Initiation I – The Birth at Bethlehem

I have preserved the above Christian nomenclature because of its familiarity and because (symbolically speaking) it conveys an aspect of a major truth. Just as the birth of a child is an entrance into light, literally speaking, and the beginning of an entirely new way of life, so each successive initiation is in an exactly similar manner an entrance into light, involving the revelation of a different world to the one hitherto known, and the undergoing of entirely new experiences. If students would keep this symbology and this definition carefully in mind, they would arrive at a keener concept of the processes which lie ahead of them. This is particularly true in connection with this first initiation; the analogy holds good from the very dawn of history, where humanity is considered.

In ancient Lemuria, with the coming in of the mental idea and mechanism, the low grade animal life (which, to a certain extent, looked human but was definitely mindless, unknowing and unseeing) became suddenly aware of that which threw light upon its way. It meant little to the animal men of those days, but it came increasingly to have significance as millennia of years elapsed; civilizations came and went; races developed and disappeared. In Lemurian days, the indwelling light of perception (though it was a perception so remote from ours as to be practically inconceivable) revealed the physical world and that found upon it which the human being of that time would deem desirable. Later, in Atlantean times, that same indwelling light and unfolding light of the mind served to reveal the world of emotions, and in the later half of that period it revealed the more aesthetic values; the arts began to flourish; color and beauty were registered. In our more modern Aryan race, the light has revealed the world of thought and has brought us to a synthesis of the senses; these senses were developed in earlier cycles of human living. Each of these three races, in a mysterious manner, has a correspondence on a racial scale to the first three initiations.

Today, as we enter the new era, the symbology of the fourth initiation, that of the Renunciation, has application; men face the necessity of renouncing the material values and of substituting the spiritual. The ferment of the initiation process goes on all the time, undermining the materialism of the race of men, revealing more and more of the reality underlying the phenomenal world (the only world recognized by the Lemurians) and – at the same time – providing that cultural field of experience in which those sons of men who are ready to do so can undergo the five initiations, technically understood. This is the factor of importance. This, therefore, is our starting point.

The historical process can (and will) reveal the gradual entrance of mankind into ever-expanding “lighted areas” of consciousness; into these areas the way of evolutionary unfoldment has led the race of men right up to the point where there are many, many thousands (and millions if you consider all of humanity – those in incarnation today and those that are out of incarnation upon the inner planes) who have been enabled to step out of the lighted field of the three worlds into another area where the light of the mind can be blended with the still greater light of the soul. They have (in past lives, even though recollection may be lacking) undergone the birth experience and initiation, and as a result of this, that which can reveal what the mind is unable to illumine is now developing and functioning within them. The “light of life” is now available, in a sense far more literally true than you can at this time perceive, and each successive initiation will see this fact more clearly demonstrated. The Birth Initiation lies behind in the experience of many, and this is factually proved by the lives of those who are consciously and willingly oriented towards the light, who see a wider world than that of their own selfish interests, who are sensitive to the Christ life and to the spiritual consciousness in their fellowmen and who see an horizon and vistas of contact unperceived by the average man; they realize a possible spiritual achievement, unknown and undesired by those whose lives are conditioned entirely by either the emotions or the lower concrete mind. At this stage of unfoldment they have a sense of conscious dualism, knowing the fact of the existence of that “something other” than the phenomenal, emotional and mental self.

The first initiation might be regarded as the goal and the reward of the mystical experience; it is fundamentally not an occult experience in the true sense of the term, for it is seldom accurately realized or consciously prepared for, as is the case of the later initiations, and this is why the first two initiations are not considered major initiations. In the mystical realization there is naturally and normally an emphasis upon dualism, but in the new area of unfoldment – visioned and later to be struggled for and attained, initiation by initiation – unity is achieved and dualism disappears. Students should therefore have in mind the following definite occult concept: The mystical Way leads to the first initiation. Having achieved its purpose, it is then renounced, and the “lighted Way” of occultism is then followed, leading to the lighted areas of the higher states of consciousness.

Thus both ways are seen to be essential; the mystical way is for the majority at this time, and an increasingly large number of mystics will emerge out of the modern masses of men; paralleling this, the occult way is attracting more and more of the world intelligentsia. Its experience is not basically religious, as the orthodox churchman understands the word. The way of science is as deeply needed by mankind as is the way of religion, for “God” is found equally on both ways. The scientific way leads the aspirant into the world of energies and forces, which is the true world of occult endeavor, revealing the Universal Mind and the workings of that great Intelligence which created the manifested universe. The “new man” who has come to birth at the first initiation must and will tread the occult or scientific way, which inevitably leads him out of the world of mysticism into the scientific and assured perception of God as life or energy.

The first initiation marks the beginning of a totally new life and mode of living; it marks the commencement of a new manner of thinking and of conscious perception. The life of the personality in the three worlds has for aeons nurtured the germ of this new life and fostered the tiny spark of light within the relative darkness of the lower nature. This process is now being brought to a close, though it is not at this stage entirely discontinued, for the “new man” has to learn to walk, to talk, and to create; the consciousness is now, however, being focused elsewhere. This leads to much pain and suffering until the definite choice is made, a new dedication to service is vouchsafed, and the initiate is ready to undergo the Baptism Initiation.

Members of the New Group of World Servers should watch with care for all those who show signs of having passed through the “birth” experience and should help them toward a greater maturity. They should assume that all those who truly love their fellowmen, who are interested in the esoteric teaching, and who seek to discipline themselves in order to attain greater beauty of life, are initiate and have undergone the first initiation. When they discover those who are seeking mental polarization and who evidence a desire and aspiration to think and to know, coupled with the distinguishing marks of those who have taken the first initiation, they can, in all probability, safely assume that such people have taken the second initiation or are on the verge of so doing. Their duty will then be clear. It is by this close observation on the part of the world servers that the ranks of the New Group are filled. Today, the opportunity and the stimulation are so great that all servers must keep alert, developing in themselves the ability to register the quality for which search must be made, and giving the help and guidance which will weld into one cooperative band those disciples and initiates who should prepare the way for the Christ.

The first initiation should be regarded as instituting a new attitude towards relationships. This is not yet the case. The relationships hitherto recognized, speaking generally, have been those karmically, physically and emotionally instituted; they are largely objective and predominantly concern the phenomenal plane with its contacts, duties, responsibilities and obligations. The new relationships however, to be increasingly recognized, are subjective and may have but little phenomenal indication. They embrace the recognition of those who must be served; they involve the expansion of the individual consciousness into a growing group awareness; they lead eventually to an eager response to hierarchical quality and to the magnetic pull of the Ashram. Such a development in the recognition of relationships leads finally to a recognition of the Presence of the Christ and to relationship with Him. With the recognition of and the relationship to the planetary Logos we need not at this point deal. All these relationships begin, in their truest connotation and with a correctly realized objective, at the birth of the “new man.” To this the Christ referred when He said: “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” I am here using the Christian terminology but prefer to speak of the “new man” rather than the strictly Christian phrase “the birth of the Christ Child in the heart.” It is by means of the touchstone of relationships that world servers can contact the initiates and the accepted disciples in the world, and can discover those aspirants who can be helped and trained.

Let me bring another point to your attention. In the phenomenal world of the average human being who has not yet passed through the initiatory experience of the rebirth, the emphasis has ever been and is today upon the dual relationship of the sexes and to this our novels, plays, movies and affairs of all men bear testimony. Creativity expresses itself mainly through the propagation of the race, brought about through the relation of male and female, or of the positive and negative poles in the human family. This is right and good and part of the divine Plan. Even though men have prostituted their capacities and debased their relationships, the basic plan is divine and ideal. After the first initiation, the entire sex relationship shifts gradually and steadily into its proper place as simply a natural phase of existence in the three worlds and as one of the normal and correct appetites, but the emphasis changes. The higher experience and correspondence, that of which physical sex is only the symbol, becomes apparent. Instead of male and female, there emerges the magnetic relationship between the now negative personality and the positive soul, with consequent creativity upon the higher planes. Of this relationship the head center and the center between the eyebrows (the ajna center) are the agents and eventually – through the medium of the pituitary body and the pineal gland – they condition the personality, rendering it soul-infused.

