Esoteric Science and Philosophy

Esoteric Science and Philosophy

AVATARS

 

THE DOCTRINE OF THE COMING ONE - Western Teaching

THE DOCTRINE OF AVATARS - Eastern Teaching

 

Right down the ages, in many world cycles and in many countries (and today in all) great points of tension have occurred which have been characterised by a hopeful sense of expectancy. Some one is expected and His coming is anticipated. Always in the past, it has been the religious teachers of the period who have fostered and proclaimed this expectancy and the time has always been one of chaos and difficulty, of a climaxing point at the close of a civilisation or culture and when the resources of the old religions have seemed inadequate to meet men's difficulties or to solve their problems. The coming of the Avatar, the advent of a Coming One and, in terms of today, the reappearance of the Christ are the keynotes of the prevalent expectancy. When the times are ripe, the invocation of the masses is strident enough and the faith of those who know is keen enough, then always He has come and today will be no exception to this ancient rule or to this universal law. For decades, the reappearance of the Christ, the Avatar, has been anticipated by the faithful in both hemispheres—not only by the Christian faithful, but by those who look for Maitreya and for the Boddhisattva as well as those who expect the Imam Mahdi.

When men feel that they have exhausted all their own resources and have come to an end of all their own innate possibilities and that the problems and conditions confronting them are beyond their solving or handling, they are apt to look for a divine Intermediary and for the Mediator Who will plead their cause with God and bring about a rescue. They look for a Saviour. This doctrine of Mediators, of Messiahs, of Christs and of Avatars can be found running like a golden thread through all the world faiths and Scriptures and, relating these world Scriptures to some central source of emanation, they are found in rich abundance everywhere. Even the human soul is regarded as an intermediary between man and God; Christ is believed by countless millions to act as the divine mediator between humanity and divinity.

The whole system of spiritual revelation is based (and has always been based) on this doctrine of interdependence, of a planned and arranged conscious linking and of the transmission of energy from one aspect of divine manifestation to another—from God in the "secret Place of the Most High" to the humblest human being, living and struggling and sorrowing on earth. Everywhere this transmission is to be found; "I am come that they may have life" says the Christ, and the Scriptures of the world are full of the intervention of some Being, originating from some source higher than the strictly human. Always the appropriate mechanism is found through which divinity can reach and communicate with humanity, and it is with this communication and these Instruments of divine energy that the doctrine of Avatars or of divine "Coming Ones" has to do.

An Avatar is one Who has a peculiar capacity (besides a self-initiated task and a pre-ordained destiny) to transmit energy or divine power. This is necessarily a deep mystery and was demonstrated in a peculiar manner and in relation to cosmic energy by the Christ Who—for the first time in planetary history, as far as we know—transmitted the divine energy of love directly to our planet and in a most definite sense to humanity. Always too these Avatars or divine Messengers are linked with the concept of some subjective spiritual Order or Hierarchy of spiritual Lives, Who are concerned with the developing welfare of humanity. All we really know is that, down the ages, great and divine Representatives of God embody divine purpose, and affect the entire world in such a manner that Their names and Their influence are known and felt thousands of years after They no longer walk among men. Again and again, They have come and have left a changed world and some new world religion behind Them; we know also that prophecy and faith have ever held out to mankind the promise of Their coming again amongst us in an hour of need. These statements are statements of fact, historically proven. Beyond this we know relatively few details.

The word "Avatar" is a Sanskrit word, meaning literally "coming down from far away." Ava (as prefix to verbs and verbal nouns) expresses the idea of "off, away, down." Avataram (comparative) farther away. The root AV seems at all times to denote the idea of protection from above, and is used in compounds, in words referring to protections by kings or rulers; in regard to the gods, it means accepted favourably when a sacrifice is offered. With the result that the root word can be said to mean "Coming down with the approval of the higher source from which it came and with benefit to the place at which it arrives." (From Monier-Williams' Sanskrit Dictionary.)

