World Unity and Service Address to the Festival of Man



Tunbridge Wells">

World Unity and Service Address to the Festival of Man



Tunbridge Wells, 1980


Professor D H Reader
M.A., Ph.D. (Cantab) London University


Alice Bailey and the Inner Nature of Man

People claiming to convey privileged information about the world through esoteric sources are automatically suspect. The fact is, however, that more and more of this type of data is becoming available, and with a consistency of content which demands that we evaluate it. The eighteen or so books and some ten thousand words deriving through Alice Bailey are a particular case in point.

She herself was not a mystic and did not have a vision as such. She was born in 1880 and experienced a childhood of luxury, loneliness and questioning.(1) At 15 years of age she had a visit from someone whom she recognized as a Master of Wisdom, and who told her there was work to be done when she had changed her rather unpleasant disposition. It was not until she was 39, however, and had had three children that she was contacted by the Tibetan Master at a spiritual level. Announcing Himself with a clear note of music, He eventually secured her reluctant acquiescence to acting as His amanuensis for the imprinting of one of His books on her mind, after which they would review the matter. In the event during the years between 1919 and 1949 they published together eighteen volumes, many of which are the subject of this article.

The issue has clearly to be faced that Alice Bailey herself may have written these books; and there are factors for and against this interpretation. The books are in her style of English; indeed the Tibetan says in one of them that he is not entirely at ease in the occidental medium and she does claim to have suggested corrections from time to time. Thus at the very least there may be distortions due to her cultural, personality and other limitations. On the other hand we do have an authentic example of her own idiom uninfluenced by the Master in the writing of her Unfinished Autobiography.(2) It is different in style and more in keeping with what she was: a well-born but essentially non-intellectual woman. Again, the knowledge evinced in the books, for example on the nature of matter is far in advance of anything she could herself have known; and probably of anything known at the time. Indeed it seems to harmonize with the findings of theoretical physics even today. Finally the language of the books is often of great majesty and clarity; and there is a consistency of thought over so large an output of writings, suggestive of high systematic training.

Like all great systems of knowledge, the Tibetan's teachings as revealed through Alice Bailey rest on certain basic presuppositions. These include the assumption of freewill, the evolutionary development of the soul towards the Godhead over a large number of incarnations, and the presence of energy as the fundamental mindstuff of the universe.

It is useful to take the second presupposition of spiritual evolution first. The Master says in one of His later books, The Externalization of the Hierarchy: "You might here fall back on the platitude that the innate good in humanity would eventually have triumphed (in any case), because naught can finally overcome the universal trend to good. (Thus, why is reincarnation necessary?) You forget that if the evil forces possess potencies which can destroy form so widely, that advanced souls cannot incarnate, then you have direfully affected the time-schedule of the evolutionary process; you will have greatly delayed (perhaps for millennia) the manifestation of the Kingdom of God."(3)

The point is that spiritual evolution is not automatic or routine. We are involved in something like the old Manichean conflict between light and darkness, in which the dark forces are ever active and can do tremendous damage. The Master weighs our difficulties in the West in an earlier and much-read work Discipleship in the New Age, Vol I, where He says that the material for discipleship with which the masters have to deal is of a higher quality than heretofore. Nevertheless, the experiment of implementing the new technique of group work has to be carried out in the midst of the stress and strain of Western civilization. This imposes on all concerned an undue effort, but if success ensues, it tempers the material to a finer degree of power. The jungles of the Occident are of a different kind than those within the Eastern zone. They call for peace in turmoil; for power in fatigue; for persistence in spite of bad health. For disciples in the West there is no retiring from the world to the calm and silence of what the Hindu calls samadhi - complete detachment from the calls of the body and the emotions. The work has to go forward in clamour.(4)

Spiritual evolvement for western man, then, entails the struggle largely single-handed against violent adverse forces from whom one frequently wants to escape or to whom one might sometimes feel inclined to submit. The factor necessary to excellence is the use of freewill - freely and willingly choosing the good. And so Christ (the Master of all the Masters) and the spiritual Hierarchy never infringe upon the divine right of men to take their own decisions and to achieve freedom by fighting for it. (5) However, within the vaster processes of the Plan, including the majesty of the entire planetary evolution, there is in fact for so tiny a unit as man, no ultimate freewill. The universe is ultimately determined, like an unwinding clock. Man is subject to what we call "acts of God", and before these he is helpless, he has no choice and no escape. But they are all part of the ultimate Plan.

