The Masters, however, do not "take this initiation" whenever They are ready to "make decision." The opportunity comes to the Hierarchy every forty-nine years
THE PLANETARY ANTAHKARANA
The Master, as He makes His decision and chooses one of the seven Paths which unitedly form the planetary antahkarana, is forced thereto by the accumulation of past karma.
Keep in mind; no one knows what will be the outcome of the Great Decision. The Hierarchy waits in silent anticipation while the chohans are in an enforced state uniquely characterised by a strict and isolated unity. In the Ashram during this "special event" sharing takes place along the following two lines:
SPECIAL EVENT SHARING
1. The sharing in the accession of power or love or insight which comes during the cycle of Initiations into those degrees which are higher than the fifth degree; these create vacancies, and at the same time cause a tremendous influx of power.
At the period of these cycles, all within the Ashram react in some way or another; no one moves forward upon the Path without creating a new relationship and becoming a better transmitter of power.
2. The sharing in the. results of special spiritual events, such as:
An inflow of extra-planetary force.
The Initiation of Decision - 6th Initiation
* The Principle of Decision
* Governed by Ray III
* Active in the Hierarchy
* Leading to right Perception and Participation
GOVERNED BY 3RD RAY:
This initiation is therefore governed by the third ray, the Ray of Intelligent Activity. This ray is closely related to the mental plane of our planetary life, to the Law of Fixation and the Law of Cleavages. Much anent this I have written earlier, and a search for the significance of certain passages in A Treatise on Cosmic Fire may bring enlightenment. Fixation is not permitted to the eternal pilgrim upon our little planet, the Earth, but when that is left behind entirely at the ninth initiation the initiate becomes a "fixed or stationary point of light within his chosen Place, the Place of the Most High and the point of fire upon the mountain-top. From that point he will no more go out."
Constellation of the Dragon, via Libra.
COSMIC BASE OF SPINE CENTER
A hint lies in the fact that the constellation of the Dragon has the same relation to the ONE greater than our Logos as the center at the base of the spine has to a human being.
"Star of Christ."
King Solomon's seal.
I have here indicated to you the higher or spiritual aspect of King Solomon's seal. When these six types of energy are fused and blended and so form one unity, you will then find emerging the "Star of Christ." This is one of the symbols of the sixth initiation and is the inner correspondence of the star with which you are familiar.
"Speaking symbolically, somewhere in that great dividing wall of our planetary circumference, the Master must find an exit and discover a door which will permit Him to enter the Way of the Higher Evolution in its more cosmic stages."
The so-called third initiation, the Transfiguration, is only the first major initiation, from the standpoint of the Hierarchy; it marks the moment in time and space when the initiate sees truly and for the first time the door which opens on to this higher Way.
A LIGHT SUPREME:
"The light that shines within the heart of man discovers light and, in these blended lights, comes revelation. The light that shines within the sacred Hierarchy of Souls discovers these two lights revealed and they reveal a third - the revelation of the higher states of Being which hide and veil a Light which is not of planetary creation. These are four lights which reveal a Light Supreme, a Light which comes from distances beyond the ken of man. Yet all these lights have been revealed because a light has burned - immovable, secure - within the human heart." [Old Commentary]
The revelation accorded to the Initiate in the first stage of the initiation gives Him a complete picture "in a flash of endless time" of the processes which have brought Him to this creative moment of decision. Immediately He achieves a point of tension which He will continue to hold until the final or ninth initiation, the Initiation of Refusal, wherein He rejects, refuses or repudiates His entire past and enters upon His chosen path entirely "free of recollected concepts, but exhibiting to Those Great Lives Who welcome Him upon the new and untried path all that He is and the essence of His Being."
THE SEVEN PATHS:
The seven Paths which stretch out before a Master are entered by the treading of the Way of the Higher Evolution.
Path I - The Path of Earth Service.
Path II - The Path of Magnetic Work.
Path III - The Path of the Planetary Logos.
Path IV - The Path to Sirius.
Path V - The Ray Path.
Path VI - The Path of the Solar Logos.
Path VII - The Path of Absolute Sonship.
It must be borne in mind and no confusion of thought must be permitted that these terms are the generic names given in the mystic parlance of the Lodge of Masters to the seven methods of work, of endeavor and of aspiration whereby the perfected sons of Earth's humanity pass on to specific cosmic Paths or streams of energy, making in their totality one great cosmic WAY.
These seven Paths, when trodden, prepare a man to pass certain cosmic initiations, including those upon the Sun Sirius. One hint may here be given. Each of these Paths eventually leads to one or other of the six constellations which (with ours) form the seven centers in the body of the ONE ABOUT WHOM NAUGHT MAY BE SAID.
Though these seven Paths, being one of the septenates, are necessarily related to the seven rays, they are not ray paths, nor are they governed by the seven rays. Any one of them is open to a Master of the Wisdom, and His choice will not be dependent upon His ray type, though He will take that factor into consideration. They are more definitely related to the seven cosmic planes than to the seven rays; this we will consider in greater detail when dealing with the factor of the seven Ashrams which are "proving" grounds for all the Masters confronted with the Initiation of Decision.
The Master confronts two crises:
1. The crisis of the will, as it demonstrates in unalterable decision.
2. The crisis of the new step which will probably "cast Him adrift upon the shore of some distant sphere wherein His will must be expressed in love." These ambiguous words of the Old Commentary mean that His decision will (with one exception) take Him away from all that He has hitherto known.
The majority of the Masters then enter into realms wherein They are needed "to impart, strengthen and enlighten that which is already fused, already strong and already full of light, but which needs that which He brings in order to express the all-encompassing whole."
The Masters Who are now moving forward on to the Path of the Higher Evolution are equally of much greater unfoldment; the will aspect is present to a great degree (little as you may realize it), and this is a new factor, conditioning much. Love and intelligence distinguished the Masters up to three hundred years ago. Love and intelligence and will distinguish Them today.
DEFINITION OF CHOHAN:
Chohan Lord, Master, a Chief. It refers to mind an those Adepts who have gone on and taken the sixth initiation.
