Rule Seven – Three Doors into Shamballa

Rule VII

For Applicants: Let the disciple turn his attention to the enunciating of those sounds which echo in the hall where walks the Master. Let him not sound the lesser notes which awaken vibration within the halls of Maya.

For Disciples and Initiates: Let the group life emit the Word of invocation and thus evoke response within those distant Ashrams where move the Chohans of the race of men. They are no longer men as are the Masters, but, having passed beyond that lesser stage, have linked Themselves with the Great Council in the highest Secret Place. Let the group sound a dual chord, reverberating in the halls where move the Masters but finding pause and prolongation within those radiant halls where move the “Lights which carry out the Will of God.”

Of real importance, though relatively small, are two contrasts. These emerge with clarity if you compare the instructions given to applicants for discipleship and those given to initiates. The applicant (or young disciple) is addressed as an individual and is told to give forth “those sounds” which will be heard by the Master in His Ashram – for that is the true significance of the words. The initiate functions in a group (always in a group) and has developed or is rapidly developing group consciousness; in unison with his group and as an integral conscious part of it, the Word must be enunciated; this is not a medley of sounds, but is one clear Word of invocation. You need to remember that the disciple is occupied in resolving the many sounds into the Word; when he has done this, his individual approach to reality terminates, and he begins to act with his group where all activity is concerned. This is a point of major importance for the newer type of disciple to grasp. In the past, the emphasis has been on what the individual initiate had to do in order to fit himself to take initiation, and so become a Master of the Wisdom and a member of the planetary Hierarchy. In the coming new cycle the emphasis will be upon group work and activity, upon group initiation and group approach to the Center of Life. The required mode of life and the needed individual eliminations and adjustments are now so well known (theoretically, at least) that they should have dropped below the threshold of consciousness and should consequently be automatic in their effects. This should also provide a steady inducement to thought which will make the initiate what he ought to be, because his conscious mind is free for group functioning. This is a concept which must be increasingly cultivated; “As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is.” The lower mind should be the organ of heart expression and be as unconscious in its functioning as is the rhythm of the heart itself – the physical heart. The higher mind is intended to become increasingly the field of the initiate’s effort, and hence the constant need for him to build the antahkarana.

In this Rule we are therefore dealing with the work to be done by a group of pledged disciples and initiates; they are learning together to make an approach to Shamballa (involving the Will element); this is as much a goal of the Hierarchy as approach to the Hierarchy is the goal of advanced humanity. It concerns the interrelation of great centers of force. This is a point which esoteric students should attempt to grasp for it completes the planetary chain of Hierarchy and throws a light upon the Way of the Higher Evolution.

Great movements and progressions have always taken place upon the subjective side of life; it is these subjective activities which have made it hard for disciples to grasp the truth and arrive at some true realization of the subjective situation which ever exists between the Hierarchy and Shamballa. The energies concerned are so subtle, and the Beings involved are so advanced and so highly developed (even from the angle of the initiate of the third degree), that it is well-nigh impossible for the teachings (which I seek to give) to be worded in such a manner that they become comprehensible. All that I can do is to make certain statements which (from the standpoint of those I teach) are not verifiable; they have to be accepted on trust and with the reservation that time and the point of view of the individual disciple will later prove their truth – or their non-truth.

The objective of all training given to the disciple is to shift his conscious awareness from the point where he is to levels which are higher than those in the three worlds of definitely human evolution; the intention is to teach him to function on those planes of conscious contact which are as yet so subjective that he only accepts them as existent in theory. The trained initiate knows that they have to become his natural habitat, and that eventually he has to relegate the ordinary and normal human experience to the three worlds of daily expression. These become eventually the worlds that exist below the threshold of consciousness; they are relegated to the realm of the subconscious – recoverable consciously, if necessary for right service of humanity, but as much below the threshold of consciousness as are the ordinary emotional reactions of the average man. These are always recoverable (as modern psychoanalysis has demonstrated) and can become capable of expression and of formulation into conditioning concepts – thus actuating mental perception if deemed of adequate importance. However, it should be borne in mind that the greater part of the emotional life of the disciple must become increasingly subconscious, just as the physical plane life of the normal, healthy human being is entirely automatic and thus subconscious. When the disciple has striven to expand his consciousness, when he has learnt to stabilize his consciousness in the Spiritual Triad, then he becomes part of a great and constant hierarchical effort which strives upwards towards the “Place of Clear Electric Light,” to which the clear cold light of the reason is the first key to the first door.

