Along the Path Blog
According to Vera Stanley Alder (author, teacher of esoteric traditions), the last Great Initiation of humanity as a whole was at the individualization eighteen million years ago, when animal-men passed into the human self-conscious kingdom. The coming second Great Initiation of humanity as a whole will see it pass into the spiritual kingdom (while still remaining in the earthly bodies) and become spirit-conscious.
The Devic, mineral, plant, animal, and elemental kingdoms will all be involved in the great coming Initiation as a result of their own patient and painful development. A person cannot take an initiation until he/she has been able to bring the organs and cells of the body under the influence of his own "will-to-progress." The cells of the body must be stepped up to a higher rate of vibration in order to withstand the higher vibration of the energies that will make up the new environment of the world at the time of its Initiation.
Perhaps you've watched for signs of preparation for a World Initiation. There are many teachers and authors offering assistance in preparation for the "birth of a new world," "conscious evolution" and other approaches to the spiritualization of our planet. There is a breaking up of old forms on many levels to make way for the newer forms that work better for us now; misuse of energy and resources are being exposed; there is more awareness on the planet regarding health and nutrition; people are personally responding more to disasters, globally - we are our brothers' keepers. We are being guided by those Great Ones in the seen and unseen worlds. We are never alone in our journey.
While the World prepares for its next Great Initiation, each of us is on an individual path of of Initiation. As we follow our own paths we contribute to the Greater Divine Plan. It is my hope that you, the reader of this blog, will also be contributors - with comments, questions, theories of your own. I'll begin with an overview of the Path of Initiation as depicted for us by our most recent great World Teacher, Jesus the Christ, on his Earth journey. In the next post I'll go into more detail about the first individual initiation and follow with each initiation through the fifth one. This will establish at least a partial background for future studies of Universal Law,; the Seven Rays: the Chakra system; levels of consciousness, or any topic of your choice for those readers who have not followed this particular system of study.
"There was," we are told, "in every ancient country having claims to civilization, an Esoteric Doctrine, a system which was designated WISDOM," and those who were devoted to its study and to passing it on were first known as sages, or wise men . . . Pythagoras termed this system . . . "the Gnosis or Knowledge of things that are." Under the noble designation of WISDOM, the ancient teachers, the sages of India, the Magi or magicians of Persia and Babylon, the seers and prophets of Israel, the hierophants of Egypt and Arabia, and the philosophers of Greece and the West, included all knowledge which they considered as essentially divine; classifying part as esoteric and the remainder as exterior (or exoteric).
Through the ages humanity has fought over non-essentials of traditional interpretation, and it appears that much of the secret teaching and the technique of the intended Christian life has been omitted. I realize that Christianity is a comparatively young religion, and we each approach the interpretation and comprehension of any faith from an individual developmental level. Some will interpret the written Word or belief system of a faith in a very literal sense, and others will read it as allegory and symbolism. Jesus taught with this observation in mind when he taught through parables. In the King James version of the Holy Bible, Matthew 13:55, Jesus is quoted as saying, "I will open my mouth in parables: I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundations of the world."
Alice Bailey, author and Theosophist, tells us that "a myth is a valid and proven truth which bridges, step by step, the gap between the past gained knowledge, the present formulated truth, and the infinite and divine possibilities of the future. The truth of one age becomes the myth of the next, but its significance and its reality remain untouched and require only re-interpretation in the present." Perhaps we need to study more of what is behind the symbol of the written Word and shift our attention from the world of outer forms to that of inner realities.
Throughout the eons or phases of our evolution the major religions have been introduced as the need has arisen in human experience and as humanity has achieved a readiness in consciousness to comprehend the deeper teachings. According to the Bailey work, "Christianity is, for us today, a culminating religion. It is the greatest of the later divine revelations." Our task seems to be to determine for ourselves, at whatever developmental level in our consciousness, the reality of the message behind the words, keep open minds and hearts - able to move forward at a steady pace, integrating and activating the principles of our own faith, whether it is a part of an organized religion or an independent study, according to our own understanding at any given time. Any theory or system of study can be approached intellectually. It is when we put it into practice and integrate its principles that it becomes a truth for us. And as our consciousness opens and develops, our comprehension of those principles changes; we're never static in our knowledge of a thing. So it seems important to keep an open mind and allow the growth to take place, doesn't it?
Teachers and Wise Ones tell us that religion must eventually be a composite of many truths, from many sources. Our main task is to discover our own divinity and to manifest it in the outer life. Eventually, we will realize the unity of the teachings of the East and West.
