Initiation VI – The Decision

We have been studying along three lines which, in spite of the unavoidable abstruseness of the subject, have meant much to the earnest individual disciple because the words used to express the initiations concerned have been: Renunciation. Ascension. Revelation. All these convey practical and useful concepts to the mind, and yet – at the same time – their true meaning involves a detachment, a divine indifference and the spiritual perception of which no disciple has had more than a glimpse and a dim sensing of possibility. I then lifted these three ideas on to wider levels and endeavored to show how the crises through which humanity is today passing and will continue to pass during the next fifty years (though with lessening effects of discomfort, if right attitude is assumed) can also be related to these three words. I do not wish you to infer that mankind is, in fact, undergoing these initiatory experiences. The renunciation is being imposed by circumstances and is not a free undertaking; the moving onward is the result of a somewhat inchoate and uncontrolled momentum and is not the effort of a liberated soul. The revelation which is to come will be the result of hierarchical activity, focused through the Christ, though not presented by His coming; it will come as a result of His work and hierarchical activity.

All these initiations have their lower correspondences, and the one we are to consider at this time is no exception; all of them can appeal to the aspirant as embodying for him some immediate goal, but the concept is only preparatory in its nature; this can be illustrated by pointing out that the Great Renunciation becomes possible because, for many lives, the disciple has learnt to renounce and – when treading the Path of Initiation – to renounce consciously and with a formulated purpose. In the same manner, the sixth Initiation of Decision also becomes possible because the initiate has, since his affiliation with the Hierarchy, learnt to make right choice, and his ability to do that emerges out of his effort whilst on the Probationary Path and on the earlier stages of the Path of Discipleship to make correct choices and spiritually motivated decisions. I am pointing this out because, as we now begin to study the final four initiations (which are far beyond the understanding of even the advanced disciple), it will not be waste of time; in spite of a lack of true comprehension, qualities and attributes and certain needed lessons will be indicated to the true aspirant, and these he can now begin to develop.

I would like first of all to point out that the sixth initiation is to the Master Who stands before the planetary Logos what the second initiation is to the disciple; the fifth Initiation of Revelation and the sixth Initiation of Decision are the higher correspondences to the first two initiations which are regarded by the Lodge on Sirius as initiations of the Threshold. Have this carefully in mind. Much earlier in this treatise (page 361) I made the comment that the second initiation with its evidenced control of desire (indicating right choice) was “the threshold…to those levels of impression, of contact and of future ascension which are the sevenfold goal set before the Master when the sixth initiation (the true ascension) is consummated. It is for this reason that this initiation is called the Initiation of Decision.”

This is a point of real interest and of practical value; it reveals in a new sense and quite definitely that all happenings on our planet are in truth simply preparatory to other much greater events and opportunities. They put the Master or the Chohan (we seem to have no word to express the type of consciousness of the initiate who has taken the five initiations of strictly human evolution) in a position where at each initiation He expresses the sum total of all past attainment. His entire past is involved in what He demonstrates. This is not consciously so. All that He is or knows has dropped below the threshold of consciousness, in the same way that the instinctual nature of man is today automatic and spontaneous and not consciously used. In spite of this subjective activity, men are nevertheless in full possession of a definite part of their equipment. So it is with the Master; all that He has been in the spiritual sense and in wisdom, perception and full comprehension is now instinctual, and the powers, knowledges, attributes involved are instantaneously His without effort or conscious activity. He can depend fully upon what He is and has, and – as a result of initiation – He is free from the questionings, the doubts and the uncertainties which are so distinctive of the disciple.

Earlier (Page 396) I pointed out that the Masters, at the sixth Initiation of Decision, face realms of service where They will have to “impart, strengthen and enlighten that which is already fused, already strong, and already full of light but which needs that which They bring in order to express the all-encompassing Whole.” This is, of course, a mysterious and rather paradoxical statement, but a certain measure of light can be thrown upon it if it is remembered that this sixth initiation is related, in a peculiar way, to Path VI. This is the Path upon which our planetary Logos is found. This Path is necessarily related to the sixth Ray of Devotion or Idealism, and also to the sixth plane, the astral plane – the plane of glamor and of desire. I would have you bear these relationships in mind, but I would have you also remember that at this Initiation of Decision the Master can move forward on any one of the seven Paths which He may decide is, for Him, the field of His future service. This expression of His choice is, as you know, not dependent upon His ray energy or upon what might be the impelling force of the planetary rays; i.e., that of the planet itself (the personality ray of the planetary Logos) or upon the soul ray of Sanat Kumara. It is not for me to tell you whether this dominating ray is His soul ray or the monadic or universal ray.

