of challenging conflicts — as between the soul and the spirit.

  5. The Path of Probation begins when an individual experiences his first conscious contact with the soul. He then begins to live a dualistic life, realizing that there is a higher world and a lower one. Towards that higher world he aspires, and his life is torn with conflict between the energies and forces of these two worlds. He is positioned as if ‘between’ soul and personality, and attracted to both.

  6. On the Probationary Path, the condition of the aspirant is tried and proved in a number of ways which transform limitation into capacity and selfishness into selflessness. There is no way to tread the Path of Initiation unless one has proven oneself worthy to do so. This ‘proving’ takes place on the Path of Probation and the Path of Discipleship.

  7. When does a man definitely set himself on the side of the forces of evolution and begin working at the building of his own character? Certainly, this occurs before the first initiation (“The Birth of the Christ in Bethlehem”).

  8. It is a conscious decision which sets a person upon the Probationary Path; one does not drift onto it. Those who tread this Path must have a fairly well-developed sense of values, and see both the advantage and necessity of building their character.

  9. What is “character”? It is a certain structure and quality of thought, feeling and behavior. In a way, it is a pattern of habits and attitudes. Character is the basis of a human being’s quality of performance within society. On the basis of character, men are known to be good, bad, or indifferent. When the patterns of a man’s thoughts, feelings and actions reach a standard which reflects the patterns in his higher nature (his soul nature), he is said to be a “man of good character”.

  10. Upon the Probationary Path, the aspirant builds his character until he can be relied upon to be a valuable member of society and potentially of use to the Hierarchy of Light as it attempts to uplift humanity. To build character means to build a pattern of behavior (physical, emotional and mental) that enables one to become an asset to the process of human evolution rather than a liability.

  11. A great deal of personal responsibility is, therefore, assumed by the one who decides to tread the Path of Probation, which can also be called the ‘Path of Conscious Self-Improvement’.

  12. The one treading this Path can be called a “spiritual aspirant’.  The aspirant begins a process of self-observation followed by attempted self-control. The true aspirant tries and fails, and tries and fails, but always tries again.

  13. On the Probationary Path we discover what is missing in our own nature and we attempt to fill in the “gaps”. These “gaps” are really ‘vibratory gaps’ within our casual body (the vehicle or force field which serves as the repository of all our good qualities developed through long personal experience). On that Path, we have not only to correct and re-train our bad habits and attitudes, but we must consciously build in virtues that we require for advancement, but which are not yet present.

  14. Under Libra (the ‘sign of evaluation’) the aspirant can begin comparing himself to other individuals and, thereby, begins to notice his lacks and deficiencies. He realizes that true disciples and initiates must be “rounded-out” individuals and that notable imbalances must be corrected. A spirit of truth self-assessment is thus a requirement for the successful treading of the Probationary Path. It is obvious that patience will be required, for the Path of Probation is a lengthy one — so difficult it is to correct not only the habits of a lifetime, but of many incarnations

  15. In the case of the average, non-aspiring person, the personality is controlled largely by desire. The aspirant, however, substitutes aspiration for desire, and begins to learn the meaning of will. Increasingly, the aspirant knows when he is “out of line” — which means, out of alignment with the soul. In the life of the aspirant the soul is beginning to become real.

  16. It is obvious that the Path of Probation is a Path on which the aspirant learns (but does not master) the meaning of discipline. He does not know it so well as he will when he steps upon the Path of Discipleship, but the exercises which lead to spiritual achievement cannot be practiced without discipline.

  17. We read that on the Probationary Path the aspirant is learning to build “the causal body with deliberate intent”. This “spiritual repository” becomes a primary point of focus for consciousness, as the causal body comes to be understood as a truer “body” than the personality (and its familiar mental, emotional and physical vehicles). We can see that the true aspirant holds a different conception of identity than will the average man. Of course, not all aspirants are trained in occultism, and therefore not all understand the occult technicalities relating to the constitution of man. Nevertheless, there will be an under­standing that the true identity resides within rather than in the personality and its vehicles. “The Kingdom of Heaven is within.”

  18. How does one fill gaps within the causal body or, as more commonly understood, build in qualities and capacities which one discovers to be missing in one’s character?

    1. One notices what is missing.

    2. One cultivates the desire to have (and therefore, build in) what is missing.

    3. One studies the expression of the missing quality or capacity in those who are demonstrating it.

    4. One notices the modes of behavior and expression which accompany the demonstration of the desired quality.

    5. One practices such behaviors.

    6. One seeks to understand and practice the state of mind possessed by those who are successfully demonstrating the desired quality — realizing that the practice of the external behavior will be relatively ‘empty’ unless the consciousness has been transformed.

    7. One meditates upon the qualities which one is practicing and visualizes them as successfully expressed.

    8. In meditation and in normal conscious thought, one may reaffirm to oneself the reason why the possession and expression of quality is, in fact, useful and desirable.

  19.  Interestingly, we note that the causal body itself is to become a “fit receptacle for the Christ Principle”. This must mean that although the content of the causal body is always ‘good’, some causal bodies are not sufficiently qualified to carry and express the Christ Principle. We might say that only the higher qualities (found in relation to the higher “love petals” and the “sacrifice petals”) are attuned to the expression of the Christ Principle.

  20. The “Christ principle” is divine love. It is possible to have a causal body which is pos­ses­sed of many virtues but in which the energy of divine love is not especially evident. On the Probationary Path we begin to cultivate the energy of real love which is the principle quality of the soul

  21. In general, therefore, we understand that the aspirant is ‘building the Christ into his nature’ — i.e., building the second aspect of divinity into the third. Only once the aspirant is sufficiently qualified (i.e., filled with the necessary quality) can he or she step onto the Path of Discipleship. The ‘Path of Probationary Discipleship’ is trodden as the sixth petal of the egoic lotus begins to unfold. The whole period marked by the opening of the fifth and sixth petals of the egoic lotus is, however, probationary and involves the testing of the person­ality. Even once the seventh and eighth petals are opening, during the first and second initiations, the period is still probationary, but one is then a “Probationary Initiate”.

  22. Thus, there are three general phases with various overlapping:

    1. the Probationer (i.e., the Aspirant) who treads the Path of Probation, per se, and for whom the fifth petal is unfolding and the sixth beginning;

    2. the ‘Probationary Disciple’ (or Advanced Aspirant) who begins this Path when he is not yet an initiate of the first degree and continues it until he becomes an “Accepted Disciple” (usually a few lives after the first degree). During this period the sixth petal is unfolding and the seventh beginning; and

    3. the ‘Probationary Initiate’ of the first two degrees, who may be an “Accepting Disciple”, a “Pledged Disciple” or an “Accepted Disciple” (in sequence). During this period the seventh and eighth petal are unfolding.

The real Path of Discipleship begins after the first degree. Some might say that one is not a real or true disciple until one is an “Accepted Disciple”.  These stages, however, do not have rigid boundaries and even such a great being as the Christ can be considered, at once, an aspirant, a disciple and an initiate. Much depends upon the context in which these terms are used.

  1. We are given an interesting analogy: the Path of Probation corresponds to the pre-natal period in the development of the foetus. We are therefore led to understand that the spiritual aspirant is not yet really ‘born’ — spiritually. In the life of the aspirant, this process of spiritual development is still going on within the ‘Mother’ — i.e., the personality. The personality is the “Mother”; the soul is the “Son”; the spirit is the “Father”.

  2. The Probationary Path represents the beginning of a kind of reorientation (a kind of ‘re-pentence’). In English, to “repent” means to “turn-back”, to turn in a new direction — yet, really, it is a movement back towards the soul and spirit.

  3. One who is stepping upon the Probationary Path begins to discriminate two streams of energy — the normal and familiar stream of the personality and its vehicles, and a ‘higher’ stream emanating from the soul (although the unschooled aspirant, initially, may not be precisely sure of the source of this higher stream).

  4. Upon the Probationary Path the aspirant begins to develop conscientiousness — a virtue of the planet Saturn. Conscience, in this sense, is the ‘voice of the soul/Solar Angel’. He begins to strive and aspire with an increasing degree of earnestness and seriousness. Serious Saturn is even more important on the Paths of Discipleship and Initiation.

  5. On the Probationary Path, desire is transformed into aspiration. An incipient form of higher will and intention also begin to appear. Low desire no longer prevails unopposed.

The analogy between the prenatal period in the history of the human being and that of the development of the indwelling spirit is curiously interesting. We might look at it in this way: —

1. The moment of conception, corresponding to that of individualisation.

2. Nine months' gestation, corresponding to the wheel of life.

3. The first initiation, corresponding to the birth hour.

  1. The Tibetan presents an important analogy between the growth of the indwelling spirit and the prenatal growth of a human being. One process develops over millions of years; the other takes on the average only nine months. It takes a long time to build the consciousness of a human being and a much shorter time to build a human body.

  2. Individualization on this planet (and in what is called the ‘fourth round of the Earth-chain’) took place some twenty-one million years ago.