The life story of Jesus the Christ reveals to us a perfect example of the life of the seeker on the Path of higher consciousness. Each of the important events in his life represents one of the initiations we're each destined to experience as a human being living an Earth life. These particular events are found on his journey from Bethlehem to Calvary. The message of the Christ was epitomized by his words: "I and my Father are one."
Through the process of the five great Initiations, he gave to us examples of the stages and methods whereby identification with God can be brought about. This is the keynote of the entire Gospel story.
Christ lived his life in a small but significant strip of land which we call Palestine, the Holy Land. He came to prove to us the possibility of individual attainment. He emerged out of the Orient (as all the Teachers throughout the ages seem to have done) and worked in that part of the country which seems like a bridge between the Eastern and Western hemispheres, separating two most different civilizations. Christianity is a bridging religion - the religion of that transitional period which links the era of self-conscious individualistic existence to a group-conscious unified world - bridging the gap between Eastern belief and philosophy and our Western materialism and scientific attainment, both divine expressions of reality.
The Christ gives us the process or path to follow to attain the level of perfection set for us by our own inner Divinity. These are the initiations through which we will all someday pass:
1. The Birth at Bethlehem, to which Christ offered interpretation when he said, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." In other words, a new attitude emerges within the Soul of the spiritually awakened individual at the first initiation. The voice of conscience becomes stronger and stronger until it is irresistible. The individual can be compared to a newborn needing care and guidance from its elders -- becoming "as a little child" (Mark 10:15). The mind is now more open, seeing the world and the Creator from a new perspective.
2. The Baptism in Jordan. This is the baptism to which John the Baptist referred us, telling us that the baptism of the Holy Spirit and of fire must be administered to us by the Christ. A new level of consciousness is again attained.
3. The Tranfiguration. Here perfection is for the first time demonstrated, and here the divine possibility of such perfection is proven to the disciples. The command goes forth to us, "Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." The manifestation of the inner spirit through the outer form of the initiate of the third degree takes place and new spiritual powers are earned, ready for development.
4. The Crucifixion. This initiation is called the Great Renunciation, in the Orient, with its lesson of sacrifice and its call to the death of the lower nature. The fourth initiation generally follows the third in the same life, and the initiate is now known as an Arhat: "One worthy of divine honors."
5. The Resurrection and Ascension, the final triumph which enables the initiate to know the meaning of the words: "Oh death, where is thy sting? Oh grave, where is thy victory?" "I and my Father are One." The individual is now one with the Creator and all that lives. Divine powers are developed and employed.
The gospel narrative, then, is not only an account of the passage of the man Jesus through the five great initiations to perfection, but it is also the story of every human being who finds and treads the path of discipleship and initiation. For they are allegorically and mystically newborn, baptized and crucified. They have buried their human nature forevermore and ascended to the full powers of Christhood.
The sixth great initiation brings the title of Chohan or Lord, the seventh that of Mahachohan or Great Lord, and at the eighth Buddhahood is achieved. The very highest attainment possible to human beings on this Earth - and then only on the first ray -- is to take the ninth initiation, which brings the Ego (the immortal part of the being) to the inconceivably lofty stature of the One Initiator sometimes called the Lord of the World.
This information is introductory and will be expanded in future posts, with each initiation explained in more detail. Please feel free to respond to this blog, sharing your own thoughts, understanding, knowledge, and experience on the subject of initiation.
Vera Stanley Alder; Alice A. Bailey, Geoffrey Hodson; Todd Michael.
Pythagoras, said to be the first man to call himself a philosopher, was also the first to demonstrate the mathematical foundation of music. Born sometime between 600 and 590 B.C., Pythagoras has been immortalized by his discoveries and teachings in relation to the Divine Science of Numbers - a science now called Numerology.
We can all approach the study of spiritual numerology both from the cosmic and the personal viewpoints. Numbers are the ten supreme Principles upon which the universe is founded. Every number possesses an individual keynote, and as we discover the deeper meanings to the numbers in our names, our birth dates, etc., we learn more about the forces operating from the higher spiritual planes on every level of our being.
According to Numerology, our new year 2012 brings us under the influence of the number five (5). 2+0+1+2=5.
In the ancient mysteries, the number 5 stands for the Christ, or the spirit, resurrected from the tomb of matter. Four (4) is the cross upon which one (1) is crucified. Only as the lower nature is subjugated or crucified does the ego begin to rise toward freedom through a recognition of its innate divinity.