I have given you so much information anent initiation and the rays and centers in my many books that there is no need for me to repeat it here; there is, however, great need for you to collect and tabulate the scattered information so that you can register it as a whole. Many who read these instructions and who study the books I have written are in process of preparation for one or other of the initiations, and the entire theme should therefore be of major interest to you. You should decide (at least tentatively) which initiation lies ahead of you and then discover all you possibly can about it and its prerequisites, endeavoring to make practical application of the imparted information; either that which I give to you is true or it is not; if true, it is vital to your future progress and you should aim at achieving a measure of real understanding.

You have been taught that the activity or the inactivity of the centers conditions the personality, working through the endocrine system; the energies which the centers channel and the forces which they generate can be controlled and directed by the soul, by the spiritual man. You have likewise been told that the energy of the sacral center (the center most implicated and active at the time of the first initiation) has to be transmuted and raised to the throat center, thereby transforming the physical creative act into the creative process of producing the good, the beautiful and the true. This is the ABC of your fundamental knowledge: the transmutation of sex. In that transmutative process men have greatly erred and have approached the subject from two angles:

  1. They have sought to stamp out natural desire and have endeavored to emphasize an enforced celibacy; they have thus frequently warped the nature and subjected the “natural man” to rules and regulations which were not of divine intent.
  2. They have tried – at the other extreme – to exhaust normal sexual desire by promiscuity, license and perversions, damaging themselves and laying up the basis for trouble for many incarnations ahead.

True transmutation is in reality the achieving of a correct sense of proportion in relation to any phase of human life, and for the race of men today has particular reference to the sacral center and the energies which bring it into activity. When a proper recognition of the place the sex life should play in the daily life is paralleled by the concentration of thought anent the throat center, that center becomes automatically magnetic and attracts the forces of the sacral center upward through the spine into “the place of creative building”; the normal sex life is then regulated and not atrophied, and is relegated to its rightful place as one of the usual faculties or appetites with which man is endowed; it is brought under control through the lack of directed interest and is subordinated to the law of the land as regards its relation to its opposite pole – either negative and feminine or masculine and positive. To the aspirant it becomes mainly the agent for the creation of the vehicles needed for reincarnating souls. Thus by force of example, by the avoiding of all extremes, by the dedication of the bodily energies to the higher uses, and by the acceptance of the law of the land in any given country and at any given time, the present disorder and the current misuse of the sex principle will give way to orderly living and to the right use of this major bodily function.

{Note added by me. Is not the human orientation towards sex currently way out of kilter?}

This regulated physical life comes about when the personality is sufficiently integrated and coordinated and the ajna center (the center between the eyebrows) is active and is coming under the control of the soul. This has an immediate effect – automatically induced – upon the gland associated with this center; it becomes a balanced part of the general endocrine system and past imbalance is avoided. Simultaneously, the head center becomes active as a result of the aspirant’s mental perception, meditation and service; this brings the allied gland, the pineal gland, into action. All this is again only the ABC of occultism.

What is oft omitted from normal consideration is the fact that the increasing activity of these two “points of light within the head” is basically related to what is occurring in the sacral and throat centers, as the transmutative process proceeds and the energies of the sacral center are gathered up into the throat center – without, however, withdrawing all the energy from the lower center; thus its normal activity is properly preserved. The two centers in the head then become correspondingly active; the negative and the positive elements affect each other, and the light in the head shines forth; a line of light, permitting free interplay, is established between the ajna center and the head center, and therefore between the pituitary body and the pineal gland. When this line of light is present and there is an unobstructed relation between the two centers and the two glands, then the first initiation becomes possible. When this takes place, it must not be inferred that the task of transmutation going on between the lower and the higher centers and the relationship between the two head centers is fully and finally completed and established. The line of light is still tenuous and unstable, but it is in existence. It is the energy let loose at the first initiation and distributed into the sacral and the throat centers (via the slowly awakening head center) which brings the transmutation process to a successful conclusion and stabilizes the relationship within the head. This process may take several lives of steadily intensifying effort on the part of the initiate-disciple.

Thus the work of magical reformation starts, and it is here that the influence of the seventh ray (which governs the first initiation) enters in; one of the functions of this ray is to bring together soul and body, the higher and the lower, life and form, spirit and matter. This is the creative task confronting the disciple who is engaged in lifting the energies of the sacral center to the throat center and of establishing a right relation between the personality and the soul. Just as the antahkarana has to be constructed and established as a bridge of light between the Spiritual Triad and the soul-infused personality, so a similar bridge or correspondence is established between the soul and the personality, and, in connection with the mechanism of the disciple, between the two head centers and the two glands within the head.

When that line of light has related the higher spiritual aspects and the lower, and when the sacral center and the throat center are in true related alignment, the initiate-disciple becomes a creative worker under the divine Plan and a “magical exponent” of the divine building work; he is then a constructive force, wielding energy consciously on the physical plane. He creates forms as expressions of reality. This is the true work of magic.

You can see, therefore, that in the creative work three energies are brought into a related activity:

  1. The energy concentrated in the ajna center and which is indicative of the personality life.
  2. The energy concentrated in the head center as a result of soul activity.
  3. The energy of the seventh Ray of Ceremonial Order or Magic, making possible true creative activity under the divine Plan.

There is nothing spectacular to be told anent the first initiation; the initiate-disciple still works in the dimly lit “cave of the spiritual birth”; he has to continue his struggle to reveal divinity, primarily on the physical plane – symbolized for us in the word “Bethlehem” which means the “house of bread”; he has to learn the dual function of “lifting up the lower energies into the light” and – at the same time – of “bringing down the higher energies into bodily expression.” Thus he becomes a white magician.

At this initiation he sees, for the first time, what are the major energies which he must bring into expression, and this vision is summed up for him in the Old Commentary in the following words:

“When the Rod of Initiation descends and touches the lower part of the spine, there is a lifting up; when the eyes are opened in the light, that which must be lowered into form is now perceived. The vision is acknowledged. The burden of the future is assumed. The cave is lighted up and the new man issues forth.”

That this may be true of all of you who read these words is the prayer and the wish of your friend and counselor.

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The Rays and the Initiations – Part Two – Section Two – The Aspirant and the Major Initiations

By Alice Bailey and Djwhal Kuhl

Renunciation, Lunacy, or a Cry for Help?

Although many have found this very hard to believe I did in fact quit a tenured £50k per annum job, without much duress applied, with no job to go to knowing full well that I would not even be able to claim unemployment benefit. This kind of job was highly sought after by many an ambitious person. In the time that I had remaining I did not try to get a job. I sold my flat and got the hell out of dodge.

I was so fucking tired, doing more than one job and trying to get team development courses off the ground.

Nobody really talked to me about my decision. I seem to recall people avoiding me, a bit like a leper. T types and British T types to boot, are not that good with feelings and emotions. They are scared by them; they might lose control.

Being in pastoral care, if I saw mental health mentioned in a note like this {previous post}, I would have taken the protagonist off for a quiet walk / chat in Hyde Park and explored what was going on. I would have suggested some time to reconsider and probed gently what had caused them to take such an apparently drastic move. I would have seen a parallel to a suicide type of note and it would have rung alarm bells for me. I would at least have checked.

The obvious “conclusion” is that I can’t have been overly happy with the ways things were, to understate.

But when you are the geezer that takes care of such things and it is you doing them, people do not know what to do. You can’t just ask Alan to look into it.

At the very minimum this means that I have lost £1mill of income that I might otherwise have had, and it means that things will be financially tight for the rest of my sojourn.

It wasn’t until a number of years later that it occurred to me that this was just one of many renunciations asked of me by the spirit. It is easier for me to frame it this way. I could also frame it as an act of lunacy or a cry for help because I was so dog gone tired, just let me have a break man. The exams are over, I steered that process in addition to my other job.

