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Esoteric Psychology II - Chapter I - The Egoic Ray - The Growth of Soul Influence
a. The Points of Crisis

Just as there are five points of crisis in the life of a man as he achieves the goal of initiation (which we call the five Initiations), so there are five similar points of crisis in the process of taking form in the three worlds, with three of more importance, - the first, the third and the fifth. When (speaking again in symbols) a soul, functioning under divine impulse, comes into incarnation and undergoes racial experience in order to develop certain manifested qualities, there are five points of crisis. I am here speaking in terms of humanity as a whole, as mankind expresses what we call the "human state of consciousness". I am not speaking in terms of an individual soul, if such a misnomer may be permitted. These five points of crisis mark the transfer of soul life from one race to another. Each time such an event happens, there is racial unfoldment, and the appropriation, more or less consciously, by the race of another vehicle of expression. The following tabulation shows the appropriations marking the five racial crises. [52]

  1. In the Lemurian civilization -
    the appropriation of the physical body, with its five senses.
  2. In the Atlantean civilization -
    the appropriation of the astral body.
  3. In the present Aryan world -
    the appropriation of the mental body, with consequent intellectual unfoldment.
  4. In the coming race -
    conscious appropriation and integration of the threefold personality.
  5. In the final race -
    the expression, in fullest measure, of the soul and its vehicles, plus some measure of spiritual manifestation.

Here, therefore, we have five points of crisis in the life of the individual, in conjunction with the whole, with the first stage (called individualization) in Lemuria, the third stage in our race, and a final stage at the end of the age. These stages are carried forward over so long a period of time, and are so closely interrelated, that one stage and period makes possible that of another, and only the analytical mind sees or seeks differentiation. The reflection of this fivefold experience in any individual life takes place in the following order in the life of the average intelligent aspirant, who responds to, and takes advantage of the civilization and education of the present time.

  1. Appropriation of the physical sheath. This takes place between the fourth and seventh year, when the soul, hitherto over-shadowing, takes possession of the physical vehicle. [53]
  2. A crisis during adolescence, wherein the soul appropriates the astral vehicle. This crisis is not recognized by the general public and is only dimly sensed, from its evidenced temporary abnormalities, by the average psychologist. They do not recognize the cause but only the effects.
  3. A similar crisis between the twenty-first and twenty-fifth years, wherein the mind vehicle is appropriated. The man should then begin to respond to egoic influences, and in the case of the advanced man, he frequently does.
  4. A crisis between the thirty-fifth and forty-second years, wherein conscious contact with the soul is established; the threefold personality then begins to respond, as a unit, to soul impulse.
  5. For the remaining years of life, there should be an increasingly strong relationship between the soul and its vehicles, leading to another crisis between the fifty-sixth or the sixty-third years. According to that crisis will depend the future usefulness of the person and whether the ego continues to use the vehicles on into old age, or whether there is a gradual withdrawal of the indwelling entity.

There are many corresponding cycles of crisis in the life history of any soul down through the ages, but these major five crises can be traced with clarity from the standpoint of the higher vision.

One of the ways in which the life story of a soul is charted in the archives of the Masters (under the present planetary experiment) is by means of graphs, which give these crises - racial and individual. Sometimes, with the more advanced aspirants, even the physiological crises of importance are charted. The entire story of the relationship of a soul with [54] its several vehicles of expression in the three worlds, is the story of the various types of energy which are being magnetically related to each other and which are temporarily subordinated to varying aspects of force, in order to produce those fields of magnetic activity wherein certain needed rates of vibration may be established. From the angle of the initiates of the Ageless Wisdom, the story of man, the aspirant, is the story of his response to, or repulse of, applied energies. The fact that the interplay between different types of energy results in the formation of those aggregations or condensations of force which we call bodies, sheaths or vehicles (material or immaterial) is incidental to the main issue, which is the development of a conscious response to the life of God.

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