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

Initiation I – The Birth at Bethlehem – Ray VII

The Energy of Order or Ceremonial Magic.

First of all, let us consider the type of energy which the seventh ray expresses and wherein lies its potency and efficacy, from the angle of the initiation. As we study these initiations and their conditioning rays, we will divide our ideas into three parts:

  1. The type of energy and its quality in relation to the processes of the particular initiation with which it is associated.
  2. Its effect upon humanity, regarding humanity as a world disciple.
  3. The stimulating nature of the energy as it expresses itself:
    • In the three aspects of the initiate’s nature – mental, astral and physical.
    • Through the soul-infused personality, the initiate “in good standing” – a phrase of the deepest occult implication.

At this particular time in world history, seventh ray energy is of a growing potency because it is the new and incoming ray, superseding the sixth ray which has for so long held sway. When we speak of ray energy we are in reality considering the quality and the will-purpose aspect of a certain great Life to Whom we give the name “Lord of a Ray.” You will find much about these Ray Lords in the earlier volumes of A Treatise on the Seven Rays. His divine intention, will, purpose, or the determined projection of His mind, creates a radiation or stream of energy which – according to type and quality – plays upon all forms of manifested life within our planetary ring-pass-not. These Lords of the Rays are the creating and sustaining energies which implement the Will of the planetary Logos. They cooperate with Him in the defining and the expression of His supreme purpose. Their radiating emanations are cyclically objectified and are cyclically withdrawn. As they radiate forth into the three worlds, the impacting energies produce changes, disturbances, progress and unfoldment; they create the needed new forms and vitalize and qualify that through which the immediate divine intention is expressing itself; they intensify both the quality and the receptivity of consciousness.

At other times, during the process of being withdrawn “to their own place,” they cause the fading out or the dying of form aspects, of institutions, and the “organizing organisms” (to use a peculiar phrase); they therefore produce cycles of destruction and of cessation and thus make room for those new forms and life expressions which an incoming ray will produce. It has been the gradual withdrawing of the sixth Ray of Idealism and of one-pointed Devotion which has been responsible for the ferment, crystallization, destruction, death and cleavages of the past century; old things are passing away as the Lord of the sixth Ray withdraws His attention, and therefore His energy; His radiation is today no longer centered or focused in the life of the three worlds. Simultaneously, the energy and radiation of the Lord of the seventh Ray are becoming steadily more powerful in the three worlds.

This incoming of a ray always produces an intensified period of initiatory activity, and this is the case today. The major effect, as far as humanity is concerned, is to make possible the presentation of thousands of aspirants and applicants for the first initiation; men on a large scale and in mass formation can today pass through the experience of the Birth Initiation. Thousands of human beings can experience the birth of the Christ within themselves and can realize that the Christ life, the Christ nature and the Christ consciousness are theirs. This “new birth” initiation of the human family will take place in Bethlehem, symbolically understood, for Bethlehem is the “house of bread” – an occult term signifying physical plane experience. These great initiations, implemented by the ray energies, must be registered in the physical brain and recorded by the waking consciousness of the initiate, and this must be the case in this amazing period wherein – for the first time since humanity appeared on Earth – there can take place a mass initiation. The experience need not be expressed in occult terms, and in the majority of cases will not be; the individual initiate who takes this initiation is aware of great changes in his attitude to himself, to his fellowmen, to circumstances and to his interpretation of life events. These are peculiarly the reactions which attend the first initiation; a new orientation to life and a new world of thought are registered by the initiate. This will be equally true on a large scale where modern man, the world initiate of the first degree, is concerned. Men will recognize the evidences in many lives of the emergence of the Christ-consciousness, and the standard of living will increasingly be adjusted to the truth as it exists in the teachings of the Christ.

This developing Christ-consciousness in the masses of men will create necessarily a ferment in the daily life of peoples everywhere; the life of the personality, oriented hitherto to the attaining of material and purely selfish ends, will be at war with the new and inner realization; the “carnal” man (to use the words of Paul, the initiate) will be battling the spiritual man, each seeking to achieve control. In the early stages, after the “birth” and during the “infancy of the Christ-Child” (again speaking in symbols), the material aspect is triumphant. Later, the Christ life triumphs. This you well know. Each initiation indicates a stage in the growth and the development of this new factor in the human consciousness and expression, and this continues until the third initiation, when there emerges the “full-grown man in Christ.” The initiate is then ready, at the fifth initiation, to register, realize and record the long awaited revelation.

In connection with the individual and the first initiation, the seventh ray is always active and the man is enabled consciously to register the fact of initiation because either the brain or the mind (and frequently both) are controlled by the seventh ray. It is this fact which is of importance today in connection with humanity, for it will enable mankind to pass through the door admitting them to the first initiatory process. It will be apparent to you why the present period in which human beings (in large groups) can take the first initiation corresponds to a situation in which bread is the major interest of men everywhere. Humanity will pass through this “birth” initiation and manifest the Christ life on a large scale for the first time during a period of economic adjustment of which the word “bread” is but a symbol. This period started in the year 1825 and will continue until the end of this century. The unfoldment of the Christ life – as a result of the presence and activities of the second divine aspect of love – will result in the ending of economic fear, and the “house of bread” will become the “house of plenty.” Bread – as the symbol of material human need – will eventually be controlled by a vast group of initiates of the first initiation – by those whose lives are beginning to be controlled by the Christ-consciousness, which is the consciousness of responsibility and service. These initiates exist in their thousands today; they will be present in their millions by the time the year 2025 arrives. All this, reorientation and unfoldment will be the result of the activity of the seventh ray and of the impact of its radiation upon humanity.

The seventh ray is, par excellence, the medium of relationship. It brings together the two fundamental aspects of spirit and matter. It relates soul and form and, where humanity is concerned, it relates soul and personality. In the first initiation, it makes the initiate aware of that relation; it enables him to take advantage of this “approaching duality” and – by the perfecting of the contact – to produce upon the physical plane the emergence into manifestation of the “new man.” At the first initiation, through the stimulation brought about by seventh ray energy, the personality of the initiate and the hovering over-shadowing soul are consciously brought together; the initiate then knows that he is – for the first time – a soul-infused personality. His task is now to grow into the likeness of what he essentially is. This development is demonstrated at the third initiation, that of the Transfiguration.

The major function of this seventh ray is to bring together the negative and positive aspects of the natural processes. It consequently governs the sex relationship of all forms; it is the potency underlying the marriage relation, and hence as this ray comes into manifestation in this world cycle, we have the appearance of fundamental sex problems – license, disturbance in the marriage relation, divorce and the setting in motion of those forces which will eventually produce a new attitude to sex and the establishing of those practices, attitudes and moral perceptions which will govern the relation between the sexes during the coming New Age.

The first initiation is therefore closely related to this problem. The seventh ray governs the sacral center and the sublimation of its energy into the throat or into the higher creative center; this ray is therefore setting in motion a period of tremendous creative activity, both on the material plane through the stimulation of the sex life of all peoples and in the three worlds through the stimulation brought about when soul and form are consciously related. The first major proof that humanity (through the medium of the majority of its advanced people) has undergone the first initiation will be the appearance of a cycle of entirely new creative art. This creative urge will take forms which will express the new incoming energies. Just as the period governed by the sixth ray has culminated in a world wherein men work in great workshops and factories to produce the plethora of objects men deem needful for their happiness and well-being, so in the seventh ray cycle we shall see men engaged on an even larger scale in the field of creative art. Devotion to objects will eventually be superseded by the creation of that which will more truly express the Real; ugliness and materiality will give place to beauty and reality. On a large scale, humanity has already been “led from darkness to light” and the light of knowledge fills the land. In the period which lies ahead and under the influencing radiation of the seventh ray, humanity will be “led from the unreal to the Real.” This the first initiation makes possible for the individual and will make possible for the mass of men.