This situation and also any involving a bad choice calls for the working of karma or the Law of Cause and Effect in the human kingdom. It is wrong to see the workings of this law as mere retribution as so many people do. Not only is there generally far more good karma than bad(7) but through the refining fire of pain and suffering it guides us ever higher on the path of spiritual ascent, hard as that may be to believe at the time.

Now it might be said that this is all very well but what is new about it? Surely fragments of it are to be found in every faith and the whole matter is just an esoteric rehash which Alice Bailey perhaps put together in her sleep? Freewill and the right to choose evil instead of good are found in the Christian faith; spiritual evolvement is common to other religions; and to this have been added the Hindu notions of reincarnation and karma which are generally abhorrent to western civilization.

In terms of a yet incomplete exposition, reply can only be made by reference to the substantial steps which have been taken towards answering ancient theological questions of identity, evil and suffering. In terms of who we are, we possess the identity of individual souls on a long and ultimately triumphant journey towards the Light. Thus in an important sense we know where we are going, or at least something about how. The problem of evil is present because in order to make this journey we must have the freewill to choose our own way. The suffering of the just is precisely because they are on the Path and subject to karma and the triumph of the unjust is short-lived and only because they have temporarily escaped from responsibilities under the banner of the dark forces. The purpose of evolutionary incarnation is that the Planetary Logos, or God as we know Him, is Himself evolving and as we ascend spiritually we are part of his evolution.

The basic issue which would set Alice Bailey at loggerheads with the orthodox church is of course the matter of reincarnation, and perhaps something more should be said about it. Among the body of esoteric laws, reincarnation is referred to as the Law of Rebirth. We can sweep aside the confusion between reincarnation and the transmigration of souls, signifying the mistaken notion of the passage of a human soul into animals or lower forms of life. The Law of Rebirth entails on the contrary a process of progressive development, enabling men to move forward from the grossest unthinking materialism towards the beginnings of spiritual perfection. This varying progression accounts for the differences among men, in themselves, in their circumstances and in their attitudes to life. It is the expression of the will aspect of the soul; for it is the soul which reincarnates, choosing and building suitable physical, emotional and mental vehicles through which to learn the next needed lessons.(8)

Souls reincarnate in groups and this is significant in terms of the New Age, which is a group age. They incarnate cyclically, under the Law of Rebirth and in order to achieve right relations with God and with their fellowmen. When a man has learnt to ask nothing for his separated self he is thus released from karma and reaches full group consciousness. He becomes aware of the soul in all forms and is aspiring towards the "measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Eph IV:13).

The belief in reincarnation as interpreted through Alice Bailey seems initially to have advantages and deficits compared with Hindu and Christian beliefs. It does seem to avoid the apparently unearned aeons of inferiority and toil on the wheel of reincarnation which are so repugnant to Western thought. Here the initiate on the path has the freewill constantly to improve by his own efforts and with the encouragement and aid of the Hierarchy of Masters. On the other hand Christians may well complain that no account is taken of the divine love of the Lord Jesus Christ and of His immense sacrifice of redemption on the Cross. No account in other words of the possibility of short-circuiting Karma.