There are three doors into Shamballa, speaking figuratively:

1. There is the door of the reason, of pure perception of truth. Christ gave the clue to this teaching when He said “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” Of that Way we know much, because upon the Way a vast body of teaching has been given, and that teaching, if followed, brings a man into the Hierarchy. He then becomes a factual part of the hierarchical membership. Of that Truth, we know (as aspirants) relatively very little. Truth – as we understand it during the early treading of the Path of Discipleship – is concerned with great verities which are (from the insight of the Enlightened Ones) only the ABC of life. These truths are:

The manifestation of divinity on the physical plane.

The doctrine of Avatars. This religious history reveals.

The nature of consciousness, through the development of psychology.

The doctrine of the Trinity, as it expresses itself through the aspects and the attributes.

These four expressions of truth will be found to convey all the knowledge with which the initiate must stand equipped when he climbs the Mount of Transfiguration at the time of the third initiation. They have given him a spiritual perception of the Plan.

Of that Life, we know nothing whatsoever. The contemplation of its significance belongs to Those Who can move at will within the “precincts of the Lord of Life” – in Shamballa itself. All we can know about it is its lowest step. This enables us to study the impulse or instinct which enables all forms of life to function, which embodies the principles of responsiveness to contacts and to environment, and which embodies itself in the breath of life; this is also related to the air in some mysterious manner, and also to fire. More anent this subject it would be useless for me to say.

2. There is also the door of the will. This is a penetrating power which relates Plan to Purpose and which has in it the faculty of coherent persistence. The reason for this persistence is that it is not dependent upon the content of the form – whether it is the form of an atom, of a man or of a planet – but upon a vital dynamic and immutable purpose, latent in the consciousness of the planetary Being Who, “having pervaded this entire universe with a fragment” of Himself, Remains – greater, more inscrutable and “firmer in intent” than any of His creations, even the most advanced and the closest to Him. Only those have clear perception of His divine purpose who do not belong to our earth humanity at all; these are the Lives who came with Him to this planet when He came, and Who remain with Him as “the prisoners of loving intention” until the last weary pilgrim has found his way home.”

This spiritual will is something of which humanity knows nothing; it is hidden and veiled by the self-will of the individual and the group will of the soul. Through both of these experiences the human being moves until his individual will is developed and grounded, focused and reoriented, and his group will is unfolded so that it includes and swallows up the dedicated, conscious, individual will. When this fusion has taken place (at the third initiation) a great revelation unfolds itself, and for the first time the initiate senses and then contacts the universal will; from that moment the initiate says, “Father, not my will but Thine be done.” Just a little of what that will includes may emerge as we study this seventh rule and some of the succeeding rules.

3. I can find no words to express the nature of the third door. Let us, in default of a better term, call it the door of the monadic sense of essential duality. Body and life, soul and personality, the Spiritual Triad and its expression, the Christ in incarnation – all these dualities have played their part. Man has passed from one expansion of consciousness to another. Now he comes to the final duality of spirit and matter, prior to their resolution into something to which the terms “isolated unity” and “universal synthesis” give only faint and inadequate clues. To the development of this system of identification the initiate of the degree of Master of the Wisdom, and also (on a higher turn of the spiral) of the degree of the Christ, are focusing all Their efforts. Up to the fourth initiation, the term “system of expansions” would seem illuminating; after that great initiation, the term “system of identification” would appear more appropriate.