Chohan (Tibetan). A Lord or Master. A high Adept. An initiate who has taken more Initiations than the five major Initiations which make man a "Master of the Wisdom."
A Chohan of the sixth Initiation discards all the sheaths beneath the monadic vehicle, from the atmic to the physical.
THE STORY OF THE THREE TEMPTATIONS:
The story of the three temptations indicated the taking of a still higher initiation, the sixth, by the Christ; this conferred on Him complete mastery over evil, and not mastery over imperfection; it was because He was the "Perfect One" that He could take this initiation.
A close but esoteric study of the three temptations of the Christ will reveal three major occasions when the Perfect One, expressing this higher harmlessness, forced the exponent of evil to retreat. This triple episode is symbolically related, but is factual in nature. Little thought has ever been given to what would have been the worldwide effect down the centuries if the Christ had not reacted as He did; speculation is of little use, but it might be stated that the entire course of history and of the evolutionary progress of humanity would have been altered, and in a dire and awful manner. But the dynamic harmlessness, the expression of the will-to-good and the demonstration of the will-to-power (forcing evil to leave Him) marked a most important crisis in the life of the Christ.
I have given you much for mature consideration and thrown some light upon an initiation of which little, naturally, can be known. I would call your attention also to the three fundamental requirements for a successful approach to this initiation: perfect poise, a completed point of view, and divine understanding. You would find it of interest to see how these three qualities work out in relation to the three temptations; in so doing much light would be thrown on the life, nature and character of the Christ.
Under the Law of Perfection we are given the key to the civilization and cycle of evolution which He inaugurated - the ideal of which is not lost, though the application of the teaching He gave has been neglected by the churches and by mankind. You will note also that one temptation takes place on the summit of a high mountain; from that elevation both time and space are totally negated, for the vision of Christ ranged from the past, through the present and on into the future. This state of awareness (I cannot call it consciousness, and awareness is almost as inaccurate a word) is only possible after the fifth initiation, reaching a high point of expression at the sixth initiation.
The Three Basic Requirements:
These three basic requirements concern attainment on various planes of the universe; though I dealt with them in connection with the approach to the sixth initiation, they have - on a lower turn of the spiral - their correspondences, and are therefore of practical application by the initiated disciple, particularly one who has taken the third initiation. Let us take them, one by one, into our thinking:
• Perfect Poise indicates complete control of the astral body, so that emotional upheavals are overcome, or at least are greatly minimized in the life of the disciple. It indicates also, on the higher turn of the spiral, an ability to function freely on buddhic levels, owing to complete liberation (and consequent poise) from all the influences and impulses which are motived from the three worlds. This type or quality of poise connotes - if you will think deeply - an abstract state of mind; nothing which is regarded as non-perfection can create disturbance. You can realize surely that, if you were entirely free from all emotional reactions, your clarity of mind and your ability to think clearly would be enormously increased, with all that that involves.
Naturally, the perfect poise of an initiated disciple and that of the initiated Master are different, for one concerns the effect of the three worlds or their non-effect, and the other concerns adaptability to the rhythm of the Spiritual Triad; nevertheless, the earlier type of poise must precede the later achievement, hence my consideration of the subject. This perfect poise (which is a possible achievement for you who read) is arrived at by ruling out the pulls, the urges, impulses and attractions of the astral or emotional nature, and also by the practice of what I have earlier mentioned: Divine Indifference.
* A Completed Point of View. This necessarily and primarily refers to the universal outlook of the Monad, and therefore to an initiate of the higher degrees. It can, however, be interpreted on a lower rung of the ladder of evolution and refers to the function of the soul as an Observer in the three worlds and the completed all-round picture such an observer gradually attains. This is brought about by the development of the two qualities of detachment and discrimination. These two qualities, when expressed on the Way to the Higher Evolution, become Abstraction and the Will-to-good.
A completed point of view - as experienced on soul levels - indicates the removal of all barriers and the freedom of the disciple from the great heresy of separateness; he has therefore created an unclogged channel for the inflow of pure love. Perfect poise, viewed from the same level, has removed all impediments and those emotional factors which have hitherto blocked the channel, thus preparing the way for the Observer to see truly; the disciple then functions as a clear channel for love.
• Divine Understanding must also be studied from two points of view. As a soul quality, it indicates a mind which can be held steady in the light, and can therefore reflect the pure reason (pure love) which qualifies the reflections of the Son of Mind, the soul on its own plane. On the higher Way of the Master, it relates to that identification which supersedes the individualistic consciousness; all barriers have gone, and the initiate sees things as they are; he knows the causes of which all phenomena are the ephemeral effects. This, consequently, enables Him to understand the Purpose, as it emanates from Shamballa, just as the lesser initiate understands the Plan as it is formulated by the Hierarchy.
PURPOSE AND PLAN
One point should here be made: the entry of a member of the human family into the ranks of the initiates and his participation in the activity of some one or other of the Ashrams produces a movement out of the Hierarchy of some Master and into the highest center of all; it has this effect only after the entering initiate has taken the third initiation, and can therefore take his part in the hierarchical life as a monadic expression susceptible to impression from Shamballa. When a Master thus emerges He is immediately confronted with the choice between the seven Paths. With this development and decision we shall later deal. The seven Paths are all concerned with purpose, just as the seven Ashrams are all concerned with the plan. There is, as you will later see, a direct relation between the seven Paths and the seven Ashrams. Though we shall not deal with the subject at all, there is likewise a correspondence in the third major center, Humanity. You have, therefore, curiously interrelated:
* The seven Paths
* The seven Rays
* The seven Ashrams
* The seven Races
Students would do well to bear in mind that these relationships are the result of the involutionary activity of the life expression of the Lord of the World. The key to the mystery of differentiation is found by the Master when He is faced by the choice of the seven Paths. At that high point of will expression, He discovers the secret of that evolutionary process which proceeds from unity to differentiation, and from differentiation to unity again. Individualization, Initiation and Identification are the three main stages in the evolutionary activity of the life of God and condition the quality of each of the three divine centers. The four related septenates, enumerated above, eventually produce a synthesis which will consummate upon the cosmic mental plane. This is of course beyond my powers to teach or to explain, as I am not yet a liberated Master, though I am a liberated human being.