This misunderstanding is due to the special meaning and development of the concept of Love in the Tibetan's teachings. He asks us to ponder deeply on the three successively higher expressions of love: Love in the Personality, Love in the Ego or Soul and Love in the monad or Cosmos. Love in the Personality, the lowest form, gradually develops through the stages of love of self, entirely self-centred, to love of family and friends, to love of other men and women, until it arrives at the stage of love of humanity or group love consciousness, which is the predominant characteristic of the Soul. Love in the Soul gradually develops from love of humanity into universal love: a love of all evolving forms in their totality and of and of all forms of divine manifestation.(9) Merely to express this love, as St Francis did, is substantially to aid evolution; to sacrifice for it, as the Christ did by the agony of assuming coarse earthly vibrations, is enormously to enhance it.

But the really important point to grasp is that the Tibetan is not speaking about personality love at all. Love for many people, He says, is not really soul love but affection: a mixture of the desire to love and to be loved for security reasons. Higher love is not a sentiment or emotion. It is the wielding of the force which guides the worlds and which leads to the integration, unity and inclusiveness which impels Deity itself to action. Spiritual love is a hard thing to cultivate - such is the inherent selfishness of human nature. Its expression demands the utmost that a man has to give and the stamping out of selfish personal activities.(10)

Fully to understand what has just been said, we need to explore further another salient feature of the Tibetan's teachings: soul contact. Here reference must be made to one of the finest books written through Alice Bailey, A Treatise on White Magic, which can have a profound effect on the scientifically trained because of its great overview of the universe. As usual in these teachings, the phrase white magic does not have quite its common meaning. Magic is the paranormal use of energy, and white magic is the right use of this energy through the concentrated will for the benefit of humanity. The white magician is motivated by that which will benefit those for whom he is expending his time and energy. The magician of the left hand path works alone, or should he at any time cooperate with others it is for hidden, selfish ends. We are enjoined to remember, however, that even the dark brothers are still brothers, who while erring and misguided are yet sons of the one Father, straying far into rank materialism and away from the spiritual Plan.

This concept of white and black magic has two sides to the energy coin, so to speak, giving a new twist to the Christian notion of sin. The only way in which original sin makes sense is in man's separation from the godhead and his painful efforts to climb back again. To the extent that of our own free will we use our energies to deviate from the path of expansion of consciousness and hence reunion, thus far we can be said to sin. So far as we open the door to the dark forces we can again be said to sin, for they drag us down from the path. But if a dark brother gains control over any man it only shows that he has a weak spot. The door must be opened by the man himself; hence the need for scrupulous purity throughout - of cleanliness in the physical body, steady feeling in the emotional body and purity of thought in the mental body. When this is so then coordination will be present in the lower vehicles and the Indweller himself will permit no entrance.

So the theme of A Treatise on White Magic is the magical power of the soul, or how we can best live the life of the spiritual man. The book is based on four postulates, or elementary propositions whose truth is demanded by the thinker. These bear on the Third presupposition of energy with which we began, and are of great importance:

1.     There exists in the universe an Energy or Life Force which is the responsible cause of all forms. These forms or shapes of all kinds are thus the expressions in time and space of the central universal energy.

2.     This Energy or Life Force manifesting through matter produces a third factor which is consciousness - also a form of energy. Thus all aspects of the Life Force are grounded in matter of some kind, coarse or refined, and they assume separate existences as in ourselves with specific and stabilized vibrations. When time and space disappear however, as in death, the central unity of the Life Force reasserts itself and only spirit persists.

3.     The object for which life takes form in this way is the unfolding of consciousness or the revelation of the soul, expressed through light. The concepts of light and of sound, both forms of energy, are of great importance in the Master's teaching. Veiled and hidden behind every form as an expression of its energy lies light (hence the original command, "Let there be light" before all other creation). But light also means understanding, awareness and illumination.

4.     Thus each of us is recognized by the quality of his light; and there are some who are able to see the personal aura whose colours betoken the particular quality of each individual.


5.     All lives manifest cyclically. This is simply the law of rebirth or reincarnation which has already been examined, and it is concerned with the gradual perfecting of the aspirant through the unfolding of consciousness.

