Initiation, Human and Solar, by Alice A. Bailey, , at sacred-texts.com
We can now consider the stages of the initiation ceremony, which are five in number, as follows:—
2. The "Vision" seen.
3. The application of the Rod, affecting:—
b. The centres.
c. The causal vehicle.
4. The administration of the oath.
5. The giving of the "Secret" and the Word.
These points are given in due order, and it must be remembered that this order is not idly arranged, but carries the initiate on from revelation to revelation until the culminating stage wherein is committed to him one of the secrets and one of the five words of power which open to him the various planes, with all their evolutions. All that is aimed at here is to indicate the five main divisions into which the initiation ceremony naturally divides itself, and the student must bear in mind that each of these five stages is in itself a complete ceremony, and capable of detailed division.
Let us now take up the various points, dwelling briefly upon each, and remembering that words but limit and confine the true meaning.
The revelation of the "Presence."
Right through the later periods of the cycle of incarnation wherein the man is juggling with the pairs of opposites, and through discrimination is becoming aware of reality and unreality, there is growing up in his mind a realisation that he himself is an immortal Existence, an eternal God, and a portion of Infinity. Ever the link between the man on the physical plane and this inner Ruler becomes clearer until the great revelation is made. Then comes a moment in his existence when the man stands consciously face to face with his real Self and knows himself to be that Self in reality and not just theoretically; he becomes aware of the God within, not through the sense of hearing, or through attention to the inner voice directing and controlling, and called the "voice of conscience." This time the recognition is through sight and direct vision. He now responds not only to that which is heard, but also to that which he sees.
It is known that the first senses developed in a child are hearing, touch, and sight; the infant becomes aware of sound and turns his head; he feels and touches; finally, he consciously sees, and in these three senses the personality is co-ordinated. These are the three vital senses. Taste and smell follow later, but life can be lived without them, and should they be absent, the man remains practically unhandicapped in his contacts on the physical plane. On the path of inner, or subjective development, the sequence is the same.
Hearing—response to the voice of conscience, as it guides, directs, and controls. This covers the period of strictly normal evolution.
Touch—response to control or vibration, and the recognition of that which lies outside of the separated human
unit on the physical plane. This covers the period of gradual spiritual unfoldment, the Paths of Probation and of Discipleship right up to the door of initiation. The man touches at intervals that which is higher than himself; he becomes aware of the "touch" of the Master, of the egoic vibration and of group vibration, and through this occult sense of touch he accustoms himself to that which is inner and subtle. He reaches out after that which concerns the higher self, and through touching unseen things, habituates himself to them.
Finally, Sight—that inner vision which is produced through the initiation process, yet which is withal but the recognition of faculty, always present yet unknown. Just as an infant has eyes which are perfectly good and clear from birth, yet there comes a day wherein the conscious recognition of that which is seen is first to be noted, so with the human unit undergoing spiritual unfoldment. The medium of the inner sight has ever existed, and that which can be seen is always present, but the recognition of the majority as yet exists not.
This "recognition" by the initiate is the first great step in the initiation ceremony, and until it has transpired all the other stages must wait. That which is recognised differs at the different initiations, and might be roughly summarised as follows:—
The Ego, the reflection of the Monad, is in itself a triplicity, as is all else in nature, and reflects the three aspects of divinity, just as the Monad reflects on a higher plane the three aspects—will, love-wisdom, and active intelligence—of the Deity. Therefore:
At the first initiation the initiate becomes aware of the third, or lowest, aspect of the Ego, that of active intelligence. He is brought face to face with that manifestation of the great solar angel (Pitri) who is himself, the real self. He
knows now past all disturbance that that manifestation of intelligence is that eternal Entity who has for ages past been demonstrating its powers on the physical plane through his successive incarnations.
At the second initiation this great Presence is seen as a duality, and another aspect shines forth before him. He becomes aware that this radiant Life, Who is identified with himself, is not only intelligence in action but also is love-wisdom in origin. He merges his consciousness with this Life, and becomes one with it so that on the physical plane, through the medium of that personal self, that Life is seen as intelligent love expressing itself.
At the third initiation the Ego stands before the initiate as a perfected triplicity. Not only is the Self known to be intelligent, active love, but it is revealed also as a fundamental will or purpose, with which the man immediately identifies himself, and knows that the three worlds hold for him in the future naught, but only serve as a sphere for active service, wrought out in love towards the accomplishment of a purpose which has been hid during the ages in the heart of the Self. That purpose, being now revealed, can be intelligently co-operated with, and thus matured.
