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Esoteric Psychology II - Chapter I - The Egoic Ray - The Growth of Soul Influence
2. The two Cycles of Egoic Appropriation

We shall now enter upon a somewhat technical consideration of the relation of the Ego and its ray to the sheaths or vehicles through which it must express itself, and through which it must enter into contact with certain phases of divine experience. The foundation of what is here elaborated in relation to the cycles of appropriation, will be found briefly touched upon in A Treatise on Cosmic Fire (Pages 787-790), and the following statements, gathered from those pages, will be elucidated in the succeeding pages.

  1. As the ego or soul appropriates to itself a sheath for expression and experience, points of crisis will inevitably occur:
    1. The work of passing onto a particular plane for purposes of incarnation is one such point. This concerns the passing down to a lower plane, or from a lower plane onto a higher. Indications of the importance and the crucial nature of such transition can be seen in certain formulas which are used when passing from one degree in Masonry to another, as in raising a Lodge from a lower to a higher degree.
    2. Another such point of crisis occurs when the mental body is swept into activity and the etheric body is similarly vitalized. [50]
  2. Relationship between the ego or soul and the dense physical body is established when
    1. Matter of the three lowest subplanes of the physical plane is built into the etheric body, prior to physical incarnation, and the potential channels of communication and of exit are established. These are the main channel or line of communication found between the center at the base of the spine and that in the head, via the spleen.
    2. A corresponding activity takes place in the process of liberation upon the Path of Return in which the bridge (or the antahkarana) is established between the lower mental body, the causal body, and the higher mental worlds.

When the work under the first category is accomplished upon the physical plane and its technique is understood, man can then achieve escape from the physical body in full, waking continuity of consciousness. When a similar work has taken place on the higher plane and the "bridge" is satisfactorily built, then the "initiate" can escape from the limitations of form life and enter into that state of consciousness called Nirvana, by the Buddhist. This high state of being has to be entered also in full continuity of consciousness. Both these major crises in the life of the soul, - one leading to physical incarnation and one producing the liberation of the soul from that condition, - are, and must always be, the result of group vibration, of group impulse, group incentive and group impetus. One impetus originates in the group of souls, of which an incarnating ego is an integral part; the other is the result of the activity of the groups of atoms which are vibrating in response to (but not in unison with) that egoic impulse. In this phrase is summed up the work and opportunity [51] of the soul, for it works towards the regeneration of matter and not towards the consummation of its own salvation. It might be stated that the liberation of the soul or ego comes about when its work of salvaging matter (through utilizing it and building it into forms) has been carried forward to a desired point. It is not primarily due to the attainment of a certain spiritual stature by the man and the demonstration of certain spiritual qualities. This desired stature and these spiritual qualities are manifested when the vehicles have been "occultly saved", and matter has thus been transformed, transmuted and symbolically "raised up into heaven". When the vehicles vibrate in unison with the soul, then is liberation achieved.

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