THE SEVEN PATHS
As might be expected, very little has appeared in our literature as to the seven Paths which stretch before the man who has reached the fifth initiation. It is obviously impossible, and also unnecessary, to convey to our mind any impression as to the significance of these paths, or as to the attributes needed for their treading. As time progresses and the race reaches a higher point of development, we shall be able to comprehend more, but under the law of economy it would be fruitless effort for the teachers of the race to instruct us on the characteristics needed for the treading of the seven Paths, before we have as yet apprehended or developed those required for traversing the Probationary Path, not to mention the Path of Initiation.
One general fact we do know, and that is, that before these Paths can be trodden, a man must be a Master of the Wisdom, he must be a Brother of Compassion, and he must be able, through intelligence and love, to wield the law. Our part at this time is to fit ourselves for the treading of the Path of Initiation, by the discipline of the Probationary Path, by the careful direction of the life, by obedience to the law as understood, and by service to the race. When we have attained liberation, then these Paths will stretch before us, and the one that we should tread will become apparent to us. All in this system works under the great law of attraction, and therefore, according to our vibration, according to our color and tone, will depend, in all probability, our choice. The greater free will of the cosmic system is under limitation, just as is the free will of the system of which we are a part, and the free will of man himself. Upon innate quality will depend the direction of our further progress.
These seven Paths might be enumerated as follows, and certain deductions, based on the law of correspondence, might be given out, provided always that we remember that words serve more to blind than to elucidate, and that the briefest details only are possible.
1. The Path of Earth Service
This is the Path that keeps a man linked to the Hierarchy that is pledged to the service of our planet, and to the help of its evolutions. It comprises those who work under the Lord of the World in the seven groups into which our Masters of the Wisdom are divided. Not so many Masters follow this Path as some of the others, and only enough are permitted to do so to carry on planetary evolution satisfactorily. More is known about this path than about the others, and more will be found out as members of our humanity fit themselves to contact the Brotherhood. Their field of employ, their methods of work, will eventually become exoteric knowledge, and as the seven groups are recognized and known, schools of development for the filling of posts in these groups will be the logical sequence.
2. The Path of Magnetic Work
Those who do the work of wielding forces, or electrical magnetism for the use of the Great Ones on all the planes, pass to this Path. They wield the elemental formative energy, manipulating matter of every density and vibration. Great waves of ideas and surging currents of public opinion on astral levels, as well as on the higher levels where the Great Ones work, are manipulated by them. A large number of fifth ray people, those who have the Ray of Concrete Knowledge for their monadic ray, pass to this line of endeavor. The inherent quality in the type of the monad settles usually the line of activity. The karma of the fifth ray is one of the factors which produces this. These monads work with Fohat, and must, to the end of the greater manvantara. They have their eventual position on the cosmic mental plane, but as yet the capacity for abstract thought is so little developed that it is impossible for us to comprehend the significance of this expression.
3. The Path of Training for Planetary Logoi
This Path is trodden by those who will take up the work of the seven Planetary Logoi of the next system, and of the forty-nine subplanetary Logoi, their assistants, and of certain other Entities working in that particular department. There will be seven systems, though we are only concerned with the three major systems, of which our present system is the second major system. Each Chohan of a ray takes a certain number of initiates of the sixth initiation and trains them specially for this work; special aptitude in color and sound predisposes the choice, and the ability to work with “psyche,” or the spirits in evolution marks a man out for this high post. We might say that the Planetary Logoi are the divine psychologists, and therefore in the training for this post psychology is the basic subject, though it is a psychology inconceivable as yet to us. Every Planetary Logos has, in his own special planet, schools for the development of subordinate Logoi, and there trains them for this high office, giving them opportunity for wide experience. Even the Logoi themselves progress onward, and their places must be taken.
4. The Path to Sirius
Very little may be communicated about this Path, and the curiously close relation between it and the Pleiades can only be mentioned, further speculation being impossible. The bulk of liberated humanity goes this way, and the prospect holds out glorious possibilities. The seven stars of the Pleiades are the goal for the seven types, and this is hinted at in the Book of job, in the words, “Canst thou bind the sweet influence of the Pleiades?” In the mystery of this influence, and in the secret of the sun Sirius, are hidden the facts of our cosmic evolution, and incidentally, therefore, of our solar system.
