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The Rays and the Initiations - Part Two - Section Two - The Aspirant and the Major Initiations
Initiation IV - The Great Renunciation or Crucifixion

This initiation of renunciation (called "The Crucifixion" by Christian believers) is so familiar to the majority of people that I am hard put to it to say that which will arrest your attention, and thus offset a familiarity which necessarily lessens the importance of the theme in your consciousness. The idea of crucifixion is associated in your minds with death and torture, whereas neither concept underlies the true meaning. Let us consider some of the significances connected with this fourth initiation.

The sign of the Cross - associated in the Western world with this initiation and with the Christian faith - is in reality a cosmic symbol, long antedating the Christian era. It is one of the major signs to be found in the consciousness of Those advanced Beings Who, from the distant sun, Sirius, the seat of the true Great White Lodge, watch over the destinies of our solar system, but Who pay particular attention (why They do so is not yet revealed) to our relatively little and apparently unimportant planet, the Earth.

The word "crucifixion" comes from two Latin words signifying to "fix on a cross" (I have asked A.A.B. to look this word up in the dictionary so that you can have a sense [693] of surety). The cross referred to in reference to this particular initiation is the Cardinal Cross of the heavens. It is to this cross that the disciple shifts at the fourth initiation, from the Fixed Cross of the heavens. This fixed cross is the one on which he has been crucified from the moment he found himself upon the Path of Probation and passed from thence on to the Path of Discipleship. On that Path - having transcended the world of phenomena and established an unbroken contact with the Monad, via the antahkarana - he renounces the Mutable Cross of existence in the three worlds (the world of appearances), and after a period of time he transfers from that cross on to the Fixed Cross, which is set up in the world of meaning where he has steadily learnt to dwell. This covers the period of the first three initiations. Now, being liberated through renunciation, he needs no longer to undergo the tests, trials, and difficulties which crucifixion on the Fixed Cross inevitably entails; he can now take his place upon the Cardinal Cross, with all its cosmic implications and opportunities which are then conferred. This - as far as the individual is concerned - is necessarily symbolic and figurative in its teaching. As far as the Heavenly Man is concerned, however, the application is not symbolic. It is far more factual. From the angle of the supreme Masters on Sirius, our planetary Logos, Sanat Kumara, is still on the Fixed Cross; He mounted the Mutable Cross in the first solar system; the Fixed Cross still holds Him in this solar system "fixed in His place"; in the next solar system, He will transfer Himself to the Cardinal Cross, and from "thence return to that High Place from whence He came." You can see, therefore, why I emphasize the fact that these three crosses are simply symbols of experience in relation to the individual disciple. Let us consider this a little more closely:

  1. The Mutable Cross governs the three worlds and the astral plane in particular. On this cross the average man is "crucified" until he achieves the needed experience and consciously reorients himself to another phase of unfoldment. [694]
  2. The Fixed Cross governs the five worlds of human development and conditions the experiences of all disciples. Through the discipline and the experiences thus gained whilst on this cross, the disciple passes from one renunciation to another until complete freedom and liberation has been achieved.
  3. The Cardinal Cross governs the Master as He passes through the remaining five initiations; the fourth initiation is, curiously enough, governed by neither the Fixed Cross nor the Cardinal Cross. The disciple is descending from the Fixed Cross and seeking to mount the Cardinal Cross, and it is this transition period and experience which practically govern Him. It might therefore be noted that there are three initiations which test the disciple as to knowledge and experience: the first, the second and the third; then there comes an initiation of transition, followed by five initiations which the Master undergoes upon the Cardinal Cross.

It should be remembered that the distinctive nature of the man upon the Mutable Cross is that of self-consciousness; that the disciple upon the Fixed Cross is rapidly becoming group conscious when the experiences undergone have been rightly assimilated; and that the Master on the Cardinal Cross is distinguished by a universal consciousness which passes finally into cosmic consciousness - a state of being unknown to you, even in the wildest flights of your imagination. The first hint of the growth of cosmic consciousness comes when the disciple passes through the sixth Initiation of Decision. He determines then (by means of His enlightened will and not His mind) which of the seven Paths He will decide to follow. From that time on, the consciousness of the greater Life which enfolds our planetary Logos, as He enfolds humanity within His consciousness, increasingly controls the attitude, the awareness and the activities of the Master.

You can see, therefore, how this initiation of crucifixion (which the Christian world has appropriated for itself) is far vaster in its implications than students suspect. [695] Yet this appropriation was intentional under the divine Plan of the Hierarchy, for always some great Teacher - by His life and teaching - will call attention to some particular initiation. The Buddha, for instance, in His Four Noble Truths, stated in reality the platform upon which the initiate of the third initiation takes his stand. He desires nothing of a personal nature; he is liberated from the three worlds. The Christ pictured for us and emphasized the fourth initiation with its tremendous transition from the Fixed Cross to the Mount of Ascension, symbol of transition, through initiation.

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