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The Rays and the Initiations - Part Two - Section One - The Aspirant and the Mysteries of Initiation
In the Gospel story there are two major episodes in the life of the Master Jesus which throw some light upon this fourth entrance through the door of initiation: the Transfiguration and the Crucifixion. In both of them the three aspects of the personality are symbolized. In the first case, they are symbolized by the three apostles who in bewilderment and profound humility took part in the third initiation, [354] the Transfiguration; in the second case, the three were depicted by the three Crosses - the two thieves and the central Master. The difference in the fourth initiation is definite; it lies in the fact that the four aspects of the personality (counting the dense physical body as one aspect and the etheric vehicle as a second aspect of the physical body) are involved, for this fourth emanation of fire by friction has a potent and destructive effect upon the dense physical body. The Great Renunciation involves the rejection of the physical life at any cost, and that cost frequently involves its physical death.

The Great Renunciation or fourth initiation has, therefore, two aspects: the outer involvement or objective happening in the eyes of the physical plane onlooker, and the subjective aspect, portrayed symbolically by the three Crosses and those who hung upon them.

The implications emerging out of this symbolism are not easy to see, even when the superficial meaning is apparent, because that superficial meaning hides and veils a universal reality. The Master Jesus passed through the door of the fourth initiation and overcame the final hindrances offered by His perfected personality. He died upon the Cross. All the four aspects of His personality participated in the event, and all four aspects electrically obstructed His passing through this door, even to the point of their complete destruction - bringing a final liberation. Something universal was also symbolized which had naught to do with the Initiated Master Jesus.

This symbolism and its meaning are related to the three Crosses which stood side by side and to the relationship between those who hung upon them. In the three figures humanity itself is portrayed and also related to the Hierarchy, and this "pictorial event" is a parallel to the one already considered - the initiation of the Master Jesus. In the Crucifixion, in this fourth passing through the door of initiation and in the staging of this event, two great and different individualities - the Master Jesus and the World Savior, the Christ - are implicated; two major happenings [355] are indicated, and the Christian Church has confused the two and related both of them without discrimination to the Master Jesus. Yet one event was a hierarchical occurrence and the other was a great human crisis; one was the entrance of an initiate into the Mysteries of death, involving in the process all the four aspects of His nature; the other was a dramatic portrayal to mankind of three groups to be found within the human family:

  1. Unregenerate man, pictured by the unrepentant thief.
  2. The struggling aspirant, moving consciously towards liberation, symbolized for us in the repentant thief.
  3. The Hierarchy, composed of all who have passed to liberation through the medium of human experience, and thereby representing to us a guarantee of achievement.

Students would do well to keep this fourfold picture and this threefold symbol clearly distinguished in their minds, for individual attainment and the group possibilities are both involved; each is, however, distinct; in the one case the Master Jesus is the participator, and in the other and the more esoteric occurrence it is the One Who over-shadows Him, the Christ. It was the Master Jesus who "died" and entered into the tomb, thus climaxing His long series of incarnations and ending - by destruction - the hold of matter on the spirit; through the tomb He passed into the Hierarchy, and the destiny of the Christian Church was committed to Him; that destiny still lies in His hands. But in the Gospel story, it is the Christ Who is indicated as appearing after the resurrection and not the Master Jesus, except in the one brief episode wherein He appeared to Mary, weeping outside the door of the sepulchre. The other episodes are universal in their implications, as indicated by:

  1. Christ walking with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus - a symbol of the essential dualism of spirit and matter, as embodied in a world Savior.
  2. Christ appearing to the disciples in the upper room, [356] symbolizing the zodiac, for Judas Iscariot was there, standing for the sign at the time in power; the other eleven disciples representing the remaining signs through which the sun must pass.
  3. Pentecost. This event does not portray the triumph of orthodox Christianity (as the theologians believe and teach), but signifies the universal dissemination of the Christ consciousness throughout all time in the heart of every human being; to this the words and promise, "Lo, I am with you all the days, even until the end of the world," bear witness.

It is owing to the deeply esoteric meaning of the Resurrection and the Ascension and their major significance, referring to the consciousness of the Christ, that nothing much is told us about these initiations in The New Testament, except the vaguest generalities, in contradistinction to the wealth of detail given anent the other four initiations. Four of these initiations are related to the "door of initiation" as occultly understood and with the interpretation of which we are familiar; these four are related also to the electrical "fire by friction" of which that door is constructed, and which spreads to and creates the burning ground across which the initiate must four times move in order to "enter through that door."

The other two initiations (vaguely called the Resurrection and the Ascension) are related to the second so-called "door." This door is not in the same sense an obstruction as is the first door; it opens on to the Way of the Higher Evolution. The first door symbolically admits the initiate into the "heart of the Sun," whilst the second door - in a most mysterious sense - indicates the route which must be followed by the liberated initiate who seeks to penetrate to the Central Spiritual Sun - to which all the seven Paths eventually lead.

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