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Esoteric Psychology II - Chapter I - The Egoic Ray - The Growth of Soul Influence
I. The Three Stages of Egoic Growth

We must hold the following statements firmly in our minds. The personality is a triple combination of forces, impressing and absolutely controlling the fourth aspect of the personality, which is the dense physical body. The three personality types of energy are the etheric body, which is the vehicle of vital energy, the astral body which is the vehicle of the feeling energy or sentient force, and the mental body which is the vehicle of the intelligent energy of will that is destined to be the dominant creative aspect. It is upon this truth that Christian Science has laid the emphasis. These forces constitute the lower man. The solar angel is a dual combination of energies - the energy of love, and the energy of will or purpose - and these are the qualities of the life thread. These two, when dominating the third energy of mind, produce the [9] perfect man. They explain the human problem; they indicate the objective before man; they account for and explain the energy of illusion; and they point out the way of psychological unfoldment, which leads man (from the triangle of triplicity and differentiation) through duality to unity.

These truths are practical and hence we find today such dominant emphasis laid upon the understanding of the Plan amongst esotericists; hence likewise the work of the psychologists as they seek to interpret man and hence also their differentiations as to the human apparatus, so that man is seen - as it were - dissected into his component parts. The recognition is emerging that it is man's quality which outwardly determines his place on the ladder of evolution, but modern psychology of the extreme materialistic school erroneously supposes that man's quality is determined by his mechanism, whereas the reverse condition is the determining factor.

Disciples have the problem of expressing the duality of love and will through the personality. This statement is a true enunciation of the goal for the disciple. The initiate has the objective of expressing the Will of God through developed love and a wise use of the intelligence. The above preamble lays the ground for the definition of the three stages of egoic growth.

What, therefore, is individualization from the standpoint of the psychological unfoldment of man? It is the focusing of the lowest aspect of the soul, which is that of the creative intelligence, so that it can express itself through the form nature. It will eventually be the first aspect of divinity thus to express itself. It is the emergence into manifestation of the specific quality of the solar angel through the appropriation, by that angel, of a sheath or sheaths, which thus constitute its appearance. It is the initial imposition of an applied directed [10] energy upon that triple force aggregation which we call the form nature of man. The individual, on the way to full coordination and expression, appears upon the stage of life. The self-aware entity comes forth into physical incarnation. The actor appears in process of learning his part; he makes his debut and prepares for the day of full personality emphasis. The soul comes forth into dense form and on the lowest plane. The self begins the part of its career which is expressed through selfishness, leading finally to an ultimate unselfishness. The separative entity begins his preparation for group realization. A God walks on earth, veiled by the fleshly form, the desire nature and the fluidic mind. He is a prey temporarily to the illusion of the senses, and dowered with a mentality which primarily hinders and imprisons but which finally releases and liberates.

There has been much written in The Secret Doctrine and A Treatise on Cosmic Fire on the subject of individualization. It can be simply defined as the process whereby forms of life in the fourth kingdom in nature arrive at:

  1. Conscious individuality, through experiencing the life of the senses.
  2. The assertion of individuality through the use of the discriminating mind.
  3. The ultimate sacrifice of that individuality to the group.

Today, the masses are occupied with the task of becoming conscious of themselves, and are developing that spirit or sense of personal integrity or wholeness which will eventuate in an increased self-assertiveness - that first gesture of divinity. This is well and good, in spite of the immediate complications and consequences in the world consciousness and state of being. Hence also the need for the immediate guidance of the disciples in every nation and their training in the life of [11] correct aspiration, with their subsequent preparation for initiation. The task of the intelligent parent today and of the wise teacher of the young should be that of turning out, into world activity, those conscious individuals who will undertake the work of self-assertion in the affairs of today. The mass psychology of accepting information indiscriminately, of giving prompt mass obedience to imposed limitations of personal liberty, without due understanding of the underlying reasons, and the consequent blind following of leaders, will only come to an end through the intelligent fostering of individual recognition of selfhood and the assertions of the individual as he seeks to express his own ideas. One of the basic ideas underlying all human and individual conduct, is the necessity for peace and harmony in order that man may specifically work out his destiny. This is the deep foundational belief of humanity. The first developed evidence of the emerging self-assertion of the massed individuals must therefore be turned in this direction, for it will constitute the line of least resistance. There will follow then the eradication of war and the establishing of those conditions of peace which will bring about the opportunity for trained and carefully cultured growth. The dictator is the individual who has, under the process, flowered forth into knowledge and power, and is an example of the effectiveness of the divine character, when permitted scope and as the product of the evolutionary process. He expresses many of the divine potentialities of man. But the dictator will some day be an anachronism, for when the many are at the stage of individual self-awareness and potency and seeking the full expression of their powers, he will be lost from sight in the assertion of the many. He, today, indicates the goal for the lower self, for the personality.

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