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The Rays and the Initiations - Part Two - Section One - The Aspirant and the Mysteries of Initiation
As you know, the first human being out of that "center which we call the race of men" to achieve this point was the Christ; in that first great demonstration of His point of attainment (through the medium of what was then a new type of initiation) the Christ was joined by the Buddha. The Buddha had attained this same point prior to the creation of our planetary life, but conditions for taking the third initiation [386] were not then available, and He and the Christ took the initiation together. At this initiation, and since then for all initiates of that degree of attainment, They stood in the Presence of the One Initiator, the Lord of the World, and not in the Presence of the Initiate Who was then Head of the Hierarchy. This third initiation was taken in a fourth ray Ashram, the Ray of Harmony through Conflict. This Ashram had taken form and attained functioning activity some time earlier. You can see, under the Law of Correspondences, why this was so. The first human being in the fourth kingdom in nature to take this initiation did so in a fourth ray Ashram and then, esoterically speaking, "the Way lay open toward the Cross"; the initiate faced the process of extension on the Cross, and from that vantage point could view the three worlds. The fourth initiation then became a possibility; the crucifixion faced the disciple of the third degree with its promise of complete liberation and final resurrection.

You can see, therefore, what a tremendous crisis took place in the relation between Humanity and the Hierarchy - a crisis of such importance that Shamballa became involved and the Lord of the World Himself admitted the initiate to the higher contacts. Between that time and the crucifixion of the Master Jesus, the sixth ray Ashram, the fifth and the third, have all been formed around the nucleus of light, started by the ray Lords much earlier. The point of light and of will energy at the center of each Ashram has existed for untold millennia of years, but the Ashrams themselves were only slowly formed around the nucleus as the various types of energy swept into manifestation and brought with them human types responsive to the ray energy.

When the Master Jesus took the Crucifixion Initiation, another crisis arose of equally great import, if not greater. The crisis was brought about because simultaneously with the crucifixion of the Master, the Head of the Hierarchy, the Christ, took two initiations in one: the Resurrection Initiation and that of the Ascension. These are the fifth and sixth initiations, according to the Christian terminology. [387] This was possible because the first ray Ashram was now active, making entry into the Council Chamber at Shamballa possible. When the Christ achieved this, He was deemed worthy of embodying in Himself a new principle in evolution and of revealing to the world the nature of the second ray aspect - the divine principle of love (as humanity calls it) or of pure reason (as the Hierarchy calls it).

Since that time, all the seven major Ashrams have been fully organized and are steadily increasing in radiatory activity. As you will have noted, the order of their appearance - under ray activity - was 2, 7, 4, 6, 5, 3, 1. In giving this item of ashramic information I am giving you more hints than you will immediately realize.

Each Ashram, as you know, expresses ray quality in its purest and most essential form. During the process of creating the seven Ashrams, they have shifted their focus (or location) from the lowest of the three levels of the abstract mental plane at each major crisis, until today the Ashrams are to be found on the buddhic plane and not on the mental plane at all. This marks the triumph of the hierarchical work, because pure reason-through the second ray - is now the dominant quality in all the Ashrams. Forget not in this connection that all the rays are subrays of the second Ray of Love-Wisdom, but that in the early days of hierarchical activity, it was the particular quality of the ray which dominated an Ashram that first demonstrated, and not the quality of the great major ray of which they were all a part.

Today this is all changing, though the process is not yet perfected, and pure reason or true love is beginning to manifest itself through the quality of all the rays, functioning through their respective Ashrams. The secondary ray quality will not die out or in any way be lessened, but each ray quality will serve to implement the expression of pure love, which is the essential and - at this time - the primary quality of the Lord of the World, Sanat Kumara.

As the centuries have slipped away and the potency of the rays has increased on Earth, humanity has become more and more invocative; this has necessitated the expansion of [388] the Hierarchy itself, and each Ashram has become the creator of six other Ashrams (few of them as yet complete, and some entirely embryonic), so that, in fact, all the forty-nine Ashrams are in the making. The second ray, for instance, has five affiliated Ashrams and one of which only the nucleus exists, and all these are working under its inspiration and through the effect of the second ray central fire. All have at their center a second ray disciple. The third ray has already two subsidiary Ashrams; the sixth has four, and so on. The first ray is the only one at this time with no subsidiary fully functioning Ashram, and this because the will aspect is as yet very little understood and few initiates can meet the requirements of the first ray initiation. This is no reflection upon humanity. It is a question of divine timing and expediency, and Shamballa is not yet prepared for an influx of first ray initiates. Ages must pass before this Will aspect will have reached the stage of unfoldment and expression on the physical plane and through the medium of mankind which will warrant the fusing of six first ray fires - the purest fires there are.

If you will add all the above information as a background to what you know about ashramic work today, you will have a more complete picture of evocative and spiritual reality. You know much (for I have told you much) anent the Ashrams open today and the requirements for acceptance. It is essential that the uniqueness of the initiatory process be discounted. Down the ages men have achieved, are achieving and will achieve. The only difference is that - as the intellect of man develops - the requirements for initiation become more drastic and exacting, and the initiate therefore becomes of a distinctly higher order. The Master today is infinitely wiser and more full of love and more "occultly reasonable" than was the Master in Atlantean times. This in itself constitutes a reasonable fact, does it not, my brothers?

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