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Initiation IV-Renunciation

The Universality of Initiation - Initiation & Revelation - The Path of Initiation
The Door of Initiation - Initiation and energies - Groupinitiation - Method of Initiation

Initiation I - Ray VII - The Energy of Order or Ceremonial Magic
Initiation II - Ray VI - The Energy of Idealism and Devotion
Initiation III - The Transfiguration - Ray V - The Energy of Concrete Knowledge
Initiation IV – Renunciation - Ray IV – The energy of Harmony through Conflict

Initiation IV – Renunciation - Ray IV – The energy of Harmony through Conflict

There are Laws related to initiation into the Kingdom of Souls and
there are Laws concerning the liberating Life of Spirit.

What, therefore, brings about the destruction of the soul body? The destroying agent is the second aspect of the Will. The third or lowest aspect of the Will, working through the mind or the manasic principle, was the sustaining factor in the long cycle of personality development; it was the principle of intelligent synthesis, holding the life principle intact and individualised through the long series of successive incarnations. During that cycle the will demonstrated first as the lower man; then it focussed itself in the Son of Mind, the divine Agnishvatta, the soul, and became increasingly a factor of potency.

Later, as the disciple builds the antahkarana and thus establishes a direct channel of communication between the Monad and the personality, the lower mind becomes fused with the abstract mind or higher mind (the manasic principle, sublimated and purified), and gradually the soul is - to use a peculiar but sensitively expressing word - by-passed. It has by now served its purpose. Love and light are in expression in the physical plane life.  Neither the personality vehicle nor the soul body is required, as under the old conditions. Their place can now be taken by the Spiritual Triad and the Monad; the essential life of both the lower aspects (creative in nature and expressive of loving intent as to purpose) can now be withdrawn. 

Triplicity, from the angle of the three periodical vehicles - Monad, soul and personality - is resolved into duality, and the Monad (reflected in the Triad) can now work upon the lower planes through the medium of a definitely created personality or "point of tension" in the three worlds. It is to this that Rule XI ("Rays & Initiations", A.A. Bailey) applies when studied in terms of the individual initiate, whilst the life in which the soul is "by-passed" and its ring-pass-not is destroyed, is of such profound difficulty that it is called the life of crucifixion or of renunciation. 

It may be of interest to know the appellation applied to the devas of fire whose part it is to tend the fires that will  destroy the causal body. We need to remember that it is the upspringing of the latent fire of matter and its merging with two other fires that causes destruction. These elementals and devas are called the Agnisuryans, and in their totality are the fiery essences of buddhi, hence their lowest manifestation is on the sixth plane, the astral.


This next Law X - which is related to the fourth initiation and has its correspondence to the soul, is the forerunner of many new laws concerning the relation of soul to form or of spirit to matter; this one is given here for two reasons: 

1. It can be applied by disciples and thus proven to be true to the mass of men, and above all, to the scientific world.

2. In the mass of testimony and in the type of death (called at this stage "transference") the fact of the Hierarchy and of Shamballa can be established.

(I) Hearken, O Disciple, to the call which comes from the Son to the Mother, and then obey. The Word goes forth that form has served its purpose. The principle of mind then organises itself and then repeats the Word. The waiting form responds and drops away. The soul stands free.

The first paragraph of this Law deals with the passing out from the body (meaning the form aspect of the threefold lower man) of the average intelligent aspirant, looking at this law from one of its lowest correspondences; however, under the same Law of Correspondences, the death of all men, from the lowest type of man up to and inclusive of the aspirant, is basically distinguished by the same identical process; the difference exists in the degree of consciousness evidenced - consciousness of process and intention.

(II) Respond, O Rising One, to the call which comes within the sphere of obligation; recognise the call, emerging from the Ashram or from the Council Chamber where waits the Lord of Life Himself. The Sound goes forth. Both soul and form together must renounce the principle of life, and thus permit the Monad to stand free. The soul responds. The form then shatters the connection. Life is now liberated, owning the quality of conscious knowledge and the fruit of all experience. These are the gifts of soul and form combined.

With this second paragraph of this Law we will deal later on this page.

There are three sources of the abstraction which we call "death" if we exclude accident (which may be incident to other people's karma), war (which involves planetary karma) and natural catastrophes (which are connected entirely with the body of manifestation of the One in Whom we live and move and have our being).