When I read about Siddhartha leaving the palace in the dead of night, I was struck by the mild analogy. I left the temple of science to wander in the Buckinghamshire country. Only I did not sneak off I just faded away.

It is all so long ago, so far away and yet it seems the ripples continue, even now.

Hmnn…

Initiation IV – The Great Renunciation

Excerpted from:

“Initiation, Human and Solar – Chapter IX – The Path of Initiation” By Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul

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Before the fourth initiation can be taken, the work of training is intensified, and the hastening and accumulation of knowledge has to be unbelievably rapid. The initiate has frequent access to the library of occult books, and after this initiation he can contact not only the Master with whom he is linked and with whom he has worked consciously for a long time, but he can contact and assist (in measure) the Chohans, the Bodhisattva, and the Manu. He has also to grasp the laws of the three lower planes intellectually, and likewise wield them for the aiding of the scheme of evolution. He studies the cosmic plans and has to master the charts; he becomes versed in occult technicalities and develops fourth dimensional vision, if he has not already done so. He learns to direct the activities of the building devas, and at the same time, he works continually at the development of his spiritual nature. He begins rapidly to coordinate the buddhic vehicle, and in its coordination he develops the power of synthesis, at first in small measure, and gradually in fuller detail.

By the time the fourth initiation is taken the initiate has mastered perfectly the fifth subplane, and is therefore adept, – to use a technical phrase, – on the five lower subplanes of the physical, astral, and mental planes, and is well on the way to master the sixth. His buddhic vehicle can function on the two lower subplanes of the buddhic plane.

The life of the man who takes the fourth initiation, or the Crucifixion, is usually one of great sacrifice and suffering. It is the life of the man who makes the Great Renunciation, and even exoterically it is seen to be strenuous, hard, and painful. He has laid all, even his perfected personality, upon the altar of sacrifice, and stands bereft of all. All is renounced, friends, money, reputation, character, standing in the world, family, and even life itself.

Excerpted from:

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

By Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul

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Initiation IV – The Great Renunciation or Crucifixion

This initiation of renunciation (called “The Crucifixion” by Christian believers) is so familiar to the majority of people that I am hard put to it to say that which will arrest your attention, and thus offset a familiarity which necessarily lessens the importance of the theme in your consciousness. The idea of crucifixion is associated in your minds with death and torture, whereas neither concept underlies the true meaning. Let us consider some of the significances connected with this fourth initiation.

The sign of the Cross – associated in the Western world with this initiation and with the Christian faith – is in reality a cosmic symbol, long antedating the Christian era. It is one of the major signs to be found in the consciousness of Those advanced Beings Who, from the distant sun, Sirius, the seat of the true Great White Lodge, watch over the destinies of our solar system, but Who pay particular attention (why They do so is not yet revealed) to our relatively little and apparently unimportant planet, the Earth.

The word “crucifixion” comes from two Latin words signifying to “fix on a cross” (I have asked A.A.B. to look this word up in the dictionary so that you can have a sense of surety). The cross referred to in reference to this particular initiation is the Cardinal Cross of the heavens. It is to this cross that the disciple shifts at the fourth initiation, from the Fixed Cross of the heavens. This fixed cross is the one on which he has been crucified from the moment he found himself upon the Path of Probation and passed from thence on to the Path of Discipleship. On that Path – having transcended the world of phenomena and established an unbroken contact with the Monad, via the antahkarana – he renounces the Mutable Cross of existence in the three worlds (the world of appearances), and after a period of time he transfers from that cross on to the Fixed Cross, which is set up in the world of meaning where he has steadily learnt to dwell. This covers the period of the first three initiations. Now, being liberated through renunciation, he needs no longer to undergo the tests, trials, and difficulties which crucifixion on the Fixed Cross inevitably entails; he can now take his place upon the Cardinal Cross, with all its cosmic implications and opportunities which are then conferred. This – as far as the individual is concerned – is necessarily symbolic and figurative in its teaching. As far as the Heavenly Man is concerned, however, the application is not symbolic. It is far more factual. From the angle of the supreme Masters on Sirius, our planetary Logos, Sanat Kumara, is still on the Fixed Cross; He mounted the Mutable Cross in the first solar system; the Fixed Cross still holds Him in this solar system “fixed in His place”; in the next solar system, He will transfer Himself to the Cardinal Cross, and from “thence return to that High Place from whence He came.” You can see, therefore, why I emphasize the fact that these three crosses are simply symbols of experience in relation to the individual disciple. Let us consider this a little more closely:

  1. The Mutable Cross governs the three worlds and the astral plane in particular. On this cross the average man is “crucified” until he achieves the needed experience and consciously reorients himself to another phase of unfoldment.
  2. The Fixed Cross governs the five worlds of human development and conditions the experiences of all disciples. Through the discipline and the experiences thus gained whilst on this cross, the disciple passes from one renunciation to another until complete freedom and liberation has been achieved.
  3. The Cardinal Cross governs the Master as He passes through the remaining five initiations; the fourth initiation is, curiously enough, governed by neither the Fixed Cross nor the Cardinal Cross. The disciple is descending from the Fixed Cross and seeking to mount the Cardinal Cross, and it is this transition period and experience which practically govern Him. It might therefore be noted that there are three initiations which test the disciple as to knowledge and experience: the first, the second and the third; then there comes an initiation of transition, followed by five initiations which the Master undergoes upon the Cardinal Cross.

It should be remembered that the distinctive nature of the man upon the Mutable Cross is that of self-consciousness; that the disciple upon the Fixed Cross is rapidly becoming group conscious when the experiences undergone have been rightly assimilated; and that the Master on the Cardinal Cross is distinguished by a universal consciousness which passes finally into cosmic consciousness – a state of being unknown to you, even in the wildest flights of your imagination. The first hint of the growth of cosmic consciousness comes when the disciple passes through the sixth Initiation of Decision. He determines then (by means of His enlightened will and not His mind) which of the seven Paths He will decide to follow. From that time on, the consciousness of the greater Life which enfolds our planetary Logos, as He enfolds humanity within His consciousness, increasingly controls the attitude, the awareness and the activities of the Master.

You can see, therefore, how this initiation of crucifixion (which the Christian world has appropriated for itself) is far vaster in its implications than students suspect. Yet this appropriation was intentional under the divine Plan of the Hierarchy, for always some great Teacher – by His life and teaching – will call attention to some particular initiation. The Buddha, for instance, in His Four Noble Truths, stated in reality the platform upon which the initiate of the third initiation takes his stand. He desires nothing of a personal nature; he is liberated from the three worlds. The Christ pictured for us and emphasized the fourth initiation with its tremendous transition from the Fixed Cross to the Mount of Ascension, symbol of transition, through initiation.

This crucifixion initiation has a major instructive feature. This is preserved for us in the name which is frequently given to this fourth initiation: the Great Renunciation. One tremendous experience is vouchsafed to the initiate at this time; he realizes (because he sees and knows) that the antahkarana has been successfully completed and that there is a direct line of energy from the Spiritual Triad, via the antahkarana, to his mind and brain. This brings to the forefront of his consciousness the sudden and appalling recognition that the soul itself, the egoic body on its own level, and that which for ages has been the supposed source of his existence and his guide and mentor, is no longer needed; his relation, as a soul-infused personality, is now directly with the Monad. He feels bereft and is apt to cry out – as did the Master Jesus – “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” But he makes the needed renunciation, and the causal body, the soul body, is relinquished and disappears. This is the culminating renunciation and the climaxing gesture of ages of small renunciations; renunciation marks the career of all aspirants and disciples – renunciation, consciously faced, understood and consciously made.

