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Esoteric Psychology I - Section Two - II. The Rays and the Kingdoms in Nature

II. The Rays and the Kingdoms in Nature

Introductory Remarks

In starting upon a consideration of the relation of the rays to the seven kingdoms I shall refer to the seven kingdoms on the upward or evolutionary arc, and not to the seven kingdoms as they can be enumerated on the involutionary or downward arc. This latter (according to the Theosophical literature) includes three kingdoms - nebulous, relatively formless, and unexpressed - and the four kingdoms as enumerated by modern science. With the involutionary arc we have nothing to do. The understanding of it is well nigh impossible to the finite mind of the average reader. Though these three involutionary kingdoms exist, and though the little known about them in the West has received written form, any real comprehension of the implied truths is entirely lacking. This is quite unavoidable. Their comprehension lies hid in the capacity to "recover" the past and to see that past as a whole.

The kingdoms which we shall consider in connection with the rays may be enumerated under the following terms:

  1. The Mineral Kingdom. - VII
  2. The Vegetable Kingdom. - VI
  3. The Animal Kingdom. - V
  4. The Kingdom of Men. - IV
  5. The Kingdom of Souls. - III
  6. The Kingdom of Planetary Lives. - II
  7. The Kingdom of Solar Lives. - I [216]

These kingdoms might be regarded as differentiations of the One Life, from the angle of:

  1. Phenomenal appearance, objective manifestation, or the externalization of the solar Logos.
  2. Consciousness or sensitivity to the expression of quality, through the medium of the phenomenal appearance.

Certain of the rays, as might be expected, are more responsible than certain others for the qualifying of any particular kingdom. Their effect is paramount in its determination. The effect of the other rays is subsidiary, but not absent. We must never forget that, in the close interrelation of forces in our solar system, no one of the seven possible forces is without effect. All of them function, qualify and motivate, but one or other will have a more vital effect than the rest. The following tabulation will give the major effect of the seven rays and the result of their influence upon the seven kingdoms with which we are concerned:

No. Kingdom Ray Expression
1. Mineral VII. Ceremonial Organization Radio-Activity.
I. Will or Power The basic Reservoir of Power.
2. Vegetable II. Love-Wisdom Magnetism.
IV. Beauty or Harmony Uniformity of Color.
VI. Idealistic Devotion Upward Tendency.
3. Animal III. Adaptability Instinct.
VI. Devotion Domesticity.
4. Human IV. Harmony through Conflict Experience. Growth.
V. Concrete Knowledge Intellect. [217]
5. Egoic or Souls V. Concrete Knowledge Personality.
II. Love-Wisdom Intuition.
6. Planetary Lives VI. Devotion to Ideas The Plan.
III. Active Intelligence Creative Work.
7. Solar Lives I. Will or Power Universal Mind.
VII. Ceremonial Magic Synthetic Ritual.
You will note one interesting difference in this tabulation, and that is the fact that the vegetable kingdom is the expression of three rays, whereas the others are expressions of two. Through these three the vegetable kingdom has been brought to its present condition of supreme beauty and its developed symbolism of color. The vegetable kingdom is the outstanding contribution of our Earth to the general solar plan. Each of the planets contributes a unique and specialized quota to the sum total of evolutionary products, and the unique production of our particular planetary system is the vegetable kingdom. Other planets contribute forms and appearances which are their specific offering. It is needless for me to enumerate them here, for our language has no equivalent terms, and where there is no equivalent in language there is for mankind no equivalent in consciousness. The Earth, then, contributes the vegetable kingdom, and this is possible because it is the only kingdom in which three rays have finally succeeded in coalescing, in fusing and blending; they are also the three rays along a major line of forces, 2-4-6. When we come to a more detailed analysis of the rays and their effects on a kingdom in nature, we shall see why this has produced so unique a contribution. Its success is demonstrated in the uniformity of its production of green in the realm of color, throughout the entire planet.

You will note also that the mineral kingdom and the kingdom [218] of solar lives (the first and seventh kingdoms) are the result of the activity of the first and the seventh rays. There is a close numerological interlocking here. These two kingdoms are respectively at the point of the greatest tenuity and the greatest density, and are produced by the will and the organizing ability of the solar Deity. They embody the nebulous plan and the concretized plan. In the case of the seventh or highest kingdom (counting from below upwards) the Will aspect predominates and is the most powerful, whilst in the case of the mineral kingdom, the organization aspect is of the most importance. This was to be anticipated, for the energy of Will is the first effect of the initiating divine activity, whilst the densest aspect of ceremonial organization is the counterpart of the initial impulse, its concretization, if I might so express it. The other kingdoms in nature, as can be seen in our tabulation, are not so related.

It will be of value if we now analyze our tabulation with a measure of care and get a little clearer grasp of the effect and influence of the seven rays.

As long as the true nature of the atom and its internal organization remains a matter of investigation and of speculation and theory, the reader should regard what I here have to say in connection with this densest of all kingdoms as symbolically and pictorially true, but not to be taken literally. Just as the center at the base of the spine is the last one to be aroused into full functioning activity, and is thus aroused only when the head center is awakened and alive, so this lowest of all the kingdoms will be rightly understood only when all the seven kingdoms vibrate in unison. Until such time as this occurs, this kingdom and its life will remain an enigma, except to the initiate of high degree. All I can do is to make such suggestions as will arouse the abstract mind to activity and awaken interest to such a degree that the work of analysis and study will proceed. [219] Conclusions cannot be reached, however, and this must be realized.

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