At the sixth initiation the expression of this Existence on an intermediate plane, a Being who must at present remain nameless, wields the Rod and administers the oath and secret.
When the Rods of Initiation are held in the hands of the Initiator in His position of power, and at the stated seasons, they act as transmitters of electric force from very high levels, - so high indeed that the "Flaming Diamond" at certain of the final initiations (the sixth and seventh) transmits force, via the Logos, from outside the system altogether.
At this sixth Initiation the most marvelous vision of the entire series is his. He sees the solar system as a unit, and gets a brief revealing which opens to his amazed understanding the fundamental purpose of the solar Logos; for the first time he sees the plans as a whole in all their ramifications.
Each of these great energizing Lives [Buddhas of Activity] works through certain Masters and Initiates of the sixth initiation; these Masters work in full consciousness upon the atmic plane, the plane of the spiritual will; from that high level, They function as transmitting agents for the energy of one of the three Buddhas of Activity. These three Buddhas are the creative Agents of the planetary Logos and are Wielders of the Law of Evolution.
To achieve the sixth initiation the Adept has to take a very intensive course in planetary occultism. A Master wields the law in the three worlds, whilst a Chohan of the sixth initiation wields the law in the chain on all levels; a Chohan of the seventh initiation wields the law in the solar system.
I would like first of all to point out that the sixth initiation is to the Master Who stands before the planetary Logos what the second initiation is to the disciple; the fifth Initiation of Revelation and the sixth Initiation of Decision are the higher correspondences to the first two initiations which are regarded by the Lodge on Sirius as initiations of the Threshold. Have this carefully in mind.
I pointed out that the Masters, at the sixth Initiation of Decision, face realms of service where They will have to "impart, strengthen and enlighten that which is already fused, already strong, and already full of light but which needs that which They bring in order to express the all-encompassing Whole." This is, of course, a mysterious and rather paradoxical statement, but a certain measure of light can be thrown upon it if it is remembered that this sixth initiation is related, in a peculiar way, to Path VI. This is the Path upon which our planetary Logos is found. This Path is necessarily related to the sixth Ray of Devotion or Idealism, and also to the sixth plane, the astral plane - he plane of glamor and of desire. I would have you bear theserelationships in mind, but I would have you also remember that at this Initiation of Decision the Master can move forward on any one of the seven Paths which He may decide is, for Him, the field of His future service. This expression of His choice is, as you know, not dependent upon His ray energy or upon what might be the impelling force of the planetary rays; i.e., that of the planet itself (the personality ray of the planetary Logos) or upon the soul ray of Sanat Kumara. It is not for me to tell you whether this dominating ray is His soul ray or the monadic or universal ray.
His capacity then to include rapidly develops and his sense of awareness can (after the sixth Initiation of Decision) begin to range in an extra-planetary fashion.
This Principle of Decision, as a controlling factor, is put to the test at the sixth initiation, the Initiation of Decision; at that time, the will aspect of divinity summarizes in a unique manner all past achievements of the two principles and brings in a final cycle of unfoldment to which I can give no truly appropriate name, but which climaxes in the ninth Initiation of Refusal.
After the sixth Initiation of Decision, the revelation begins to shift on to cosmic levels and off the cosmic physical plane. A developed wisdom then grows in relation to God Transcendent. The initiate now has knowledge of God Immanent within the planetary sphere and can now add, to knowledge, wisdom and can learn to give correct and understanding interpretation to that which is being revealed to him, stage by stage, as he demonstrates that he is initiate. After the sixth initiation the initiate begins to penetrate, through his projected spiritual awareness, on to cosmic levels where he contacts unimagined revelations.
It is not easy for the average aspirant to realize that progressive stages upon the Path indicate a progressive ability to "take the Light." When the aspirant prays in the new Invocation: "Let Light descend on Earth" he is invoking something which humanity will have to learn to handle; this is one of the things for which the disciples of the world must begin to prepare the race of men.
Remember, brother of mine, initiation ever connotes activity, intelligent understanding, focused attitude, deliberated movement, conditioning new rapports and the attainment of a new and greater ring-pass-not in consciousness.
Students need to bear in mind that one phase of preparation for future work is that which will succeed the Initiation of Decision, and that this is dependent upon the type, quality and service rendered by the Master as He conditions and controls His Ashram. This I will attempt to enlarge upon under our next heading. It is useful however, for aspirants to discipleship, and above all for those preparing for initiation and consequently already working in an Ashram, to get this different point of view and begin to unfold within themselves a new sensitivity to impression coming from sources higher than the Hierarchy itself. This involves in them a new and higher type of orientation, and though it remains as yet impossible of attainment there is definite developing value in a grasp of the concept and the effort of the abstract mind and the intuitive perception to seize upon and reflect upon a new and entirely foreign concept. This higher reflective process is to the disciple who is working in an Ashram what aspiration is to the student upon the Probationary Path and the early stages of the Path of Discipleship.
In the latter case, the aspirant's emotional body becomes responsive to the principle of buddhi, reaching him via the love petals of the egoic lotus; in the more exalted situation, the disciple becomes aware (for that is all it is) of the possibility of an impression reaching him from the cosmic astral plane, via monadic levels of awareness. Note what I say - simply the possibility; for there is at this stage no assured  recognition of this goal; it is an impression which is to the disciple preparing for one of the higher initiations what an occult theory is to an aspirant on very much lower levels. The only way in which I can give any faintest idea of the higher reaches of the initiate consciousness will be through reference to lower grasped capacities and the presentation of undefinable truths in terms of that which has been defined and which (to these higher states of awareness) are in the nature of seed thoughts.
