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Esoteric Psychology II - Chapter I - The Egoic Ray - The Growth of Soul Influence
In these successive stages we can glimpse the vision of what we are and may be. Steadily the unfolding purpose of our own souls (those "angels of persistent and undying love") should gain fuller and deeper control over each of us, and this, at any personal cost and sacrifice, should be our steadfast aim. For this, in truth and sincerity, we should strive. [19]

We have thus touched upon the three great divisions which mark the soul's progress towards its goal. Through the process of Individualization, the soul arrives at a true self-consciousness and awareness in the three worlds of its experience. The actor in the drama of life masters his part. Through the process of Initiation, the soul becomes aware of the essential nature of divinity. Participation in full consciousness with the group and the absorption of the personal and individual into the Whole, characterize this stage on the path of evolution. Finally comes that mysterious process wherein the soul becomes so absorbed into that supreme Reality and Synthesis through Identification that even the consciousness of the group fades out (except when deliberately recovered in the work of service). Naught is then known save Deity, - no separation of any part, no lesser syntheses, and no divisions or differentiations. During these processes it might be stated that three streams of energy play upon the consciousness of the awakening man:

  1. The energy of matter itself, as it affects the consciousness of the inner spiritual man, who is using the form as a medium of expression.
  2. The energy of the soul itself, or of the solar angel, as that energy pours forth upon the vehicles and produces reciprocal energy in the solar form.
  3. The energy of life itself, a meaningless phrase, and one that only initiates of the third initiation can grasp, for even the discoveries of modern science give no real idea as to the true nature of life.

Life or essential energy is more than the activity of the atom, or of that living principle which produces self-perpetuation, reproduction, motion, growth, and that peculiar something which we call "livingness". It may be possible to "create" or [20] produce the lowest or third aspect of life in the scientific laboratories so-called, but to reproduce or create the other and more essential aspects which work out as the conscious response, the intelligent embryonic purpose which seems to animate all substances, that is not possible. When the third initiation is reached, man will understand why this impossibility exists. More cannot be said, for until that initiation is experienced it would not be understood.

To bring more light upon this question of the triple expansion of consciousness (for all these crises are aspects of one great unfolding purpose or process) which we call individualization, initiation, and identification, it should be borne in mind that these words connote something to us today - from the angle of our present point in evolution, from our inherited teaching and thought habits, and from the standpoint of modern knowledge and terminologies. Later they may appear in a totally different light when we know more and the race has advanced further into the light. But from the light which streams forth from that larger synthesis, and from the angle of vision of Those Whose consciousness is higher and greater and more inclusive than the human, the significance of these words may appear totally different. Definition is simply the expression of the immediate understanding of a human mind. But a definition may later be seen to be imperfect and even false, from the angle of a wider knowledge and a more inclusive grasp of wholes, (just as is the case with a so-called fact). Hence all definition, and eventually all facts, will be known to be temporary; all exegesis is but passing in its usefulness. The basic truths of today may be seen later as simply aspects of still greater truths, and when the greater truth is grasped, the significance and the interpretation of its formerly important part is seen to be widely different to what was supposed. This must never be forgotten by any who may [21] read this Treatise on the Seven Rays. An initiate, reading the three words we have been considering, has a very different idea about them than has a disciple or a person who has never thought or studied along these lines, and to whom our vocabulary is novel and strange, conveying little meaning, and that usually quite incorrect.

In individualization, the life of God which has been subjected to the processes of growth, stimulation and development in the three lower kingdoms, becomes focused in the fourth kingdom in nature, the human, through the agency of a "cycle of crisis", and becomes subjected to the influence of soul energy in one of the seven ray aspects. The quality of the form aspect, as embodied in the personality and expressed by the phrase, "the ray of the personality", becomes subject to the quality of the egoic ray. Those two great influences play upon and affect each other, interacting all the time, producing modifications and changes until, slowly and gradually, the ray of the personality becomes less dominant, and the ray of the soul steadily assumes prominence. Eventually it will be the soul ray that will be expressed, and not the form ray. This personality or form ray then becomes simply the medium of expression through which the quality of the soul can make its presence felt in full power. Something of this idea is conveyed in the ancient occult phrase "the lesser fire must be put out by the greater light". A symbol of this can be seen in the power of the sun apparently to put out a little fire when it can pour its heat right into it.

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