5. The Ray Path
It is difficult to know by what other name to call this Path, as so little is known about it. In treading it, a man stays on his own ray, and works thereon in the various kingdoms on all the planes, carrying out the behests of the Lord of the World, and working under his direction. It carries a man to every part of the solar system, yet links him definitely with the synthetic ray. It is a very complex path, for it necessitates a capacity for the most intricate mathematics, and an ability to geometric in a manner incomprehensible to our three-dimensional brains. This path is taken by the man to whom the law of vibration is of profound importance. He works first in the council chamber of the Lord of the World at Shamballa, manipulating the law of vibration on his own ray. Later he will have his habitat on the planet corresponding to his own ray, and not on the earth unless he is on the ray of the Planetary Logos holding sway upon the earth. Later again as his evolution progresses, he will pass to the sun; then having mastered all connected with vibration in this system he will pass to the cosmic system, going off his own ray (which is but a subsidiary ray of one cosmic ray), on to the corresponding cosmic ray.
Just as the evolution of man in this system is fivefold, so in the above we have enumerated the principal five Paths from which a Master has to choose. The remaining two can only be touched upon still more briefly, for they hold but a very few of the evolving sons of men, owing to the high point of attainment necessitated for their entrance, and the fact that those who enter upon them pass out of the system altogether. They do not lead to Sirius, as do some of the other Paths. It will be noted that four groups remain in the system, passing eventually, in dim and distant aeons, to the cosmic planes. One group passes directly to Sirius, and the remaining two groups pass directly after initiation to the cosmic planes, with no period of intermediate work on earth, in the system, or on Sirius. These two Paths are:
6. The Path the Logos Himself Is On
It will have become apparent to all occult students who have studied with care the world processes in the light of the law of correspondences, that the Logos on the cosmic planes is evolving inner cosmic vision, just as man in his lesser degree is aiming at the same vision in the system. This might be called the development of the cosmic third eye. In the physical plane structure of the eye lies hid the secret and in its study may come some revelation of the mystery.
A certain part of the eye is the nucleus of sight, and the apparatus of vision itself; the remainder of the eye acts as a protecting shell, and both parts are required, and neither can exist without the other. So in this greater case, only the analogy exists on such high levels that words only blur and dim the truth. Certain of the sons of men, a nucleus who reached a very high initiation in the previous solar system, formed an esoteric group around the Logos when he decided upon further progress. In consequence he formed this system, cosmic desire for incarnation driving him on. This esoteric group remains with the Logos on the atomic, or first plane of the system, on the subjective inner side, and it corresponds, in an occult sense, to the pupil of the eye. The real home of these great Entities is upon the cosmic buddhic plane.
Gradually, by dint of hard effort, certain Masters have qualified themselves, or are qualifying themselves, to take the place of the original members of the group, permitting of their return to a cosmic center around which our system, and the greater system of Sirius revolve. Only one adept here and there has the necessary qualifications, for it involves the development of a certain type of response to cosmic vibration. It means a specializing in the inner sight, and the development of a certain measure of cosmic vision. More of the deva evolution pass to this path than do the human. Human beings pass to it via the deva evolution, which can be entered by transference to the fifth Path, the ray Path. On this latter Path, the two evolutions can merge, and from the fifth Path the sixth can be entered.
7. The Path of Absolute Sonship
This Sonship is a correspondence on the highest plane to that grade of discipleship which we call “Son of the Master.” It is the Sonship to a Being higher than our Logos, of whom we may not speak. It is the great controlling Path of Karma. The Lipika Lords are on this Path, and all who are fitted for that line of work, and who are close to the Logos in a personal intimate sense, pass to the Path of absolute Sonship. It is the Path of the special intimates of the Logos, and into their hands he has put the working out of karma in the solar system. They know his wishes, his will and his aim, and to them he entrusts the carrying out of his behests. This group, associated with the Logos, forms a special group linked to a still higher Logos.