The 5-pointed star in its highest status is represented by the sage.
The fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet is Heh or H, the Hota of the ancient Greek. This letter means life or vitality; it refers not only to physical animation, but to the capacity for breathing a more rarefied air than that known to the average mortal.
When the "five" has learned the lessons that physical experience has to teach, he/she is ready to experience this inflow from the higher spheres which make him/her a new and different being - a transformed being.
"Such was the transformation that occurred in the lives of Abraham and Sarah with the addition of the letter "H" to their names. This transformation has a meaning for both the inner and the outer life. It manifests physically as exuberant health and expresses itself intellectually in an increasingly sensitized and enriched mind which in turn becomes instrumental through its well-focused and controlled powers to reflect more fully and accurately the faculties of the spirit within. True to the nature of the change as this may be known in the light of the science of numerical emanation, a new joy (Isaac) was born to the renewed lives of the patriarchal couple. It is only after such a new birth that one is really alive." (Corinne Heline)
Happy New Year!
Campbell, Florence, Your Days Are Numbered. Ferndale, PA: The Gateway, 1976.
Buess, Lynn M., Numerology for the New Age. Marina del Rey: DeVorss & Company Publishers, 1978.
Hall, Manly P., The Secret Teachings of All Ages. Los Angeles: The Philosophical Research Society, Inc., 1972.
Heline, Corinne, Sacred Science of Numbers. Marina del Rey: DeVorss & Company Publishers, 1981.
The Festival of Jesus' birth was celebrated for the first time in Rome in the year A.D. 354. Before then this Festival was not celebrated between the 24th and 25th of December. The day of supreme commemoration was January 6th. The Epiphany was celebrated as a kind of Birth Festival of the Christ during the first three centuries of our era. It was the Festival which was meant to revive in human souls the remembrance of the descent of the Christ Spirit into the body of Jesus of Nazareth at the baptism by John in Jordan. During the first centuries of Christendom, an inkling still survived of the mystery that is of all mysteries the most difficult for humankind to grasp - the descent of the Christ Being into the body of Jesus of Nazareth. It was this - the birth of Christ - that was celebrated as a Mystery in the early Christian centuries - and not the birth of the baby Jesus.
Insight into this deep Mystery faded away as time went by. The time came when humanity could no longer comprehend that the Being called Christ had been present in a physical human body for only three years. It will be eventuallly realized that what was accomplished for the whole of Earth-evolution during those three years in the physical body is one of the very deepest and most difficult Mysteries to understand. With the development of the materialistic age after the fourth century, the powers of the human soul were not strong enough to grasp the depth of this Mystery which will eventually be understood as our consciousness evolves. As the outer power of Christianity increased, understanding of the Christ Mystery decreased, and the Festival of January 6th ceased to have any essential meaning. The birth of Christ was placed thirteen days earlier, coincidental with the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. There is of course debate about that date for the Nativity, too. In choosing the date for the Christ-Mass, the course of the Sun likely had some influence - a time of Winter Solstice. The shortest and darkest day of the year is followed by the "victory of Sun over darkness."
The Christmas Festival is the Festival of the Holy Night, celebrated in the Mysteries by those who were ready for the awakening of the Higher Self within - those who have brought the Christ to birth within them. In the Greater Mysteries one could see the forces working through all existence - the surrounding world filled with spirit - with Spiritual Beings, radiant with light and color.
Ancient texts are multi-leveled in their meaning. There may be recorded history as well as allegory to give the hidden meaning in symbolic language to those who are ready for a deeper interpretation of events meant to reveal to us possible events of our past and of our future. Such is the case with the Nativity story.
The manger in Bethlehem * (1), the child lying in a manger among animals who stand around the blessed Mother:
This is a heavenly symbol of the primal origin of humanity. Our feelings are carried back to the earthly origin of the human being, to the Tree of Paradise, and with this Tree there is associated the crib - the manger. And so it was out of a deep instinct that the Tree of Paradise came to be associated as a symbol with the Christmas Festival. However, the Christmas tree is not an ancient custom, but a relatively recent European custom of perhaps 200 years or so. The lighted Christmas tree is a symbol of the Tree of Paradise representing the material nature. The Spiritual Nature is represented by the Tree of Knowlege and the Tree of Life.
The Mass at midnight celebrated by the early Christians in the depth of caves was in remembrance of the festival of the sun. In this Mass an ocean of light streamed forth at midnight out of the darkness as a remembrance of the rising of the Spiritual Sun in the Mysteries: hence the birth of Christ Jesus in the cave.