When the initiate has passed through the three doors, symbolically speaking, he then faces all life, all events, all predeterminations, all wisdom, all activity and all that the future may hold of service and progress from the angle of the pure reason (infallible and immutable), of true spiritual will (completely identified with the purpose of the planetary Logos), and of the highest possible focused relation. The mystery of relationship becomes revealed to him. Then the entire scheme of evolution and of the intention of the One in Whom he lives and moves and has his being becomes clear to him; he has no more to learn within this planetary scheme; he has become universal in his attitude to all forms of life, and is also identified with the “isolated unity” of Sanat Kumara. Few of the great Lives Who form the inner group of the Council Chamber at Shamballa are now of greater advancement than he; the “Supernal Three,” the “Radiant Seven,” the “Lives embodying the forty-nine Fires,” the “Buddhas of Activity,” and certain “Eternal Spirits” from such centers of dynamic spiritual life as Sirius, or from the constellation which at any one time forms a triangle with our Sun and Sirius, and a Representative from Venus are of greater – far greater – advancement. Otherwise, all initiates of the sixth degree, and a few of the Masters Who have undergone specialized training because They are upon the first Ray of Will or Power (the ray conditioning Shamballa itself), form part of the Great Council. Many Masters and Chohans, however, after serving upon the planet in various capacities, working with the Law of Evolution, pass out of our planetary life altogether.

All the above information concerning the Lives which are far in advance of the disciples of the world contains little of moment for you, except in so far as it falls into a diagrammatic pattern of our planetary life and purpose, and enabling you, therefore, to get a faint glimpse of a synthetic theme and purpose to which all evolving lives must and will eventually conform.

It must ever be borne in mind that the great theme of Light underlies our entire planetary purpose. The full expression of perfect Light, occultly understood, is the engrossing life-purpose of our planetary Logos. Light is the great and obsessing enterprise in the three worlds of human evolution; everywhere men rate the light of the sun as essential to healthy living; some idea of the human urge to light can be grasped if you consider the brilliance of the physically engendered light in which we live when night arrives, and compare it with the mode of lighting the streets and homes of the world prior to the discovery of gas, and later of electricity. The light of knowledge, as the reward of educational processes, is the incentive behind all our great schools of learning in every country in the world and is the goal of much of our world organization; the terminology of light controls even our computation of time. The mystery of electricity is unfolding gradually before our rapt eyes and the electrical nature of man is being slowly proven and will later demonstrate that, throughout the human structure and form, man is composed primarily of light atoms, and that the light in the head (so familiar to esotericist) is no fiction or figment of wishful thinking or of a hallucinated imagination, but is definitely brought about by the junction or fusion of the light inherent in substance itself and the light of the soul.

It will be found that this will be capable of scientific proof. It will also be shown that the soul itself is light, and that the entire Hierarchy is a great center of light, causing the symbology of light to govern our thinking, our approach to God, and enabling us to understand somewhat the meaning of the words of Christ “I am the Light of the world.” These words carry meaning to all true disciples and present them with an analogous goal which they define to themselves as that of finding the light, appropriating the light, and themselves becoming light-bearers. The theme of light runs through all the world Scriptures; the idea of enlightenment conditions all the training given to the youth of the world (limited though the application of this idea may be), and the thought of more light governs all the inchoate yearnings of the human spirit.

We have not yet carried the concept up to the Center of Life where dwells the Ancient of Days, the Eternal Youth, the Lord of the World, Sanat Kumara, Melchizedek – God. Yet from that Center streams what has been called the Light of Life, the Light Supernal. These are empty words as yet until we know, as trained initiates, that light is a symptom and an expression of Life, and that essentially, occultly and in a most mysterious way the terms, Light and Life, are interchangeable within the limits of the planetary ring-pass-not. Beyond those limits – who knows? Light can be regarded as a symptom, a reaction to the meeting and consequent fusion of spirit and matter.

Therefore, where that great point of fusion and of solar crisis (for that is what it is, even when producing a planetary crisis) appears in time and space, light also immediately appears and of such intensity that only those who know the light of the soul, and who can bear the hierarchical light can be trained to enter into and form part of the light of Shamballa and walk in those “radiant halls where move the Lights which carry out the Will of God.