There is only progress from glory to glory, a moving forward from point to point on the divine Way, and from revelation to revelation towards those points and revelations which, are perhaps part of the Goal of God Himself. What the goals are upon the Higher Way is as yet utterly unknown to you; what divine qualities and objectives may be revealed to the Master and to the Christ as They tread the Way which leads Them off the cosmic physical plane altogether, you cannot know or sense, and if you could, you would not comprehend the meaning. "Eye hath not seen nor ear heard" the things which God will reveal to those who tread the way to the innermost center, to those who love. This ancient writing can be paraphrased as follows: It is impossible to realize the wonder of the future which the planetary Logos will unfold before those who have unfolded the second divine aspect, Love, and who are therefore full Members of the Hierarchy, the center where the energy of Love is anchored.
It is interesting to realize that the unfoldment of the love nature is that which opens the door which leads to the Way of the Higher Evolution and that nothing else will open it. This Way leads the Master off the cosmic physical plane on to the cosmic astral plane or to a level of cosmic awareness whereon is generated that cosmic impulse which we call Love.
The first hint of the growth of cosmic consciousness comes when the disciple passes through the sixth Initiation of Decision. He determines then (by means of His enlightened will and not His mind) which of the seven Paths He will decide to follow. From that time on, the consciousness of the greater Life which enfolds our planetary Logos, as He enfolds humanity within His consciousness, increasingly controls the attitude, the awareness and the activities of the Master.
The Way of the Higher Evolution leads through the monadic and logoic planes (the two highest levels of the cosmic physical plane); when the four planes of the cosmic etheric plane are completely mastered and under occult direction, the initiate is faced with the seven Paths and with the choice to tread one or other of them. His choice is naturally dependent upon ray determinations and past activity but is nevertheless a free choice, because all limitation has been removed, all wrong identification with physical forms is now impossible, and the initiate's only limitation is that imposed by entrance into cosmic levels of awareness with which he is still unfamiliar. Bear, therefore, continually in mind that the highest spiritual attainment upon and within the seven planes of our recognized planetary life is entirely conditioned by the fact that they are the seven subplanes of the cosmic physical plane and are composed of the three dense physical planes (our three worlds of human evolution) and the four cosmic etheric planes (the four levels of so-called spiritual development); these are conditioned by three forces and four energies. I have emphasized this by constant repetition on account of the great importance the recognition of these facts will play in any grasp you may achieve anent the Way of the Higher Evolution.
The cosmic astral plane becomes, for the Master, a definite objective; He is beginning to develop a great sensitivity to that level of awareness, but consciousness of that within the planetary life - as He knows it - prevents Him from registering this energy of pure cosmic love as He later will. It is this sense of limitation which is the cause of His recognition of the Door on to the Way of the Higher Evolution, for the fifth and sixth initiations liberate Him into the atmic and monadic states of awareness; these initiations are to the initiate at this stage of development what the first and second initiations are to the disciple who is seeking to tread the earlier stages of the Path of Initiation. They might therefore be regarded as initiations of the threshold - one leading to the awareness of the higher levels of conscious unfoldment which the third initiation (the first major initiation) inaugurates, and the other to those levels of impression, of contact and of future ascension which are the sevenfold goal set before the Master when the sixth initiation (the true ascension) is consummated. It is for this reason that this particular initiation is called the Initiation of Decision. The Master then chooses which of the seven Ways or Paths He will follow, because His aeonial experience has enabled Him to choose any of them and know that He has chosen aright. Though these seven Paths, being one of the septenates, are necessarily related to the seven rays, they are not ray paths, nor are they governed by the seven rays. Any one of them is open to a Master of the Wisdom, and His choice will not be dependent upon His ray type, though He will take that factor into consideration. They are more definitely related to the seven cosmic planes than to the seven rays; this we will consider in greater detail when dealing with the factor of the seven Ashrams which are "proving" grounds for all the Masters confronted with the Initiation of Decision.
At the sixth initiation the Master is brought to an understanding of the nature of creation, of the reason for the intelligent manifestation of substantial forms and their creation to provide forms for Being and for Life, and of the quality of that which He - in the future - must and will create.
It is the Lord of Karma Who implements the destinies of Those Who are conditioned by the third Ray of Active Intelligence (and this is ever the case with Those Who are taking the sixth initiation) and Who - symbolically speaking - "wipes clean the slate" of this particular group of initiates at this particular time. Karma no longer holds Them.
At the sixth initiation the Word which synthesizes the fourth, fifth and sixth Words is given by the Hierophant, and thus the initiate wields complete control, through the power of sound, over the substance of the five planes of human evolution.
Before the end of this century, thousands will stand before the Initiator and take initiation in group form; they will pass through the door of initiation together and together take their vows. This statement applies to the second and the third initiations. The higher initiations will still be taken individually or in groups of three, but not more. When the Masters take the sixth initiation, they perforce take it alone at the "midway point" between Shamballa and the Hierarchy, apparently deserted by both attentive groups. There, in complete silence and in a condition of "isolated unity," they will make their great decision. Then and only then will they become aware of the vast attentive spiritual audience which has awaited their will.
The Master, as He makes His decision and chooses one of the seven Paths which unitedly form the planetary antahkarana, is forced thereto by the accumulation of past karma. All evil karma has necessarily been worked off, but His accumulated good karma makes His final decision inevitable; from that instant of decision He stands entirely free and liberated from all aspects and all forms of planetary karma, which is greater and more vast than his little individual karma, be it good or bad. He is then - in Himself - the summation of all past experience. Unless He deliberately chooses the Path of Earth Service and decides to remain within the field, scope or influence of the planetary Life, He faces a solar or a cosmic future of which He knows relatively little, but for which the Path of Evolution, the Path of Discipleship and the Path of Initiation have fitted Him. Even He does not know the conditions into which His "decision" commits Him, or those into which He will have to penetrate; He does know, however, and "appropriates the fact and the faculties" (as one Master has expressed it) of complete revelation and future opportunity.