  3. The new-formed human being had its beginning at individualization. “Reflective con­scious­ness” was born, but, analogously to the life of the foetus, that consciousness had to grow and develop. The consciousness of early man was nothing like the self-consciousness of the average human being today, nor (as The Secret Doctrine relates) did the early human being look much like modern man.

  4. The “Wheel of Life” with its many turnings — its many cycles and sub-cycles over millions of years, corresponds to the intra-uterine process, lasting, in the case of the indi­vidual human being, nine months. Only the later stages of the inter-uterine state can be related to the Paths of Probation and Discipleship.

  5. The “wheel of life” primarily refers to the cycle which takes human beings into and out of physical incarnation. As that “wheel” turns, the quality, scope and perceptiveness of human consciousness grows until in begins to approximate what we recognize as human con­scious­ness today. Under the spur of desire, ambition, and aspiration, the man continues to improve himself, becoming more sensitive, more adaptable and more fit in every way. He begins to sense higher possibilities than the strictly material and formal possibilities which have claimed his attention for millions of years. Sensing the possibilities and advantages of a higher life, he becomes a spiritual aspirant and begins to tread the Probationary Path.

  6. After many struggles, the man is ready to be ‘born’ into a state of consciousness higher than that which is typically human, just as a fetus (now a baby ready for existence independent from the womb) is ready to be born into the world. The first initiation represents the birth hour. A man is ‘born’ into the Kingdom of the Soul. He is no longer, strictly speaking, a member only of the fourth kingdom of nature, the Human Kingdom.

  7. Just as pregnancy can be dangerous to the mother and the child, and can pass through a number of periods of crisis, so it is with this type of spiritual ‘pregnancy’ by means of which the human soul is developed within the personality nature (i.e., the “Mother”). Humanity has passed through a number of such crises, during some of which the danger to the developing human soul (and soul of humanity) was grave.

The Probationary Path corresponds to the latter period of gestation, to the building in the heart of the babe in Christ.  At the first initiation this babe starts on the pilgrimage of the Path.  The first initiation stands simply for commencement.  A certain structure of right living, thinking, and conduct has been built up.  That form we call character.  It has now to be vivified and indwelt.  

  1. The Probationary Path precedes conscious birth into the Kingdom of Souls — the Fifth Kingdom of Nature. The human kingdom is the Fourth Kingdom of Nature.

  2. The Tibetan tells us that the Path of Probation (lasting many lives) corresponds to the “building in the heart of the babe in Christ”.

  3. When, in relation to the long cycle of human development, does the Probationary Path actually begin? There is no sure way for us to ascertain this, but, from the perspective of ‘occult anatomy and physiology’ we can safely say that it cannot begin before the fifth petal of the Egoic Lotus has been somewhat developed.

  4. In the causal body/egoic lotus there are nine regular “petals” and three “synthesis petals”. The fifth petal of the egoic lotus corresponds to the heart. The unfoldment of each petal represents the development of different human skills and phases of consciousness. On the Probationary Path (including part of the ‘Path of Probationary Discipleship’), the fifth and sixth petals are unfolded — each of them relating especially to the refinement of the emo­tional nature. Experiences upon the Path of Probation recondition the emotional body. The fifth and sixth petals are both love petals. The first “Love Petal” (the fourth petal of the egoic lotus) and the three “Knowledge petals” have been cultivated in earlier phases of evolution preceding the Probationary Path, and the three “sacrifice petals” are to be cultivated in the later phases. (For extensive information on the egoic lotus and its petals, see A Treatise on Cosmic Fire). The stage of aspiration can go on for many lives and is subject to many setbacks.

  5. We know that somewhere near the fourth month of human pregnancy, the heart of the foetus begins to beat. Probably, therefore, we cannot make the analogy concerning the “building in of the heart” too literal. The period in the normal gestation process at which the physical heart is first built and, later, begins to beat, is too early to correspond with analogical exactitude to the stage of the Probationary Path.

  6. We might say, however, that, from a psychological perspective, the qualities related to the heart (and to the second phase of development of the love petals of the Egoic Lotus) are built during the Path of Probation.

  7. A “babe in Christ” is another name for an initiate of the first degree. Before a physical baby is born, its heart must begin to beat and become strong enough to sustain the baby’s inde­pendent life once outside the womb. The Probationary Path corresponds to the cultivation and strengthening of the heart. ‘Heart values’ for the first time enter the consciousness of the human being and begin to struggle against the more selfish values which have charac­terized the majority of his evolutionary development.

  8. The first initiation stands for commencement. The “Endless Path” is for the first time con­sciously trodden. The “babe in Christ” begins its pilgrimage, but at first he must be taught how to ‘walk’ instead of ‘crawl’. It is important for us to realize that the first initiation, difficult though it may be to achieve, is only the beginning of a lengthy process and indicates no very high level of spiritual attainment.

  9. From one perspective, the aspirant sets foot upon the Path of Initiation when the first initiation is taken. From another perspective, at the first initiation the aspirant, now a true disciple, begins, in earnest, treading the Path of Discipleship as a ‘Probationary Initiate’.

  10. By the time the first degree (the first initiation) has been taken, that which we call “char­acter” has reached a certain stage of reliability and trustworthiness (though many imper­fect­­ions remain). The first degree initiate is reasonably upstanding. There is a structure of good character which can be relied upon to make a valuable contribution to the welfare of humanity.

  11. The strengthening and intensification of that good structure is what is required and this process of strengthening and intensification occurs as the first degree initiate continues to “tread the Path” through the second and third degrees. The purpose of the Path of Initiation (the earlier stages of which are the Path of Discipleship) is to see that the pattern of char­acter is vivified and indwelt by the Christ Principle (emanating from the radiation of the Solar Angel.)

  12. The opening of the seventh petal signifies the taking of the first initiation.

Thackeray has well described this process of building, in the words so often quoted: [Page 64]

"Sow a thought and reap an action; sow an action and reap a habit; sow a habit and reap character; sow character and reap destiny."

  1. Thackeray’s words are powerful and should be memorized to increase our understanding of them. Whole patterns of destiny evolve from small, initially uncorrelated actions — at first, the ‘action of thought’.

  2. Every esotericist and student of occultism realizes that what we think and how we think are all-important in relation to the building and expiation of karma.

  3. The whole process tends, at first, to occur at a somewhat unconscious level. We hardly register the thoughts we think, nor do we understand how these thoughts lead inevitably to actions.

  4. When we reach the age of “spiritual responsibility” we begin to be aware of the thoughts we think (and repeatedly think). Then we are in a position to do something about the nature and quality of these thoughts. We can take a deliberate and definite approach to improving the karmic situation of our little life and of our environment (considering other persons as environing factors).

  5. To “sow” is to plant a seed. To “reap” means to harvest the result of the planting. Every effect has its cause and every cause, its effect — at least in the non-quantum world!

  6. All thoughts are like ‘miniature actions’ and tend to work out as noticeable actions, even if unnoticeable actions. A sufficiency of thought along a certain line will demonstrate as a recognizable action. If certain types of actions are continuously repeated, they form a habit or a predictable pattern of action, resistant to change. Habits seem to take on a “life of their own” and, once structured, do not change their structure easily.

  7. If various patterns of habits are continued and energized, they produce that overall pattern of behaviour (physical, emotional and mental) we call “character”. Character is the ‘signature of the man’; it is his outer identity. His ‘spiritual name’ is his inner identity. ‘Outer character’ pertains to the personality; ‘inner character’, to man-as-soul.

  8. If a man lives with a certain character for any length of time, he begins to reap the results of doing so. Things happen to him or for him on the basis of who he is. This is what it means to “sow character and reap destiny”.

  9. Destiny is the entire collection of outer and subtle patterns which responds magnetically to the ‘pattern which we are’ — i.e., to our character. Our destiny is attracted to us by the quality of the patterns we have created. In such a case, “like attracts like”.  Goodness will eventually attract goodness (though evil may temporarily block the arrival of the Good). Evil will eventually summon evil to itself regardless of the good opportunity which may now and then present itself to the one who tends towards evil.

  10. The most powerful words in the entire adage are, “sow character, reap destiny”. The astrologers have simplified this idea by saying that “character is destiny”.

  11. These ideas rely upon a belief in eternal justice and the conviction that the environment will return to us a reflection of exactly what we ‘are’ (or, more precisely, have created) — vibratorily.

  12. There can be no ultimate mismatch between character and fate (the pattern or structure of circumstance within which one finally finds oneself). The outer environing structure will be created according to the inner structure of character.

  13. In another way, we might way, ‘What we see is what we are’.

  14. The karmically creative power of thought and speech has yet to be properly understood. Only then will we know that destiny or fate do not happen to a person; they are created as the person ‘creates himself’.

  15. On the Path of Probation, we discover that we are responsible for what happens to us; we are responsible for whether we rise or fall in life. We learn to understand the causes behind our personal condition and to take responsibility for those causes.

