The Nature of the Soul [3 of 3]

Part 2 here.

One of the foundational septenate of rays embodies in itself the principle of harmony, and this fourth Ray of Harmony gives to all forms that which produces beauty and works towards the harmonizing of all effects emanating from the world of causes, which is the world of the three major rays. The ray of beauty, of art and harmony is the producer of the quality of organization through form. It is in the last analysis the ray of mathematical exactitude and is not the ray of the artist, as so many seem to think. The artist is found on all rays, just as is the engineer or the physician, the home-maker or the musician. I want to make this clear, for there is much misunderstanding on this matter.

Each of the great rays has a form of teaching truth to humanity which is its unique contribution, and in this way develops man by a system or technique which is qualified by the ray quality and is therefore specific and unique. Let me point out to you the modes of this group teaching:

  • Ray I – Higher Expression: The science of statesmanship, of government.
    Lower Expression: Modern diplomacy and politics.
  • Ray II – Higher Expression: The process of initiation as taught by the hierarchy of adepts.
    Lower Expression: Religion.
  • Ray III – Higher Expression: Means of communication or interaction. The radio, telephone, telegraph and the power to travel.
    Lower Expression: The use and spread of money and gold.
  • Ray IV – Higher Expression: The Masonic work, based on the formation of the hierarchy, and related to the second ray.
    Lower Expression: Architectural construction. Modern city planning.
  • Ray V – Higher Expression: The science of the soul. Esoteric psychology.
    Lower Expression: Modern educational systems and mental science.
  • Ray VI – Higher Expression: Christianity and diversified religions. (Notice here relation to Ray II.)
    Lower Expression: Churches and organized religions.
  • Ray VII. Higher Expression: All forms of white magic.
    Lower Expression: Spiritualism of “phenomena.”

The fourth ray is essentially the refiner, the producer of perfection within the form, and the prime manipulator of the energies of God in such a way that the Temple of the Lord is indeed known in its true nature as that which “houses” the Light. Thus the Shekinah will shine forth within the secret place of the Temple in its full glory. Such is the work of the seven Builders. This ray is expressive primarily on the first of the formless planes, counting from below upwards, and its true purpose cannot emerge until the soul is awakened and consciousness is adequately recording the known. The planes or manifested spheres of expression are influenced in manifestation in a numerical order:

  • Ray I – Will or Power – Plane of divinity.
  • Ray II – Love-Wisdom – Plane of the monad.
  • Ray III – Active Intelligence – Plane of spirit, atma.
  • Ray IV – Harmony – Plane of the intuition.
  • Ray V – Concrete Knowledge – Mental Plane.
  • Ray VI – Devotion, Idealism – Astral Plane.
  • Ray VII – Ceremonial Order – Physical Plane.

The fifth ray therefore works actively on the plane of the greatest moment to humanity, being, for man, the plane of the soul, and of the higher and the lower mind. It embodies the principle of knowledge, and because of its activity and its close relation to the third Ray of Active Intelligence might be regarded as a ray having a most vital relation to man at this time in particular. It is the ray which – when active, as it was in Lemurian times, – produces individualization, which is literally the shifting of the evolving life of God into a new sphere of awareness. This particular transference into higher forms of awareness tends, at the beginning, to separativeness.

The fifth ray has produced what we call science. In science we find a condition which is rare in the extreme. Science is separative in its approach to the differing aspects of the divine manifestation which we call the world of natural phenomena, but it is non-separative in actuality, for there is little warring between the sciences and little competition between scientists. In this the workers in the scientific field differ profoundly from those of the religious. The reason for this is to be found in the fact that the true scientist, being a coordinated personality and working therefore on mental levels, works very close to the soul. The developed personality produces the clear distinctions of the dominant lower mind, but (if one may use such a symbolic way of expression) the close proximity of the soul negates a separate attitude. The religious man is pre-eminently astral or emotional and works in a more separative manner, particularly in this Piscean age which is passing away. When I say the religious man I refer to the mystic and to the man who senses the beatific vision. I refer not to disciples nor to those who are called initiates, for they add to the mystical vision a trained mental apprehension.

The sixth Ray of Devotion embodies the principle of recognition. By this I mean the capacity to see the ideal reality lying behind the form; this implies a one-pointed application of desire and of intelligence in order to produce an expression of that sensed idea. It is responsible for much of the formulation of the ideas which have led man on, and for much of the emphasis on the appearance which has veiled and hidden those ideals. It is on this ray primarily – as it cycles in and out of manifestation – that the work of distinguishing between appearance and quality is carried forward, and this work has its field of activity upon the astral plane. The complexity of this subject and the acuteness of the feeling evolved become therefore apparent.

