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The Rays and the Initiations - Part Two - Section One - The Aspirant and the Mysteries of Initiation
As we study some of the esoteric details connected with the life, the quality and, later, the appearance of the Ashrams of the Masters, I would remind you of certain points I have already made; your minds then will be predisposed to right thinking and interpretation. I am anxious for your approach to the subject to be correct. I have given you a number of definitions of an Ashram in the previous pages [379] and in my other books, and I would have you bear these in mind. The concept of a college group, of a band of workers or of a number of men and women working under the supervision of a Master is too apt to color your thoughts. The complete freedom from all coercion or from any supervision of daily activity, the instinctive reaction of all within the Ashram to the ray influence and to the "breath of the prevailing Will" (as it is called) is something very different. I seek in what I intend to impart to you to give a very different impression. In our next section, on the dual life of the initiatory process, the newer concepts may emerge more clearly. The points I want you to bear in mind are as follows:
  1. The great Ashram, the Hierarchy, is composed of many Ashrams, creating an "invoking area" of relationship for Sanat Kumara.
  2. The Christ, aided by the Manu and the Mahachohan, is the Coordinator of the entire life of the great Ashram.
  3. The personnel of the great Ashram is today entirely provided from the ranks of humanity. This was not so in the earlier cycles.
  4. The great Ashram is formed of seven major Ashrams and forty-two secondary Ashrams which are gradually forming.
  5. The entire Ashram is a unity, for the ashramic life in its differentiated groups is guarded by a ring-pass-not.
  6. This ring-pass-not is provided by radiation.
  7. The forty-two lesser Ashrams are held together by the magnetic interplay of the whole.
  8. Aspirants are drawn into relation with the Ashram through its radiation and enter finally into its magnetic field.
  9. There is a dual flow of energy or force into the great Ashram:
    1. Energizing life from Shamballa or what is called "unfettered enlightenment." [380]
    2. The energy of active intelligence from Humanity, thus enabling the Masters to formulate the Plan.
  10. The seven Ashrams are all concerned with the Plan.
  11. The Master Morya is the Head of all esoteric schools which truly prepare an aspirant for ashramic contact and work. The reason that a first ray Master is thus the Head is because it is the Will aspect which is developed within the Ashram.
  12. It is the service of the Plan which binds the seven Ashrams, with their subsidiary Ashrams, into the one great Ashram.
  13. It is only within his ray Ashram that the will of the disciple is developed.
  14. The magnetic, dynamic energy of the first aspect of divinity is found at the heart of each of the seven Ashrams, fed from a reservoir of will energy which is found at the heart of the great Ashram itself.
  15. The forty-two subsidiary Ashrams are energized by the reservoir of will energy found at the heart of each of the major Ashrams.
  16. The seven Ashrams express each the quality of their ray, one of the seven ray types.

If you will have these points in mind, the whole hierarchical theme will be recognized and correctly interpreted by you.

There was a time when (in the early history of the planet) there was no Hierarchy; there were only two major centers in the expression of the life of the Lord of the World: Shamballa and His embryonic throat center, Humanity. Shamballa was the head center. There was no humanity, such as we now know it, but only something so primitive that it is well-nigh impossible for you to grasp its significance or factual expression. But the life of God was there, plus an inherent "urge" and a dynamic "pull." These two factors rendered the mass of men (if one may call them so) inchoately invocative, thus drawing from high spiritual centers certain developed and informed Lives Who - in [381] increasing numbers - "walked among men" and led them slowly, very slowly, forward into increasing light. The early history of the Hierarchy falls into two historical eras in the process of its becoming a "mediating Center":

  • First: The time when the relating, mediating, enlightening correspondences to Those we now call the Masters trod the earth with men and were not withdrawn and apparently invisible, as is now the case. Their task was to bring the primitive intelligence of humanity to the point where there could be the presentation of the Plan, with eventual cooperation. In occult parlance, Their work was the establishing of a rapport between the unrevealed second aspect (to which They were responsive) and Humanity. In this They succeeded, but the matter aspect and quality - that of active intelligence - was so strong that the second historical phase became essential.
  • Second: The time when the Hierarchy was created as we know it today; the heart center of Sanat Kumara came into its own life, formed its own magnetic field, possessed its own ring-pass-not, and became a dynamic mediating center between Shamballa and Humanity.

It has oft been told in occult and theosophical literature that the Hierarchy withdrew as a penalizing measure because of the wickedness of mankind. This is only superficially true and is an instance of a man-made interpretation, giving us the first example of the fear-and-punishment psychology which - from that time on - has conditioned all religious teaching. The withdrawing Masters had Their Paul to distort the truth, just as had the Christ, Their august Head today. The truth was far otherwise.

The time came in those distant aeons when a certain percentage of human beings reached, through their own efforts, the stage (at that time demanded) of preparedness for initiation. This attainment brought surprising results:

  1. It became possible for certain of the Masters to "return from whence They came."
  2. It became necessary to provide conditions where [382] these men "accepted for unfettered enlightenment" could receive the needed training.
  3. The process of creation had reached the evolutionary stage where the centers of the Lord of the World were differentiated; function and radiatory activity were established, and this produced a stronger "pull" and placed the Hierarchy "at the midway point." A station of light and power was formed. All this was made possible because humanity could now produce its own "enlightened ones."
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