The Dual Life of the Initiatory Process

In all the many books which I have written, I have said relatively little about the brain and its relation to the personality and the soul. It is not possible to enlarge at any length on that theme here, but I will make certain statements without which this whole process of dual living would be most difficult to explain. I will sum up what I have to say in the form of three basic statements:

The brain is a most delicate receiving and transmitting apparatus:

  • It is responsive to information relayed to it, via the senses, from the emotional plane and from the mind.
  • Through its medium the personal lower self becomes aware of its environment, of the nature of its desires, and of its mental peculiarities, as well as of the emotional states and the thoughts of the people contacted in the environment.

The brain is largely conditioned by the endocrine system, and this far more than the endocrinologists would care to admit:

  1. It is powerfully conditioned by three major glands which are found in close relation to the brain substance. These are the pituitary body, the pineal gland and the carotid gland.
  2. These form a triangle, practically unrelated in primitive man, occasionally related in average man, and closely related in the spiritual man.
  3. These glands are objective correspondences of the three energy centers, by means of which the soul, or the indwelling spiritual man, controls his physical vehicle.
  4. Where the relation is close between the three glands – as is increasingly the case where disciples are concerned – a triangle of circulating energies is always established.
  5. This triangle, through the carotid gland in the medulla oblongata, becomes related to other glands and centers.

The brain, as transmitter, becomes a powerful directing agency:

  • As a recipient and transmitter of pure energy or life it uses the carotid gland controlled by the alta major center, and establishes a close relation with the heart and the heart center.
  • As a recipient of mental energy or of energy from the soul, the ajna center becomes the directing agency; this is the center which controls the pituitary body.
  • These energies are received via the head center, which controls the pineal gland. Emotional energy enters the personality system via the solar plexus center, where it either controls or is transmuted and elevated.

It is this triple mechanism in the head – both objective and subjective – which uses the physical brain as a receiving agent and as a transmitting agent. It is this which is brought into creative activity and thus under the control of the disciple in training or in process of being prepared for initiation. I have not hitherto emphasized this, nor do I wish to do so, for it is not desirable for the disciple or aspirant consciously and deliberately to deal with the mechanism in the head. Let him learn to control and consciously employ the mind; let him train his mind to receive communications from three sources:

  • The three worlds of ordinary living, thus enabling the mind to act as the “common sense.”
  • The soul, and thus consciously become the disciple, the worker in an Ashram, illumined by the wisdom of the soul, and superseding gradually the knowledge gained in the three worlds. That knowledge, rightly applied, becomes wisdom.
  • The Spiritual Triad, acting as the intermediary between the Monad and the brain of the personality. This can eventually take place, because the soul and personality are fused and blended into one functioning unit, this superseding again what we mean when we use the erroneous phrase “the soul.” Duality then takes the place of the original triplicity.

It has been necessary to make these somewhat elementary remarks and to clarify these points, if there is to be true understanding as to what constitutes the dual life of the disciple or the Master, and wherein they differ.

One of the tests of the initiatory process is a hitherto totally unexpected one. Tests which are expected and for which preparation has been made do not constitute true tests in the real sense of the word, esoterically understood. It is a test – imposed with increasing rigidity as initiation after initiation is taken – to see just how far the initiate is capable of retaining or preserving in his brain consciousness the registered facts of several worlds or planes of consciousness; i.e., the three worlds of human endeavor and the world of soul consciousness, or both of these and the world of the Ashram; or again these and the activity of the Hierarchy itself, viewing it as a complete whole; or again, all of these and the world of Triadal experience, until the point is reached where a straight continuity of consciousness can be registered and held which comes directly from the Council Chamber of the Lord of the World to Those Masters Who are functioning in a physical body and must therefore use a physical brain. In every single case the test (in order to be passed correctly) must involve the brain consciousness; the facts, registered upon the subtler planes, must be correctly registered, recognized and interpreted simultaneously upon the physical plane.