Two more initiations can be taken, but little is ever said about them on our earth scheme, for the reason that our scheme is not a "sacred" scheme, and few, if any, of our humanity achieve the eighth and ninth initiations. To do so, they must first pass to another scheme for a lengthy period of service and instruction. All that can be hinted at is, that at the eighth initiation the duality of the triple AUM is brought out, and at the ninth the one sound of the Absolute stands revealed, and its significance is heard and seen. This brings into the consciousness of the initiate somewhat of the energy and power of the "One about whom Naught may be Said;' or the Logos of our Solar Logos. The unit of consciousness is then perfect, as the Logos is perfect, and passes on to work paralleling that of the Solar Logos. Such is the great program and the opportunity reaching out before the sons of man, aye, and before every atom everywhere.
The sixth initiation is only possible when the initiate has definitely made the needed renunciations; the reward is that he is then permitted to make a perfectly free choice and thus demonstrate his essential and gained freedom.
Let us keep in mind, the whole theme of Revelation, in context of the initiation process is the revelation of light and the entry into ever widening spheres of "lighted consciousness." The mantra of initiation is as follows: "Light is substance" and "substance is energy". In this sense, the salient initiatory task is the recognition of that which is ever in active "lighted" planetary expression ; "it is not in reality the revelation of something new and hiterto unknown." In the great process of of extra-planetary ashramic sharing the disciple becomes an Agent of the Light; in truth, welcomes the revelation of light. He know he must prepare himself to be able to "endure the light." He further knows, this involves the expression of the highest form of sacrificial will of which he is capable. The first point to grasp is that the limitation to percieve what is already self-existent is in ourselves and discarding of personal or individual limitation is the means to discover the "Way of Revelation." The respective and specific Ashramic function is to cyclically qualify, adapt and mould the "Supernal Light" for human and racial expression, in line with the mathematical operation of the newly released energies, for the next stated 7 year period or interval of Ashramic training, vivification and operation. As the extra-planetary energies successively cycle through the seven planetary centres "special training" is given by the Seven Chief Chohans to qualified disciples and senior initiates; nonetheless, all members within the Ashram benefit tremendously from the process of extra-planetary sharing. Keep in mind; no one knows what will be the outcome of the Great Decision. The Hierarchy waits in silent anticipation while the chohans are in an enforced state uniquely characterised by a strict and isolated unity. In the Ashram during this "special event" sharing takes place along the following two lines:
1. The sharing in the accession of power or love or insight which comes during the cycle of Initiations into those degrees which are higher than the fifth degree; these create vacancies, and at the same time cause a tremendous influx of power.
At the period of these cycles, all within the Ashram react in some way or another; no one moves forward upon the Path without creating a new relationship and becoming a better transmitter of power.
2. The sharing in the. results of special spiritual events, such as:
An inflow of extra-planetary force.
If you will bear these facts in mind, some light may break through and, in any case, when the student or disciple returns to incarnation, this imparted knowledge (stored in the soul's content) will then be usefully available.
This ashramic sharing is one of the great compensations of discipleship. By means of it added light can be "occultly endured." I would like to have you ponder on that phrase. Great united strength can be brought to the service of the Plan, and the occult significance of the words: "My strength is as the strength of ten, because my heart is pure" can be grasped. The perfected strength of the Ashram (symbolized by the number 10) becomes available to the disciple whose purity of heart has enabled him to penetrate into the Ashram; his knowledge becomes more rapidly transmuted into wisdom as his mind is subjected to the play of the higher understanding of those with whom he is associated; gradually he begins to contribute his own quota of light and of understanding to those just entering and to those who are his equals.
He reserves the right to retain in the service of the Hierarchy, and consequently of Humanity and the subsidiary evolutions, Those Masters Whom He regards at any one time as essential to the work to be done. This He does by asking Them to record Their decision when taking the sixth initiation, but to postpone moving on to one or other of the Paths until He gives the word. This word He has lately given in the case of the Buddha, Who has expiated His most understandable mistake and will now move forward - in His own good time - on to the Path which will lead Him to His rightful field of expression. In due time also, though not for some time, the Christ will move forward "to the place which calls Him," and the Master K.H. will assume the role of World Teacher. All these moves present their unique problems; they produce vacancies in the ranks of the Hierarchy which must be filled; they lead constantly to the inflow of new and powerful energies, for it must be recognized that these energies reach us along Paths leading to our planet as well as away from it. The invocative note of our united evolution at stated times and cycles sounds out and reaches Those Who are waiting for spiritual opportunity and service. They then follow the Path to our planet. From other spheres and planes They emerge along the lines of Their destiny and intention; we then call Them Avatars or Great Enlighteners or Planetary Saviors or Spiritual Regents; They act at the request of Sanat Kumara, given on higher cosmic levels.
The strength, availability and usefulness of an Ashram is that of the sumtotal of all that its members can contribute, plus that which those above the third degree of initiation can "import" from still higher sources or the Masters of the Ashrams can make available at need. Students are apt to think that an Ashram has only one initiate of the fifth degree (that of Master) within it. Such is seldom the case. There are usually three "cooperating Masters" in every Ashram, with one at the apex of the triangle; he acts as the Master of the Ashram and is responsible for the preparation of disciples for initiation; frequently there are also "associated Masters," particularly during cycles of rapid initiation, as is the case today. There are also Masters who are preparing for the sixth initiation.
This "sharing" process does not involve what is usually understood as the "sharing of trouble." Personality difficulties and personality problems are not permitted entrance into an Ashram; only evolutionary limitations and lack of perfection (limitations in soul expression, indicating the grade or stage of discipleship) are recognized. If, however, disciples act or react in a way that brings attack upon the Ashram, that is naturally recognized, but these issues are fortunately very rare; they may become more common as the spiritual inspiration to which humanity is now subjected and reacting brings far greater numbers of disciples into relation with the Hierarchy. In the case where a disciple has opened a door of attack upon an Ashram - and this has happened, as you know, in the case of my Ashram - the work of the united disciples is to "seal the door" against the menacing evil, to withdraw themselves from the usual confidence shown to an erring disciple, but to stand at the same time in steadfast love beside him until such time as he has learned the error of his ways and has himself taken the needed steps to arrest the evil which he was responsible in starting.
