The Seven Creative Builders, the Seven Rays
We have now completed our first section, and have therefore laid the groundwork for our future studies. First, I seek to give a brief exegesis of the basic theory of The Secret Doctrine, called the hylozoistic theory. This posits a living substance, composed of a multiplicity of sentient lives which are continuously swept into expression by the “breath of the divine Life.” This theory recognizes no so-called inorganic matter anywhere in the universe, and emphasizes the fact that all forms are built up of infinitesimal lives, which in their totality – great or small – constitute a Life, and that these composite lives, in their turn, are a corporate part of a still greater Life. Thus eventually we have that great scale of lives, manifesting in greater expression and reaching all the way from the tiny life called the atom (with which science deals) up to that vast atomic life which we call a solar system.
This is a briefly and inadequately expressed definition of the doctrine of hylozoism, and is an attempt to interpret and find a meaning in the manifested phenomenal world, with its three main characteristics of life-quality-appearance. Forget not to find the meaning behind all forms and life experiences, and thereby learn to enter into that world of subjective forces which is the true world wherein all occultists work.
Let us take these three words and seek to understand their significance in relation to the rays.
As to the significance of the word “life” our task is well-nigh insuperable, for no human being has, or can have, any comprehension of the nature of life until he has attained the third initiation. I repeat this with emphasis, and in order to impress upon you the futility of idle speculation upon this subject. Disciples who have undergone the third initiation and have climbed the mount of Transfiguration can – from that high point – glimpse the radiance of the subjective center of energy (the central spiritual sun of The Secret Doctrine) and so gain a flash of realization as to the meaning of the word “life.” But they cannot, and they dare not, pass on the knowledge gained. Their efforts to convey such information would be futile, and language itself would be inadequate to the task. Life is not what anyone has hitherto surmised. Energy (in contradistinction to force, and using the word to express the emanating center which differentiates into forces) is not what idle speculation has portrayed it to be. Life is the synthesis of all activity – an activity which is a blend of many energies, for life is the sum total of the energies of the seven solar systems, of which our solar system is but one. These, in their totality, are the expression of the activity of that Being Who is designated in our hierarchical archives as the “One About Whom Naught May Be Said.” This sevenfold cosmic energy, the fused and blended energies of seven solar systems, including ours, sweeps automatically through each of the seven, carrying the qualities of
- Impulse towards activity.
- Active impulse towards organization.
- Active organized impulse towards a definite purpose.
I have worded these impulses as above in order to show the emergent tendency through their mutual interplay. This triple energetic impulse, borne on the impetus of the seven great breaths or rays, started the world process of Becoming, and manifested as the urge towards evolution, – towards an evolution which is active, organized, and which works undeviatingly and unerringly towards a specific goal. This goal is known in its fullest measure only to that incomprehensible Existence Who works through seven solar systems (in their turn the expression of seven great Lives) just as our solar Deity works through the seven planetary Logoi. All this has been hinted at and outlined in A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, and I do not purpose enlarging upon it here. I would point out, however, because it has a definite bearing on the evolution of quality in the human family, that the seven creative Builders or planetary Logoi of our solar system are embodiments of the will, energy, and magnetic force which streams through Them from the seven solar systems into Their various spheres of activity. Thus, through Their united activity, the organized solar system is produced, whose energies are in constant circulation and whose emerging qualities are balanced and demonstrated throughout the entire system. All parts of the solar system are interdependent; all the forces and energies are in constant flux and mutation; all of them sweep in great pulsations, and through a form of rhythmic breathing, around the entire solar atom; so that the qualities of every solar life, pouring through the seven ray forms, permeate every form within the solar ring-pass-not, and thus link every form with every other form. Note therefore the fact that each of the seven rays or creative Builders embodies the energy, will, love and purpose of the Lord of the solar system, as that Lord in His turn embodies an aspect of the energy, will, love and purpose of the “One About Whom Naught May Be Said.” Therefore the first proposition to be grasped by the student of the rays is as follows:
I. Every ray Life is an expression of a solar Life, and every planet is consequently…
- Linked with every other planetary life in the solar system.
- Animated by energy emanating from one or other of the seven solar systems.
- Actuated by a triple stream of life forces coming from:
- Solar systems outside our own.
- Our own solar system.
- Its own planetary Being.
It is impossible for the average thinker to grasp the significance of this statement, but he can understand somewhat the statement that every planet is a focal point through which forces and energies circulate and flow ceaselessly, and that these energies emanate from the outer cosmos or universe itself, from the solar system of which his own planet is a part, and of which our sun is the center, and from that Being Who constitutes our own particular planetary Lord or Life.
I should like at this point to make clear the distinction between a constellation and a solar system, according to the esoteric teaching, even though the modern scientist may not agree.
A solar system consists of a sun as the central focal point, with its series of attendant planets, which are held in magnetic rapport in their orbits around that sun.
A constellation consists of two or more solar systems or series of suns with their attendant planets. These systems are held together as a coherent whole by the powerful interrelation of the suns, whose magnetic rapport is so balanced that occultly “they tread the Path together within the radius of each other’s power;” they preserve their relative distances, and vitalize their planets, but at the same time they preserve an equality of balance and of influence. In a few rare cases this balance is disturbed, and there is a waxing or a waning of influence and of magnetic power.
This condition is governed by a cosmic law of rhythm so obscure as to be incomprehensible at this time.
An illustration of this waxing and waning of influence and of radiance (synonymous terms in occultism) on a large scale can be seen today in the constellation Gemini, wherein one of the twins is increasing in brilliance and power, and the other is decreasing. But this is a somewhat unique example, esoterically.
The relation of the constellations to the solar system, which is the basis of astrological research, will be considered later. I seek to point out here only the dual fact that the seven rays are themselves
- Expressions of energies emanating from the seven solar systems, which are, in their turn, animated by the Life of the “One About Whom Naught May Be Said.”