The immortal destiny of each and all of us is to attain the consciousness of the higher self, and subsequently that of the Divine Spirit.  When the form is ready, when Solomon's temple has been built in the quarry of the personal life, then the Christ-life enters, and the glory of the Lord overshadows His temple.  The form becomes vibrant.  Therein lies the difference between theory and making that theory part of oneself.  One can have a perfect image or picture, but it lacks life.  The life can be modeled on the divine as far as may be; it may be an excellent copy but lacks the indwelling Christ principle.  The germ has been there, but it has lain dormant.  Now it is fostered and brought to the birth and the first initiation is attained.

  1. In this paragraph, we learn of animation, vibrancy and spiritual livingness.

  2. This principle of livingness is so important on the Path; the true reality ever exists, as does the imitation of that reality. The imitation is good as far as it goes, but it is not the comple­ted creation and it lacks life.

  3. The Tibetan offers instructive analogy. Images can be exact replicas of higher patterns and, yet, lack the “life” inherent in such higher patterns. Analogously, one can know much in theory, but fail to put that theory into practice — i.e., make it live.

  4. It is certainly good to model our life on the divine; this is a first step. But even a perfect model must become animated, which means, infused by the energy of the soul. There is a great difference between a newly constructed house, and that same house once its ‘owner’ is living in it. The house becomes a home and is possessed of the quality of livingness — because it is ‘lived in’.

  5. Our eventual and immortal destiny (the destiny of the immortal part of us) is here discus­sed: we will eventually attain to the consciousness of the “higher self” (or soul/Solar Angel) and, thereafter, to the consciousness and power of the Divine Spirit, the Monad. The powers and presence of the soul are revealed on the Path of Discipleship. The powers and Presence of the Divine Spirit are revealed on the true Path of Initiation (which begins at the third initiation). The normal first and second initiations are taken on what might be called the ‘Path of Probationary Initiation’, and initiates of the first and second degree are “pro­bationary initiates”.

  6. If we have an “immortal destiny”, it is because we are immortal beings — spirits, monads, sparks of the One Flame.

  7. The “Higher Self” within us can be understood in two ways. Firstly, our causal body is, in one sense, our higher self. Thus, we can attain (in our physical brain consciousness) to the kind of consciousness we possess when freely focussed in our causal body (as occurs often during the hours of dreamless sleep — and, after a longer or shorter interval of disengage­ment from the astral and lower mental planes — between incarnations).

  8. From another perspective, to attain to the consciousness of the higher self means to become sensitive to the quality of consciousness possessed by the Solar Angel as it informs and stimulates the causal body. We remember that the Solar Angel is a “Master”, an ‘Initiate of all degrees’, and is therefore possessed of a very high consciousness compared to the normal human consciousness. A Solar Angel possesses, in fact, a consciousness higher than that of a human Master of the Wisdom. We may ponder on the reasons for this.

  9. When we attain to the consciousness of the Divine Spirit, we have re-identified as the monad which we have ever been. Our consciousness, then, is not only ‘supra-personal’, but ‘supra-individual’.

  10. The “form” as considered in the Tibetan’s paragraph, may be considered both the personality and its three vehicles, and the form of the causal body. The Christ energy must infuse both.

  11. “Solomon’s Temple” is the symbol of the causal body, and the completing of Solomon’s Temple is analogous to bringing the causal body to a stage of developmental completeness — a “thing of beauty” ready for destruction so that spirit may be liberated.

  12. The “personal life” is likened to a “quarry’ (a stone quarry) because the ‘stones’ for building Solomon’s Temple are hewed from the “quarry of human experience” in the three lower worlds. Those experiences are rendered into beautiful qualities which build and adorn “Solomon’s Temple”.

  13. Work within the ‘quarry of lower life’ is difficult and laborious. The “inner temple” is built only over a long period of time, and the labor expended to do so is great.

  14. It is obvious that such ‘stones’ must first be hewed from the quarry, cut to approximately the right shape, and then sanded and polished, before they can be built into the Temple with “right exactitude”.

  15. Our higher qualities are first grasped or hewed, cut and shaped, and then refined before they can form a part of the luminous content of the causal body.

  16. In another way, we are the stones — at first unfit for being used in or built into the Temple of Humanity. But after being subjected to much refining pressure and drastic elimination, we too are ready to take our place in the ‘Great Structure’ representing the ‘Beauty of Humanity’.

  17. On the Path of Probation there is an “overshadowing” of the personality by the soul or higher Self. Contact is (for the first time) made with a subtle presence, and that presence becomes increasingly influential. That presence is glorious — effulgent, full of light, and that inner light becomes, increasingly, expressed through the ‘causal Temple’ and through the originally opaque personality.

  18. The first presence is the ‘Christ-presence’ and it s detected by the aspiring personality. The Christ must enter the Temple which has been prepared for Him. Our casual body must become an instrument of the spiritual triad.

  19. The still greater “Presence” is the Divine Spirit. The first presence is only the “Angel of the Presence” (though a being of great wonder and beauty). The true and greater “Presence” is our own Spirit-Self and can only come into focus and power once the Angel of the Presence has infused “Solomon’s Temple” (the causal body), and also the “Tabernacle in the Wilderness” (the personality). One can then approach the Presence as a soul-infused personality.

  20. The “inner temple” is built only over a long period of time, and the labor expended to do so is great, lasting millions of years.  But conscious building begins only on the Path of Probation.

  21. At the first initiation, the man, long on the Probationary Path, finally ‘comes to life’. He begins to live in a new way entirely different from his many millions of years of so-called ‘living’ on the Path of Evolution

  22. The “Christ life”, which enters the Temple and overshadows it with its “glory”, is, if practically considered, the presence of the radiant Solar Angel whose primary energy is that of the second aspect of divinity (the Christ aspect). These luminous beings are, indeed, glorious when compared to the radiation of the average human beings. They are (in the true meaning of the word, “deva”) the “shining ones”.

  23. From another perspective, that which overshadows the Temple is the loving presence of the Christ, Himself. It is always necessary to invite the Christ (the Lord Maitreya) into our ‘Temple’, and into every temple of the world, for He is the great Teacher of angels and of men, and His place is within the inner sanctum of the heart.

  24. We understand, therefore, that an entirely new level of livingness is signaled by the taking of the first initiation. Spiritual vibrancy, spiritual animation, spiritual germination — these are all word-forms to indicate the ‘coming to life’ which occurs when the Christ Life works its ‘miracle’ upon and ‘within’ the waiting (and prepared) form. After such an experience the individual may well wonder whether he had been at all ‘alive’ before that point.

  25. Thus, on the Probationary Path, the principle of animation is an important focus. “Anima” means both “life” and “soul”. On this Path, the outer form (the lunar form) is animated, hence brought to life — i.e., to a degree of spiritual livingness. As well, the inner form, the causal body (the ‘inner form’, the ‘solar form), is brought into a state of loving, radiant animation. Initiation makes of this causal body a positively expressive factor.

  26. We gather, then, that the first initiation cannot be considered casually or lightly. It marks something radically new in the experience of the developing human being.

Whilst the man is on the Probationary Path he is taught principally to know himself, to ascertain his weaknesses and to correct them.  He is taught to work as an invisible helper at first and for several lives is generally kept at this kind of work.  Later, as he makes progress, he may be moved to more selected work.  He is taught the rudiments of the Divine Wisdom and is entered into the final grades in the Hall of Learning.  He is known to a Master, and is in the care (for definite teaching) of one of the disciples of that Master, or, if of rare promise, of an initiate.

  1. The age-old adage, “Know Thyself”, has particular application on the Path of Probation. The self to be known is the threefold personal self. Although the human being thinks, feels and acts, he/she does understand the hidden impulses behind such thinking, feeling and acting. Many surprises (some not very pleasant) lie in store for the earnestly self-observant aspirant.

  2. Self-knowledge requires self-observation. We must all pass through the phase of self-cognizance represented by Leo. The energy of the sign Leo (so related to the self and its nature) is also important at the first initiation which is often taken in a life when the Sun is in Leo or the Ascendant is Leo.

  3. The Probationary Path indicates the beginning of the process of willing detachment from the things of the personality. Before that time, detachment from personality life may be forced upon the individual, but it is rarely deliberately chosen. Detachment becomes even more exacting on the Paths of Discipleship and Initiation

  4. When treading the Path of Probation, even the hours of sleep are to be constructively utilized. We become “invisible helpers”.  An “invisible helper” is one who serves on the astral plane during the hours of sleep. The aspirant’s spiritual supervisors will indicate the nature of the work to be done. Memory of such inner work may or may not come through into the waking brain consciousness.

  5. On the Probationary Path a man is learning the rudiments of service. Working as an invi­sible helper teaches these rudiments. All work is graded and it is possible to pass to other and higher work as the fitness to do so is demonstrated. The aspirant is given work which suits his degree of unfoldment.

  6. There are three major “Halls”: the Hall of Ignorance; the Hall of Learning and the Hall of Wisdom. There may also be a later Hall which might be called the ‘Hall of Life’. “Halls” are ‘vibratory domains’ where specific types of spiritual training are undergone.

  7. The Hall of Learning signifies the types of experiences through which man passes when the mind principle is awakening and maturing.