PROTECTING WALL OF CHRIST
"Today, however, in taking this sixth initiation, all of the masters so doing and under the suggestion of the christ continue to make decision which will control Their future progress on one of the seven Paths of the Higher Evolution, but - at the same time - all of Them are postponing this proposed progress upon Their chosen Path in order, for a brief time, to implement and aid the work of the Christ and help towards the externalisation of the Hierarchy, through the medium of certain of its Ashrams; They will also form a protecting wall around the Christ, and act as liason officers between Their great Leader and the Avatar of Synthesis."
"... the constellation of the Dragon has the same relation to the One greater than our Logos as the centre at the base of the spine has to a human being." (Esoteric Astrology, pg. 46)
THE SEVEN PROVING GROUNDS
I would like to enlarge somewhat upon an earlier remark. I stated that the "seven Ashrams are 'proving grounds' for all the Masters confronted with the sixth Initiation of Decision."
This constitutes part of the problem facing the Masters Who are thus to move forward; it is particularly crucial for Those Who have chosen the first Path, the Path of Earth Service, and for all in preparation for the sixth initiation. This process of changing for a final, conditioning decision - in line, consciously realized, with divine Purpose and entailing responsiveness to Shamballa - is a major undertaking; it is related to the development of understanding the Will, and concerns the spirit or life aspect; it involves an increasing revelation of the purpose and the "fixed intention" of the planetary Logos but (even more than that) it has relation to extra-planetary sources and energies and to those cosmic conditions which are responsible for the Presence of Sanat Kumara upon the Earth. It is will which has brought Him here, and the unfoldment of the will nature of the Masters and still higher Initiates admits Them into His inner deliberations by means of the highest form of telepathic rapport or impression to be found upon our planet. This impression is, however, made possible by the development of the intuition, and has no relation to the mind nature.
This training in decision is given by forcing the Master to make basic decisions within His Ashram affecting world work and involving all within the Ashram. It is given by His admission to the conclave of the Masters, meeting every seven years. At that conclave They make decisions which concern all forms of life in all the kingdoms in the three worlds and their evolutionary progress; it is put to the test in group form when the entire Hierarchy meets at Its centennial conference and - at that time - decides what form of crisis, on what level of consciousness, and involving what group of lives, must be implemented and presented to humanity, though the other kingdoms of nature will be necessarily implicated. The reason for this is that the meeting of such a planned crisis will hasten certain realizations. Forget not that humanity grows through the presentation of moments of crisis. These moments of crisis, based on past karma, conditioned by the point in evolution already achieved, and on the presence in the three worlds of certain appropriate ray forces, are brought to the point of precipitation by united decision in the conclave of the Masters.
These decisions do not affect man's free will, for the Hierarchy does nothing to condition man's approach to the crisis and, occultly speaking, Their "attitude is deliberately turned to other things" during the period of man's decision; thus the potency of Their thinking does not affect the human mind. Once the precipitation of the crisis is complete, and humanity has begun to take action of some kind, then the full attention of the Masters, working through Their Ashrams, is committed to the giving of full assistance to all those who are seeking to guide humanity along correct lines - a relative few among the countless millions of the ignorant.
While these centennial conclaves are being held at the close of the first twenty-five years of every century, the Lord of the World with the Members of His Council watch the process of decision in order to see how far the will of the Hierarchy conforms to that aspect of the divine will which should be expressed in the three worlds as the result of Their decision. They watch also Those particular Masters Who should in a short time be ready for the sixth initiation, in order to see how much of that divine will They register and what is the nature and quality of Their use of it. By recording that quality, the Council at Shamballa is able to determine with great accuracy which of the seven Paths a certain Initiate will choose. In this manner They become aware of how many senior disciples will be needed to take over the headship of an Ashram, with a consequent admittance of many disciples to the initiation next in order for them. At the same time, aspirants on the periphery of an Ashram are enabled to move forward into full ashramic participation.
All this should give you some idea of the synthesis which expresses itself through the three planetary centers: Shamballa, the Hierarchy and Humanity. These are responsible for the conditioning of the other planetary centers and the consequent demonstration of divine intention. The basic purpose of Sanat Kumara is to bring about right relations in every field of His manifested life. The encouraging factor is today that the activity of humanity itself is, for the first time, concerned with the entire subject of right human relations and how to bring it about. I would have you reflect on this, for it means that, again for the first time, humanity is consciously responding to the will and intention of Shamballa, even though without realizing the esoteric implications. This is of far greater importance than you can imagine, for it signifies a new relationship of a spiritual nature and deeply spiritual results.
The preparation of the Masters for this sixth initiation is exceedingly strenuous. They find it as difficult to achieve Their goal as does the average disciple as he looks ahead at the initiation which immediately confronts him. They have to master the technique of handling the most potent energy and influence in the world, that of the intelligence. They have to penetrate into the mystery of electricity and implement [R&I395] its expression in the creative process under the directive of Shamballa; They have to learn to work with electric fire in the same way as - much earlier - They worked with fire by friction as personalities, and with solar fire as disciples and lesser initiates. In this way, They become familiarized with what is meant by the words the "Central Spiritual Sun," just as They were familiar with the appearance of the physical Sun when members of the human family, and with the "Heart of the Sun" as Members of the Hierarchy. Again you can see the same unfolding synthesis - a synthesis which originates in that focal point of attractive dynamic energy, known to us as the Sun and its planets.
Thus within His Ashram the Master learns "occultly to decide" and to condition the creative center for which He is responsible. He has to do this with the Ashram, surrounded by all those who are in training and who are the agents of His will. Through them He must act, and they thereby limit necessarily the vision to which He reacts, and step down the rate and quality of the energy of which He is the focal point. This energy constitutes the animating life of the Ashram as well as the force which the disciples and initiates must use in their work in the world, this of course in cooperation with the energy which each disciple within himself "occultly generates" and for which he - in his lesser degree - is responsible.
The only reason that I am making a few comments upon the sixth initiation is that at this time a number of the Masters are taking this great step, and it has a most peculiar application to the time of the reappearance of the Christ.
