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The Rays and the Initiations - Part Two - Section One - The Aspirant and the Mysteries of Initiation
In considering the work carried forward in the Ashram as it affects the Masters Themselves, two ideas automatically emerge: [389]
  1. The Masters are also subject to limitation. The general idea of all aspirants is that They represent Those Who have achieved freedom, have been liberated, and are therefore held by no limiting circumstances whatsoever. This is not true, though - speaking relatively, or so far as humanity is concerned - it is a fact that the limitations by which They were held as human beings are no longer present. But one achieved freedom only opens the door to another and wider freedom on ahead, and the ring-pass-not of our planetary Life in itself constitutes a powerful limitation. Speaking symbolically, somewhere in that great dividing wall of our planetary circumference, the Master must find an exit and discover a door which will permit Him to enter the Way of the Higher Evolution in its more cosmic stages. This Way leads Them in awareness and consciousness and experience into that "life more abundantly" of which Christ spoke; the origin and source of this more abundant life is to be found on cosmic levels, and not on the levels of the cosmic physical plane to which humanity and the Masters have hitherto been confined.
  2. I am dealing with states of awareness and with experiences and spiritual undertakings which lie outside my own personal realization. But in spite of this truth, just as you in the position of aspirants and disciples know much about the Hierarchy, its life, aims and conditioning rules, so do I, a Master of the fifth degree, know much concerning what lies ahead of me; I can therefore endeavor to make some small part of these essential truths clearer to those who can profit by them. Such people will necessarily be initiated disciples.

Years ago (in 1922) when I gave the names of the seven Paths along one of which a Master must go (Initiation, Human and Solar), it was felt by Those for Whom I was working that humanity was not ready for the information which I now propose to give. I would here remind you that I have ever stated that even the Hierarchy does not know exactly how humanity will react or what progress they will make within a given time. Since I gave the earlier exoteric information, the world war took place, the forces of hidden evil [390] emerged for a short period and were then routed, and humanity has awakened to truer values and spiritual perception to a totally unexpected extent. Men have been so aroused by the past agony that never again will they fall asleep; they may move slowly but they are, for the first time on a large scale, really thinking and visioning. For this reason, it is now possible to give out teaching hitherto regarded as too advanced. There are those alive today who will understand; there are those coming into incarnation during the next fifty years whose feet are already set upon this Higher Way, and it is for them I write.

There are certain preliminary statements which would be useful here, if there is to be any real and true measure of clear thinking and understanding. Their significance will emerge as we study the Seven Paths and the Nine Initiations. I shall do no more than state them, but you must regard them as basic:

  1. Our seven planes - the mastery of which is our idealized spiritual goal - are after all only the lowest cosmic plane, the cosmic physical plane. From the cosmic angle, the Masters are only beginners, and even our deeply desired initiations (from the first to the sixth) are simply preparatory initiations for those to be taken later on upon the Way of the Higher Evolution.
  2. This Higher Way is a sevenfold Way. The seven Paths form its seven modes of approach to the One Way and together create it. These seven Paths are not ray-conditioned. By that I mean that entering one or another of them is not in any way dependent upon the ray which conditioned the Master earlier. The Masters and the still higher initiates, such as the Christ, can choose any Path which makes its appeal in such a manner that complete rightness is registered in the initiate's consciousness and He knows that He can go no other way.
  3. At the sixth initiation, called the Initiation of Decision, the Initiate makes His final choice as to the Way that He will go, and from that decision there is no turning back. [391]
  4. Three things will necessarily color any decision the Initiate may make; His ray, which still determines Him, His past activities as they may fit Him for specialized work, plus a sense of freedom hitherto unrealized. The decision might be regarded as the first gesture of the advancing Master toward liberation from all ray limitations. As He moves forward on the Higher Way, He will find Himself, as a result of the new training and field of experience, able to work on any ray.
  5. The fifth initiation is usually called that of the Resurrection by the orthodox Christian, but this is not its real name; it is in reality the Initiation of Revelation, because the Initiate gains His first vision of the Door through which He must pass on to the seven Paths. He glimpses it and that is all, but between that initiation and the next in which He must perforce make His decision, He comes to understand the nature of the energy which each Path expresses and which will eventually evoke from Him a decisive activity.
  6. By passing through the second great Door of Initiation, the Initiate begins to learn the significance and the attractive potency of the Central Spiritual Sun, to which all the Paths eventually lead.
  7. The fifth and sixth initiations are to the Master what the first and second are to the disciple - simply initiations of the threshold and not true initiations from the cosmic angle. The first true initiation upon the Higher Way is called the Initiation of Resurrection; this has no reference to the fifth initiation.
  8. The decision made by the Master enables Him to take the required training to enter His chosen Path, and this training is taken entirely upon cosmic etheric levels - the four highest subplanes of the cosmic physical plane - the buddhic, atmic, monadic and logoic planes.
  9. On these planes the spiritual and the divine will is developed and brought into use; these are aspects of that undefinable purpose to which we give the simple name: the Will of God. Intelligence and love have been fully unfolded in the Master, but the will is embryonic still, from the [392] standpoint of Those responsible for training the Master and the higher Initiate. It is only by means of the divine will that the Master begins to free Himself from ray limitations.
  10. I would remind you of an earlier statement that the Hierarchy reacts or responds to the energies and influences coming from the cosmic astral plane; from that level of spiritual life true divine love pours into it. Shamballa reacts to the cosmic mental plane, and therefore to the nature and purposes of the Mind of God; the expression of That which over-shadows Sanat Kumara is similar to the soul over-shadowing the incarnated spiritual man.
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