INITIATION, HUMAN AND SOLAR
ALICE A. BAILEY
COPYRIGHT ? 1951 BY LUCIS TRUST
COPYRIGHT ? RENEWED 1979 BY LUCIS TRUST
Dedicated with reverence and gratitude to the Master K. H.
THE LORD BUDDHA HAS SAID
that we must not believe in a thing said merely because it is said; nor traditions because they have been handed down from antiquity; nor rumors, as such; nor writings by sages, because sages wrote them: nor fancies that we may suspect to have been inspired in us by a Deva (that is, in presumed spiritual inspiration); nor from inferences drawn from some haphazard assumption we may have made; nor because of what seems an analogical necessity; nor on the mere authority of our teachers or masters. But we are to believe when the writing, doctrine, or saying is corroborated by our own reason and consciousness. "For this," says he in concluding, "I taught you not to believe merely because you have heard, but when you believed of your consciousness, then to act accordingly and abundantly."
(Secret Doctrine, Vol. III, page 401.)
The subject of Initiation is one that has a great fascination for thinkers of all schools of thought, and even those who remain sceptical and critical would like to believe that this ultimate attainment is possible. To those who do not believe that such a goal is possible this book is offered for what it may be worth as a formulation of an interesting hypothesis. To those who anticipate such a consummation of all their endeavours, this book is tendered in the hope that it may prove an inspiration and a help.
Among occidental thinkers at this time there is a wide diversity of view upon this momentous subject. There are those who think that it is not of sufficient immediate importance to engross their attention, and that if the average man adheres to the path of duty and high-minded attention to the business in hand, he will duly arrive at his destination. This is undoubtedly true, yet as capacity for increased service, and the development of powers to be used in the helping of the race are the reward of the man
who is willing to make the increased effort and to pay the price which initiation demands, perhaps this book may spur some on to attainment who might otherwise have drifted slowly towards their goal. They will then become givers, and not the recipients of help.
There are those again who consider that the teaching hitherto given out in various books concerning initiation, [Page viii] is erroneous. Initiation has been made out to be fairly easy of attainment, and to call for no such rectitude of character as might have been anticipated. The following chapters may serve to show that the criticism is not unmerited. Initiation is profoundly difficult of attainment, and calls for a strenuous discipline of the entire lower nature, and a life of self-effacing and self-abnegating devotion. At the same time, it must be remembered that the earlier teaching is right in essence, though belittled in interpretation.
Again, there are some who are interested, yet who feel the possibilities involved are too far advanced for them, and that they need not occupy themselves with them at this stage of their evolution. This book seeks to make it apparent that here and now the average man may begin to build that character and to lay those foundations of knowledge which are necessary before even the Path of Discipleship can be trodden. Due preparation may now be made, and men and women everywhere may—if they
choose—fit themselves for the condition of discipleship and tread the Probationary Path.
Hundreds in the East and in the West are pressing onwards towards this goal, and in the unity of the one ideal, in their common aspiration and endeavour, they will meet before the one Portal. They will then recognise themselves as brothers, severed by tongue and apparent diversity of belief, but fundamentally holding to the same one truth and serving the same God.
Alice A. Bailey.
New York 1922.
THE CONSTITUTION OF MAN
Chart — The Seven Planes of Our Solar System, The Constitution of Man
Chart — The Seven Planes of Our Solar System, The Constitution of Man
The constitution of man, as considered in the following pages, is basically threefold, as follows:—
I. The Monad, or pure Spirit, the Father in Heaven.
This aspect reflects the three aspects of the Godhead:
1. Will or Power.................The Father.
2. Love-wisdom.................The Son.
3. Active Intelligence...........The Holy Spirit.
and is only contacted at the final initiations, when man is nearing the end of his journey and is perfected. The Monad reflects itself again in
II. The Ego, Higher Self, or Individuality.
This aspect is potentially
1. Spiritual Will..................Atma.
Love-wisdom, the Christ principle.
3. Higher or abstract Mind...........Higher Manas.
The Ego begins to make its power felt in advanced men, and increasingly on the Probationary Path until by the third initiation the control of the lower self by the higher is perfected, and the highest aspect begins to make its energy felt.