We might pause here at this thought and make somewhat clearer to you the distinction between this "unknown God," who expresses himself through the planet as a whole, and Sanat Kumara in His high place at Shamballa. Sanat Kumara is in Himself the essential Identity, responsible for the manifested worlds, but so great is His command of energies and forces - owing to His cosmic unfoldment that He requires the entire planet through which to express all that He is. Having the full consciousness of the cosmic astral plane and of the cosmic mental plane, He can apply energies and forces-under cosmic law - which create, sustain and utilise, for the ends of His divine Purpose, the entire planet. He animates the planet with His life; He sustains the planet and all that is in or on it through His soul quality, which He imparts in varying measure to every form; He creates continuously the new forms needed to express the "life more abundantly" and the "increasing purpose of His will" which the progress of the ages makes cyclically possible. We live at this time in a cycle wherein His intense activity is utilising the technique of divine destruction for the release of the spiritual life, and He is simultaneously creating the new structure of civilisation which will express more fully the evolutionary attainment of the planet and the kingdoms in nature, leading eventually to the perfect expression of His divine life and purpose.

The synthesis of Law X

It would perhaps be wise if we took this tenth Law somewhat in detail, where possible, so as to arrive at the synthesis which it is intended to convey: we will thus gain some realisation that death itself is a part of the creative process of synthesising. It is essential that new ideas and a new approach to the entire problem of dying are inaugurated.

Hearken, O Disciple, to the call which comes from the Son to the Mother, and then obey.

Even whilst we realise from the context that this refers to the discarding of the physical body, it is useful to remember that this form of wording can signify much more than that. It can be interpreted to mean the entire relation of soul and personality, and to involve the prompt obedience of the Mother (the personality) to the Son (the soul). Without his prompt obedience, involving as it does the recognition of the informing Voice, the personality will remain deaf to the call of the soul to relinquish the body. No habitual response has been developed. I would ask you to ponder on the implications.

We are, we know, recapitulating when we point out that the Mother aspect is the material aspect and the soul - on its own plane - is the Son. This injunction, therefore, concerns the relation of matter and soul, and thus lays the foundation for all the relationships which the disciple has to learn to recognise. Obedience is nor here enforced; it is contingent upon hearing; then obedience follows as the next development. This is an easier process, little as you may think it. This distinction, relative to the process of obedience, is interesting because the process of learning by hearing is always slow and is one of the qualities or aspects of the stage of orientation. Learning by sight is definitely connected with the Path of Discipleship, and any who wish to become wise and true workers must learn to distinguish between the hearers and those who see. A realisation of the difference would lead to basic changes in technique. In the one case, you are working with those who are definitely under the influence and control of the Mother, and who need to be trained to see. In the other, you are dealing with those who have heard and who are developing the spiritual correspondence of sight. They are therefore susceptible to the vision.

The Word goes forth that form has served its purpose.

This word, or this "spiritual proclamation" of the soul, may have a twofold purpose: it may produce death, or it may simply result in a withdrawal of the soul from its instrument, the threefold personality. This might consequently result in leaving the form uninformed and without any dweller in the body. When this happens the personality (and by this we mean the physical, astral and mental man) will continue to function. If it is of a high grade quality, very few people will realise that the soul is absent. This frequently happens in old age or serious illness, and it may persist for years. It sometimes happens where infants are concerned, and you then have either death or imbecility, as there has been no time to train the lower personality vehicles. A little thinking along the lines of this "forthgoing Word" will throw much light on circumstances which are regarded as baffling, and on states of consciousness which have hitherto constituted almost insoluble problems.

The principle of mind then organises itself and then repeats the Word.
The waiting form responds and drops away.

In the aspect of death here dealt with it is the mind which acts as the agent of authority, transmitting to the brain (where the thread of consciousness is located) the instructions to vacate. This is then passed on by the man in the body to the heart (where the life thread is anchored), and then - as you well know - the process of withdrawal begins. What transpires in those timeless moments prior to death no one as yet knows, for no one has returned to tell us. If they had done so, the question is: Would they have been believed? The probability is that they would not.

The first paragraph of this Law X deals with the passing out from the body (meaning the form aspect of the threefold lower man) of the average intelligent aspirant, looking at this law from one of its lowest correspondences; however, under the same Law of Correspondences, the death of all men, from the lowest type of man up to and inclusive of the aspirant, is basically distinguished by the same identical process; the difference exists in the degree of consciousness evidenced - consciousness of process and intention. The result is the same in all cases:

The soul stands free.