  8. Experience within the “Hall of Wisdom” begins with the first initiation. In the Hall of Wisdom one is becoming a true disciple and has stepped onto what in esoteric astrology is called the “Fixed Cross”

  9. The experiences of the Probationary Path occur within the “final grades of the Hall of Learning”, which means that one is focussed upon the final experiences of the “Mutable Cross” (the “Cross of Many Changes”), prior to the experiences of the Hall of Wisdom and the “Fixed Cross”.

  10. The Probationary Path is definitely a phase of commencement in the cultivation of soul-life. On that Path, the details of the Ageless Wisdom are not the foremost area of concern. It is the spiritual foundation that is being built, and thus the main principles are the focus

  11. The Hall of Wisdom in which the Divine Wisdom is imparted comprises a vast area of inner experience. The aspirant is ready only for the “rudiments” of such wisdom

  12. It is interesting to consider the inner instruction which accompanies the process of individual spiritual development. The aspirant is in a state of relative ignorance, and does not cognize those who cognize him/her. Yet he/she is known by a Master and is usually receiving inner instruction of a definite kind from an advanced disciple. If the probationer is unusually promising, his instructor may be an initiate.

  13. In fact, it is said that every true aspirant is known to the Teacher of all Teachers — the Christ.

  14.  Average human beings are not “known” to the Masters. It would serve no useful purpose for a Master to take cognizance of the average non-aspiring individual. All recognition and training proceeds under the Law of Economy.

  15. It is unusual for the probationer to realize that he is known and recognized by these higher beings. This suggests that there is much concerning our evolution which is unknown to us because it occurs on levels of vibration which are not recorded and remembered by the physical brain.

Classes are held by initiates of the first and second degrees, for accepted disciples and those on probation, between the hours of ten and five every night in all parts of the world, so that the continuity of the teaching is complete.  They gather in the Hall of Learning and the method is much the same as in the big Universities, — classes at certain hours, experimental work, examinations, and a [Page 65] gradual moving up and onward as the tests are passed.  A number of the Egos on the Probationary Path are in the department that is analogous to the High School; others have matriculated and are in the University itself.  Graduation results when initiation is taken and the initiate passes into the Hall of Wisdom.

  1. The Tibetan employs an illustrative analogy drawn from the field of education. In a way, our entire planetary process is that of a school. Shall we take what He tells us here quite literally? I think so. Some have memory of these “classes” — recollecting functioning either as a student or a teacher or both.

  2. The language used here must be studied carefully. We see that, among those for whom classes are offered, are “accepted disciples”. No one can be an accepted disciple unless he/she has passed the first degree, the “Birth Initiation”. This, at least, is the rule — though the very rare exception may exist. In fact, the stage of accepted discipleship is more likely to occur after the midway point between the first and second degree. Therefore, we see that, in the paragraph under discussion, an occult blind may be in effect. When the Tibetan uses the words “initiates of the first and second degrees”, He almost certainly means, ‘initiates of the third and fourth degree’, for we remember that the third initiation is often considered by the Masters to be the first real initiation. Therefore by analogy, the second initiation would be, in this context, the fourth.

  3. We can see how well-organized and rhythmic is the educative process, which ensures that all time-zones will be involved. Presumably, some classes would be smaller than others, depending upon the areas of our planet in which the class occurred. There are some time-zones within the Pacific Ocean, which contain very few people, if any, and presumably, very few disciples.

  4. In such classes, however, language would probably not be a discriminating factor, as on the inner planes, thought (in no matter what language it may be expressed) tends to be trans­lated into one’s own language. From a practical perspective, however, it is possible that the actual language-needs of students may be met by advanced teachers who have facility with those languages.

  5. The “Hall of Learning” is, of course, not a literal “hall”; it is a ‘vibratory domain’, subject to specific energies and energy currents. In the language of occultism, each “hall” is vibra­torily separated from every other “hall”. While it is possible for those capable of focussing in higher “halls” to ‘descend in focus’ to lower “halls”, the reverse is not true.  Those, for instance, within the “Hall of Learning” cannot at will focus within the “Hall of Wisdom” — only until, they have attained the necessary vibratory frequency.

  6. We see that the Path of Probation has its grades and levels, just as does the Path of Disci­ple­ship (the parts of which are often differentiated into such categories as “Accepting Disciple”, “Pledged Disciple”, “Accepted Disciple”, “Advanced Disciple”).

  7. The difference between high school and university should be pondered. This distinction points to the difference between the aspirant and the advanced aspirant. Obviously, in a university the classes offered increase in depth and difficulty. One can also assume (ideally) that the students in a university need less vigilant supervision, and are more self-directing and more responsible.

  8. When graduation from the Hall of Learning occurs, it is like graduation from a University. Such a graduate, entering the Hall of Wisdom as an initiate of the first degree, should be considered a true “disciple” though not yet an “accepted disciple”.

  9. There are many fruitful analogies between the systems of academic and occult develop­ment. What is called a degree (indicative of attainment and graduation) is offered in both systems. The idea of the degree originated in the mystery schools. In fact, it originates on the star Sirius, with its three great degrees of which all of our academic and spiritual degrees are but the faintest reflections.

  10. At one time academic and spiritual development were united. In our secular Western world they became separated into academic and spiritual institutions. Each, however, retains the concept of the degree. The true origin of this concept is, however, more spiritual than academicstrictly speaking.

  11. The degrees offered in academic institutions are, therefore, in a way, ‘rehearsals’ for the acquisition of the true degrees conferred through initiation. When humanity’s perspective and sense of values is more correctly adjusted, this will be seen to be the case.

  12. It is interesting that “graduation” admits the student into the “Hall of Wisdom”. The attain­ment of the first planetary degree (the “Birth of the Christ in Bethlehem”) is a kind of grad­uation. But then, in academic institutions, there are “Masters Degrees” and “Doctoral Degrees” — even “Post-Doctoral Degrees”). The third initiatory degree (the Transfigura­tion) might be likened to the conventional “Masters Degree”, and the attainment of the fifth degree (true Mastership) to the academic Doctorate.

  13. What is striking is the level of organization occurring on the inner planes. On those planes (though the phenomena which occur on them is relatively vague to those confined to the brain consciousness), chaos does not prevail. In fact, the outer types of spiritual organization, orderly processes and ceremonial rituals are really reflections of ‘inner’, highly organized processes.

  14. Degrees are taken gradually, as the ‘Ladder of Spiritual Ascent’ is climbed step after step. This gradualism leads to graduation, which occurs when one has “made the grade”.

  15. In the books by Master DK and Alice Bailey, there are forty-four references to the “Hall of Wisdom”. This “hall” is entered at the first degree: “He passes, at this initiation, out of the Hall of Learning into the Hall of Wisdom.” (IHS 84)

  16. In the processes which we are here discussing, “graduation”, therefore, occurs at the first degree. There are other and more advanced types of graduation which loom ahead, however.

Advanced Egos and the spiritually inclined, who are not yet on the Probationary Path, attend instructions from disciples, and on occasions large classes are conducted for their benefit by initiates.  Their work is more rudimentary, though occult from a worldly standpoint, and they learn under supervision to be invisible helpers.  The invisible helpers are usually recruited from amongst the advanced Egos.  The very advanced, and those on the Probationary Path and nearing initiation, work more frequently in what might be termed departmental work, forming a group of assistants to the Members of the Hierarchy.

  1. We see the principle of hierarchy at work. All proceeds under the Law of Economy. Each level of advancement has a type of instructor sufficient to its needs, but those of great advancement are not usually employed to instruct those whose level of attainment can be raised sufficiently by instructors of lesser grade.

  2. We see that, although disciples are those who usually instruct advanced egos and the spiritually inclined, occasionally an initiate will become the instructor of large groups of relatively new students — probably for purposes of inspiration. This is analogous to those situations in modern universities when advanced faculty members occasionally hold large classes for beginners.

  3. It should be borne in mind that when one stands on the Probationary Path, one is already more than an “advanced Ego”, and more than one who is simply spiritually inclined. To tread the Probationary Path is already a significant spiritual achievement and indicates that a certain structure of right thought, right living and right conduct has already been built — and is not merely a hope or an intention.

  4. The spiritual ranking of human beings might be listed as follows:

    1. Average non-aspiring humanity (in its many grades and classifications)

    2. Advanced Egos

    3. The spiritually inclined.

    4. Very Advanced Egos, who are virtually on the Probationary Path

    5. Those upon the Probationary Path: Aspirants

    6. Probationary Disciples, who, really are Aspirants with an increasing mental focus. Probationary Disciples are “Accepting Disciples”

    7. Pledged Disciples

    8. Accepted Disciples

    9. (The immediately preceding three categories include Probationary Initiates of the First and Second Degrees).

    10. Initiates — those who have passed the third initiation.

  5. This brings us to the realization that students on the spiritual Path often overestimate their attainments, and think they stand at a high place of spiritual attainment simply because they are “spiritually inclined”, or because they have become reasonably well-acquainted (through reading) with the nature and requirements of the higher initiations. Spiritual inclination is not the same thing as actually treading one of the phases of the Path. Realistic self-assessment is a great need for those who wish to tread the Path with humility — a quality necessary for success.

