Newsletter of the Aquarian Age Community
1999 No. 2
Transformation and the Second Initiation
Therefore we must ascend again towards the Good, the desired of every Soul. Anyone that has seen This, knows what I intend when I say that it is beautiful. It is desired as the goal of desire. To attain it is for those that will take the upward path, who will set all their forces towards it, who will divest themselves of all that we have put on in our descent; so that those that approach the Holy Celebrations of the Mysteries, shall behold that solitary — dwelling Existence that from Which all things depend. (Plotinus)
Today, the concept of transformation is popularly used not only in psychology and self-help or success oriented disciplines, but also in such diverse fields as politics, health and art. Although this popular usage is far more superficial than the esoteric definition, which refers to a technically defined stage in the evolution of consciousness, it is a telling indicator of a looming possibility-a possibility foretold and described in the esoteric wisdom.
Throughout history, transformation has been the focus of a deep, serious and all-encompassing quest for the elect few within the Mystery Schools. Today, given the special opportunities provided by the incoming Age of Aquarius, this experience is possible to many who will but make the effort to understand and apply the requisite discipline.
Within the book, The Rays and the Initiations, the Tibetan Master, Djwhal Khul, refers to transformation as an evolutionary process in which the disciple transforms the lower threefold appearance (the personality) and begins to display divine "quality." That is, the physical body becomes obedient to the dictates of the mind, which, in turn, is becoming responsive to the higher mind via the medium of the Soul. Transformation is further described as a process in which the emotional nature becomes the receptacle of the intuition or of buddhi — the energy or consciousness of love as "pure reason." (p. 278)
It is as a result of the second initiation that the emotional or astral body finally becomes "cleansed" or purified enough so that it can acquire the "gentle stillness" by which it can adequately reflect the divine qualities of the buddhic nature. In India the second initiation is referred to as that of "entering the stream." Here in the West, it is referred to as "the Baptism" or cleansing by water. It is interesting to note that water is the symbol of the emotional plane and that the word "purity" comes from the Sanskrit word, pur, which means freedom from alloy or impurities. Transformation therefore occurs as we pass through the "waters that cleanse."
The second initiation is uniquely significant because it is the astral plane, the plane of the emotions1 that provides the battleground of the Soul. It is the place of victory or defeat, providing the Kurukshetra, both of humanity as a whole and of the individual human being. The fluid nature of the emotional body causes a constant shifting between the peaks and valleys of pleasure and pain. Through the emotional body we experience the turmoil of nagging and obsessive desires and we alternate between exhilarating excitement and deep depression. The emotional body is either attentive to Soul impression or it is swayed by the "million voices of earth." It provides the battleground through which we all must pass and prove ourselves and many life times are spent in purifying and learning to control this vehicle in preparation for the second initiation.
When adequate control is gained and the energies of the inclusive and group-oriented Soul can be reflected within the emotional body, the heart centre is awakened and the individual becomes conscious of the life and nature of relationship. For it is the heart center that bridges, connects and unites. Aspiration and altruism then supersede emotional reactions and competition, aggression and selfishness are transformed into cooperation, compassion and sharing. A basic unity with all that breathes is experienced and there is recognition of the One Life. The individual is then willing and able to irradiate light and love into the personal and planetary environment. And, the longing to serve the whole becomes the guiding and paramount principle in the life.
1 A Treatise on White Magic by Alice A. Bailey contains much information on the nature and the control of the astral plane.