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Esoteric Psychology I - Section One - I. Introductory Remarks
2. Life - Quality - Appearance

In our study of the rays it must therefore be remembered that we are dealing with life-expression, through the medium of matter-form. The highest unity will be cognized only when this dual relation is perfected. The theory of the One Life may be held, but I deal not basically with theory but with that which may be known, provided there is growth and intelligent application of truth. I deal with possibility and with that which is capable of achievement. Many these days like to [15] talk and think in terms of that One Life, but it remains but speech and thought, whilst the true awareness of that essential Unity remains a dream and an imagining. Whenever this reality is put into words duality is emphasized and the spiritual controversy (using the word in its basic meaning and not in its ordinary warlike connotation) is enhanced. Take for example the words: "I believe in the One Life" or "To me, there is but one Reality," and note how they are in their phraseology an expression of duality. Life cannot be expressed in words nor can its realized perfection. The process of "becoming," which leads to "being," is a cosmic event, involving all forms, and no son of God lies separated from that mutable process as yet. As long as he is in form he cannot know what Life is, though, when he has attained certain steps and can function on the higher planes of the system in full awareness, he can begin to glimpse that awful Reality. Certain great initiates, down the ages, have fulfiled their function of revealers, and have held before the eyes of the pioneering disciples of life the ideal of Oneness and of Unity. It has nevertheless been a matter of shifting the focus of attention progressively out of one form into another, and thus, from a higher standpoint getting a fresh glimpse of a possible truth. Each age (and the present is no exception) has believed its grasp of Reality and its sensitivity to the inner Beauty to be greater and nearer the True than was ever previously possible. The highest realization of what is termed the One Life is the awareness (of the initiate of high degree) of the embodied Logos, of Deity, and his identification with the consciousness of that stupendous Creator Who is seeking expression through the medium of the solar system. No initiate on the planet can identify himself with the consciousness of that Identified Being (in the esoteric sense of the term) Who, speaking in the Bhagavad Gita, says: "Having [16] pervaded the entire universe with a fragment of Myself, I remain."

These thoughts I commend to your consideration and to your careful pondering, begging you to see to it that there is a steady expansion of your sense of awareness and a growing capacity to make understanding contacts with that emerging Truth, Reality and Beauty which the universe declares. Guard yourself at the same time from mystical rhapsodies anent the One Life, which are apt to be no more than the negation of all mental apprehension and a luxuriating in the sensuous perception of a highly developed and high grade emotional nature.

All our considerations therefore in this Treatise on the Seven Rays will necessarily be held within the realm of thought which involves awareness of duality. I shall employ the language of duality, and this I shall do, not because I seek to emphasize it to the neglect of unity (for this unity is to me somewhat of a reality and I glimpse more than a possibility), but because all aspirants and disciples and all initiates up to the third initiation - as I earlier said - are swinging as a pendulum between the pairs of opposites, spirit and matter. I speak not here of the pairs of opposites of the astral or emotional plane, which are illusory reflections of the true pairs of opposites, but of the basic duality of manifestation. I seek to deal with that material which is of practical value and which can be grasped by the illumined intelligence of the average man. It is necessary for all students who seek illumination and a right apprehension of truth to drop the emphasis so often laid upon certain aspects and presentations of truth being spiritual and others being mental. It is in the realm of so-called mind that the great principle of separateness is found. It is also in the realm of mind that the great at-one-ment is made. The words of the initiate Paul have here a fitting place, wherein he says: "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ," and adds [17] in another place that Christ had made "in himself, of twain, one new man". It is through the mind that theory is formulated, truth distinguished and Deity apprehended. When we are more advanced upon the Path, we shall see naught but spirit everywhere, and the aphorism, enunciated by that great disciple, H.P.B., that "matter is spirit at the lowest point of its cyclic activity" and "spirit is matter on the seventh plane," or the highest, will be a realized fact in our consciousness. It is as yet but an intellectual phrase which means little except the enunciation of a truth, incapable of proof. Everything is an expression of a spiritual consciousness, which spiritualizes by its inherent life all matter-forms. A grub or worm working out its little life in a mass of decaying substance is as much a spiritual manifestation as an initiate working out his destiny in a mass of rapidly changing human forms. It is all manifested Deity; it is all divine expression and all a form of sensitive awareness and of response to environment, and therefore a form of conscious expression.

The seven rays are the first differentiation of the divine triplicity of Spirit-Consciousness-Form, and they provide the entire field of expression for the manifested Deity. We are told in the scriptures of the world that the interplay, or the relation between, Father-Spirit and Mother-Matter produces eventually a third, which is the Son, or the consciousness aspect. That Son, the product of the two, is esoterically defined as "the One Who was third but is the second." The reason for this wording is that there first existed the two divine aspects, Spirit-Matter, or matter impregnated with life, and it was only when these two realized their mutual unity (note the necessary ambiguity of that phrase) that the Son emerged. The esotericist, however, regards Spirit-Matter as the first unity, and the Son therefore is the second factor. This Son, Who is divine Life incarnate in matter, and consequently the producer [18] of the diversity and immensity of forms, is the embodiment of divine quality. We might therefore utilize - for the sake of clarity - the terms Life-Quality-Appearance as interchangeable with the more usual triplicity of Spirit-Soul-Body, or Life-Consciousness-Form.

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