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|Esoteric Psychology I - Section One - I. Introductory Remarks
|SECTION ONE - CHAPTER ONE
I. Introductory Remarks
1. The Three Objectives in Studying the Rays
The study of the rays, and a true and deep comprehension of the inner significance of the teaching, will do for us three things:
A. It will throw much light upon the times and cycles in the unfolding panorama of history. In the last analysis, history is an account of the growth and development of man from the stage of the cave man, with his consciousness centered in his animal life, up to the present time wherein the human consciousness is steadily becoming more inclusive and mental, and so on and up to the stage of a perfected son of God. It is an account of the apprehension, by man, of the creative ideas which have molded the race and are establishing its destiny. It gives us a dramatic picture of the progress of those souls who are carried in or out of manifestation by the appearance or disappearance of a ray. We shall find, as we study, that words will greatly handicap our expression of the realities involved, and we must endeavor to penetrate beneath the surface meaning to the esoteric structure of truth. These rays are in constant movement and circulation, and demonstrate an activity which is progressive and cyclic and evidences increasing momentum. They are dominant at one time and  quiescent at another, and according to the particular ray which is making its presence felt at any particular time, so will be the quality of the civilization, the type of forms which will make their appearance in the kingdoms of nature, and the consequent stage of awareness (the state of consciousness) of the human beings who are carried into form life in that particular era. These embodied lives (again in all four kingdoms) will be responsive to the peculiar vibration, quality, coloring and nature of the ray in question. The ray in manifestation will affect potently the three bodies which constitute the personality of man, and the influence of the ray will produce changes in the mind content and the emotional nature of the man and determine the caliber of the physical body.
I am aware, therefore, that in giving out this relatively new teaching upon the rays I may, in my endeavor to shed fresh light, temporarily increase the complexity of the subject. But as experiment is made, as people are studied in the laboratories of the psychologists and the psychoanalysts in connection with their ray indications, and as the newer sciences come into wise use and their proper sphere, we shall gain much and the teaching will find corroboration. We shall see emerging a new approach to the ancient truths, and a new mode of investigating humanity. In the meantime let us concentrate upon the clear enunciation of the truth anent the rays, and seek to tabulate, outline and indicate their nature, purpose and effects.
The seven rays, being cyclic in appearance, have continuously passed in and out of manifestation and have thus left their mark down the ages upon mankind, and therefore hold the clue to any true historical survey. Such a survey still remains to be made.
B. A second result of the study of the rays will be to clarify our knowledge as to the nature of man. Modern psychology, experimental and academic, has done much to gather  information as to how a man functions, what is the nature of his reactions, the caliber of his thought apparatus and the quality of his physical mechanism, the mode of his thinking and the sum total of complexes, psychoses, neuroses, instincts, intuitions and intellectual fixations which he undoubtedly is. Medical psychology has also given us much, and we have learnt that the human being is entirely conditioned by his instrument of expression and can express no more than his nervous system, brain and glands permit. We find, however, that some of the theories, even the best proven, break down, given varying conditions. The field covered by psychology today is so vast, its schools so many and varied, and its terminology so cumbersome, that I can make no attempt to deal with it here.
The indebtedness of the world to the trained psychologists cannot be estimated, but unless there is a key idea interjected into the whole field of thought, it will fall of its own weight, and produce (as it is already producing) problems, complexes and diseases of the mind which are direct results of its own methods. The knowledge we now have of how men work on the physical plane as integrated personalities, and of how they can be expected to work, given certain conditions, is broad and sound, and the wideness of its grasp can be somewhat gauged if we compare what we know today with what was known a hundred and fifty years ago. But it has been largely based upon a study of the abnormal, and upon the form aspect (this latter being the true scientific method), and is therefore limited and circumscribed when it is put to the test in the last analysis and in the light of the undoubtedly existent supernormal. What I seek to do, and the contribution I seek to make to the subject, have to do with the emphasis we shall lay upon the nature of the integrating principle found within all coherent forms and on that which can (for lack of  a better word) be called the soul or self. This principle, which informs the body nature and expresses its reactions through the emotional and mental states, is of course recognized by many schools of psychology, but remains nevertheless an unknown and undefinable quantity. They find it impossible to discover its origin; they know not what it is, whether or no it is an informing entity, detached and separate from the body nature; they question whether it is an integrated energetic sum total brought into existence through the fusion of the body cells, and therefore, through the process of evolution, constituting a thinking, feeling entity; or whether it is no more than the aggregated life and consciousness of the cells themselves.
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