Associated with the Nativity is the legend of the Magi - the three Wise Men, the three Priest-Sages, or the three Kings:
The three Wise Men bring gifts to the Child: gold, a symbol of the outer, wisdom-filled man: myrrh, a symbol of the victory of life over death; and frankincense, a symbol of the cosmic ether in which the Spirit lives.
Information regarding the Magi from the East was kept secret until the 15th century. Who are they? They represent the Initiates * (2) of the three preceding races or epochs of culture, the Initiates of mankind up to the time of the coming of the Christ - the Bringer of the Love that is free of egoism. Their skins are three different colors: White (European); Yellow (Indian); Black (African). A connection with the Root Races * (3) of different epochs is indicated: Remaining survivors of the Lemurian race are black; those of the Atlantiean race are yellow; and the representatives of the 5th Root Race (our present epoch), the Post-Atlantean or Aryan race, are white.
On an esoteric level, gold, the gift of the European (Melchoir) is a symbol of wisdom, of intelligence which comes to its greater expression in the 5th Root Race. The offering of the Initiate representing the 4th Root Race (Balthasar) is frankincense. Union with the Godhead is symbolized by this offering. It is a universal symbol for the Intuition - the feeling nature that must be sublimated so it can be fertilized by God - by the Supreme Being. Myrrh is the gift offered by the Initiate of the 3rd Root Race, Lemurian (Caspar). It is the symbol of sacrifice of death, the sacrifice of the earthly in order that the Higher may come to life.
The Star of Bethlehem:
The Star of Bethlehem has had many interpretations over time, but in esoteric philosophy it is the Soul as seen by the spiritual eye. The Christ Soul shines as an auric Star, and it is by this Star that the Initiates of the three Root Races are led to the Christ Jesus in Bethlehem. The Light that shines before the Magi is the soul of Christ Himself. As humankind more fully awakens in consciousness, the Soul of the Christ is born in the cave (the body) of mankind. (For more information on the Star in the East, visit: http://annsbridgestotheafterlife.blogspot.com/ )
"Were Christ born a thousand times in Bethlehem and not in thee, thou art lost eternally." . . . Anglelus Silesius
*(1) Bethlehem: The town of Bethlehem did not exist when Jesus was born. It is symbolic, and literally translated means "Tower of Fire" - the Sacred Fire of spirit. (Samael Aun Weor - Gnosis)
*(2) Initiate: Initiation is an actual change of focus of the mental vision. The development which leads up to it is perhaps imperceptible, but there suddenly arrives a moment when the aspirant has tuned up his whole being to the point where it can take on a higher vibrating rhythm (or frequency). Life then is different from this moment, and a person can never go back to his/her former life in a lower frequency. He/she is an Initiate and has been Divinely stimulated. (Vera Stanley Alder: The Initiation of the World)
*(3) Root Race: There are seven great Root Races divided into 7 sub-races which appear on Earth successively. The length of their duration overlaps so that remnants of some of them remain in existence for very long periods of time. These great sub-races have each had their teacher or Prophet who brought Wisdom to them, guided and taught them, and whose work was carried forward by his disciples and followers. (Vera Stanley Alder: The Initiation of the World)
Steiner, Rudolf, Christmas: The Festivals and their Meaning. Letchworth, Herfordshire: The Garden Press, Ltd., 1955.
Yogananda, Paramahansa, The Second Coming of Christ, Vol. I, II. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 2004.
Alder, Vera Stanley, The Initiation of the World. New York: Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1972.
A Blessed Christmas, Hanukkah, Ramadan, and Kwanzaa to All!
The ancient mysteries were originally given to humanity by highly advanced beings, ascended masters. There have been clues through the centuries to the origin and destiny of humanity and its progress in the evolutionary process. These clues are found by those open and spiritually developed enough to recognize them hidden in numbers and words and in other cryptic studies. Veiled in many writings and ancient scriptures, our Christian Bible included, are the secret teachings once revealed only to the initiates and great teachers of ancient times.
The mysteries are being restored; they will reveal more and more of what humanity needs for its growth and spiritualization. They will disclose deeper secrets of healing. We already see an increase in the use of color and sound in healing - vibratory healing. Hidden keys to scientific formulas, unlocking mysteries of the true secret and nature of electrical phenomena will be more and more revealed as humanity becomes more spiritually responsible for the use of this knowledge.