This moment of true freedom can be brief and fleeting as in the case of the undeveloped man, or it can be of long duration, according to the usefulness of the aspirant upon the inner planes; with this we have earlier dealt and have no need to repeat here. Progressively, as the urges and influences of the three lower levels of consciousness weaken their hold, the period of dissociation becomes longer and longer, and is characterised by a developing clarity of thought and by a recognition of essential being, and this in progressive stages. This clarity and progress may not be brought through into full realisation or expression when rebirth again takes place, for the limitations imposed by the dense physical body are excessive; nevertheless, each life sees a steady growth in sensitivity, and also the storing up of esoteric information, using the word "esoteric" to signify all that does not concern normal form life or the average consciousness of man in the three worlds.

Esoteric living falls into three stages

Esoteric living (as it develops) falls into three stages, broadly speaking; these are carried forward within the consciousness of the man and parallel the recognition and ordinary aspects of form life on the three levels of experience:

1. The stage of reception of concepts, of ideas and of principles, thus gradually asserting the existence of the abstract mind.

2. The stage of "light reception," or that period when spiritual insight is developed, when the vision is seen and accepted as true, and when the intuition or "buddhic perception" is unfolded. This carries with it the assertion as to the existence of the Hierarchy.

3. The stage of abstraction, or the period wherein complete orientation is brought about, the way into the Ashram is made clear, and the disciple begins to build the antahkarana between the personality and the Spiritual Triad. It is in this stage that the nature of the will is dimly seen, carrying with its recognition the implication that there is a "centre where the will of God is known."

Students are apt to think that death ends things, whereas from the angle of termination we are dealing with values which are persistent, with which there is no interference, nor can there be any, and which hold within themselves the seeds of immortality.

We would have you ponder on this and know that everything that is of true spiritual value is persistent, ageless, immortal and eternal. Only that dies which is valueless, and - from the standpoint of humanity - that means those factors which emphasise and assume importance where the form is concerned. But:

Those values which are based on principle and not upon the detail of appearance have in them that undying principle which leads a man from the "gates of nativity, through the gates of perception, to the gates of purpose" - as the Old Commentary expresses it.

We have endeavoured to show you how the first part of this Law X has a simple application to mankind, as well as an abstract and abstruse meaning for esotericists.

The Sound of the Initiate of high standing

The second and last paragraph in this Law X cannot be interpreted in this same manner nor applied in this way. It concerns only the "passing over" or the "discarding of hindrances" by very advanced disciples and initiates.

This is made clear by the use of the words: 

"O Rising One"
- a term applied only to those who have taken the fourth initiation and who are therefore held by no aspect whatsoever of the form nature, even so high or transcendental a form as the soul in its own vehicle, the causal body or the egoic lotus.

Yet again, facility in response to this law must be and is developed in the earlier stages of discipleship, where listening, responsiveness and occult obedience are developed and have their extensions in the higher levels of spiritual experience.

Here we must again consider words and phrases if we are to understand their true meaning.

Respond, O Rising One, to the call which comes forth from the sphere of obligation.

What is this sphere of obligation to which the initiate of high standing must pay attention? The whole of life experience, from the sphere of nativity up to the highest limits of spiritual possibility, are covered by four words, applicable at various stages of evolution. They are: Instinct, Duty, Dharma, Obligation; an understanding of the differences serves to bring illumination, and consequently, right action.

1. The sphere of instinct.

This refers to the fulfillment, under the influence of simple animal instinct, of the obligations which any assumed responsibility brings, even when assumed with no true understanding. An illustration of this is the instinctual care of a mother for her offspring or the relation of male and female. With this we need not deal in any detail, as it is well recognised and understood, at least by those who have passed out of the sphere of elementary instinctual obligations. To them no particular calls come, but this instinctual world of give and take is superseded by a higher sphere of responsibility eventually.