Initiation, Human and Solar – Chapter XVII – Diversities of Initiations
Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul
SECTION THREE – DIVISION B – THE NATURE OF THE SEVEN COSMIC PATHS
It should be carefully borne in mind that when the term PATH is used, it is simply an energy term, and streams of energy are indicated, – seven streams which blend and merge to form one Path. It should also be noted that the Adept Who undergoes the discipline and who passes through initiatory rites which will enable him to tread those seven Paths, has transcended color, has passed beyond the veil and has expanded His consciousness so that he is at-one with the conscious life of His planetary Logos. He has therefore arrived at a stage incomprehensible to man now; He is passing out of the realm of substantial forms altogether into the realm of energy. He knows the life of the two aspects, the soul and the body, and is passing away from the realm of awareness altogether. This will sound to the average reader as a foolish jingling of words and a splitting of hairs but he who reasons by the Law of Correspondences and who has grasped the basic essential relativity of the three aspects to each other has arrived at the knowledge that back of all form is a subjective Life which is known by its quality, its color, and its attributes; he has expanded his consciousness until gradually he has ascertained and made a part of his own conscious ensemble those attributes and qualities. But the pulsating dynamic vibration which is the producing cause of both the subjective life and its qualitative form is as yet – to him – the mystery of mysteries and the ineffable secret. It becomes the goal of his endeavor as he sets foot upon one of the seven Paths which face him after the fifth Initiation. If a Master of the Wisdom and the one who has unified both the manas (intellect) and wisdom (buddhi) knows not what shall be revealed to him as he treads the cosmic Path which is his choice, surely it is needless for us to try and comprehend (at our relatively low stage of evolution) what is the true connotation of the word “Spirit.” Pondering upon these matters is (for the average man) not only useless but also dangerous. He has not yet the apparatus of thought necessary for its safe undertaking. It is as if one tried to force a child in the first grade in school to comprehend the differential calculus and the laws of trigonometry.
These seven Paths, when trodden, prepare a man to pass certain cosmic initiations, including those upon the Sun Sirius. One hint may here be given. Each of these Paths eventually leads to one or other of the six constellations which (with ours) form the seven centers in the body of the ONE ABOUT WHOM NAUGHT MAY BE SAID. Those adepts therefore who stay for a prescribed length of time upon our planet are a correspondence to those greater initiates who remain for many kalpas within the solar system, taking certain mysterious initiations concerned entirely with solar evolution. Their work is concerned with the system as a center in the body of that Existence Who vitalizes the Logos of our own system.
It might be of value here to list the seven cosmic Paths as follows:
- Path I – The Path of Earth Service.
- Path II – The Path of Magnetic Work.
- Path III – The Path of the Planetary Logos.
- Path IV – The Path to Sirius.
- Path V – The Ray Path.
- Path VI – The Path of the Solar Logos.
- Path VII – The Path of Absolute Sonship.
It must be borne in mind and no confusion of thought must be permitted that these terms are the generic names given in the mystic parlance of the Lodge of Masters to the seven methods of work, of endeavor and of aspiration whereby the perfected sons of Earth’s humanity pass on to specific cosmic Paths or streams of energy, making in their totality one great cosmic WAY.
The seven paths at a certain stage which may not be defined become the four paths, owing to the fact that our solar system is one of the fourth order. This merging is effected in the following way:
- The initiates upon Path I “fight their way” on to path VI.
- The initiates upon Path II “alchemise themselves” on to Path VII.
- The initiates upon Path III through “piercing the veil” find themselves upon Path V.
This leaves Path IV to be accounted for. Upon this Path pass all those who, through devotion and activity combined, achieve the goal but who lack as yet the full development of the manasic principle. This being the solar system of love-wisdom, or of astral buddhic development, the fourth Path includes the larger number of the sons of men. In the hierarchy of our planet the “Lords of Compassion” are numerically greater than the “Masters of the Wisdom.” The former must therefore all pass to the sun Sirius there to undergo a tremendous manasic stimulation, for Sirius is the emanating source of manas. There the mystic must go and become what is called “a spark of mahatic electricity.”
These seven Paths are not concerned with nature or the balancing of the pairs of opposites. They are concerned only with unity, with that which utilizes the pairs of opposites as factors in the production of LIGHT. They deal with that unknown quantity which is responsible for the pairs of opposites; therefore they are primarily concerned with that which lies outside the manifested forms, with the true abstraction or the Absolute. Spirit and matter are never dissociated during manifestation; they are the duality lying back of all that is objective. Yet some factor is responsible for them – that which is neither Spirit nor matter, that which will be regarded as non-existent by anyone except the initiate. At the third Initiation some glimmering light upon this Abstraction is sensed by the initiate, and by the time the fifth Initiation is reached enough is apprehended by him to enable him to set forth with ardor on the search for its secret.
A Treatise on Cosmic Fire – Section Three – Division B – The Nature of the Cosmic Paths
Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul