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Esoteric Psychology II - Chapter II - The Ray of Personality - The Appropriation of the Bodies
c. Interrelations of the Personality Life

In dealing now with the esoteric aspect of the appropriation of the vehicles through which a manifesting Son of God can express himself, it is impossible to avoid the use of some form of symbolic rendering of words. So long, however, as the student remembers that they are symbolic, there is no real danger of a basic misunderstanding. The analytical, intelligent mind uses forms of speech in order to limit the concept intuited within terms which can be comprehended, and abstract ideas are thereby brought down to the level of the understanding. [326]

We have seen that our major consideration must be that of the soul as a center of consciousness and of the bodies as a center of experience, and with this postulate we lay the foundation for our future psychological investigations. We are not here dealing with the question of why this is so, or of how it may have come about. We accept the statement as basic and fundamental, and take our stand upon the premise that the nature of life in the world is experience-gaining, because we see this happening around us on every side and can note it occurring in our own lives.

We can divide people into three groups:

  1. Those who are unconsciously gaining experience, but are at the same time so engrossed with the processes of the results of experiencing, that they remain unaware of the deeper objectives.
  2. Those who are dimly awakening to the fact that adaptation to the ways of living to which they are subjected, and from which there seems no escape, means for them the learning of some lesson which
    1. Enriches their lives, usually in the practical and material sense.
    2. Intensifies their sensitive perception.
    3. Permits of the development of quality and the steady acquiring of characteristics, facilities and capacities.
  3. Those who are awakened to the purpose of experience, and who are consequently bringing to every event an intelligent power to extract from the happenings to which they are subjected some gain to the life of the soul. They have learnt to regard the environment in which they find themselves as the place of purification and the field of their planned service. [327]

This is a rough and broad generalization, but it accounts for human experience and consequent attitudes in the three major groupings.

It is of interest to bear in mind that the process of the appropriation of the bodies, presents similar stages with respect to the evolution of the form and to the evolution of the indwelling life. In the history of the material aspect of manifestation, there have been (as the occult books teach) the following stages:

  1. The stage of involution, or of appropriation, and of construction of the vehicles of expression upon the downward arc, where the emphasis is upon the building, growth and appropriation of the bodies, and not so much upon the indwelling, conscious Entity.
  2. The stage of evolution, or of refinement and the development of quality, leading to liberation upon the upward arc.

It is the same in the psychological history of the human being. There too we find a somewhat similar process, divided into two stages, marking the involution and the evolution of consciousness.

Hitherto in the occult books (as I earlier pointed out) the emphasis has been upon the development of the form side of life, and upon the nature and quality of that form as it responds, upon different levels of the planetary life, to the impact of the environment in the early stages and to the impress of the soul at the later stages. In this Treatise with which we are now engaged, our primary aim is to point out the effect upon the soul of the experiences undergone in the bodies, and the process whereby the consciousness aspect of divinity is expanded, culminating as it does in what is technically called an initiation. Each of the two major divisions [328] of this process - involution and evolution - could be divided into six definite expansions of consciousness. Those upon the upward arc differ from those upon the downward arc in objective and motive and in scope, and are essentially sublimations of the lower aspects of the unfoldment of consciousness. These six stages might be called:

  1. The stage of Appropriation.
  2. The stage of Aspiration.
  3. The stage of Approach.
  4. The stage of Appearance.
  5. The stage of Activity.
  6. The stage of Ambition.

Each stage, when at its height of expression, involves a period of crisis. This crisis precedes the unfoldment of the next stage in the conscious awakening of man. We here are viewing Man as a conscious thinker, and not man as a member of the fourth kingdom in nature. Ponder upon this distinction, for it marks the points of emphasis and the focus of the identification.

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