All the world Avatars or Saviours, however, express two basic incentives: the need of God to contact humanity and to have relationship with men and the need of humanity for divine contact, help and understanding. Subject to those incentives, all true Avatars are therefore divine Intermediaries. They can act in this fashion because They have completely divorced Themselves from every limitation, from all sense of self hood and separativeness and are no longer—by ordinary human standards—the dramatic centre of Their lives, as are most of us. When They have reached that stage of spiritual decentralisation, They Themselves can then become events in the life of our planet; toward Them every eye can look and all men can be affected. Therefore, an Avatar or a Christ comes forth for two reasons: one, the inscrutable and unknown Cause prompts Him so to do, and the other is the demand or the invocation of humanity itself. An Avatar is consequently a spiritual event, coming to us to bring about great changes or major restorations, to inaugurate a new civilisation or to restore the "ancient landmarks" and lead man nearer to the divine. They have been defined as "extraordinary men Who from time to time appear to change the face of the world and inaugurate a new era in the destinies of humanity." They come in times of crisis; They frequently create crises in order to bring to an end the old and the undesirable and make way for new and more suitable forms for the evolving life of God Immanent in Nature. They come when evil is rampant. For this reason, if for no other, an Avatar may be looked for today. The necessary stage is set for the reappearance of the Christ.

Avatars are of all degrees and kinds; some of them are of great planetary importance because They express whole cycles of future development within Themselves and strike the note and give the teaching which will bring in a new age and a new civilisation; They embody great truths towards which the masses of men must work and which still constitute an objective to the greatest minds of the age, even though as yet unrealised. Certain Avatars also express in Themselves the sum total of human achievement and of racial perfection, and thus become the "ideal men" of the ages. Others, greater still, are permitted to be the custodians of some divine principle or some divine quality which needs fresh presentation and expression upon Earth; this They can be because They have achieved perfection and have attained to the highest possible initiations. They have the gift of being these embodied spiritual qualities, and because They have in fullness expressed such a specific principle or quality They can act as channels for its transmission from the centre of all spiritual Life. This is the basis for the doctrine of Avatars or Divine Messengers.

Such an one was the Christ; He was twice an Avatar because He not only struck the keynote of the new age (over two thousand years ago) but He also, in some mysterious and incomprehensible manner, embodied in Himself the divine Principle of Love; He was the first to reveal to men the true nature of God. The invocative cry of humanity (the second of the incentives producing a divine Emergence) is potent in effect because the souls of men, particularly in concerted action, have in them something which is akin to the divine nature of the Avatar. We are all Gods, all the children of the One Father, as the latest of the Avatars, the Christ, has told us. It is that divine centre in every human heart which, when awakened into activity, can call forth response from the high Place where the Coming One awaits His hour of appearance. It is only the united demand of humanity, its "massed intent," which can precipitate the descent (as it is called) of an Avatar.

To sum up, therefore: the doctrine of Avatars is paralleled by the doctrine of the continuity of revelation. Ever down the ages, and at every great human crisis, always in the hours of necessity, at the founding of a new race, or in the awakening of a prepared humanity to a new and wider vision, the Heart of God—impelled by the Law of Compassion—sends forth a Teacher, a world Saviour, an Illuminator, an Avatar, a transmitting Intermediary, a Christ. He gives the message which will heal, which will indicate the next step to be taken by the race of men, which will illumine a dark world problem and give to man an expression of some hitherto unrealised aspect of divinity. Upon this fact of the continuity of revelation and upon the sequence of this progressive manifestation of the divine Nature, is based the doctrine of Avatars, divine Messengers, divine Appearances and Saviours. To Them all, history unmistakenly testifies. It is upon the fact of this continuity, this sequence of Messengers and Avatars, and upon the dire and dreadful need of humanity at this time, that the worldwide expectancy of the reappearance of the Christ is based. It is the innate recognition of all these facts that has led to the steadily mounting invocative cry of humanity in every land for some form of divine relief or divine intervention; it is the recognition of these facts which also prompts the order which has gone forth from "the centre where the will of God is known" that the Avatar should come again; it is the knowledge of both these demands which has led the Christ to let His disciples in every land know that He will reappear when they have done the needed preparatory work.

The Avatars most easily known and recognised are the Buddha in the East and the Christ in the West. Their messages are familiar to all, and the fruits of Their lives and words have conditioned the thinking and civilisations of both hemispheres. Because They are human-divine Avatars, They represent what humanity can easily understand; because They are of like nature to us, "flesh of our flesh and spirit of our spirit," we know and trust Them and They mean more to us than other divine Emergences. They are known, trusted and loved by countless millions. The nucleus of spiritual energy which each of Them set up is beyond our measuring; the establishing of a nucleus of persistent energy, spiritually positive, is the constant task of an Avatar; He focusses or anchors a dynamic truth, a potent thoughtform or a vortex of magnetic energy in the world of human living. This focal point acts increasingly as a transmitter of spiritual energy; it enables humanity to express some divine idea and this in time produces a civilisation with its accompanying culture, religions, policies, governments and educational processes. Thus is history made. History is after all only the record of humanity's cyclic reaction to some inflowing divine energy, to some inspired leader, or to some Avatar.