These profound revelations shine forth before the initiate in a triple manner:—
As a radiant angelic existence. This is seen by the inner eye with the same accuracy of vision and judgment as when a man stands face to face with another member of the human family. The great solar Angel, Who embodies the real man and is his expression on the plane of higher mind, is literally his divine ancestor, the "Watcher" Who, through long cycles of incarnation, has poured Himself out in sacrifice in order that man might BE.
As a sphere of radiant fire, linked with the initiate standing before it by that magnetic thread of fire which passes through all his bodies and terminates within the centre of the physical brain. This "silver thread" (as it is rather inaccurately called in the Bible, where the description of its loosing of the physical body and subsequent withdrawal is found) emanates from the heart centre of the solar Angel, linking thus heart and brain,—that great duality manifesting in this solar system, love and intelligence. This fiery sphere is linked likewise with many others belonging to the same group and ray, and thus it is a literal fact in demonstration that on the higher planes we are all one. One life pulsates and circulates through all, via the fiery strands. This is part of the revelation which comes to a man who stands in the "Presence" with his eyes occultly opened.
As a many tinted Lotus of nine petals. These petals are arranged in three circles around a central set of three closely folded petals, which shield what is called in the eastern books "The Jewel in the Lotus." This Lotus is a thing of rare beauty, pulsating with life and radiant with all the colours of the rainbow, and at the first three initiations the three circles are revealed in order, until at the fourth initiation the initiate stands before a still greater revelation, and learns the secret of that which lies within the central bud. In this connection the third initiation differs somewhat from the other two, inasmuch as through the power of a still more exalted Hierophant than the Bodhisattva, the electrical fire of pure Spirit, latent in the heart of the Lotus, is first contacted.
In all these words, "solar angel," "sphere of fire," and "lotus," lies hid some aspect of the central mystery of human life, but it will only he apparent to those who have eves to see. The mystic significance of these pictorial phrases will prove only a snare or a basis for incredulity to the man who
seeks to materialise them unduly. The thought of an immortal existence, of a divine Entity, of a great centre of fiery energy, and of the full flower of evolution, lies hidden in these terms, and they must be thus considered.
At the fourth. initiation, the initiate is brought into the Presence of that aspect of Himself which is called "His Father in Heaven." He is brought face to face with his own Monad, that pure spiritual essence on the highest plane but one, which is to his Ego or higher self, what that Ego is to the personality or lower self.
This Monad has expressed itself on the mental plane through the Ego in a triple fashion, but now all aspects of the mind, as we understand it, are lacking. The solar angel hitherto contacted has withdrawn himself, and the form through which he functioned (the egoic or causal body) has gone, and naught is left but love-wisdom and that dynamic will which is the prime characteristic of Spirit. The lower self has served the purposes of the Ego, and has been discarded; the Ego likewise has served the purposes of the Monad, and is no longer required, and the initiate stands free of both, fully liberated and able to contact the Monad, as earlier he learned to contact the Ego. For the remainder of his appearances in the three worlds he is governed only by will and purpose, self-initiated, and creates his body of manifestation, and thus controls (within karmic limits) his own times and seasons. The karma here referred to is planetary karma, and not personal.
At this fourth initiation he contacts the love aspect of the Monad, and at the fifth the will aspect, and thus completes his contacts, responds to all necessary vibrations, and is master on the five planes of human evolution.
Further, it is at the third, the fourth, and the fifth initiations that he becomes aware also of that "Presence" which enfolds even that spiritual Entity, his own Monad.
[paragraph continues] He sees his Monad as one with the Planetary Logos. Through the channel of his own Monad he sees the selfsame aspects (which that Monad embodies) on a wider scale, and the Planetary Logos, Who ensouls all the Monads on His ray, is thus revealed. This truth is well-nigh impossible to express in words, and concerns the relation of the electrical point of fire, which is the Monad, to the five-pointed star, which reveals the Presence of the Planetary Logos to the initiate. This is practically incomprehensible to the average man for whom this book is written.
At the sixth initiation, the initiate, functioning consciously as the love-aspect of the Monad, is brought (via his "Father") into a still vaster recognition, and becomes aware of that Star which encloses his planetary star, just as that star has earlier been seen as enclosing his own tiny "Spark." He thus makes his conscious contact with the solar Logos, and realises within himself the Oneness of all life and manifestation.
This recognition is extended at the seventh initiation, so that two aspects of the One life become realities to the emancipated Buddha.
Thus by a graded series of steps is the initiate brought face to face with Truth and Existence. It will be apparent to thoughtful students why this revealing of the Presence has to precede all other revelations. It produces within the mind of the initiate the following basic realisations:
His faith for ages is justified, and hope and belief merge themselves in self-ascertained fact. Faith is lost in sight, and things unseen are seen and known. No more can he doubt, but he has become instead, through his own effort, a knower.