  6. We can see that the program which enables one to become an “invisible helper” starts even before one begins to tread the Probationary Path. It is clear that the orientation of helpful­ness or service is a great discriminator between those who are truly treading the Path and those who are simply relatively advanced human beings or spiritually inclined individuals who are speculating about the nature of the Path.

  7. Probably many of us have, for a number of lives, been “Invisible Helpers” serving human­ity in various ways during the hours of sleep while in the astral body. That invisible helpers are “recruited” shows that there are advanced souls looking for assistants. They must approach those who are qualified and seek to put them to work.

  8. Grades of service (accomplished mostly during the hours of sleep) are here discussed. We can see how very graded is the entire structure of ‘spiritual instruction and employment’, and how conditioned by the principle of hierarchy. Invisible helpers may be employed to assist normal members of the human race; the very advanced Egos (who are almost on the Probationary Path), and those who are treading this Path, actually act as assistants to the members of the Hierarchy. The inner affiliation with certain members of the Hierarchy, thus, begins long before such an affiliation may be recognized in the outer or brain consciousness, for most human beings are not aware (with any degree of continuity) of their activities during the hours of sleep.

Methods of teaching.

Three departments of instruction watch over three parts of man's development.

First:  Instruction is given tending to the disciplining of the life, the growth of character, the devel­op­ment of the microcosm along cosmic lines.  The man is taught the meaning of himself; he comes to know himself as a complex, complete unit, a replica in miniature of the outer world.  In learning the laws of his own being, comes comprehension of the Self, and a realisation of the basic laws of the system.

  1. The educational analogy is followed, and it is a good one, conducive to maintaining a sense of proportion regarding status and achievement.

  2. In this section the types of instruction offered in nightly ‘classes’ are discussed.

  3. The first type of instruction relates to the microcosm — the individual man.

  4. Three types of microcosmic development are discussed above. One involves discipline and comes under the planet Saturn. We can see immediately the relation (in English) between the word “discipline” and the word, “disciple”. A true disciple is one who can successfully apply spiritual discipline to his/her life.

  5. The growth of character might be named “moral growth”, and relates to the degree of our helpful integration into our social context. The planet Jupiter signifies our ‘moral integra­tion’ into society.

  6. In this phase of instruction, the eyes are focussed on the immediate foreground of life. The man stands, apparently, at the center of this world, but is taught to realize that he is but a reflection (in quite close detail) of the larger objective and subjective whole. He learns to generalize from his own immediate structure and functioning to the wider, larger, structure and functioning. He learns to interpret his nature and his environing context in terms of the Law of Analogy (or its more exacting version — the Law of Correspondences).

  7. In this first phase of growth, the planets Venus is also involved, conveying mutual soul-attraction. Venus also represents the principle of ‘Self-reflection’; long ago, at individ­ual­ization, the influence of Venus was prominent in producing the ‘self-reflective conscious­ness’ (i.e., individualized consciousness).

  8. Thus, we see the influences of Saturn, Jupiter and Venus all participating in producing progress on this phase of the great Path.

Secondly:  Instruction is given as to the macrocosm, the amplification of his intellectual grip of the working of the cosmos.  Information as to the kingdoms of nature, teaching as to the laws of those kingdoms, and instruction as to the working of those laws in all kingdoms and [Page 66] on all planes is given him.  He acquires a deep fund of general knowledge, and when he reaches his own periphery he is met by those who lead him on to encyclopaedic knowledge.  When he has attained the goal, he may not know every single thing that there is to be known in all the three worlds, but the way to know, the sources of knowledge and the reservoirs of information are in his hand.  A Master can at any time find out anything on any possible subject without the slightest difficultly.

  1. Instruction shifts to the nature of the macrocosm, or the greater world-context in which the microcosm plays its tiny part.

  2. We can see that on the Path of Probation, intellectual development is stressed. The focus, therefore, is not only upon the astral body, though it may be the principal center of activa­tion and motivation, but is forward-reaching, aiming at the eventual achievement of mental polarization.

  3. The mind is, thus, definitely and rapidly growing, though it cannot yet be said that the person is “mentally polarized” — a condition which truly and finally supervenes only at the midway point between the second and third initiations.

  4. The phase of development under discussion here seems to indicate the activity of the planet Mercury and the sign, Gemini. We can see that in true spiritual unfoldment, the intellect plays no unimportant role. The kind of learning here referenced leads eventually to that degree of attainment (characteristic of a Master) in which all planetary knowledge is accessible.

  5. In practical terms, we can see how much this stage of development is presently facilitated by the development of the Internet — the World-Wide Web.

  6. There is a general deepening and expansion of knowledge, and thus, we can see how the rays of Jupiter and Saturn are added to those of Mercury to ensure this attainment.

  7. An important general principle is indicated in describing the growth of the disciple’s con­sciousness: “when he reaches his own periphery he is met by those who lead him on to encyclopaedic knowledge”. Once we have exhausted all our own, individual resources, we are not left in ‘frustrated confinement’. We are “met” by those who are prepared to lead us beyond our own ring-pass-not. Thus, with the help of our teachers, we transition experienti­ally from the microcosm to the macrocosm.

  8. While the first phase of development (microcosmic) can be seen as coming under the general influence of the third ray (for the personal man is conditioned, generically, by the third ray), the expansive phase here discussed develops, generally, under the second ray and aspect, just as the next phase (the synthetic phase) develops under the first ray (though it is the second aspect of the first ray).

  9. There is instruction as well on the “kingdoms of nature” — those great inclusive planetary groupings which hold many monads in relation at a certain developmental phase. The seven kingdoms of nature, we will remember, are:

    1. Mineral Kingdom

    2. Vegetable Kingdom

    3. Animal Kingdom

    4. Human Kingdom

    5. Kingdom of Souls

    6. Kingdom of Planetary Lives

    7. Kingdom of Solar Lives

    8. To these kingdoms must be added the great Deva Kingdom, which, has its parallels in all seven divisions listed above.

There are naturally other kingdoms beyond those named, but they would have no immediate relevance to man given the present limitations of his consciousness.

  1. Kingdoms have an analogy to planetary chakras. For instance, the Human Kingdom can be understood as a planetary throat chakra; the Hierarchy (the Kingdom of Souls) as a planetary heart chakra.

  2. One division of the Planetary Lives is called by the name, “Nirmanakayas” (Divine Contemplatives). This grouping finds itself midway between Hierarchy and Shamballa and can be likened to a planetary Ajna Center. (The sense in which the New Group of World Servers is a planetary ajna center is of a much lower order.)

  3. The Kingdom of Solar Lives includes the Lives who live and move in Shamballa. These Lives represent a planetary head center.

  4. We note that as the aspirant develops, his knowledge grows rapidly. A “deep fund” of knowledge becomes his, and eventually that knowledge is to become encyclopedic — encompassing the planet (especially in relation to the three lower worlds).

  5. D.K. tells us an amazing thing about a Master’s capacity for knowledge. If a Master does not know something from individual experience, He knows how to know. He can consult another Master who does know from individual experience, or He simply knows the way into the “sources of knowledge and the reservoirs of information”. All knowledge in the three worlds is His.

  6. We can see that this paragraph describes a process which leads from the Probationary Path to masterful omniscience (at least with regard to the three worlds).

  7. That for which we labor so assiduously — namely, the acquisition of knowledge, is an easy matter for the Master. His task is to apply His encyclopaedic knowledge of the three lower knowledge with wisdom and according to the Divine Plan.

Thirdly:  Instruction is given in what might be termed synthesis.  This information is only possible as the intuitional vehicle co-ordinates.  It is really the occult apprehension of the law of gravitation or attraction, (the basic law of this, the second solar system) with all its corollaries.  The disciple learns the meaning of occult cohesion, and of that internal unity which holds the system as a homogeneous unit.  The major part of this instruction is usually given after the third initiation, but a beginning is made early in the training.

  1. “Synthesis” is a term for a state of relation (or, better, a state of ‘divine homogeneity’) which is difficult to describe.

  2. The Law of Synthesis is the first of the three cosmic laws: the Law of Synthesis, the Law of Attraction, and the Law of Economy.

  3. This phase of the probationary disciple’s development comes under both the first and second rays. Synthesis is, in a way, the second aspect of the will. Synthesis can be considered either the second aspect of the first ray, or the first aspect of the second.

  4. After the third initiation, the soul, or second principal, is in undisputed control, and, thus, the learning concerning the second cosmic law (of Attraction) and the second aspect of the will (Synthesis) can be successfully pursued.

  5. The Law of Cohesion is also the second systemic law, and can be thought of as expressed by the planet Jupiter (being the “force which brings all together” — EA 126). We can infer the relation of Jupiter to the law of gravitation.

  6. We note that the Tibetan speaks of an “internal unity” holding the system together as a “homogeneous unit”.  The chela, at this stage, learns to see beyond the fragmentation of the outer worlds and towards an internal, unitive factor. He is, in a way, no longer misled by the ‘divisive consciousness’.

