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The Rays and the Initiations - Part One - Fourteen Rules For Group Initiation
  1. When the demand and the response are lost in one great Sound, move outward from the desert, leave the seas behind and know that God is Fire.

This means more than its obvious significance. Superficially it can mean that when the initiate hears the Sound, he leaves behind the desert life of physical incarnation, the emotional life of the astral plane, seething and unstable as the sea, and functions on the plane of mind, of which the symbol is fire. That is the most elementary and obvious meaning, and as this section of A Treatise on the Seven Rays is written for those with initiate understanding, the obvious interpretation will not prove satisfactory. The meaning must be broader and deeper. The words "outward from the desert" have application for the entire life of the incarnated Monad in the three worlds of human endeavor and enterprise. "Leaving the sea behind" has reference to the withdrawal of the initiate from all sensuous experience because, as I have pointed out, the state of consciousness or awareness is superseded when the higher initiations are taken and their place is filled by a state of being for which we have no word but the unsatisfactory one of identification. This state of being is something very different to consciousness as you understand it. The phrase therefore means (if such a misleading form of words can be justifiably used) that the initiate leaves consciousness itself behind and the five worlds of life expression are transcended; at the third initiation the initiate grasps what is meant when the One in Whom we live and move and have our being (note that expression) is referred to as Fire. I elaborated this theme in A Treatise on Cosmic Fire - a book which evades understanding by all except those with initiate consciousness. Fire is the sumtotal of that which destroys form, produces complete purity in that which is not itself, generates the warmth which lies behind all growth, and is vitality itself. [83]

This initiate realization is all brought about by the sudden appreciation or apprehension of sound, by the awakening of the inner ear to the significance of the Voice, just as the disciple in the earlier stage awakened to the significance of vision. That is why, at the third initiation, the initiate sees the star and hears the sound. At the first two initiations, he sees the light and hears the Word; but this is something different and is the higher correspondence to the earlier experience. It will be obvious that I can say no more upon this subject.

It is essential, however, that some knowledge begin to reach the public anent the highest spiritual center to which (as the Gospel story intimates) Christ Himself was attentive. Frequently we read in the New Testament that "the Father spoke to Him," that "He heard a voice," and that the seal of affirmation (as it is occultly called) was given to Him. Only the Father, the planetary Logos, the Lord of the World, enunciates the final affirmative sound. This has no reference - when it occurs - to the earlier initiations, but only to the final ones. There are five obvious crises of initiation which concern the Master Jesus as step by step He took or re-enacted the five initiations. But lying behind this obvious and practical teaching, lies an undercurrent or thread of higher revelation. This is concerned with the realizations of the over-shadowing Christ as He registered the Voice which is heard at the third, fifth, sixth and seventh initiations. The Gospel story gives us the five initiations of the Master Jesus, beginning with the first and ending with the fifth. But it also gives the initiations of the Christ, starting from the second and ending with the seventh. The latter is left incomplete, and the Voice is not recorded, because at the Resurrection and Ascension we are not told of the hearing of the affirmative sound. That will be heard when the Christ completes His work at the time of the Second Coming. Then the great seventh initiation, which is a dual one (love-wisdom in full manifestation motivated by power and will), will be consummated, and the Buddha and the Christ will together pass before the Lord of the [84] World, together see the glory of the Lord, and together pass to higher service of a nature and caliber unknown to us.

In this connection it is wise to remember that three great energies are focused in Shamballa, the seat of fire:

  1. The Energy of Purification: This is the power, innate in the manifested universe, which gradually and steadily adapts the substance aspect to the spiritual by a process which we call purification, where humanity is concerned. It involves the elimination of all that hinders the nature of divinity from full expression, and this again from inherent or latent capacity. This necessitates the leaving behind, stage after stage, cycle after cycle, life after life, and plane after plane, of every tendency in the form nature which veils or hides the glory of God. It is essentially the energy which substitutes good for evil. Human thinking has debased this concept so that purification is related mainly to physical phenomena and physical plane life and to a selfish idealism which is largely based on the thought of the sanitary care of substance. An enforced celibacy and a rigid vegetarianism are familiar instances of this, and these physical disciplines have been put in the place of emotional loveliness, mental clarity, intuitional illumination, and the thoughts of the aspirant become focused downwards into matter and not outwards and upwards into light.
  2. The Energy of Destruction: This is a destruction which removes the forms which are imprisoning the inner spiritual life, and hiding the inner soul light. This energy is therefore one of the major aspects of the purificatory nature of the divine Life, and that is the reason why I have put purification ahead of destruction. It is the destroying aspect of life itself, just as there is a destructive agency in matter itself. Two things must be borne in mind in connection with the destroyer aspect of Deity and with those responsible for its appearance:
    1. The destructive activity is set in motion through the will of Those Who constitute the Council at Shamballa and Who are instrumental in bringing the forms in all the subhuman kingdoms into line with the [85] evolving purpose. Under cyclic law, this destructive energy comes into play and destroys the forms of life which prevent divine expression.
    2. It is also brought into activity through the determinations of humanity itself which - under the Law of Karma - makes man the master of his own destiny, leading him to initiate those causes which are responsible for the cyclic events and consequences in human affairs.
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