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|The Rays and the Initiations - Part One - Fourteen Rules For Group Initiation|
The Rule which is our theme for consideration at this time is one of deep significance and esoteric interest; it is concerned with the life of Shamballa and with the purposes of the Great Council. This rule is also one of rare beauty and extraordinary implications, and it offers me the opportunity to enlarge upon a subject little known or understood by any esotericist in the average esoteric group. The  reason for this is that it is only as the new cycle draws closer - as it is drawing today - that the new and fuller teaching, the greatly extended horizon and the tremendously enhanced perception of the spiritual observer and worker become possible and apparent. Much, very much, has been given out during the past one hundred years anent the Masters, and (as we are considering the subject of initiation and of preparation for that great transitional experience) it is necessary to understand somewhat the nature of Those with Whom the disciple has to associate, and the kind of world and of consciousness in which They live and move and have Their being. The fact of the Hierarchy is to many thinkers an established fact; the hypothesis that there may be a Hierarchy is a widespread recognition. Information concerning its grades, its modes of working and its objectives are now common property; much has been accepted and much proved by those who believe this teaching.
Before proceeding to a discussion of Rule VII, however, I would like to spend a moment studying some of the effects of this steadily growing fund of knowledge. It has become the possession of the many and not only of the rare and discreet esotericist and occult student; this teaching has now seeped down into the consciousness of the masses and is there producing curiosity, relief and hope, speculation and cynical laughter, conscious spiritual effort or sustained ridicule - according to the type of mind, the sensitivity to truth or the crass credulity of the recipient. But the knowledge, belief and hope in the existence of a planetary Hierarchy has today leavened the entire mass of human thinking in a far wider and deeper manner than perhaps the most optimistic suspect; herein lies the hope of the world, and here is to be found also a fertile field for spiritual work during the coming decades. For this all disciples must prepare.
The rules whereby the Hierarchy may be reached are already well known to the aspirants of the world; they must become equally well known to the average person; the objectives of the hierarchical work must be emphasized and  the nature of the divine Plan unfolded so that purpose and goal may be presented to humanity; the synthesis of the chain of hierarchical Existences - from the smallest atom of matter up to and including the Lord of Life Himself - must be unfolded; the essential and spiritual interdependence of all and the interrelation of every unit of divine life must be proved. This will eventually lead to that established unity of effort which will express itself in the merging of the fourth and the fifth kingdoms in nature, and to the establishment of that brotherhood which will constitute the germ or the seed of the coming manifestation of the Hierarchy as the Heart of God (directly related to the Heart of the Sun) in physical expression. This is necessarily an ambiguous phrase; but is as close an expression, in words, of hierarchical purpose as I find it possible to make.
The entire field of the world - meaning by that phrase all the kingdoms in nature in united inner and outer relationship - will be the medium of recognized spiritual experience and also the field of expression of certain divine qualities and aspects which have hitherto been in quiescent abeyance. What these qualities are, what divine aspects are awaiting precipitation, and which divine purposes are latent in that field of waiting expectancy, I cannot yet reveal or even indicate. The times are not yet ripe.
A great upheaval in all the kingdoms in nature has characterized this day and generation; a stupendous destruction of all forms of divine life and in every kingdom has been the outstanding note of this upheaval. Our modern civilization has received a death blow from which it will never recover, but which will be recognized some day as the "blow of release" and as the signal for that which is better, new and more suitable for the evolving spirit, to make its appearance. Great and penetrating energies and their evoked forces have met in a conflict which has, figuratively speaking, elevated the mineral kingdom into the skies and which has brought down fire from heaven. I am talking to you factually and not just symbolically. The bodies of men, women and children, as well as of animals, have been  destroyed; the forms of the vegetable kingdom and the potencies of the mineral kingdom have been disintegrated, distributed and devastated. The coherent life of all the planetary forms has been temporarily rendered incoherent. As an ancient prophecy has put it: "No true united Sound goes out from form to form, from life to life. Only a cry of pain, a demand for restitution and an invocation for relief from agony, despair and fruitless effort goes out from here to There."
All this upheaval of the "soil" of the world - spiritual, psychological and physical - all this disruption of the forms and of the familiar contours of our planetary life had to take place before there could come the emergence of the Hierarchy into the public consciousness; all this had to do its work upon the souls of men before the New Age could come in, bringing with it the Restoration of the Mysteries, and the rehabilitation of the peoples of the earth. The two go together. This is one of the major points which I am seeking to make. The disruption, disintegration and the completely chaotic conditions existing for the past five hundred years within all the kingdoms of nature have at last worked their way out into paralleling physical conditions. This is good and desirable; it marks the prelude to a better building of a better world, the construction of more adequate forms of life and of more correct human attitudes, plus a sounder orientation to reality. The best is yet to be.
Everything is being rapidly brought to the surface - the good and the bad, the desirable and the undesirable, the past and the future (for the two are one); the plow of God has nearly accomplished its work; the sword of the spirit has severed an evil past from the radiant future, and both are seen as contributory in the Eye of God; our material civilization will be seen as giving place rapidly to a more spiritual culture; our church organizations, with their limiting and confusing theologies, will soon give place to the Hierarchy, with its emerging teaching - clear, factual, intuitive and non-dogmatic.
The Hierarchy has been invoked and its Members are  ready for a great "act of evocation," of response to the invoking sound of humanity and of a definite (though relatively temporary) "act of orientation." This will force the Hierarchy, of its own free will, to turn towards a new and more intimate type of relation with humanity. That period of orientation will end when a powerful, earthly Hierarchy will factually, externally and in reality hold sway on earth, working in all the kingdoms of nature and thus bringing about (in truth) the expression of the divine Plan. This plan is implemented through the medium of the senior Members of the Hierarchy, Who invoke the "Lights which carry out the Will of God"; They are Themselves invoked by the Light-Bearers, the Masters; They again, in Their turn, are invoked by the aspirants and disciples of the world. Thus is the chain of Hierarchy only a life line, along which travel the love and life of God, from Him to us and from us to Him.
This dual thought of the relationship between humanity and the Hierarchy, and between the Hierarchy and the highest Center, Shamballa, is completely covered in Rule VII in its two forms - for applicants, and for disciples and initiates.
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