  7. It is obvious that this third type of instruction received by the probationer overcomes, even­tually, any sense of separation in his/her consciousness.

  8. It is interesting that instruction in the understanding and perception of Synthesis is begun at a far earlier stage of development than the stage at which it is consummated. The Proba­tion­ary Path, as usually understood, begins before the first initiation. In this section of IHS, we are discussing processes related to the Probationary Path and a rudimentary training in Synthesis is one of those processes. However, a far deeper understanding of and relation to Synthesis occurs at and after the third degree.

  9. Thus we see that instruction in Synthesis may span many lives, for between the first and second degree many lives (symbolically, thirty lives) may elapse.

  10. Those with the slightest bit of spiritual culture can begin, even at that early stage (i.e., the period of the Probationary Path), to think and speak in terms of oneness. This tendency of perception, thought, and speech indicates the development towards synthesis here referen­ced.

  11. The buddhic or intuitional vehicle is coordinated under the planet Neptune, thus we can see how this planet contributes to a growing sense of synthesis, fusion, unity and the eradica­tion of illusory boundaries. This is different from an illusory (and, thus, unreal) eradication of boundaries attempted (through false means) by those still subject to glamor.

Masters and disciples.

Disciples and advanced Egos on the Probationary Path receive instructions at this particular time for two special purposes: —

(a)    To test out their fitness for special work lying in the future, the type of that work being known only to the Guides of the race.  They are tested for aptitude in community living with a view to drafting the suitable ones into the colony of the sixth sub-race.  They are tested for various lines of work, many incomprehensible to us now, but which will become ordinary methods of development as time progresses.  The Masters also test for those in whom the intuition has reached a point of development that indicates a beginning of the co-ordination of the buddhic [Page 67] vehicle, or — to be exact — has reached a point where molecules of the seventh sub-plane of the buddhic plane can be discerned in the aura of the Ego.  When this is so They can go ahead with confidence in the work of instruction, know­ing that certain imparted facts will be understood.

  1. We note that in this paragraph, D.K. calls those treading the Probationary Path “advanced Egos”. But earlier He spoke of “advanced Egos and the spiritually inclined, who are not yet on the Probationary Path”. Perhaps there is not that much difference between an advanced Ego and those who tread the Probationary Path (all of whom must be at least “advanced Egos”). If there is a difference, it may be a difference in the degree of aspiration, for it is possible to be an “advanced Ego” and yet not aspire to the Path of Holiness.

  2. We learn in this paragraph of unsuspected modes of instruction for purposes unfathomed by those instructed.

  3. The contents of this paragraph are most occult and mysterious. We may think we, as individuals, know where we are going, but our knowledge of destiny is really very short-sighted and relative. We as souls know more, though such knowledge is not normally available to our waking brain consciousness.

  4. The far-sightedness of the Guides of the Race is here indicated. They are seers and function under a high expression of the Sagittarian energy. They are ‘Prophets of a divine future to be revealed by the Divine Plan’.

  5. At this time in history, probationers are being tested for future participation in processes entirely unknown to them. Hierarchy lays its plans far ahead of the moment of fruition.

  6. One wonders about the importance of what is here called “aptitude in community living”. We can judge that this aptitude will be very important in the coming Age, for Aquarius is the sign of the group or “community”. One who can be successful in community living has overcome the “ties of blood”. We remember that “Mars is objective and full of blood” whereas Neptune (intuitional consciousness) is “subjective and full of life”. In this case, Mars rules the astral plane and Neptune the buddhic.

  7. Certain occult technicalities are here given concerning “molecules” (of the sixth and seventh subplanes of the buddhic plane) which can be detected in the aura of the individual who is coordinating the buddhic or intuitional vehicle. It is interesting that the term “atom” is not used, though elsewhere in the Teaching, it is. Presumably, a molecule is a more complex structure than an atom; this points to the prakritic (material) nature of even the higher, “arupa” (formless) planes. Technically considered, the “atoms” of the lower subplanes are complex and “molecular”, whereas the atoms of the atomic subplane of any systemic plane are simple, non-complex, and therefore, non-molecular (at least, with respect to that plane). The apparently simple atoms of one plane can be divided into ‘complex unities’ which pertain to still more subtle planes. (For more information along these lines, consult Occult Chemistry, by Annie Besant and C.W. Leadbeater).

  8. There is much in this section of IHS about the coordination and use of the buddhic vehicle. Eventually the human kingdom is to be an intuitive kingdom. The human monads find their greatest area of expression on the buddhic/intuitive plane. Real spiritual progress in the modern era has to do with moving from mental focus to intuitive focus. In this process the three planets Venus (higher mind), Mercury the link between lower mind, higher mind and the intuition) and Neptune (the intuition) are all involved.

  9. The beginning of the move from mind to intuition is signaled by the readiness of many members of the human family for the first initiation. A small amount of buddhic influence begins at this point.

  10. Notice that matter of only the two lower buddhic subplanes is involved in this degree of unfoldment. The ability to access still higher buddhic subplanes would indicate quite advanced degrees of unfoldment pertaining to the higher initiations.

  11. Certain types of instruction can only be understood by those in whom the intuition (the buddhic faculty) is awakening. Such individuals can intuit ideas behind the formulations of words, and are thus not trapped in the formulations of the concrete (or even the abstract) mind. The true awakening of the intuition indicates a rather advanced stage of development (one in which the antahkarana, or “Rainbow Bridge” is definitely functional).

  12. This antah­karanic development usually requires a stage of development nearing the second initiation. The astral body and the buddhic plane are resonantly connected, hence, during the Path of Probation, (during which the astral body receives so much purificatory atten­tion) it is possible to begin speaking about the accessing of the intuition. Both areas of consciousness (the astral and buddhic planes) are ruled (in different ways and partially) by Neptune.

  13. In this paragraph we learn something about the faculty of understanding in relation to buddhi. One of the gifts of buddhi is the capacity to understand the meaning and signifi­cance of knowledge imparted. The buddhic plane is, in a way, the planet of “loving-understanding” just as the second ray (so prominent on the buddhic plane) is the ray of “loving-understanding”.

(b)   Instruction is being given at this time to a special group of people who have come into incarnation at this critical period of the world's history.  They have come in, all at the same time, throughout the world, to do the work of linking up the two planes, the physical and astral, via the etheric.

1.      Here we are talking about the importance of psychic development — when pursued (in this and in coming centuries) subject to the light of reason and science.

2.      Once the astral and physical planes are linked via the etheric planes (again ‘sensitive’ Neptune is involved), humanity will become more aware of its “unconscious” (astral) motivations and desires, and a major blow will be struck at the world glamor which imprisons so many through the glamorous pursuit of relatively worthless desires.

3.      The entire life of the astral plane can then be brought through into waking, brain conscious­ness. The great psychologist Carl Jung seemed to be adept at this; he called the astral plane the “Psyche”, and wrote voluminously of the phenomena there perceived.

4.      One can also understand how the linking seventh ray (through the agency of which the “Highest and the Lowest Meet”) is active in this linking process, and indeed, many of the natural psychics incarnating during the New Age are said by the Tibetan to be functioning on this seventh ray of magic.

5.      We see the great ‘division of spiritual labor’ apportioned among many different groups which are especially suited to accomplish a particular task.

This sentence is for serious consideration, for it covers the work that a number of the newer generation have come to do.  In this linking up of the two planes people are required who are polarised in their mental bodies (or, if not polarised there, are nevertheless well rounded out and balanced) and can therefore work safely and with intelligence in this type of work.  It necessitates primarily people in whose vehicles can be found a certain proportion of atomic sub-plane matter, so that direct communication can be effected between the higher and the lower via the atomic cross-section of the causal body.  This is not easy to explain clearly, but a consideration of the diagram in "A Study in Consciousness," by Mrs. Besant, page 27, may be helpful in explaining some matters that are apt to puzzle.

1.      That “newer generation” has been with us for some seventy-five years since the writing of IHS. We have witnessed considerable accessing of the astral plane — much of it distorted and glamorous. Still the connection has been made and brought before the public mind.

2.      We can see that mental polarization (or at least Libran balance) is required for this kind of work with the astral plane — the work of bringing through its contents into the physical brain consciousness.

3.      Without this stabilizing mental focus (somewhat detached and observant) one can get “swept away” by over-identification with astral currents and phenomena. The objective is to sustain the balance, from which state true perception can be achieved.

4.      The importance of atomic subplane matter is here stressed. There is a direct channel between the atomic matter to be found on every systemic plane (although such matter differs in quality from plane to plane). If communication is direct, the necessary alignment is far less likely to be deviated.

5.      The value of purification can therefore, be seen, as it makes possible a greater percentage of atomic subplane matter in the vehicles, and thus reduces distortion in the communication and transmission process from vehicle to vehicle, and from plane to plane.

6.      As the “sacred word” OM contributes to purification, and to an increase in the proportion of atomic subplane matter in each of the personality vehicles, we can see the value of the OM in relation to the achieving of an interpenetrating alignment between the astral body and plane, and physical-etheric body and plane.

