The Seven Cosmic Paths

Excerpts from: The Rays and the Initiations


Path I

Path II

Path III

Path IV

Path V

Path VI

Path VII


The passage below is an excerpt from:
Alice A. Bailey.  The Rays and the Initiations.
(New York: Lucis Publishing Co., 1960/1988), pp. 419-421.
Lucis Trust: Books on Line


Compare excerpt from:   A Treatise on Cosmic Fire
Summaries of the Seven Cosmic Paths
Seven Cosmic Path Graphics
Seven Stanzas from CF

The Rays and the Initiations - Part Two - Section One - The Aspirant and the Mysteries of Initiation:   Path V

5.  The Ray Path

The history of evolution upon the Earth, from the angle of humanity is one of progress, emphatic revolutionary decisions and climaxing crises. Without such a history we should not realize the progress made and the steady though gradual growth of sensitive response to environment, to contact and to impressions - mental and spiritual. The history of evolution is in reality and from the occult point of view the history of the freeing of the spirit by the mode of steadily developing forms which - in orderly unfoldment and at the demand of spirit - meet its requirements in any particular cycle and at every stage of growth, consequent upon the response of substance to spiritual impact and impression.

This impact and this impression relate to the bringing together of substance and spirit, of form and matter, and is also closely connected with the cyclic appearance of the rays, with their varying ray influences, qualities and intentions, for they all contribute to the evolutionary process as they cycle in and out of manifested expression. It should be recognized that each ray Lord, whilst following His own path of development, has certain qualities to express and certain aspects of life to unfold and manifest. The effect of these intentions of the ray Lords or Lives upon our planet is, from Their angle, purely incidental and takes place without planning, being due to definite cyclic, circulatory and cosmic activities wherein They are eternally engaged. Their intention and purposes are not, therefore, in any way related to humanity - a fact which men are apt to forget.

It is, however, with these ray intentions that the Initiate of the sixth degree is occupied when He passes on to the fifth or Ray Path. His decision and the intention of the ray Lord at first, and the united intention of all of Them eventually, are curiously and uniquely connected. The Master on this Path works at the comprehension of the intention and the life purposes of the ray Lords. Many first ray souls find their way on to this Path, for there is a close connection between the decision at the sixth initiation and this fifth Path; this might be expected for two reasons: one, that every Master is on one of the three major rays, and secondly, every Master has to develop an understanding of the world of cosmic Purpose. It is a connection based upon the use of the will; it is the will-to-power, the will-to-love and the will-to-know, plus the other four aspects of will (A Treatise on the Seven Rays, Vol. III. Esoteric Astrology, Pages 599-601.) which form the elementary basis of the training given on this fifth Path. Souls from other rays reach the same goal and occasionally choose this Path, but it is not the one which constitutes for Them the line of least resistance, as it often is for Masters on the first ray.

Masters from the first ray and the second ray tread it often, and each of Them has a different mode of approach, technique and type of realization:

  1. First ray souls have to negate their "isolated unity" and study the beauty and value of differentiation. This period of training is followed by a mysterious process called "multiple identification." Note how the adjective here conveys the many and the plural whilst the noun gives the concept of unity and the singular. In these two words, apparently contradictory though esoterically significant, there is embodied one aspect of the initiation to be experienced on this ray Path.
  2. The second ray Master who decides to go this way has to negate his attractive, magnetic tendencies and learn the meaning of "isolated intention with a multiplicity of goals." I know not how else to translate the archaic phrase which describes the objective of the Master's training on this Path. The exclusive has to become the inclusive in an entirely newly apprehended world of realization, whilst the inclusive has to master the technique of exclusiveness and become exclusive in a new realm of realization; it is an exclusiveness which has in it no slightest element of the great heresy of separateness.

I may not here even indicate the type or quality of the intentions of the ray Lords which the Master of the sixth initiation has to learn to comprehend. The training given Him ends in another tremendous decision which will place Him in a group of Lives on some sacred planet or in some solar system which will be a correspondence to Shamballa on our little planet. Shamballa embodies the will or purpose of our planetary Logos. The goal which these initiates (trained on the ray Path) eventually reach is some sphere of activity wherein sublime purposes and divine intentions are worked out.