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The Rays and the Initiations - Part Two - Section One - The Aspirant and the Mysteries of Initiation
The Meaning of the Initiatory Process

Before proceeding with our next point concerning the fusion of the Master's consciousness with that of His disciple, I would like to refer to the significance of the words I earlier emphasized, "the initiatory process." I have dealt at length with the theme of initiation in many of my books and have endeavored to present the subject in such a manner that it becomes apparent that it fits into the evolutionary process as a normal and inevitable procedure. Initiation has been so frequently presented as being a ceremony that I have felt it necessary to offset strenuously that erroneous significance. If, however, you are to comprehend that which I have to say, you will have to call in what measures of enlightened understanding you may possess.

Initiation is only a ceremony in so far that there comes a climaxing point in the initiatory process in which the disciple's consciousness becomes dramatically aware of the personnel of the Hierarchy and of his own position in relation to it. This realization he symbolizes to himself - successively and on an increasingly large scale - as a great [531] rhythmic ceremonial of progressive revelation in which he, as a candidate, is the center of the hierarchical stage. This is definitely so (from the ceremonial angle) in the first two initiations, and in relation to the Christ as the Initiator. After the third initiation, the ceremonial angle lessens in his consciousness because the higher initiations are not registered by the mind (with its ability to reduce realization into symbolic form) and thus transmitted to the brain, but they reach the brain and are there registered via the antahkarana; the results of the experience of expansion are now definitely of such a nature that they cannot be reduced to symbols or to symbolic happenings; they are formless and remain in the higher consciousness.

I am not here saying that the teachings given in the past by various occult groups, or in my book Initiation, Human and Solar, are not correct or do not recount accurately what the candidate believes has taken place. The point I seek to make is that the ceremonial aspect is due to the thought-form-making capacity of the disciple and (which is of major importance) constitutes his contribution to the future externalization of the initiatory process in its earlier stages. When an adequate number of disciples will have succeeded in relating the Spiritual Triad to the soul-infused personality and have occultly "precipitated" the energies of the Monad through the medium of the antahkarana, then the first and second initiations can be "ceremoniously" enacted on earth.

The higher initiations cannot be thus presented but will be enacted on the mental plane, through the medium of symbols and not through the details of ceremonious happenings. This symbolic representation will hold good for the third, the fourth and the fifth initiations. After these five great expansions have taken place, the initiations will no longer be registered as factual ceremonials on earth or as symbolic visualizations on the mental plane. It is hard to find a word or a phrase which can express what occurs; the nearest I can approach to the truth is the "existence of illumination through revelation." You [532] will note in this connection that the fifth initiation is given the name of Revelation. You therefore have a sequence of consequences or of the results of spiritual attainment which are as follows:

  1. Factual Ceremonials, based on externalization.
    Initiation 1 - The Birth.
    Initiation 2 - The Baptism.
  2. Symbolic Representation, based on spiritual visualization.
    Initiation 3 - The Transfiguration.
    Initiation 4 - The Renunciation.
    Initiation 5 - The Revelation.
  3. Illumination through Revelation, based on living Light.
    Initiation 6 - Decision.
    Initiation 7 - Resurrection.
    Initiation 8 - Transition.
    Initiation 9 - Refusal.

It will be obvious that these three attempts to define the process of initiation present only the outer form aspect; each initiation has three aspects, as has all else in nature, for initiation is a natural process. There is first, its form aspect; then its soul or consciousness aspect; and finally, its life aspect.

The form aspect culminates experience and presents the disciple's comprehension of the initiatory process; the consciousness aspect indicates in a mysterious manner the rate of expansion as the disciple has undergone the process; the life aspect permits of extra-planetary contact, thus indicating the possible future and the eventual processes of identification. It might be added that the factual ceremonial admits the disciple into full fellowship with the Hierarchy; that the symbolic representation indicates to the disciple the Way into Shamballa, and that illumined revelation presents to the initiate the bridge between our cosmic physical plane and the inner subjective and cosmic worlds; this entrance to the bridge (I am speaking in symbols) [533] reveals the existence of the cosmic Antahkarana, created by the Lord of the World and His group of Executives.

This information concerning the initiatory process is coordinating in its nature and is of service to you only in this connection. It demonstrates the underlying solar synthesis which was the fundamental platform I gave out in A Treatise on Cosmic Fire. Beyond that implication, the information is of no use to you. It enables you, however, to begin to develop the esoteric sense of synthesis.

These three grades of appreciation or of comprehension of the initiatory process are hinted at in the Masonic Work. The ceremonial aspect can be related to the degrees of Entered Apprentice and of Fellow Craft, plus certain little-practiced degrees, as for instance that of Mark Mason degree and one or two others; these are expansions of the implied teaching. The initiations, covered by the term symbolic representation, find their first hint in the sublime third degree, that of Master Mason, in the Holy Royal Arch and in one or two succeeding degrees; the higher degrees of the Scottish Rite constitute a vague and nebulous attempt to hold before the Masons of the world those expansions of consciousness and of growth into the Light which are experienced in the remaining higher initiations - those subject to the process called illumination through revelation.

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