This post starts the process of explaining the First Initiation as described by Alice Bailey by first taking time to explain what initiation is as an expansion of consciousness and how it is connected to enlightenment experiences.
NOTE: This book is now in the process of being edited. Once it is completely edited it will no longer be free online. As of 3/21/20 this chapter has not been edited.
At last we come to Bailey’s initiation process, which again is equivalent to what many would call “enlightenment” experiences. The first initiation process is said by Bailey to cover the Probationary Discipleship phase of Little Chelaship stage and the Accepting Discipleship phase of the Chela in the Light stage (see chart above). All these stages are related to Bailey’s Group 7. They are also related by Bailey to the Crisis and Light stages of the Technique of Integration, and to her Fourteen Rules for Individual Initiation. I believe they are also connected to the 7th, 6th, and 5th subplanes of the Mental Plane and to primarily the Love/Knowledge petals of the Egoic Lotus. Since a lot is involved in this First Initiation I will cover it in three separate chapters related to the three subplanes of the Mental Plane I believe it is connected with. In this chapter we will primarily focus on what initiation is, what is involved in the process, and finally I will be making some comparisons between what Bailey says about initiation, what Theosophy says, and what Integral says.
Before we describe what is specifically is involved Bailey’s First Initiation, I would like to define what initiation is. Starting with Bailey’s most basic definition she says, “The word Initiation comes from two Latin words, in, into; and ire, to go; therefore, the making of a beginning, or the entrance into something. It posits, in its widest sense, in the case we are studying, an entrance into the spiritual life, or into a fresh stage in that life. It is the first step, and the succeeding steps, upon the Path of Holiness” (Initiation: Human & Solar, p. 10). In regards to the spiritual path then, initiation is a process of making steps to become increasingly spiritual or holy. Having stated this, I need to emphasize the words steps, because much of what we see in literature and popular movies in regards to initiation (or enlightenment experiences) act as if everything happens all of a sudden as someone wakes up to the spiritual realms through all kinds of fantastic experiences that when concluded turn that individual into a highly evolved spiritual being who is viewed as entirely enlightened, saint-like, super-human and pure. Sadly, these views distort what many spiritual teachings have to say about enlightenment when you dig into their traditions on a deeper level. In Bailey’s model, initiation, or enlightenment, may involve some aspects that are sudden, but overall it is a gradual process. That is why the argument about whether initiation is sudden or gradual is in a way a non-sensical because as we shall soon see at different stages of the initiation process it will become sudden and then once again gradual. Also, the initiation process does not mean anyone is totally enlightened after a initiation. The reason for this is because initiation, or enlightenment, is seen as an ongoing process, not a single event.
Having hopefully reduced any expectations of initiation being some miraculous process, I would now like to let Bailey’s writings speak for themselves. To quote, “What, therefore, is initiation? Initiation might be defined in two ways. It is first of all the entering into a new and wider dimensional world by the expansion of a man’s consciousness so that he can include and encompass that which he now excludes, and from which he normally separates himself in his thinking and acts. It is, secondly, the entering into man of those energies which are distinctive of the soul and of the soul alone—the forces of intelligent love and of spiritual will. These are dynamic energies, and they actuate all who are liberated souls. This process of entering into and of being entered into should be a simultaneous and synthetic process, an event of the first importance. Where it is sequential or alternating, it indicates an uneven unfoldment and an unbalanced condition. There is frequently the theory of unfoldment, and a mental grasp anent the facts of the initiatory process before they are practiced experimentally in the daily life and thus psychologically integrated into the practical expression of the living process on the physical plane” (Esoteric Psychology, Vol. II, pp. 12—13).
So already we see some of the following components as being involved:
- It is a two-fold process of:
- the Integrated Personality entering into the Soul
- The Soul entering the Integrated Personality
- As the Integrated Personality enters the realm of the Soul it:
- enters into a new and wider dimensional world
- expands the consciousness
- makes the person more inclusive vs. exclusive
- As the Soul enters the Integrated Personality it:
- increases the quotient of intelligent love
- enhances the capacity to utilize the spiritual will.
- Though it “should” be a a “simultaneous and synthetic process” it is often “sequential or alternating” due to “an uneven unfoldment and an unbalanced condition.”
- Just like you can’t lose weight by reading about how to lose weight, you cannot go through any initiation process by just talking about it. You have to master the various processes involved in any initiation you undergo. In short, you have to go beyond theory and practice what is required of any initiation you are going through, which is done in a scientific way.
