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Esoteric Psychology II - Chapter I - The Egoic Ray - The Growth of Soul Influence
After the third initiation the "Way" is carried forward with great rapidity, and the "bridge" is finished which links perfectly the higher spiritual Triad and the lower material reflection. The three worlds of the soul and the three worlds of the Personality become one world wherein the initiate works and functions, seeing no distinction, viewing one world as the world of inspiration and the other world as constituting the field of service, yet regarding both together as forming one world of activity. Of these two worlds, the subjective etheric body (or the body of vital inspiration) and the dense physical body are symbols on the external plane.

How is this bridging antahkarana to be built? What are the steps which the disciple must follow? We are not here considering the Path of Probation whereon the major faults [71] should be eliminated and whereon the major virtues should be developed. Much of the spiritual instruction given in the past has laid down the rules for the cultivation of the virtues and qualifications for discipleship, and also the necessity for self-control, for tolerance and for unselfishness. But these are elementary stages and should be taken for granted by all students of this Treatise. Such students are presumably occupied not only with the establishment of the character aspect of discipleship, but with the more abstruse and difficult requirements for those whose goal is initiation.

It is with the work of the "bridge-builders" that we are concerned. First, let it be stated that the real building of the antahkarana only takes place when the disciple is beginning to be definitely focused upon mental levels, and when therefore his mind is intelligently and consciously functioning. He must begin at this stage to have some more exact idea than has hitherto been the case as to the distinctions existing between the Thinker, the apparatus of thought, and thought itself, beginning with its dual esoteric function which is:

  1. The recognition of, and receptivity to, Ideas.
  2. The creative faculty of conscious thought-form building.

This necessarily involves a strong mental attitude and a reorientation of the mind to reality. As the disciple begins to focus himself on the mental plane (and this is the prime intent of the meditation work) he starts working in mental matter and trains himself in the powers and uses of thought. He achieves a measure of mind control; he can turn the searchlight of the mind in two directions - into the world of human endeavor, and into the world of soul activity. Just as the soul makes a way for itself by projecting itself in a thread or stream of energy into the three worlds, so the disciple begins [72] consciously to project himself into the higher worlds. His energy goes forth, through the medium of the controlled and directed mind, into the world of higher spiritual mind and into the realm of the intuition. A reciprocal activity is thus set up. This response between the higher and lower mind is symbolically spoken of in terms of light, and the "lighted way" (a term frequently employed) comes into being between the personality and the spiritual Triad, via the soul body, just as the soul came into definite contact with the brain via the mind. This "lighted way" is the illumined bridge. It is built through meditation; it is constructed through the constant effort to draw forth the intuition, through subservience and obedience to the Plan (which begins to be recognized as soon as the intuition and the mind are en rapport) and through a conscious incorporation into the group in service and for purposes of assimilation into the whole. All these qualities and activities are based upon the foundation of good character and the qualities developed upon the Probationary Path.

The effort to draw forth the intuition requires directed occult (but not aspirational) meditation. It requires a trained intelligence, so that the line of demarcation between intuitive realization and the forms of the higher psychism may be clearly seen. It requires a constant disciplining of the mind, so that it can "hold itself steady in the light", and the development of a cultured right interpretation so that the intuitive knowledge which has been achieved may then clothe itself in the right thought forms.

Subservience or obedience to the Plan involves something else than a vague and misty realization that God has a Plan and that we are included in it. It is more than a hiding of oneself in the shadow of the will of God. It necessitates a wise differentiation between: [73]

  1. The general perspective and the large world Plan for the planet, and
  2. Those immediate stages of the Plan in which intelligent cooperation is, at this time, and in the immediate present, demanded.
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