Seventh ray energy is the energy needed to bring order out of chaos and rhythm to replace disorder. It is this energy which will bring in the new world order for which all men wait; it will restore the ancient landmarks, indicate the new institutions and forms of civilization and culture which human progress demands, and nurture the new life and the new states of consciousness which advanced humanity will increasingly register. Nothing can arrest this activity; all that is happening today as men search for the new ways, for organized unity and peaceful security, is being implemented through the incoming Ray of Order or Ceremonial Magic. The white magic of right human relations cannot be stopped; it must inevitably demonstrate effectively, because the energy of this seventh ray is present, and the Lord of the Ray is cooperating with the Lord of the World to bring about the needed “reforming.” Soul-infused personalities, acting under this ray influence, will create the new world, express the new qualities and institute those new regimes and organized modes of creative activity which will demonstrate the new livingness and the new techniques of living. It is the distortion of these seventh ray ideals and the prostitution of this incoming energy to serve the unenlightened and selfish ambitions of greedy men which has produced those totalitarian systems which today so terribly imprison the free spirit of men.

To sum up what I have said:

  1. The energy of the seventh ray is the potent agent of initiation when taken on the physical plane, that is, during the process of the first initiation.
  2. Its effect upon humanity will be:
    • To bring about the birth of the Christ-consciousness among the masses of intelligently aspiring human beings.
    • To set in motion certain relatively new evolutionary processes which will transform humanity (the world disciple) into humanity (the world initiate).
    • To establish in a new and intelligible manner the ever-existent sense of relationship and thus bring about upon the physical plane right human relations. The agent of this is goodwill, a reflection of the will-to-good of the first divine aspect. Of this first Ray of Will or Purpose, goodwill is the reflection.
    • To readjust negative and positive relationships, and – today – this will be carried forward primarily in connection with the sex relation and marriage.
    • To intensify human creativity and thus bring in the new art as a basis for the new culture and as a conditioning factor in the new civilization.
    • To reorganize world affairs and so initiate the new world order. This is definitely in the realm of ceremonial magic.
  3. The stimulation of this seventh ray will, in relation to the individual initiate,
    • Bring into being upon the mental plane a widespread and recognized relation between the soul and the mind.
    • Produce a measure of order in the emotional processes of the initiate, thus aiding the preparatory work of the second initiation.
    • Enable the initiate – upon the physical plane – to establish certain service relationships, to learn the practice of elementary white magic, and to demonstrate the first stage of a truly creative life.

As far as the individual initiate is concerned, the effect of seventh ray energy in his life is potent in the extreme; this is easily realized, owing to the fact that his mind and his brain are conditioned by the seventh ray at the time that the initiatory process is consciously taking place. The effect of this upon the mental plane is similar to that seen – on a much larger scale – in the planet, for it was this ray energy which the planetary Logos utilized when He brought together the major dualities of spirit and matter at the commencement of His creative work. The two aspects of the mind (the lower concrete mind and the soul, the Son of Mind) become more closely related and enter eventually into a conscious, recognized association on the astral plane; it is the seventh ray which restores order within the astral consciousness, and (on the mental plane) it is this influence which produces creativity, the organizing of the life, and the bringing together “within the head” of the lower and higher energies in such a manner that “the Christ is born.” This latter point we shall consider in some detail when we take up the significance of the initiations; we shall then find that the relationship between the pituitary body and the pineal gland is involved.

Finally, it is seventh ray energy which – in the initiatory process between the first and the second initiations – enables the initiate (in his physical plane life) to demonstrate a developing sense of order and of organization, to express consciously and increasingly a desire to help his fellowmen, and thereby establish relationship with them, and to make his life creative in many ways.

All these factors are embryonic in his nature, but he now begins to consciously lay the foundation for the future initiatory work; the physical disciplines are at this time of great importance, though their value is frequently over-emphasized and their effect is not always good; the relationships established and fostered are sometimes of small value, owing to the disciple being usually self-centered and thus lacking – from ignorance and lack of discrimination – complete purity of motive. Nevertheless, the changes brought about by the influence of this ray become increasingly effective from life to life; the disciple’s relation to the Hierarchy, the reorganizing of his life on the physical plane, and his growing effort to demonstrate the esoteric sense of white magic will become more and more vital, until he is ready for the second initiation.

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

Alice Bailey and Djwhal Kuhl

The Science of Breath

Rule Four

    “Sound, light, vibration, and the form blend and merge, and thus the work is one. It proceedeth under the law, and naught can hinder now the work from going forward. The man breathes deeply. He concentrates his forces, and drives the thought-form from him.”

The Science of the Breath

Now we come to the significant words in Rule IV. “The man breathes deeply.” This is a phrase covering many aspects of rhythmic living. It is the magical formula for the science of pranayama. It covers the art of the creative life. It sweeps a man into tune with the pulsating life of God Himself, and this through detachment and reorientation.

It is notably interesting as a demonstration of the succinctness and inclusiveness of occult phrases as in Rule IV. The art of breathing is dealt with in three phases, and these I commend to each of you for the most careful consideration.

There is first the aspect of Inhalation. “The man breathes deeply.” From the very depths of his being he draws the breath. In the process of phenomenal living, he draws the very breath of life from the soul. This is the first stage. In the process of detaching himself from phenomenal living, he draws from the depths of his being and experiences the life, that it may be rendered again back to the source from whence it came. In the occult life of the disciple, as he develops a new and subtler use of his response apparatus, he practices the science of the breath, and discovers that through deep breathing (including the three stages of the deep, middle, and top breath) he can bring into activity, in the world of esoteric experiences, his vital body with its force centers. Thus the three aspects of “deep breathing” cover the entire soul experience, and the relationship to the three types of breath, touched upon above, can be worked out by the interested aspirant.

Next we read “he concentrates his forces.” Here we have the stage indicated which can be called retention of the breath. It is a holding of all the forces of the life steadily in the place of silence, and when this can be done with ease and with forgetfulness of process through familiarity and experience, then the man can see and hear and know in a realm other than the phenomenal world. In the higher sense this is the stage of contemplation, that “lull between two activities” as it has been so aptly called. The soul, the breath, the life has withdrawn out of the three worlds, and in the “secret place of the most high” is at rest and at peace, contemplating the beatific vision. In the life of the active disciple it produces those interludes which every disciple knows, when (through detachment and the capacity to withdraw) he is held by nothing in the world of form. As he is but wrestling toward perfection and has not yet attained, these interludes of silence, withdrawingness, and of detachment are frequently difficult and dark. All is silence and he stands appalled by the unknown, and by the apparently empty stillness in which he finds himself. This is called, in advanced cases, “the dark night of the soul ” – the moment before the dawn, the hour before the light streams forth.

In the science of Pranayama it is the moment following upon inhalation wherein all the forces of the body have (through the medium of the breath) been carried upward to the head and concentrated there, prior to the stage of breathing forth. This moment of retention, when properly carried forward, produces an interlude of intense concentration and it is in this moment that the aspirant must seize opportunity. Herein lies a hint.

Then comes the process of exhalation. We read in Rule IV “he drives the thought-form from him.” This is ever the result of the final stage of the science of the breath. The form, vitalized by the one who breathes in correct rhythm, is sent forth to do its work and fulfil its mission. Study this idea with care, for it holds the secret of creative work.

In the experience of the soul, the form for manifestation in the three worlds is created through intense meditation, which is ever the paralleling activity of breathing. Then by an act of the will, resulting in a “breathing forth”, and engendered or arrived at dynamically in the interlude of contemplation or retention of the breath, the created form is sent forth into the phenomenal world, to serve as a channel of experience, a medium of expression and a response apparatus in the three worlds of human living.

In the life of the disciple, through meditation and discipline he learns to reach high moments of interlude whenever he concentrates his forces on the plane of soul life, and then again by an act of his will, he breathes forth his spiritual purposes, plans and life into the world of experience. The thought form that he has constructed as to the part he has to play, and the concentration of energy which he has succeeded in bringing about become effective. The energy needed for the next step is breathed forth by the soul and passes down into the vital body, thus galvanizing the physical instrument with the needed constructive activity. That aspect of the plan which he has appreciated in contemplation, and that part of the general purpose of the Hierarchy in which his soul feels called upon to cooperate is breathed forth simultaneously, via the mind into the brain, and thus “he drives the thought forms from him.”

Finally, in the science of Pranayama, this stage covers that exhaling breath which, when carried forward with thought and conscious purpose behind it, serves to vitalize the centers and fill each of them with dynamic life. More need not be said here.