I have hinted earlier to you that this fourth or Renunciation Initiation is closely linked with the sixth initiation and with the ninth. The sixth initiation is only possible when the initiate has definitely made the needed renunciations; the reward is that he is then permitted to make a perfectly free choice and thus demonstrate his essential and gained freedom. The ninth initiation (that of the Refusal) has in it no element of renunciation. It is not a refusal to hold, for the initiate is at the point where he asks and holds nothing for the separated self. At that final planetary initiation the Master is brought face to face with what might be called cosmic evil, with that reservoir of evil which cyclically overflows the world, and also with the massed group of masters of the Black Lodge. He refuses recognition. This I will deal with later when we take up that particular initiation.

In connection with this Initiation of Renunciation there are some most interesting correspondences which throw a bright, illuminating light upon its significance. They are known to you in some measure, because I have dealt with the significance of the fourth Ray of Harmony through Conflict, and the fourth kingdom, the human, in my earlier writings; it might, however, serve some useful purpose if I bring some of them together and show how this Initiation of Renunciation is of supreme importance to humanity and to the individual initiate who is, of course, a member of the fourth kingdom. First of all, this great act of renunciation marks the moment when the disciple has nothing in him which relates him to the three worlds of human evolution. His contact with those worlds in the future will be purely voluntary and for purposes of service. I prefer the word “renunciation” to the word “crucifixion” because the last word simply emphasizes the suffering undergone by the initiate as he renounces all that is of a material nature and becomes a permanent and (if I may use such a term) a non-fluctuating and unchanging member of the fifth kingdom in nature, the kingdom of God, called by us the Hierarchy. Forget not that the three worlds of ordinary evolution constitute the dense physical subplanes of the cosmic physical plane.

Crucifixion embodies the concept of extreme physical suffering of a protracted nature, its last “three hours” according to the Bible story, typifying the three planes of our evolution. On all three planes, the disciple renounces; on all three planes he is, therefore, crucified. It connotes the ending of a life and – from the cosmic angle – of the personality life of the soul through many incarnations. If it is a statement of fact that the time sense is the response of the brain to a succession of states of consciousness or of events, and if it is equally true that (to the soul) there is no such factor in consciousness as time but only the Eternal Now is known, then the three worlds of incarnated being constitute one unit of experience in the life of the soul – an experience which ends at the crucifixion, because the soul in incarnation definitely, consciously and by the use of the enduring will, renounces all, and turns his back upon the material world, finally and for ever. He has mastered all the uses of the three worlds of experiment, experience and expression (to use three terms with which I have familiarized you in my other books), and now stands liberated.

Each initiate who makes this renunciation and undergoes the consequent crucifixion is in a position to say with the first of our humanity to do so, “I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto Me.” So spoke the Christ. The initiate is lifted up by his renunciation – which he makes through the “blood of the heart” – out of the world of material phenomena, because he has freed himself from any desire for them, from any interest in them and from any hold they may ever have had over him. He is completely detached. It is interesting to note that the Master Jesus underwent the renunciation initiation whilst at the same time the Christ was raised up at the seventh or Resurrection Initiation. So the two stories of these two great Disciples are parallel – One so obediently serving the Greater, and the Christ submitting His will to that of His Father in Heaven.

This initiation is therefore, in a unique sense, a culminating experience and a point of entrance into a new life for which all the past has been a preparation. After the ninth initiation, the Refusal Initiation, there comes a cosmic repetition of the Renunciation experience, this time devoid of the crucifixion aspect; the initiate at that great moment renounces or refuses contact with the cosmic physical plane on all its seven levels of awareness, unless he has chosen (at the sixth Initiation of Decision) the Path of World Service.

During the experience of the initiatory process in its first three phases, the initiate rejects control of the energies which are seated in the three centers below the diaphragm; he renounces their use for personality or selfish reasons. The center at the base of the spine has received and distributed the energy of self-will (the will of the lower self) and is emptied and stands ready for the dynamic reception of the higher will which – using the spinal channel as the pathway or the symbol of the antahkarana – will pour into it from the highest head center. The sacral center which has received and distributed the energy which has fed the physical appetites to a far greater extent than is at present realized, is also under control – a control which is related to normal and proper direction from the throat center and to the preservation of life on the physical plane, if the initiate chooses to incarnate for service ends. The solar plexus center, which has received and distributed the energy of the astral plane, the energy of desire and of emotion, is likewise cleansed and purified; its energy is transmuted to such an extent that it can pass under the complete control of the heart center, which henceforth and until the seventh Initiation of the Resurrection is “that whereby the initiate performs his hierarchical obligations.” Therefore, at the Great Renunciation, the three lower centers reach a point of utter purification or speaking symbolically – of utter emptiness. No energy of their own (related to the selfish aeonial past) is left; they are simply pure receptacles for the energies of the three higher centers. The three lower centers are related to the three worlds of personality evolution; the three higher centers are related to hierarchical work and living and are under the control of the initiate – a control which becomes increasingly perfect until the seventh Initiation of Resurrection. At that momentous resurrection, they become no longer of service; the Master needs no energy centers, and His consciousness is transcended and transformed into a type of awareness of which those who have not experienced these initiations know nothing. If He chooses to take a physical vehicle (as many will when the Christ reappears and the Hierarchy is externalized on Earth), the Master will “function from the above to the below” and not (as is the case today with all disciples, though naturally not with the Masters) on “the below towards the above.” I am here quoting ancient phrases to be found in the archives of the Hierarchy. They will therefore need no centers on the etheric levels of our planetary physical plane.

At this fourth initiation the initiate begins to function entirely and always upon the fourth plane, the buddhic levels of the cosmic physical plane – our intuitional plane. This is the case whether you count from below upwards or from above downwards. You have here again an indication of the central position of this initiation and of its importance. It is preceded by three initiations and succeeded by three initiations, leading up to that of the seventh or final planetary initiation, because the remaining two initiations are fundamentally not related in any way to our planetary Life. It is because of this permanent transition of the initiate’s “living focus” – lifted out of the three worlds on to the buddhic plane – that the concept of resurrection has crept into the Christian teaching so that the Crucifixion Initiation is portrayed as preceding the Resurrection Initiation; this is in reality not the case, except in a lesser degree and as symbol of future experience.

In the same way, the concept of sacrifice has permeated all the teaching anent the Crucifixion or the Renunciation Initiation, both in the East and in the West. This is a sacrifice idea associated with the concept of pain, agony, suffering, patience, prolongation and death. Yet the true root of the word remains the same and gives the true significance: “Sacer,” to make holy; that is what in truth happens to the initiate; he is “made holy”; he is “set apart” for spiritual development and service. He is separated off from that which is natural, material, transmitted and handicapping, trammeling and destructive, and from that which lessens right activity for that which is new. He learns to define the Wholeness which is his divine right and prerogative.

The beauty of the interpretation of this initiation and the reward to those who attempt to penetrate to its true meaning and significance are untold; it requires, however, the teaching of the East and of the West to arrive at the true understanding of the experience. The concept of a clean break with the old life in the three worlds of experience which has characterized the work of the soul for so long is obvious. It is death in its truest and most useful form; every death, as it takes place today and on the physical plane, is therefore symbolic in nature, pointing to the time when the soul finally “dies” to all that is material and physical, just as the human being dies to all contact in the three worlds before resuming incarnated living.

On the buddhic or intuitional plane (the fourth level of the cosmic physical plane) the mind nature – even that of the higher mind or the level of abstract thought – loses its control over the initiate and is henceforth only useful in service. The intuition, the pure reason, complete knowledge illumined by the loving purpose of the divine Mind – to mention some of the names of this fourth level of awareness or of spiritual sensitivity – takes its place and the initiate lives henceforth in the light of correct or straight knowledge, expressing itself as wisdom in all affairs – hence the titles of Master of the Wisdom or Lord of Compassion given to Those Who have taken the fourth and the fifth initiations; these follow very closely upon each other. From the buddhic level of awareness, the Master works; on it, He lives His life, undertakes His service and furthers the Plan in the three worlds and for the four kingdoms in nature. Let this not be forgotten. Also, let it be remembered that this achievement of focus and this attained freedom are not the result of a symbolic ceremony, but are the result of lives of suffering, of minor renunciations and of conscious experience. This conscious experience, leading to the fourth initiation, is a definitely planned undertaking, arrived at as true vision is gradually conferred, the divine Plan is sensed and receives cooperation, and intelligent aspiration takes the place of vague longings and sporadic efforts “to be good,” as it is normally expressed by aspirants.