To carry the concept a little nearer home: only when the will of the personality and the will of the soul come together – evoked by love – does the light of the soul dominate the material light of the personality. This is a statement of importance. Only when the will of the Monad and the will of the Hierarchy of souls meet and blend in the “upper brackets” (if I may use such a modern business phrase) can the radiant light of Life dominate the blended lights of Humanity and of the Hierarchy. Faintly this group fusion and junction can be seen to be taking place.

It is also the first touch of the radiance of Shamballa which is bringing the universal revelation of evil, a radiance which is now producing the world unrest and which has brought about the lining up of good and evil; this touch of radiance is the conditioning factor behind what is called postwar planning and the ideas of reconstruction and of world rebuilding which are dominating the best human thinking at this time.

It should be carefully borne in mind that evil (cosmic evil or the source of planetary evil) is much closer to Shamballa than it is to Humanity. The Great Lives there move entirely free from glamor; Their vision is one of extreme simplicity; They are concerned only with the great and simple duality of spirit and matter, and not with the many forms which the fusion of these two brings into being. The domination of spirit (and its reflection, soul) by matter is what constitutes evil and this is true whether the statement is applied to the development of the individual or of the group. The “Lights which carry out the will of God” move free from the spell of evil. The Light in which They move safeguards Them, and Their Own innate and inherent radiance repels evil. But They “move alongside the evil to which all lesser forms are prone”; They are part of a great observing Group which “moves forward in time and space”; its members watch the great war and conflict proceed on Earth between the Forces of Light and the Forces of Evil. They have let loose upon Earth the Forces of Light, whilst the Forces of Evil are inherent in substance itself – of which all the many forms of life are constructed.

At this time, the work of the Great Council at Shamballa, ‘Working until now through the Hierarchy, is with the life within the form; They have to proceed with the utmost caution as They thus work, because these Lights know that the danger of premature direct contact with humanity, and of consequent over-stimulation, is great. One of the causes of the present cataclysm is the fact that humanity was deemed capable of taking and receiving a “touch from Shamballa,” without stepping it down via the Hierarchy, as has hitherto been the custom. The determination to apply this touch (which is in the nature of a great experiment) was made in 1825, when the Great Council had its usual centennial meeting. The results you know; they are working out before your eyes. The industrial movement began to take shape one hundred years ago and received a great impetus from this touch. The evil in nations – aggression, greed, intolerance and hate – was aroused as never before, and two world wars occurred, one of which is still raging (written October 1943). Paralleling this was an uprising of good, again in response to the divine “touch,” resulting in the growth of understanding, the spread of idealism, the purification of our educational systems and the inauguration of reforms in every department of human life. All has been speeded up and little such growth was seen on a worldwide scale prior to 1825. The knowledge of the Hierarchy is also spreading over the earth; the facts anent discipleship and initiation are becoming common property; humanity has consequently moved onward into a greater measure of light. Good and evil stand out in clearer focus; light and dark are in a more brilliant juxtaposition; issues of right and wrong are appearing with cleared definition, and humanity as a whole sees the great problems of righteousness and love, of sin and separateness upon a worldwide scale.

The old age and the coming new age, old rhythms of thought and new approaches to truth and consequent new and better ways of life are presented with clarity to the minds of men. The guarantee of the success of the experiment started more than a century ago is the fact that (in spite of much that is undesirable) so many nations have ranged themselves upon the side of right, and only two definitely and altogether upon the side of evil. The evil is more concentrated, and therefore more powerful temporarily upon the physical plane; the good is more diffused and not so pure in its concentrated essence being colored by many undesirable aspects; the good, however, is concentrating rapidly and will triumph. The “Lights that carry out the will of God” now wait to give another touch which will enable the reconstruction work to move forward along right lines, but They wait for the invocative cry of humanity and for the dust of battle and of conflict to die down.

Excerpted from: The Rays and the Initiations – Part One – Fourteen Rules For Group Initiation

By Alice Bailey and Djwhal Khul