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Esoteric Psychology II - Chapter I - The Egoic Ray - The Growth of Soul Influence
When this shift, in course of time, his been successfully achieved, then the consciousness is no longer entirely identified with the physical vehicle, but it becomes centered in the astral-emotional body. Then the focus of the soul's attention, working through the slowly evolving man, is in the [25] world of desire, and the soul becomes identified with another response apparatus, the desire or astral body. His consciousness then becomes the "Atlantean consciousness." His desires are no longer so vague and inchoate; they have hitherto been concerned with the basic urges or appetites, - first, his urge to self-preservation; then to self-perpetuation through the urge to reproduce; and next, to economic satisfaction. At this stage we have the state of awareness of the infant and the raw savage. Gradually, however, we find a steadily growing inner realization of desire itself, and less emphasis upon the physical satisfactions. The consciousness slowly begins to respond to the impact of the mind and to the power to discriminate and choose between various desires; the capacity to employ time somewhat intelligently begins to make its presence felt. The more subtle pleasures begin to make their appeal; man's desires become less crude and physical; the emerging desire for beauty begins to appear, and a dim sense of aesthetic values. His consciousness is becoming more astral-mental, or kama-manasic, and the whole trend of his daily attitudes, or his modes of living, and of his character begins to broaden, to unfold, and to improve. Though he is still ridden by unreasoning desire most of the time, yet the field of his satisfactions and of his sense-urges are less definitely animal and more definitely emotional. Moods and feelings come to be recognized, and a dim desire for peace and the urge to find that nebulous thing called "happiness" begin to play their part. This corresponds to the period of adolescence and to the state of consciousness called Atlantean. It is the condition of the masses at this present time. The bulk of human beings are still Atlantean, still purely emotional in their reactions and in their approach to life. They are still governed predominantly by selfish desires and by the calls of the instinctual life. Our earth humanity is still [26] in the Atlantean stage, whereas the intelligentsia of the world, and the disciples and aspirants, are passing rapidly out of this stage, for they reached individualization on the moon chain, and were the Atlanteans of past history.

Workers in the world today should have these facts and sequences most carefully in mind, if they are rightly to appreciate the world problem, and correctly guide and teach the people. They should realize that, speaking generally, there is little true mentality with which to work when dealing with the submerged masses; that they need to be oriented towards the truly desirable, more than towards the truly reasonable, and the right direction of the energy of desire, as it expresses itself in the untutored, easily-swayed masses, should be the effort of all who teach.

In the more advanced people of the world today, we have the functioning of the mind-body; this is to be found in a large scale in our Western civilization. The energy of the ray of the mental body begins to pour in, and slowly to assert itself. As this happens, the desire nature is brought under control, and consequently the physical nature can become more definitely the instrument of mental impulses. The brain consciousness begins to organize and the focus of energies begins to shift gradually out of the lower centers into the higher. Mankind is developing the "Aryan consciousness" and is reaching maturity. In the more advanced people of the world, we have also the integration of the personality and the emergence into definite control of the personality ray, with its synthetic, coherent grip of the three bodies and their fusing into one working unit. Later, the personality becomes the instrument of the indwelling soul.

The above is a simple and direct statement of a long and difficult evolutionary unfoldment. Its very simplicity will indicate that we have only dealt with the broad outlines, and [27] have ignored the infinite detail of process. The work starts at Individualization, and continues through the two final stages of Initiation and Identification. These three stages mark the progress of the soul consciousness from that of identification with the form to that of identification with the Self. These three words - individualization, initiation and identification, - cover the whole process of man's career from the time he emerges into the human kingdom till he passes out of it at the third initiation, and functions freely in the fifth kingdom, the kingdom of God. By that time, he has learnt that consciousness is free and unlimited, and can function in form or out of form according to the behest of the soul, or as the Plan can best be served. The soul is then in no way conditioned by form. Just as man can express himself in what is called three-dimensional living, so, by the time he takes the third initiation, he can function actively and consciously in four dimensions, and in the final stages of the Path of Initiation he becomes active fifth-dimensionally.

As we consider these various degrees of expanding awareness, the significant fact to be borne in mind is that through it all there is one steady, sequential unfoldment taking place. The life of the soul, in this great life cycle which we call human incarnation, passes on the phenomenal plane through all the stages with the same direction, power, steadiness in growth and in the adaptability of form to circumstance and environment, as does the life of God as it flows through the various kingdoms in nature from age to age. The thread of the unfolding consciousness can be traced with clarity in all. Forms are built, used and discarded. Cycles of lives bring the forms into certain phases of unfoldment needed by the progressively inclusive consciousness. Other and later cycles demonstrate the definite and specific effects of this developed consciousness, for some lives are predominantly fruitful in [28] producing causes (which is a paradoxical sentence with deep meaning) and others in working off the effects of the earlier initiated causes. This is a point not often emphasized. Still later cycles of lives bring these two aspects - consciousness and form - into a greater rapport, and thus produce an entirely different type of life. The correspondence to these cycles can be seen working out in the life and consciousness of the planetary Logos, as that great Life seeks expression through the medium of the four kingdoms in nature.

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