It is of interest to have in mind also that at this sixth initiation a great moment of basically historic interest occurs. All the Masters Who are initiates of the sixth degree meet in conclave and together, and before making Their final decision (which will probably remove Them from the Path of Earth Service), decide what measures They propose the Hierarchy should take which will drastically and permanently affect the planet on which They have lived and for which They have worked. You will notice that I have here called Them “initiates of the sixth degree,” bringing to your minds the fact that before a man takes an initiation of any degree, He is already an initiate of that degree. They in Their totality – at any given time – are the group which makes final decision anent human affairs. It was a decision made by this group of initiates during the ancient Atlantean civilization which brought it to an end; the decision which They will make now will produce great changes in our modern civilization. The Masters, however, do not “take this initiation” whenever They are ready to “make decision.” The opportunity comes to the Hierarchy every forty-nine years, and the year 1952 will see a group of these higher initiates choose the Path of Their future livingness and Being, but They will do so only after setting in motion certain energy forces which will creatively change matters on Earth. They thereby prove two things: Their grasp of world need and Their recognition of man’s free will to make decision. The last initiation of this kind was therefore held in 1903. Those prepared to pass through this initiation were faced with the fact of the emerging forces of cosmic evil; They had then to decide in what manner They should bring aid to humanity and what situation They should bring about so that mankind would be forced to recognize conditions and also make free choice and decision. What They decided to do led to the world war, to a demonstrated cleavage between right and wrong, between imprisonment and freedom, and which, in 1952 will lead to a decision – the outcome of which is hidden in the consciousness of Those Who will at that time, make it. (Written in 1949.)

At this sixth initiation the Masters Who participate in it no longer come under the jurisdiction of the Hierarchy. They have moved out from under it. Their long connection with the Hierarchy is translated to a higher center and is transferred to Shamballa, unless (as in the case of the Christ) They choose the Path of Earth Service and return to work with the evolutions upon our planet; there are many such evolutions and several kingdoms in nature besides the human, including the deva or angel evolution.

The sixth Initiation of Decision is preparatory to the true Initiation of the Resurrection, the seventh initiation. This can only be undergone when the will of the Master is completely merged in that of the planetary Logos. Between the sixth and the seventh initiations “an interim of divine fusion” takes place; an elementary and somewhat distorted picture of this critical fusion is given to us in The New Testament, where we read of the experience of the Christ in the garden of Gethsemane. There again – as in the fourth Initiation of Renunciation – the human element of suffering is emphasized, whereas in the true symbolical “garden” between the sixth and the seventh initiations there is no aspect of suffering. Suffering and pain enter not into the consciousness of the Master. Where it says in The New Testament that, “angels came and ministered unto” the Christ, the correct implication is that Those Who dwell and work in Shamballa use this period to instruct the initiate who has made his decision through an expression of his divine nature and in the significance of the divine purpose; this concerns the relation of our planetary Logos to the solar system, and decision is made through the development of that higher sensitivity which leads inevitably to cosmic perception. We have no adequate word for this quality or type of sensitivity, for it is not something which we can consciously understand, nor is it a form of conscious reaction; neither is it awareness as we use that term. It has been occultly defined as something akin to “immersion in a realized state of Being,” because the initiate is a conscious aspect of that of which he forms an integral part. By means of this statement you will see how impossible it is for me to explain certain things, to make clear certain unknown types of consciousness or to indicate areas of perception which lie beyond the ken even of a Master.

Revelation is a progressive matter. Disciples are not really able to understand the extensive significances of the third initiation, for instance; in like manner, even high initiates fail to comprehend that which lies plainly before Them. Disciples can, however, dimly sense the nature of the Transfiguration which characterizes them, from the hierarchical point of view, and Masters can also dimly sense the nature of the decision with which They are faced. It is this preparatory sensitivity in the disciple which produces true perception at all the various initiatory stages. This is a statement of major importance and links sensitivity, its interpretation and control, with the everyday life of the ordinary disciple. It is important because of its inclusiveness and because each stage upon the Path of Initiation has in it the germ of comprehension and an understanding (deeply hidden) of the various steps which have to be taken upon the Way of the Higher Evolution. Upon this Way the Master intelligently embarks when He has made His final decision; earlier stages are simply revelatory of the Way.