Now the Master proceeds in this book to deal with the Inner Nature of Man (the subject of this article) in some detail in terms of Body, Soul and Spirit; and these entities will each be taken in turn, paying special attention to the Soul as the level to which we all aspire. First, as to the Body, however, the Tibetan states that we erroneously think we know it. It has been studied in anatomy for centuries, but it is actually subject to the Law of Analogy - as above, so below. This means in the present context that the body mirrors the soul and the soul the body. The body is the expression of soul energy and thus ultimately of the Life Force; but it also has other important attributes which are not purely material.

First of all we have to remember that there is nothing ultimately in the created world but energy in motion and that every thought directs some aspect of that energy. Thus in working with and through our bodies we are working with and in energies; so that right and wrong activity on the physical plane is due simply to right or wrong direction of the force currents and not to anything inherent in the energies themselves.

Secondly, man moves in a whirlpool of forces of all types and qualities and is related to all other energies in the universe. This connection is made by what is called his etheric body, which is of much less dense physical matter, and is a mould and surround to the physical body itself. It has many functions in relation to its denser counterpart. It stores up radiatory light and heat for controlled transmission to the physical body; it forms a barrier between the physical and the dangerous astral planes which can only be transcended when consciousness is sufficiently developed to permit escape. The dense physical body composed of atoms, each with its own energies, light and force, is held together by and is expressive of the energies which compose the etheric body.

It is therefore not unexpected that disorders of the etheric body have dire physical consequences. Indeed etheric congestion may lead to many forms of disease and of mental illness. The Master tells us that these are best averted by calling into activity a man's own Soul. It should also be noted, however, that other-directed healing intervention by mobilization of energies is possible at any lower level of dis-ease - physical, etheric or mental. Beyond these levels it is not necessary, for one then has perfect health.

The etheric body is really composed of a network of fine channels or lines of force, and there are points where these lines cross one another and thus form centres of energy. Where many such lines of force cross each other is a large centre of energy, and where great streams of energy meet and cross, as they do up the spine and in the head, there are the seven major centres.

The whole subject of the centres is dangerous if misunderstood: they constitute a peril when prematurely awakened or unduly energized, and this entire area can be a threat to the idle experimenter. The Master warns us not to awaken the fires by prematurely stimulating the centres. Rather we should apply ourselves to a life of high altruism in purification, self-knowledge and service to the race of men in complete self-abnegation. When all this is done and a man has raised and stabilized his vibrations he will find that the development of the centres has pursued a parallel course and that the energies have been raised from centres below the diaphragm to those above,

This line of thought leads naturally to the Soul and its development. The Tibetan again gives new information on the nature of the soul which has an unaccustomed but persuasive quality. The Soul is not so much the separate and supreme entity of Christian teaching as a vital intermediary between matter and spirit. It is, as Christians might perhaps agree, the link between God and humanity; but it also holds all forms together (as does the etheric body at a lower level) so that God may express Himself through them.

The soul is thus that which gives distinctive characteristics to material forms. It plays upon matter, forcing it to assume certain shapes, to respond to certain vibrations and to build visible forms in the material world which we recognize as mineral, vegetable, animal and human - and higher forms as well which we do not see with our eyes.

The implication immediately becomes plain that all forms have a soul aspect. The qualities, vibrations, colours and other properties in all the kingdoms of nature are soul qualities. The soul is the conscious factor in all forms. Hence it might be defined, says the Tibetan, as that significant aspect in every form (made by the union of spirit and matter) which feels, registers awareness, attracts and repels, responds or denies response, and keeps all forms in a constant condition of vibratory activity.(13)

Furthermore, Man's self-conscious soul is en rapport with the soul of all things. It is an integral part of the universal Soul, and because of this can become aware of the conscious purpose of the Deity. It can intelligently cooperate with the Will of God and thus work with the Plan of Evolution. But first, as we have seen, it must be contacted by the lower self, until which time it remains in profound meditation.