You can see for yourselves that this is a major and most necessary indication of a developing awareness; a Master has to be aware at any time on any plane and at will. It will also be obvious to you that this will be a growing and an increasing perception for which the intermediate stages, between initiations, prepare the initiate. Gradually, each one of the five senses, plus the common sense (the mind), has to demonstrate the effectiveness of its higher correspondence and thus of a developing subtle apparatus. Through this apparatus the initiate is put in touch with widening areas of the divine “state of mind” or with the planetary consciousness, until “the mind that is in Christ” becomes truly the mind of the initiate, with all that those words entail of meaning and esoteric significance. Consciousness, Sensitivity, Awareness, Planetary Rapport, Universal Consciousness – these are the words which we must consider, sequentially developed and in their truly esoteric sense.

You have here a wide and general picture, involving the goal, the means or mode, the testing point and the physical brain; these are four factors which have received little or no attention where initiation has been dealt with in the occult writings. They are nevertheless of major importance. I am dealing with them here because of the stage of development now reached by the human mind, because of their increasingly close relation to the physical brain, and because there are now so many aspirants ready to tread the Path of Discipleship, the Path of Initiatory Training. They are now in a position to work consciously at the task of a dual and constant process of spiritual and physical recognitions.

The Dual Life of the Disciple

I have divided this theme into two parts, owing to the fact that the dualism displayed by a Master and that demonstrated by a disciple are not identical or one and the same thing at advancing points of distinction. The subject, when you first approach it, seems of a relative simplicity, but a closer consideration of it will present great and unexpected dissimilarities.

In connection with the dual life of the disciple, the factors involved are the threefold personality (with an awakening or onlooking consciousness centered or focused in the brain), the soul which seems at first the ultimate goal of attainment but is later seen as simply a system or collection of fusing spiritual attributes, and the lowest aspect of the Spiritual Triad, the abstract mind. The disciple feels that, if he can attain the immediate and fused consciousness of the three, he has attained; he realizes also that this involves the construction of the antahkarana. All these factors, for one who has just been admitted to the Path of Discipleship and who is just finding his place within an Ashram, seem an adequately difficult undertaking and one that engrosses every power which he possesses.

This, for the time being, is true and – until the third initiation – these objectives, their conscious fusion, plus a recognition of the divine planes of awareness to which they all admit him, indicate the disciple’s task and keep him fully occupied. To the recognitions entailed he has to add a growing capacity to work on the levels of consciousness involved, remembering always that a plane and a state of consciousness are synonymous terms, and that he is making progress, becoming aware, building the antahkarana, training as a hierarchical worker within an Ashram, familiarizing himself with new and opening spiritual environments, widening his horizon, stabilizing himself upon the Path, and living upon the physical plane the life of an intelligent man within the world of men. He is demonstrating also no freakish peculiarities, but appears as a man of goodwill, of benevolent intelligence, of unalterable goodness, and of stem and unchangeable spiritual purpose. Is that enough of a goal for a disciple? Does it seem well-nigh impossible of accomplishment? Can you undertake such a proposition and make good your undertaking?

Most assuredly you can, for the factor of time enters in and the disciple is free to submit to its conditioning, particularly in the early stages of his discipleship; this he usually does at first, knowing nothing else to do, but the speed or the sattvic or rhythmic nature of the spiritual life eventually changes this attitude; he then works with no true consciousness of time except as it affects other people and his associates upon the physical plane.

At first, his registration of that which is sensed or seen upon the subtler planes or the soul plane is slow; it takes time for contacts and for knowledge gained to penetrate from the higher levels to his physical brain. This fact (when he discovers it) tends to upset his time-awareness, and the first step is therefore taken on the path of timelessness, speaking symbolically. He gains also the capacity to work with greater rapidity and mental coordination than does the average intelligent man; in this way he learns the limitations of time as a brain condition, and learns also how to offset it and to work in such a way that he does more within a set time limit than is possible to the average man, no matter how ardently he may pursue the effort. The overcoming of time and the demonstration of spiritual speed are indications that the dual life of discipleship is superseding the integrated life of the personality, though leading in its turn to a still greater synthesis and higher integration.