2. The sphere of duty.

The call that comes from this sphere comes from a realm of consciousness which is more strictly human and not so predominantly animal as is the instinctual realm. It sweeps into its field of activity all classes of human beings and demands from them - life after life - the strict fulfillment of duty. The "doing of one's duty," for which one gets small praise and little appreciation, is the first step towards the unfoldment of that divine principle which we call the sense of responsibility, and which - when unfolded - indicates a steadily growing soul control. The fulfillment of duty, the sense of responsibility, and the desire to serve are three aspects of one and the same thing: discipleship in its embryonic stage. This is a hard saying for those who are caught in the seemingly hopeless toils of duty fulfillment; it is hard for them to realise that this duty which seems to keep them chained to the humdrum, apparently meaningless and thankless duties of daily life, is a scientific process leading them to higher phases of experience, and eventually into the Master's Ashram.

3. The Sphere of Dharma.

This is the outcome of the two previous stages; it is that in which the disciple recognises, for the first time with clarity, his part in the whole process of world events and his inescapable share in world development. Dharma is that aspect of karma which dignifies any particular world cycle and the lives of those implicated in its working out. The disciple begins to see that if he shoulders his phase or part in this cyclic dharma and works understandingly at its right fulfillment, he is beginning to comprehend group work (as the Masters comprehend it) and to do his just share in lifting the world karma, working out in cyclic dharma. Instinctual service, the fulfillment of all duty, and a sharing in group dharma are all blended in his consciousness and become one great act of living faithful service; he is then at the point of moving forward upon the Path of Discipleship, in which the Path of Probation is completely lost to sight.

These three aspects of living activity are the embryonic expression in the life of the disciple of the three divine aspects:

a. Instinctual living              intelligent application.
b. Duty                                      responsible love.
c. Dharma                                will, expressed through the Plan.

4. The sphere of obligation.

The initiate, having learnt the nature of the three other spheres of right action, and - through the activity of those spheres - having unfolded the divine aspects, passes now into the sphere of obligation. This sphere, which can be entered only after a large measure of liberation has been achieved, directs the reactions of the initiate in two phases of his life:

a. In the Ashram, where he is governed by the Plan; this Plan is recognised by him as expressing his major obligation to life. We use the word "life" in its deepest esoteric sense. 

In the Ashram, the life of the Spiritual Triad gradually supersedes the life of the soul-controlled personality.

b. In Shamballa, where the emerging Purpose of Sanat Kumara (of which the Plan is an interpretation in time and space) begins to have meaning and significance according to his point in evolution and his approach to the Way of the Higher Evolution.

In the Council Chamber at Shamballa, the life of the Monad supersedes all other expressions of the essential Reality. More we may not say.

Recognise the call, emerging from the Ashram or from the Council Chamber
where waits the Lord of Life Himself.

Here again we come up against the whole underlying, evolutionary theme of Invocation and Evocation. Here, it is the two higher centres of the divine Existence which are invoking ceaselessly the lower centre; one of the factors governing the whole creative process is dependent upon the skill of the Great Lives in evoking response from the human and subhuman kingdoms or grouped lives within the three worlds of form life. Men are so pre-occupied with their own problems that they are apt to think that-in the long run - what happens is entirely due to their behaviour, conduct, and invocative powers. There is, however, another side to the picture; this involves:

• The skill in action,
• The understanding hearts and
• The clear unimpeded will of both the Hierarchy and Shamballa.

It will be apparent to you, therefore:

how essential it is that all disciples and initiates should know exactly where they stand on the Path, the final aspect of the ladder of evolution; otherwise, they will misinterpret the call and fail to recognise the source of the outgoing sound.

How easily this can happen becomes apparent to every advanced teacher of occultism and esotericism when he perceives bow easily unimportant people and beginners interpret calls and messages they hear or receive as coming to them from some high and elevated source, Whereas they are in all probability hearing that which emanates from their own subconscious, from their own souls, or from some teacher (not a Master) who is attempting to help them. The call referred to here, however, comes from the highest possible sources and must not be confused with the little voices of little men.

The SOUND goes forth.

It is not my intention here to deal with the creative sound, beyond calling to your attention the fact that it is creative. The Sound which was the first indication of the activity of the planetary Logos is not a word, but a full reverberating sound, holding within itself all other sounds, all chords and certain musical tones (which have been given the name of the "music of the spheres") and dissonances, unknown as yet to the modern ear. It is this Sound which the "Rising One" must learn to recognise, and to which he must respond not only by means of the sense of hearing and its higher correspondences, but through a response from every part and aspect of the form nature in the three worlds. I would remind you also that from the angle of the fourth initiation even the egoic vehicle, the soul body, is regarded and treated as a part of the form nature.

Though the "shattering of the Temple of Solomon" takes place at the time of the fourth initiation, those qualities of which it was composed have been absorbed into the vehicles which the initiate is using for all His contacts in the three worlds. He is now essentially the essence of all His bodies, and - from His point of view and technical understanding - it must be borne in mind that the entire mental plane is one of the three planes which constitute the cosmic dense physical plane; this is a point oft forgotten by students, who almost invariably place the soul body and the mental permanent atom outside the form limits and what they call the three worlds. Technically and from higher angles, this is not so, and this fact definitely changes and conditions the thinking and work of the initiate of the fourth and higher degrees. It accounts also for the need for the soul body to disappear.

The Sound reverberates throughout the four higher subplanes of the cosmic physical plane; these are the higher correspondence of the four etheric levels of the physical plane in the three worlds - the three dense physical and the four etheric planes. It must be remembered, therefore, that our planes, with which we are so familiar, are the cosmic physical, and that the one we know the best is the densest of the seven - hence so much of our struggle and difficulty.

From "the silence which is sound, the reverberating note of Shamballa,";

The sound focusses itself either in the Spiritual Triad or in the Ashram, according to the status of the initiate and whether he is high in the ashramic circles, or still higher, in the circles through which radiates the light from the Council Chamber.

1. In the first case, it will be the heart centre which responds to the sound, and from thence the whole body; where the sound has been registered in the heart of the initiate, he has unfolded all possible types of knowledge which the form nature - soul and body - can make possible.

2. In the second case, consciousness has been superseded by a still higher type of spiritual recognition, to which we have given the inadequate name of identification ; when the registration is in the head, identification has produced such complete unity with all spiritual expressions of life, the word "more" (meaning increased) must perforce give way to the word "deep," in the sense of penetration.

The high Initiate for the first time confronted with the Seven Cosmic Paths

Having said this how much have you comprehended? It is at this point that the initiate is confronted for the first time with the Seven Paths, because each Path constitutes a mode of penetrating into realms of realisation beyond our planet altogether.

In order to do this, the initiate has to demonstrate his mastery of the Law of Differentiation and arrive at a knowledge of the Seven Paths through differentiating the seven sounds which make up the one Sound, but which are not related to the seven sounds which compose the threefold AUM.

Both soul and form together must renounce the principle of life,
and thus permit the Monad to stand free. The soul responds. The form then shatters the connection.

You can see here why we emphasised the fact that the initiate is the recipient of the essential quality or qualities which form has revealed and developed, and which the soul has absorbed.

  1. At this particular crisis, the initiate within the Ashram or "on His way of glory to the Place where dwells the Lord" (Shamballa) summarises or contains within himself all the essential good which was stored in the soul prior to its destruction at the fourth initiation.
  2. He epitomises in himself the knowledge and the wisdom of aeons of struggle and of patient endurance. Nothing further is to be gained by adhering either to the soul or to the form. 
  3. He has taken all they had to give which throws light on the spiritual Law of Sacrifice. It is interesting to note how the soul becomes at this point simply the intermediary between the personality and the initiate of high degree.
  4. But now there is nothing more to relate, to report or to transmit, and - as the Sound reverberates - the soul disappears, as testimony of response.

The soul is now but an empty shell, but its substance is of so high an order that it becomes an integral part of the buddhic level, and its function there is etheric. The principle of life is renounced and returns to the reservoir of universal life.

We would have you take notice of the importance of form activity. It is the Form which shatters the connection (the usually despised, belittled, frustrated form is that which performs the final act), bringing complete liberation. The "Lunar Lord" of the personality has achieved his goal, and those elements which have composed his three vehicles (physical, astral, mental), together with the life principle, will constitute the atomic substance of the first body of manifestation of some soul seeking incarnation for the first time. This is closely related to the abstruse subject of the permanent atoms. It marks a moment of high initiation for this Lunar Lord when he shatters the connection and severs all relation with the hitherto informing soul. He is no longer just a shadow, but has now those qualities which make him "substantial" (in the esoteric sense) and a new factor in time and space.

The remaining words of this law need no explanation and mark a fitting finish for this section of our studies:

Life is now liberated, owning the qualities of conscious knowledge and the fruit of all experience. These are the gifts of soul and form combined.