An Avatar is at present usually a Representative of the second divine aspect, that of Love-Wisdom, the Love of God. He will manifest as the Saviour, the Builder, the Preserver; humanity is not yet sufficiently developed or adequately oriented to the life of the Spirit to bear easily the impact of an Avatar Who would express the dynamic will of God. For us as yet (and this is our limitation) an Avatar is one Who preserves, develops, builds, protects, shields and succours the spiritual impulses by which men live; that which brings Him into manifestation is man's need and man's demand for preservation and help. Humanity needs love, understanding and right human relations as an expression of attained divinity. It was this need which brought the Christ to us before as the Avatar of Love. The Christ, that great human-divine Messenger, because of His stupendous achievement—along the line of understanding—transmitted to humanity an aspect and a potency of the nature of God Himself, the love Principle of Deity. Light, aspiration, and the recognition of God Transcendent had been the flickering expression of the human attitude to God, prior to the advent of the Buddha, the Avatar of Illumination.

Then the Buddha came and demonstrated in His Own life the fact of God Immanent as well as God Transcendent, of God in the universe and of God within humanity. The Selfhood of Deity and the Self in the heart of individual man became a factor in human consciousness. It was a relatively new truth to man.

However, until Christ came and lived a life of love and service and gave men the new command to love one another, there had been very little emphasis upon God as Love in any of the world Scriptures. After He had come as the Avatar of Love, then God became known as love supernal, love as the goal and objective of creation, love as the basic principle of relationship and love as working throughout all manifestation towards a Plan motivated by love. This divine quality, Christ revealed and emphasised and thus altered all human living, goals and values.

The reason He has not come again is that the needed work has not been done by His followers in all countries. His coming is largely dependent, as we shall later see, upon the establishing of right human relations. This the church has hindered down the centuries, and has not helped because of its fanatical zeal to make "Christians" of all peoples and not followers of the Christ. It has emphasised theological doctrine, and not love and loving understanding as Christ exemplified it. The Church has preached the fiery Saul of Tarsus and not the gentle Carpenter of Galilee. And so, He has waited. But His hour has now come, because of the people's need in every land and because of the invocative cry of the masses everywhere and the advice of His disciples of all faiths and of all world religions.

It is not for us yet to know the date or the hour of the reappearance of the Christ. His coming is dependent upon the appeal (the often voiceless appeal) of all who stand with massed intent; it is dependent also upon the better establishment of right human relations and upon certain work being done at this time by senior Members of the Kingdom of God, the Church Invisible, the spiritual Hierarchy of our planet; it is dependent also upon the steadfastness of the Christ's disciples in the world at this time and His initiate-workers—all working in the many groups, religious, political and economic. To the above must be added what Christians like to call "the inscrutable Will of God," that unrecognised purpose of the Lord of the World, the Ancient of Days (as He is called in The Old Testament) Who "knows His own Mind, radiates the highest quality of love and focusses His Will in His Own high Place within the centre where the Will of God is known."

When the Christ, the Avatar of Love, makes His reappearance then will the

"Sons of men who are now the Sons of God withdraw Their faces from the shining light and radiate that light upon the sons of men who know not yet they are the Sons of God. Then shall the Coming One appear, His footsteps hastened through the valley of the shadow by the One of awful power Who stands upon the mountain top, breathing out love eternal, light supernal and peaceful, silent Will.

"Then will the sons of men respond. Then will a newer light shine forth into the dismal, weary vale of earth. Then will new life course through the veins of men, and then will their vision compass all the ways of what may be.

"So peace will come again on earth, but a peace unlike aught known before. Then will the will-to-good flower forth as understanding, and understanding blossom as goodwill in men." [THE REAPPEARANCE OF THE CHRIST pp5-14]

 

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AVATARS, THEIR NATURE AND THEIR WORK

 

We have, in our discussion above, connected the phenomenon of individualisation with the appropriation by the Logos, or by a planetary Logos, of Their dense physical vehicles, and Their self-conscious existence through the medium of the physical body.  A very difficult and mysterious subject might be touched upon here,—that of AVATARS, and though it will not be possible for us to expound it fully, as it is one of the most occult and secret of the mysteries, perhaps a little light may be thrown upon this profound subject.      

