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Esoteric Psychology II - Chapter I - The Egoic Ray - The Growth of Soul Influence
Small units of energy, relatively speaking, are swept into contact with great fields of force, which we call planes. According to the extent of the impact (and this is determined, - symbolically speaking, - by the power of the originating will, the so-called age of the soul, the potency of group activity, and planetary or group karma), so will be the response between the unit of energy and the field contacted, and so will be the quality and vibratory activity of the atoms of matter which are attracted and held together. They will thus constitute a temporary form from which can be seen as externalized and as relatively tangible, and which can function as a mode or medium whereby the soul can contact larger forms of divine life and expression. The more intricate the organization of the form and the more complex and perfect the response apparatus, the more clearly will be indicated the age of the soul and the perfected intent or potency of its will, the freer it will be from the limiting karma of an unevolved conditioning vehicle.

A close study of this subject is not possible here. The appropriation by a soul of those energy units which will [55] constitute its body or sheath, as it passes from one plane to another and from one state of consciousness to another, is a study so abstruse and complicated that only those initiates whose development equips them and whose interest impels them to work with the application of the law of karma (which is identified in time and space with substance and force), can readily comprehend the complexities of the subject.

Two words are emerging today in connection with modern psychology which have a close relation to this difficult law; they indicate two basic ideas with which these trained initiates work. The idea of patterns and the idea of conditioning hold definite occult implications. The workers in this department of esoteric work deal primarily with the world of patterns which underlie all the activities of the Oversoul and the individual souls. Forget not that this term "individual souls" is but a limiting phrase, used by the separative mind to indicate the aspects of one reality.

Patterns are, in the last analysis, only those types of energy which are struggling to emerge into material expression and which eventually subordinate the more superficial and obvious energies (which have worked their way through to the surface in the process of manifesting) to their newer imposed rhythm. Thus they produce the changed types, new forms and different notes, tones and appearances. These patterns are literally the divine ideas, as they emerge from the subjective group consciousness and take those mental forms that can be appreciated and appropriated by the mind and brain of man during any particular epoch. It might, therefore, be thought that these patterns or fundamental ideas which take shape and appear to control the "way of a man on earth", as it is esoterically called, produce the conditioning here discussed. Literally and curiously, this is not so. From the angle of esoteric thought, [56] conditioning (if rightly understood) concerns the response, innate and inherent, of matter or substance, to the pattern. It might be said that the pattern evokes and awakens response, but that the conditioning of the resultant activity is determined by the quality of the response apparatus. This quality is inherent in the substance itself, and the interplay between the pattern and the conditioned material produces the type of sheath which the soul appropriates in time and space, in order to experiment and gain experience. It will appear more clearly, therefore, as one studies this subject and ponders deeply upon its implications, that as a man advances on the path of evolution and nears the status of an initiate, the conditioning of the form, innate and inherent, will continuously approach nearer and nearer to the requirements of the pattern. It might also be stated that the pattern is relatively immutable and unchangeable in its own inherent nature, as it comes forth from the mind of either the macrocosmic Deity or the microcosmic thinker, but that the process of the inner conditioning of matter is mutable and in a state of continual flux. When, at the third initiation, union of the pattern and the conditioned form is achieved, the Transfiguration of the initiate takes place, leading to that final crisis wherein the two are known as one, and the form nature (including in this phase the causal body as well as the lower vehicles) then is dispersed and disappears.

The early stages of human development are - as in all else in nature, - apparently inchoate and formless, from the angle of the true pattern, existing eternal in the Heavens. There is a physical form, but the inner, fluid, subjective nature, emotional and mental, in no way conforms to the pattern, and, therefore, the outer form is also inadequate. But crisis after crisis occurs, and the inner form nature responds more definitely and precisely to the outer impact of the soul impetus [57] (note this paradoxical phrase), until the astral vehicle and the mental body are consciously appropriated, and as consciously used. It must never be forgotten that evolution (as we understand it and as it must be studied by the human intellect) is the story of the evolution of consciousness and not the story of the evolution of form. This latter evolution is implicit in the other and of secondary importance from the occult angle. Consciousness is literally the reaction of active intelligence to the pattern. Today, it is as if we were responding consciously and with an increasingly intelligent purpose to the design as laid down by the Master Builder upon the tracing board. As yet we do not and cannot enter into that Cosmic Mind and vibrate in conscious unison with the divine Idea nor grasp the Plan as it is sensed and seen by the cosmic Thinker. We have to work with the design, with the pattern, and with the Plan, for we are only as yet in process of being initiated into that Plan and we are not aware of the true significance of those great Identifications which enabled the Carpenter of Nazareth to say: "I and my Father are one."

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