Thus, in this science of “breathing deeply” we have the whole process of creative work and of the evolutionary unfoldment of God in nature covered. It is the process whereby the Life, the One Existence, has brought the phenomenal world into being, and Rule IV is a digest of the Creation. It is equally the formula under which the individual soul works as it centers its forces for manifestation in the three worlds of human experience.

The right use of the Life-Breath is the whole art at which the aspirant, the disciple, and the initiate work, bearing in mind however that the science of the physical breath is the least important aspect and follows sequentially upon the right use of energy, which is the word we apply to the divine breath or life.

Finally, in the mental life of the disciple, and in the great work of learning to be a conscious creator in mental matter and so produce results in the phenomenal world, this fourth Rule holds the instructions upon which the work is based. It embodies the science of the entire magical work.

Therefore, this Rule warrants the closest consideration and study. Rightly understood and rightly studied it would lead each aspirant out of the phenomenal world into the kingdom of the soul. Its instructions, if carried out, would lead the soul back again into the phenomenal world as the creating force in soul magic and as the manipulator and dominating factor of, and through, the medium of the form.

In the training of the occidental student, blind unquestioning obedience is never asked. Suggestions are made as to method and as to a technique which has proved effective for thousands of years and with many disciples. Some rules as to breathing, as to helpful process and as to practical living on the physical plane will be imparted, but in the training of the new type of disciple during the coming age, it is the will of the watching Gurus and Rishis that they be left freer than has heretofore been the case. This may mean a slightly slower development at the beginning but will result, it is hoped, in a more rapid unfoldment during the later stages upon the Path of Initiation.

Therefore, students are urged to go forward during their period of training with courage and with joy, knowing that they are members of a band of disciples, knowing that they are not alone but that the strength of the band is theirs, the knowledge of the band is theirs too as they develop the capacity to apprehend it, – and knowing also that the love and wisdom and understanding of the watching Elder Brothers are back of every aspiring Son of God, e’en though apparently (and wisely) he is left to wrestle through to the light in the strength of his own omnipotent soul.

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Excerpted from “A Treatise on White Magic – Rule Four – The Science of the Breath”

By Alice Bailey and Djwhal Kuhl

Are You in Need of a Full-Blown Exorcism?

If you have a mind to, you might look at the previous post on the Nature of Magic and you could ask if you are Slytherin or Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff or Gryffindor. I suspect that at one level many have a hankering after one of these houses, if only for fun.

The basic question is are you a USER of people and do you discard them when they are no longer of any USE in advancing your will, your ambition, your desire?

If you are honest enough to answer this truthfully it will advise you as to which path you are on. The path of self-obsessed personal and materialistic advancement or the path of return, the path of soular inner tuition.

Are you a brother of darkness, motive and ambition or are you a brother of light, of freedom and a star-child of Aquarius, a magical being of the universe?

On occasion I have been known to take the piss, just a little, and what the wife and I have noted is that when we mention the E word, exorcism, people do not know how to react, what to do. Maybe it is down to the movies, but for some reason that word gives people the heebie-jeebies, rational scientists included in the sampled data set.

So, if you are on the darkened path and under the power of the dark adepts, the dark brothers, what are you going to do? If you use others, they might be using you. So, what are you going to do? Fall deeper under their influence? Or seek out a white magician who could perform a full blown exorcism so that you could have temporary respite, perhaps sufficient for you to close the furrow, the path, by which you let them into your mind?

Shut the front door, so to speak. Because after all it was you who invited them in over the threshold.

Who are you going to call?

Are You in Need of a Full-Blown Exorcism?

The Nature of Magic

We have considered somewhat at length the building of thought forms and have seen that the process pursued by man is analogous to that pursued by the threefold Logos in the creation of the solar system. We are to deal now with that great department in occultism which is usually termed magic. The man who masters the esoteric significance of what is here said will take his place in the ranks of those entitled to call themselves the “Brothers of White Magic.” The subject is too immense to be more than briefly touched upon, for it covers the entire range of endeavor in the field of material construction.

We must deal first with the mental attitude of man as he faces the work of creation, and his ability to bring through, via the mental body, the purpose of the Ego, thereby impressing the building agents on the mental plane with a certain rate of rhythm, and a certain vibratory activity. This is the prime factor which results (on the physical plane) in direct egoic activity. We must also bear in mind, that in the consideration of this matter we are not dealing with the every day work of average man, but are speaking of the organized creative work, under law and rule, of the advanced man. We thereby set a standard and emphasize the ideal towards which occult students should strive.

We must also consider the work of the wise magical student upon the astral plane, whereon, through purified desire and sanctified emotion, he provides those equilibrized conditions and those stable vibrations, which will permit of the transmission without hindrance to the physical plane via the physical brain of the man, of the vibratory activity emanating from the Ego, and of the circulatory action of the higher force. Hence (if a remark of a practical nature may be interpolated for the average student) the cultivation of emotional tranquility is one of the first steps towards the achievement of the needed equipment of the white magician. This tranquility is not to be achieved by an effort of the will which succeeds in strangling all astral vibratory activity, but by the cultivation of response to the Ego, and a negation of all response to the inherent vibration of the astral sheath itself.

We will take up the work of force transmission on the physical plane via the etheric centers and the physical brain, studying somewhat the effect of sound as it is emitted unconsciously in everyday speech, and consciously in the ordered regulated words of the true worker in magic.

“Magic. – The very word Magic bears within itself proof of its high origin. The Latin Magus, the Greek Magos, a magician, gives us all those other words that are so indicative of authority, wisdom, superiority. Then we have magnitude, magnificent, magniloquent, to express greatness in position, in action and in speech. With the termination slightly changed the same words become majesty, implying dominion, and again, we have magistrate, anything that is magisterial which again has been simplified into Master, and finally by the process of word evolution has become plain Mister. But the Latin is only a transmitter of words. We can equally follow up the historical development of this root until we reach the Zend where we find it doing duty as the name for the whole priestly caste. The magi were renowned all over the world for their wisdom and skill in occultism and no doubt our word magic is mostly indebted to that source for its present existence and meaning. That we need not pause even here for back of the Zend “mag,” “looms up the Sanskrit, maha, signifying great.” It is thought by good scholars that maha was originally spelled magha. To be sure, there is in the Sanskrit the word Maga meaning a priest of the Sun, but this was evidently a later borrowing from the Zend which had originally derived its root from its neighbor the Sanskrit.”

In this connection, therefore, owing to the vital practical value of this section, and to the dangers attendant upon a comprehension of these matters by those who are as yet unready for the work of conscious manipulation of force, it is proposed to impart the necessary teaching under the formula of “Rules of Magic,” with certain elucidating comments. In this way, the magical work is fully safeguarded, and at the same time sufficient is imparted to those who have the inner ear attentive, and the eye of wisdom in process of opening.

a. Black Magicians and White

Much is said among occult students these days anent white and black magic, and much that is said is without force, or truth. It has been truly said that between the two types of workers, the line of demarcation is so slight as to be difficult of recognition by those who, as yet, merit not the term “knower.”

Magic. – The art of divine Magic consists in the ability to perceive the essence of things in the light of nature (astral light), and – by using the soul-powers of the Spirit – to produce material things from the unseen universe, and in such operations the Above and the Below must be brought together and made to act harmoniously.

– S. D., II, 538.

Magic is the second of the four Vidyas, and is the great mahaVidya in the Tantric writings. It needs the light of the fourth vidya (atma-vidya) thrown on it in order to be White magic. – S. D., I, 192.

Black Magic is defined by H. P. B. as follows:

Black magic employs the astral light for purposes of deception and seduction, whereas the white magician employs it for purposes of information, and the aiding of evolution. – S. D., I, 274.

Black magic works with opposing poles. The white magician seeks the point of equilibrium or balance, and of synthesis. – S. D., I, 448.

Black magic has for its symbol the inverted 5-pointed star.

White magic uses the same symbol with the point uppermost.

Black magic is mahavidya without the light of atma-vidya.

White magic is mahavidya illumined by atma-vidya. – S. D., I, 592.

Black magic is ruled over by the moon.

White magic is ruled over by the sun.

Black and white magic arose during the great schism which started during the fourth root-race.

– S. D., II, 221, 445, 520.

Black magic is based on the degradation of sex and of the creative function.

