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The Rays and the Initiations - Part Two - Section Two - The Aspirant and the Major Initiations
These three aspects of evolutionary unfoldment must be recognized by every aspirant; their existence determines his place upon the Path, the initiation for which he is being prepared and the nature of his service for humanity.

And what will be the result of the combination in one's life of these three factors? Primarily two things:

  1. The solar plexus center will be brought, first of all, into a condition of almost violent and compelling activity. This activity is induced by dedication and produces glamor inevitably.
  2. The violent energies of the solar plexus center will eventually be controlled by the quality of devotion. It is this quality which transforms the solar plexus center into the great clearing house for all emotional reactions and for all glamors, and makes it temporarily a cause of disaster, of conflict, of pain and of distress.

As a result of both of these, a great transforming agency is set in motion by the quality of devotion, and the solar plexus center becomes not only a clearing house but the main factor in lifting both physical and emotional active energies from below the diaphragm into the heart center. This constitutes a long process which the aspirant is forced to face in the interim between initiations. We are told (and it is factually true) that the longest period between initiations is that to be found between the first and the second initiations. This is a truth which must be faced, but it should also be remembered that it is by no means the hardest period. The hardest period for the sensitive, feeling [684] aspirant is to be found between the second and the third initiations.

It is a period of intense suffering, of the penalty of applying factors of glamor and illusion, of pronounced involvement in situations which, for a long time, remain unclarified, and of a steady moving forward as best the beleaguered aspirant can - under the influence of right direction and spiritual determination. This he has usually to do in the dark, working under the action of the logical and understanding mind, but seldom under the influence of inspiration. Nevertheless, the good work goes on. The emotions are brought under control, and necessarily the factor of the mind assumes an increasingly right importance. Light - flickering and as yet uncertain and unpredictable - pours occasionally in from the soul, via the mind, adding frequently to the complications but producing eventually the needed control which will lead to and result in freedom.

Ponder on these things. Freedom is the keynote of the individual who is facing the second initiation and its aftermath - preparation for the third initiation. Freedom is the keynote for the world disciple today, and it is freedom to live, freedom to think and freedom to know and plan, which humanity demands at this time.

The initiation (that of the Transfiguration) which we are next to study is one of the most important of them all. From one particular angle, it is peculiarly related to the fifth Initiation of Revelation and to the seventh Initiation of Resurrection. All three are concerned with freedom: freedom from the personality, freedom from blindness, or freedom from all the seven planes of our planetary existence - the planes which are sometimes referred to as the planes of human and superhuman evolution. You will have noted that lately I have been emphasizing an aspect of initiation hitherto little emphasized - the aspect of freedom. The Path of Initiation has at times been called the Path of Liberation, and it is to this essential aspect of the initiatory process that I am seeking to call your attention. I have [685] pointed out continuously that initiation is not really the curious mixture of self-satisfied attainment, ceremonial, and hierarchical recognition as portrayed by the major occult groups. It is far more a process of excessively hard work, during which process the initiate becomes what he is. This may entail hierarchical recognition, but not in the form usually pictured. The initiate finds himself in the company of those who have preceded him, and he is not rejected but is seen and noted and then put to work.

It is also a graded series of liberations, resulting in the attainment of increased freedom from that which lies behind in his experience; this carries with it the permission (soul enjoined or given) to proceed further on the Way. These freedoms are the result of Detachment, Dispassion, and Discrimination. At the same time Discipline enforces and makes possible the hard work required to pass the grade. All these four techniques (for that is what they are) are preceded by a series of disillusionments which, when realized and comprehended, leave the aspirant no choice but to move forward into greater light.

I would like to have you study initiation from the angle of liberation, looking upon it as a process of strenuously attained freedoms. This basic aspect of initiation - when realized by the initiate - ties his experience into a firm relation with that of the whole of humanity, whose fundamental struggle is the attainment of that freedom "whereby the soul and its powers can unfold and all men be free because of an individually attained freedom."

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