The dual life which all disciples lead produces also a rapidity of mental interpretation which is essential to the sane registration of the phenomenal life of the various higher planes and states of consciousness. Forget not that all our planes are subplanes of the cosmic physical plane, and are therefore phenomenal in nature. As they are contacted and recorded and the knowledge is transmitted to the physical brain, via the mind, there must always accompany them a true interpretation and a correct recognition of “things as they are.” It is here that the non-disciple and the psychic go wrong, for their interpretation is almost always fundamentally in error, and it takes time (coming within that cycle of limitation) intelligently to interpret and truly register what the perceiving consciousness has contacted. When the time factor no longer controls, the interpretations registered by the brain are infallibly correct. I have here given you a major piece of information.

You will see, therefore, that in the earlier initiatory process, the factor of time is noted by the initiate and also by the presenting Masters. An instance of a slow permeation of information from the plane of initiation to the physical brain can be seen in the fact that very few aspirants and disciples register the fact that they have already taken the first initiation, the birth of the Christ in the cave of the heart. That they have taken it is evidenced by their deliberate treading of the Way, by their love of the Christ – no matter by what name they may call Him – and by their effort to serve and help their fellowmen; they are still, however, surprised when told that the first initiation lies behind them. This is due entirely to the factor of time, leading to their inability to “bring through” past events with accuracy, by a false humility as well (inculcated by the Christian Church, as it attempts to keep people subjugated by the sin idea), and by the intensely forward-looking anticipatory consciousness of the average aspirant. When a true perspective and a balanced point of view have been attained, and some awareness of the Eternal Now is beginning to penetrate into their understanding, then the past, the present and the future will be lost to sight in the consciousness of the inclusiveness of the moment that Is; then the limitations of time will be ending and the Law of Karma will be negated; it is at present so closely related to past and future. The dual life of the disciple will then be ended, giving place to the cosmic dualism of the Master. The Master is free from the limitations of time, though not of space, because space is an eternal Entity.

You will see, therefore, the great necessity for a constant emphasis, at this stage in the training of the average aspirant, on the need for alignment, or for the creation of a channel of direct relation from the brain to the desired point of contact. To this trained alignment must eventually be added the building of the antahkarana and its subsequent use in a growing system of alignments. The antahkarana must be completed and direct contact must be established with the Spiritual Triad by the time the third initiation has been taken. Then follows the fourth initiation with its destruction of the egoic, causal or soul body, owing to the complete fusion of soul and personality. The dual life of the disciple ends.

The Dual Existence of the Master

I would have you note here the difference between the two headings. I refer in one place to the dual life of the disciple but in another to the dual existence of the Master. That distinction is deliberate and intentional. The disciple lives in the three worlds and, until the third initiation, he demonstrates his livingness strictly in relation to the soul and the personality, and therefore strictly to the phenomenal world and to the various levels of the dense cosmic physical plane.

The Master functions on the plane of Being and demonstrates the fact that He eternally Is, that He exists as a divine aspect upon the formless levels of the cosmic etheric planes; this is a very different matter to the life of the disciple and to which little attention has been paid. Existence, Being, Essential Life, Dynamic Energy, Electric Fire are all of them distinctive of the higher initiations; they produce basic distinctions between their constitution and mode of life expression and that of those who live, who are in process of becoming, who express quality, and who fuse and blend solar fire and fire by friction. Being and Existence are not the same as Becoming or of Qualified Appearance. It is largely a question of emphases. A Master has synthesized within Himself all for which the advancing disciple longs to express, all that is possible as Expansion, plus an emphasis upon the dynamic life aspect, plus an ability to stand immovable in pure Being. Here again I find it hard to express that for which no words are to be found.