Further qualities of soul development which we are required to cultivate are joy and happiness. The point here is that depression, an over-morbid preoccupation with motive and undue sensitivity to the criticism of others, leads to a condition in which the disciple is almost useless. Instead, happiness is based on confidence in the God within, a wise use of time, and a forgetfulness of self. The Master enjoins us to take all the glad things which may come as trusts from which to spread joy; and not to react against happiness and pleasure in service, as though they were a sign that all is not well.

He differentiates rather carefully between happiness, joy and bliss, relating them to the three levels with which by now we have become familiar. First, happiness has it seat in the emotions and is a personality reaction, fully appropriate in the total scheme of things. It comes when the personality is meeting with those conditions which satisfy it in one part or another of its lower nature. So happiness is the goal of the separated self.

When, however, we seek to live as souls, the contentment of the lower man is discounted and we find joy in group relationships and in bringing about those conditions which lead to better soul expression in the group. It is an occult paradox that in the midst of profound personality distress and unhappiness the joy of the soul may be known and felt.

Finally there is bliss, which is the nature of the Spirit and about which speculation is fruitless until the soul realises its oneness with the Father. Instead the Master urges us rather to feel joy, a soul quality which we can aspire to; a joy which is based on the knowledge that humanity has always triumphed in spite of apparent failures and the destruction of past civilizations.

Three other integrated characteristics of the soul now come in for consideration, and it will be seen presently that this figure of three is no accident. These qualities are indifference, impersonality and detachment, and they need to be considered rather carefully since to some people they give the work of Alice Bailey a rather cool, detached and even unloving quality. In fact they resonate perfectly with what has already been said about the soul.

The notion of indifference means the achieving of a neutral attitude towards that which is regarded as the Not-self; it is that attitude which pays no undue attention to the physical body, or to moods and feelings, or to mental conditions. The body exists and must receive due care; the feelings and moods are potent and exhausting and from them comes much discomfort. But they must be dealt with, says the Master, not by struggling against them but by the substitution of other interests, by ignoring them and treating them with indifference until they die of lack of attention.

Similarly when a man is beginning to live as a soul the first lesson he has to learn is that the Masters work with souls and do not contact or nurse the personality. This does not mean that they are not profoundly distressed by the immense suffering of this world and would not wish to alleviate it. But they realise far more than we the true picture of the world's need, which is to profit from pain and to advance spiritually by suffering to a stage when agony of body and mind will no longer be necessary or appropriate.

It is thus with impersonality that we are enjoined to work, with no thought of self or happiness and with no desire for any self-appointed task; with no longing for glittering promises of future success and, as the Master so beautifully puts it, no demanding ache for the tender touch and contact with those greater in consciousness than ourselves.(14) If this attitude cannot be realised, then we must recognize the fact and understand that no blame is attached to us. As long as we function predominantly at the level of personality consciousness it is not possible to draw us into the Masters' groups on mental levels. We are still too destructive and personal; we would be apt to hurt the group and cause trouble; we would see events through group stimulation for which we are not yet ready and would be shattered by them. When we have learnt the lesson of self-forgetfulness, when we seek nothing for the separated self, when we stand firmly on our own feet and look for aid within and not outside ourselves and when the trend of our lives is towards cooperation, only then may we pass from the passive to the active stage of group work.

Thirdly in detachment the worker in white magic must hold himself free as much as he can from identifying himself with that which he has created or tried to create. Much true work of the soul comes to naught simply because of the failure of the worker and builder to keep silent. Through premature speech and too much talk, he destroys that which he has attempted to build. It is only in a spirit of true detachment that the best work of a disciple is done. He comes to realise that for the remainder of his life he is simply a worker - one of the great army of hierarchical workers - with supposedly no personality inclinations, objectives or wishes. There is for him nothing but work and constant association with other people. He may be a naturally isolated person with a deep craving for solitude, but that does not matter at all. It is the penalty he must pay for the opportunity to meet the needs of humanity.

Similarly physical fatigue need not impair the disciple's usefulness. For many people physical disabilities of various kinds do undermine their work; but those on the path often have a curious capacity to continue, no matter what may be happening to them physically. The body can become so much the reflector of mental life that the disciple remains essentially unaffected by outer conditions. He learns to live with his physical disabilities, and his work maintains its usual high level.

The rewards of those who overcome these essentially temporary obstacles on the path of the soul are great. First there is serenity; and here the Master is quick to point out that serenity and peace are not identical. It is clear that peace must always be temporary and refers to the world of feeling and to conditions capable of being disturbed. It is essential to progress that every step forward is marked by disturbances and by points of crisis and chaos, replaced later when successfully handled by short periods of peace. But this peace is not serenity, and a pupil is only permitted to swell within the Master's aura when serenity has been substituted for peace. Serenity signifies that deep calm, devoid of emotional disturbance, which distinguishes the disciple who is focused in a "mind held steady in the light". When this state of mind has been achieved, there is nothing in him which will oblige the Master to sidetrack His attention from important efforts for humanity to the relatively unimportant task of helping an erring disciple.

The other invaluable advantage of soul development is intuition. This faculty is the direct understanding which is the prerogative of the soul, and it only becomes possible when the soul is reaching out in two directions: upwards to the Monad, the pure spiritual essence, and downwards to the personality self.

The faculty of intuition is light itself, and when it is functioning the world is seen as light, so that the light-bodies of all forms become gradually apparent. Intuition brings with it three qualities, 1) illumination, that which illumines the mind, the recognition of one's complete identification with the Universal Mind, 2) understanding, an increased ability to love, but with personality detachment, and a direct knowing of the loved object which surpasses reason, and 3) love itself in the sense of that inclusive grasp of life, that identification with the loved object which transcends all criticism and separation.

There is a final characteristic which we must consider before leaving the subject of the soul, and that is its connection with death. That something survives the process of death, that something persists after the disintegration of the physical body, is steadily being demonstrated.(15) The Tibetan teaches that in fact death (presumably only due to natural causes) is undertaken at the direction of the soul. The process works automatically in most cases, for when the soul withdraws its attention the inevitable reaction on the physical plane is death. On the other hand it is often desirable that disease should be able to do its work and that death should then open the door for the Soul to escape from imprisonment. Thus disease and death must be recognized as liberating factors when they come as the result of the right timing by the soul. Frequently today lives are preserved in form, both in old age and in infancy, which could well be allowed to be liberated. They serve no useful purpose and cause much pain and suffering to forms which nature, left to herself, would not use and would extinguish. The Master says that the Law of Cause and Effect is often set aside when forms are preserved which should be discarded.(16) What He seems to mean, is that there should sometimes be a discontinuation of life support systems. He emphatically condemns suicide and murder which radically disrupt soul purpose.

The soul qualities which have just been discussed become vitally necessary in the analysis of the last of the triplicity which is under consideration - body, soul and spirit. The concept of spirit is applied to that indefinable, elusive impulse or life energy which is the cause of all manifestation. The understanding of it is relative to the degree of advancement of the perceiver. Those engrossed in physical manifestation see it in terms of physical vitality, whereas others more highly evolved may observe the presentation of the soul. The nature of spirit itself, its quality and type of cosmic energy and its rate of vibration, are a study for initiates above the third degree who have the necessary developed intuition. Beyond that are the "formless" realms of the three higher planes, meaning that form is inadequate to describe what is present. Here very advanced adepts may understand that which is neither body nor soul, neither force nor matter. The initiates at that level may become aware of a vibration, a revealing light, a directional note which emanates from outside our solar system altogether.

