Discipleship is a process where by the identity is gradually shifted from the personality to the soul. It is a remedial process for those born into a material culture where there has been an over-identification with the mental, astral and etheric/physical planes. The main thrust of discipleship therefore is the discrimination between soul and the sheaths through which it operates.
Once that critical stage is passed and the soul has been freed from its sheaths it then proceeds to operate through all of them in an integrated way. Mental polarisation and the path of mental discernment is a prelude to transfiguration – the flooding of all three personality fields with the light, love, and power of the triad. We can see that there are also two ways to achieve this – one is the ascent to those realms where the soul and then monad is able to be identified with, and the other is the calling down of these higher potencies into the lower worlds.
We might imagine on the path of ascent that we leave parts of our ‘selves’ identified with the etheric physical, astral, and mental planes representing Lemurian, Atlantean and Aryan consciousness respectively. The integration of these three is essential for healthy functioning.
There is a stage between the second and third initiations where a disciple becomes accepted and can be trusted with access to the energy of planetary Purpose. Prior to that stage the energy of Purpose is withheld because there is still the chance that the disciple will choose mind over heart, intellect over love.
Similarly we would expect there to be a stage between the second and third phase teachings where a clear line of demarcation is experienced. On the second phase side of this line the emphasis would still be upon choosing and discriminating light over dark, the soul over the personality, the angel over the dweller. Many voices are raised in warnings, darkness is projected and the Black Lodge is frequently mentioned. Of course those raising their voices in warnings to others are often expressing the very things that they themselves need to hear. Once the choice and acceptance of love and the Hierarchy has been made then the emphasis shifts to that of love and integration, rather than the necessary polarisation prior to that event.
Once this stage is past then it becomes safer to work with the energies of the lower chakras again because it is the soul or the solarised personality that is doing the work and not the misidentified self that is still too closely identified with the sheaths.
We might divide the path up into four stages – purification, discernment, tantra and non-duality. These would relate to the Path of Probation, the Path of Discipleship, the Path of Initiation, and the Path of Identification.
After the third degree then the initiate uses the technique of duality – i.e. the direct linking of spirit and matter via the soul as the middle principle, eventually leading to the release of the soul as this technique succeeds. Another name for this technique is tantra.
Logos – the primary focus of the white ascending traditions – is integrated with Eros – the primary focus of the dark descending traditions. Note that when I am speaking about the dark descending traditions I am not speaking about a lack of consciousness which simply follows the path of least resistance. A tradition is a path of discipline and consciousness based on the recognition that we are essentially divine and we can carry that divinity into any field of expression. The descending traditions merely head in opposite directions – one seeks divine expression through transcendence and the other through embodiment. When polarised the transcendent traditions tend to address all emphasis on the emotions, body, and sexuality as a kind of self-indulgence, and the embodied traditions tend to address all emphasis on mentality as disassociated and repressive. When integrated the old battle lines that arose between the human and animal kingdoms on the moon chain are resolved.
If each of us is a living god plus a divine animal then all levels of being and expression must be realised as valuable and contributing to the presence and manifestation of divinity.
Third phase teaching must transcend and include the second phase. Inclusion happens when we accept that the limitations that others seek to apply and claim as truth – are true for them – while at the same time reserving our right to act in accordance with our own sense of what is true for us. This will draw judgement and even condemnation from others for a time as the mind tries to have the heart operate according to its dictates just as it has achieved ascendency over emotions and physical intelligence. But the heart follows a higher order of knowing and if followed will eventually bring the mind to its knees. Including the second phase however does not mean that the second phase will include us. Far from it. That is why the development of the heart and the capacity to love in the face of judgement is so important.
A recent example of this process just happened on our travels in South America. A couple of other presenters at the USR conference wrote letters of warning to many coworkers in Argentina and Bolivia concerning my work. “The dark side of Ray One” and “poisoned apple” were among the choice epithets. I am sure that once my work with sexuality and tantra becomes more widely known then the warnings and condemnations will escalate.
Understanding the concerns of second phase workers will become increasingly important. I have a couple of suggestions from experience that might be helpful.
1.Validate the concerns – many teachings do warn against practices that involve the body and sexuality in the same way that the Christian tradition warns against the devil. For those who are afraid of the devil and seek to follow mental guidelines it is quite appropriate that they should. Hiding the potency of the fires of matter behind fears and warnings serves to drive consciousness up until it is strong enough to work with those energies. So yes, there are good reasons for the teachings.
2. Support the person’s right to follow their own discernment. This is why freedom is such an important part of life teachings and why no attempt should be made to enrol or promote this work. By emphasising the freedom to make one’s own choice we open the door to the realisation that we too must be left free to follow our call and deserve to be supported in doing this. The problem here is that the second phase worker is often not truly free and is not identified with their own soul, but following a set of mental guidelines or teachings. They have placed their faith in these and feel disconcerted if someone is not following them as they are. Claims of absolute truth are common.
3. Emphasise communion and keep lines of communication open. Freedom is contagious even when it is rejected.
In summary there is a line between second and third phase teaching that will clearly differentiate them. Second phase teaching is primarily designed to fully separate soul and personality while third phase teaching seeks their full integration. It is useful to understand where that line is and what the dynamics of it are so that cleavage does not result. Overcoming that cleavage is the responsibility of those in the third phase work because, if we have truly transcended second phase teaching, then we are able to include it while at the same time preserving our right not to be limited by it.