In the Master, all the divine aspects are proved capable of expression in accordance with this particular time, in this particular round and chain (reverting to the old symbolism of The Secret Doctrine) and through any particular racial expression. These divine characteristics – viewed from the angle of time and space – are shewn in a definitely relative form; later cycles and time periods will show these aspects in a still more perfected form. But the relativity of these matters does not really concern us, and the perfection is – from, the angle of the human disciple today – exactly what we understand by perfection. The Masters know, however, that a higher, deeper and more intensive manifestation of divinity is potentially possible, but it causes Them no concern or strain, no anxiety or fiery aspiration; They know, as no disciple can know, the workings of the Law of Inevitability. This Law releases the Masters (under the accompanying Law of Service), at the sixth initiation, into a wider field of experience, with all the divine assets and qualities so developed within Them that They know that Their equipment is adequate to the undertaking and that They can, without hesitancy and concern, take the next required steps.

It is hard for the disciple – struggling with glamor and illusion – to realize that the higher initiations are free from all concern and from any emotional or self-centered reactions to the work which lies ahead or to the form side of manifestation; it is well-nigh impossible for the neophyte to vision a time when he will be free from all reactions engendered by life on the dense cosmic physical planes and from all the limitations of life in the three worlds. Today, aspiration provides a constant source of anxious questioning, of painful deliberations and of high voltage spiritual ambition, with their consequent limitations and moments of sensed failure and lack of achievement. The Master has left all this behind, knowing that even this so-called “spiritual responsiveness” is a form of self-centered attitude. Eventually – and disciples should take courage and hope from this statement – all this agonizing reaction to the spiritual urge will be left behind. The Master knows the Law and is entirely free from any consideration of the time equation, as far as He Himself is concerned. He only regards time as it may affect the working of the Plan in the three worlds.

The dual existence of the Master involves what we might call the two poles: that of the monadic consciousness, whatever that may be, and that of the self-created form which He may use as a member of the Hierarchy and a worker in the three worlds of human enterprise. I would here remind you that there are many groups and types of Masters, and most of Them are quite unknown to occult students either from Their work or from rumor or from knowledge of the many evolutionary processes of which the human is only one. Not all the Masters work in the three worlds; not all the Masters need or possess physical bodies; not all the Masters “have Their faces turned towards the realm of dark light, but many face for aeons towards the clear cold light of spiritual existence”; not all the Masters make or are required to make the sacrifices which work for the fourth kingdom in nature entails. Not all souls liberated or limited constitute the Kingdom of God in the sense which that phrase conveys to us; that term is limited to the soul which informs units in the human family; not all the Masters work under the great Buddha of Activity Who is responsible to Sanat Kumara for the Plan working out in connection with Humanity. He works through the three Great Lords of the Eternal Ashram of Sanat Kumara, but His two Brothers have Each of Them an equally important work and are responsible – as He is – to the Council Chamber. Each of Them also works through a triangle of energies with grouped subsidiary forces working in seven departments and differentiated also into forty-nine lesser departments, as is the Ashram which we call the Hierarchy. Forget not, there are many Hierarchies and the Human Hierarchy is but one.

This whole theme is one of great complexity and yet at the same time so simple that when the simplicity of the planetary constitution is truly grasped and the analytic disputations of the concrete mind are overcome, the liberated Master enters a world of spiritual endeavor which is free from forms and symbols or the veils which hide the basic truth and the underlying mystery.

Being is simple, free, unlimited and unimpeded and in that world the Master moves and works. Becoming is complex, imprisoning, limited and subjected to hindrances, and in that world the disciple and the lesser initiates live and move and have their being. The Master works simultaneously in two worlds or states of awareness; i.e., that related to pure existence, to the untrammelled life of the planes controlled by the Monad, and also by the Hierarchy. There naught but the Plan engrosses His attention.

He deals safely with “the simplicity which is Shamballa” and its sphere or aura of influence and “with the field of relationships which are nurtured from the Ashram of the Christ.” I am here quoting one of the Masters Who was endeavoring to explain to a disciple the simplicity of the life which a Master expresses.


Excerpted from “The Rays and the Initiations – Part Two – Section One – The Aspirant and the Mysteries of Initiation”  By Allice Bailey and Djwhal Kuhl

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