The Ego reflects itself in
III. The Personality, or lower self, physical plane man.
This aspect is also threefold:—
1. A mental body................lower manas.
2. An emotional body.........astral body.
3. A physical body.............the dense physical and the etheric body. The aim of evolution is therefore to bring man to the realisation of the Egoic aspect and to bring the lower nature under its control.
CHAPTER I - Introductory Remarks
Before entering upon the subject matter of the following articles of Initiation, on the Paths that open before the perfected man, and on the Occult Hierarchy, certain statements may be made which seem essential for the judicious study and comprehension of the ideas submitted.
Dogmatism and the Intuition
It is to be recognised that throughout this volume facts are alleged and definite statements made which are not susceptible of immediate proof by the reader. Lest it be inferred that the writer arrogates to herself any credit or personal authority for the knowledge implied she emphatically disavows all such claims or representations. She cannot do otherwise than present these statements as matters of fact. Nevertheless, she would urge those who find somewhat of merit in these pages that they be not estranged by any appearance of dogmatism in the presentation. Nor should the inadequacy of the personality of the writer act as a deterrent to the open-minded consideration of the message to which her name happens to be appended. In spiritual issues, names, personalities, and the voice of external [Page 2] authority, hold small place. That alone is a safe guide which holds its warranty from inner recognition and inner direction. It is not, therefore, material whether the reader receive the message of these pages as a spiritual appeal in an idealistic setting, a presentation of alleged facts, or a theory evolved by one student and presented for the consideration of fellow
students. To each it is offered for whatever of inner response it may evoke, for whatever of inspiration and of light it may bring.
In these days of the shattering of the old form and the building of the new, adaptability is needed. We must avert the danger of crystallisation through pliability and expansion. The "old order changeth," but primarily it is a change of dimension and of aspect, and not of material or of foundation. The fundamentals have always been true. To each generation is given the part of conserving the essential features of the old and beloved form, but also of wisely expanding and enriching it. Each cycle must add the gain of further research and scientific endeavour, and subtract that which is worn out and of no value. Each age must build in the product and triumphs of its period, and abstract the accretions of the past that would dim and blur the outline. Above all, to each generation is given the joy of demonstrating the strength of the old foundations, and the opportunity to build upon these foundations a structure that will meet the needs of the inner evolving life.
Three basic facts to be recognised
The ideas that are elaborated here find their corroboration in certain facts that are stated in the occult literature now extant. These facts are three in number, and are as follows:—
(a) In the creation of the sun and the seven sacred planets composing our solar system, our Logos employed matter that was already impregnated with particular qualities. Mrs. Besant in her book, "Avataras," (which some of [Page 3] us think the most valuable of all her writings, because one of the most suggestive), makes the statement that "our solar system is builded out of matter already existing, out of matter already gifted with certain properties . . . " (page 48). This matter, therefore, we deduce, held latent certain faculties that were forced to demonstrate in a peculiar way, under the law of Cause and Effect, as does all else in the universe.
(b) All manifestation is of a septenary nature, and the Central Light which we call Deity, the one Ray of Divinity, manifests first as a Triplicity, and then as a Septenary. The One God shines forth as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, and these three are again reflected through the Seven Spirits before the Throne, or the seven Planetary Logoi. The students of occultism of non-Christian origin may call these Beings the One Ray, demonstrating through the three major Rays and the four minor, making a divine Septenary. The Synthetic Ray which blends them all is the great Love-Wisdom Ray, for verily and indeed "God is Love." This Ray is the indigo Ray, and is the blending Ray. It is the one which will, at the end of the greater cycle, absorb the others in the achievement of synthetic perfection. It is the manifestation of the second aspect of Logoic life. It is this aspect, that of the Form-Builder, that makes this solar system of ours the most concrete of the three major systems. The Love or Wisdom aspect demonstrates through the building of the form, for "God is Love," and in that God of Love we "live and move and have our being," and will to the end of aeonian manifestation.