- Influenced by, and therefore under the astrological control of, the twelve constellations whose energies are contacted by our solar system during the course of the journey of our sun through the greater Zodiac, during the vast period of approximately 25,000 years, and in a lesser degree during the course of the twelve months of the year, wherein the lesser path of the Zodiac is trodden.
The complexity of the subject is very great, and only the broad general outline of the system, and the basic principles governing the law of evolution, can be dimly sensed and grasped. The sweep of the subject is so vast that the concrete mind and the rationalizing nature lose themselves in the realized complexities and problems. But the illumined intuition, with its power to synthesize (which is the emerging characteristic of the disciples and initiates under training), can and does lead them into a measured sequence of expansions of consciousness which eventually land them at last on the summit of the Mount of Transfiguration. From that eminence the disciple can gain the vision which will enable him to see the whole world scheme in a moment of time, and to share with Arjuna the experience of the Gita wherein he “saw all forms gathered together in the body of that God of Gods.” He can then descend from that mountain with his personality transfigured and radiant. Why? Because he now knows that spirit is a fact and the basis of immortality; he knows, past all controversy, that there is a Plan, and that the love of God is the basic law of all manifestation and the origin of all evolutionary momentum; and he can rest back upon the knowledge that the fact of spirit, the immediacy of love and the synthetic scope of the Plan provide a foundation upon which he can place his feet, take his stand with assurance, and then go forward in certain confidence of an assured goal.
Our second statement of fact is therefore:
II. Each one of the rays is the recipient and custodian of energies coming from
- The seven solar systems.
- The twelve constellations.
Each ray passes these energies through its body of manifestation (a planet), and thereby imparts them to the planetary form, and to all forms upon and within it. These differentiated forms are therefore animated by energy coming from the cosmic Life, from the solar Deity, and from the planetary Life, and are consequently colored by qualities from the seven solar systems and the twelve constellations. This blend of energies, working on substance, produces the forms, and each subjective form, in its turn, produces the outer appearance.
It is not possible for us to study these forces and qualities in detail, especially in connection with an individual human being, for the scale is so minute, relatively, and the detail to be considered is so intricate. But the nature of the qualities and energies can be somewhat grasped as we study the seven ray Lives with their seven psychological types, and the twelve creative Hierarchies, as outlined for us in The Secret Doctrine. The 7 + 12 = 19, and if you add to these 19 expressions of the Life the 3 major aspects of Deity, which we call the life of God the Father, the love of God the Son, and the active intelligence of God the Holy Ghost, you arrive at the mystic number 22, which is called (in esotericism) the number of the adept. This simply means that the adept is one who comprehends the nature of the 19 forces as they express themselves through the medium of the triple divine manifestation, as it in its turn relates itself to human consciousness. It does not mean that the adept has mastered and can wield these 19 types of energy. They are consciously wielded only by the three synthetic Builders or Creators, Who are:
- The Life which expresses Itself through seven solar systems.
The One About Whom Naught May Be Said.
- The Life which expresses Itself through seven planets.
The Solar Deity – God.
- The Life which expresses Itself through seven planetary centers, or continents.
The Planetary Logos – The Ancient of Days.
What the adept has done has been to bring his seven centers of force, located in the etheric body, into a responsive condition to the higher spiritual forces; as he progresses he will find that he will gradually and sequentially become equally responsive to the above three types of synthetic force.
On the path of discipleship, and until the third initiation, he learns to respond to the energy and to the spiritual purpose of the Life of his own planet. At the first and second initiations, and until the third initiation, he has been led on and initiated by the influence of the Christ, and under His direction he has submitted to two expansions of consciousness and has prepared himself for a third. When ready for this, he comes under the initiatory power of the planetary Logos; and through the mediating activity of that great Being the initiate becomes actively aware of energy emanating from the solar Deity. He is therefore learning to respond to the second type of synthetic force.
After he has taken the highest initiation possible on this planet, he is, for the first time, responsive to energy emanating from the outer cosmic Center. This last stage of expansion is rare indeed, and only one hundred and eleven human beings, during our planetary history, have passed on to this state of awareness.
Of what use is this information to you or to any student? Practically none, beyond indicating the vastness of the Plan and the amazing scope of the human consciousness. What that contact with the highest type of synthetic force may mean, I cannot tell you. The planetary Logoi themselves walk in the light of that sublime Consciousness, and towards that privilege the Christ Himself, and His great Brother, the Buddha, with the three Buddhas of Activity, are at this time aspiring. More than that I know not, nor may I further enlarge upon the matter. But the wonder and the immensity of the drama unfolding in the universe is a proof of its reality, and the grasp of man, small though it may appear to be, is a guarantee of his divinity. Stage by stage we slowly make our approach to the goal of conscious and intelligent awareness. Step by step we are mastering matter and making more adequate the mechanism of awareness and of contact. Little by little we (and by that I mean the human family, as a whole) are approaching the “place of recognition,” and are preparing to climb the mountain of vision. If aspirants but realized the wonders of that revelation, and if they grasped the magnificence of the reward given to their efforts, we would have less failure, more courage, a greater and steadier achievement, and consequently a more rapidly illumined world.
The scope of that imparted vision warrants careful study, and the proffering of the divine ambition to the soul for recognition. It is not the multitude of words read which is of moment, but the accuracy of the recording by the brain and the adaptation of the teaching to the individual need. The vision cannot be appropriated. It is ever on ahead, but if the entire life is given to vision, and if the serving of one’s fellow man is overlooked, the vision profits not. I have sought to convey the magnitude of the Plan and the steps upon the evolutionary stairway which lie ahead of every aspirant and of every member of the hierarchy.