The Seven Cosmic Paths

Excerpts from: A Treatise on Cosmic Fire

Path I

Path II

Path III

Path IV

Path V

Path VI

Path VII

The passage below is an excerpt from:
Alice A. Bailey.  A Treatise on Cosmic Fire.
(New York: Lucis Publishing Co., 1962/1925), pp. 1261-1264.
Lucis Trust: Books on Line

Compare excerpt from:   The Rays and the Initiations
Summaries of the Seven Cosmic Paths
Seven Stanzas

Larger Versions of Seven Cosmic Path Graphics
A Treatise on Cosmic Fire - Section Three - Division B - The Nature of the Cosmic Paths:   Path V

Path V - The Ray Path

This Path is one of the great distributing paths of the system, and is trodden by the adept who has a clear understanding of the laws of vibration. It leads to the next cosmic plane with great facility and is therefore called "the outer door of entry." As we know, the seven Rays which manifest throughout our solar system, are but the seven subrays of one great ray, that of Love-Wisdom. This ray Path is the one upon which the majority of the "Masters of the Wisdom" pass. In the same way many of the "Lords of Compassion" pass onto Path IV. Five-eighths of the former pass on to this path just as four-fifths of the adepts of suffering pass on to Path IV. In considering these numbers it must be borne in mind that the figures are of very great magnitude. One-fifth of the Compassionate Lords is a vast number, whilst three-eighths is a stupendous number of monads. We must remember in this connection also that we are only dealing with the adepts of the fifth Initiation, and are not taking into consideration initiates of lower degrees nor disciples of many grades. It is useless for average man to ponder upon these figures. They are too difficult to compute and involve calculations most abstruse and intricate. This can be demonstrated by pointing out that from these figures must be subtracted that two-fifths which (in the next round) pass before the Judgment Throne and are rejected. Out of the remaining three-fifths only a percentage which may not be revealed reach final adeptship, though all pass upon the Path. The five-eighths above referred to and the four-fifths, have reference only to the. two great groups of asekha initiates.

Adepts who pass upon the Ray Path have to possess attributes which make them exceedingly responsive to vibration. In their group work (regarding all the units upon this Path as forming a unified Whole) the results achieved might be compared to that of a compass upon a ship. They respond primarily to a basic vibration, not through sensation but through that which is the outgrowth of sensation. It is a form of realization which is the cosmic correspondence to the reaction which comes when the skin is touched. It is not consciousness but knowledge through vibration. They are themselves identified with a certain vibration and they respond to that vibration alone which is the higher correspondence upon the cosmic planes. Other vibrations they ignore.

They are taught how to insulate themselves so that no vibration save the one which reaches them from the cosmic source of the synthetic ray can touch them. Students can get some idea of the lower correspondence to this as they study the compass, its responsiveness to a certain magnetic current, and the tendency which it demonstrates to point ever towards the north. These adepts of the fifth Path are the constituent factor which occultly holds our solar system steadily equilibrized in one specific direction. Their main characteristic or attribute may be described as a sense of cosmic direction.

The source of energy to which they respond may be regarded as the Pole Star. It should nevertheless be pointed out that this star serves only as a blind for a constellation which lies behind, - a constellation which exists only in etheric matter. It is consequently ignored by astronomers, though its influence is exceedingly potent within our system. It should be borne in mind also that upon another planet within our solar ring-pass-not this fifth Path is the one that the majority of their adepts follow. Adepts who are on this Path, therefore, will pass to this other planetary scheme prior to finding their way to the Sun and from thence to cosmic spheres. Adepts from other schemes are not transferred to our Earth scheme as a school of training as it is not a sacred planet and therefore lacks such a specific school.

The influence which emanates from the Pole Star and which is such a potent factor in our solar system reaches our planet via the sign Aquarius. The reasons will be noted if the student bears in mind the significance of water as a symbol of the emotions, which are but a lower manifestation of love-desire. Aquarius is a force center from which the adept draws the "water of life" and carries it to the multitude. This force from the Pole Star, via Aquarius, is of special power at this time and the day of opportunity is therefore great. It is one of the agencies which make the coming of the Great Lord a possibility. He is Himself upon the fifth Path just as the Manu is upon the third. Hence the close link between the two paths, for those on the fifth path can pass to the third and vice versa. The first and the seventh, the second and the fourth, and the third and the fifth are but the two sides of one whole, or the two aspects of the one Path. These three paths (with the fourth Path) constitute two Paths and the two Paths are but one. This great mystery may not further be enlarged upon.

The Hierarchies which play a great part in the introduction of polar influence are the first and the second. It was this occult truth which had such a bearing upon the nature of the first two races of mankind and upon their habitat.

The method whereby the adept develops the needed powers for this Path have been hinted at above. They might be expressed as a process of electrical insulation and the imprisonment of polar magnetism. It is not permitted to say more.

The symbol of this path is five balls of fire (blue fire) confined within a sphere. This sphere is formed by a serpent biting its tail, and the entire body of the serpent is closely covered with written Sensa characters; these characters embody the mantram, whereby the adept insulates himself from the magnetic flow of all currents save that for which he is responsible.

The quality which the adept develops as he treads this Path can only be given in the words of the old Commentary:

"The depression at the northern point permits entrance of that which stabilizes, and acts as the factor of resistance to that which seeketh to deter or to distract."

Perhaps cosmic stability and magnetic equilibrium serve best to convey the necessary idea.


  • Attributes - A sense of cosmic direction.
  • Source - The Pole Star via Aquarius.
  • Hierarchies - The first and the second.
  • Method - A process of electrical insulation and the imprisonment of polar magnetism.
  • Symbol - Five balls of fire enclosed within a sphere. Sphere is formed of a serpent inscribed with the mantram of insulation.
  • Quality - Cosmic stability and magnetic equilibrium.