7.      A technical examination of the causal body is encouraged, and a helpful reference given, pertaining to a book by a proven initiate and seer, Annie Besant.

8.      As the fifth ray comes increasingly into power during the Aquarian Age, the capacity to understand the inner anatomy and physiology from a scientific and exact point of view will inevitably grow. Mysticism will wane and occultism (under the fifth and seventh rays) flourish. Man will see rather than simply feel.

9.      The main point to gather is that if one desires to participate in accurate and really useful psychic work, purification is indispensable, otherwise distortion, delay and misappre­hen­sion are certainties.

We must recognise two things in pondering the subject of the Masters and Their disciples.  First, that in the Hierarchy nothing is lost through failure to recognise the law of economy.  Every expen­diture of force on the part of a Master or Teacher is subjected to wise foresight and discrimi­nation.  Just as we do not put university professors to teach the beginners, so the Masters Them­selves work not individually with men until they have attained a certain stage of evolution and are ready to profit by Their instruction.

1.      The importance of the Law of Economy in the process of instruction is here emphasized. Today, however, certain highly advanced types (initiates) give occasional lectures to the layman. The highly knowledgeable initiates have developed such a thorough understanding of their subject that they know the best and simplest way to explain the basic principles to neophytes without confusing them. The exception proves the rule.

2.      Still, in our own work of instructing others, the Law of Economy must be observed. If energy is wasted, it is obviously not available for achievement, and the advancement of the whole suffers. “Waste not, want not”.

3.      All processes in cosmos are essentially hierarchical, thus, we see that the process of illumination (essentially on the second ray) is dependent upon the correct functioning of the third cosmic law, the Law of Economy, conditioned by the third ray. The achievements of the second ray are based upon a solid foundation erected by the third. The Third Ray Lord is sometimes called the “Builder of the Foundation” (EP I 68).

4.      As we contemplate the graded nature of all here discussed, a certain sense of humility and right proportion should enter our minds. There is no rush and hurry in successful advance­ment. Advancement can, to a degree be forced, but all developmental phases must be fulfilled, even if they are fulfilled more rapidly — relatively. Rush tends to render such fulfillments impossible and, thus, is counterproductive.

Secondly, we must remember that each of us is recognised by the brilliance of his light.  This is an occult fact.  The finer the grade of matter built into our bodies, the more brilliantly will shine forth the indwelling light.  Light is vibration, and through the measurement of vibration is fixed the grading of the scholars.  Hence nothing can prevent a man's progress forward if he but attends to the purification of his vehicles.  The light within will shine forth with ever greater clarity, as the refining process goes on, until — when atomic matter predominates — great will be the glory of that inner man.  We are all graded, therefore, if it may be so expressed, according to the magnitude of the light, according to the rate of vibration, according to the purity of the tone and the clarity of the colour.  Who our Teacher is depends therefore upon our grading.  Similarity of vibration holds the secret.  We are frequently told that when the demand is forceful enough the Teacher will appear.  When we build in the right vibrations and attune ourselves to the right key, nothing can prevent our finding the Master.

  1. Some very important and practical principles are here enunciated. “Through the measurement of vibration is fixed the grading of the scholars”. Nothing we say or do will disguise our true spiritual (vibratory) status from those who, on the inner planes, can see.

  2. The Masters and higher initiates are cognizant of our ‘light-value’ and, analogously, of our ‘tonal-value’. This vibratory frequency may be quite independent of the mental formu­la­tions in the concrete mind — which can, in fact, be obstructive to the radiation of the light. Simply believing in this or that form of thought has little to do with one’s true inner radi­ance, and thus the flaw in the approach of certain faiths which insist upon such belief as an indicator of spiritual development.

  3. The idea is advanced that purification brings inevitable progress. The progress may, how­ever, seem slow. Faith is required to persist in the process of purification.

  4. The “glory of the inner man”, radiance or effulgence, depends upon the light-trans­mit­ting potential of atomic subplane matter in his various vehicles. The use of the “Sacred Word” (the OM) promotes the eventual preponderance of atomic subplane matter. The radi­ation of the planet Vulcan is also involved, together with the Vulcanian tendency towards persist­ence, without which the long purification process will not be completed. We remem­ber that Vulcan is an esoteric ruler of the sign Virgo, a major sign of refinement and purification.

  5. Four specific measures of grading are given: magnitude of light, rate of vibration, purity of tone and clarity of color. Vibration, light, sound and color are referenced. These different ways of understanding vibration can be related to the four higher subplanes of any plane. Vibration is fundamental. It is the common denominator of these four types of phenomena. The remaining three types of phenomena (light, sound and color) are generated in con­scious­ness (as perceived phenomena) by the particular manner in which consciousness apprehends vibrations of distinctly different frequencies. Light, sound and color are all vibrations, but the ‘presentation in consciousness’ of such vibrations differs due to the structure of the perceiving mechanism. The philosopher Emmanuel Kant promoted such ideas, though it slightly different terms.

  6. An important new method of approach to the Master is here mentioned. We find the Master through the strength, purity and quality of our vibration. We find the Master Who is resonant to our vibratory quality. Or should we say that, when we are sufficiently purified, our vehicles will begin to resonate to the pitch, tone and lighted ‘beam’ of the Master to Whom we ‘belong’ by ray (and karmic) affiliation. Thus is unfolded the process of spiritual discrimination according to ray type.

  7. It is important to realize that ‘meeting’ the Master is an inevitability of law, if the needed refinement and purification is achieved. All spiritual progress occurs according to law; there is no rushing, no bargaining, no manipulation. Contact with the higher powers comes only when readiness is truly demonstrated.

  8. With the Tibetan’s emphasis upon the inevitability of spiritual development if the correct approaches are followed, spiritual approach is taken out of the realm of “religion” (as usually conceived) and is related more to science and art. Exactitude of knowledge will inevitably facilitate right approach to the Master. Do we know ourselves — our rate of vibration, our magnitude of light, our tone and color — well enough to approach the Master consciously? With the impending development of the fifth, fourth and seventh rays, the day of such conscious approach is rapidly dawning.

Groups of Egos are formed: —

1. According to their ray.

2. According to their sub-ray.

3. According to their rate of vibration.

  1. Upon and ‘within’ the inner planes all is highly and intelligently organized. There are natural groupings of individuals, and the Tibetan has described the qualities according to which such groupings occur.

  2. Egos do have a sub-ray (more than one, really), and the personality is not the only subray (though it is a subray of the Ego, or soul).

  3. Generic classifications exist according to the presence of certain colors and tones. The purity of such colors and tones is another criterion for classification, as well as the differing kinds of frequencies associated with such colors and tones. There are higher and lower ‘octaves’ of the same pitch (tone) and color. The analogy is easy to comprehend in music. The note ‘C’, occurring in a number of octaves, can be recognized as ‘C’ whether or not its frequency is relatively high or low. In the realm of color, there are deeper and lighter, coarser and purer shades of the same color.

  4. Rate of vibration, in this case, must relate closely to the principle of resonance. Coherency of vibration (just like coherency of light) is important when determining the relative purity of the vibration.

  5. The higher, inner worlds are orderly, geometrical and arranged in beauty of color and tone. On the higher, inner planes, there is no question about who is really related to whom. Mistakes in affiliation, so common here ‘below’, are not made, since all differential vibratory quality is luminously evident.

They are also grouped for purposes of classification:

1. As Egos, according to the egoic ray. 

2. As personalities, according to the sub-ray which is governing the personality.

  1. The “sub-ray” here referenced is the personality ray considered as a subray of the soul.

  2. A question always arises — does the personality itself have a predominating subray? Indications seem to affirm this thought.

  3. While the personality is a subray of the soul, it is apparently not the only subray of the soul. Further, the personality seems to have a general subsidiary coloring which is not necessarily the same as some of the rays found as subrays in the various personality vehicles.

  4. If the personality (which, with the monad and soul, is one of the three periodical vehicles) did not have a subray, it would be the only vehicle in all the many vehicles of man which did not. The monad does; the spiritual triad does; the soul does, and even each vehicle of the personality does. It stands to reason, then, that we should look for a subray of the personality vehicle. The ray quality or qualities of the sign in which the Sun is found at birth may help indicate the nature of this personal subray or may seem to act as a kind of subray in addition to an actual personality subray.

  5. If for instance, a person has a fifth ray personality, but is born in the sign Aries, a subsidiary quality of the personality (or, perhaps, ‘subray’ of the personality) might be the first or seventh ray (since those two rays are transmitted constellationally through Aries), or the sixth or fourth rays (since those two rays are emitted from the exoteric and esoteric rulers of Aries — Mars and Mercury respectively.

  6. If, however, this fifth ray person had, for instance, Capricorn as a Sun-sign, a very different set of subsidiary influences or subrays would be likely, and the person would, accordingly, behave very differently.