For purposes of clarity and in order to elucidate a matter of extreme difficulty to the occidental mind above all (on account of the fact that it has not yet grasped the rationale of the process of reincarnation), it would be wise to divide the differing types of avatars into five groups, bearing in mind that every avatar is a Ray, emanated from a pure spiritual source, and that a self-conscious entity only earns the right to this peculiar form of work through a previous series of lives of achievement.

1.       Cosmic Avatars.

2.       Solar Avatars.

3.       Inter-planetary Avatars.

4.       Planetary Avatars.

5.       Human Avatars.

As just said, an avatar is a Ray of effulgent and perfected glory, clothing itself in matter for the purpose of service.  All avatars in the strict sense of the word are liberated souls, but the cosmic and solar avatars are liberated from the two lower planes of the cosmic planes.  While the planetary and the interplanetary avatars are liberated from the cosmic physical plane, our systemic planes, the human avatar has achieved freedom from the five planes of human endeavour.  In a strictly technical and lower sense, a Master in physical plane incarnation is a type of avatar, for He is a "freed soul" and therefore only chooses to incarnate for specific purpose, but we will not deal with Them.  Let us again subdivide these groups so as still further to clarify our ideas:

 

1. Cosmic Avatars:  They represent embodied force from the following cosmic centres among others:

a.       Sirius.

b.      That one of the seven stars of the Great Bear which is ensouled by the prototype of the Lord of our third major Ray.

c.       Our cosmic centre.

They represent entities as far removed from the consciousness of Man, as man is from the consciousness of the atom of substance.  Thousands of those great cycles which we call "a hundred years of Brahma" have passed since They approximated the human stage, and They embody force and consciousness which is concerned with the intelligent co-ordination of the starry Heavens.

They have achieved all that man can conceive of as the transcendence of will, of love and of intelligence, and in the synthesis of those three have added qualities and vibrations for which we have no terms, and which cannot be visioned by even our highest adepts.  Their appearance in a solar system is very unusual, and is only recognised on the highest two planes.  Yet, owing to the material nature of our solar system, Their advent is literally the appearance in a physical form of a spiritual Being Who is fully conscious.

Such entities from Sirius appear at the occasion of the initiation of the solar Logos, and They have a peculiar connection with the five Kumaras and through Them (using Them as focal points for force) with the Mahachohan's department in all the occult Hierarchies of the system.  Only once has such a Being visited our system, in connection with the appearance in time and space of the five mind-born Sons of Brahma.  The effect of such a visit as that of the Avatar from Sirius is seen as the sumtotal of civilisation and culture, viewing these from the standpoint of the entire system and in one flash of time.

An avatar from the cosmic centre will appear as pralaya is nearing and will produce in the body of the Logos that which we call "Death."  He is the cosmic Reaper, and (to reduce the above to words of an understandable nature) He belongs to a group which represents the abstracting energy of the cosmos, of which we find faint correspondences in the work of the "destroyer" aspect of the Logos, and in the forces which produce physical death, and the disintegration of the physical body of man.  It is not possible to say more on these fundamentally esoteric matters, and the value of what is said lies largely in the bringing to the mind of the student the reality of our cosmic interrelation.

 

2. Solar Avatars:  These avatars are of three types though there are really many more.  They are also extra-systemic visitors, and are mainly concerned with certain processes in the system, among others the administration of the law of cause and effect, or of karma.  They embody the karma of the past kalpas as far as our Logos is concerned, and give the initiatory impulse to the processes of adjustment, of expiation and of recognition as it concerns the present system as a whole.  One such Entity, the "Karmic Avatar" appeared upon the second logoic vibration, being swept in on the second Breath; He has stayed until now:  He will remain with us until all the schemes have entered upon their fifth round, and are nearing their "Judgment Day."  At that time, He can withdraw, leaving the planetary Logoi concerned to fulfil the karmic purpose unwatched.  The vibratory impulse will then be so strong and the realisation of the buddhic principle so consciously vivid that nothing can then arrest the onward march of affairs.  Under Him work a number of cosmic entities who, as stated in the Secret Doctrine, 41 have the privilege of "passing the ring-pass-not"; these are, nevertheless, not avatars for They are Themselves evolving through the administration of karma.  It is Their work, and opportunity to progress.  An avatar can learn nothing from the place of His appearance.  His work is to apply the force of some type of electrical energy to substance in one of its many grades, and thus bring about anticipated results.

