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Esoteric Psychology II - Chapter II - The Ray of Personality - The Appropriation of the Bodies
The consciousness aspect then passes through all the stages upon which we have touched but in reverse order, and this time upon the upward arc, corresponding to the evolutionary stage in the great cycle of natural processes, concerned with the form life. It expands slowly from the consciousness of ambition through activity and the succeeding unfoldments, to the stage of approach to the divine reality upon the mental plane and that of the final appropriation, wherein [332] the consciousness of man, becomes merged in that of the soul upon its own level, and finally appropriates in full awareness (if one can use so paradoxical a phrase) the One.

When the consciousness of the soul, incarnate in a human form, arrives at a realization of the futility of material ambition, it marks a high stage of personality integration and precedes a period of change or of a shift in activity. During this second stage upon the Path of Return, the shift of the consciousness is away from the physical body altogether, into the etheric or vital body, and from thence into the astral body. There duality is sensed and the battle of the pairs of opposites takes place. The disciple makes his appearance as Arjuna. Only after the battle and only when Arjuna has made his fateful decisions, is it possible for him to make his approach upon the mental plane to the soul. This he does by

  1. Realizing himself as a soul and not as the form. This involves a process of what is called "divine reflection", which works out in two ways. The soul now begins definitely to reject the form, and the man, through whom the soul is experiencing and expressing itself, is himself rejected by the world in which he lives.
  2. Discovering the group to which he belongs, blocking his way of approach until he discovers the way of approach by service.
  3. Identifying himself with his group upon his own ray and so earning the right to make his approach, because he has learnt the lesson that "he travels not alone".

Then comes that peculiar stage of transcendent aspiration, wherein desire for individual experience is lost and only the longing to function as a conscious part of the greater Whole remains. Then and only then can the conscious soul appropriate the "body of light and of splendor, the expression of [333] the glory of the One" which, when once assumed, makes all future incarnations in the three worlds impossible, except as an act of the spiritual will. The significance of the above may be found difficult of comprehension for it is one of the mysteries of a higher initiation.

Therefore, it will be seen that we begin and we end with an expansion of consciousness. The first one led to the inclusion of the material world, and the second one includes or appropriates, consciously and intelligently, the spiritual world. We see the desire consciousness transmuted into aspiration for the spiritual realities and the focused, vital approach to the kingdom of God. We see the appearance on the physical plane of the imprisoned consciousness, limited and confined for purposes of defined, intelligent development, within an evolving form, and the final emergence upon the mental plane of the enriched, released consciousness into the full freedom of the Mind of God. We see the activity of the conscious mind of man slowly expanding and intensifying, until it becomes the activity of the illumined mind, reflecting the divine consciousness of the soul. We see the ambition of the conscious man transformed at first into the spiritual ambition of the pledged disciple and finally into the expression of the Will of God or of the Monad, in the initiate.

Thus the three aspects of divinity are released upon earth through the medium of an incarnated and fully developed consciousness, that of a Son of God. From the conscious appropriation of form back again to the conscious appropriation of divinity is the work carried forward and the plan of Deity worked out. Laying the ground, as we are now proposing to do, for the study of integration in connection with the human being, it will not be necessary for us to deal in detail with the many phases of the various stages we have been considering. Thousands of human beings, indeed perhaps millions, will [334] be found on our planet, at any one time, who will illustrate in their lives and activities some one point or other upon the downward or the upward arc. For the majority, the expert assistance of the modern trained educator and psychologist, the churchman or the physician, will suffice to give the needed aid, particularly when three happenings eventuate, which will inevitably be the case before so many decades have gone by:

  1. These four types of experts - educators, psychologists, churchmen and physicians - will work in conjunction with each other, and each will place his skill and his peculiar point of view and interpretation of conditions at the disposal of his fellow workers.
  2. The fact of the soul will be admitted as a reasonable hypothesis, and the fact that there may be an indwelling entity, seeking to control in some measure the mechanism, will also be accepted.
  3. The Law of Rebirth will be regarded as a law in nature, and place will be given in the thoughts of these four groups of human helpers, for a man's past and his rapidly developing future.
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