- Each initiation results in a practical expression on the physical plane.
To summarize the most significant points above, initiation is a process you go through in a scientific way so that you can become more inclusive, Soul-full, filled with intelligent love, and demonstrate your ability to increase your spiritual will. And, all of this has to become evident to yourself and others as it is put into practice, so that in a practical way the results of that initiation (expansion of consciousness) can help others within the physical world.
Drawing from another source in the Bailey books, we see the following, “Each initiation marks the passing of the pupil in the Hall of Wisdom into a higher class, marks the clearer shining forth of the inner fire and the transition from one point of polarisation to another, entails the realisation of an increasing unity with all that lives and the essential oneness of the self with all selves. It results in a horizon that continuously enlarges until it includes the sphere of creation; it is a growing capacity to see and hear on all the planes. It is an increased consciousness of God’s plans for the world, and an increased ability to enter into those plans and to further them” (Initiation: Human & Solar, p. 14).
We also find this quote about initiation, “Primarily it involves the capacity to see, hear, and comprehend, and to synthesise and correlate knowledge. It does not necessarily involve the development of the psychic faculties, but it does entail the inner comprehension that sees the value underlying the form, and recognises the purpose of pervading circumstances. It is the capacity that senses the lesson to be learnt from any given occurrence and event, and that by means of these comprehensions and recognitions effects an hourly, weekly, yearly growth and expansion. This process of gradual expansion—the result of the definite effort and strenuous right thinking and living of the aspirant himself and not of some occult teacher performing an occult rite—leads to what one might term a crisis” (Initiation: Human & Solar, p. 14—15).
Adding to the previous summary we find that initiation increasingly allows you to:
- Move into the “Hall of Wisdom” which is knowledge that has been embodied and applied.
- Bring about an increasing unity with all that lives, not only in theory (Hall of Knowledge), but through a proven ability to demonstrate one’s “essential oneness of the self with all selves.”
- Continuously enlarge your horizon to include the sphere of all creation.
- See and hear on all the planes (Physical Plane to the Divine Plane).
- Further your understanding of the “Divine Plan.”
- Increase your capacity to enter into and serve that “Divine Plan.”
- Increasingly synthesize and correlate knowledge.
- Comprehend the value and purpose of any form.
- Sense the lesson to be learned from any occurrence and event.
- Happens after one’s right thinking, living, and effort have lifted one into a new vibratory level that in turn produces a crisis.
INITIATIONS NEVER ENDING
The next thing I want to examine is Bailey’s idea of multiple initiations taking place over many lifetimes. Again we need to get rid of the notion that al of a sudden someone becomes enlightened and is a perfected being forever more. Rather, a series of initiations, or enlightenment experiences, take place. Each initiation follows the premises described by Bailey in the section before this one on “Initiation Defined.” Each initiation takes you to into a new vibratory level and we are told during each initiation you are aided by a “Master.” Which, brings us to the question of “who is the Master?” For now, what is important to understand is that essentially that “Master” is one’s own’s Soul. Later, that “Master” will be one’s own Monad. And, at times that Master will be a spiritual teacher, which is a topic we will take up later.
To help you conceptualize this process a little better let’s look at the Bailey system again. To the left is the model as presented by Bailey, and to the right is a chart I have created adding colors (which were my own device, Bailey never used these). In the color I have added four blue triangles to highlight some of the triangles shown in the Bailey model. The first blue triangle represents the developmental stages of the Integrated Personality that is working on becoming Soul infused. In the Bailey chart I have put a blue circle to show the subplanes that are connected to this process. The blue personality triangle I have created essentially covers all those subplanes. As a reminder, in this model humans first have to become an Integrated Personality, which essentially is an individual who has become very adept at being in the material world, but at first does so in a way that serves mainly their own self-interests. The individual is also overly identified with the five senses, and has little to no experience with subtler realms. That is why the tendency is to believe that money, pleasure/sex, and power in the realm of the five senses will bring true happiness. Eventually, the individual evolves to the point where he or she becomes disillusioned with the material world realizing that material money, pleasure/sex, and power did not give him or her the happiness he or she desired. At this point the individual starts to tread the spiritual path becoming a Little Chela in the Bailey model, which involves Bailey’s Aspirant and Probationary Discipleship stage (please see chart at the beginning of this chapter again).