Another type of solar avatar, Who can be seen appearing in the schemes, has relation to the heart centre of a planetary Logos, and appears on the higher planes (never on the lower) when the heart activity is making itself felt, and when the energising process is seen to bring about three things:

a.       An expansion of consciousness.

a.       An increase of spiritual light and brilliancy.

b.      Planetary radioactivity.

It is this planetary phenomenon which produces (in connection with the fourth kingdom in nature) the throwing open of the door of initiation to man.  Such avatars do not come in connection with any particular Hierarchy but only in relation to the total system.  They produce the blending of the colours, and the synthesis of the units in their groups.

At the initiation of a planetary Logos, an avatar may appear in His scheme on the seventh globe from that cosmic centre or star which is ensouled by the particular Rishi Who (in the constellation of the Great Bear) is His cosmic prototype.  This is, for the Entity concerned, the taking of a physical form, for our higher planes are but matter from Their standpoint.  This has been emphasised frequently, as its significance is not yet sufficiently grasped.  By means of the appearance of this Avatar on the seventh globe, the planetary Logos is enabled to preserve continuity of cosmic consciousness even when in physical incarnation; this solar avatar performs the same function for the planetary Logos as the Guru does for His disciple.  He makes certain events possible by means of the stimulation and protection of His aura, and He acts as a transmitter of electrical energy from the cosmic centre.  We must be careful to hold this analogy very lightly, for the real work accomplished cannot be grasped by man.  This avatar has naturally a direct effect upon the centres of the Heavenly Man and therefore upon the units or human Monads, but only indirectly and upon the Monad on its own plane.  This influence meets with little response from the Monad until after the third Initiation when its conscious life becomes so strong that it grips afresh its egoic expression in one direction, and awakens to planetary realisation in another.  This type of avatar appears only at the time of the initiation of a planetary Logos.  The number of initiations taken by a planetary Logos in this system vary from two to four.

 

3. Interplanetary Avatars.  A very interesting group of avatars is here to be found.  They are mainly concerned with three things:  first with the superintendence of the transfer of force units or egoic groups from one scheme to another (not with individual units from chain to chain).  They appear usually twice in the history of a scheme, and though unable to take physical bodies of grosser material than those formed of atmic and the buddhic substance, they work with impulse in mental matter and thus effect these group transfers.  They Themselves are subdivided into three groups:

a.       Those effecting the transfer from the minor schemes or Ray manifestations on to the third Ray; They concern Themselves with the result of the merging of the polar opposites in the four lesser schemes until but one is left; and then with the transference of the life and quality of this remaining one on to the third Ray.

b.      Those dealing with the transference and interaction of the life forces between the three major Rays.

c.       Those producing the final systemic transfer at the end of the age.

Secondly, certain avatars from the fourth Creative Hierarchy, for esoteric and for us inexplicable reasons, leave Their Own Hierarchy, and appear in one or other of the deva Hierarchies.  This happens only once in the history of each scheme and occurs at the time of its densest physical appearance, and has relation to the transference of deva impulse from one scheme to another.  They are connected in this way with the appearance of the self-conscious units, being the primal embodiment of the latent self-consciousness of the atom of deva substance.  They set the type for the devas of any particular scheme.

Once in the history of each scheme, an avatar from the constellation Capricorn appears on mental levels.  This level is the lowest one on which these interplanetary deities appear.  No more can be communicated on this matter.  "The mystery of the goat" lies hidden here.  This avatar makes His appearance in the third round of the third chain, and disappears in the fifth round of the fourth chain.

These interplanetary avatars come in, as the products of much earlier kalpas when systemic conditions are refined enough to permit of Their appearance.  They are the nirmanakayas of an earlier solar cycle Who now again take the opportunity to effect (in an active sense and through physical manifestation) certain uncompleted work.

 

4. Planetary Avatars.  These emanate from the central planetary Logos of a scheme and embody His will and purpose.  They are of two different kinds.  The first type is a manifestation on etheric physical levels of the planetary Logos Himself for a specific length of time.  It involves the definite taking of a physical body by one of the Kumaras.  Such an avatar is to be seen in Sanat Kumara, Who, with the three other Kumaras, embodies the four planetary quaternic principles.  In a very real sense, Sanat Kumara is the incarnation of the Lord of the Ray Himself; He is the Silent Watcher, the great Sacrifice for humanity.