White magic is based on the transmutation of the creative faculty into the higher creative thought, the generative organs being neglected by the inner fire, which passes to the throat, the center of creative sound.

Black magic deals with the forces of involution.

White magic works with the powers of evolution.

Black magic is concerned with the form, with matter.

White magic is concerned with the life within the form, with Spirit.

The distinction between the two exists in both motive and method, and might be summed up as follows:

The white magician has for motive that which will be of benefit to the group for whom he is expending his energy and time. The magician of the left hand path ever works alone, or if he at any time cooperates with others, it is with a hidden selfish purpose. The exponent of white magic interests himself in the work of constructive endeavor in order to cooperate in hierarchical plans, and to further the desires of the planetary Logos. The Brother of Darkness occupies himself with that which lies outside the plans of the Hierarchy and with that which is not included in the purpose of the Lord of the planetary Ray.

The white magician, as has been earlier said, works entirely through the greater Deva Builders, and through sound and numbers he blends their work, and thus influences the lesser Builders who form the substance of their bodies, and therefore of all that is. He works through group centers and vital points of energy, and from thence produces, in substance, the desired results. The dark brother works directly with substance itself, and with the lesser builders; He does not cooperate with the forces which emanate from egoic levels. The lesser cohorts of the “Army of the Voice” are his servants, and not the directing Intelligences in the three worlds, and he therefore works primarily on the astral and physical planes, only in rare cases working with the mental forces, and only in a few special cases, hidden in cosmic karma, is a black magician found working on the higher mental levels. Yet the cases which are there to be discovered are the main contributing causes of all manifesting black magic.

The Brother of Light works ever through the inherent force of the second aspect as long as he is functioning in connection with the three lower planes. After the third Initiation, he works increasingly with spiritual energy, or with the force of the first aspect. He impresses the lower substances, and manipulates the lesser building lives with the vibration of love, and the attractive coherency of the Son, and through wisdom the forms are built. He learns to work from the heart, and therefore to manipulate that energy which streams from the “Heart of the Sun” until (when he becomes a Buddha) he can dispense somewhat the force emanating from the “Spiritual Sun.” Therefore, the heart center in the Brother of the right hand path is the transmitting agency for the building force, and the triangle he uses in this work is:

  • The center in the head which corresponds, to the heart.
  • The heart center itself.
  • The throat center.

The Brothers of the left hand path work with the forces of the third aspect entirely, and this it is which gives them so much apparent power, for the second aspect is only in process of reaching its vibratory consummation, whereas the third aspect is at the height of its vibratory activity, being the product of the evolutionary processes of the preceding major solar system. He works from the throat center almost entirely and manipulates primarily the forces of the physical sun. This is the reason why he achieves many of his ends through the method of pranic stimulation or of pranic devitalization, and why, also, most of his effects are carried out on the physical plane. He works, therefore, through:

  • The center in the head corresponding to the throat center.
  • The throat center.
  • The center at the base of the spine.

The white magician works always in cooperation with others, and is himself under the direction of certain group Heads.. For instance, the Brothers of the White Lodge work under the three great Lords and conform to the plans laid down, subordinating Their individual purposes and ideas to the great general scheme. The black magician usually works in an intensely individualistic way, and can be seen carrying out his schemes alone, or with the aid of subordinates. He brooks usually no known superior, but is nevertheless frequently the victim of agents on higher levels of cosmic evil, who use him as he uses his inferior cooperators, that is, he works (as far as the bigger purpose is involved) blindly and unconsciously.

The white magician, as is well known, works on the side of evolution or in connection with the Path of Return. The black brother occupies himself with the forces of involution, or with the Path of Outgoing. They form the great balancing force in evolution, and though they are occupied with the material side of manifestation and the Brother of Light is concerned with the aspect of soul or consciousness, they and their work, under the great law of evolution, contribute to the general purpose of the solar Logos, though (and this is of tremendous occult significance to the illuminated student) not to the individual purpose of the planetary Logos.

Finally, it might be briefly said in connection with the distinctions between magicians that the magician of the Good Law works with the soul of things. His brothers of darkness work with the material aspect.

The white magician works through the force centers, on the first and fourth subplanes of each plane. The black magician works through the permanent atoms, and with the substance and forms concerned. The white magician utilizes in this connection the higher three centers. The black magician uses the energy of the lower three centers (the organs of generation, the spleen, and the solar plexus) synthesizing their energy by an act of the will and directing it to the center at the base of the spine, so that the fourfold energy is thence transmitted to the throat center.

The white magician uses the kundalini force as it is transmitted via the central spinal channel. The black magician uses the inferior channels, dividing the fourfold energy in two units, which mount via the two channels, leaving the central one dormant. Hence it will be apparent that one works with duality and the other with unity. On the planes of duality, therefore, it is apparent why the black magician has so much power. The plane of unity for humanity is the mental plane. The planes of diversity are the astral and the physical. Hence the black magician is of more apparent power than the white brother on the two lower planes in the three worlds.

The white brother works under the Hierarchy, or under the great King, carrying out His planetary purposes. The dark brother works under certain separated Entities, unknown to him, who are connected with the forces of matter itself. Much more could be given in this connection, but what is here imparted suffices for our purpose.

b. The Source of Black Magic

In touching upon this point, we are trespassing into the realms of the mystery and the domain of the inexplicable. Certain statements can, however, be made here which, if pondered upon, may throw a little light upon this dark subject.

First. It should be remembered that the whole subject of planetary evil (and students must distinguish carefully between planetary and cosmic evil) lies hid in the individual life cycles and in the history of the Great Being who is the planetary Logos of the Earth. Therefore, until a man has taken certain initiations and thus achieved a measure of planetary consciousness, it is useless for him to speculate upon that record. H. P. B. has touched, in the Secret Doctrine, (S. D., III, 62; Section 6, page 67.) upon the subject of “the imperfect Gods,” and in these words lies the key to planetary evil.

Second. It might briefly be said that, as far as our humanity is concerned, the terms planetary evil and cosmic evil might be interpreted thus:

Planetary evil arises from certain relations existing between our planetary Logos and another planetary Logos. When this condition of polar opposition is adjusted, then planetary evil will cease. The adjustment will be brought about through the mediation (occultly understood) of a third planetary Logos. These three will eventually form an equilateral triangle, and then planetary evil will cease. Free circulation will ensue; planetary obscuration will become possible, and the “imperfect Gods” will have achieved a relative perfection. Thus will the karma of the manvantara, or secondary cycle, be adjusted, and so much planetary karmic evil be “worked off.” All the above must be interpreted in its esoteric sense and not its exoteric.

Cosmic evil from the standpoint of our planet consists in the relation between that spiritual intelligent Unit or “Rishi of the Superior Constellation” as He is called (who is the informing Life of one of the seven stars of the Great Bear, and our planetary prototype) and one of the forces of the Pleiades. (S. D., II, 579-581.) Students need here to remember that the “seven sisters” are occultly called the “seven wives” of the Rishis, and that the dual forces (resultant from that relationship) converge and play through that one of the planetary Logoi who is the Logos of any particular planet, and is the “reflection” of any specific Rishi. In this relation, at present lacking perfect adjustment, lies hid the mystery of cosmic evil as it makes itself felt in any particular planetary scheme. Again, when the heavenly triangle is duly equilibrated, and the force circulates freely through:

  • One of the stars of the Great Bear,
  • The Pleiad involved,
  • The planetary scheme concerned,

then again cosmic evil will be negated, and a relative perfection achieved. This will mark the attainment of primary perfection, and the consummation of the greater cycle.

Cyclic evil, or tertiary evil, lies hid in the relation between the globes in any particular scheme, two of them ever being in opposition until equilibrized by force emanating from a third. Students will only apprehend the significance of this teaching as they study the pairs of opposites in their own cycles, and the equilibrizing work of the Ego.

A fourth type of evil growing out of the above finds its main expression in the sorrows and troubles of the fourth or human kingdom, and will find its solution in two ways: by the balancing of the forces of the three kingdoms (the spiritual or fifth kingdom, the human, and the animal), and secondly, by the negation of the attractive power of the three lower kingdoms (the mineral, the vegetable, and the animal, who thus form one unit), by the spiritual kingdom, utilizing the fourth or human kingdom. In all these cases, triangles of force are formed which, when balanced, procure the desired end.