As a Little Chela (represented by the person in a white robe here) that person is now attempting to understand the inner spiritual realms. The individual is led by his or her “Higher Self,” “Soul,” “Solar Angel,”, which is the first “Master” one will contact. In some traditions this is called the Master (Christ, Buddha, etc.) within. I have represented that Soul with the picture that looks a little more “angelic like.” At first many distortions exist in the attempt to understand and contact this “Master” or “Soul” and we will discuss these, especially in the next chapter. But, as the person moves out of the Probationary Discipleship stage and becomes what Bailey calls an Accepting Disciple and a Chela in the Light the individual has done enough to expand the consciousness and “enter into the new dimensional world” of Soul qualities, so that Soul takes “notice” so to speak. The vibrational qualities of the Soul (on the Plane of the Solar Angel) begin to line up, or match, those of the Integrated Personality who is becoming more soul infused while traveling along the Probationary stage and becomes a “Chela in the Light.” When this match is close enough, the Soul (as the first “Master”) sends down its energy to enhance the process within the Integrated Personality and the First Initiation (which started at the Probationary Discipleship stage) is completed. As the Second Initiation is undergone the Soul continues to infuse the Integrated Personality until it turns into the Soul-infused personality.
After the Second Initiation a new “Master” (the Monad) takes over to become the “initiator.” I have tried to illustrate this with the picture of a single eye here. Since the level of consciousness that the Monad resides on is very high, it appears as if it has to be moderated through what Bailey calls the “Spiritual Triad.” which covers all of the Spiritual (Atmic) and Intuitional (Buddhic) planes, as well as the 1st Subplane of the Mental Plane. Again these planes and sub-planes represent different levels of consciousness. Since many levels of consciousness are being covered, it appears as if the Monad is the new “Master” or “initiator” for some time. In the Bailey model we are also told then that the Monad is the initiator or “Master” during Bailey’s Third, Fourth, and Fifth initiations (enlightenment experiences, or levels of consciousness). At the time of Bailey’s Sixth Initiation, a decision is made as to “Seven Paths” the person (who is no longer really human) can go on when moving off the Wheel of Rebirth out of our Earth system all together. This idea of moving off the Wheel of Rebirth actually emulates much of what is found in the esoteric version of Christianity, the Yogic tradition, Hinduism, and Buddhism. (Note: this “Wheel” is also seen in the classic Tarot deck, which originally was not at all a fortune telling system, but a symbolic book showing how to travel the “esoteric Christianity” path. Though many people hear about getting off this Wheel, few understand that it means that we no longer have to reincarnate as human beings, or remain connected to the Earth “scheme” and it’s evolution, unless we choose to stay here as an Avatar or Bodhisattva of some sort to help humanity evolve. Looking again at the chart where I have superimposed Bailey’s model with color on the subplanes and highlighted the main triangles in blue, we see the large triangle on the bottom as representing the various stages where slowly we grow into becoming an Integrated Personality, that is then aspiring to become Soul-infused. At that point we contact the first Master within, the Soul (also called here the Egoic Lotus), and pass through the First Initiation. The Soul then guides us through the Second Initiation, then disappears, as the Monad takes over as the “Master” or “initiator.” Again, that Monad works through the Spiritual Triad while doing this lifting the human being into the Intuitional (Buddhic) and Spiritual (Atmic) Planes. Thus, ultimately, one’s “Master” is primarily one’s own Soul, and then one’s own Monad.
Having addressed the idea of the “inner Master,” I would now like to discuss the notion of an outer Master, which is often represented as human beings who act as teachers, guides, gurus, lamas, and so forth who help us to evolve spiritually. I have emphasized the idea of “inner Masters” first because Bailey herself emphasizes the “inner Master” as most essential. Like others, Bailey does talk about a group of “outer Masters” who are said to be spiritually evolved human beings hanging around the Earth in a vast network attempting to guide humanity as a whole through their spiritual evolution. Having finally brought up the idea of Masters I am also going into concepts that can lead us into areas of both distortion and controversy. Though it is an important subject, I do not want to do more than a surface discussion at this time. Suffice it to say that the concept of evolved spiritual beings guiding the human race (Bailey refers to this as the “spiritual hierarchy”) is pretty much found in every major spiritual tradition both exoteric and esoteric. Either the entire human race, including all it’s major thinkers over thousands of years, is just deluded, or such a group of evolved humans really exist.
