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The Rays and the Initiations - Part One - Fourteen Rules For Group Initiation
  1. Behind the group there stands the Door. Before them opens out the Way.

Note how this passage reverses the usual presentation. Hitherto, in the occult books, the Door of Initiation has been presented as ever moving forward ahead of the initiate. He passes through door after door into a wider experience and expansion of consciousness. But in the initiate consciousness, after the first two initiations, this is not the realization. It is simply the adhering to an old form of symbolism with the implied limitations of the truth. I would here remind you that the third initiation is regarded by the Hierarchy as the first major initiation, and that the first and second initiations are initiations of the Threshold. For the bulk of humanity, these first two initiations will for a very long time constitute major initiatory experiences, but in the life and realization of the initiate-soul, they are not. After the two initiations of the threshold have been undergone the attitude of the initiate changes and he sees possibilities and factors and revelations which have hitherto [42] been totally unrealized and unknown, even to his consciousness at his highest moments.

The door of initiation looms large in the consciousness of the neophyte; the higher Way is the determining factor in the life of the initiate of the third degree. It is the Transfiguration; and a new glory pours through the transfigured initiate who has been released from every type of grip by either the personality or the soul. For the first time, the goal of the higher Way and the attainment of Nirvana (as the Oriental calls it) appears before him, and he knows that no forms and no spiritual complexes and no pull by either soul or form, or by both united, can have any effect upon his attaining his final destination.

I would like for a moment to refer here to the door symbology as the initiate begins to grasp the inner meaning of those simple words. For long the teaching, given in the clear cold light, anent the door and the emphasis put upon the presentation of the door lying ahead of the aspirant has been made familiar, but that has been working with the lower aspects of the symbolism, even if aspirants did not realize it; they have been taught the fact of the light in the head, which is the personality correspondence to the clear cold light to which I refer. At the very center of that light, as many aspirants know theoretically or factually by inconstant experience, is a center or point of dark indigo blue - midnight blue. Note the significance of this in view of what I have been saying anent the "dark night," the midnight hour, the zero hour in the life of the soul. That center is in reality an opening, a door leading somewhere, a way of escape, a place through which the soul imprisoned in the body can emerge and pass into higher states of consciousness, untrammeled by form limitations; it has also been called "the funnel or the channel for the sound"; it has been named the "trumpet through which the escaping AUM can pass." The ability to use this door or channel is brought about by the practice of alignment; hence the emphasis laid upon this exercise in the attempt to train aspirants and disciples.

Once alignment has been achieved, it will be realized [43] (remembering the symbolism of the head, the light and the central opening) that many occasions arise in meditation when "behind the group there stands the door; before them opens out the Way." This is the lower correspondence of the higher initiate-experience with which our rule is dealing.

Again, this time in relation to the soul, comes the repetition of the discovery of the Door, its use and its appearance, finally, behind the initiate. This time the door must be found upon the mental plane, and not as earlier upon the etheric level; this is brought about by the aid of the soul and of the lower mind and through the revealing power of the clear cold light of the reason. When discovered, the "revelation of a terrible though beautiful experiment" faces the initiate. He finds that this time alignment is not his need, but the definite undertaking of a creative work - the building of a bridge between the door which lies behind and the door which lies ahead. This involves the construction of what is technically the antahkarana, the rainbow bridge. This is built by the disciple-in-training upon the basis of his past experience; it is anchored in the past and firmly grounded in the highest, rightly oriented aspect of the personality. As the disciple then creatively works, he finds that there is a reciprocal action on the part of the Presence, the Monad - the unity which stands behind the Door. He discovers that one span of the bridge (if I might so call it) is being built or pushed forward from the other side of the gulf separating him from experience in the life of the Spiritual Triad. This Spiritual Triad is essentially, to the initiate, what the threefold personality is to the man in physical incarnation.

I wonder if I have succeeded in giving you at least a general idea of the possibilities lying ahead of the disciple, and incited you to definite conscious response to those possibilities. I cannot do other than speak in terms of consciousness, even though the life of the Triad - leading in its turn to identification with the Monad, as the personality life leads eventually to soul control and expression - has naught to do with consciousness or sensitivity as those terms are [44] commonly understood. Yet remember how, in all my teachings upon occult unfoldment, I have used the word Identification. This is the only word I have found which can in any way convey the complete unity which is finally achieved by those who develop a sense of unity, and who refuse to accept isolation; separateness then fades out entirely. The isolated unity achieved is unity with the Whole, with Being in its totality (and this cannot as yet convey much to you).

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