Previously it was noted that the figure three was no accident. It is an occult fact that as the evolutionary sequence of energies unfolds there is a series of interconnected triplicities or groups of three. Starting at the physical level, we find that dense matter itself has a mass, and (as we have seen) a low-grade soul, and hence an energizing principle - one hesitates to call it a spirit. Man at the physical level has a body and nervous system (connected with the etheric body), a soul and an activating energy or spirit. At the next higher level are Monads or cells in the manifesting body of our Planetary Logos. These also have a triplicity of higher mind or active intelligence, intuitive love-wisdom, and spiritual will or power. Even the Logos Himself has a bodily aspect, directed through humanity, a high-grade soul, directed through the Hierarchy, and a very advanced spirit, directed towards Shamballa where the will of God is known. There are other higher triplicities which it is unnecessary to know and for which new and unfamiliar concepts would be needed; but all merge into a beautiful ascension or ever more refined energies.

These repeated sets of three replicate over and over again the three aspects of divinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They are in reality one vital principle manifesting in diversity. This eternal triplicity runs through every department of the manifested world and may be regarded as basically Will, Love and Intelligence at higher and higher levels.

It is necessary to conclude this exposition with one vital manifestation which falls indirectly within the principle of triplicities, namely the seven rays. We are told that seven great rays exist in the cosmos, but that in our solar system only one of these rays is in operation. The seven subdivisions of this ray constitute the "seven rays" which wielded by the Logos of our solar system form the basis of endless variations in His system of worlds. These seven rays may be described as the seven channels through which all being and therefore all energy in His solar system flows, applying not only to humanity but to every created item. Indeed there is nothing in the whole solar system, at whatever stage of evolution it may stand, which does not belong and has not always belonged to one or other of the seven rays.

The rays connect with the triplicities in the following manner. In human beings and even beyond, the primary ray of the spirit continues for all time, so that even the Masters have their distinctive vibrational tone. This will be one of the three primary rays among the seven which will eventually combine the remainder and thus reassert the triplicities. The ray of the soul varies from round to round and, with more evolved souls, from race to race. Finally the subray of the personality, related to the soul ray, also varies from incarnation to incarnation, largely giving a man his colouring for this life: his secondary hue, so to speak. It is also interesting to note that of the three primary rays, the first is that of Power, Will and Purpose, the second is Love-Wisdom and the third ray is of Active Creative Intelligence, thus connecting with the triplicities once again.

There is little doubt that the future esoteric psychology will include the determination of our individual rays, for they do predetermine to a large degree the limits of our aptitudes and behaviour in a given incarnation. A ray confers, through its energy, particular physical conditions and determines the quality of the emotional nature. It colours the mind and controls the distribution and intensity of energy, for the rays are at different rates of vibration. The ray also predisposes a man to certain strengths and weaknesses and constitutes his principle of limitation as well as endowing him with capacity. Certain attitudes of mind are easy for one ray type but difficult for another; and hence the changing personality shifts from ray to ray, from life to life, until all the qualities are developed and expressed. (17)

The time has now come to summarize this complex material which has been rapidly covered in order to give an overview. In summarizing we must constantly bear in mind that the entire universe is energy; that there is ultimately nothing in the created world but energy in motion, and that every thought of ours directs some aspect of that energy. This view is entirely in concord with modern physics; for if one analyses, say, the human face one sees first tissue, then cell structure, then molecules, then atoms, then elementary particles and at last there is just energy. Appearances are illusory.

To understand the use of energy we have to remember the other presuppositions of the Tibetan's system with which we began. First, the notion of spiritual evolvement, the gradual refining of energies, the whole progressive expansion of consciousness. This process implies for its successful completion the second presupposition of freewill; for without freewill there could be no spiritual evolution that mattered - what is it to evolve when one cannot help doing so? And karma, or there could be no feedback to the aspirant that he had strayed from the path and needed to retrace his steps.