His oneness with his brothers is proven, and he realises the indissoluble link which binds him to his fellow-men everywhere. Brotherhood is no longer a theory but a proven
scientific fact, no more to be disputed than the separateness of men on the physical plane is to be disputed.
The immortality of the soul and the reality of the unseen worlds is for him proven and ascertained. Whereas, before initiation, this belief was based on brief and fleeting vision and strong inner convictions (the result of logical reasoning and of a gradually developing intuition) now it is based on sight and on a recognition past all disproving, of his own immortal nature.
He realises the meaning and source of energy, and can begin to wield power with scientific accuracy and direction. He knows now whence he draws it, and has had a glimpse of the resources of energy which are available. Before, he knew that that energy existed, and used it blindly and sometimes unwisely; now he sees it under the direction of the "open mind," and can co-operate intelligently with the forces of nature.
Thus, in many ways, does the revelation of the Presence produce definite results in the initiate, and thus it is judged by the Hierarchy to be the necessary preamble to all later revelations.
The Revelation of the Vision.
Having brought the initiate face to face with the One with whom for countless ages he has had to do, and having awakened in him an unshakable realisation of the oneness of the fundamental life as it manifests through all lesser lives, the next momentous revelation is that of the Vision. The first revelation has concerned that which is undefinable, illimitable, and (to the finite mind), infinite in its abstractness and absoluteness. The second revelation concerns time and space, and involves the recognition by the initiate—through the newly aroused sense of occult sight—of
the part he has played and has to play in the plan, and later of the plan itself in so far as it concerns:—
b. His egoic group.
c. His ray group.
d. His Planetary Logos.
In this fourfold apprehension you have portrayed the gradual realisation that is his during the process of the four initiations preceding final liberation.
At the first initiation he becomes aware definitely of the part, relatively inconspicuous, that he has to play in his personal life during the period ensuing between the moment of revelation and the taking of the second initiation. This may involve one more life or several. He knows the trend they should take, he realises somewhat his share in the service of the race; he sees the plan as a whole where he himself is concerned, a tiny mosaic within the general pattern; he becomes conscious of how he—with his particular type of mind, aggregate of gifts, mental and otherwise, and his varying capacities—can serve, and what must be accomplished by him before he can again stand in the Presence, and receive an extended revelation.
At the second initiation the part his egoic group plays in the general scheme is shown to him. He becomes more aware of the different group units with whom he is intrinsically associated; he realises who they are in their personalities, if in incarnation, and he sees somewhat what are the karmic relations between groups, units and himself; he is given an insight into the specific group purpose, and its relation to other groups. He can now work with added assurance, and his intercourse with people on the physical plane becomes more certain; he can both aid them and himself in the adjusting of karma, and therefore bring about a more
rapid approach to the final liberation. Group relations are consolidated, and the plans and purposes can be furthered more intelligently. As this consolidation of group relations proceeds, it produces on the physical plane that concerted action and that wise unity in purpose which results in the materialisation of the higher ideals, and the adaptation of force in the wise furthering of the ends of evolution. When this has reached a certain stage, the units forming the groups have learned to work together, and have thus stimulated each other; they can now proceed to a further expansion of knowledge, resulting in a further capacity to help.
At the third initiation there is revealed to the initiate the purpose of the subray of the ray to which he belongs, that upon which his Ego finds itself. All egoic units are upon some subray of the monadic ray. This knowledge is conferred upon the initiate so as to enable him eventually to find for himself (along the line of least resistance) the ray of his Monad. This subray bears upon its stream of energy many groups of Egos, and the initiate is therefore made aware not only of his egoic group and its intelligent purpose, but of many other groups, similarly composed. Their united energy is working towards a clearly defined goal.
Having learned somewhat group relations, and having developed the ability to work with units in group formation, the initiate now learns the secret of group subordination to the good of the aggregate of groups. This will demonstrate on the physical plane as an ability to work wisely, intelligently and harmoniously with many diverse types, and to co-operate in large plans and wield wide influence.