All are graded and charted.  The Masters have Their Halls of Records, with a system of tabulation incomprehensible to us owing to its magnitude and its necessary intricacies, wherein these charts are kept.  They are under [Page 69] the care of a Chohan of a Ray, each ray having its own collect­ion of charts.  These charts, being in many sections (dealing with incarnate, discarnate, and perfected Egos), are again all under the care of subordinate guardians.  The Lipika Lords, with Their vast band of helpers are the most frequent users of these charts.  Many discarnate egos awaiting incarnation or having just left the earth, sacrifice their time in heaven to assist in this work.  These Halls of Records are mostly on the lowest levels of the mental plane and the highest of the astral, as they can be there most fully utilised and are most easily accessible.

  1. While such grading and charting was certainly incomprehensible to us some eighty years ago when this book was written, the development of the silicon chip and fiber optics reveal to us how vast quantities of information may be stored in the smallest spaces. We are not ‘there’ yet, but comprehension is closer.

  2. Perhaps this description of the ‘charting of vibrational attainment’ seems excessively bureaucratic (related to ‘office-work’!). We gather the impression that there is a tremen­dous administrative organization on the inner planes requiring an almost inconceivable number of helpers. There is, after all, so much to manage, and it must be managed with impeccable accuracy and according to law. The entire management is under the eye of the “Lipika Lords” — the Lords of Karma, Who are the most precise ‘Divine Mathematicians’.

  3. Perhaps the main point is that nothing with regard to the management and execution of karma is left to chance. There is a meticulous knowledge of the internal nature, formal structure and karmic obligations of each unit of life, and incarnations are arranged according to this exact knowledge. Having some awareness of this ultra-complex administrative apparatus should inspire an increased trust in the inner, occult processes, and a greater acceptance of the wisdom of fate.

  4. It is interesting that the principle of sacrifice pertains significantly on the inner planes. “Heaven” can be sacrificed in order to do more ‘real’ work. It is a bit like giving up one’s ‘vacation’ (in Devachan!) to do the work which really needs to be done on behalf of the Divine Plan. Always the opportunity for sacrifice is offered, hence, always, the opportunity for advancement. Master Morya once said, “When have you ever become less through sacrifice?”

  5. The Halls of Records must be related to the so-called “Akashic Records”. Access to these records depends upon vibratory purity, which, in turn, is dependent upon a closely followed vegetarian diet. There is a price to pay for distortion-free perception. Venus and the second ray are useful in the necessary purification. Venus is the planet which ‘rules’ the vegetable kingdom and is associated with luminosity of perception.

Initiates receive instruction directly from the Masters or from some of the great devas or angels.  These teachings are usually imparted at night in small classes, or individually (should the occasion warrant it) in the Master's private study.  The above applies to initiates in incarnation or on the inner planes.  If on causal levels, they receive instruction at any time deemed advisable direct from the Master to the Ego on causal levels.

  1. All receive the type of instruction useful to them from a grade of instructor qualified (but not over-qualified) to meet their needs. We do note that the Tibetan discusses far more than the Probationary Path (strictly speaking) in this chapter. The major topic is the Path of Probation, but He seems to include developmental processes relevant to disciples of much higher degree.

  2. As the type of entity becomes more advanced, the classes become smaller, until finally, an “interview” within the study of a Master is warranted. This increasing focus of individual attention on those of highest attainment is subject to the Law of Economy.

  3. We note that “great devas”, also, may be instructors of initiates. The initiate is moving closer to that state in which the angel and human evolutions begin to harmonize and eventually merge. The ‘language of impartation’ must necessarily be other than man-made languages. We can imagine that sound, color and symbol are the media of communication. Perhaps Sensar is a language which can be employed by both devas and men.

  4. Instruction can be received even in the discarnate state, and, interestingly, also in the causal state. This idea indicates that consciousness is “alive and well” when it has ‘retired’ to the causal body, between incarnations (or, nightly, during the hours of sleep), before the reincarnation process is again undertaken. Let us ponder on the thought of receiving instruction while focussed within our causal body. This would mean that consciousness had the capacity to polarize itself on the higher mental plane.

  5. When we are focussed on causal levels, we can be called “the Ego”. We are much more knowledgeable and far-seeing in that state, though surely not so knowledgeable and far-seeing as the Solar Angel serviceably associated with us, as that great being has already passed through all that man hopes to become in even the distant future.

  6. What we gather from all this is that a tremendous teaching process is continually in effect. The light is continually, wisely and appropriately imparted, and all who can benefit from it are, as it were, ‘fed’ by the light, or rather by those who impart the light. Spiritual growth is thus continual, even though we may not readily perceive it when limited by our normal, waking brain consciousness.

Disciples are taught in groups in the Master's ashram, or classroom, at night, if in incarnation.  Apart from these regular gatherings, in order to receive direct teaching from the Master, a disciple (for some specific reason) may be called to the Master's study for a private interview.  This occurs when a Master wishes to see a disciple for commendation, warning, or to decide if initiation is desirable.  The major part of a disciple's tuition is left in the hands of some initiate or more advanced disciple, who watches over his younger brother, and is responsible to the Master for his progress, handing in regular reports.  Karma is largely the arbiter of this relation.

  1. Life and work upon the inner planes seems very much like a school.  Is this because these instructions are being offered by a second ray Master? Perhaps instruction for those upon the first ray and by first ray Masters is more oriented towards action and, even, battle.

  2. The soul is group consciousness and instruction for disciples is a group affair.

  3. It is suggested that Masters have something (in their Ashram) equivalent to a “classroom”.  The disciples must be of high grade to warrant continual attention from an initiate of the rank of Master.

  4. Many hope for a direct, individual interview with the Master, and occasionally, rarely, it may occur, for the reasons above stated — commendation (rarer), warning (more frequent, perhaps), and in relation to the imminent possibility of initiation. Initiation, though gener­ally desirable, is not always immediately desirable. Sometimes, the channel between higher and lower energy states needs no further widening in a particular life, as under the Law of Economy, all that should be achieved can be achieved in the disciple’s present non-initiated state.

  5. Such an interview will certainly not occur to satisfy the curiosity or longing of the disciple. The reason would have to be a very good one related to the execution of the portion of the Plan for which the disciple was responsible.

  6. Attention is drawn to the work of an intermediary — an initiate who stands between the Master and the disciple. This initiate is responsible for most of the instruction imparted to the disciple. Occasionally, rarely, a direct interview with the Master may be needed.

  7. Ancient association through many lives is probably that which determines the relationship between the disciple and the intervening initiate. This may also be true of the disciple in relation to the Master. Many of the disciples in the DINA groups had, in former incarnations, been personally related to the Master DK.

  8. Alice Bailey and the Tibetan were in such a relationship long ago, and its modern expression is the one which has made these 24 books of esoteric philosophy possible.

Just at present, owing to the great need in the world, a slightly different policy is being pursued.  An intensified training is being given to some disciples by some Masters [Page 70] Who have not hitherto taken pupils.  The press of work on the Masters Who do take disciples being so great, They have delegated some of Their most promising pupils to some other Masters, drafting them into small groups for a brief period.  The experiment is being tried of intensifying the teaching, and of subjecting disciples, not initiates, to the frequent strong vibration of a Master.  It involves risk, but, if the experiment proves successful, will tend to the greater assisting of the race.

1.      We infer that the Hierarchy is ever adaptable to world need. It is always ready to change its plans accordingly, although the general outlines of the Divine Plan are preserved.

2.      New methods of spiritual training are here indicated. Conditions are very tense in the inner worlds, and responsible subordinates are needed. In humanity, the drive to ascend is very strong, and each rank of worker has to take upon himself/herself a greater “weight of responsibility” than is customary. The burden upon the shoulders of all thus increases.

3.      Can disciples (not initiate) withstand the increasingly direct impact of a Master? One of the Tibetan’s experiments was to see the degree to which such exposure could be productive. The experiment was both as success and a relative failure, probably to be resumed in a future incarnation with greater chances of success.

4.      Master D.K., Himself, took into his care the students of other Masters, supervising them while their own Master was engaged in more important work. If one reads the books Discipleship in the New Age, one can learn of just such a process, for a number of the disciples of Masters M. and K.H. were in the Tibetan’s groups for preliminary training.

5.      Are we to consider that Master D.K. was one of the Masters Who had not hitherto taken pupils? It would seem that Master D.K. had been a great teacher for a number of incarna­tions. Since, however, He achieved Mastership as recently as 1875, He may fit into the category of a Master Who had not hitherto taken pupils.

6.      The risks involved in exposing disciples (rather than only initiates) to the vibration of a Master involve over-stimulation. This can lead to lack of control, imbalance, damage or, even, disaster. A Master must be extremely vigilant when observing how His energy system impacts the energy system of a disciple. It will always be disruptive. Disruption can be constructive to a point, but only to a point.

7.      On our own lesser level, we must be watchful in relation to the impact we have on others who may be less advanced in vibratory frequency and intensity.

8.      All sincere disciples are “at risk”; it is a calculated risk, and one that is undertaken in the spirit of sacrifice.

9.      The full expression of the Divine Plan cannot occur without systematic sacrifice. Sacrifice is always the way of ascension. Sacrifice is related to giving and bearing burdens. We see how the Aquarian Age (the Age of the “Water Bearer”) will be, for many, an age of magnificent sacrifice leading to great spiritual achievements.