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Esoteric Psychology I - Section Two - III. The Rays and Man
It should here be noted that the rays divide themselves into two groups, i.e.:
  1. The Rays of Aspect - Rays 1. 2. 3. The major rays.
  2. The Rays of Attribute - Rays 4. 5. 6. 7. The minor rays.

The distinction between these two groups has been well summed up in some sentences from the Old Commentary:

"The seven brothers are all the children of the same Father, but the elder three partake of the Father's nature. The younger four resemble the Mother. The three elder sons go forth into the universe of stars, and there they represent the Father. The younger four go forth into the universe of stars and show the nature of the one the Father loved."

The rays of aspect have longer cycles than the rays of attribute, and their measure is occultly slow, cumulative in [352] effect, and - as the ages pass away - their momentum steadily increases. The rays of attribute have briefer cycles, and produce a steady heartbeat and a regular rhythm in the solar system. The three rays of aspect might be regarded as embodying the will and purpose of the incarnating Logos. The rays of attribute can equally be regarded as embodying the quality and character of the incarnating Logos. Symbolically speaking, the three major rays are the expression (during manifestation) of the egoic aspect of the solar Logos, whilst the four rays of attribute embody His personality aspect. Nevertheless it must be remembered that the seven together are the manifestation in form of what God is, and the measure of the divine intention. Students should bear these points in mind as they study the rays and their cyclic influence on mankind. If they will remember that when a major ray is in manifestation, then the divine intent, the universal purpose and Plan will be seen emerging with greater clarity, they will expect and look for great happenings in the racial development. If a minor ray is demonstrating, we shall have the growth of psychic sensitivity, and the emergence of a form life which will express the divine nature more potently than the divine Plan.

This truth can be applied also to the development of the individual, and will govern and determine his evolutionary growth either from the angle of purpose or from the angle of quality. Lives that are given to the unfolding of purpose will be of a different timbre and nature than those which are given to the development of character and quality. This is a psychological point of real moment.

The statement made above is one of the most significant and important yet communicated in this treatise, and well merits careful consideration. The true import is of course most difficult to grasp, but the general meaning can be [353] recognized and appreciated by the searching student. The rays of aspect produce primarily the unfolding of the Plan. The rays of attribute produce the unfolding of the qualities of Deity. This is true of the solar Logos and of a human being, of the planetary Deity and of humanity as a whole.

The application of this truth can be clearly seen in connection with the Aryan race and the two rays which govern and control its destiny. The third Ray of Intelligent Activity or Adaptability governs the entire career of the race, and through this dominance we can see working out the plan of God, which is the definite fusion of spirit and matter, through the evolution of the soul of man. The result of this fusion may be briefly summed up in the following three statements:

  1. A widespread interest in, leading finally to a recognition of, the soul as a result of this fusion and blending.
  2. The appreciation of the divinity of substance, and the recognition of the fact that matter is the outer garment of God. This will characterize the intellectual achievement of the Aryan race.
  3. The plan of God that humanity should control matter on the physical plane reaches a high point of perfection in the Aryan race. Of this, man's control of the electrical forces of the physical plane is an outstanding instance.

These three important developments indicate the activity of the third ray during the period of time wherein the Aryan race emerges from the general racial background, develops itself as the generations pass away, and then fades out again as do all the races. By this process the souls which have profited by the experience during racial manifestation pass on into another and higher race, the sixth root race, in this case. These are the major results. There are many minor ones which tend to perfect the divine purpose for the race. That [354] purpose aims only at a relative perfection and not at the ultimate consummation. The racial perfection which will be reached as a result of the activity of the third and fifth rays will be seen as only partial from the angle of vision of the seventh root race, for instance, but it will be far ahead of that achieved during the Atlantean or fourth root race, which was under the dominant influence of the second and sixth rays. The flower of any race, and those who guarantee its achievement, are to be seen in the Masters, Initiates and Disciples Who, during any race, reach the goal which Their souls have set. The reader must remember that the goal of adeptship is a steadily shifting one, and that the adepts of the Aryan race will be higher in development, and of a more intellectual order, than those who reached that stage during the Atlantean race. Therefore the requirements for treading the path of discipleship in the present race are steadily increasing in difficulty as the centuries slip away. At the same time, the assets brought by the aspirant to the task of achieving discipleship likewise steadily evolve, and the equipment is as steadily arriving at a greater adequacy, thus measuring up to the opportunity offered. Such books, therefore, as The Outer Court and The Path of Discipleship by Annie Besant state the requirements for the path of probation, and not for the path of discipleship. A Treatise on White Magic gives the needed data for those who tread, at this time, the path of discipleship. In these three books are to be found the requirements for the two stages of the path of conscious unfoldment.

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