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|Initiation, Human and Solar - Chapter XVII - Diversities of Initiations|
|Therefore man must recognize the cyclic nature of initiation,
and the place of the process in time and space. This is a special period of activity in
the cycle of a Heavenly Man, and it works out on our planet as a vast period of trial or
initiatory testing; it is, nevertheless, equally a period of vitalization and of
We must also endeavor to realize the fact that initiation may be seen taking place on the three planes in the three worlds, and the thought must ever be borne in mind of the relative value and place of the unit, or cell, in the body of a Heavenly Man. The point must here be emphasized that the major initiations, or the initiations of manas, are those taken on the mental plane and in the causal body. They mark the point in evolution where the unit recognizes in fact, and not only in theory, his identity with the divine Manasaputra in whose body he has place. Initiations can be taken on the physical plane, on the astral, and on the lower mental, but they are not considered major initiations, and are not a conscious, coordinated, unified stimulation that involves the whole man.
A man, therefore, may take initiation on each plane, but only those initiations which mark his transference from a lower four into a higher three are considered so in the real sense of the word, and only those in which a man transfers his consciousness from the lower quaternary into the triad are major initiations. We have, therefore, three grades of initiations:
First, initiations in which a man transfers his consciousness from the lower four subplanes of the physical, astral, and mental planes respectively, into the higher three subplanes. When this is done upon the mental plane a man is then known technically as a disciple, an initiate, an adept. He uses then each of the three higher subplanes of the mental plane as a point from  which to work his way completely out of the three worlds of human manifestation into the triad. Therefore it is apparent that what one might consider as lesser initiations can be taken on the physical and astral planes, in the conscious control of their three higher subplanes. These are true initiations, but do not make a man what is technically understood as a Master of the Wisdom. He is simply an adept of a lesser degree.
Secondly, initiations in which a man transfers his consciousness from plane to plane, instead of from subplane to subplane. Herein comes a point to be carefully recognized. A true Master of the Wisdom has not only taken the lesser initiations referred to above, but has also taken the five steps involved in the conscious control of the five planes of human evolution. It remains for him then to take the two final initiations which make him a Chohan of the sixth degree, and a Buddha, before that control is extended to the remaining two planes of the solar system. It is obvious, therefore, that it is correct to speak of the seven initiations, yet it would be nevertheless equally correct to enumerate five, ten, or twelve initiations. The matter is complicated for occult students, owing to certain mysterious factors about which they can naturally know nothing, and which must remain to them, as yet, utterly incomprehensible. These factors are founded in the individuality of the Heavenly Man himself, and involve such mysteries as his particular karma, the aim he may have in view for any particular cycle, and the turning of the attention of the cosmic ego of a Heavenly Man to his reflection, the evolving Heavenly Man of a solar system.
A further factor may also be found in certain periods of stimulation, and of increased vitalization, such as a cosmic initiation produces. These outside effects naturally  produce results in the units or cells in the body of the Heavenly Man, and lead often to events unforeseen and apparently inexplicable.
Thirdly, initiations in which a Heavenly Man may take either a minor or a major initiation, thereby involving his entire nature. For instance, when individualization took place during the Lemurian, or the third root race, and the human family in this cycle definitely came into manifestation, it signified a major initiation for our Heavenly Man. The present stimulation in hierarchical effort is leading up to a lesser initiation. Each great cycle sees a major initiation of a Heavenly Man taken on one or other of the globes, and herein again complication lies, and much food for thought.
To the three above points we might also briefly add that of the coming in, or passing out, of any particular ray. The little that can be said upon this point, which is one of the greatest difficulty, might be summed up in the following three statements: First, that initiations taken on the four minor rays rank not in equality with initiations taken upon the major three. This is complicated somewhat by the fact that within the planetary Scheme, during cyclic evolution, a minor ray may be temporarily regarded as a major ray. For instance, at this particular time in our planetary Scheme, the seventh Ray of Ceremonial Law or Order is regarded as a major ray, being a ray of synthesis, and one on which the Mahachohan is blending his work. Secondly, that the first three initiations are taken upon the ray of the Ego, and link a man up with the great White Lodge; the last two are taken upon the ray of the monad, and have a definite effect upon the path for service that will be chosen later by the adept. This statement must be linked up with that earlier made, which stated that the fifth initiation made a man  a member of the Greater Lodge, or Brotherhood, on Sirius, being literally the first of the Sirian initiations. The fourth initiation is the synthesis of the Initiations of the threshold in the Sirian Lodge. Finally, according to the ray on which initiation is taken, so very largely-depends the subsequent path of service.
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