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The Rays and the Initiations - Part One - Fourteen Rules For Group Initiation
  1. The burning ground has done its work.

Here there is quite apt to be misunderstanding. To most people the burning ground stands for one of two things:

  1. Either the fire of the mind, burning up those things in the lower nature of which it becomes increasingly aware.
  2. Or the burning ground of sorrow, agony, horror and pain which is the characteristic quality of life in the three worlds, particularly at this time.

But the burning ground referred to here is something [30] very different. When the blazing light of the sun is correctly focused on or through a glass it can cause ignition. When the blazing light of the Monad is focused directly upon the personality, via the antahkarana and not specifically through the soul, it produces a blazing fire which burns up all hindrances in a steady, sequential process. Wording it otherwise, when the will aspect streams from the Monad and focuses through the personal will (as the mind can grasp and realize it) it destroys as by fire all elements of self-will. As the energy of Shamballa streams out and makes a direct contact with humanity (omitting the transmission via the Hierarchy, which has hitherto been customary), you have what has been seen in the world today, a destructive conflagration or a world burning ground. When the antahkarana of a group is rightly constructed, then the individualized group-will will disappear in the full consciousness of the monadic purpose or clear directed will. These are points which the disciple preparing for initiation has to consider as he prepares for the higher initiations, and these are the points which any group or ashram in preparation for initiation has also to consider.

The secret of the higher initiations lies in the trained use of the higher will. It does not lie in purification or in self-discipline or in any of the expedients which have acted in the past as interceptors of the truth. This whole problem of the Shamballic will is in process of revelation, and will eventually alter the entire approach of the disciple in the New Age to initiation. The theme of "the Way into Shamballa" requires reflective study and esoteric understanding. In this concept of the new and future section (if I may so call it) of the Way or Path with which the modern disciple is faced lies the secret of the coming revelation and of the spiritual dispensation which will emerge as humanity constructs the new world civilization and begins to formulate the new culture. The burning, purifying, destructive effects of the monadic will upon its distorted reflection, the individual will, deeply deserve consideration.

For long, aspirants have noted and have been taught the effect of the will upon the astral, or emotional body. It [31] is one of the primary and most elementary of the initial tensions, and is taught upon the Probationary Path. It leads to the purifying and the reorganizing of the entire psychic and emotional life, as the result of its destructive action. "If you will only think," "if you will only use a little will," and "if you will only remember that you have a mind," we say to the children of the race and to beginners upon the Path of conscious Return. Little by little, then, the focus and the orientation shift out of the astral life and from the emotional level of consciousness into the mental, and consequently into the reflection of the world of purpose, found in the three worlds. When that stage has been somewhat developed, then there follows, upon the Path of Discipleship and of preparation for initiation, an effort to grasp and understand the higher aspects of this mental process, and the will aspect of the egoic life begins to influence the disciple. The "petals of sacrifice" unfold and the sacred sacrificial aspect of life is revealed in its beauty, purity, simplicity and in its revolutionizing quality.

Upon the Path of Initiation, the monadic will (of which the egoic will is the reflection and the individual self-will is the distortion) is gradually transmitted, via the antahkarana, direct to the man upon the physical plane. This produces the higher correspondence of those qualities so glibly spoken of by the well-trained but dense esotericist - transmutation and transformation. The result is the assimilation of the individual will and the egoic will into the purpose of the Monad which is the purpose undeviating and unalterable - of the One in Whom we live and move and have our being. This is the field of the true burning, for our "God is a consuming Fire." This is the burning bush or the burning tree of life of Biblical symbolism. This highest of all the fires, this deeply spiritual and hitherto seldom recognized burning ground, has its effects summed up for us in the next phrase or sentence of Rule I.

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