Black magic is spoken of as making its appearance upon our planet during the fourth root race. It should be borne in mind here that this means strictly in connection with the fourth kingdom and its conscious use by wrongly developed men. The forces of evil of the planetary and cosmic kind have been present since manifestation set in, being latent in the karma of the planetary Logos, but human beings began consciously to work with these forces and to use them for specified selfish ends in this round during the fourth root race.

Black magicians work under certain great Entities, six in number, who are spoken of, for instance, in the Christian Bible as having the number 666. (Rev. 13:18.) They came in (being cosmic, not systemic) on that stream of force emanating from cosmic mental levels which produced the three worlds of human endeavor. Students should remember here the fact that the three lower planes of our solar system are not considered as embodying a cosmic principle, for they form the dense physical body of the Logos, and the dense physical body is not considered a principle. There is an occult significance in the expression “unprincipled.” These entities are the sumtotal of the substance of the three lower subplanes of the cosmic physical plane (our three lower systemic planes), and it is under them that the black magicians are swept into activity, often unconsciously, but rising to power as they work consciously.

In the early stages of human unfoldment all men are unconscious black magicians, but are not occultly “damned” thereby. As evolution proceeds they come under the force of the second aspect, and the majority respond to it, escaping from the meshes of the black magicians, and coming under the force of a different number. The few who do not do so in this manvantara are the “failures” who have to continue the struggle at a later date. A tiny percentage wilfuly refuse to “pass on,” and they become the true “black magicians.” For them the end is ever the same, first, severance of the Ego from the Monad, entailing a wait for many aeons until another solar system has its being. In the case of the “failures” the Ego severed itself from the personality or lower self, entailing a setback for a lesser period, but still having opportunity within the system. Second, a cycle of existence, spent in unlimited evil, and dependent upon the vitality of the severed egoic body and its innate persistence. These are the ordinary “lost souls” spoken of in the Secret Doctrine.  If students will study these conditions, and will extend the same concept to an earlier and more matured solar system, they will get some light upon the problem of the origin of evil in this solar system.

c. Conditions for White Magic

In considering the factors requiring adjustment prior to undertaking the work of magic, we are dealing with that which is of eminently practical value. Unless students of magic enter upon this pursuit fortified by pure motive, clean bodies, and high aspiration, they are foredoomed to disappointment and even to disaster. All those who seek to work consciously with the forces of manifestation, and who endeavor to control the Energies of all that is seen, need the strong protection of purity. This is a point which cannot be too strongly emphasized and urged, and hence the constant injunctions to self control, comprehension of the nature of man, and devotion to the cause of humanity. The pursuit of magical investigation is dangerous in three ways.

If a man’s bodies are not sufficiently purified and their atomic vibration is not sufficiently high, he is in danger of over-stimulation when brought in contact with the forces of nature, and this inevitably entails the destruction and disintegration of one or other of his bodies. At times it may entail the destruction of two or more, and when this is the case, it involves a definite setback to egoic unfoldment, for it requires, in such cases, a much longer interval between incarnations, owing to the difficulty of assembling the needed materials in the sheaths.

Further, unless a man is strengthened in his endeavor by right motive, he is liable to be led astray by the acquisition of power. Knowledge of the laws of magic puts into the hands of the student powers which enable him to create, to acquire, and to control. Such powers are fraught with menace to the unprepared and unready, for the student can, in this case, turn them to selfish ends, use them for his own temporal material advancement, and acquire in this way that which will feed the desires of the lower nature. He takes, therefore, the first step towards the left hand path, and each life may see him progressing towards it with greater readiness, until (almost unconsciously) he will find himself in the ranks of the black masters. Such a state of affairs can only be offset through the cultivation of altruism, sincere love of man, and a steady negation of all lower desire.

The third danger which menaces the unwary student of magic lies in the fact that when he tampers with these forces and energies he is dealing with that which is akin to his own lower nature. He, therefore, follows the line of least resistance; he augments these energies, thereby increasing their response to the lower and to the material aspects of his nature. This he does at the expense of his higher nature, retarding its unfoldment and delaying his progress. Incidentally also, he attracts the attention of those masters of the left hand path who are ever on the lookout for those who can be bent to their purposes, and he becomes (unwittingly at first), an agent on the side of evil.

It will be apparent, therefore, that the student has need of the following qualities before he undertakes the arduous task of becoming a conscious Master of Magic:

  • Physical Purity. This is a thing not easily to be acquired, but entailing many lives of strenuous effort. Through abstinence, right continence, clean living, vegetarian diet, and rigid self-control, the man gradually raises the vibration of his physical atoms, builds a body of ever greater resistance and strength, and succeeds in “manifesting” forth in a sheath of greater refinement.
  • Etheric Freedom. This term does not convey all that I seek to impart, but it suffices for need of a better. The student of magic who can safely undertake the enterprise, will have constructed an etheric body of such a nature that vitality, or pranic force and energy, can circulate unimpeded; he will have formed an etheric web of such tenuosity that it forms no barrier to consciousness. This is all that can be said on this subject, owing to the danger involved, but it suffices for the conveyance of information to those who are beginning to know.
  • Astral Stability. The student of magic aims, above all, to purify his desires, and so to transmute his emotions that the lower physical purity and the higher mental responsiveness and transmutative power may equally be available. Every magician has to learn the fact that, in this solar system, during the cycle of humanity, the astral body is the pivotal point of endeavor, having a reflex effect on both the other sheaths, the physical and the mental. He, therefore, aims at transmuting (as has often been said) lower desire into aspiration; at changing the lower cruder colors which distinguish the astral body of average man, for the clearer, purer tones of the spiritual man, and of transforming its normal chaotic vibration, and the “stormy sea of life,” for the steady rhythmic response to that which is highest and the center of peace. These things he effects by constant watchfulness, unremitting control, and steady meditation.
  • Mental Poise. These words are used in the occult sense, wherein the mind (as it is commonly understood) becomes the keen steady instrument of the indwelling thinker, and the point from which he can travel onwards to higher realms of comprehension. It is the foundation stone whence the higher expansion can be initiated.

Let not the would-be student of magic proceed in his investigations and his experiments until he has attended to these injunctions, and until the whole bent of his thought is towards their manifestation and their demonstration in his every day life. When he has so worked, ceaselessly and untiringly, and his physical plane life and service bear witness to the inner transmutation, then he can proceed to parallel this life with magical studies and work. Only the solar Angel can do the work of the white magician, and he effects it through the control of the lunar angels and their complete subjugation. They are arrayed against him, until, through meditation, aspiration, and control, he bends them to his will and they become his servants.

This thought brings us to the vital and real distinction between the white brother and the brother of darkness, and in this summation we will conclude the present discussion and proceed with the rules.

The worker in white magic utilizes ever the energy of the Solar Angel to effect his ends. The dark brother works through the inherent force of the lunar lords, which are allied in nature to all that is objective. In an old book of magic, hidden in the caves of learning, guarded by the Masters, are the following conclusive words, which find their place in this Treatise on Fire through their very appropriateness:

    “The Brothers of the Sun, through the force of solar fire, fanned to a flame in the blazing vault of the second Heaven, put out the lower lunar fires, and render naught that lower ‘fire by friction.’

    The Brother of the Moon ignores the sun and solar heat; borrows his fire from all that triply is, and pursues his cycle. The fires of hell await, and lunar fire dies out. Then neither sun nor moon avails him, only the highest heaven awaits the spark electric, seeking vibration synchronous from that which lies beneath. And yet it cometh not.”

————-

Excerpted from:

A Treatise on Cosmic Fire – Section Two – Division D – Thought Elementals and Fire Elementals

By Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul

The Door of Initiation

Excerpted from “The Rays and the Initiations” by Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul

SECTION ONE – THE ASPIRANT AND THE MYSTERIES OF INITIATION

The Entering of the two Doors of Initiation

Let us now take up our first point in this section and see what is really meant by the hackneyed words “door of initiation,” and what constitutes the difference between the door which faces the disciple and that which confronts the Master.

