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

With the introductory teaching on the science of the Antahkarana we shall not here deal, for the student will find it in the book, Education in the New Age. That preliminary presentation should be studied before taking up the more advanced stage which begins here. Let us now consider, step by step this science which is already proving a useful source of experiment and testing.

The human soul (in contradistinction to the soul as it functions in its own kingdom, free from the limitations of human life) is imprisoned and subject to the control of the lower three energies for the major part of its experience. Then, upon the Path of Probation, the dual energy of soul begins to be increasingly active, and the man seeks to use his mind consciously, and to express love-wisdom on the physical plane. This is a simple statement of the objective of all aspirants. When the five energies are beginning to be used, consciously and wisely in service, a rhythm is then set up between the Personality and the Soul. It is as if a magnetic field were then established and these two vibrating and magnetic units, or grouped energies, swung into each other's field of influence. This happens only occasionally and rarely in the early stages; later it occurs more constantly, and thus a path of contact is established which eventually becomes the line of least resistance, "the way of familiar approach," as it is sometimes called. Thus is the first half of the "bridge," the antahkarana, constructed. By the time the third initiation is completed, this Way is completed, and the initiate can "pass to higher worlds at will, leaving the lower worlds far behind; or he can come again and pass upon the way that leads from dark to light, from light to dark, and from the under lower worlds into the realms of light." [445]

Thus the two are one, and the first great union upon the Path of Return is completed. A second stage of the Way has then to be trodden, leading to a second union of still further importance in that it leads to complete liberation from the three worlds. It must be remembered that the soul, in its turn, is a union of three energies of which the lower three are the reflection. It is a synthesis of the energy of Life itself (which demonstrates as the life-principle within the world of forms), of the energy of the intuition or spiritual love-wisdom or understanding (this demonstrates as sensitivity and feeling in the astral body), and spiritual mind, whose reflection in the lower nature is the mind or the principle of intelligence in the form world. In these three we have the atma-buddhi-manas of the theosophical literature - that higher triplicity which is reflected in the lower three, and which focuses through the soul body on the higher levels of the mental plane before being precipitated into incarnation - as it is esoterically called.

Modernizing the concept, we might say that the energies which animate the physical body and the intelligent life of the atom, the sensitive emotional states, and the intelligent mind, have eventually to be blended with and transmuted into the energies which animate the soul. These are the spiritual mind, conveying illumination; the intuitive nature, conferring spiritual perception; and divine livingness.

After the third initiation the "Way" is carried forward with great rapidity, and the "bridge" is finished which links perfectly the higher spiritual Triad and the lower material reflection. The three worlds of the Soul and the three worlds of the Personality become one world wherein the initiate works and functions, seeing no distinction, regarding one world as the world of inspiration and the other world as constituting the field of service, yet regarding both together as forming one world of activity. Of these two worlds, the subjective etheric body (or the body of vital inspiration) and the dense physical body are symbols on the external plane.

How is this bridging antahkarana to be built? Where [446] are the steps which the disciple must follow? I deal not here with the Path of Probation whereon the major faults should be eliminated and whereon the major virtues should be developed. Much of the instruction given in the past has laid down the rules for the cultivation of the virtues and qualifications for discipleship, and also the necessity for self-control, for tolerance and for unselfishness. But these are elementary stages and should be taken for granted by the students. Such students should be occupied not only with the establishment of the character aspect of discipleship, but with the more abstruse and difficult requirements for those whose eventual goal is initiation.

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