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Esoteric Psychology I - Section Two - II. The Rays and the Kingdoms in Nature
In the turning of the great wheel, cycle after cycle, these two rays come into functioning activity, and in between their objective cycles the other rays dominate and participate in the great work. The result of this interplay of psychic potencies will manifest in the eventual transmutation of the earth substance, and its resolution back again into that of which it is the objective condensation. Again language fails to find the needed terms. They are as yet non-existent. I mention this as an indication of the difficulty of our subject. Intangible etheric substance has been condensed into the dense tangible objective world. This - under the evolutionary plan - has to be again transmuted into its original condition, plus the gain of ordered rhythm and the tendencies and qualities wrought into the consciousness of its atoms and elements through the experience of externalization. This resolution is noted by us as radiation and the radioactive substances. We are looking on at the transmutation process. The resolving agencies are fire, intense heat and pressure. These three agencies have already succeeded in bringing about the divisions of the mineral kingdom into three parts: the baser metals, as they are called, the standard metals (such as silver and gold and platinum), and the semi-precious stones and crystals. The precious jewels are a synthesis of all three, - one of the basic syntheses of evolution. In this connection, some correspondences between the [230] mineral kingdom and the human evolutionary cycles might here be noted:
  1. The base metals - physical plane. Dense consciousness.
    The first initiation.
  2. The standard metals - astral plane. Self-consciousness.
    The second initiation.
  3. The semi-precious stones - mental plane. Radiant consciousness.
    The third initiation.
  4. The precious jewels - Egoic consciousness and achievement.
    The fourth initiation.

The correspondences of fire, heat and pressure in the evolution of the human being are self-evident, and their work can be seen paralleling that in the mineral kingdom.

The mineral kingdom is governed astrologically by Taurus, and there is a symbolic relation between the "eye" in the head of the Bull, the third eye, the light in the head, and the diamond. The consciousness of the Buddha has been called the "diamond-eye."

We have been technical, and much has been given which seems to have no bearing upon the psychological development of man. But to understand the rays and their bearing on life as a whole, it is necessary that man should grasp the fact that he is only a small fraction of that whole. Man has his roots in all the three kingdoms; all have contributed to his equipment; he is the macrocosm of the lower microcosm; he is the link which unites the three lower kingdoms to the three higher. Let it ever be borne in mind that the sign of man's spiritual unfoldment lies in his ability to include in his consciousness not only the so-called spiritual values and the power to react to soul contact, but also to include the material values, and to react divinely to the potencies which lie hidden from him [231] in the custody of the other forms of divine life, found in the three subhuman kingdoms.

In the urgency of the present world situation, it might be well to ask: What need is there to study the rays and kingdoms of nature? Of what profit is it to speculate on matters of which it is as yet impossible for the average student to apprehend the truth? Such questions are intelligent and worth while and merit an intelligent reply. I shall make answer by asking another question: What indication has the would-be server that his mental equipment makes him of any use in this present world crisis?

One of the first things that any teacher of the race has to do is to increase the mental equipment of the would-be server. The work is oft-times handicapped by the devoted offering of the emotional aspirant. The Plan is oft-times delayed in its fruition by the ill-timed and ill-judged efforts of the earnest follower of the Great Lord. Above all else the work is handicapped by the personality reactions of the leaders of the groups dedicated to esotericism. All personality reactions are, in the majority of cases, based upon emotion of some kind or another. Personal ambition, the desire (sometimes unrecognized) to be the supreme authority in a particular group, fear of interlopers and of terminologies (expressing identical truths), and jealousy of other leaders, plus a sincere though foggy and deluded interpretation of truth, are a great detriment to the cause of the Hierarchy. And everywhere these things are to be seen! The seat of all this trouble is to be found in the desire-feeling-emotional body, and in an undue attachment to externals and forms. These factors prevent that clear-seeing which leads to wise and cooperative action. If the mental equipment and the mental apprehension of truth can be increased, then it may be possible for real work to be done, and then the groups (that form the One Group) can go forward [232] into real usefulness. To this end it may be profitable to provide material whereby the mental bodies of the students can grow, and wherein they can find sustenance and the means to develop. Few people can evolve from within themselves the thoughts and the ideas which should lead them on in the realization of truth; and those of us therefore who are responsible for the teaching of the race must perforce provide that which is required. Also, in so doing we work for the coming generation of enquirers, knowing full well that the advanced teaching of today, and the new ideas which influence the pioneers of humanity, become the inspiration of the thinking public in the succeeding generation, and the theology, in due time, of that which follows them. The beliefs and knowledges of the esotericists today (of the real spiritual esotericists, not of the so-called esoteric groups) are resolved into the formulas of faith of their successors, and become eventually identified with religious beliefs and organizations.

Mental comprehension of the ray teaching, and the study of the rays in relation to evolving nature, are of mental importance and of spiritual import, but of no practical value in the living of the daily life, except in so far as they serve to shift the polarization of the aspirant off the emotional plane on to the mental, and thereby produce alignment and stabilization.

We now come to a consideration of the rays of the vegetable kingdom. It is difficult for us to grasp the significance of the consciousness and the activity of the mineral kingdom, for it is so far removed from our own. It is hard for us really to understand, with our seeing consciousness, the fact that, for instance, our nails and teeth and bony structure have a consciousness and an intelligent awareness that is the same in kind, though differing in degree, as that of the eye or of a sensory nerve. But so it is. As we approach the forms of life which approximate the living tissue of our animal bodies, our [233] appreciation of resemblance and of identical possibilities increases step by step. It is only by arguing from analogy that we grasp esoteric truth, and it might bring us some illumination if we realized that there are higher forms of life and consciousness in the cosmos who find it as difficult to throw their consciousness down into the animal forms of humanity as we would find it hard to project ourselves into the consciousness of an iron plowshare. But again, so it is.

Let us now tabulate some of the available ideas and information.

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