As noted in the above paragraph, there are secondly three Entities Who embody planetary principles.  They are (speaking from the present standpoint) the dynamic energy which holds together the three lower kingdoms, viewing these kingdoms as units and not as differentiations.  They are closely connected with the energy aspect of the three earlier chains, and it only needed the work of an interplanetary avatar (at the formation of the triangle which resulted in the individualisation period in Lemurian days) to enable Them to take etheric bodies and incarnate among men.  They act as focal points for the energy of the planetary Logos on His own plane.  The first Kumara is in a mysterious sense the energy which produces self-consciousness in the human family.  The three other kumaras, or the three Buddhas of Activity, act as similar focal points for the energy which animates the three lower kingdoms, and which produces their differing grades of consciousness.  It is not possible to express this great mystery more clearly but if the student couples these few hints with those earlier given in the Secret Doctrine, the mystery of the "Holy Four" may be somewhat clarified from the standpoint of energy and evolution.

The times and seasons of their appearing vary according to the particular karma of the Lord of the Ray, and nothing in connection with these great cycles, and incarnation periods, can be revealed to the unpledged and the profane.

 

5. Human Avatars.  These are fully dealt with by H. P. B. and there is nothing further to add to her information, for the time is not ripe.  All the above has its place here, as it concerns the mystery of force and consciousness, and the fullest manifestation of a planetary Logos and of a solar Logos in a dense physical body is hidden in the appearance of these various avatars and in their effect. [A TREATISE ON COSMIC FIRE pp721/29]

 

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THE AVATAR OF SYNTHESIS

Just as there is a group of Contemplative Initiates, called in the Eastern phraseology "Nirmanakayas," Who function in deep meditation at a point midway between the Hierarchy and Shamballa, so this much higher group of Ray Lords function in the deepest cosmic meditation between our planet, the Earth, and our sister planet, Venus.  You would find it useful to read with care The Secret Doctrine and A Treatise on Cosmic Fire and refresh your minds as to this relationship.  A lower correspondence to these two important groups has been forming midway between the Hierarchy and Humanity, and to it we give the name of the New Group of World Servers.  All these three groups are fundamentally "transmitters of energy"; the two highest are exceedingly susceptible to cosmic impression and to the vibratory quality of the extra-planetary body of Avatars Who hold Themselves in readiness to function as destroying or building Energies in any part of our solar system and are under the direction of the Solar Logos.

The Avatar of Synthesis, Who is working in cooperation with the Christ, is one of Them.  Bear in mind that these extra-planetary Avatars have not arrived at Their high state of spiritual unfoldment on our planet or even in our solar system.  Their origin, source and spiritual relationships are a great mystery even to the planetary Logoi—to Whose help They go when the invocative appeal of any planet is adequate.  Think not that They come to put wrong right or to arrest evil.  A few, a very few, may do so, but They work along the line of the seven ray energies in the solar system and produce certain energy effects desired at any particular time; the constructive work of the Avatar of Synthesis will be apparent to you in the name He is known by; He is coming to the Earth in order to further the manifestation of unity, of oneness and of inter-relation, and He comes, therefore, to wield and apply first ray energy.  He will charge or galvanise the three groups—the directing Agents in Shamballa, the Nirmanakayas and the New Group of World Servers—with dynamic energy and, in a mysterious way, relate them to each other so that a new synthesis and alignment will be present upon the Earth.  All these Avatars embody energy to the extent that any particular planet is capable of receiving it.

These are interesting items of information but are only of value in so far as they convey to you a sense of planetary integrity and of solar synthesis, and present to you a closer spiritual inter-relation in which you, as individuals, can share if you are linking your fate and service to that of the New Group of World Servers.  Then you will be in the direct line of spiritual descent, of divine energy; in this thought you have the clue to the doctrine (so travestied and misused) of the Apostolic Succession.  The details, the personnel and the techniques of the two higher groups lie beyond your ken; They work in cooperation with the planetary Logos Himself, and Those Who compose these groups are all initiates of degrees higher than the fifth.  Most of the Nirmanakayas have taken the sixth and the seventh initiations, whilst the group which functions midway between the Earth and Venus have all taken the eighth and ninth initiations.  Some of Them, as I mentioned earlier, aid the initiate of the seventh degree; a still larger group of them participate in the activities of the two final initiations. [THE RAYS AND THE INITIATIONS pp734/35]

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