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Initiation, Human and Solar - Chapter IX - The Path of Initiation
The personality has now reached a point where its vibrations are of a very high order, the matter in all three bodies relatively pure, and its apprehension of the work to be done in the microcosm, and the share to be taken in the [88] work of the macrocosm is very advanced. It is apparent, therefore, why it is only at the third initiation that the great Hierophant, the Lord of the World, himself officiates. It is the first at which he contacts the initiate. Earlier it would not be possible. For the first two initiations the Hierophant is the Christ, the World Teacher, the Firstborn among many brethren, one of the earliest of our humanity to take initiation. Browning brings out this thought most beautifully in the words found in his poem "Saul":

...It shall be
A face like my face that receives thee;
a Man like to me,
Thou shalt love and be loved by, forever;
A Hand like this hand
Shall throw open the gates of new life to thee!
See the Christ stand!

But when the initiate has made still further progress, and has taken two initiations, a change comes. The Lord of the World, the Ancient of Days, the ineffable Ruler himself administers the third initiation. Why has this become possible? Because now the fully consecrated physical body can safely bear the vibrations of the two other bodies when they return to its shelter from the Presence of the KING; because now the purified astral and controlled mental can safely stand before that KING. When purified and controlled they stand and for the first time consciously vibrate to the Ray of the Monad, then with prepared bodies can the ability to see and hear on all the planes be granted and achieved, and the faculty of reading and comprehending the records be safely employed, for with fuller knowledge comes added power. The heart is now sufficiently pure and loving, and the intellect sufficiently stable to stand the strain of knowing.

Before the fourth initiation can be taken, the work of [89] training is intensified, and the hastening and accumulation of knowledge has to be unbelievably rapid. The initiate has frequent access to the library of occult books, and after this initiation he can contact not only the Master with whom he is linked and with whom he has worked consciously for a long time, but he can contact and assist (in measure) the Chohans, the Bodhisattva, and the Manu. He has also to grasp the laws of the three lower planes intellectually, and likewise wield them for the aiding of the scheme of evolution. He studies the cosmic plans and has to master the charts; he becomes versed in occult technicalities and develops fourth dimensional vision, if he has not already done so. He learns to direct the activities of the building devas, and at the same time, he works continually at the development of his spiritual nature. He begins rapidly to coordinate the buddhic vehicle, and in its coordination he develops the power of synthesis, at first in small measure, and gradually in fuller detail.

By the time the fourth initiation is taken the initiate has mastered perfectly the fifth subplane, and is therefore adept, - to use a technical phrase, - on the five lower subplanes of the physical, astral, and mental planes, and is well on the way to master the sixth. His buddhic vehicle can function on the two lower subplanes of the buddhic plane.

The life of the man who takes the fourth initiation, or the Crucifixion, is usually one of great sacrifice and suffering. It is the life of the man who makes the Great Renunciation, and even exoterically it is seen to be strenuous, hard, and painful. He has laid all, even his perfected personality, upon the altar of sacrifice, and stands bereft of all. All is renounced, friends, money, reputation, character, standing in the world, family, and even life itself. [90]

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