A part of the plans of the Planetary Logos becomes revealed to him, and the vision includes the revelation of the plan and purpose as it concerns the planet, though as yet the
vision is obscured in connection with those plans in their planetary relationship. This brings the initiate through a series of graded realisations to the portals of the fourth initiation. Through the entire loosing of the initiate from all trammels in the three worlds and the breaking of all bonds of limiting karma, the vision this time is greatly extended, and it might be said that for the first time he becomes aware of the extent of planetary purpose and karma within the scheme. His own personal unimportant karma being now adjusted, he can give his attention to the working off of planetary karma, and the far reaching plans of that great Life Who includes all the lesser lives. He not only is brought to a full recognition of the purposes and plans for all the evolutions upon his own planetary scheme, the earth, but also there swings into the radius of his apprehension that planetary scheme which is our earth's complement or polar opposite. He realises the inter-relation existing between the two schemes and the vast dual purpose is revealed to him. It is shown to him how this dual purpose must become one united plan, and henceforth he bends all his energies towards planetary co-operation as it is furthered by work with and through the two great evolutions, human and deva, upon our planet. This concerns the making of adjustments, and the gradual application of energy in stimulation of the various kingdoms in nature, so that through the blending of all of nature's forces the interplay of energy between the two schemes may be quickened. In this way the plans of the solar Logos, as they are being worked out through two Planetary Logoi, may be consummated. The handling, therefore, of solar energy on a tiny scale, is now his privilege, and he is admitted not only into the council chambers of his own Hierarchy, but is permitted entrance also when agents from other planetary schemes are in conference
with the Lord of the World and the two great departmental heads.
At the fifth Initiation the vision brings to him a still more extended outlook and a third planetary scheme is seen, forming with the other two schemes one of those triangles of force which are necessitated in the working out of solar evolution. Just as all manifestation proceeds through duality and triplicity back to eventual synthesis so these schemes, which are but centres of force in the body of a solar Logos, work first as separated units living their own integral life, then as dualities, through the interplay of force through any two schemes, thus aiding, stimulating and complementing each other, and finally as a solar triangle, circulating force from point to point and centre to centre until the energy is merged and synthesised and the three work together in unity.
When the adept of the fifth initiation can work in line with the plans of the three Logoi involved, co-operating with Them with ever greater ability, as time elapses, he becomes ready for the sixth Initiation, which admits him to still higher conclaves. He becomes a participant in solar and not merely planetary purposes.
At this sixth Initiation the most marvelous vision of the entire series is his. He sees the solar system as a unit, and gets a brief revealing which opens to his amazed understanding the fundamental purpose of the solar Logos; for the first time he sees the plans as a whole in all their ramifications.
At the seventh Initiation his vision penetrates beyond the solar ring-pass-not, and he sees that which he has long realised as a basic theoretical fact, that our solar Logos is involved in the plans and purposes of a still greater Existence, and that the solar system is but one of many centres of force through which a cosmic Entity vastly greater than
our own solar Logos is expressing Himself. In these visions one great purpose underlies them all,—the revelation of essential unity and the unveiling of those inner relationships, which, when known, will tend ever more fully to swing the initiate into the line of self-abnegating service, and which will make of him one who works towards synthesis, towards harmony, and towards a basic unity.
During the Initiation ceremony, the opening of the eyes of the Initiate to see and realise, divides itself into three parts, which are nevertheless parts of one process:—
1. The past sweeps before him, and he sees himself playing many parts, all of which are realised to be but the gradual bringing of his forces and capacities to the point where he can be of service to and with his group. He sees and identifies himself—according to the particular initiation—with
b. His group in earlier groups of lives.
c. His egoic ray as it pours down through many cycles of time.
d. His Planetary Logos as He functions in the past through many evolutions and kingdoms in the entire scheme,
and so on until he has identified himself with the past of the one life flowing through all planetary schemes and evolutions in the solar system. This produces in him the resolve to work off karma, and the knowledge (from the seeing of past causes) of how it must be accomplished.
2. The present. It is revealed to him what is the specific work to be done during the lesser cycle in which he is immediately involved. This means that he sees not only that which concerns him in any one life, but he knows what is to
be the immediate bit of the plan—involving maybe several of his tiny cycles called lives—which the Planetary Logos seeks to see consummated. He then may be said to know his work past all gainsaying, and can apply himself to his task with a clear knowledge as to the why, the how, and the when.
3. The future. Then, for his encouragement, there is granted to him a picture of a final consummation of a glory past all description, with a few outstanding points indicative of the major steps thereto. He sees for one brief second the glory as it shall be, and that path of radiant beauty which shineth ever more and more unto the perfect day. In the earlier stages he sees the glory of his perfected egoic group; later the radiance which pours forth from the ray which carries on its bosom the perfected sons of men of one particular colour and type; later again he gets a glimpse of the perfection of that great Being who is his own Planetary Logos, until finally the perfection of all beauty and the radiance which includes all other rays of light is revealed,—the sun shining in his strength, the solar Logos at the moment of consummated purpose.