Then came what might be called the related concepts of this system. The first and greatest is reincarnation, without which there could be no time to achieve so great a spiritual transformation as we need. Somewhat connected with this concept is the meaning of redemption, and we saw through the special sense of spiritual love how great a sacrifice the Christ actually made to help us leap forward. This led on to an examination of soul contact and the use of white magic wherein focused, willed and concentrated energy is made available for the benefit of humanity. The idea of white and black magic gives a new meaning to sin as a turning away from the path and a misuse of energies.

Then, still using A Treatise on White Magic, we explored further the original presupposition of energy in the universe, noting that manifesting through matter it produces consciousness, so that the Life Force is grounded in matter. We observed that energy might equally be expressed in light (or colour) and sound; and it is interesting that the Tibetan Master first manifested himself to Alice Bailey in the latter medium by a clear musical note.

We then returned from the universe to a more detailed survey of the inner nature of man, using the Master's analysis of body, soul and spirit. Special mention was made of the etheric body, the dangers of etheric congestion and of premature stimulation of the centres. We dealt with the characteristics of the soul, its qualities such as joy and detachment, and the rewards of soul contact, in particular serenity and intuition. We also considered the soul and its relation to death; but there was little to say of the spirit except to sketch out the formless regions of our future experience.

Finally returning again to universal phenomena we examined the eternal triplicities in the scheme of things, rising majestically through matter, through man and the monads, even to the Logos Himself and beyond. And then came the rays, those divisions of vibrations which affect everything and which must be a basic unit of study in the esoteric psychology of the future. We conclude with one of the Tibetan's valedictory comments which sums up much of what has been conveyed:

"And so, from stage to stage the disciple passes, going from light to light, from perception to perception, from force to energy, from personality focus to soul integration ... He has explored all the avenues of knowledge; he has descended into the depths, into hell and into the valleys; he has climbed the mountain top of initiation, and from there has swung out beyond space and time; he has lost all self-interest and is a focused point of thought in the mind of God ... And so I bring to an end this series of instructions, and my responsibility in this connection is ended. Yours now begins."

Alice Bailey : Reader


1. Bailey Alice A 1951 The Unfinished Autobiography
   London, Lucis Press Ltd

 2. Bailey, A A 1922 Letters on Occult Meditation. (1966)
   New York, Lucis Publishing Co. p 259

 3. Bailey, A A 1957 The Externalization of the Hierarchy
   London, Lucis Press Ltd. p 492

 4. Bailey, A A 1944 Discipleship in the New Age. Vol I (1966)
   London, Lucis Press Ltd. p 6

 5. Bailey, A A 1955 Discipleship in the New Age, Vol II
   London, Lucis Press Ltd, pp 164-165

 6. Bailey, A A 1942 Esoteric Psychology, Vol II (1960)
   London, Lucis Press Ltd, pp 15-29

 7. Bailey, A A 1953 Esoteric Healing, Vol IV, A Treatise on the Seven Rays, (1967)
   London, Lucis Trust, pp 20-22

 8. Bailey A A 1948 The Reappearance of the Christ
   London, Lucis Press Ltd, pp 115-119

 9. Bailey, A A 1925 A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, (1964)
   New York, Lucis Publishing Co. p 593

10. Bailey, A A 1944 Discipleship in the New Age, Vol I pp 5-10

11. Bailey, A A 1934 A Treatise on White Magic (1967)
   London, Lucis Press Ltd

12. Bailey, A A 1925 A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, pp 161-162

13. Bailey, A A 1934 A Treatise on White Magic, pp 34-39

14. Bailey, A A 1936 Esoteric Psychology, Vol I (1975)
   London, Lucis Press Ltd, p 116

15. Moody, R A 1976 Life After Life
   7th Impress, Georgia, Bantam Books

16. Bailey, A A 1953 Esoteric Healing, Vol IV
   A Treatise on the Seven Rays, pp 350-351

17. Bailey, A A 1936 Esoteric Psychology, Vol I pp 128-129

E-mail to World Unity & Service

For further information please e-mail: lori @ (no spaces!)