At this Initiation of Decision the Master concerned decides usually which of the seven Paths He intends to tread; some Masters decide to remain until the close of our planetary Life, at which time the "last weary Pilgrim will have found his way home"; theEarth can then be prepared for a new Humanity. When this happens, our planet will no longer be known as the planet of sorrow and of pain, but will be distinguished by a quality of tranquility and by an aura of calm potency wherein the will of God (to be demonstrated in the next solar system) will be focused; this - in some mysterious way - will enable the solar Logos (not the planetary Logos) to bring the first great divine aspect, that of Will or Power, into expression throughout the solar system. Instead, therefore, of the statement which explains our present solar system, "God is Love," we shall have a dynamic expression of the will-to-good - an energy which will have been generated to some extent upon our Earth. This is the reward which the present Earth humanity will reap, and this is the consummation of the preordained task of our planetary Logos. He undertook, when He came into incarnation (through the medium of our little planet), to aid the work of the Solar Logos in expressing the will aspect of divinity.
It might be simpler if I said that the experiment of manifesting the first divine aspect, through the medium of form and through a humanity which has behind it the experience of five initiations (and is therefore expressing intelligent love), will be attempted. This statement is necessarily misleading, but it embodies a truth and indicates the unfinished story of solar expression.
Today, however, in taking this sixth initiation, all of the Masters so doing and under the suggestion of the Christ, continue to make the decision which will control Their future progress on one of the seven Paths of the Higher Evolution, but - at the same time - all of Them are postponing this proposed progress upon Their chosen Path in order, for a brief time, to implement and aid the work of the Christ and help towards the externalization of the Hierarchy, through the medium of certain of its Ashrams; They will also form a protecting wall around the Christ, and act as liaison officers between Their great Leader and the Avatar of Synthesis.
Christ Himself took this initiation some time ago and passed through the Resurrection Initiation and the experience of the seventh initiation. These Masters can, in a mysterious fashion, implement the expression of the divine will-to-good on Earth. They will work in collaboration with Those Masters Whose Ashrams will be the first to be anchored on Earth in the sense of physical expression because, esoterically speaking, it is "the will of God which holds them there."
For ages, the potency of that which lies behind the fifth initiation - in the planetary sense and not in connection with the individual initiation with its revelation indicating first ray purpose - has held sway on Earth. Knowledge, the revealing of the Mysteries, the attainment of scientific achievement, producing the activity of the fifth plane of mind, has governed human thinking and advancement; God in nature (i.e., the planetary Logos in concrete and material expression) has been revealed, and this has culminated in that tremendous expression of power - the atomic bomb.
Now, the potency of that which lies behind the sixth initiation will take hold of the evolutionary process and will implement divine purpose. What that potency in truth may be, we cannot yet know; we do know, however, that it is closely related to the will-to-synthesis; this will enable the Christ to break down the barriers and the separating walls which selfish, self-centered and materialistic humanity (largely with the aid of the churches of the world, with their materialistic bias) has built, thereby letting in the light of understanding and clearing the way for a fuller expression of the will of God.
It is of interest to have in mind also that at this sixth initiation a great moment of basically historic interest occurs. All the Masters Who are initiates of the sixth degree meet in conclave and together, and before making Their final decision (which will probably remove Them from the Path of Earth Service), decide what measures They propose the Hierarchy should take which will drastically and permanently affect the planet on which They have lived and for which They have worked. You will notice that I have here called Them "initiates of the sixth degree," bringing to your minds the fact that before a man takes an initiation of any degree, He is already an initiate of that degree. They in Their totality - at any given time - are the group which makes final decision anent human affairs. It was a decision made by this group of initiates during the ancient Atlantean civilization which brought it to an end; the decision which They will make now will produce great changes in our modern civilization. The Masters, however, do not "take this initiation" whenever They are ready to "make decision." The opportunity comes to the Hierarchy every forty-nine years, and the year 1952 will see a group of these higher initiates choose the Path of Their future livingness and Being, but They will do so only after setting in motion certain energy forces which will creatively change matters on Earth. They thereby prove two things: Their grasp of world need and Their recognition of man's free will to make decision. The last initiation of this kind was therefore held in 1903. Those prepared to pass through this initiation were faced with the fact of the emerging forces of cosmic evil; They had then to decide in what manner They should bring aid to humanity and what situation They should bring about so that mankind would be forced to recognize conditions and also make free choice and decision. What They decided to do led to the world war, to a demonstrated cleavage between right and wrong, between imprisonment and freedom, and which, in 1952 will lead to a decision - the outcome of which is hidden in the consciousness of Those Who will at that time, make it.
At this sixth initiation the Masters Who participate in it no longer come under the jurisdiction of the Hierarchy. They have moved out from under it. Their long connection with the Hierarchy is translated to a higher center and is transferred to Shamballa, unless (as in the case of the Christ) They choose the Path of Earth Service and return to work with the evolutions upon our planet; there are many such evolutions and several kingdoms in nature besides the human, including the deva or angel evolution.
The sixth Initiation of Decision is preparatory to the true Initiation of the Resurrection, the seventh initiation. This can only be undergone when the will of the Master is completely merged in that of the planetary Logos. Between the sixth and the seventh initiations "an interim of divine fusion" takes place; an elementary and somewhat distorted picture of this critical fusion is given to us in The New Testament, where we read of the experience of the Christ in the garden of Gethsemane. There again - as in the fourth Initiation of Renunciation - the human element of suffering is emphasized, whereas in the true symbolical "garden" between the sixth and the seventh initiations there is no aspect of suffering. Suffering and pain enter not into the consciousness of the Master. Where it says in The New Testament that, "angels came and ministered unto" the Christ, the correct implication is that Those Who dwell and work in Shamballa use this period to instruct the initiate who has made his decision through an expression of his divine nature and in the significance of the divine purpose; this concerns the relation of our planetary Logos to the solar system, and decision is made through the development of that higher sensitivity which leads inevitably to cosmic perception. We have no adequate word for this quality or type of sensitivity, for it is not something which we can consciously understand, nor is it a form of conscious reaction; neither is it awareness as we use that term. It has been occultly defined as something akin to "immersion in a realized state of Being," because the initiate is a conscious aspect of that of which he forms an integral part. By means of this statement you will see how impossible it is for me to explain certain things, to make clear certain unknown types of consciousness or to indicate areas of perception which lie beyond the ken even of a Master.
