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Esoteric Psychology I - Section Two - I. The Seven Creative Builders, the Seven Rays
1. The Rays and Life-Quality-Appearance

We come at this time to consideration of the rays, which brings us immediately into the realm of psychology and of the various psychological influences. As we deal with the second of the ray manifestations, with the Quality aspect, we are dealing with those predetermining factors which produce the myriad differentiations in the phenomenal world. The quality, the coloring, or the type nature of living energy (which is our inadequate definition of the word "life") settles or determines the aspect assumed and the characteristics expressed by all the forms in the four kingdoms of nature; the individual form emanations are settled thereby, and under the modifying influence of the contact of the living quality with the substance affected and with the kingdom which is the focus of attention, there is consequently produced the characteristic appearance, the specialized activity and the [158] intrinsic emanation of any form in any kingdom. In my earlier books, I divided the rays into two groups:

  • Group I - Rays of Aspect, the three major rays.
  • Group II - Rays of Attribute, the four minor rays.

The three great rays, which constitute the sum total of the divine manifestation, are aspect rays, and this for two reasons:

First, they are, in their totality, the manifested Deity, the Word in incarnation. They are the expression of the creative purpose, and the synthesis of life, quality and appearance.

Secondly, they are active in every form in every kingdom, and they determine the broad general characteristics which govern the energy, the quality and the kingdom in question; through them the differentiated forms come into being, the specialized lives express themselves, and the diversity of divine agents fulfil their destiny in the plane of existence allocated to them.

Along these three streams of qualified life-force the creative agencies of God make their presence powerfully felt, and through their activity every form is imbued with that inner evolutionary attribute which must eventually sweep it into line with divine purpose, inevitably produce that type of consciousness which will enable the phenomenal unit to react to its surroundings and thus fulfil its destiny as a corporate part of the whole. Thus intrinsic quality and specific type radiation become possible. The interplay of these three rays determines the outer phenomenal appearance, attracts the unity of life into one or other of the kingdoms in nature, and into one or other of the myriad divisions within that kingdom; the selective and discriminating process is repeated until we have the many ramifications within the four kingdoms, the divisions, groups within a division, families and branches. Thus the creative process, in its wondrous beauty, sequence and unfoldment, [159] stands forth to our awakening consciousness, and we are left awestruck and bewildered at the creative facility of the Great Architect of the Universe.

Looking at all this beauty from a symbolic angle, and thereby simplifying the concept (which is ever the work of the worker in symbols), we might say that Ray I embodies the dynamic idea of God, and thus the Most High starts the work of creation.

Ray II is occupied with the first formulations of the plan upon which the form must be constructed and the idea materialized, and (through the agencies of this great second emanation) the blue prints come into being with their mathematical accuracy, their structural unity and their geometrical perfection. The Grand Geometrician comes thus to the forefront and makes the work of the Builders possible. Upon figure and form, number and sequences will the Temple be built, and so embrace and express the glory of the Lord. The second ray is the ray of the Master Builder.

Ray III constitutes the aggregate of the active building forces, and the Great Architect, with His Builders, organizes the material, starts the work of construction, and eventually (as the evolutionary cycle proceeds upon its way) materializes the idea and purpose of God the Father, under the guidance of God the Son. Yet these three are as much a unity as is a human being who conceives an idea, uses his mind and brain to bring his idea into manifestation, and employs his hands and all his natural forces to perfect his concept. The division of aspects and forces is unreal, except for the purpose of intelligent understanding.

The readers of this treatise who really want to profit by this teaching must train themselves ever to think in terms of the whole. The arbitrary tabulations, the divisions into triplicities and septenates, and the diversified enumeration of forces [160] which are seen as emanating from the seven constellations, the ten planets, and the twelve mansions of the zodiac, are but intended to give the student an idea of a world of energies in which he has to play his part. From the standpoint of esoteric psychology, it should be noted that all the schools of psychology go astray in their handling of the human unit, for just this reason; they do not judge a man as a synthetic whole, and - owing to the lack of knowledge, and to the failure, as yet, of the intuitive faculty - the average psychologist seldom enters into the realms of true quality and of the life aspects; the man under investigation is considered more or less objectively, and the true sources of the phenomenal nature are seldom touched. The determining aspects of the personality ray which produce the sum total of the physical, emotional and mental qualities is in process of tabulation and research and much has been done of a valuable nature. A man's physical reactions, his emotional habits, and his mental processes - normal and abnormal - are far better understood than they were twenty-five years ago. Nevertheless, until there is a more adequate knowledge of ray qualities, and until a man's soul ray is determined and the effect of that ray upon the personality ray is charted and known, the true nature of his temperament and the real subjective cause of his varied reactions, his complexes and inhibitions will remain a problem most difficult to handle. When, for instance, psychologists realize that it is the play of soul quality and energy which determines whether a man in any particular life will function as an introvert or an extrovert, then they will work to produce that balancing of the ray forces which will make the man able to express himself in such a way that the path to the outer world is left open, and that to the inner world is also cleared of obstacles.

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