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A Treatise on Cosmic Fire - Section One - Division C - The Etheric Body and Prana
When a man takes the fourth Initiation, he functions in the fourth plane vehicle, the buddhic, and has escaped permanently from the personality ring-pass-not, on the fourth subplane of the mental. There is naught to hold him to the three worlds. At the first Initiation he escapes from the ring-pass-not in a more temporary sense, but he has yet to escape from the three higher mental levels, which are the mental correspondences to the higher ethers, and to develop full consciousness on these three higher subplanes. We have here a correspondence to the work to be done by the initiate after he has achieved the fourth solar plane, the buddhic. There yet remains the development of full consciousness on the three higher planes of spirit before he can escape from the solar ring-pass-not, which is achieved at the seventh Initiation, taken somewhere in the system, or in its cosmic correspondence reached by the cosmic sutratma, or cosmic thread of life. 51

This fourth earth chain is in this connection one of the most important, for it is the appointed place for the domination of the etheric body by the human monad, with the aim in view of both human and planetary escape from limitations. This earth chain, though not one of the seven sacred planetary chains, is of vital importance at this time to the planetary Logos, who temporarily employs it as a medium of incarnation, and of expression. This fourth round finds the solution of its strenuous and chaotic life in the very simple fact of the shattering of [115] the etheric web in order to effect liberation, and permit a later and more adequate form to be employed.

A further chain of ideas may be followed up in the remembrance that the fourth ether is even now being studied and developed by the average scientist, and is already somewhat harnessed to the service of man; that the fourth subplane of the astral plane is the normal functioning ground of the average man and that in this round escape from the etheric vehicle is being achieved; that the fourth subplane of the mental plane is the present goal of endeavor of one-fourth of the human family; that the fourth manvantara will see the solar ring-pass-not offering avenues of escape to those who have reached the necessary point; that the four planetary Logoi will perfect Their escape from Their planetary environment, and will function with greater ease on the cosmic astral plane, paralleling on cosmic levels the achievement of the human units who are the cells in Their bodies.

Our solar Logos, being a Logos of the fourth order, will begin to coordinate His cosmic buddhic body, and as He develops cosmic mind He will gradually achieve, by the aid of that mind, the ability to touch the cosmic buddhic plane.

These possibilities and correspondences have been somewhat dwelt upon, as it is necessary for us to realize the work to be done in connection with the etheric web before we take up the matter of the various causes which may hinder the desired progress, and prevent the appointed escape and destined liberation. Later we will take up the consideration of the etheric web, and its static condition. This will entail the recollection of two things:

  • First, that this static condition is only so when viewed from the standpoint of man at the present time, and is [116] only termed so in order to make plainer the changes that must be effected and the dangers that must be offset. Evolution moves so slowly from man's point of view that it seems to be almost stationary, especially where etheric evolution is concerned.
  • Second, that we are only concerning ourselves with the physical etheric body and not with its correspondences on all planes. This is because our system is on the cosmic etheric levels, and hence is of prime importance to us.

51 Sutratma. The "silver thread" which incarnates from the beginning of a period of manifestation until the end, stringing upon itself the pearls of human existence. It is the line of energy which connects the lower personal man with his Father in Heaven via the ego, the mediating middle principle. Upon it are found those focal points of energy we call the permanent atoms.

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