Of course when we look at the evolution of human beings we find that a natural shift occurs regarding the notion of spiritual beings guiding the race. Using Bailey’s model, we see that her Groups 2, 3, 4, and 5 are full of human beings inclined to believe in what Bailey calls a “spiritual hierarchy.” As we learned in my book Becoming Human, members of these groups tend to be more naïve and full of magical thinking. Those in Group 6 are becoming more rational and this kind of magical thinking is let go of. In psychological terms this can cause a “reaction formation” where a reaction is formed to the extreme in the opposite direction. Now any notion of a “spiritual hierarchy” is totally rejected. To even consider something like this is viewed as irrational, childish, and even absurd. Priding themselves on being so objective and rational, Group 6 members have a hard time when the shift is made into Group 7 and we move into Little Chelaship. We will explore how this plays out in the next chapter. For now, I will simply summarize and say once again there is an openness to the idea of a spiritual hierarchy, and an “outer Master,” but it is easy to still be very confused and mixed up about what a human like Master actually is. And, even Bailey confesses there is a lot of glamour (distortion) around it that supposedly remains until you get into her Second Initiation. Coming back to the idea of initiation, Bailey and others do believe that an “outer Master” can stimulate and enhance through their example and their energy (known as shaktipat in the Yoga tradition), the spiritual growth and evolution of their “chelas” or “disciples.” But, again Bailey tends to emphasize that the primary Master guiding one through the initiation process is one’s own Soul and later one’s Monad (which Bailey also calls Spirit, or our “Father in Heaven” to use a more Christian phrase).
To quote Bailey directly. “The whole process is therefore for the purpose of making man consciously one:— First: With himself, and those in incarnation with him. Second: With his higher Self, and thus with all selves. Third: With his Spirit, or “Father in Heaven,” and thus with all Monads. Fourth: With the Logos, the Three in One and the One in Three. Man becomes a conscious human being through the instrumentality of the Lords of the Flame, through Their enduring sacrifice. Man becomes a conscious Ego, with the consciousness of the higher Self, at the third initiation, through the instrumentality of the Masters and of the Christ, and through Their sacrifice in taking physical incarnation for the helping of the world. Man unites with the Monad at the fifth initiation, through the instrumentality of the Lord of the World, the Solitary Watcher, the Great Sacrifice. Man becomes one with the Logos through the instrumentality of One about Whom naught may be said” (Initiation: Human & Solar, p. 19).
Regarding this quote, let me clarify some terms. When it says you become consciously “one within yourself and with others” it is referring to the Integrated Personality who integrates one’s mental, emotional, and physical vehicles so one can be dominate in the world, but in a selfish way, which also requires integrating more effectively with others, but again in a selfish manner. Next, the “Higher self” (or Soul) takes over, which again is the “initiator” for the First and Second Initiations. Then the Monad (“Father in Heaven”) takes over at the Third Initiation. Then we hear some new terms. The first is Logos, which is a name (like Lord of the World, Solitary Watcher, Great Sacrifice, etc.) given to the living and conscious Being that informs our planet who works through the Monad, (which is Three in One and One and Three and represented by the two triangles of the Spiritual Triad and equilateral triangle found on the Monadic Plane). The Logos and the Monad helps the human being become a “conscious Ego” (Ego here means Soul, or Higher Self). During this process (covering the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Initiations) other enlightened human beings whose consciousness resides on the Intuitional (or Buddhic) Plane also assist. These enlightened human beings can go by many names (Buddha, Krishna, and so on), but here they are referred to as Masters and Christ. To let you know the phrase Buddha means “awakened one,” which could also symbolize someone who has Buddhic (often called Christ, Krishna, or Kristna) Consciousness. In other words, these evolved humans help the Man “unite with the Monad” up to the point of the Fifth Initiation, when that human being likewise becomes a Master who is “one with the Father in Heaven” to use that Christian phrase again. Then at the Fifth Initiation, the Logos works through the agency of the Monad to help the human become one with the Logos moving the human beyond global consciousness with the help of the “One about Whom naught may be said.” To let you know it is important to avoid the tendency to anthropomorphize these terms (Soul, Monad, Logos) and keep in mind we are talking about levels of consciousness that “enter into” us whenever we have “entered” into them through our similar vibration. And, again we see that Bailey invites us to see initiation as an ongoing process of continued expansions of our consciousness, which means again we need to throw out the Hollywood idea of one enlightenment experience that creates some sort of perfected human being.
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