Initiation has been defined as “a progressive sequence of directed energy impacts.” These impacts are characterized by points of tension, and these lead inevitably to points of crisis; the whole process is governed by the Law of Cause and Effect. It is this latter point which I seek now to emphasize, because it has a definite and mysterious relation to this sixth initiation. The Master, as He makes His decision and chooses one of the seven Paths which unitedly form the planetary antahkarana, is forced thereto by the accumulation of past karma. All evil karma has necessarily been worked off, but His accumulated good karma makes His final decision inevitable; from that instant of decision He stands entirely free and liberated from all aspects and all forms of planetary karma, which is greater and more vast than his little individual karma, be it good or bad. He is then – in Himself – the summation of all past experience. Unless He deliberately chooses the Path of Earth Service and decides to remain within the field, scope or influence of the planetary Life, He faces a solar or a cosmic future of which He knows relatively little, but for which the Path of Evolution, the Path of Discipleship and the Path of Initiation have fitted Him. Even He does not know the conditions into which His “decision” commits Him, or those into which He will have to penetrate; He does know, however, and “appropriates the fact and the faculties” (as one Master has expressed it) of complete revelation and future opportunity. You have oft been told that there are four Lords of Karma associated with the Council Chamber at Shamballa. They represent – in Their totality – the three Rays of Aspect, and one of Them represents the four minor Rays of Attribute. It is the Lord of Karma Who implements the destinies of Those Who are conditioned by the third Ray of Active Intelligence (and this is ever the case with Those Who are taking the sixth initiation) and Who – symbolically speaking – “wipes clean the slate” of this particular group of initiates at this particular time. Karma no longer holds Them. The revelation accorded to the Initiate in the first stage of the initiation gives Him a complete picture “in a flash of endless time” of the processes which have brought Him to this creative moment of decision. Immediately He achieves a point of tension which He will continue to hold until the final or ninth initiation, the Initiation of Refusal, wherein He rejects, refuses or repudiates His entire past and enters upon His chosen path entirely “free of recollected concepts, but exhibiting to Those Great Lives Who welcome Him upon the new and untried path all that He is and the essence of His Being.” In dealing with these higher initiations of which I myself have no experience, there is naught for me to do but clarify your minds, and mine also, through the use of ancient phrases and the oral teaching which is permitted to escape into the minds of men. The point of crisis which ever follows the attainment of tension is the expressed moment of the final decision. Then follows the revelation of what may be, and the initiate knows that he faces the final resurrection and that from being the eternal pilgrim or the planetary wanderer, he now becomes a fixed point upon another cosmic plane, for the physical is, for him, eternally left behind. This initiation is therefore governed by the third ray, the Ray of Intelligent Activity. This ray is closely related to the mental plane of our planetary life, to the Law of Fixation and the Law of Cleavages. Much anent this I have written earlier, and a search for the significance of certain passages in A Treatise on Cosmic Fire may bring enlightenment. Fixation is not permitted to the eternal pilgrim upon our little planet, the Earth, but when that is left behind entirely at the ninth initiation the initiate becomes a “fixed or stationary point of light within his chosen Place, the Place of the Most High and the point of fire upon the mountain-top. From that point he will no more go out.” The concept of cleavage is latent here also. The Master severs all connection with the past and with the planet, but never with the One Life which permeates all spheres and forms of being, which makes possible all states of consciousness and leads to endless activity. Creativity was one of the three words which I gave you earlier (see page 340) in connection with this sixth initiation. The final four initiations are all distinguished by a “revelation in the living light.” At the sixth initiation the Master is brought to an understanding of the nature of creation, of the reason for the intelligent manifestation of substantial forms and their creation to provide forms for Being and for Life, and of the quality of that which He – in the future – must and will create. At the seventh Initiation of Resurrection, He is accorded a revelation of the quality which must express itself through all created forms: the quality of love-wisdom which has animated our planetary Logos and is the basic quality of our entire solar system. In other spheres and in other solar systems and on other cosmic planes, other qualities, unknown to us, may be demonstrated by the appropriate initiates; but those who attain resurrection and liberation upon our planet will always be spiritually qualified by divine love, and that will also be the underlying quality of all that they may later create when freed from our planet. You can see, therefore, why the phrase “God is Love” is really our planetary keynote. At the eighth Initiation of Transition the purpose of all our planetary activity is revealed to the Master, and all Masters or initiates of this eighth initiation (working either through the Hierarchy or in Shamballa) are needed at this initiation so as to stimulate the point of tension of the new initiate in order to make the revelation possible.

