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The Rays and the Initiations - Part Two - Section One - The Aspirant and the Mysteries of Initiation

The Entering of the two Doors of Initiation

Let us now take up our first point in this section and see what is really meant by the hackneyed words "door of initiation," and what constitutes the difference between the door which faces the disciple and that which confronts the Master.

It is of course obvious to you that the use of the word "door" is purely symbolic; the interpretation given to the word by the ordinary esoteric student and the orthodox Theosophist is that of a point of entry, and the significance of it to him is that it offers an opportunity to pass to new experience and fresh revelation - much of which is regarded by him as due reward for discipline and aspiration. That is largely an interpretation based on wishful thinking and is of quite secondary importance.

The Door of Initiation

The real meaning underlying the phrase "door of initiation" is that of obstruction, of something which bars the way, of that which must be opened, or of that which hides or stands between the aspirant and his objective. This is a much more exact significance and one much more useful for [348] the aspirant to grasp. The picture of a man moving along the Path of Evolution until suddenly one day he stands before an open door through which he may joyously pass has no faintest resemblance to the truth; the idea that a man of a nice disposition and possessing certain character developments such as those portrayed in such books (by Annie Besant) as The Open Court and the Path of Discipleship, which condition the theosophical aspirants, is exceedingly misleading. These books are very useful and should be carefully studied by the man upon the Path of Probation, but are not so useful to the disciple, for they lead him to put the emphasis in the wrong direction and to focus upon that which should already have been developed. Naturally, the character development must be present and assumed to be stable in the man's equipment; these characteristics have, however, little bearing on initiation and passing through the "door" on the Path. They are indicative of the point reached upon the Path of Evolution, as a result of experiment, experience and continuous expression, and should be common to all aspirants who have reached the point of facing discipleship; they are unavoidable developments and connote simply the reaction of the personality to time and experience. It is eternally true that no one may pass through this door unless these character indications are developed, but that is due to the fact that the aspirant has progressed to a certain stage of unfoldment and automatically now has a measure of self-control, of mental understanding and of purity.

I would point out also that even the black magician possesses these qualities, for they are the sine qua non of all magical art, both black and white; the black magician passes through the door of initiation as it opens twice for the first two initiations. He passes through on the strength of his will and his character accomplishments and because the group conscious aspect of the soul is active in him as in his brother seeking affiliation with the Great White Lodge. The love aspect is, however, lacking in the black magician. Forget not that all is energy and there is nothing else. The energy which [349] is an aspect of the soul and which we call magnetic attraction (the group-building quality) he shares with the spiritual aspirant. He is essentially group conscious, and though his motives are separative, his methods are those of the group, and these he can get only from the soul.

You see again another reason why the first and second initiations are not regarded by the Lodge of Masters as major initiations. Only the third is so regarded, because at that initiation the entire personality life is flooded with energy coming from the Spiritual Triad, via the "sacrifice petals" of the will and purpose aspect of the soul. To this type of energy the black magician is not responsive. He can and does respond to the knowledge - most ancient and hardly won - stored up in the "knowledge petals" of the soul; he can appropriate and utilize the energy of attraction (erroneously called love by some students) stored up in the "love petals" of the soul, but he cannot respond to and use the energy of divine love, working out in the divine Plan which controls all knowledge and converts it into wisdom, and which actuates and clarifies the motive which brings loving magnetic attraction into action and which we call true group consciousness and group cohesion. It is at this point that the two ways - of darkness and of light - become widely divergent. Until the third initiation is taken, glamor may condition the attitude of those seeking to understand the life of a man upon the Path, and they may mistake the spurious for the real. The black magician leads a disciplined life, analogous to that of the spiritual aspirant; he practices purity for his own safeguarding and not in order that he may become a channel for the energy of light; he works with power (the power of magnetic attraction) with and in groups, but he does this for his own selfish ends and for the fulfilment of his own ambitious purposes. But at the third initiation there comes to the true spiritual initiate the revelation which is the reward of perseverance and purity rightly motivated - the revelation of the divine purpose, as the soul records it in terms of the hierarchical plan, though not yet in terms of the Monad. To this purpose and [350] to the loving Will of God (to use a trite Christian phrase) the black brother cannot respond; his aims are different. You have here the true meaning of the oft-used and misunderstood phrase, "the parting of the ways."

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