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Esoteric Psychology II - Chapter I - The Egoic Ray - The Growth of Soul Influence
However, (and this is the fact of supreme importance), all this activity, all this directed unfoldment, all this evolving purpose and livingness, all the events in all the kingdoms of nature, and all the phases of life-conditioning in the human family, plus the kaleidoscope of events, the emergence of characteristics and tendencies, the appearance of forms with their unique coloring, qualities and activities, the syntheses and fusions, the urges, instincts and aspirations, the manifested loves and hates (as expressions of the great law of attraction and repulsion), the producing of civilizations, of the sciences and arts in all their wonder and beauty, - all this is but the expression of the will-to-be of certain Beings or Lives. Their consciousness so far transcends the human that only the initiate of high degree can enter into Their true Plan. What we see today is only the expression of Their energies in the processes of form-making and of the evolution of consciousness. The Plan, as it is sensed by the world disciples, in the attempt to work and cooperate with it, is only the sensing of that portion of it which concerns the human consciousness. We have not yet been able to catch even a glimmer of the vastness of the synthetic Plan for evolutions other than human, both superhuman and subhuman; nor can we grasp the fabric of God's ideal as it underlies the sum total of the manifested processes, even upon our little planet. All we [29] really know is the fact of the Plan, and that it is very good; that we are enfolded within it and subject to it.

Herein may be found a clue to the difficult problem of free will. It might be said that within the limits of the intelligent direction of the intelligent man there is free will, as far as activity in the human kingdom is concerned. Where no mind activity is present and where there is no power to discriminate, to analyze and to choose, there is no free will. Within the vaster processes of the Plan, however, as it includes the entire planetary evolution, there is, for the tiny unit, man, no free will. He is subject, for instance, to what we call "acts of God", and before these he is helpless. He has no choice and no escape. Herein lies a hint upon the working of karma in the human kingdom; karma and intelligent responsibility are inextricably woven and interwoven.

As we close our discussion of the three steps of Individualization, Initiation and Identification, which mark the progress of the soul from identification with form until it loses itself and its own identity in a higher identification with the Absolute One, let us carry our thoughts forward to that point in time and space wherein the spiritual consciousness releases itself from all the categories of awareness and all differentiations, and from the final sense of selfhood, and merges itself in that sublime condition in which self-centeredness (as we understand it) disappears. We shall later consider the stages wherein the soul - impelled thereto by its peculiar ray qualities - appropriates to itself (for purposes of experience) those forms which can be expressive of, and responsive to, the many types of divine awareness.

It should be noted here, therefore, that there are, literally, two points of identification in the long experience of the soul. One marks the stage wherein form, matter, substance, time and space are controlling factors, and imprison the soul [30] within their types of consciousness. This connotes identification with form life. The other connotes identification with all that lies outside of form expression and is released from it. What that may be lies beyond the grasp of our present advanced humanity, and is only known in its true significance by such great Existences as the Christ, the Buddha and Those of analogous rank in the Hierarchy of Lives. The qualities generated and developed through the first of these identifications persist and color the conscious realization, and it must be remembered that the final identification is the result of the experience gained through the medium of the first. These qualities will vary according to the dominance of one or other of the ray energies, but there will be - in the final stages - no consciousness of quality or ray type, but simply a state of Being or of livingness that realizes identification with the Whole and which, at the same time, holds in solution (if one may use so unsatisfactory a term) all the results of the lesser identifications, the various differentiations and distinctions, and the many ray instincts, impulses, and intuitions. The garnered and expressed qualities, and the possible actions and reactions and awareness are equally eternally present and capable of reacquisition at will, but they are all held below the threshold of consciousness. Livingness, Being, Wholeness and Unity are the distinctive characteristics of this highly evolved stage, which is, in its turn, the foundation for that higher evolutionary cycle of which we know nothing but which is hinted at in A Treatise on Cosmic Fire and in all references to the seven Paths which open up before the adept of the fifth initiation. Absorption into the One Life is the nature of this elevated state of consciousness. Freedom from all that is implied in the use of the words Form and Ego is the major characteristic, and, therefore, many ancient Scriptures, when attempting to deal with and explain this [31] supernormal and superlative condition, are forced back into the use of negatives, and the so-called "doctrine of negation". Only by indicating what this state or condition of awareness is not, can any idea be conveyed of what it essentially is. The negations thus met with (and frequently misunderstood by the occidental reader) are, therefore, the result of the futility and inadequacy of language to express the Reality then known.

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