The seventh Ray of Ceremonial Order or Magic embodies a curious quality which is the outstanding characteristic of the particular Life which ensoul this ray. It is the quality or principle which is the coordinating factor unifying the inner quality and the outer tangible form or appearance. This work goes on primarily on etheric levels and involves physical energy. This is the true magical work. I should like to point out that when the fourth ray and the seventh ray come into incarnation together, we shall have a most peculiar period of revelation and of light-bringing. It is said of this time that then “the temple of the Lord will take on an added glory and the Builders will rejoice together.” This will be the high moment of the Masonic work, spiritually understood. The Lost Word will then be recovered and uttered for all to hear, and the Master will arise and walk among His builders in the full light of the glory which shines from the east.

The spiritualizing of forms might be regarded as the main work of the seventh ray, and it is this principle of fusion, of coordination and of blending which is active on etheric levels every time a soul comes into incarnation and a child is born on earth.

D. The soul is the principle of sentiency, underlying all outer manifestation, pervading all forms, and constituting the consciousness of God Himself. When the soul, immersed in substance, is simply sentiency, it produces through its evolutionary interplay an addition, and we find emerging quality and capacity to react to vibration and to environment. This is the soul as it expresses itself in all the subhuman kingdoms in nature.

When the soul, an expression of sentiency and quality, adds to these the capacity of detached self-awareness, there appears that self-identified entity which we call a human being.

When the soul adds to sentiency, quality and self-awareness, the consciousness of the group, then we have identification with a ray-group, and there appears the disciple, the initiate and the master.

When the soul adds to sentiency, quality, self-awareness and group consciousness, a consciousness of divine synthetic purpose (called by us the Plan), then we have that state of being and knowledge which is distinctive of all upon the Path of Initiation, and includes those graded Lives, from the more advanced disciple up to the planetary Logos Himself.

But forget not that when we make these distinctions it is nevertheless one Soul that is functioning, acting through vehicles of varying capacities, of differentiated refinements and of greater and lesser limitations, in just the same sense as a man is one identity, working sometimes through a physical body and sometimes through a feeling body or a mental body, and sometimes knowing himself to be the Self – a rare and unusual occurrence for the majority.

Every form in manifestation does two things:

  1. Appropriates, or is pervaded by, as much of the world soul as its capacity will permit. The atom of substance, the molecule or the cell all have soul, but not in the same degree as has an animal; and an animal has soul, but not in the same degree as has a Master, and so on up or down the scale.
  2. Through the interaction between the indwelling soul and the form, two things occur:
    1. Sentiency and quality are expressed according to the type of body and its point of evolution.
    2. The pervading soul drives the body nature into activity, and forces it forward along the path of development, and thus provides for the soul a field of experience and for the body the opportunity to react to the higher soul impulse. Thus the field of expression is benefited, and the soul masters the technique of contact which is its objective in any particular form.

The soul therefore, viewed from one angle, is an aspect of the body, for there is a soul in every atom comprising all bodies in all kingdoms in nature. The subtle coherent soul which is the result of the bringing together of spirit and matter exists as an entity apart from the body nature, and constitutes (when separated from the body) the etheric body, the double, as it is sometimes called, or the counterpart of the physical body. This is the sum total of the soul of the atoms constituting the physical body. It is the true form; it is the principle of coherence in every form.

The soul, in relation to the human being, is the mind principle in two capacities, or the mind expressing itself in two ways. These two ways are registered and become part of the organized equipment of the human body when it is adequately refined and sufficiently developed:

  1. The lower concrete mind, the mental body, the “chitta” or mind stuff.
  2. The higher spiritual or abstract mind.

These two aspects of the soul, its two basic qualities, bring into being the human kingdom and enable man to contact both the lower kingdoms in nature and the higher spiritual realities. The first, the quality of mind in its lower manifestation, is owned potentially by every atom in every form in every kingdom in nature. It is a part of the body nature, inherent and potential, and is the basis of brotherhood, of absolute unity, of universal synthesis and divine coherence in manifestation. The other, the higher aspect, is the principle of self-awareness, and when combined with the lower aspect produces the self-consciousness of the human being. When the lower aspect has informed and pervaded the forms in the subhuman kingdoms, and when it has worked upon those forms and their latent sentiency so as to produce adequate refinement and sentiency, the vibration becomes so potent that the higher is attracted and there is a fusion or at-one-ing. This is like a higher recapitulation of the initial union of spirit and matter which brought the world into being. A human soul is thus brought into existence and begins its long career. It is now a differentiated entity.

