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The Rays and the Initiations - Part One - Fourteen Rules For Group Initiation
Three great rents, therefore, now exist, as well as numerous smaller and less important ones, to which no reference has been or need be made. Three great Sons of God at the moment of initiation made a major contribution to the human consciousness through their determined will-to-law, will-to-love and will-to-synthesis. Mankind was thereby aided to move forward more easily along the "lighted Way," to pass through the halls of maya, aided by the light pouring through the rents made in the separating veils by perfected divine Men at the very moment of Their triumph. A fourth great rent still remains to be made as a result of the energies released and the gained good which the three earlier rents have made possible. This fourth major rent will be made by humanity itself, standing with "massed intent," focused through the groups which are externalizations of the Ashrams of the Masters. It will therefore be made at the time that the Hierarchy takes physical shape upon the earth again. [195]

Bear ever in mind the symbolical nature of this teaching. The veils are not actually existing veils in the usual sense of that term. They are in the nature of opposing forces and energies which act as inhibitory factors to the aspirant as he seeks to make progress, and to the entire human family as it moves onward upon the Path of Evolution. They are not basically related to consciousness at all, for in the majority of cases these veils "lie on the earthward side of being and not upon the side of light"; they are essentially physical forces, and although they are the result of man's own effort and activity down the ages, they are largely unrealized, unseen obstacles to his progress. They constitute the lowest concentration of forces precipitated from levels of activity other and higher than the physical, as you understand physical substance. If one might use a phrase which, even if true, is misleading, they lie between the subtle inner man, mental and astral, and his physical brain. They are that which prevents brain registration of the world of causes and of meaning. This inner world can be emotional or mental in its focus and in its force precipitation on to the etheric plane. It can be the fused result of personality integration and be a combination of energies; or it can be dominated by the effects of soul energy. These, if evoked, can penetrate occultly and drive out or break down and through the separating veiling forces, thus producing coordination eventually between soul and brain.

These veils are as curtains over the windows of vision. They prevent realization of that which lies beyond the room or area of average or mediocre experience, and they prevent the light from penetrating.

The work of the three Sons of God referred to above is not concerned with the rending of the veils of their own interior life and forces, thus bringing about soul contact unimpeded and clear, or with the illumination of experience upon the physical plane. That had long ago been effected in these special and individual cases. Their service was rendered to humanity and They made rents in the veils which separated mankind as a whole from the higher spiritual [196] experience and from registration of the fact of the existence of the Hierarchy. Theirs was a universal service, and made possible further human progress, for until some greater measure of light had been let in it was not possible for man to see and grasp the necessity to destroy the obstacles to light. The veils remain unperceived by the average aspirant until some light appears through the rents in the "curtain of impediment."

The glory of the Christ and the uniqueness of His accomplishment lies in the fact that He was the first to bring about the rending of the veils from "the top to the bottom." This He could do because He acted as the World Savior, outside and independent of humanity; He was free from the aura of the human family and - again quoting the Old Commentary, as far as it is possible to translate these archaic terms:

"From above He worked and from the further side issued the force which tore its way into the separating forces, driving them in a threefold direction, from the point which is the highest, to the right and to the left, thus letting in that streaming force which resolved itself as light, as love, as lifting energy. Thus worked the One for Whom all men must wait. He is as man, but works not as a man. He works as light divine, as energy supreme and as the Savior of the world of men."

Let me again quote from the same source and give you the ancient names of the veils:

"Next to the earthly plane is found the Veil of Impulsion and then the Hall of Concentration. To that succeeds the Veil of Distortion, related to the world of glamor as impulsion is to force. Beyond that veil is found the Hall of Choice. And then we find another veil, the Veil of Separation, and beyond it lies the Hall of Blinded Men - blinded by light but facing towards the final veil, the Veil of Aspiration. Four veils, three halls and many men."

I will leave you to make due application of this paragraph [197] of stated truth and of condensed realization. I would remind you that concentration is one thing to the aspirant, and a very different thing to the initiate, and that the choices made by the initiate resemble not those made by the disciple. The blinding force referred to can range all the way from the deep spiritual darkness in which the average man moves, through the blindness of which Saul of Tarsus was the exponent, up to that condition which overwhelms the highest Initiate as He awaits entrance into the Council Chamber of the Lord.

Blindness is a prelude to initiation of no matter what degree. It is only at the last and highest initiation that the "tendency to blindness" comes to a complete end. In the early stages of evolution, blindness is natural, innate, unavoidable and impenetrable. For ages man walks in the dark. Then comes the stage wherein this normal blindness is a protection, but has also entered a phase wherein it can be overcome. Technically speaking, the blindness to which I have referred is something different. From the moment when a human being catches the first, faint glimpse of the "something other" and sees himself in juxtaposition to that dimly sensed, distant reality, the blindness with which I have dealt is something imposed by the soul upon the hastening aspirant, so that the lessons of conscious experience, of discipleship, and later of initiation may be correctly assimilated and expressed; by its means, the hurrying seeker is defended from making too rapid and superficial progress. It is depth and a profound "rootedness" (if I may coin such a word) for which the inner Teacher and later the Master looks, and "occult blindness," its need, its wise handling and its final elimination are part of the curriculum imposed upon the candidate. This truth is recognized, though not truly interpreted, by the Masonic Fraternity. In one of the most important and highest initiations, the candidate enters with unblended eyes and no hoodwink is applied. Then, halfway through the ceremony, he is blinded, and in that condition passes through the terrific tests, symbolic of a certain high stage upon the Path. [198]

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