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Esoteric Psychology II - Chapter I - The Egoic Ray - The Growth of Soul Influence
c. Seven Ray Methods of Appropriation

As we have seen, this process of appropriation is a dual matter, or rather, it involves a dual activity - that of taking and giving, of grasping and relinquishing, of establishing a hold upon that which is desired, and of detaching oneself from that which has been held. The various types of human beings who come forth along one or other of the seven rays, have each their specific way of doing this. These I shall indicate. At the same time, it must be borne in mind that the true significance of that which is portrayed and the meaning of what happens can only be understood by those who are in the process of this relinquishment. The stage of appropriation is undergone blindly and unconsciously. Man knows not what he does. It is only towards the end of his long pilgrimage and process of appropriation that he discovers how tired he actually is of grasping the non-essential and the material, and how ready he is for the work of detachment. In the life of every human being on the physical plane, who has lived fully and to the full term of years, this dual process can be symbolically seen. In youth the thoughtless (and all are thoughtless, for such is nature's way) hold on to life and give no thought to the time when there must be a relinquishment of the hold on physical existence. The young forget, and rightly forget, the inevitability of that final symbolic detachment which we call Death. But when life has played its part and age has taken its toll of interests and strength, the tired and world-weary man has no fear of the detaching process and seeks not to hold on to that which earlier was desired. He welcomes death, and relinquishes willingly that which earlier engrossed his attention. [77]

In considering the processes of appropriation, the following phrases should be studied, as they throw a light upon the various stages from different angles:

  1. The stage of concretization and materialization. The soul takes to itself what it needs and desires for form building.
  2. The stage of incarnation, taken at this time blindly.
  3. The period wherein satisfaction of the desires is the major goal. These range all the way from physical desire and its satisfaction to a general and undefined desire for release.
  4. The processes, in detail, of appropriating
    1. A body or bodies.
    2. A sheath or sheaths.
    3. A vehicle or vehicles.
    4. A form or forms.
  5. Immersion in darkness. This was the result of desire. The darkness of ignorance was chosen and man started, through desire, to work his way from darkness to light, from ignorance to knowledge, from the unreal to the Real. Such is the great symbolic work of Masonry. It is an elucidation of the Way of Relinquishment.
  6. The Path of outgoing in order to possess.
  7. Selfishness, the major characteristic of the self in relation to, and identified with, the not-self.
  8. Love of possession, the prostitution of spiritual love.
  9. Acquisitiveness, the illusion of material need.
  10. The period called in the Bible, that of "riotous living" on the part of the Prodigal Son.
  11. The application and use of energy for personal, selfish intent. [78]
  12. Personality life, with all that is therein implied, - ambition, selfish purpose, etc.
  13. Attachment to the seen, the known, and the familiar, external, objective forms.
  14. The stage wherein thought forms are built, at first ignorantly, and then with deliberate selfishness.
  15. The period of engrossment in the things of the kingdom of earth.
  16. The world, the flesh, and the devil.
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