(c) The seven planes of Divine Manifestation, or the seven major planes of our system, are but the seven subplanes of the lowest cosmic plane. The seven Rays of which [Page 4] we hear so much, and which hold so much of interest and of mystery, are
likewise but the seven sub-rays of one cosmic Ray. The twelve creative Hierarchies are themselves but subsidiary branches of one cosmic Hierarchy. They form but one chord in the cosmic symphony. When that sevenfold cosmic chord, of which we form so humble a part, reverberates in synthetic perfection, then, and only then, will come comprehension of the words in the Book of Job: "The morning stars sang together." Dissonance yet sounds forth, and discord arises from many systems, but in the progression of the aeons an ordered harmony will eventuate, and the day will dawn when (if we dare speak of eternities in the terms of time) the sound of the perfected universe will resound to the uttermost bounds of the furthest constellation. Then will be known the mystery of "the marriage song of the heavens."
Five points to remember
The reader is also asked to remember and weigh certain ideas prior to taking up the study of Initiation. Due to the extreme complexity of the matter it is an utter impossibility for us to do more than get a general idea of the scheme; hence the futility of dogmatism. We can do no more than sense a fraction of some wonderful whole, utterly beyond the reach of our consciousness,—a whole that the highest
Angel or Perfected Being is but beginning to realise. When we recognise the fact that the average man is as yet fully conscious only on the physical plane, nearly conscious on the emotional plane, and only developing the consciousness of the mental plane, it is obvious that his comprehension of cosmic data can be but rudimentary. When we recognise the further fact, that to be conscious on a plane and to have control on that plane are two very different conditions, it becomes apparent how remote is the possibility of our approximating more than the general trend of the cosmic scheme.
We must recognise also that danger lies in dogma and in the hide-bound facts of textbooks, and that safety lies in flexibility, and in a shifting angle of vision. A fact, for instance, looked at from the standpoint of humanity (using the word "fact" in the scientific sense as that which has been demonstrated past all doubt and question) may not be a fact from the standpoint of a Master. To Him it may be but part of a greater fact, only a fraction of the whole. Since His vision is fourth and fifth dimensional, His realisation of the place of time in eternity must be more accurate than ours. He sees things from above downwards, and as one to whom time is not.
An inexplicable principle of mutation exists in the Mind of the Logos, or the Deity of our solar system, and governs all His actions. We see but the ever changing forms, and catch glimpses of the steadily evolving life within those forms, but as yet have no clue to the principle which works through the shifting kaleidoscope of solar systems, rays, hierarchies, planets, planes, schemes, rounds, races, and sub-races. They interweave, interlock, and interpenetrate each other, and utter bewilderment is ours as the wonderful pattern they form unfolds before us. We know that somewhere in that scheme we, the human hierarchy, have our place. All, therefore, that we can do is to seize upon any data that seems to affect our own welfare, and concerns our own evolution, and from the study of the human being in the three worlds seek to understand somewhat the macrocosm. We know not how the one can become the three, the three become the seven, and so proceed to inconceivable differentiation. To human vision this interweaving of the system forms an unimaginable complexity, the key to which seems not to be forthcoming. Seen from the angle of a Master we know
that all proceeds in ordered sequence. Seen from the angle of divine vision the whole will move [Page 6] in harmonious unison, producing a form geometrically accurate. Browning had hold of a part of this truth when he wrote:
"All's change, but permanence as well"........and continued:
"Truth inside, and outside, truth also; and between each, falsehood that is change, as truth is permanence."
"Truth successively takes shape, one grade above its last presentment...... "
We must remember also that beyond a certain point it is not safe nor wise to carry the communication of the facts of the solar system. Much must remain esoteric and veiled. The risks of too much knowledge are far greater than the menace of too little. With knowledge comes responsibility and power—two things for which the race is
not yet ready. Therefore, all we can do is to study and correlate with what wisdom and discretion may be ours, using the knowledge that may come for the good of those we seek to help, and recognising that in the wise use of knowledge comes increased capacity to receive the hidden wisdom. Coupled also with the wise adaptation of knowledge to the surrounding need must grow the capacity for discreet reservation, and the use of the discriminating faculty. When we can wisely use, discreetly withhold, and soundly discriminate, we give the surest guarantee to the watching Teachers of the race that we are ready for a fresh revelation.
