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Esoteric Psychology II - Chapter II - The Ray of Personality - Problems of Disciples and Mystics
The next question which might most correctly emerge in the student's consciousness could be stated as follows: How can this process of awakening the centers, of using them as channels for force (at first unconsciously and later with increasing consciousness), and finally of transferring the energy to ever higher centers - produce problems, disease, and the many and varied difficulties of a phenomenal nature to which [533] humanity seems heir, once the mystical experience becomes a goal and appears desirable. I would again remind you that the whole problem must be interpreted in terms of the growth of consciousness and also in terms of the bringing together, in progressive stages, of various types of energy. The human body is, in the last analysis, an aggregate of energy units. In the vital body (thus conditioning the endocrine and lymphatic systems) are certain focal points through which energy pours into the physical body, producing an impression and a stimulation upon the atoms of the body and thus having a powerful effect upon the entire nervous system which it underlies in all parts. The vital or etheric body is the subtle counterpart of the physical body in its nervous structure and the energy centers condition and control the glandular system. Thus energies, influences, potencies and forces pour into and pass through the physical body - consciously in some cases, unconsciously in the majority of cases - from the three worlds of human enterprise and activity. When the heart center and the head centers are awakened and used by the interior and the exterior forces, you have the beginning of the mystical and occult life.

There are two reasons for this period of excessive difficulty:

  1. The thread of consciousness in the head is anchored in the neighborhood of the pineal gland. The thread of life is to be found anchored in the heart. The turning of the forces (found below the diaphragm) into the solar plexus and from thence into the heart and the head brings those two major streams of energy (one coming from the Monad via the soul body to the heart center, and the other coming from the soul direct to the highest head center) to the attention of the mystic. He then becomes aware of life possibilities and of the wide field which [534] consciousness can cover and of the area or the extension of its capacity. This is the period of interior awareness.
  2. The inflow of planetary and solar potencies, via the head center to the heart and from thence to the other centers.
    This inflow produces:
    1. Stimulation of all the centers, major and minor, carried forward according to ray tendencies and influences.
    2. The revelation of good and evil, that is, of the worlds of personality expression and of the world of soul expression. This dual process proceeds simultaneously.
    3. The existence, therefore, of duality, which when realized and when the great opposites (soul and personality) are blended, can and will produce the at-one-ment.

The result of these realizations in consciousness leads inevitably to struggle, conflict, and aspiration plus constant frustration; this process produces those adjustments which must be made as the man becomes increasingly aware of the goal and increasingly "alive". The life expression (the threefold lower man) has to become accustomed to the new fields of consciousness and the opening areas of awareness, and to become used to the new powers which emerge, making the man able to enter more easily the wider fields of service which he is discovering. It might be stated here in a broad and general sense that:

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