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|Esoteric Psychology I - Section Two - III. The Rays and Man|
|3. The Ray of the Fourth Kingdom
We now touch briefly upon an obscure and difficult subject, and one that will appeal primarily to those types who work with the Law of Correspondences. Esotericists must remember that every kingdom in nature constitutes a totality of lives. Every atom in every form in nature is a life, and these lives form the cells of a Being's body or vehicle of manifestation. There is a Being embodied in every kingdom  in nature. Just as the myriads of atomic lives in the human body constitute a man's body of expression and form his appearance, so it is with the greater Life informing the fourth kingdom in nature. This appearance - as are all appearances - is qualified by some particular ray type, and is determined also by the vital principle or spirit aspect. Thus every form is composed of innumerable lives, which have in them a preponderance of some ray quality. This is an occult platitude. These qualified lives produce a phenomenal appearance, and thus constitute a unity, through the influence of the integrating principle, which is never absent.
The ray which governs the sum total of the human kingdom is the fourth Ray of Harmony through Conflict. It might be symbolically stated that the egoic ray of the Life which informs the human family is this fourth ray, and that the personality ray is the fifth ray of knowledge through discrimination, - the Ray, as it is called, of Concrete Knowledge or Science. Harmony through conflict, and the power to achieve knowledge through discriminating choice - these are the two rays or major influences which sweep through humanity as a whole, and drive it forward towards its divine destiny. They are the predisposing factors upon which a man may count and infallibly depend. They are the guarantee of attainment, but also of turmoil and temporary duality. Harmony, expressing itself in beauty and creative power, is gained through battle, through stress and strain. Knowledge, expressing itself eventually through wisdom, is attained only through the agony of successively presented choices. These, submitted to the discriminating intelligence during the process of the life experience, produce at last the sense of true values, the vision of the ideal, and the capacity to distinguish reality behind the intervening glamor.
Students of esotericism will, of course, bear in mind that  the fourth ray has a natural relation to the fourth kingdom in nature, which is in turn the lowest manifestation of the fourth creative Hierarchy. This unification of the three major results of the activity of a great Life might be enumerated thus:
This is essentially the true apostolic succession, for it provides a triple line of directed energy. This produces the human manifestation on the fourth globe of our Earth chain, and in this fourth round is responsible for the tremendous crisis with which our present humanity is confronted. The conflict aspect of the process is at its height, nay, has passed its height, from the angle of physical plane expression. This situation and this triple influence, producing the manifestation of the sons of God, is summed up for us in the terse words of the Old Commentary - terse, when we remember that they express the long agony of humanity's test, and the opening to man of the door into the fifth kingdom of spiritual being. They include therefore, in their meaning, his goal and objective and the process whereby he attains:
Esoterically speaking (and not speaking symbolically, for there is a distinction between these two forms which students would do well to note), when the lines of forces are adjusted and there is free interplay of energies and a straight aligned channel between the various aspects of divinity, then there is achievement and beauty. This is the theme of the  above symbolical and ancient formulation of truth, which is in the nature of a symbolical prophecy. The same idea has been expressed in a still more ancient and terse statement which has to be understood and reduced to a mantric formula when the fourth initiation is taken:
It is interesting to note that the numerical value of the word "four" is the same in detail as that of the word "force", if you eliminate the number five. For humanity, it is the fifth energy which leads to the battlefield, the energy of the discriminating mind, and when that has been in due time used, controlled and transmuted, "only the four remains and force has gone." Note the detail of the numbering:
It is apparent that force in the first group ends in separativeness, for five is the number of the mind and of man. Number nine, the number of initiation, is hidden midway in force, but the climaxing figures indicate activity and separation. In the second group of figures, activity precedes the nine of initiation, and that nine is the culmination. But five is left out. Man is no longer really human or separative. He is the perfected four of the lower three and the soul. Putting the truth quite simply, let it be borne in mind that mankind, the fourth kingdom, which is an expression of the fourth creative hierarchy of human monads, is swept by the instinct or impulse towards harmony, and is thus primarily under the influence of the fourth ray. This harmony is achieved  through the use of the energy of the fifth ray of knowledge. Then through gained and applied knowledge, the result is beauty and the power to create. Then the ray of the fifth Lord will be withdrawn from the major cycle governing humanity, and wisdom and intuitional buddhic response will characterize humanity. There is a close interplay in this major cycle, as far as mankind is concerned, between the two ray Lords of Harmony and of Knowledge. It is again in this numerical relation of four and five that the number nine emerges, which is the number of initiation. An adept of the fifth initiation is one who has achieved complete harmony through right knowledge. This takes place at the fourth initiation and is demonstrated or proven at the fifth.
A close study of the tabulations of the rays affecting humanity will have made it clear that they are so many and so diverse that the complexity of the subject is very great. There are numerous influences which tend to make man what he is, and of many of them little is as yet known. In the early stages of his development, it is well-nigh impossible for any one (except an initiate) to deal with the various phases or even to recognize the indications of humanity's reactions to these rays. But as mankind evolves, and as the form aspect becomes increasingly a better and finer response apparatus and a more plastic sensitive reflector of the inner man, definition and analysis become easier. Types emerge with greater clarity in their delineations, and the ray qualities begin to dominate. The impress of the controlling rays can be more clearly noted and the point in evolution can be more accurately realized.
We have now to consider the rays which dominate the races of mankind. The average reader would be wise to take the position that for him, at least, the information hitherto  given, and that which concerns the racial, national and cyclic rays, provide an interesting hypothesis which can be intelligently accepted until disproven. This knowledge must necessarily remain hypothetical for several life periods, where the average student is concerned. When, however, we come to the consideration of the final three points of this section of our treatise, it may be possible to check the information, to correlate the ray types, and to discover (by a study of the potencies involved) their emerging characteristics and ray forces.
By the proving therefore of the human detail, we lay the ground for the acceptance of the cosmic, solar and planetary knowledge. What is proven true on the small scale opens the door for the understanding of that which exists on a larger scale. "Man, know thyself" is a potent key to the knowledge of Deity and to the workings of divinity.
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