We must resign ourselves to the fact that the only way in which we can find the clue to the mystery of the rays, systems, and hierarchies, lies in the study of the law of correspondences or analogy. It is the one thread by which we can find our way through the labyrinth, and the one [Page 7] ray of light that shines through the darkness of the surrounding ignorance. H. P. Blavatsky, in "The Secret Doctrine," has told us so, but as yet very little has been done by students to avail themselves of that clue. In the study of this Law we need to remember that the correspondence lies in its essence, and not in the exoteric working out of detail as we think we see it from our present standpoint. The factor of time leads us astray for one thing; we err when we attempt to fix stated times or limits; all in evolution progresses through merging, with a constant process of overlapping and mingling. Only broad generalities and a recognition of fundamental points of analogy are possible to the average student. The moment he attempts to reduce to chart form and to tabulate in detail, he enters realms where he is bound to err, and staggers through a fog that will ultimately overwhelm him.
Nevertheless, in the scientific study of this law of analogy will come a gradual growth of knowledge, and in the slow accumulation of facts will gradually be built up an ever-expanding form, that will embody much of the truth. The student will then awake to the realization that after all the study and toil he has at least a wide general conception of the Logoic thoughtform into which he can fit the details as he acquires them through many incarnations. This brings us to the last point to be considered before entering upon the subject proper, which is:
That the development of the human being is but the passing from one state of consciousness to another. It is a succession of expansions, a growth of that faculty of awareness that constitutes the predominant characteristic of the indwelling Thinker. It is the progressing from consciousness polarised in the personality, lower self, or body,
to that polarised in the higher self, ego, or soul, thence to a polarisation in the Monad, or Spirit, till the consciousness eventually [Page 8] is Divine. As the human being develops, the faculty of awareness extends first of all beyond the circumscribing walls that confine it within the lower kingdoms of nature (the mineral, vegetable and animal) to the three worlds of the evolving personality, to the planet whereon he plays his part, to the system wherein that planet revolves, until it finally escapes from the solar system itself and becomes universal.
CHAPTER II - Initiation Defined
The question anent initiation is one that is coming more and more before the public. Before many centuries pass the old mysteries will be restored, and an inner body will exist in the Church—the Church of the period, of which the nucleus is already
forming—wherein the first initiation will become exoteric, in this sense only, that the taking of the first initiation will, before so very long, be the most sacred ceremony of the Church, performed exoterically as one of the mysteries given at stated periods, attended by those concerned. It will also hold a similar place in the ritual of the Masons. At this ceremony those ready for the first initiation will be publicly admitted to the Lodge by one of its members, authorised to do so by the great Hierophant Himself.
Four words defined.
When we speak of Initiation, of wisdom, of knowledge, or of the probationary Path, what do we mean? We use the words so glibly, without due consideration of the meaning involved. Take, for instance, the word first mentioned. Many are the definitions, and many are the explanations to be found as to its scope, the preparatory steps, the work to be done between initiations, and its result and effects. One thing before all else is apparent to the most superficial student, and that is, that the magnitude of the subject is such that in order to deal with it adequately one [Page 10] should be able to write from the viewpoint of an initiate; when this is not the case, anything that is said may be reasonable, logical, interesting, or suggestive, but not conclusive.
The word Initiation comes from two Latin words, in, into; and ire, to go; therefore, the making of a beginning, or the entrance into something. It posits, in its widest sense, in the case we are studying, an entrance into the spiritual life, or into a fresh stage in that life. It is the first step, and the succeeding steps, upon the Path of Holiness. Literally, therefore, a man who has taken the first initiation is one who has taken the first step into the spiritual kingdom, having passed out of the definitely human kingdom into the superhuman. Just as he passed out of the animal kingdom into the human at individualisation, so he has entered upon the life of the spirit, and for the first time has the right to be called a "spiritual man" in the technical significance of the word. He is entering upon the fifth or final stage in our present fivefold evolution. Having groped his way through the Hall of Ignorance during many ages, and having gone to school in the Hall of Learning, he is now entering into the university, or the
Hall of Wisdom. When he has passed through that school he will graduate with his degree as a Master of Compassion.
