In dealing with this question of the diversities of initiations it may be of value to the student to remember that the great moment in which a man passed out of the animal kingdom into the human, which is called in many occult textbooks the "moment of individualization," was in itself one of the greatest of all initiations. Individualization is the conscious apprehension by the self of its relation to all that constitutes the not-self, and in this great initiatory process, as in all the later ones, the awakening of consciousness is preceded by a period of gradual development; the awakening is instantaneous at the moment of self-realization for the first time, and is always succeeded by another period of gradual evolution. This period of gradual evolution, in its turn, leads up to a later crisis which is called Initiation. In the one case, we have initiation into self-conscious existence, in the other, initiation into spiritual existence.

These realizations, or apprehended expansions of consciousness, are under natural law, and come in due course of time to every soul without exception. In a lesser degree they are undergone daily by every human being, as his mental grip of life and experience gradually grows, but they only become initiations into the wisdom (as differentiated from expansions of knowledge) when the knowledge gained is: [177]

  1. Consciously sought for.
  2. Self-sacrificingly applied to life.
  3. Willingly used in service for others.
  4. Intelligently utilized on the side of evolution.

Only souls of a certain amount of experience and development do all these four things consistently and steadily, and thus transmute knowledge into wisdom, and experience into quality. The ordinary average man transmutes ignorance into knowledge, and experience into faculty. It would be helpful if all of us pondered upon the difference between inherent quality and innate faculty; one is the very nature of buddhi, or wisdom, and the other of manas, or mind. The union of these two, through a man's conscious effort, results in a major initiation.

These results are brought about in two ways: First, by a man's own unaided effort, which leads him in due course of time to find his own center of consciousness, to be guided and led by the inner ruler or Ego entirely, and to unravel, through strenuous effort and painful endeavor, the mystery of the universe, which is concealed in material substance energized by Fohat. Secondly, by a man's efforts, supplemented by the intelligent loving cooperation of the Knowers of the race, the Masters of the Wisdom. In this case the process is quicker, for a man comes under instruction - should he so desire - and subsequently, when he has on his part provided the right conditions, there is placed at his disposal the knowledge and the help of those who have achieved. In order to avail himself of this help he has to work with the material of his own body, building right material into an ordered form, and has therefore to learn discrimination in the choice of matter, and to understand the laws of vibration and of construction. This entails the mastering, in some measure, of the laws that govern the [178] Brahma and Vishnu aspects: it means a faculty of vibrating with atomic accuracy, and the development of the quality of attractiveness, which is the basis of the building, or Vishnu aspect.

He has to equip, also, his mental body so that it may be an explainer and transmitter, and not a hindering factor as now. He must likewise develop group activity, and learn to work in a coordinated manner with other units. These are the main things that a man must accomplish along the path of initiation, but when he has worked at them, he will find the Way, it will be made clear to him, and he will then join the ranks of the Knowers.

Another point to be remembered is that this effort to make people cooperate intelligently with the Hierarchy, and to train them to join the ranks of the Lodge, is, as earlier pointed out, a special effort (inaugurated in Atlantean days and continued to this time) made by the Hierarchy of the planet, and is very largely in the nature of an experiment. The method whereby a man assumes conscious place in the body of a Heavenly Man differs in different planetary Schemes; the Heavenly Man, who uses our planetary Scheme as his body of manifestation, chooses to work in this particular way during this particular period for his own specific purposes; it is part of the process of vitalizing one of his centers, and of linking up his heart center with its connection in the head. As other of his centers are vitalized, and come into full activity, other methods of stimulating the cells in his body (the deva and human monads) may be followed, but for the present the cosmic Rod of Initiation, which is applied to a Heavenly Man, in much the same manner as the lesser rods are applied to man, is being utilized in such a way that it produces that specific stimulation which demonstrates in the activity of man on the Path of Probation and the Path of Initiation.

Alice Bailey

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