It will be clear to you, therefore, why this fourth initiation is ruled or governed by the fourth Ray of Harmony through Conflict. The harmonizing of the lower centers with the higher, the harmonizing or establishing of right relations between the three worlds of human evolution and the buddhic plane, the rapport gradually being brought about by each succeeding initiation, between humanity and the Hierarchy, plus the service of establishing right human relations among men – these are some of the results which you even now grasp theoretically; these you will also grasp practically and substantially one day in your own experience. It is with this ray energy that the initiate works as he makes the Great Renunciation and is transferred thereby to the Cardinal Cross of the Heavens. This is the energy which enables him to live in the Eternal Now and to renounce the bindings of time. Through the entire experience he fights against that which is material; under the law of our planet (and, if you only knew, under the law of our solar system) nothing is achieved except by struggle and conflict – struggle and conflict associated on our planet with pain and suffering but which, after this fourth initiation, is devoid of suffering. A hint as to the purpose for which our little planet exists and its unique position in the scheme of things can here be noted.

As I mentioned earlier, the initiate now works from “above downwards.” This is only a symbolic mode of speech. Like his great Master, the Christ, when he seeks to serve humanity he “descends into hell” which is the hell of materialism and of physical plane life, and there labors for the furtherance of the Plan. We read in the Christian teaching that “Christ descended into hell and taught the spirits which are in prison” for three days. This means that He worked with humanity in the three worlds (for time and the process of events are regarded by philosophers as synonymous in meaning) for a brief period of time, but was called (on account of His unique task of embodying for the first time in world history the love principle of divinity) to be the Head of the Hierarchy.

The same concept of working in the three worlds of physical plane existence (in the cosmic sense) is embodied for us in the phrase found in the New Testament that “the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.” This is the veil which, symbolically speaking, divides or shuts off humanity from participation in the kingdom of God. This was rent by the Christ – an unique service which He rendered both to humanity and to the spiritual Hierarchy; He made it easier for a much quicker communication to be set up between those two great centers, of divine life.

I would ask you to ponder this Initiation of Renunciation, remembering ever in your daily life that this process of renunciation, entailing the crucifixion of the lower self, is only made possible by the practice of detachment every day. The word “detachment” is only the Eastern term for our word “renunciation.” That is the practical use of such information which I have here given to you. I would ask you also (curious as it may seem) to get used to crucifixion, if you care to use that word; to permit yourself to get accustomed to suffering with detachment, knowing that the soul suffers not at all, and that there is no pain or agony for the Master Who has attained liberation. The Masters have each and all renounced that which is material; They have been lifted out of the three worlds by Their Own effort; They have detached Themselves from all hindrances; They have left hell behind and the term “spirits that are in prison” no longer applies to Them. This They have done for no selfish purpose. In the early days of the Probationary Path, selfish aspiration is foremost in the consciousness of the aspirant; however, as he treads the path, and likewise the Path of Discipleship, he leaves all such motives behind (a minor renunciation) and his one aim, in seeking liberation and freedom from the three worlds, is to aid and help humanity. This dedication to service is the mark of the Hierarchy.

You can see, therefore, how the Buddha prepared the way for the Initiation of Renunciation or of Crucifixion by His teaching and His emphasis upon detachment. Think on these things and study the great continuity of effort and cooperation which distinguishes the Members of the spiritual Hierarchy. My prayer and wish is that your goal may be clear to your vision and that the “strength of your heart” may be adequate to the undertaking.

The Buddha’s Father

THE Buddha’s name became famous over all India and Suddhodana, his father, sent word to him saying: “I am growing old and wish to see my son before I die. Others have had the benefit of his doctrine, but not his father nor his relatives.” And the messenger said: “O world-honored Tathagata, thy father looks for thy coming as the lily longs for the rising of the sun.”

The Blessed One consented to the request of his father and set out on his journey to Kapilavatthu. Soon the tidings spread in the native country of the Buddha: “Prince Siddhattha, who wandered forth from home into homelessness to obtain enlightenment, having attained his purpose, is coming back.”

Suddhodana went out with his relatives and ministers to meet the prince. When the king saw Siddhattha, his son, from afar, he was struck with his beauty and dignity, and he rejoiced in his heart, but his mouth found no words to utter. This, indeed, was his son; these were the features of Siddhattha. How near was the great samana to his heart, and yet what a distance lay between them! That noble muni was no longer Siddhattha, his son; he was the Buddha, the Blessed One, the Holy One, Lord of truth, and teacher of mankind. Suddhodana the king, considering the religious dignity of his son, descended from his chariot and after saluting his son said: “It is now seven years since I have seen thee. How I have longed for this moment!”

Then the Sakyamuni took a seat opposite his father, and the king gazed eagerly at his son. He longed to call him by his name, but he dared not. “Siddhattha,” he exclaimed silently in his heart, “Siddhattha, come back to thine aged father and be his son again!” But seeing the determination of his son, he suppressed his sentiments, and, desolation overcame him. Thus the king sat face to face with his son, rejoicing in his sadness and sad in his rejoicing. Well might he be proud of his son, but his pride broke down at the idea that his great son would never be his heir.

“I would offer thee my kingdom,” said, the king, “but if I did, thou wouldst account it but as ashes.”

And the Buddha said: “I know that the king’s heart is full of love and that for his son’s sake he feels deep grief. But let the ties of love that bind him to the son whom he lost embrace with equal kindness all his fellow-beings, and he will receive in his place a greater one than Siddhattha; he will receive the Buddha, the teacher of truth, the preacher of righteousness, and the peace of Nirvana will enter into his heart.”

Suddhodana trembled with joy when he heard the melodious words of his son, the Buddha, and clasping his hands, exclaimed with tears in his eyes: “Wonderful in this change! The overwhelming sorrow has passed away. At first my sorrowing heart was heavy, but now I reap the fruit of thy great renunciation. It was right that, moved by thy mighty sympathy, thou shouldst reject the pleasures of royal power and achieve thy noble purpose in religious devotion. Now that thou hast found the path, thou canst preach the law of immortality to all the world that yearns for deliverance.” The king returned to the palace, while the Buddha remained in the grove before the city.

—————

Extracted from:

BUDDHA, THE GOSPEL

By Paul Carus

Chicago, The Open Court Publishing Company,

[1894]

At Sacred Texts

Assumed Understanding

I suspect that in many cases people assume that they understand a whole bunch of stuff way better than they actually do. People imagine that they can read others and predict to an extent what they will do under a given circumstance. I can think of several {many} occasions where people have behaved in a particular way towards me and then have been mightily surprised when I have not done what they anticipated. They assumed that they knew and that they knew me.

As a thought experiment if someone presented as a go-getting high tech. entrepreneur what would you expect them to do? How would you expect them to behave? What ethos would they hold and practise?

I’ll wager that in ~99.7% of people, there is no way that people would guess that someone presenting as a high tech. entrepreneur would be an adherent to the twelve principles of Buddhism, which I put up yesterday. It simply would not compute. There are many of these things which I call DNCs, Does Not Compute.

Assumed understanding has these massive DNC shaped black spots, blind spots.

I am a living example of what for many was/is a DNC.

Why would someone who had a tenured relatively well-paid job at a world top ten university resign without another relatively well-paid tenured job to go to?

DNC, DNC…Imagine a Dalek saying DNC, DNC in order to get my drift.

—–

It is related to an HTTP error code.

403 Forbidden

The request contained valid data and was understood by the server, but the server is refusing action. This may be due to the user not having the necessary permissions for a resource or needing an account of some sort, or attempting a prohibited action (e.g., creating a duplicate record where only one is allowed). This code is also typically used if the request provided authentication by answering the WWW-Authenticate header field challenge, but the server did not accept that authentication. The request should not be repeated.

