Initiation VII – The Resurrection
There is no idea more cultivated subjectively by humanity than that of the resurrection; when life seems hard and circumstances carry in them no grounds for happiness, and when nothing calls to one of such a nature that one goes forth happily to the day’s enterprises, and when the nights of sleep are haunted nights, the thought of rising up and out of all these circumstances, of leaving all behind and of entering into a new life, carries with it strength and hope. In the West, the Festival of the year which is regarded as of the most importance is that of Easter Day – the Day of Resurrection. Yet two thousand years ago the Christ did not rise out of a rocky sepulchre and reassume His discarded body. He passed through the great seventh initiation which we will consider today, and knew the secret of life, of which immortality is only one of its many attributes. Humanity lays emphasis so frequently upon attribute, quality and reactions, and not upon that which is the basic underlying reality; men deal with effects and not with causes; for instance, mankind is concerned with war and with horrified preparations for more war, and is not primarily occupied with that which causes war and which, if rightly handled, would prevent war. Let us consider some few aspects of the seventh initiation.
The word “resurrection” has deep significance latent in its derivation and one that is not often emphasized. The usual interpretation has been that the word comes from “re,” again, and “surgere,” to rise, therefore to rise again. Yet a consultation with the dictionary shows that the prefix means “back to an original state” by rising. This return to an original state is pictured for us in The New Testament under the story of the Prodigal Son, who said “I will arise and go to my Father,” and by the story of the resurrection in which the Master Jesus arose out of the tomb; the chains of death could not hold Him. At that time of His “rising,” a far more important event took place and the Christ passed through the seventh Initiation of Resurrection and returned back to His original state of Being – to remain there throughout all the eternities. This is the true and final resurrection. The Son of God has found His way back to the Father and to His originating Source, that state of Existence to which we have given the name Shamballa. The consciousness of the Universal Life is His; this is far more than simply the consciousness of immortality, because the idea or concept of mortality is not contained within it at all. There have been many deaths within the aeonial life cycle of the initiate:
- The familiar and constantly recurring death of the physical body, incarnation after incarnation.
- The deaths of the astral and the mental vehicles, as the undying soul discards them life after life – only to create new ones until mastery is attained.
- Then – as a result of the incarnating process and its evolutionary effects – there comes the death of desire and its replacing by a growing spiritual aspiration.
- Then, through right use of the mind, comes the “death” of the personality or, rather, its repudiation and renouncing of all that is material.
- This is followed by the death or destruction of the causal or soul body at the great Initiation of Renunciation.
This process of death and resurrection goes on ceaselessly in all the kingdoms of nature; each death prepares the way for a greater loveliness and livingness, and each death (if you analyze it with care) prefaces resurrection in some form or another until we come to this final resurrection and into the position of final attainment.
I will not here elaborate upon this process of constant death followed by constant resurrection, but it is the evolutionary keynote and the evolutionary technique, and only because men love unduly that which is material and hate to lose contact with the form aspect of nature do they fear death. It is wise to remember that immortality is an aspect of the living spiritual being, and is not an end in itself, as men seek to make it. To the Knowers of Life such a phrase as “I am an immortal Soul” is not even true. To say “I am Life Itself and, therefore, am immortal” approaches closer to the truth, but even that sentence is (from the angle of the initiate) only a part of a larger truth. Symbolically, nature is ever portraying to us the essential facts in the annual progress of the four seasons, in the cycles of light and dark and in the wonder of the emergence of beauty or color or useful function out of a seed which has struggled – because of its inherent life – into the light of the sun.
The fear of death is one of the great abnormalities or distortions of divine truth for which the Lords of Cosmic Evil are responsible. When in early Atlantean times they emerged from the place where they had been confined, and forced temporarily the retirement of the Great White Lodge to subjective levels, their first great act of distortion was to implant in human beings fear, beginning with the fear of death. From that time on, men have laid the emphasis upon death and not life, and have been ridden by fear all their days.
One of the initial acts of the reappearing Christ and of the Hierarchy will be to erase this particular fear and to confirm in peoples’ minds the idea that incarnation and the taking of a form is the true place of darkness to the divine spirit which is man; it is death to the spirit temporarily, and imprisonment. Evolution, men will be taught, is in itself an initiatory process leading from one living experience to another, culminating in the fifth Initiation of Revelation and in the seventh Initiation of Resurrection.
At the fifth initiation it is revealed to the initiate that life in form is indeed death, and he then knows this truth in a manner which my few short words cannot convey. Form dies for him and he knows a new expansion of life and undergoes (if I may so express it) a new understanding of living. The seventh initiation is divorced from all considerations of form, and the initiate becomes a concentrated point of living light; he knows in a manner indescribable that life is all that Is, and that it is this life and its real fullness which makes him a part of That which lies outside of our planetary Life; he may now share in that extra-planetary Existence in which our planetary Logos lives and moves and has His being. This is the “life more abundantly” of which Christ spoke and which only an initiate of the seventh degree can understand or convey.
After the fifth initiation, the initiate has slowly been sensing the nature of this greater Life, the Life of “The Unknown God,” as it has been called, which enfolds all livingness and all forms upon and within our planet and yet remains – greater than our planetary Life, more all-encompassing than is our planetary Logos, and Whose greatness, beauty, goodness and knowledge are to our planetary Logos what His life is to the lowest form of life in the third or animal kingdom. It is only by such inadequate comparisons that one can arrive at some faint comprehension of that great Whole in which our planet and our planetary Logos are but a part. It is this revelation which is accorded to the initiate at this seventh Initiation of Resurrection. He takes this initiation upon what (for lack of a better phrase) we call the “logoic plane,” or on the level of consciousness of the Lord of the World.
At this initiation the Initiator is attended by two groups of Beings; one is a small group of the “Knowers of the Purpose, the Custodians of the Will,” and the other is a much larger group, the personnel of which are known as “The Wise Ones and the Attractive Energies of Shamballa.” I am of course endeavoring to translate certain brief words and intricate symbols into phrases which you can understand and which only dimly convey the true significance of Those Who function on this highest level of the cosmic physical plane. On this level, dynamic electricity is held as in a great reservoir of potency and is directed by these two groups which embody the will and the quality of the will of Deity, called by us the Will-to-Good. They are the directing Agents and are a correspondence to the ajna center of mankind, only here it is the ajna center of the planetary Logos, in the same sense as Shamballa is His head center, the Hierarchy His heart center and Humanity His creative throat center. Motion, planned activity and the seven great creative ray energies are directed into action by Them under the influence of the seven Ray Lords; the Ray Lords are embodied livingness qualified by the seven aspects of Love, but Who are Themselves of so high an order that They cannot function as directing creative Agents but work through Their trained and developed Representatives.
Just as there is a group of Contemplative Initiates, called in the Eastern phraseology “Nirmanakayas,” Who function in deep meditation at a point midway between the Hierarchy and Shamballa, so this much higher group of Ray Lords function in the deepest cosmic meditation between our planet, the Earth, and our sister planet, Venus. You would find it useful to read with care The Secret Doctrine and A Treatise on Cosmic Fire and refresh your minds as to this relationship. A lower correspondence to these two important groups has been forming midway between the Hierarchy and Humanity, and to it we give the name of the New Group of World Servers. All these three groups are fundamentally “transmitters of energy”; the two highest are exceedingly susceptible to cosmic impression and to the vibratory quality of the extra-planetary body of Avatars Who hold Themselves in readiness to function as destroying or building Energies in any part of our solar system and are under the direction of the Solar Logos.
The Avatar of Synthesis, Who is working in cooperation with the Christ, is one of Them. Bear in mind that these extra-planetary Avatars have not arrived at Their high state of spiritual unfoldment on our planet or even in our solar system. Their origin, source and spiritual relationships are a great mystery even to the planetary Logoi – to Whose help They go when the invocative appeal of any planet is adequate. Think not that They come to put wrong right or to arrest evil. A few, a very few, may do so, but They work along the line of the seven ray energies in the solar system and produce certain energy effects desired at any particular time; the constructive work of the Avatar of Synthesis will be apparent to you in the name He is known by; He is coming to the Earth in order to further the manifestation of unity, of oneness and of interrelation, and He comes, therefore, to wield and apply first ray energy. He will charge or galvanize the three groups – the directing Agents in Shamballa, the Nirmanakayas and the New Group of World Servers – with dynamic energy and, in a mysterious way, relate them to each other so that a new synthesis and alignment will be present upon the Earth. All these Avatars embody energy to the extent that any particular planet is capable of receiving it.
These are interesting items of information but are only of value in so far as they convey to you a sense of planetary integrity and of solar synthesis, and present to you a closer spiritual interrelation in which you, as individuals, can share if you are linking your fate and service to that of the New Group of World Servers. Then you will be in the direct line of spiritual descent, of divine energy; in this thought you have the clue to the doctrine (so travestied and misused) of the Apostolic Succession. The details, the personnel and the techniques of the two higher groups lie beyond your ken; They work in cooperation with the planetary Logos Himself, and Those Who compose these groups are all initiates of degrees higher than the fifth. Most of the Nirmanakayas have taken the sixth and the seventh initiations, whilst the group which functions midway between the Earth and Venus have all taken the eighth and ninth initiations. Some of Them, as I mentioned earlier, aid the initiate of the seventh degree; a still larger group of them participate in the activities of the two final initiations.
This seventh initiation gives the initiate the right to “come and go in the courts of Shamballa” as Their work may dictate and Their service may require. It is there also that he goes for the needed periodic or cyclic rechargings which enable him to work.
There is one aspect of initiation which is apt to be overlooked. Every initiation is a process of energy transmission from a higher center of energy to a lower; every initiation charges the initiate with electrical force, and this charging and recharging is related to what H.P.B. calls “the mystery of electricity.” These transmissions of energy enhance the magnetic-attractive force of the initiate, and at the same time are eliminative in their effects. In this fact lies a great planetary truth and the key to the science of planetary redemption. When the spiritual and the electrical charging of the three major centers on the planet – Shamballa, the Hierarchy and Humanity – has reached a high stage of receptive efficiency, a certain cosmic Avatar will “become conscious of the vibratory quality of the little point of light within the solar sphere” and will then “turn His gaze and send His force unto that point of light, and cosmic evil will be driven out and find no more a place on Earth.”
Two more initiations remain to be considered, but so high is their potency and so mysterious their working that I find myself unable to deal with them in any way. They are:
Initiation VIII – The Great Transition
Initiation IX – The Refusal
It will of course be apparent that the Transition referred to is related to the sixth Initiation of Decision, when the Master decides which of the seven Paths He will follow to His destined place. I know not what the Great Refusal involves. One thing only I know: It indicates the Initiate’s last contact with what we understand as cosmic evil, manifesting on this planet and in relation to the planet. He is accorded this last contact, but such a contact is not based upon anything analogous to evil within Him, but is based upon the “planetary appeal for liberation.” This appeal is so strong that the Initiate – because His heart is on fire with love – is tempted to go back upon His decision and stay upon the planet with Those World Saviors Who have chosen the Path of Earth Service. This He may not do, and in the sight of the assembled Initiates He makes His refusal and “does His whole duty as He journeys to the sacred Feet of the One Who stands at the end of His chosen Path.”
Again, we come up against the outstanding planetary characteristic which has been presented to us under many differing words, i.e., the sensitivity which in some form or another distinguishes each initiation. We know it also as attraction, the sensitivity which moves outward until it attracts and draws to itself those forms of being which the initiate can instruct or aid; we know it also as the overall activity conferring that spiritual sensory perception which makes the initiate aware – in a universal sense – of all that concerns the sphere of influence of the Will of God. This demonstrates particularly at the eighth Initiation of Transition. In the ninth Initiation of Refusal, this heightened spiritual perception is presented to us under the word “Existence,” for existence is a livingness coupled with awareness which “finds its own place and the spiritual house of its Being which is the true home of all Beings, but of this – our planetary forms know naught.” This the initiate has at last learnt to find, after the struggle with evil in himself, after the struggle with materialism and with evil in the human family, and after his struggle to aid in the “closing of the door where evil dwells” and his refusal to make any contact (even with good intention) with cosmic evil.
The planetary Lodge of Masters has absorbed Him and, at the final initiation, the Great Lodge on Sirius has recognized Him, and with the Black Lodge of Adepts He will have nothing to do. He will mitigate its evil effects and will struggle to offset its results, but He knows that the final overcoming of cosmic physical evil must be undertaken by Existences much further advanced than even the Members of the Council Chamber at Shamballa; certain solar Entities and certain great Lives from Sirius are dealing with the problem.
The theme of the living consciousness of the planetary Logos is forever and unchangeably the great Hierarchy of Being, that chain of life in which the smallest link is of importance, and the greatest link is related to the smallest through the electrical interplay of spiritual energy. There is naught – from one important angle of life – but Hierarchy, linking sun with sun, star with star, solar system with solar system, planet with planet and all planetary lives with each other. The major keynote of every single planetary initiation, even to the very highest, is Relationship. What other qualities may be revealed to the Initiate on other paths we know not, but the goal of all endeavor upon our planet is right relations between man and man and between man and God, between all expressions of divine life, from the tiniest atom up and on into infinity.
From the standpoint of our planetary evolution, there is naught but love, naught but goodwill and the will-to-good. This exists already, and its true manifestation is nearer today than at any time in planetary history.
From stage to stage, from crisis to crisis, from point to point and from center to center, the life of God progresses, leaving greater beauty behind it as it moves through one form after another and from kingdom to kingdom. One attainment leads to another; out of the lower kingdoms man has emerged, and (as a result of human struggle) the kingdom of God will also appear. The bringing in of that kingdom is all that truly concerns humanity today, and all living processes in mankind are bent towards preparing each individual human being to pass into that kingdom. The knowledge that there may be greater manifestations than even the kingdom of God may be inspiring, but that is all. The manifestation of the Kingdom of God on Earth, the preparing of the way for its great Inaugurator, the Christ, the making possible the externalization of the Hierarchy upon Earth give us each and all a fully adequate task and something for which to live and work, to dream and to aspire.
The five volumes composing A Treatise on the Seven Rays are now completed, my brothers. It has been for me a labor of love and for A.A.B. a labor! It will suffice for study for many years to come.
May light and love and power shine upon your ways, and may you in due time and with as little delay as possible stand before the Initiator and join the ranks of Those Who – actively and consciously – love Their fellowmen, work as reconstructive and regenerative Energies and forever – Serve.
I sign myself, because it has been given out who I am, as the Master Djwhal Khul.
Excerpted from “The Rays and the Initiations – Part Two – Section Two – The Aspirant and the Major Initiations”
By Alice Bailey and Djwhal Khul