Initiation and the Way of Fire
May it not be possible that through the ascent of man's aspiration and
desire, and through the descent of the waiting Potencies, certain great changes
may take place, for which all the past has been only preparatory?1
Like initiation, the subject of fire is complex and multidimensional. In the Agni Yoga teachings, three volumes are dedicated to the "Fiery World" and the Tibetan Master, Djwhal Khul, has given us a formidable tome entitled, A Treatise on Cosmic Fire. As difficult of comprehension as these subjects are, they are central to the opportunities available to us in the Aquarian Age of brotherhood and understanding. The way of Fire is an inherent aspect of initiation and initiation-a process that marks the evolution and expansion of consciousness-will characterize the new millennium. As A Treatise on Cosmic Fire indicates, "the lunar Lords have had their day; now Agni, as the solar Lord of life and energy, will assume due importance in human life."
In the Secret Doctrine fire is referred to as a divine Substance-the most perfect and unadulterated reflection in Heaven and earth of the One Flame. The flaming sacrifice is mentioned in all Covenants and many are familiar with the biblical reference to God or Spirit as "a consuming Fire." Agni, the God of Fire in the Vedas is the oldest and the most revered of the Gods in India. The all-important nature of Fire in its many aspects is undeniable. Its nature has been extolled since the dawn of time and the Agni Yoga teachings affirm that "joy and courage are indispensable, but without Fire these qualities are not created."
According to the esoteric wisdom, cosmic fire in its three aspects forms the background of our evolution. Identified within the One Cosmic Fire are electric fire, solar fire and fire by friction or the Creative Fire, the Preserving Fire, and the Destroying Fire. These three aspects of fire correspond to the three planetary centers of Shamballa, the Spiritual Hierarchy and Humanity. As the individual awakens to his/her totality-to the three periodical vehicles that are an inherent part of each human being-so he/she comes into relationship with the corresponding planetary centers and their radiatory fires. It is the graded blending and merging of these three fires that indicates the degree of integration established-within the individual and thus within the planetary centers. This degree of integration and relationship is marked by the various stages of initiation. Thus, each initiation results in an expanded horizon, in some new "at-one-ment," and in the sequential realization of "the essential oneness of the one self with all selves." As a result, the individual gains increased awareness of God's plans for the world and he/she gradually develops the ability to cooperate in the fulfillment and expansion of those plans.
Initiation into a new state of consciousness is not an easy process. It is one of constant effort and strenuous mental and spiritual living. It is one of committed and disciplined thinking, feeling and action. It requires that the personal life be subordinated to the good of the whole and that the limitations of the existing ring-pass-not be overcome.
Each expansion of consciousness is therefore preceded by a burning, through the medium of the inner fire and by the destruction, through the sacrifice of all that separates. As the lower (that which would hold back and limit) is destroyed, so the greater is assimilated. Fire acts not only as a purifier-gradually breaking through and destroying the confining walls, but it also acts as a great connector. What was separate in consciousness is now whole. The divine circulatory flow by which all energies move freely and are distributed throughout the etheric body of the planet and the individual is established. Thus, the great chain of contact and the great channel for the inflow of spiritual energy reaches from Shamballa to humanity and then, through humanity, to the three subhuman kingdoms. The separating walls are no more.
In the words of the Old Commentary, "The burning fire releases all that blocks the way of life. Bliss comes and follows after fire....the radiance of the rising sun and perfect knowledge of the Truth appear....The fires burn the hindering forms which seek to hold the pilgrim back and so bring release.... The fires destroy the veil, hiding the Father's Face."2