405 Method Not Allowed

A request method is not supported for the requested resource; for example, a GET request on a form that requires data to be presented via POST, or a PUT request on a read-only resource.

406 Not Acceptable

The requested resource is capable of generating only content not acceptable according to the Accept headers sent in the request.

417 Expectation Failed.

The server cannot meet the requirements of the Expect request-header field.

418 I’m a teapot (RFC 2324, RFC 7168)

This code was defined in 1998 as one of the traditional IETF April Fools’ jokes, in RFC 2324, Hyper Text Coffee Pot Control Protocol, and is not expected to be implemented by actual HTTP servers. The RFC specifies this code should be returned by teapots requested to brew coffee. This HTTP status is used as an Easter egg in some websites, such as Google.com’s I’m a teapot easter egg.

——

I twigged a while back, that because I had renounced something which many people spend a great deal of effort pursuing and is in a highly competitive arena, I am/was suspect. Nobody was willing to believe that I did it of my own free will. People assumed that there was some scandal or that I had been asked to fall on my sword, or that I had been pushed onto it. It is easier for the conspiracy addicted human mind to fabricate some salacious reasons, rather than accept that a being would do this, jack it all in.

We have a DNC here in the garage. It is a right-hand drive Peugeot 207 with 22 Bretagne plates. On numerous occasions people look at me in the passenger seat and without a steering wheel. DNC! It is the combination of a French car, with French number plates and UK steering wheel which is the DNC.

It does not take much to make a DNC for most people.

As a little experiment:

How many DNCs have you got?

In what way might they impinge on your assumed understanding about a whole bunch of stuff?

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.

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 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.

The Tibetan

The Path of Initiation

After a longer or shorter period of time the disciple stands at the Portal of Initiation. We must remember that as one approaches this portal and draws nearer to the Master it is as says “Light on the Path,” with the feet bathed in the blood of the heart. Each step up is ever through the sacrifice of all that the heart holds dear on one plane or another, and always must this sacrifice be voluntary. He who treads the Probationary Path and the Path of Holiness is he who has counted the cost, whose sense of values has been readjusted, and who therefore judges not as judges the man of the world. He is the man who is attempting to take the “kingdom by violence,” and in the attempt is prepared for the consequent suffering. He is the man who counts all things but loss if he may but win the goal, and who, in the struggle for the mastery of the lower self by the higher, is willing to sacrifice even unto death.

The first two Initiations

At the first initiation, the control of the Ego {In this context it means the resincarnating Ego or Soul} over the physical body must have reached a high degree of attainment. “The sins of the flesh,” as the Christian phraseology has it, must be dominated; gluttony, drink, and licentiousness must no longer hold sway. The physical elemental will no longer find its demand obeyed; the control must be complete and the lure departed. A general attitude of obedience to the Ego must have been achieved, and the willingness to obey must be very strong. The channel between the higher and the lower is widened, and the obedience of the flesh practically automatic.

That all initiates measure not up to this standard may be ascribed to several things, but the note they sound should be on the side of righteousness; the recognition of their own shortcomings which they will evidence will be sincere and public, and their struggle to conform to the highest standard will be known, even though perfection may not be achieved. Initiates may, and do, fall, and thereby incur the working of the law in punishment. They may, and do, by this fall injure the group, and thereby incur the karma of readjustment, having to expiate the injury through later prolonged service, wherein the group members themselves, even though unconsciously, apply the law; their progress will be seriously hindered, much time being lost in which they must work out the karma with the injured units. The very fact that a man is an initiate, and therefore the medium for force of a greatly increased kind, makes his lapses from the straight path to have more powerful effects than is the case with a less advanced man; his retribution and punishment will be equally greater. Inevitably he must pay the price before he is allowed to proceed further upon the Way. As for the group he injures, what should their attitude be? A recognition of the gravity of the error, a wise acceptance of the facts in the case, a refraining from unbrotherly criticism, and a pouring out of love upon the sinning brother: all this, coupled with such action as will make clear to the onlooking general public that such sins and infringements of the law are not condoned. To this must be added an attitude of mind within the group concerned which will lead them (whilst taking firm action) to help the mistaken brother to see his error, to work out the retributive karma, and then to reinstate him in their regard and respect when due amends have been made.

All people do not develop exactly along the same or parallel lines, and therefore no hard or fast rules can be laid down as to the exact procedure at each initiation, or as to just what centers; are to be vivified, or what vision is to be accorded. So much depends upon the ray of the disciple, or his development in any particular direction (people do not usually develop evenly), upon his individual karma, and also upon the exigencies of any special period. This much can be suggested, however: At the first initiation, that of the birth of the Christ, the heart center is the one usually vivified, with the aim in view of the more effective controlling of the astral vehicle, and the rendering of greater service to humanity. After this initiation the initiate is taught principally the facts of the astral plane; he has to stabilize his emotional vehicle and learn to work on the astral plane with the same facility and ease as he does on the physical plane; he is brought in contact with the astral devas; he learns to control the astral elementals; he must function with facility on the lower subplanes, and the value and quality of his work on the physical plane becomes of increased worth. He passes, at this initiation, out of the Hall of Learning into the Hall of Wisdom. At this time, emphasis is consistently laid on his astral development, although his mental equipment grows steadily.

Many lives may intervene between the first initiation and the second. A long period of many incarnations may elapse before the control of the astral body is perfected, and the initiate is ready for the next step. The analogy is kept in an interesting way in the New Testament in the life of the initiate Jesus. Many years elapsed between the Birth and the Baptism, but the remaining three steps were taken in three years. Once the second initiation is taken the progress will be rapid, the third and fourth following probably in the same life, or the succeeding.

The second initiation forms the crisis in the control of the astral body. Just as, at the first initiation, the control of the dense physical has been demonstrated, so here the control of the astral is similarly demonstrated. The sacrifice and death of desire has been the goal of endeavor. Desire itself has been dominated by the Ego, and only that is longed for which is for the good of the whole, and in the line of the will of the Ego, and of the Master. The astral elemental is controlled, the emotional body becomes pure and limpid, and the lower nature is rapidly dying. At this time the Ego grips afresh the two lower vehicles and bends them to his will. The aspiration and longing to serve, love, and progress become, so strong that rapid development is usually to be seen. This accounts for the fact that this initiation and the third, frequently (though not invariably) follow each other in one single life. At this period of the world’s history such stimulus has been given to evolution that aspiring souls – sensing the dire and crying need of humanity – are sacrificing all in order to meet that need.

Again, we must not make the mistake of thinking that all this follows in the same invariable consecutive steps and stages. Much is done in simultaneous unison, for the labor to control is slow and hard, but in the interim between the first three initiations some definite point in the evolution of each of the three lower vehicles has to be attained and held, before the further expansion of the channel can be safely permitted. Many of us are working on all the three bodies now, as we tread the Probationary Path.

At this initiation, should the ordinary course be followed, (which again is not at all certain) the throat center is vivified. This causes a capacity to turn to account in the Master’s service, and for the helping of man, the attainments of the lower mind. It imparts the ability to give forth and utter that which is helpful, possibly in the spoken word, but surely in service of some kind. A vision is accorded of the world’s need, and a further portion of the plan shown. The work, then, to be done prior to the taking of the third initiation, is the complete submerging of the personal point of view in the need of

the whole. It entails the complete domination of the concrete mind by the Ego.

The succeeding two Initiations

After the second initiation the teaching shifts up a plane. The initiate learns to control his mental vehicle; he develops the capacity to manipulate thought matter, and learns the laws of creative thought building. He functions freely on the four lower subplanes of the mental plane, and before the third initiation he must, – consciously or unconsciously, – be complete master of the four lower subplanes in the three planes of the three worlds. His knowledge of the microcosm becomes profound, and he has mastered theoretically and practically, in great measure, the laws of his own nature, hence his ability experimentally to be master on the four lower subplanes of the physical, astral, and mental planes. The last fact is of interest. The control of the three higher subplanes is not yet complete, and here is one of the explanations as to the failures and mistakes of initiates. Their mastery of matter in the three higher subplanes is not yet perfect; these yet remain to be dominated.

