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Esoteric Psychology II - Chapter I - The Egoic Ray - The Growth of Soul Influence
But it must also be remembered (and herein lies the clue to world unfoldment and to the mystery of past, present and future) that we are dealing with matter-substance and with forms which are already conditioned, and which were conditioned when the creative process began. The material to be found in the quarries of manifested purpose is, symbolically speaking, Marble and is thus conditioned. It is not clay or slate. It is from this marble, with all the inherent attributes of marble, that the Temple of the Lord must be built, in conformity to the design or pattern. This conditioned substance must be accepted as existing and must be dealt with as it is. Such is the parable of the ages. The design, the material, and the future temple are all subjectively related, and it is this [58] that the soul knows. For the soul is the One who appropriates the material (already conditioned and qualified), and for ages the soul wrestles with that material, building it into tentative forms, discarding it at will, gathering together again the material needed, and steadily making more adequate models as the pattern is visited. Some day, the model will be discarded, the pattern will be seen as it really is, and the worker, the soul, will then begin to build consciously the Temple of the Lord, out of the conditioned and prepared material which, for long ages, it has been preparing in the quarry of the form life, the personal life.

Here, therefore, are indicated two crises in the subjective life of the soul:

  1. The crisis wherein the soul, blinded, limited and handicapped by form, begins to work in the quarry of experience, far from its own country, with inadequate tools, and in complete temporary self-imposed ignorance of the design, or pattern.
  2. The crisis which comes very much later in the soul's experience, wherein the soul knows more clearly the design, and in which much material has been prepared. The soul is no longer blind, and can now work in collaboration with other souls in the preparation of the material for the final Temple of the Lord. The soul, incarnate in human form, places in that Temple his particular contribution to the whole, which might be stated symbolically to be
    1. A stone placed in the foundations, typical of the consecrated physical life.
    2. A column in the Temple itself, typical of the desire or aspirational life.
    3. A design upon the tracing board, which coincides with [59] the Great Pattern or Design, and which is that fragment of that design which the individual had to supply and in search of which he went forth.
    4. A radiance or light, which will augment the Shekinah, the light which "ever shineth in the East".

Three things emerge in connection with the task of the soul as it appropriates sheath after sheath for expression:

  1. The condition of the substance of the sheaths which determines the equipment.
  2. Responsiveness to the pattern, which is dependent upon the stage of conscious development.
  3. Ability to work in connection with the Plan, which is dependent upon the number and quality of the crises undergone.

All this takes place as the soul passes, time after time, through the experience of physical incarnation; later, progress is made consciously from plane to plane and this is undertaken with clear intent. The work is facilitated and progresses with increased rapidity as the soul, actively, intelligently and intuitively, begins to work with the pattern, transmitting from crisis to crisis (each marking an expansion of consciousness) a newer reach of development and a fresh grasp of the great Design, coupled with a better and more adequate equipment through which to carry on the work.

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