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Esoteric Psychology II - Chapter II - The Ray of Personality - The Appropriation of the Bodies
In this Treatise, we are considering those more advanced people who constitute the intelligentsia of the world, who are beginning to use the mind, who are upon the probationary path, or who are nearing the Path of Discipleship. When this is the case (and it seldom occurs before, unless to the eye of the initiate) the personalities are so refined that the personality ray and the egoic ray permit of analysis and definition. Until there is sufficient pronounced development to allow of a true diagnosis, it is not possible to say definitely what is the ray of the personality. The defining of the egoic ray comes later still and can only be surmised at first from the nature of [335] the conflict of which the personality is aware, based as it will be on a growing sense of duality. It will also be capable of expert diagnosis from certain physical and psychical characteristics which indicate the quality of the higher nature of the person concerned, and also through a study of the type of a man's group affiliations as they begin to appear upon the physical plane. A man who - being, through personality predilection, a creative artist - suddenly takes a deep and profound interest in mathematics, might be inferred to be coming under the influence of a second ray soul; or a man, whose whole personality was definitely upon the sixth ray of fanatical idealism or devotion to an object of his idealism, and who had functioned during life as a religious devotee, and who then switched the center of his life interest into scientific investigation, might be, therefore, responding to a fifth ray soul impression.

We shall, therefore, study the process of coordination and the methods whereby two great integrations take place:

  1. The integration of the personality, or the means whereby the consciousness of the person
    1. Shifts out of one body into another, so that a definite expansion of consciousness takes place.
    2. Begins to be active in all the three personality vehicles simultaneously.
  2. The integration of the personality and the soul so that the soul can
    1. Function through any one body at will, or
    2. Function through all the three bodies which constitute the personality simultaneously.

This will lead us to confine ourselves to the study of the more advanced or pronounced types, which are primarily the [336] mystic, the aspirant, the notable people, and those who constitute the people with psychological problems of our present time and period.

Step by step, the various bodies have been developed, utilized, refined and organized; step by step the sensory apparatus of man has been sensitized and used, until the world today is full of men and women whose response apparatus, and whose instruments of contact are as far removed in effectiveness from those of primitive man as are the vehicles of the average modern man from those of the Christ and the Buddha, with Their immensely wide range of subjective and divine awareness. Step by step, the unfoldment of the nervous system has paralleled that of the inner psychical apparatus, and the glandular equipment has faithfully reflected that of the great centers of force, with their inter-connecting lines of energy. Step by step, the consciousness of man has shifted from:

  1. That of the purely animal, with its emphasis upon the natural physical appetites, into that of the vital, personal being, responding to the impacts of an environment which he does not intelligently understand but in which he finds himself. This is the primitive and so-called savage state of consciousness and lies far behind us today, in a distant racial history. This primitive stage saw the birth of that religious direction to which we give the name of animism.
  2. That of a vital, primitive being into that state of consciousness which is colored almost entirely by desire for material satisfaction. This in time transmutes itself into that of an emotional response to the environing conditions, leading thus to an intensified "wish-life", a development of the imaginative faculty. It ends finally in the production of the Mystic, with his aspiration, his sense of [337] duality, and his reaching out after God, plus an intense devotion to an ideal of some kind or another.
  3. That of the vital, emotional, desire emphasis and state of longing into that of a mental consciousness, - intelligent, enquiring, intellectually sensitive, responsive to thought currents and reacting with increasing steadiness, vigor and sensitivity to the impact of ideas.
  4. That of one or another of these states of consciousness, alternating in their emphasis, or predominantly active in some one or other of these lower aspects, to that of integrated personality, selfishly occupied with self-emphasis, self-interest, self-expression, and so demonstrating as a great or intrepid individual, demonstrating power and purpose in a world which he exploits for his own selfish ends.

When this stage is reached, the focus of the life is predominantly material, and the man is ambitious, effective, and powerful. Yet there slowly arises in him a divine discontent; the savor of his life experience and enterprises begins to prove unsatisfactory. Another shift in consciousness takes place, and he reaches out - at first unconsciously and later consciously - to the life and significance of a dimly sensed reality. The soul is beginning to make its presence felt, and to grip in a different sense than hitherto, and in a more active manner, its vehicles of expression and of service.

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