At the third initiation, termed sometimes the Transfiguration, the entire personality is flooded with light from above. It is only after this initiation that the Monad is definitely guiding the Ego, pouring his divine life ever more into the prepared and cleansed channel, just as in the third, or Moon Chain, the Ego individualized the personality through direct contact, a method different to the individualization as shown in this fourth chain. The law of correspondences, if applied here, might prove very revealing, and might demonstrate an interesting analogy between the methods of individualizing in the various chains, and the expansions of consciousness that occur at the different initiations.

Again, a vision is accorded of what lies ahead; the initiate is in a position at all times to recognize the other members of the Great White Lodge, and his psychic faculties are stimulated by the vivification of the head centers. It is not necessary nor advisable to develop the synthetic faculties, or clairaudience and clairvoyance, until after this initiation. The aim of all development is the awakening of the spiritual intuition; when this has been done, when the physical body is pure, the astral stable and steady, and the mental body controlled, then the initiate can safely wield and wisely use the psychic faculties for the helping of the race. Not only can he use these faculties, but he is able now to create and vivify thought-forms that are clear and well-defined, pulsating with the spirit of service and not controlled by lower mind or desire. These thought-forms will not be (as is the case with those created by the mass of men) disjointed, unconnected, and uncorrected, but will attain a fair measure of synthesis. Hard and ceaseless must the work be before this can be done, but when the desire nature has been stabilized and purified, then the control of the mind-body comes more easily. Hence the path of the devotee is easier in some ways than that of the intellectual man, for he has learnt the measures of purified desire, and progresses by the requisite stages.

The personality has now reached a point where its vibrations are of a very high order, the matter in all three bodies relatively pure, and its apprehension of the work to be done in the microcosm, and the share to be taken in the work of the macrocosm is very advanced. It is apparent, therefore, why it is only at the third initiation that the great Hierophant, the Lord of the World, himself officiates. It is the first at which he contacts the initiate. Earlier it would not be possible. For the first two initiations the Hierophant is the Christ, the World Teacher, the Firstborn among many brethren, one of the earliest of our humanity to take initiation. Browning brings out this thought most beautifully in the words found in his poem “Saul”:

    …It shall be

    A face like my face that receives thee;

    a Man like to me,

    Thou shalt love and be loved by, forever;

    A Hand like this hand

    Shall throw open the gates of new life to thee!

    See the Christ stand!

 

But when the initiate has made still further progress, and has taken two initiations, a change comes. The Lord of the World, the Ancient of Days, the ineffable Ruler himself administers the third initiation. Why has this become possible? Because now the fully consecrated physical body can safely bear the vibrations of the two other bodies when they return to its shelter from the Presence of the KING; because now the purified astral and controlled mental can safely stand before that KING. When purified and controlled they stand and for the first time consciously vibrate to the Ray of the Monad, then with prepared bodies can the ability to see and hear on all the planes be granted and achieved, and the faculty of reading and comprehending the records be safely employed, for with fuller knowledge comes added power. The heart is now sufficiently pure and loving, and the intellect sufficiently stable to stand the strain of knowing.

Before the fourth initiation can be taken, the work of training is intensified, and the hastening and accumulation of knowledge has to be unbelievably rapid. The initiate has frequent access to the library of occult books, and after this initiation he can contact not only the Master with whom he is linked and with whom he has worked consciously for a long time, but he can contact and assist (in measure) the Chohans, the Bodhisattva, and the Manu. He has also to grasp the laws of the three lower planes intellectually, and likewise wield them for the aiding of the scheme of evolution. He studies the cosmic plans and has to master the charts; he becomes versed in occult technicalities and develops fourth dimensional vision, if he has not already done so. He learns to direct the activities of the building devas, and at the same time, he works continually at the development of his spiritual nature. He begins rapidly to coordinate the buddhic vehicle, and in its coordination he develops the power of synthesis, at first in small measure, and gradually in fuller detail.

By the time the fourth initiation is taken the initiate has mastered perfectly the fifth subplane, and is therefore adept, – to use a technical phrase, – on the five lower subplanes of the physical, astral, and mental planes, and is well on the way to master the sixth. His buddhic vehicle can function on the two lower subplanes of the buddhic plane.

The life of the man who takes the fourth initiation, or the Crucifixion, is usually one of great sacrifice and suffering. It is the life of the man who makes the Great Renunciation, and even exoterically it is seen to be strenuous, hard, and painful. He has laid all, even his perfected personality, upon the altar of sacrifice, and stands bereft of all. All is renounced, friends, money, reputation, character, standing in the world, family, and even life itself.

The final Initiations

After the fourth initiation not much remains to be done. The domination of the sixth subplane goes forward with rapidity, and the matter of the higher subplanes of the buddhic is coordinated. The initiate is admitted into closer fellowship in the Lodge, and his contact with the devas is more complete. He is rapidly exhausting the resources of the Hall of Wisdom, and is mastering the most intricate plans and charts. He becomes adept in the significance of color and sound, can wield the law in the three worlds, and can contact his Monad with more freedom than the majority of the human race can contact their Egos. He is in charge, also, of large work, teaching many pupils, aiding in many schemes, and is gathering under him those who are to assist him in future times. This refers only to those who stay to help humanity on this globe; we will deal later with some of the lines of work that stretch before the Adept if he passes away from earth service.

After the fifth initiation the man is perfected as far as this scheme goes, though he may, if he will, take two further initiations.

To achieve the sixth initiation the Adept has to take a very intensive course in planetary occultism. A Master wields the law in the three worlds, whilst a Chohan of the sixth initiation wields the law in the chain on all levels; a Chohan of the seventh initiation wields the law in the solar system.

It will be apparent that, should he search these subjects with application, the student will find much that concerns him personally, even though the ceremony itself may be far ahead. By the study of the process and the purpose he may become aware of the great fundamental fact that the method of initiation is the method of:

  • Force realization.
  • Force application.
  • Force utilization.

The initiate of every degree, from the humble initiate of the first degree, making for the first time his contact with a certain type of specialized force, up to the emancipated Buddha of the seventh degree, is dealing with energy of some kind or other. The stages of development of the aspirant might be expressed as follows:

 

  • He has to become aware, through discrimination, of the energy or force of his own lower self.
  • He has to impose upon that energetic rhythm one that is higher, until that lower rhythm is superseded by the higher, and the old method of expressing energy dies out entirely.
  • He then is permitted, by gradually expanding realizations, to contact and – under guidance – to employ certain forms of group energy, until the time comes when he is in a position scientifically to wield planetary force. The length of time taken over his final stage is entirely dependent upon the progress he makes in the service of his race and in the development of those powers of the soul which are the natural sequence of spiritual unfoldment.

——————————————————————-

Excerpted from Initiation, Human and Solar – Chapter IX – The Path of Initiation

Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul

THE BUDDHA’S FATHER

THE Buddha’s name became famous over all India and Suddhodana, his father, sent word to him saying: “I am growing old and wish to see my son before I die. Others have had the benefit of his doctrine, but not his father nor his relatives.” And the messenger said: “O world-honored Tathagata, thy father looks for thy coming as the lily longs for the rising of the sun.”

The Blessed One consented to the request of his father and set out on his journey to Kapilavatthu. Soon the tidings spread in the native country of the Buddha: “Prince Siddhattha, who wandered forth from home into homelessness to obtain enlightenment, having attained his purpose, is coming back.”

Suddhodana went out with his relatives and ministers to meet the prince. When the king saw Siddhattha, his son, from afar, he was struck with his beauty and dignity, and he rejoiced in his heart, but his mouth found no words to utter. This, indeed, was his son; these were the features of Siddhattha. How near was the great samana to his heart, and yet what a distance lay between them! That noble muni was no longer Siddhattha, his son; he was the Buddha, the Blessed One, the Holy One, Lord of truth, and teacher of mankind. Suddhodana the king, considering the religious dignity of his son, descended from his chariot and after saluting his son said: “It is now seven years since I have seen thee. How I have longed for this moment!”