It might be of benefit to us also if we studied first the difference or the connection between Knowledge, Understanding, and Wisdom. Though in ordinary parlance they are frequently interchanged, as used technically they are dissimilar.
Knowledge is the product of the Hall of Learning. It might be termed the sumtotal of human discovery and experience, that which can be recognised by the five senses, and be correlated, diagnosed, and defined by the use of the [Page 11] human intellect. It is that about which we feel mental certitude, or that which we can ascertain by the use of experiment. It is the compendium of the arts and sciences. It concerns all that deals with the building and developing of the form side of things. Therefore it concerns the material side of evolution, matter in the solar systems, in the planet, in the three worlds of human evolution, and in the bodies of men.
Wisdom is the product of the Hall of Wisdom. It has to do with the development of the life within the form, with the progress of the spirit through those ever-changing vehicles, and with the expansions of consciousness that succeed each other from life to life. It deals with the life side of evolution. Since it deals with the essence of things and not with the things themselves, it is the intuitive apprehension of truth apart from the reasoning faculty, and the innate perception that can distinguish between the false and the true, between the real and the unreal. It is more than that, for it is also the growing capacity of the Thinker to enter increasingly into the mind of the Logos, to realise the true inwardness of the great pageant of the universe, to vision the objective, and to harmonise more and more with the higher measure. For our present purpose (which is to study somewhat the Path of Holiness and its various stages) it may be described as the realisation of the "Kingdom of God within," and the apprehension of the "Kingdom of God without" in the solar system. Perhaps it might be expressed as the gradual blending of the paths of the mystic and the occultist,—the
rearing of the temple of wisdom upon the foundation of knowledge.
Wisdom is the science of the spirit, just as knowledge is the science of matter. Knowledge is separative and objective, whilst wisdom is synthetic and subjective. Knowledge divides; wisdom unites. Knowledge differentiates [Page 12] whilst wisdom blends. What, then, is meant by the understanding?
The understanding may be defined as the faculty of the Thinker in Time to appropriate knowledge as the foundation for wisdom, that which enables him to adapt the things of form to the life of the spirit, and to take the flashes of inspiration that come to him from the Hall of Wisdom and link them to the facts of the Hall of Learning. Perhaps the whole idea might be expressed in this way:
Wisdom concerns the one Self, knowledge deals with the not-self, whilst the understanding is the point of view of the Ego, or Thinker, or his relation between them.
In the Hall of Ignorance the form controls, and the material side of things has the predominance. Man is there polarised in the personality or lower self. In the Hall of Learning the higher self, or Ego, strives to dominate that form until gradually a point
of equilibrium is reached where the man is controlled entirely by neither. Later the Ego controls more and more, until in the Hall of Wisdom it dominates in the three lower worlds, and in increasing degree the inherent divinity assumes the mastery.
Aspects of initiation.
Initiation, or the process of undergoing an expansion of consciousness, is part of the normal process of evolutionary development, viewed on a large scale, and not from the standpoint of the individual. When viewed from the individual standpoint it has come to be narrowed down to the moment wherein the evolving unit definitely apprehends that (by dint of his own effort, aided by the advice and suggestions of the watching Teachers of the race) he has reached a point wherein a certain range of knowledge of [Page 13] a subjective nature, from the physical plane point of view, is his. It is in the nature of that experience wherein a pupil in a school realises suddenly that he has mastered a lesson, and that the rationale of a subject, and the method of procedure, are his to use intelligently. These moments of intelligent apprehension follow the evolving Monad throughout his long pilgrimage. What has been misinterpreted somewhat at this stage of comprehension is the fact that at various periods the emphasis is laid on different grades of expansion, and always the Hierarchy endeavours to bring the race to the point where its units will have some idea of the next step to be taken.
