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|Esoteric Psychology II - Chapter II - The Ray of Personality - Introduction|
|CHAPTER II - THE RAY OF PERSONALITY
As we start this new part of our study, we can proceed to consider man as he is upon the physical plane, in the majority of cases. Speaking with a broad generalization, we could say that human beings can be grouped into four classes:
In every phase of human history, the quality of the civilization is the only thing that can in any way be conditioned by the Great White Lodge. The Members of the Lodge are only permitted to work with the emerging qualitative aspects of the divine nature. This is, in its turn, slowly conditioning the form life, and in this way the form aspect is steadily altered and adapted, as it progresses towards an increasing perfection. This conditioning process is carried  forward through the souls who are returning to incarnation, for just in so far as they are awakened or are in process of awakening, is it possible for the Hierarchy to prevail upon them or influence them to regard the time factor as a definitely important matter in considering the subject of incarnation.
The majority of the souls in the human family come into incarnation in obedience to the urge or the desire to experience, and the magnetic pull of the physical plane is the final determining factor. They are, as souls, oriented towards earth life. Increasingly, awakening souls, or those who are (occultly speaking) "coming to themselves", enter into physical life experience only dimly aware of another and higher "pull." They are, therefore, without as true an orientation to the physical plane as are the bulk of their fellow men. These awakening souls are the ones who can at times be influenced to retard or delay their entry into physical life in order to effect a conditioning of the processes of civilization. Or again, they can be prevailed upon to hasten their entrance into life so as to be available as agents for such a conditioning process. This process is not carried forward by them through any emphasized or intelligently appreciated activity, but it is naturally brought about by the simple effect of their living in the world and there pursuing their life objectives. They thus condition their surroundings by the beauty, the power, or the influence of their lives, and are themselves frequently quite unconscious of the effect that they are having. It will be apparent therefore, that the needed changes in our civilization can be brought about rapidly or slowly, according to the number of those who are living as souls in training.
About the beginning of the eighteenth century, after a  meeting of the Hierarchy at its great centennial gathering in 1725, an effort was determined upon which would bring a more definite influence to bear upon a group of souls awaiting incarnation, and thus induce them to hasten their entry into the life of the physical plane. This was done, and the civilization of modern times came into being, with both good and bad results. The era of culture which was the outstanding characteristic of the Victorian age, the great movements which awakened the human consciousness to a recognition of its essential freedom, the reaction against the dogmatism of the Church, the great and wonderful scientific developments of the immediate past, and the present sexual and proletarian revolutions now going on, are the result of the "impulsive" hastenings into incarnation of souls whose time had not truly come but whose conditioning influence was needed if certain difficulties (present since 1525) were to be averted. The bad effects above mentioned are indicative of the difficulties incident to premature development and to the undesirable unfoldments of what might be termed (injudiciously nevertheless) evil.
These incoming souls have, through their highly developed understanding and by means of their "self-willed power," frequently wrought havoc in various directions. However, if we could look on, as can Those on the inner side and if we were in a position to contrast the "light" of humanity as it is today with what it was two or three hundred years ago, we would recognize that enormous strides had been made. This is evidenced by the fact that the emergence of a band of "conditioning souls", under the name of the New Group of World Servers, has been possible since 1925. They can now come in because of the work already done by the group of souls who hastened their entrance into incarnation, under the impulse of the Hierarchy. The words "condition" or  "conditioning" are here used quite frequently because of the aptness of the phrase to indicate function. These souls, because of their point in evolution, because of their stage in unfoldment and because of their impressibility to the group idea and to the Plan, can come into incarnation and begin, more or less, to work out that Plan and evoke a response to it in the human consciousness. They are thus in a position to "prepare the way for the coming of the Lord." This latter is a symbolic phrase indicating a certain level of spiritual culture in humanity. They are sometimes dimly conscious of this stupendous task, but they are, in the majority of cases, quite unconscious of their "qualifying" destiny. As souls, under the guidance of the Hierarchy and prior to incarnation, they are conscious of the impulse to "go in and help the sorrowing planet and thus release the prisoners held in durance hard by low desire" (quoting from the Old Commentary), but once the garment of flesh has been assumed, that consciousness too dies out and in the physical brain they are not aware of that which their souls have purposed. Only the urge for specific activities remains. The work nevertheless proceeds.
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