“Soul” also is a word used to express the sum total of the psychic nature – the vital body, the emotional nature and the mind stuff. But it is also more than that, once the human stage is reached. It constitutes the spiritual entity, a conscious psychical being, a son of God, possessing life, quality and appearance – a unique manifestation in time and space of the three expressions of the soul as we have just outlined them:

  1. The soul of all the atoms, composing the tangible appearance.
  2. The personal soul or the subtle coherent sum total which we call the Personality, composed of the subtle bodies, – etheric or vital, astral or emotional, and the lower mental apparatus. These three vehicles humanity shares with the animal kingdom as regards its possession of vitality, sentiency, and potential mind; with the vegetable kingdom as regards vitality and sentiency; and with the mineral kingdom as regards vitality and potential sentiency.
  3. The soul is also the spiritual being, or the union of life and quality. When there is the union of the three souls, so called, we have a human being.

Thus in man you have the blending or fusion of life, quality and appearance, or spirit, soul and body, through the medium of a tangible form.

In the process of differentiation these various aspects have attracted attention, and the underlying synthesis has been overlooked or disregarded. Yet all forms are differentiations of the soul, but that soul is one Soul, when viewed and considered spiritually. When studied from the form side, naught but differentiation and separation can be seen. When studied from the consciousness or sentiency aspect, unity emerges. When the human stage is reached and self-awareness is blended with the sentiency of forms and with the tiny consciousness of the atom, some idea of a possible subjective unity begins dimly to dawn on the thinker’s mind. When the stage of discipleship is reached, a man begins to see himself as a sentient part of a sentient whole, and slowly reacts to the purpose and intent of that whole. He grasps that purpose little by little as he swings consciously into the rhythm of the sum total of which he is a part. When more advanced stages and more rarefied and refined forms are possible, the part is lost in the whole; the rhythm of the whole subjects the individual to a uniform participation in the synthetic purpose, but the realization of individual self-awareness persists and enriches the individual contribution, which is now intelligently and willingly offered, so that the form not only constitutes an aspect of the sum total (which has always and inevitably been the case, even when unrealized), but the conscious thinking entity knows the fact of the unity of consciousness and of the synthesis of life. Thus we have three things to bear in mind as we read and study:

  1. The synthesis of life – spirit.
  2. The unity of consciousness – soul.
  3. The integration of forms – body.

These three always have been at-one, but the human consciousness has not known it. It is the realization of these three factors and their integration into the technique of living which is, for man, the objective of his entire evolutionary experience.

Let us, talking necessarily in symbols, consider the universal Soul, or the consciousness of the Logos Who brought our universe into being. Let us regard the Deity as pervading the form of His solar system with life, and as being conscious of His work, of His project and His goal. This solar system is an appearance, but God remains transcendent. Within all forms God is immanent, yet persists aloof and withdrawn. Just as a thinking, intelligent human being functions through his body but dwells primarily in his mental consciousness or in his emotional processes, so God dwells withdrawn in His mind nature; the world that He has created and pervaded with His life, goes forward towards the goal for which He has created it. Within, however, the radius of His appearing form, greater activities are going forward; varying states of consciousness and stages of awareness are to be seen; developing degrees of sentiency emerge, and even in the symbolism of the human form we have such differing states of sentiency as are registered by the hair, by the internal organisms in the body, by the nervous system, by the brain, and by the entity we call the self (who registers emotion and thought). In the same way does the Deity, within the solar system, express as wide a divergence of consciousness.

There is a body consciousness; there is a sensory apparatus, registering reaction to the environment; there is a consciousness of moods, of quality, of mental reactions to a world of ideas; there is a higher consciousness of plan and of purpose; there is a consciousness of life.

It is interesting to note in connection with the Deity that this sensory response to environment provides the entire basis for astrology and for the effect of the constellations upon the solar system and the interplanetary forces.

We might sum it all up in relation to man as follows:

Man’s form nature reacts in its consciousness to the form nature of Deity. The outer garment of the soul (physical, vital and psychic) is part of the outer garment of God.

Man’s self-conscious soul is en rapport with the soul of all things. It is an integral part of the universal Soul, and because of this can become aware of the conscious purpose of Deity; can intelligently cooperate with the will of God, and thus work with the plan of Evolution.

Man’s spirit is one with the life of God and is within him, deep seated in his soul, as his soul is seated within the body.

This spirit will in some distant time put him en rapport with that aspect of God which is transcendent, and thus each son of God will eventually find his way to that center – withdrawn and abstracted – where God dwells beyond the confines of the solar system.

These are words which are formulated in an endeavor to convey an idea of order, of plan, of universal synthesis, of the integration and incorporation of the fragment in the whole, and of the part with the all.

Let us endeavor now to answer the second question, remembering as we proceed, that it is not possible for us to do more than enter symbolically into the practical purposes of Deity. As I write for simple aspirants, I cannot convey the truth until such time as their rapport with their own souls is complete, or more complete than is now the case. The effort, however, to grasp that which cannot be expressed in words produces a downpouring of the abstract mind or of the intuition, and this, in its turn, stimulates and develops the brain cells and produces a steady stabilization of the power to stand in “spiritual being”; then it becomes possible to grasp the inexpressible and to live by its power.

 


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