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Esoteric Psychology II - Chapter II - The Ray of Personality - The Appropriation of the Bodies
These conditions are governed, as will be recognized, by the point in evolution, the ray type, the quality of past karma, and the present family, national and racial inherited characteristics. As we study, let us bear clearly in mind that it is the soul as a center of consciousness and the vehicles as centers of experience with which we are concerning ourselves. We should seek to eliminate from our minds the more material connotations which past teachings have emphasized. Annie Besant in her Study in Consciousness sought to avoid the error of materialism and to voice a real vision of the truth, but words themselves are limiting things and oft veil and hide the truth. Her book, therefore, is of definite value. Remember also that a man's consciousness is first of all, and usually, centered sequentially in the three bodies, and the centers of experience for him are primarily the field of his consciousness. He is identified for long with the field of experience and not with the real self. He has not yet identified himself with the conscious subject, or with the One Who is aware, but as time goes on, his center of identification shifts, and he becomes less interested in the field of experience and more aware of the soul as the conscious, thinking Individual.

The comprehension of each of us will depend upon where we each, as individuals, lay the emphasis, and where we are awake and alive, and of what we are conscious. When we have achieved the experience of the third initiation and are no longer identified with the vehicles of expression, then - on a higher turn of the spiral - another shift in the life expression and experience will take place. Then neither the center [317] of experience, the soul, nor the vehicles of expression, the lower threefold man, will be considered from the angle of consciousness at all. The Life aspect will supersede all others. Of what use is it for us to discuss this stage when for many of us, as yet, the lower expressions of divine manifestations are dominant (or should one say "rampant"?) and even the soul fails to assume vital control?

It was for this reason (when giving the earlier tabulation) that the words "building psychologically" were used, with the intent to direct the attention of the student to the soul or psyche as the building agency, but at the same time to negate or offset the material concept of body-building. Occultism is the science of energy manipulation, of the attractive or the repulsive aspect of force, and it is with this that we shall concern ourselves.

In this soul activity is to be found the source or the germ of all the experiences which - on the physical plane today - are recognized and considered by the psychologist. In this thought is to be found the fact that there is no difficulty in the vehicles of expression but finds its correspondence and higher truth in the center of experience which we call the soul.

Take, for instance, the emphasis which is laid by certain psychologists upon the idea that all that we have inherited of truth (the idea of God, the concept of a future heaven, the ancient and exploded (?) belief around which the thoughts of men have superstitiously centered) are only the outer expression or formulations of a hidden "wish life." This wish life is, we are told, based upon an inner and often hidden and unrealized sense of frustration, of disillusionment, of trouble; all the ideas which the race has prized down the ages and whereby most of its nobler souls have lived, are founded on illusion. With the formulation of these various "wish-fulfilments" [318] in the life of the individual, with the fact that they lead to many difficulties and strains and stresses which require careful adjustment, and with the belief that in these concepts is mixed much of a childish superstition, the Teachers upon the inner side would find Themselves in hearty agreement in many cases. But They make the following reservation. They state that the centers of expression through which the soul gains needed experience and becomes conscious in worlds of being, otherwise unknown, have come into manifestation as the result of the "wish" or the desire of the soul. It is the "wish-life" of the soul and not the frustrations of the personality which have brought about the situation with which man is today contending. Therefore, the emerging into the public consciousness (through the teaching of certain schools of psychologists) of knowledge anent this wish life and its increasing prevalence is definitely founded upon the fact that humanity is becoming soul-conscious and, therefore, slowly becoming aware of the wishes of the soul. But as man's basic identifications remain as yet in the centers of expression and not in the center of experience - the soul, there is an unavoidable, though temporary, distortion of the truth.

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