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The Rays and the Initiations - Part One - Fourteen Rules For Group Initiation
Rule One

We now begin our study of the fourteen rules for those who are seeking initiation, in one or other of its degrees. In Initiation, Human and Solar I gave the rules for those proposing to enter the grades of discipleship. I would like for a minute to deal with the significance of the word "Rule" and give you some idea of its occult meaning. There is much difference between a Law, an Order or Command, and a Rule, and these distinctions should be pondered with care. The Laws of the universe are simply the modes of expression, the life impulses and the way of existence or activity of the One in Whom we live and move and have our being. There is no avoiding these laws in the last analysis, and there is no denying them, for we are eternally swept into activity by them and they govern and control (from the angle of the Eternal Now) all that happens in time and space. Orders and commands are the feeble interpretations which men give to what they understand by law. In time and space, and at any given moment and in any given location, these commands are issued by those who are in a position of authority or who seem to dominate or are in a position to enforce their wishes. Laws are occult and basic. Orders are indicative of human frailty and limitation.

Rules are, however, different. They are the result of tried experience and of agelong undertakings and - assuming neither the form of laws nor the limitations of a command - they are recognized by those for whom they exist and hence evoke from them a prompt intuitive response. They need no enforcement but are voluntarily accepted, and are put to trial in the belief that the witness of the past and the testimony of the ages warrant the effort required for the expressed requirements.

This is true of the fourteen Rules which we are now going to study. I would remind you that only the initiate consciousness will truly comprehend their significance, but [26] also that your effort so to do will develop in you the beginning of that initiate consciousness, provided you seek to make practical and voluntary application of these rules in your daily lives. They are susceptible of three forms of application - physical, emotional and mental - and of a fourth application which is best designated by the words "the response of the integrated personality to soul interpretation and understanding."

Another point which I would call to your attention, prior to interpreting this rule, is that your group endeavor must be to seek group application, group meaning and group light. I would emphatically emphasize the words "group light." We are dealing, therefore, with something basically new in the field of occult teaching, and the difficulty of intelligent comprehension is consequently great. The true significances are not the simple ones which appear upon the surface. The words of these rules would seem to be almost tritely familiar. If they meant exactly what they appear to mean, there would be no need for me to be giving hints as to their underlying significances and ideas. But they are not so simple.

To sum up, therefore: these Rules are to be read with the aid of a developing esoteric sense; they are related to group initiation in spite of their having individual application; they are not what they appear to be on the surface - trite truisms and spiritual platitudes; but they are rules for initiation which, if followed, will take the disciple and the group through a major spiritual experience; they embody the techniques of the New Age, which necessitate group activity, group procedure and united action. Earlier I said that these rules are the result of tried experience, and my use of the word "new" in this connotation is related to human knowledge but not to the initiatory procedure. That has always existed and always, at the great crises of initiation, disciples have moved forward in groups, even though they have not been aware of so doing. Now disciples can become so aware, and the various ray ashrams will not only present their groups (large or small) to the Initiator, but the personnel of [27] these groups will now be aware of the fact of group presentation. They will also have to grasp the fact of the extent of their knowledge being dependent upon their decentralization. I would ask you to ponder and reflect upon this last statement.

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