Each initiation marks the passing of the pupil in the Hall of Wisdom into a higher class, marks the clearer shining forth of the inner fire and the transition from one point of polarisation to another, entails the realisation of an increasing unity with all that lives and the essential oneness of the self with all selves. It results in a horizon that continuously enlarges until it includes the sphere of creation; it is a growing capacity to see and hear on all the planes. It is an increased consciousness of God's plans for the world, and an increased ability to enter into those plans and to further them. It is the effort in the abstract mind to pass an examination. It is the honour class in the Master's school, and is within the attainment of those souls whose karma permits and whose efforts suffice to fulfil the aim.
Initiation leads to the mount whence vision can be had, a vision of the eternal Now, wherein past, present, and future exist as one; a vision of the pageant of the races with the golden thread of pedigree carried through the many types; a vision of the golden sphere that holds in unison all the many evolutions of our system, deva, human, animal, vegetable, mineral, and elemental, and through which the pulsating life can be clearly seen beating in regular rhythm; [Page 14] a vision of the Logoic thoughtform on the archetypal plane, a vision that grows from initiation to initiation until it embraces all the solar system.
Initiation leads to the stream that, once entered, sweeps a man onward until it carries him to the feet of the Lord of the World, to the feet of his Father in Heaven, to the feet of the three-fold Logos.
Initiation leads to the cave within whose circumscribing walls the pairs of opposites are known, and the secret of good and evil is revealed. It leads to the Cross and to that utter sacrifice which must transpire before perfect liberation is attained, and the initiate stands free of all earth's fetters, held by naught in the three worlds. It leads
through the Hall of Wisdom, and puts into a man's hands the key to all information, systemic and cosmic, in graduated sequence. It reveals the hidden mystery that lies at the heart of the solar system. It leads from one state of consciousness to another. As each state is entered the horizon enlarges, the vista extends, and the comprehension includes more and more, until the expansion reaches a point where the self embraces all selves, including all that is "moving and unmoving," as phrased by an ancient Scripture.
Initiation involves ceremony. It is this aspect that has been emphasised in the minds of men, perhaps a little to the exclusion of the true significance. Primarily it involves the capacity to see, hear, and comprehend, and to synthesise and correlate knowledge. It does not necessarily involve the development of the psychic faculties, but it does entail the inner comprehension that sees the value underlying the form, and recognises the purpose of pervading circumstances. It is the capacity that senses the lesson to be learnt from any given occurrence and event, and that by means of these comprehensions and recognitions effects an hourly, weekly, [Page 15] yearly growth and expansion. This process of gradual expansion—the result of the definite effort
and strenuous right thinking and living of the aspirant himself and not of some occult teacher performing an occult rite—leads to what one might term a crisis.
At this crisis, which necessitates the aid of a Master, a definite act of initiation is performed, which (acting on a particular centre) produces a result on some one body. It keys the atoms to a certain pitch, and enables a new rate of rhythm to be attained.
This ceremony of initiation marks a point of attainment. It does not bring about attainment, as is so often the misconception. It simply marks the recognition by the watching Teachers of the race of a definite point in evolution reached by the pupil, and gives two things:—
1. An expansion of consciousness that admits the personality into the wisdom attained by the Ego, and in the higher initiations into the consciousness of the Monad.
2. A brief period of enlightenment wherein the initiate sees that portion of the Path that lies ahead to be trodden, and wherein he shares consciously in the great plan of evolution.
After initiation, the work to be done consists largely in making that expansion of consciousness part of the equipment for the practical use of the personality, and in mastering that portion of the path that has yet to be traversed.
The place and effect of Initiation.
The ceremony of initiation takes place on the three higher sub-planes of the mental plane, and on the three higher planes, according to the initiation. The five-pointed star, at the initiations on the mental plane, flashes out above [Page 16] the head of the initiate. This concerns the first initiations which are undergone in the causal vehicle. It has been said that the first two initiations take place upon the astral plane, but this is incorrect, and the statement has given rise to a misunderstanding. They are felt profoundly in connection with the astral and physical bodies and the lower mental, and affect their control. The chief effect being felt in those bodies the initiate may