Then the Sakyamuni took a seat opposite his father, and the king gazed eagerly at his son. He longed to call him by his name, but he dared not. “Siddhattha,” he exclaimed silently in his heart, “Siddhattha, come back to thine aged father and be his son again!” But seeing the determination of his son, he suppressed his sentiments, and, desolation overcame him. Thus the king sat face to face with his son, rejoicing in his sadness and sad in his rejoicing. Well might he be proud of his son, but his pride broke down at the idea that his great son would never be his heir.

“I would offer thee my kingdom,” said, the king, “but if I did, thou wouldst account it but as ashes.”

And the Buddha said: “I know that the king’s heart is full of love and that for his son’s sake he feels deep grief. But let the ties of love that bind him to the son whom he lost embrace with equal kindness all his fellow-beings, and he will receive in his place a greater one than Siddhattha; he will receive the Buddha, the teacher of truth, the preacher of righteousness, and the peace of Nirvana will enter into his heart.”

Suddhodana trembled with joy when he heard the melodious words of his son, the Buddha, and clasping his hands, exclaimed with tears in his eyes: “Wonderful in this change! The overwhelming sorrow has passed away. At first my sorrowing heart was heavy, but now I reap the fruit of thy great renunciation. It was right that, moved by thy mighty sympathy, thou shouldst reject the pleasures of royal power and achieve thy noble purpose in religious devotion. Now that thou hast found the path, thou canst preach the law of immortality to all the world that yearns for deliverance.” The king returned to the palace, while the Buddha remained in the grove before the city.


BUDDHA, THE GOSPEL

By Paul Carus

Chicago, The Open Court Publishing Company,

[1894]

C’est seulement le vent……

This is about all the pain of renunciation. The title comes from 37 degrees le matin or Betty Blue. It is about severance. I was also experimenting with the shape of words on a page.

———————————————————————–

 Too many fragments of the spirit have I scattered in these streets, and too many are the children of my longing that walk naked amongst these hills, and I cannot withdraw from them without a burden and an ache.

It is not a garment that I cast off this day, but a skin that I tear with my own hands…..

 

Kahlil Gibran,“The Prophet”  Penguin Books ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL.

ISBN 0-14-019447-9 

 

———————————————————————

to take these fingers

 sharp

 from the grind-stone day

and turn

 turn

 

to pierce the cavern of my chest

 and

 rip

 open the fleshy fabric of this

 

 this

 this

 thing 

that is me

 and part the meaty, dreamy me

 

and the

 sail bone

 tale bone white

 that secures

 me

to the world

 and

 as the seeping

dream of each

 vital

 vital blood

 drips the fingers bare

 

to seek

 and

 ……and

 to once again hear

 

 fairies on the wind

such as do tinkle

golden dew drop notes

 

and

 and

 and

 summon fire

 

as

 as

 a water

 that trickles treacle over these fingers mine

 

 as I

 open

 rip

and

 now

 use

 those eyes

 of

blue within blue

 that see deep in darkest night

 

and

 still

 still

 do

 smell

 

the faintest hope of a forgotten dawn

 

lest

darkness

 for

 ever

 hold sway

 and rend the fabric

 this fabric

 of life

 

such

 to clothe no more this day

 against the cold

 and the

 and the………

 

C’est seulement le vent…….

 

 as the fragile sea-horse dance

writes the fantasy dream

of a dreamer caged

 caged by the bars of practicalities

 else should summon the dragon breath

 to blow first fire

 and

 and then fresh

fresh

 as the

 dew of a word

 a

 word

 that decorates the icing sugar dream of a

 of  a

 of

 a

 better world

 

and

 and all those reasons

 they

 stake the heart

 the heart of magic and belief

 

 so that

 the sorry

 will be never enough

 and for such want

 dies tinker-bell

 

cold and afraid in the forest of the mind

and

 and

 and

 

now wanders on the windswept morrows of a dawn

 yet

 yet

 to rise

 weighting

 weighting

 for a sliver of a dream

 sliced in the timpani of the heart

 to fold such letters

as were yet to write

 

 as the quill of it

 now

 now

 quivers

 over the inkwell

 

rid of

 rid of

 all the

 octopus wages of the past

as  a squid may yet question

 why?

 

 would seek to share

 the anemone memory

 brought on the tide

 as fresh and familiar as

the corralled dreams

 of those  pacific island blues

 

where now the torrent

marks

 the

 feeling, surging

 life

 

and

 to gather fish-scales

of perfect opal

 and dress the world in ways

 

ways

 gone by

 

as am meant to do

and damn

 damn

 the mind

 

for to touch the feather fabric of the dream

 with the italic

slant

 

 made so

 so subtle

 and so fine

 

seeks the blood

dripping

 fast

 fast in every line

 as now must

 or

 else

 and

  put away those swords

 

please

 please

  take those fingers

and feed that thread

 back through the iron

 point

 and close

 close

 ……close

 

less the lightning bolt rips

 asunder…

 all

 all that is

 me

 

and yet would still question the island theme….

 

still

 it is no more

 no more

 than

 a

dream……

 

Renunciation or Self-destruction?

 

Renunciation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Renunciation (or renouncing) is the act of rejecting something, especially if it is something that the renunciant has previously enjoyed or endorsed.

In religion, renunciation often indicates an abandonment of pursuit of material comforts, in the interests of achieving spiritual enlightenment. It is highly practiced in Jainism. In Hinduism, the renounced order of life is sannyāsa; in Buddhism, the Pali word for “renunciation” is nekkhamma, conveying more specifically “giving up the world and leading a holy life” or “freedom from lust, craving and desires”. In Christianity, some denominations have a tradition of renunciation of the Devil.

Renunciation of citizenship is the formal process by which a person voluntarily relinquishes the status of citizen of a specific country. A person can also renounce property, as when a person submits a disclaimer of interest in property that has been left to them in a will.

 

From time to time, I come back to this theme of renunciation.

In the case of Siddhartha, according to the narrative, his dad had plans for him to be prince and then king or ruler, he even went out of his way to manipulate him in that direction. But Siddhartha renounced that way of life, he left status, riches, power, a wife and a young child and metaphorically pissed off into the woods. He is now referred to as Lord Buddha so you could say he is a high status being, despite his efforts to escape all the labelling of society. I don’t know for sure, but I am guessing that he is a bit bemused by the fact that there is worship of him and that garden centres sell statues of him of dubious quality to be put in gardens. People maybe did not get the gist of what he was about, especially with the worship aspect.

Viewed from the angle of the career driven westerner maybe he threw his toys out of the cot and in one act of self-destruction ended what could have been an illustrious career as a statesman and king. He had everything going for him, but he messed it up on purpose. What a fool! What a failure! But, in one sense it really was an act of self-destruction, he destroyed those aspects of self to which most people cling. It means something different when looked at like this, self-destruction is a good thing in this context.

I left the “leadership” of a new-age group, I “gave” my shares of a start-up I co-founded back, I left a wife and young child and I jacked in a career at a prestigious university. These were piece meal renunciations, not one fell swoop. Maybe I am a failure! Maybe I was throwing my toys out of the cot! Or maybe I was simply destroying my self and all that I once felt was important. Who can be sure? I think it fair to speculate that this kind of thing goes against the grain, it should not happen. People ought to be career driven and slave to status and success as it is quantified by man-made metric after man-made metric.

I did not come upon the narrative of Siddhartha’s renunciation until my late thirties when I started having dreams and visions of me as a Buddhist monk. When I did read it, I recognised the thematic similarity. What I can say as a result of my own self-destruction is the things that I placed such value on before it, now have little or no hold over me. I see their impermanence. Maybe I am just a nihilistic old git, a non-competitive, lacking in ambition, has been…

One can never be sure which narrative is the best fit…I guess people pick whichever is most convenient for them…

I don’t know why but I am back with this theme, at least for a while…