It is of course obvious to you that the use of the word “door” is purely symbolic; the interpretation given to the word by the ordinary esoteric student and the orthodox Theosophist is that of a point of entry, and the significance of it to him is that it offers an opportunity to pass to new experience and fresh revelation – much of which is regarded by him as due reward for discipline and aspiration. That is largely an interpretation based on wishful thinking and is of quite secondary importance.

The Door of Initiation

The real meaning underlying the phrase “door of initiation” is that of obstruction, of something which bars the way, of that which must be opened, or of that which hides or stands between the aspirant and his objective. This is a much more exact significance and one much more useful for the aspirant to grasp. The picture of a man moving along the Path of Evolution until suddenly one day he stands before an open door through which he may joyously pass has no faintest resemblance to the truth; the idea that a man of a nice disposition and possessing certain character developments such as those portrayed in such books (by Annie Besant) as The Open Court and the Path of Discipleship, which condition the theosophical aspirants, is exceedingly misleading. These books are very useful and should be carefully studied by the man upon the Path of Probation, but are not so useful to the disciple, for they lead him to put the emphasis in the wrong direction and to focus upon that which should already have been developed. Naturally, the character development must be present and assumed to be stable in the man’s equipment; these characteristics have, however, little bearing on initiation and passing through the “door” on the Path. They are indicative of the point reached upon the Path of Evolution, as a result of experiment, experience and continuous expression, and should be common to all aspirants who have reached the point of facing discipleship; they are unavoidable developments and connote simply the reaction of the personality to time and experience. It is eternally true that no one may pass through this door unless these character indications are developed, but that is due to the fact that the aspirant has progressed to a certain stage of unfoldment and automatically now has a measure of self-control, of mental understanding and of purity.

I would point out also that even the black magician possesses these qualities, for they are the sine qua non of all magical art, both black and white; the black magician passes through the door of initiation as it opens twice for the first two initiations. He passes through on the strength of his will and his character accomplishments and because the group conscious aspect of the soul is active in him as in his brother seeking affiliation with the Great White Lodge. The love aspect is, however, lacking in the black magician. Forget not that all is energy and there is nothing else. The energy which is an aspect of the soul and which we call magnetic attraction (the group-building quality) he shares with the spiritual aspirant. He is essentially group conscious, and though his motives are separative, his methods are those of the group, and these he can get only from the soul.

You see again another reason why the first and second initiations are not regarded by the Lodge of Masters as major initiations. Only the third is so regarded, because at that initiation the entire personality life is flooded with energy coming from the Spiritual Triad, via the “sacrifice petals” of the will and purpose aspect of the soul. To this type of energy, the black magician is not responsive. He can and does respond to the knowledge – most ancient and hardly won – stored up in the “knowledge petals” of the soul; he can appropriate and utilize the energy of attraction (erroneously called love by some students) stored up in the “love petals” of the soul, but he cannot respond to and use the energy of divine love, working out in the divine Plan which controls all knowledge and converts it into wisdom, and which actuates and clarifies the motive which brings loving magnetic attraction into action and which we call true group consciousness and group cohesion. It is at this point that the two ways – of darkness and of light – become widely divergent. Until the third initiation is taken, glamor may condition the attitude of those seeking to understand the life of a man upon the Path, and they may mistake the spurious for the real. The black magician leads a disciplined life, analogous to that of the spiritual aspirant; he practices purity for his own safeguarding and not in order that he may become a channel for the energy of light; he works with power (the power of magnetic attraction) with and in groups, but he does this for his own selfish ends and for the fulfilment of his own ambitious purposes. But at the third initiation there comes to the true spiritual initiate the revelation which is the reward of perseverance and purity rightly motivated – the revelation of the divine purpose, as the soul records it in terms of the hierarchical plan, though not yet in terms of the Monad. To this purpose and to the loving Will of God (to use a trite Christian phrase) the black brother cannot respond; his aims are different. You have here the true meaning of the oft-used and misunderstood phrase, “the parting of the ways.”

But both groups of aspirants (the black and the white) stand before the door of initiation and take the needed steps to open it on two similar occasions. Both overcome glamor after the second initiation, and see their way clearly ahead; but their goals emerge as widely different; one treads the broad way which leads ever deeper into matter and materialism, into darkness and “black power”; the other leads to the straight and narrow way, to the razor-edged path which leads into light and life. One group has never freed itself from the principles which governed the first solar system. They were principles entirely related to matter and substance and were at that time and in that period (so remote that the number of years of distance can be stated only in super-astronomical figures) the conditioning factors for the initiation of the time. Certain units of humanity – then existent – were so completely conditioned by these material principles and so deliberately unready for moving on to the comprehension of another set of principles (more expressive of the divine nature) that they remained of “fixed and selfish material purpose” and a planned distortion of the divine will was intelligently created by them. You have here a hint as to the nature of evil and a clue to a part (though only a part) of the mystery to be noted in the statement that evil and good are reverse aspects of the same one reality, and evil is that good which we should have left behind, passing on to greater and more inclusive good. Forget not that the black magicians of today were the initiates of a previous solar system. When the door of initiation is ready to open for the third time, the parting of the ways takes place. Some follow selfish intention and the fixed determination to remain with the separative condition of matter; and to others, the divine will is clearly impressed upon them and becomes the motivating power in their lives. It was under instructions from the Great White Lodge on Sirius that the door remains closed the third time to the dark brothers. Evil, as we understand it, has absolutely no place on Sirius.

To the black magician, at this third opportunity, the door of initiation presents an insuperable barrier and obstacle; to the true spiritual neophyte, the door connotes “overcoming.” We shall not consider further the approach of the black brothers to that door but shall confine ourselves to a consideration of the initiations of the Great White Lodge.

Things That Go Bump in The Night !

Anál nathrach,

orth’ bháis’s bethad,

do chél dénmha

“The Charm of Making” Merlin or Myddrin.

If you chant this charm, this mantra, in deep voice it sounds pretty damn spooky. I’ll wager that should you and I ever find ourselves sat around a fading camp fire in an isolated spot and I struck up the chanting. You would have the metaphorical hackles on the back of your neck stand up. You might even shit a brick.

There are loads of people who pooh-pooh the paranormal and things that go bump in the night from the safety of their armchair. But once again I’ll wager that many of these, despite their professed rationality, would not go willingly and alone into a supposed haunted house. Also, if they are brave enough to watch horror movies, they might jump from time to time.

The day we arrived here I went down to the river to talk with the korrigans.

“In Breton folklore, a Korrigan ([kɔˈriːɡɑ̃n]) is a fairy or dwarf-like spirit. The word korrigan means “small-dwarf” (korr means dwarf, ig is a diminutive and the suffix an is a hypocoristic). It is closely related to the Cornish word korrik which means gnome. The name changes according to the place. Among the other names, there are korrig, korred, korrs, kores, couril, crion,goric, kornandon, ozigan, nozigan, teuz, torrigan, viltañs, poulpikan, and paotred ar sabad.”

To me it seemed to be the most sensible thing to do, to say hello and to ask their permission to live amongst them. I was ultra-polite and “spoke” from my heart.

Over the weeks which followed we encountered various ward off charms around the house at “entry points”. These were left by the previous owner a practising catholic, there is even a place where the sun has bleached the outline of her crucifix into the wallpaper. When we were looking for houses out in the Breton countryside, we on occasion noted witch marks, inscribed to ward off bad witches. To a man with north wales blood, this seems perfectly natural.

So, what we profess and how we behave or respond may differ markedly. People like the sound of their own voice.

We were having some odd occurrences here, so I went around the house wearing my insignia and with a smudge stick smouldering. There was something up on the top floor in one of the attics which I encouraged to leave.  When I got into the vide sanitaire, a kind of basement, the smudge stick burst into flame. Residual methane or something that goes bump in the night? I did a deep cleanse.

I mentioned before that my personality is seventh ray. I like planning…

Here is the technique of integration as per The Tibetan.

Ray Seven

  ” ‘I seek to bring the two together. The plan is in my hands. How shall I work? Where lay the emphasis? In the far distance stands the One Who Is. Here at my hand is form, activity, substance, and desire. Can I relate these and fashion thus a form for God? Where shall I send my thought, my power the word that I can speak?