It might be said that They act like a lens through which the living light flows which makes the revelation possible, and They also fulfil the need of acting as a protecting factor. This protection is needed because at this initiation the initiate is shown not only the eternal good underlying planetary purpose, but he is allowed “to see that which is hidden behind the fast sealed door and be in touch with cosmic evil for it can no longer hurt him.” He needs nevertheless the protection of Those with Whom he has fitted himself to associate. What the planetary purpose is I know not; when I say that part of the purpose is to liberate light and love into a wider universe and to free the solar system from the attacks of cosmic evil, I am stating a truth, but a truth which remains as yet meaningless to those who have not been put in touch with the completed purpose; it remains a mystery, for the true nature of light, the mystery of electricity, the constitution of the good, the beautiful and the true, the origin of evil, the nature and purpose of the Black Lodge, the place which that Lodge plays within the divine scheme of being, are all unknown to you in their essential significance. Remember that when a Member of the Hierarchy uses the word essential, He does not mean (as you oft do) that which is needed or necessary; He is referring to the inmost essence which is found at the heart of all things – both the good and the evil. Therefore, when I say to you also that at this eighth initiation the nature and the purpose of duality is revealed to the initiate, it is again meaningless.

At these three final initiations, therefore, the significance of creation, of quality and of purpose are successively revealed to the Master, and that which makes the revelation possible is not only the action of the One Initiator and of the initiating group (when such a group is required), but the major factor is the developed sensitivity of the initiate himself – a sensitivity which has developed through many aeons of lives and of vital experience.

The objective of the evolutionary process to which all lives on our planet have to submit has been to develop this sensitivity which will make revelation possible, and it might be said that (from one definite angle) the goal of all experience has been revelation – each revelation “carrying the initiate closer to the Heart of the Sun wherein all things are known and felt, and through which all forms, all beings and all things can be bathed in love.” Ponder on these words, for the microcosmic correspondence to the macrocosmic fact is full of teaching value. See to it that “each lesson learned each day, each revelation grasped and understood, makes your heart full of love and enables you to love your fellowmen with ardent, fiery warmth.” I am quoting some ancient aphorisms for disciples.

At the ninth Initiation of Refusal, the revelation presented to the Master concerns the nature of Being and of existence. There is naught I can say to you which could be in any way explanatory of Being, for Being is related to That which creates, to the universal point of planetary or solar Life which is, and has ever been, responsible for the life of all forms from the greatest manifestation to the smallest. When that revelation is accorded to the initiate, he for the first time receives his initial contact with what is called in the occult and esoteric books “the Central Spiritual Sun.” He realizes for himself that those words concern a basic fact and are related to the purpose of the solar system, just as “the Heart of the Sun” revealed to him the quality of the solar system. When it is realized that our planetary purpose is mysteriously related to the revelation of love upon our little planet, the Earth, through the process of creation, the concept emerges that there is the probability that our planet has a unique relation to the Heart of the Sun. There are many hints for you in what I have said; they are hints to me also, only I can bring to their expansion into ascertained fact a wider knowledge than is as yet your possession.

There is little more that I can say anent this crucial and decisive sixth initiation. It embodies the Master’s recognition of liberation, and in its processes He demonstrates that liberation by making free decision anent His future state of Being and of purpose. The future, for the average person and for the average disciple, is contained within his past and is implemented in his present. This is not so with the initiate of the sixth initiation. He is entirely liberated from his past; the Law of Karma no longer has any hold over Him; He makes free decision, and His future is decided by Him not on the basis of its inevitability or as providing Him with a field in which to work off karma, but on the basis solely of qualification for service. This creates a very different situation. The decision once made is a fixed decision, and there is no turning back or relinquishment of it, nor (so free is the Master from all possible hindrances) is there any desire to turn back or possibility that He could do so.

The remaining three initiations demonstrate these points still more clearly and definitely, and the light in which the initiate walks waxes ever brighter and brighter. Light reveals to him the nature and the purpose of the cosmic etheric physical planes (the four highest planes of our planetary Life); this light brings to his attention the nature of certain extra-planetary conditions, and for the first time these become factual to him and not simply hypothetical; the light reveals to him his future opportunities once his final choice or decision is made, and – as said above – it also reveals to him the nature of divine purpose as our planetary Logos conceives it under the inspiration of the solar Logos.

He can now express himself fully upon the monadic plane, the plane of universal life; the great heresy of separateness has slipped away from him and he knows nothing but love, unity, spiritual identification and a universal awareness. Because of this, he can become a creator, for creation is the expression of life, love and purpose, and all these three he can now understand and fully express.

He is now an intelligent cooperator with the Building Forces of the planet and also of the solar system, and upon his chosen ray he will carry out his creative intentions.

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:

  1. The familiar and constantly recurring death of the physical body, incarnation after incarnation.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Then, through right use of the mind, comes the “death” of the personality or, rather, its repudiation and renouncing of all that is material.
  5. 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.

Excerpted from; “The Rays and the Initiations – Part Two – Section Two – The Aspirant and the Major Initiations”

By Alice Bailey and Djwhal Kuhl