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Esoteric Psychology II - Chapter II - The Ray of Personality - The Appropriation of the Bodies
It would be well, before we proceed with our consideration of the Ray of the Personality, to add a word more to the information given above anent the three great Approaches of the soul or the three Touches which are transforming or initiating agencies in the life of the personality. Students would do well to remember that there must ever be an analogy or a correspondence carried out in the life of the little self - a reflection of the activities of the greater Self. Just as the soul makes three approaches towards its instrument or reflection, a human being, so the integrated personality approaches also towards union with the soul by three similar or related touches. It might be of interest if we were to enlarge somewhat upon this matter.

The corresponding activity in the personality to the Approach of Appropriation comes as a result of the reorientation and the readjustment which takes place in the personality life when upon the probationary path. Then the individual aspirant - after much struggle and effort - suddenly "touches", for one brief moment, the level of the soul, and knows the meaning of the words "soul contact." That contact is no longer a desire, a vision or a theoretical belief or hope. It is experience and fact. The terms "soul contact" and "sensing the vibratory quality of the soul" are phrases oft used. It should prove useful to students if they could learn to appreciate the fact that when "in meditation deep" a certain sudden and recognized relationship is established, the personality has responded for the first time in such a manner that the "appropriation" by the soul of its instrument (called individualization) is duplicated by the appropriation by the personality of the inspiring and over-shadowing soul. This experience marks a significant moment in the life of the soul and the [275] personality, and the man is never again the same. He has participated in a soul activity. This great event, when looked at from this angle, should throw new light and a fresh spirit of enterprise into the meditation work of the aspirant. Just as the Soul through a planned activity, individualized itself in a human form, so the probationary aspirant, also as a result of a planned activity, takes the first step in individualizing himself in a spiritual form, and the shift of consciousness from a body nature into a body "not made with hands, eternal in the heavens" takes place. The little self repeats the activity of the great Self. An event upon the path of ascent explains the significance of what occurred on the way of descent.

We are told that a long time transpires between the first initiation (wherein the crisis of appropriation on the Path of Ascent, finds its culmination) and the second initiation. Here again there is a correspondence to earlier happenings, for much time has transpired since individualization, technically understood, has taken place. That individualization, the first great soul approach took place either in Lemurian days or in a still earlier crisis upon that dead planet, the moon. Today, just as the form of animal man had to reach a certain level of development, so the human form has to reach the level of personality integration before the re-enactment of the Approach of Appropriation can be consciously carried forward.

Next there comes a period in the life of the aspirant when he shifts off the probationary path and moves on to the path of discipleship. This is the result of an activity which is a reflection in his individual personality life of the Approach of Acquiescence. This takes place upon the battlefield of the astral plane. There the disciple acquiesces consciously in the inevitable process of transmutation which takes place before the personality can be a fit instrument for the soul. He stands [276] between the pairs of opposites, learning the secret of duality, and like Arjuna (fixed at the midway point) he seeks the way out, eventually acquiescing in the task ahead. This is the stage of submission to which every disciple subjects himself.

It is through acquiescence that the astral aspect of the personality is brought into line with the divine purpose of the indwelling soul. This is not, a negative, weak submission, or a sad, sweet acceptance, so-called, of the will of God, but it is a positive, dynamic assumption of a certain position or attitude upon the battlefield of life. This attitude recognizes rightly, as did Arjuna, the demands of both armies (the army of the Lord and the army of the Personality) and whilst acquiescing in the facts of the case, the disciple stands up and fights as best he may for the privilege of right understanding and right activity. Just as the soul in far off days acquiesced, and gave the touch of acquiescence in the obligation assumed when the approach of appropriation took place and the demands of the personality upon the soul became steadily more definite, so now the personality reverses the process, and recognizes the demands of the soul. This marks, as may well be seen, a very definite stage in the life of the aspirant, and is the cause of that unhappy sense of duality which produces distress and sorrow in the life of all disciples. It is at this point upon the Way that many very well-meaning disciples fall. Instead of standing in spiritual being and taking a firm position upon the middle way between the pairs of opposites, and thus intensifying the touch of appropriation and endeavoring to make the approach of acquiescence, they fall into the illusions of self-pity. These prevent the process of appropriation. A furious conflict then ensues in the endeavor to change the theme of their lives, and the disciples forget that that theme is the embodiment of the Word of their souls in any particular incarnation, and that no theme - calling as it does, [277] particular conditions into being - could provide the right and needed circumstances for full and complete development. They become so occupied with the theme that they forget the composer of that theme.

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