‘I, at the center, stand, the worker in the field of magic. I know some rules, some magical controls, some Words of Power, some forces which I can direct. What shall I do? Danger there is. The task that I have undertaken is not easy of accomplishment, yet I love power. I love to see the forms emerge, created by my mind, and do their work, fulfil the plan and disappear. I can create. The rituals of the Temple of the Lord are known to me. How shall I work?

 ‘Love not the work. Let love of God’s eternal Plan control your life, your mind, your hand, your eye. Work towards the unity of plan and purpose which must find its lasting place on earth. Work with the Plan; focus upon your share in that great work.’

The word goes forth from soul to form: ‘Stand in the center of the pentagram, drawn upon that high place in the East within the light which ever shines. From that illumined center work. Leave not the pentagram. Stand steady in the midst. Then draw a line from that which is without to that which is within and see the Plan take form.’ “

For a period of months, when I got home from my day job teaching science and had eaten, I would light five candles in the shape of pentagram within a circle as per the famous Leonardo da Vinci diagram. I entered from the East and lay down in perfect alignment. I would then mediate and do the Toltec Dreaming practice prone on the floor for around 40 minutes. The candles had to be lit in sequence. When I was finished, I left the pentagram by the East and then extinguished the candles in reverse order. It has to be ceremonial or it does not work.

I’ll wager than none of my colleagues ever imagined that I was doing this.

{After all they knew me so very well and understood all my motives perfectly…}

If you think about it things like graduation ceremonies are forms of ritual magic. A whole bunch of geezers dress up in fancy robes and then process up to a stage like in my case The Royal Albert Hall. The initiates of higher education walk through those about to receive their degrees. There is a master or mistress of ceremonies and some big wig hands out the degrees. Ritual magic is everywhere, just look at the funny wigs in the UK courts. The gavel…you get my drift.

If the world can be explained only by science, as it currently stands, there are no things which go bump in the night. They are illogical and figments, they do not exist.

As a thought experiment:

How strong is your faith?

Would you walk in a graveyard at night?

Would you come with me into a haunted basement?

If I sounded the charm of making and the Dragon’s Breath began to manifest, what would you do?

The Aquarian Age

As a result of the bridging work which will be done in the immediate one hundred and fifty years ahead of us, the technique of bridging the various cleavages found in the human family, and of weaving into one strong cable the various threads of energy which tenuously, as yet, connect the various aspects of the inner man with the outer form, will have made so much progress that the bulk of the intelligent people in the world and of all classes and nations will be integrated personalities. When this is the case, the science of the antahkarana will be a planned part of their training. Today, as we study this science and its related sciences of meditation and service, the appeal will be only to the world aspirants and disciples. Its usefulness will only be found at present to be for those special incarnating souls who are today coming into incarnation with such rapidity as a response to the world’s need for help. But later the appeal will be general and its usefulness more nearly universal.

It is needless for me to outline for you the nature of the educational systems of the Aquarian Age because they would prove most unsuitable at this time. I mention them as it is necessary to remember that the work done during the next two centuries in the field of education is definitely temporary and balancing, and that out of the fulfilment of the task assigned to education will grow those more permanent systems which, in the new age, will be found flourishing everywhere.

Three major sciences will eventually dominate the field of education in the new age. They will not negate the activities of modern science but will integrate them into a wider subjective whole. These three sciences are:

  1. The Science of the Antahkarana. This is the new and true science of the mind, which will utilize mental substance for the building of the bridge between personality and soul, and then between the soul and the spiritual triad. This constitutes active work in substance subtler than the substance of the three worlds of ordinary human evolution. It concerns the substance of the three higher levels of the mental plane. These symbolic bridges, when constructed, will facilitate the stream or flow of consciousness and will produce that continuity of consciousness, or that sense of unimpeded awareness, which will finally end the fear of death, negate all sense of separateness, and make a man responsive in his brain consciousness to impressions coming to him from the higher spiritual realms or from the Mind of God. Thus he will more easily be initiated into the purposes and plans of the Creator.
  2. The Science of Meditation. At present meditation is associated in the minds of men with religious matters. But that relates only to theme. The science can be applied to every possible life process. In reality, this science is a subsidiary branch, preparatory to the Science of the Antahkarana. It is really the true science of occult bridge building or bridging in consciousness. By its means, particularly in the early stages, the building process is facilitated. It is one of the major ways of spiritual functioning; it is one of the many ways to God; it relates the individual mind eventually to the higher mind and later to the Universal Mind. It is one of the major building techniques and will eventually dominate the new educational methods in schools and colleges. It is intended primarily to:
  • Produce sensitivity to the higher impressions.
  • Build the first half of the antahkarana, that between the personality and the soul.
  • Produce an eventual continuity of consciousness.

Meditation is essentially the science of light, because it works in the substance of light. One branch of it is concerned with the science of visualization because, as the light continues to bring revelation, the power to visualize can grow with the aid of the illumined mind, and the later work of training the disciple to create is then made possible. It might be added here that the building of the second half of the antahkarana (that which bridges the gap in consciousness between the soul and the spiritual triad) is called the science of vision, because just as the first half of the bridge is built through the use of mental substance, so the second half is built through the use of light substance.

  1. The Science of Service grows normally and naturally out of the successful application of the other two sciences. As the linking up of soul and personality proceeds, and as the knowledge of the plan and the light of the soul pour into the brain consciousness, the normal result is the subordination of the lower to the higher. Identification with group purposes and plans is the natural attribute of the soul. As this identification is carried forward on mental and soul levels, it produces a corresponding activity in the personal life and this activity we call service. Service is the true science of creation and is a scientific method of establishing continuity.

These three sciences will be regarded eventually as the three major concerns of the educational process and upon them will the emphasis increasingly be placed.

We have now laid the ground for a consideration of the three sciences which will dominate the thought of educators in the coming age. The building and the development of the antahkarana, the development of the power to control life and to work white magic through the science of meditation, and also the science of service whereby group control and group relationship are fostered and developed – these are the three fundamental sciences which will guide the psychologist and the educator of the future. These will also cause a radical change in the attitude of parents towards their children and in the methods which they employ to train and teach them when they are very young and in the formative years of their consciousness.

It should here be remembered that these parents themselves will have been brought up under this new and different regime and will themselves have been developed under this changed mode of approaching the educational process. What may therefore seem to you mystical and vague (because of its newness, or its idealism and its emphasis upon a seeming abstract group consciousness), will seem to them normal and natural. What I am here outlining to you is a possibility which lies ahead for the next two or three generations; I am also referring to a recognition which a new educational ideology will normally permit to govern the mode of instruction.

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Excerpted from Education in the New Age – Chapter III – The Aquarian Age

 

Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul

Karmic Liabilities of the Individual

  1. Karmic Liabilities of the Individual

We have already studied (perhaps without realizing its implications) our first point under this heading. This concerns the karmic liabilities of the individual, emerging from the subjective vehicles and from the personality as a whole.

As we discussed the psychological causes of disease as they arise in the subtle vehicles in the three worlds or from the disciple’s tension as he endeavors to tread the Path, we were in reality concerned entirely with karma or the effect of the inner causes of events, equipment and circumstances upon the physical plane. We saw how the inner bodies, via the etheric body, conditioned the man’s outer manifestation, and that disease or health was largely dependent upon them. They are the immediate karmic cause of physical plane existence. If the idea is then extended to include previous incarnations – as must inevitably be the case – then we arrive at the conclusion that the condition of these inner bodies, their limitations and their richness, their defects and their assets, and their general psychic and psychological tendencies are inherited from previous lives, and are therefore responsible for the present earthly situation. We have, consequently, simply pushed the causes of present day conditions still further back, and we could – if we so desired – enter a field of such intricacy and detail that nothing profitable would eventuate. The whole problem of the recovery of past incarnations is one of infinite possibility, and when I use this word “infinite” I immediately put the whole subject out of the control of the finite mind. We are then dealing with something which it is not possible to handle rationally.

