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Discipleship in the New Age II - Teachings on Initiation - Part VII
It is this test which I have been applying in my work with all of you in this special group; the related state persists also on the inner plane after death, and in the consciousness of those (at present non-affiliated) who are still part of the group chosen for the experiment, on my part, of group preparation for initiation. Other Masters are doing the same as I am doing. We hope during the next five hundred years to present several such groups to the One Initiator. All who are in these groups have taken the first initiation, as have so many thousands of people in the world today. Many have taken the second initiation, particularly those who are working in fifth ray Ashrams and in third ray Ashrams, for such disciples are distinguished by a lack of emotional emphasis. [337]

Group initiation has been forced upon the Hierarchy by the rapid unfoldment of the spiritual consciousness in humanity, an unfoldment which demonstrates - no matter what the ray - as goodwill. This goodwill is not to be interpreted as the sentimental sixth or second ray untrained aspirant is prone to interpret it. It can take many forms: it can show itself as sacrifice on the part of science and a dedication of the fruits of scientific research to human welfare; it may take shape in the third ray aptitude to dedicate great wealth to philanthropic or educational enterprises. In neither of these cases is the disciple apparently distinguished by a so-called loving nature. Yet the results of their application to science or their accumulation of the crystallized prana of the financial world are turned to the helping of mankind. This will be a hard saying for some of you who rate an irritable remark by a co-disciple as something disgraceful and belittle the efforts of the money-maker, and do both with a sense of self-righteous congratulation.

The old saying that "the evil which men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones" is not occultly true. Evil may follow after a man in his next incarnation until he has learnt to eliminate it, but the good men do (even with mixed motives) is not forgotten but is entered upon the calendar of the Hierarchy.

Before the end of this century, thousands will stand before the Initiator and take initiation in group form; they will pass through the door of initiation together and together take their vows. This statement applies to the second and the third initiations. The higher initiations will still be taken individually or in groups of three, but not more. When the Masters take the sixth initiation, they perforce take it alone at the "midway point" between Shamballa and the Hierarchy, apparently deserted by both attentive groups. There, in complete silence and in a condition of "isolated unity," they will make their great decision. Then and only then will they become aware of the vast attentive spiritual audience which has awaited their will.

5. Initiation concerns the future and involves prevision. Again I must repeat myself and say that this theme or motif [338] of initiation is one most difficult to explain. Why should the fact of being initiated involve prevision? That is the immediate question which arises to your lips. I will counter this question with another one. What do you understand by vision? I refer, of course, to vision which is true, and which therefore presages events. In all mystical and occult writings the idea of vision, of seeing a vision or of materializing a vision, runs like a golden thread through the thinking of the aspirant. It is connected in his mind with spiritual achievement, with the attainment of his goal and with the recognition of that which lies at the heart of all high spiritual adventure. The mystical writings refer to visions and always in terms of that which lies ahead, of that which is deeply desired; the concept is often prostituted to an excessive emotionalism or to a sublimated sex expression. The occult writings frequently refer to vision as a moving point, advancing towards a progressive revelation of divinity. The whole concept is, however, relatively very simple.

Every initiation, and every stage preparatory to initiation, involves the seeing of the remote yet the attainable; all vision leads up to the momentous event of the sixth initiation, when the Master faces what is for him the final vision within this planetary ring-pass-not. He makes his great decision on the basis of the seen opportunity, and through his response to the seven phases of that cosmic vision, he treads one or other of the seven Paths. For this great "crisis of vision" all the lesser visions have prepared the Master; after his decision is made there is no longer any vision as we comprehend the term. There is a factual perception of such a nature that the element of time - as evidenced by remoteness, by the distance between this and that, between here and there - forever disappears. This is, necessarily, a somewhat meaningless statement to the majority of people.

For the aspirant, whether his goal is the Path of Discipleship or one of the seven Paths leading away from known planetary experience, there is persistently that which conveys to consciousness two factors: [339]

  1. A dualistic perception of that which has been attained and of that which lies ahead to be attained.
  2. A recognition of the events which will, if experienced, merge the two into one major happening; time, therefore, enters in. However, it is not time as it is conditioned by the receptivity of the human brain, but time as it represents evolutionary movements, resulting in an achieved though constantly relative perfection.

Oft I have said to you that time is the sequence of the states of consciousness, as registered by the human brain. It is therefore a physical event. Behind this definition, however, lies a real or true time of which the initiate becomes increasingly aware. The great Law of Karma has received little attention from the standpoint of time; yet it is that which determines the sequence of evolution, of evolutionary progress, the period of karmic recognitions, and the conclusion of a karmic cycle.

The ordinary teaching on Karma (particularly as to the time element) has been terribly prostituted by the purely selfish rendering given to it by those early theosophical teachers who misunderstood and misinterpreted what H.P.B. said. They had little chance to do much else than relate it to individual affairs, if they were going to familiarize the public with the concept, but they nevertheless did much harm with their puerile setting of times and seasons, and their attempt to take to themselves the mysterious functions of a Lord of Karma. It is always difficult to convey any true concept of Karma, because it predominantly concerns cycles and the sequence of world events. There is much to be done in relating time and conscious recognition together.

In this connection, initiation might be defined as embodying three recognitions:

  1. A recognition of the end of a cycle of happenings, i.e., retrospection.
  2. The recognition of the appearance of an eventual yet imminent cycle, i.e., prevision. [340]
  3. An acceptance of initiation or a recognition of its occurrence, i.e., the present attitude.

Here you have, in relation to the initiate, a situation which includes past, present and future, and - in this presentation of the Eternal Now to the attentive eyes and heart of the initiate - you have what is, for him, at his particular point of initiatory unfoldment, the consummation of all vision or visions. This tends to definite progress; it obliterates what is usually understood by Karma; it initiates new and spiritual causes which - in their turn - magnetically project the initiate onward until (at the sixth initiation) he "no longer needs incentive, for vision is incentive and the pull of the spiritual magnetism upon our planetary life." Thus it may be occultly expressed.

For the initiate (at this great stage of experience), Karma ends. By this I mean that Karma - as the ordinary student understands it - is no longer effective. Neither good Karma, resulting in a sense of bliss, nor bad Karma, resulting in a sense of penalty and related to a conviction of sin (as the Christian theology so dreadfully miscalls it), has any longer the slightest hold upon him. Manifestation and the Law of Cause and Effect are related; where manifestation exists, there this great Law - governing substance and innate in matter - must control and must condition form. The Master, however, stands free, endowed with the Christ-consciousness. He then wields this Law, but is not wielded by it. Such is the reward of following the vision: first of all, the mystical vision; then later, the vision of predetermined choice, of Plan and of cosmic opportunity.

This latter threefold vision is a very different thing to the self-centered and dualistic vision of the mystic. That vision is a part of the evolutionary spiritual development of all of us and lies behind most occult aspirants. More about this higher vision I may not say; the theme is too abstruse. It involves experiment and experience. Through both of these phases the initiate passes and learns the smallness and the inaccuracy of his past opinion and interpretation of experience. [341]

6. Time is one of the major underlying secrets of initiation. You will note from this, the great emphasis on time as event, and as being of true importance in the career of the initiate. The time here referred to is time as the initiate understands it - free as he now is from the control of form or of material substance. It is time as it conditions speed; as it establishes rhythm; as it directs relationships; as it determines choice and fixes decision: activity, rhythm, relationship, decision! The decisions arrived at are not related to life in the three worlds, but embody the reactions of the Spiritual Triad. This is a point most difficult for you to grasp, because you have not yet truly built or employed the antahkarana; it is time as the opener of the door to extra-planetary existence and as it releases the initiate, not only from the cosmic physical plane but from the cosmic astral plane also. It is with these thoughts that I must stop my present exegesis, because language has not yet the capacity to indicate the truth, even if such indications were fruitful and of use even to the advanced aspirant.

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