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The Rays and the Initiations - Part One - Fourteen Rules For Group Initiation
Before proceeding to study the final phrases of [39] Rule One, I would call your attention to the fact that the initiate has faced two major tests, symbolically described as "the burning ground" and the "clear cold light." Only after he has successfully passed these can he - or the group, when considering group initiation - move forward and outward into the wider reaches of the divine consciousness. These tests are applied when the soul grips the personality and the fire of divine love destroys the loves and desires of the integrated personality. Two factors tend to bring this about: the slow moving forward of the innate conscience into greater  control, and the steady development of the "fiery aspiration" to which Patanjali (The Light of the Soul, Book II, Sutra I, Page 119) makes reference. These two factors, when brought into living activity, bring the disciple into the center of the burning ground which separates the Angel of the Presence from the Dweller on the Threshold. The burning ground is found upon the threshold of every new advance, until the third initiation has been taken.

The "clear cold light" is the light of pure reason, of infallible intuitive perception and its unremitting, intensive and revealing light constitutes a major test in its effects. The initiate discovers the depths of evil, and at the same time is enticed forward by the heights of a growing sense of divinity. The clear cold light reveals two things:

  1. The omnipresence of God throughout nature, and therefore throughout the entire personality life of the initiate or of the initiate group. The scales fall from the eyes, bringing about - paradoxically - the "dark night of the soul" and the sense of being alone and bereft of all help. This led (in the case of the Christ, for instance) to that appalling moment in the Garden of Gethsemane, and which was consummated on the Cross, when the will of personality-soul clashed with the divine will of the Monad. The revelation to the initiate of the ages of severance from the Central Reality, and of all its attendant implications, descends upon the one who is attempting to stand "in isolated Unity," as Patanjali (to quote him a second time) calls the experience. (The Light of the Soul, Book IV, Sutras 24, Page 420 and Sutra 34, Page 428). [40]
    The omnipresence of divinity within all forms pours in upon the consciousness of the initiate, and the mystery of time, space and electricity stands revealed. The major effect of this revelation (prior to the third initiation) is to bring to the disciple a realization of the "great heresy of separateness," as it focuses in him, the separated fully conscious individual - aware of his past, conscious now of his ray and its conditioning power, focused in his own aspiration, and yet part of the great whole of nature. From that moment onward he knows that divinity is all there is, and this he learns through the revelation of the inherent separativeness of the form life, through the processes of "the dark night of the soul" and its culminating lesson of the significance of isolation and the freeing process which brings about the merging into unity through the emission of the sound, the cry, the invocation, such as the cry of the Christ upon the Cross symbolized. His exact words have not been transmitted to us. They vary for each ray, but all bring about the recognition of divine merging, in which all separating veils are "rent from the top to the bottom" (as The New Testament expresses it).
  2. The omniscience of the divine Whole is also brought home to the initiate through the medium of the clear cold light, and the phases of "isolated experience," as it is sometimes occultly called, is forever ended. I would have you realize what this can mean in so far as possible to your present consciousness. Up till the present, the initiate-disciple has been functioning as a duality and as a fusion of soul-energy and personality-force. Now these forms of life stand exposed to him for what they essentially are, and he knows that - as directing agencies and as transitory gods - they no longer have any hold over him. He is being gradually translated into another divine aspect, taking with him all that he has received during the ages of close relation and identification with the third aspect, form, and the second aspect, consciousness. A sense of being bereft, deserted and alone descends upon him as he realizes that the control of form and soul must also disappear. Here lies the agony [41] of isolation and the overpowering sense of loneliness. But the truths revealed by the clear cold light of the divine reason leave him no choice. He must relinquish all that holds him away from the Central Reality; he must gain life and "life more abundantly." This constitutes the supreme test in the life cycle of the incarnating Monad; and "when the very heart of this experience enters into the heart of the initiate, then he moves outward through that heart into full life expression." Such is the way that the Old Commentary expresses this. I know no other way in which to bring the idea before you. The experience undergone is not related to form, nor is it connected with consciousness or with even the higher psychic sensitivity. It consists of pure identification with divine purpose. This is made possible because the self-will of the personality and the enlightened will of the soul have both equally been relinquished.
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