Karma was, for infant humanity and for the undeveloped individual, a group matter. The man was a member of a group but without any thought as to the implications and the responsibilities entailed. Later, as the process of individualization became more effective in character and purpose and more pronounced in temperament, karma became also more personal and definite, and the man in a position to make or work off more causes and effects. The personality not being thoroughly unfolded and integrated, the man was still involved in group life and the interrelations became more extensive. Later on, the personality became the conscious creator of its own causes and the conscious participator in the effects. Upon the Path, the karma of the chosen group, of the individual, and of those with whom the man chooses association through unity of spiritual purpose involves him, and another factor is added to the previous categories of karmic responsibility. Later still, karma in the three worlds is met, overcome and negated; at the same time karma connected with the initiating of causes through world service is added to that which the individual has already experienced, and he shares in the karmic responsibility of the Hierarchy itself. All these stages:

  • Elementary group karma – of the primitive man,
  • Individual karma of the self-conscious developing man,
  • Karma, related to the life of the disciple,
  • Hierarchical karma,

must be added to the well known Karma of Retribution with which the disciple is already familiar; to it must also be added national and racial karma, plus the educational karma which all disciples bring upon themselves when they are desirous of entering an Ashram to prepare for initiation.

There is also the Karma of Reward in contradistinction to that of Retribution; this is a type of karma oft forgotten, but one which will become better known in the coming world cycle. Humanity has worked off much evil karma, and the karma based on causes later to be initiated will not generate such dire effects as that of the past. Not all karma is bad, in spite of what man thinks. Much of it is necessarily punitive and distressing, owing to humanity’s ignorance and low stage of development. When karmic retribution becomes acute and terrible, as it is in today’s appalling world experience, it indicates that humanity has reached a point where consequences can be meted out on a large scale and with justice. Very little suffering is attached to karma where there is ignorance, leading to irresponsibility and complete lack of thought and there is attached to affairs but little true sense of guilt. There may be unhappy conditions and distressing circumstances, but the ability to respond to such conditions with commensurate pain is lacking; there is little mental reaction to the processes of karmic retribution. This should be borne in mind. The Aryan race is now, however, so developed mentally and on a large scale that karma is truly horrible and agonizing and can express itself through world conditions. At the same time, the present widespread distress indicates the extent and success of human unfoldment and is a most hopeful and promising sign. In this idea, you have the clue as to why the good, the holy and the saintly servers of the race carry – in this world cycle – such a heavy load of karmic ill.

It is consequently quite impossible in the scope of this treatise to deal more fully with this subject of karma as it produces the many types of human ills, including disease – only one of its manifestations. The theme is too vast, too complicated and too widely diffusing in its effect. All that one can do is to posit the fact that past actions and reactions have established in previous lives such a karmic rhythm, that today all the aspects of the lower nature are involved; and among the commonest and most ordinary effects, and one in which the great Law of Retribution takes effect, is that of disease. This is a point which healers and metaphysicians, so-called, should most carefully consider.

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Excerpted from:

Esoteric Healing – Chapter III – Our Karmic Liabilities

Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul

The Art of Dying

Fear of Death

 The fear of death is based upon:

  1. A terror of the final rending processes in the act of death itself.
  2. Horror of the unknown and the indefinable.
  3. Doubt as to final immortality. {This means not having to become mortal again}
  4. Unhappiness at leaving loved ones behind or of being left behind.
  5. Ancient reactions to past violent deaths, lying deep in the consciousness.
  6. Clinging to form life, because primarily identified with it in consciousness.
  7. Old erroneous teaching as to Heaven and Hell, both equally unpleasant in prospect to certain types.

 {comments in these are mine }

{Many are experiencing “violent” deaths at this point in time thanks to the virus}

The Art of Dying

A Treatise on White Magic:

    The soul, seated in the heart, is the life principle, the principle of self-determination, the central nucleus of positive energy by means of which all the atoms of the body are held in their right place and subordinated to the “will-to-be” of the soul. This principle of life utilizes the blood stream as its mode of expression and as its controlling agency, and through the close relation of the endocrine system to the blood stream, we have the two aspects of soul activity brought together in order to make man a living, conscious, functioning entity, governed by the soul, and expressing the purpose of the soul in all the activities of daily living.

    Death, therefore, is literally the withdrawal from the heart and from the head of these two streams of energy, producing consequently complete loss of consciousness and disintegration of the body. Death differs from sleep in that both streams of energy are withdrawn. In sleep, only the thread of energy which is anchored in the brain is withdrawn, and when this happens the man becomes unconscious. By this we mean that his consciousness or sense of awareness is focused elsewhere. His attention is no longer directed towards things tangible and physical, but is turned upon another world of being and becomes centered in another apparatus or mechanism. In death, both the threads are withdrawn or unified in the life thread. Vitality ceases to penetrate through the medium of the blood stream and the heart fails to function, just as the brain fails to record, and thus silence settles down. The house is empty. Activity ceases, except that amazing and immediate activity which is the prerogative of matter itself and which expresses itself in the process of decomposition. From certain aspects, therefore, that process indicates man’s unity with everything that is material; it demonstrates that he is a part of nature itself, and by nature we mean the body of the one Life in Whom “we live and move and have our being.” In those three words – living, moving and being – we have the entire story. Being is awareness, self-consciousness and self-expression, and of this man’s head and brain are the exoteric symbols. Living is energy, desire in form, coherence and adhesion to an idea, and of this the heart and the blood are the exoteric symbols. Moving indicates the integration and response of the existing, aware, living entity into the universal activity, and of this the stomach, pancreas and liver are the symbols.

    It must be noted also that death is, therefore, undertaken at the direction of the Ego {indwelling Soul in this context}, no matter how unaware a human being may be of that direction. The process works automatically with the majority, for (when the soul withdraws its attention) the inevitable reaction on the physical plane is either death, by the abstraction of the dual threads of life and reason energy, or by the abstraction of the thread of energy which is qualified by mentality, leaving the life stream still functioning through the heart, but no intelligent awareness. The soul is engaged elsewhere and occupied on its own plane with its own affairs.

    – Pages 496-497.

    Before I take up this subject in greater detail I would like to make some reference to the “web in the brain,” which is intact for the majority but is non-existent for the illumined seer.

    In the human body, as you know, we have an underlying, extensive vital body which is the counterpart of the physical, which is larger than the physical and which we call the etheric body or double. It is an energy body and is composed of force centers and nadis or force threads. These underlie or are the counterparts of the nervous apparatus – the nerves and the nerve ganglia. In two places in the human body there are orifices of exit, if I may use so cumbersome a phrase. One opening is in the solar plexus and the other is in the brain at the top of the head. Protecting both is a closely woven web of etheric matter, composed of interlacing strands of life energy.

    During the process of death the pressure of the life energy beating against the web produces eventually a puncturing or opening. Out of this the life force pours as the potency of the abstracting influence of the soul increases. In the case of animals, of infants and of men and women who are polarized entirely in the physical and astral bodies, the door of exit is the solar plexus, and it is that web which is punctured, thus permitting the passing out. In the case of mental types, of the more highly evolved human units, it is the web at the top of the head in the region of the fontanel which is ruptured, thus again permitting the exit of the thinking rational being.

    In the process of death these are, therefore, the two main exits: the solar plexus for the astrally polarized, physically biased human being, and therefore of the vast majority, and the head center for the mentally polarized and spiritually oriented human being. This is the first and most important factor to remember, and it will easily be seen how the trend of a life tendency and the focus of the life attention determine the mode of exit at death. It can be seen also that an effort to control the astral life and the emotional nature, and to orient one’s self to the mental world and to spiritual things, has a momentous effect upon the phenomenal aspects of the death process.

    If the student is thinking clearly, it will be apparent to him that one exit concerns the spiritual and highly evolved man, whilst the other concerns the low grade human being who has scarcely advanced beyond the animal stage. What then of the average man? A third exit is now in temporary use; just below the apex of the heart another etheric web is found covering an orifice of exit. We have, therefore, the following situation:

  • The exit in the head, used by the intellectual type, by the disciples and initiates of the world.
  • The exit in the heart, used by the kindly, well-meaning man or woman who is a good citizen, an intelligent friend and a philanthropic worker.
  • The exit in the region of the solar plexus, used by those whose animal nature is strong.

    This is the first point in the new information which will slowly become common knowledge in the West during the next century. Much of it is already known by thinkers in the East and is in the nature of a first step towards a rational understanding of the death process.


Excerpted from:

Esoteric Healing – Chapter V – The Process of Restitution

Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul