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The Rays and the Initiations - Part Two - Section One - The Aspirant and the Mysteries of Initiation
These distinctions and unifications are matters of form, [449] symbols in speech, and are used to express events and happenings in the world of energies and forces, in connection with which man is definitely implicated. It is to these unifications that we refer when the subject of initiation is under consideration.

It will be useful if we repeat here a few statements made in an earlier book:

Students should train themselves to distinguish between the sutratma and the antahkarana, between the life thread and the thread of consciousness. The one thread is the basis of immortality and the other the basis of continuity. Herein lies a fine distinction for the investigator. One thread (the sutratma) links and vivifies all forms into one functioning whole, and embodies in itself the will and the purpose of the expressing entity, be it man, God or a crystal. The other thread (the  antahkarana) embodies the response of the consciousness within the form to a steadily expanding range of contacts within the environing whole. One is the direct stream of life, unbroken and immutable, which can be regarded symbolically as a direct stream of living energy flowing from the center to the periphery, and from the source to the outer expression, or the phenomenal appearance. It is the life. It produces the individual process and the evolutionary unfoldment of all forms.

It is, therefore, the path of life, which reaches from the Monad to the personality, via the soul. This is the thread soul and it is one and indivisible. It conveys the energy of life and finds its final anchor in the center of the human heart and at some central focal point in all forms of divine expression. Naught is and naught remains but life. The consciousness thread (antahkarana) is the result of the union of life and substance or of the basic energies which constitute the first differentiation in time and space; this produces something different, which only emerges as a third divine manifestation after the union of the basic dualities has taken place.

The life thread, the silver cord or the sutratma is, as far as man is concerned, dual in nature. The life thread [450] proper, which is one of the two threads which constitute the sutratma, is anchored in the heart, whilst the other thread, which embodies the principle of consciousness, is anchored in the head. This you already know, but this I feel the need to constantly reiterate. In the work of the evolutionary cycle, however, man has to repeat what God has already done. He must himself create, both in the world of consciousness and of life. Like a spider, man spins connecting threads, and thus bridges and makes contact with his environment, thereby gaining experience and sustenance. The spider symbol is often used in the ancient occult books and the scriptures of India in connection with this activity of the human being. These threads, which man creates, are triple in number, and with the two basic threads which have been created by the soul, constitute the five types of energy which make man a conscious human being.

The triple threads created by man are anchored in the solar plexus, the head and the heart. When the astral body and the mind nature are beginning to function as a unit, and the soul also is consciously connected (do not forget that it is always unconsciously linked), an extension of this fivefold thread - the basic two and the human three - is carried to the throat center, and when that occurs man can become a conscious creator on the physical plane. From these major lines of energy lesser lines can radiate at will. It is upon this knowledge that all future intelligent psychic unfoldment must be based.

In the above paragraph and its implications you have a brief and inadequate statement as to the Science of the Antahkarana. I have endeavored to express this in terms, symbolic if you will, which will convey a general idea to your minds. We can learn much through the use of the pictorial and visual imagination. This bridging must take place:

  1. From the physical to the vital or etheric body. This is really an extension of the life thread between the heart and the spleen.
  2. From the physical and the vital, regarding them as a [451] unity, to the astral or emotional vehicle. This thread emanates from, or is anchored in, the solar plexus, and is carried upwards, by means of the aspiration, till it anchors itself in the love petals of the egoic Lotus.
  3. From the physical and astral vehicles to the mental body. One terminus is anchored in the head, and the other in the knowledge petals of the egoic Lotus, being carried forward by an act of the will.

Advanced humanity is in process of linking the three lower aspects, which we call the personality, with the soul itself, through meditation, discipline, service and directed attention. When this has been accomplished, a definite relation is established between the sacrifice or will petals of the egoic Lotus and the head and heart centers, thus producing a synthesis between consciousness, the soul and the life principle. The process of establishing this interlinking and interrelation, and the strengthening of the bridge thus constructed, goes on until the Third Initiation. The lines of force are then so interrelated that the soul and its mechanism of expression are a unity. A higher blending and fusing can then go on.

I can perhaps indicate the nature of this process in the following manner: I have stated here and elsewhere that the soul anchors itself in the body at two points:

  1. There is a thread of energy, which we call the life or spirit aspect, anchored in the heart. It uses the blood stream, as is well known, as its distributing agency, and through the medium of the blood, life energy is carried to every part of the mechanism. This life energy carries the regenerating power and coordinating energy to all the physical organisms and keeps the body "whole."
  2. There is a thread of energy, which we call the consciousness aspect or the faculty of soul knowledge, anchored in the center of the head. It controls that response mechanism which we call the brain, and through its medium it directs activity and induces awareness throughout the body by means of the nervous system. [452]

These two energy factors, which are recognized by the human being as knowledge and life, or as intelligence and living energy, are the two poles of his being. The task ahead of him now is to develop consciously the middle or balancing aspect, which is love or group relationship. (See Education in the New Age, Pages 26-27, 32-33, 92.)

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