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Esoteric Psychology I - Section Two - III. The Rays and Man
b. The Incoming Seventh Ray

It might be wise here to elucidate somewhat the idea underlying ceremonial and ritual. There is so much revolt at this time against ceremonial, and so many good and well-meaning people regard themselves as having outgrown and transcended ritual. They pride themselves on having attained that so-called "liberation", forgetting that it is only the sense of individuality that permits this attitude, and that no group work is ever possible without some form of ritual. The refusal therefore to participate in uniformity of action is no sign of a liberated soul.

The Great White Brotherhood has its rituals, but they are rituals which have for their objective the inauguration and the assistance of various aspects of the Plan, and of the varying cyclic activities of that Plan. Where these rituals exist, but where the meaning (inherently present) remains hidden and unrealized, there must as a consequence be demonstrated a spirit of deadness, of uselessness, and of weariness of interest over forms and ceremonies. But where it is demonstrated that ritual and organized ceremonies are but the evidence of a custody of forces and energies, then the idea is constructive in its working out, cooperation with the Plan becomes possible, and the aim of all the divine service begins to demonstrate. All service is governed by ritual.

The coming in of the seventh ray will lead to this desired consummation, and the mystics who are training themselves in the technique of occult motive and in the methods of the trained magician will increasingly find themselves cooperating intelligently with the Plan, and participating in those basic rituals which are distinguished by their power to: [364]

  1. Harness the forces of the planet to the service of the race.
  2. Send forth those energies which will produce in some one or other of the kingdoms of nature effects of a desirable and beneficent aspect.
  3. Call in and redistribute the energies which are present in all the forms in the various subhuman kingdoms.
  4. Heal through a scientific method of bringing together soul and body.
  5. Produce illumination through right understanding of the energy of Light.
  6. Evolve that coming ritual which will eventually reveal the true significance of water, which will revolutionize its uses and open to man the free passage to the astral plane. This plane is that of the emotional-desire nature, and its symbol is water. The coming Aquarian Age will reveal to man (and hence also facilitate the work of the seventh ray) that that plane is his natural home at this stage of development. The masses today are entirely, but unconsciously, polarized on that plane. They must become consciously aware of their activity. Man is on the verge of becoming normally awake on the astral plane, and it will be through scientific rituals that this new development will be brought about.

The sixth ray influence produced the appearance of the modern science of psychology, and that science has been its consummating glory. The seventh ray influence will carry forward that infant science to maturity. Belief in the soul has become widespread during the sixth ray period. Knowledge of the soul will be the result of the incoming ray activity, plus the aid contributed by the energies released during the incoming Aquarian Age.

The new and esoteric psychology will be steadily developed. It will be apparent therefore that A Treatise on White [365] Magic has a definitely seventh ray import, and this Treatise on the Seven Rays has also been sent forth in an effort to clarify the incoming spiritual influences. One of the first lessons that humanity will learn under the potent influence of the seventh ray is that the soul controls its instrument, the personality, through ritual, or through the imposition of a regular rhythm, for rhythm is what really designates a ritual. When aspirants to discipleship impose a rhythm on their lives they call it a discipline, and they feel happy about it. What groups do who are gathered together for the performance of any ritual or ceremony whatsoever (Church ritual, the Masonic work, the drill of the army or navy, business organizations, the proper functioning of a home, of a hospital, or of an entertainment, etc.) is of an analogous nature, for it imposes on the participants a simultaneous performance, an identical undertaking, or a ritual. No one on this earth can evade ritual or ceremonial, for the rising and the setting of the sun imposes a ritual, the cyclic passing of the years, the potent movements of the great centers of population, the coming and the going of trains, of ocean liners and of mails, and the regular broadcasting of the radio organizations, - all of these impose a rhythm upon humanity, whether this is recognized or not. Of these rhythms the present great experiments in national standardization and regimentation are also an expression, as they demonstrate through the masses in any nation.

There is no evading the process of ceremonial living. It is unconsciously recognized, blindly followed, and constitutes the great discipline of the rhythmic breathing of life itself. The Deity works with ritual and is subjected to the ceremonials of the universe. The seven rays come into activity and pass out again under the rhythmic and ritualistic impulse of the divine Life. Thus is the temple of the Lord built by the [365] ceremonial of the Builders. Every kingdom in nature is subjected to ritualistic experience and to the ceremonials of cyclic expression. These only the initiate can comprehend. Every ant hill and every beehive is equally impelled by instinctive rituals and by rhythmic impulses. The new science of psychology could well be described as the science of the rituals and rhythms of the body, of the emotional nature and of the mental processes, or of those ceremonials (inherent, innate, or imposed by the self, by circumstances and by environment) which affect the mechanism through which the soul functions.

It is interesting to note how the sixth ray, which produced in human beings the sense of separativeness and of pronounced individualism, has prepared the way for the organizing power of the seventh ray. It is almost as if (to speak symbolically) the executives who were to undertake the reorganizing of the world in preparation for the New Age were trained and prepared for their task by the influence now going out. Today a process of housecleaning is going forward in practically every great nation, preparatory to the coming revelation, and the executives and dictators who are sponsoring this realignment and readjustment are the experts whom the genius of each nation has brought forth to deal with the unique problems with which it is beset. They are predominantly seventh ray executives, whose task it is to reorganize the world as a whole upon the newer lines. They are in the nature of material efficiency experts who have been sent in to deal with internal affairs and to institute that activity which will eliminate those factors which prevent the nation concerned from functioning as a whole, as a unit, integrated and coherent. It is from the lack of internal harmony and synthesis that those internal difficulties and disorders emerge which (if of long continuance) prevent a nation having [367] aught to contribute to the world of nations and lead to that nation's being so intensely disordered that the wrong people come into power and the wrong aspects of truth become emphasized. A disordered inharmonious national unit is a menace to the comity of nations, and therefore the separative housecleanings and rearrangements must go forward before the Federation of Nations can be an accomplished fact.

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