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The Rays and the Initiations - Part One - Fourteen Rules For Group Initiation
There are certain major frameworks (if I may continue to use this phrase) within which the initiate has to learn [153] consciously to work, recognizing them for what they are; once he has learnt to master that which lies within some particular framework, he finds that it is only a part, a small fraction, of a still greater whole, within which he must also learn to function and play his part.

First he, as a disciple, has to learn to work within the framework of his blending soul-personality. This task at first takes the form of character building and disciplining (whilst upon the Probationary Path), of a struggle to see, of an endeavor to make a continuity of his soul contact. Finally, this leads to the beginning of the stage of soul and personality merging and at this point he steps upon the Path of Discipleship, technically understood. From then on his problem is to know himself as he truly is, to direct energy to the needed centers which are awaiting scientific attention, to superintend consciously the fitting of himself, as a personality, to act as the instrument of the soul and later of the Hierarchy, to learn to contact energy, to handle and direct it. This entails a comprehension of the mechanism within himself - the seven centers within the vital body - through which the contacted energy must flow under soul direction, and it also means the perfecting of the response apparatus and the newly constructed spiritual mechanism which exoterically enables him to contact the outside world, and esoterically enables him to contact the world of souls. It implies a steady process of interior perfecting until nothing further remains to be done within that individual framework. The bulk of this work has been covered by the time the fourth initiation has been taken, and has been completely covered when the fifth initiation is undergone.

This all takes much time, but when a certain measure of success has been achieved, when the initiate's understanding is somewhat enlightened and his energy-use and his power of direction are becoming intelligently applied, he can then begin to work within the framework of the greater seven groups, that is, within the Hierarchy. This he does first upon the periphery of the hierarchical aura and later as a conscious, accepted and pledged worker in some [154] Ashram - the Ashram being dependent upon his ray type. He then is in a position to discover the close interlocking that exists between the supplementary seven (his own seven centers) and the seven great groups within the Hierarchy; he comes to realize that only when his centers are somewhat awakened and attuned is it possible for him to work within the larger framework of the Hierarchy, and this because the quality of the greater groups and the life expression of the seven planetary groups, the seven rays, are being slowly developed by him under the influence of hierarchical supervision through the medium of his own seven centers the - supplementary seven.

Thus, from a new angle which is practical and not simply theoretical, it begins to dawn on him that he is an inalienable part of a group whole and that this incontrovertible fact involves responsibilities and duties. He discovers that his major responsibility - spiritually speaking - is to permit no hindrance, on the part of the supplementary seven, to the free flow of love from the greater seven, and later the free flow of life (inspired by purpose) from the planetary seven. He knows now that all form a great interlocking directorate through which the will of God is working out. He now knows himself to be a minute part of that great interlocking Whole, a responsible conscious atom within its periphery. Then as he goes on and learns to submit to the Law of the Supplementary Seven, he finds that from the life angle and through his own conscious direction, gradually developed, all the potencies of divinity are his to use, once he can be trusted, as the advanced initiate can ever be trusted. He is then set free for complete cooperation with the purpose lying behind the Plan. He has passed out of the human kingdom into the Hierarchy; later he will pass out of the hierarchical group into Shamballa, or out of our planetary life altogether, and either here or there will begin a greater and more extended service.

Coming down to the immediate practical issues, the initiate is confronted with the problem of work within the individual framework, for I am not here dealing with the [155] requirements for the initiations above or beyond the third. Here the initiate has reached the point where he grasps the significant fact that the way into the innermost Center is most securely guarded; no one can pass onward and take those more advanced steps which admit into the higher worlds of being and of unparalleled potency until he has demonstrated within the framework of his own life a definite control of energy (and this the black adept also possesses), purity of motive (which the black adept can likewise have, if by purity of motive you mean single-hearted and one-pointed intent), deep love of humanity (which the black adept never has), selflessness, willingness to follow the light wherever it may lead, ability to begin work within the larger framework the moment such an attempt becomes possible, clear vision and spiritual insight, a developed intuition, and an undeviating intention and strong faith in the future. When these qualities begin to show themselves, it then becomes possible to admit the initiate to further advancement upon the Way.

It is believed to be safe for him now to move on a few more steps into greater light, and then - having reached his next point of testing - he must there again demonstrate the rightness of his work within the individual framework and his ability to work within the greater framework in group formation. He must appreciate the fact that as he passes upon the upward way he may not safely so do without the safeguards which protect the Way from him until he knows more; he must learn also that the group protects him and that only with the group can he proceed with security; he begins to realize that the group is not only a protection but also his chosen and destined field of service. He begins to learn with his group the meaning of the "united breath" referred to in the rule, and also to work with the group in unified rhythm."

Thus he goes from strength to strength. All the time the Hierarchy is aiding in his development and at the same time protecting the Way from him until such time as glamor cannot reach him. This individual security of his [156] is only reached between the time of taking the second initiation and the third. Prior to that, he is still regarded as a potential hazard and as unstable. After that, he may suffer from illusion, but there is then no fear of his permanently turning back and reaching the left-hand path and so perhaps, in rare cases, finding his way into the Black Lodge. The major liability of the average initiate is sloth or lack of speed. Ponder on that.

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