Revelation is a progressive matter. Disciples are not really able to understand the extensive significances of the third initiation, for instance; in like manner, even high initiates fail to comprehend that which lies plainly before Them. Disciples can, however, dimly sense the nature of the Transfiguration which characterizes them, from the hierarchical point of view, and Masters can also dimly sense the nature of the decision with which They are faced. It is this preparatory sensitivity in the disciple which produces true perception at all the various initiatory stages. This is a statement of major importance and links sensitivity, its interpretation and control, with the everyday life of the ordinary disciple. It is important because of its inclusiveness and because each stage upon the Path of Initiation has in it the germ of comprehension and an understanding (deeply hidden) of the various steps which have to be taken upon the Way of the Higher Evolution. Upon this Way the Master intelligently embarks when He has made His final decision; earlier stages are simply revelatory of the Way.
There are certain preliminary statements which would be useful here, if there is to be any real and true measure of clear thinking and understanding. Their significance will emerge as we study the Seven Paths and the Nine Initiations. I shall do no more than state them, but you must regard them as basic:
1. Our seven planes - the mastery of which is our idealized spiritual goal - are after all only the lowest cosmic plane, the cosmic physical plane. From the cosmic angle, the Masters are only beginners, and even our deeply desired initiations (from the first to the sixth) are simply preparatory initiations for those to be taken later on upon the Way of the Higher Evolution.
2. This Higher Way is a sevenfold Way. The seven Paths form its seven modes of approach to the One Way and together create it. These seven Paths are not ray-conditioned. By that I mean that entering one or another of them is not in any way dependent upon the ray which conditioned the Master earlier. The Masters and the still higher initiates, such as the Christ, can choose any Path which makes its appeal in such a manner that complete rightness is registered in the initiate's consciousness and He knows that He can go no other way.
3. At the sixth initiation, called the Initiation of Decision, the Initiate makes His final choice as to the Way that He will go, and from that decision there is no turning back.
1. Three things will necessarily color any decision the Initiate may make; His ray, which still determines Him, His past activities as they may fit Him for specialized work, plus a sense of freedom hitherto unrealized. The decision might be regarded as the first gesture of the advancing Master toward liberation from all ray limitations. As He moves forward on the Higher Way, He will find Himself, as a result of the new training and field of experience, able to work on any ray.
2. The fifth initiation is usually called that of the Resurrection by the orthodox Christian, but this is not its real name; it is in reality the Initiation of Revelation, because the Initiate gains His first vision of the Door through which He must pass on to the seven Paths. He glimpses it and that is all, but between that initiation and the next in which He must perforce make His decision, He comes to understand the nature of the energy which each Path expresses and which will eventually evoke from Him a decisive activity.
3. By passing through the second great Door of Initiation, the Initiate begins to learn the significance and the attractive potency of the Central Spiritual Sun, to which all the Paths eventually lead.
4. The fifth and sixth initiations are to the Master what the first and second are to the disciple - simply initiations of the threshold and not true initiations from the cosmic angle. The first true initiation upon the Higher Way is called the Initiation of Resurrection; this has no reference to the fifth initiation.
5. The decision made by the Master enables Him to take the required training to enter His chosen Path, and this training is taken entirely upon cosmic etheric levels - the four highest subplanes of the cosmic physical plane - the buddhic, atmic, monadic and logoic planes.
6. On these planes the spiritual and the divine will is developed and brought into use; these are aspects of that undefinable purpose to which we give the simple name: the Will of God. Intelligence and love have been fully unfolded in the Master, but the will is embryonic still, from the  standpoint of Those responsible for training the Master and the higher Initiate. It is only by means of the divine will that the Master begins to free Himself from ray limitations.
7. I would remind you of an earlier statement that the Hierarchy reacts or responds to the energies and influences coming from the cosmic astral plane; from that level of spiritual life true divine love pours into it. Shamballa reacts to the cosmic mental plane, and therefore to the nature and purposes of the Mind of God; the expression of That which over-shadows Sanat Kumara is similar to the soul over-shadowing the incarnated spiritual man.
A Chohan's Ashram
This transfer will eventually take place, but you are not yet ready to stand the strong Shamballa pressure which is ever to be experienced in the Ashram of a Chohan. Mine, as you know, is an Ashram subsidiary to his.
Why, therefore, did I direct you towards the will aspect when both Ashrams are on the second ray and you are predominantly a second ray disciple? Because the subsidiary Ashrams deal with the ray qualities in action and in service, whilst the major or senior Ashrams concern in all cases the will in action through the ray qualities. This is possiblebecause the major Ashrams are presided over by those who have achieved the sixth initiation; Ashrams such as mine are under the guidance of a Master or Initiate of the fifth degree.
You have needed much to study the nature of the will. A disciple's ideas on this subject are apt to be far removed from the reality; the understanding of the will is a progressive matter and disciples on all rays have to arrive at comprehension of Will activity as they move forward.
Perhaps some idea of what I am trying to convey anent the work done in the Ashram of a Master or that done in the Ashram of a Chohan would come to you if you meditated upon the two words: Goodwill and the Will-to-Good. The first is worked out as qualifying the life in all Ashrams under the care of a Master of the Wisdom; the Will-to-Good is developed and understood in the Ashrams of those of still greater attainment. The first concerns the Plan whilst the second deals with Purpose. Again, in this same connection, you have: Vision and Illumination. I have here given all of you a vital hint as to the distinction between the work of the two types of Ashrams.
It was felt that your present type of physical vehicle could not adequately take the heightened vibration which distinguishes the Ashram of a Chohan from that of a Master.