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The Rays and the Initiations - Part Two - Section Two - The Aspirant and the Major Initiations
Initiation II - The Baptism in Jordan

The initiation which we are now to study is perhaps one of the most important, because it concerns that aspect of the personality which gives the most difficulty to everybody: the emotional or astral body. Today the mass of men are swept by the emotions and by a sensitive response to circumstance; they are not swept usually by an intelligent reaction to life as it is. The normal and usually violent reaction serves only to increase the confusion and the attending difficulties, producing vortices of uncontrolled energies, glamor and delusion. Even though it may at the same time produce a saving aspect in some cases, the violence of the astral testing and the potency of the astral temptation (as it might well be called) leads to a greatly increased sphere of suffering. To this must be added the materialistic bias of the many presented solutions, bringing in the force of the world maya and thus greatly complicating the problem.

Distressing as all this may be, and significant of the end of this age and the cessation of the Atlantean vibration and quality which has carried over so potently into [674] this Aryan cycle, it is however indicative of the attainment of a definitely racial opportunity. Humanity - on a relatively large scale - faces the second initiation, or the Baptism Initiation.

The concept of baptism is ever associated with that of purification. Water has ever been the symbol of that which purifies; it is also the symbol of the astral plane, with its instability, its storms, its tranquillities, its overwhelming emotional reactions and its pliability, which makes it such a good agent for the deceptive thought-forming faculties of the unregenerate man. It reacts to every impulse, every desire and every possible magnetic "pull" coming from the material or substantial form side of nature. In its cycles of tranquility it reflects equally the good as well as the bad; it is the agent, therefore, of deception when manipulated by the Black Lodge, or of aspirational reaction when influenced by the great White Lodge, the spiritual Hierarchy of our planet. It is the battleground between the pairs of opposites; the problem is complicated by the fact that men have to learn to recognize these opposites before right choice, leading to spiritual victory, is theirs.

Today, desire for peace at any price, for adequate food, warmth and housing, for the restoration of stability and security and for the cessation of anxiety controls the mass of human reactions and makes the astral plane loom so large in men's affairs and in world decisions. This is so dominantly so that the realization which the mind could reveal and of which the intelligentsia are the custodians is lost to sight and has small influence.

At the third initiation the control of the soul-illumined mind is finally established, and the soul itself assumes the dominant position and not the phenomenal form. All the limits of the form nature are then transcended. It is the vision of this transcendence which is communicated at the time of the second initiation under the symbolism of a positively applied purification.

I am not here emphasizing the Biblical account of that purificatory process. That summarized symbolically [675] the watery nature of the astral plane and the "washing by water" of the initiate. It expressed the purely Atlantean form of the initiatory process, giving us the concept of a descent into water and of ascent out of water in response to a Word of Power from on high. The Aryan approach to this same initiation has not yet been fully understood.

This second initiation - as now undergone - is to some extent one of the most difficult. It involves purification, but it is purification by fire, symbolically understood. The occult "application of fire to water" produces certain most serious and devastating results. The water, under the action of fire, "is resolved into steam and the initiate is immersed in the fogs and miasmas, the glamors and the mists" thus caused. Out of this fog and out of the glamors, the initiate must emerge; out of the present fog of human affairs humanity will also emerge eventually. The success of the individual initiate is the guarantee of the racial destiny. The complications, produced by water in conjunction with fire in these Aryan days, are far greater than those produced entirely by water in Atlantean times; this age is kama-manasic and not simply kamic or strictly astral. Remember therefore as you read these words that I am speaking symbolically. The fire of mind today has to be reckoned with in conjunction with the water of desire, and it is owing to this that much of humanity's problem develops. It is because of this that the second initiation has become one of the most difficult which the modern disciple has to take.

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