The Seven Rays – part 2

The first ray’s threefold expression is as purification, destruction and organization. Those are the three components of this tremendous, and again I should remind people, divine energy. Purification is the clearing away of all impediments. Destruction might be a surprise to people; to think that that’s an expression of divine intention. But I think we find an example in nature, through the process of fire. Clearing away the dross, the dead forms in the natural world, then makes possible the regeneration of life. Fire is a very necessary part of the natural world. That’s a good example of the spiritual basis of destruction. Organization: we see that throughout nature, the divine and precise order in the construction of life, the manifestation of life. 

Robert: Welcome to Inner Sight. Inner sight is simply seeing that which is always present but not yet fully recognized. You have within you the ability to see yourself and the world around you in a new way with new eyes. So, stay with us, and together we’ll look at the world and ourselves with inner sight. The topic of today’s show is the first Ray of Power or Will. I like this thought, “There is one Life which expresses itself primarily through seven basic qualities or aspects, and secondarily through the myriad diversity of forms. These seven radiant qualities are the seven Rays.” We’re going to be speaking about the seven rays that I just mentioned, but they’re not rays the way we think of rays. They’re about energies and subtleties and frequencies that have a profound effect, not only on humanity, but on all of life. And science is finding out that there is so much more to reality and the universe than meets the eye, or that can be detected by the five senses. There is so much available that we’re finding out about, which does have such an effect on mankind. Can you sum up our last discussion, which introduced the seven rays? 

Sarah: Well, I’ll try. The seven rays, first of all, are the sevenfold expression of divinity. They are divine energies that condition all aspects, all manifestations of life on our planet. God is one, but his quality is sevenfold. It’s said that the number or the vibration of evolution is seven. We talked about how you can see that, in the fact that there are the seven notes of the musical scale, and the week is based on seven days. The vibration of seven manifests throughout nature and it also affects the manifestation of every form. This is what we know as the seven rays, and I think the most important thing to keep in mind when examining their psychological effects is that these are divine energies, so any discussion of them doesn’t rank one ray as better than another or one ray as of a lesser quality. They are all divine in origin. 

Dale: Yes, and you can see them manifesting. The same seven differentiations are seen in the seven colours of the spectrum of the sunlight; a beam of light shone through a prism differentiates into seven basic paths and different colours and vibrations. 

Sarah: Literally seven rays. 

Dale: Yes, and these are essentially the same kind of ray. They have different colorations and they have different vibration levels, but they all emanate from Deity, and they are means by which Deity expresses Its life here on Earth, through humanity. So, all human beings are made-up of these seven basic qualities in various combinations. 

Sarah: And I think another point to bring up, as we said in the introduction to this whole subject—which is extremely complex and profound in its spiritual implications—is that if it sounds simplistic, that’s our fault, not the fault of the teaching of the Ageless Wisdom, because in fact it’s an extremely complicated science. The teaching on the seven rays is a science. All we want to do through these discussions is just to introduce the subject to listeners who then might want to explore it a bit more on their own. But to really learn about the seven rays requires a great deal of study. 

Dale: Each ray is by itself. They are energies in motion and it’s the way that Deity makes contact with the world, but each ray has a certain purity of its own, which becomes tempered or qualified and reduced in quality when it mingles with the human substance. And its purity is then further modified when combined with other ray qualities. In future programs we will be looking at this and how these qualities manifest in the world through human actions. 

Robert: Today, we’ll continue our discussion on the seven rays. We’ll talk about the first Ray of Will and Power, and once again, it has to do with energies that affect us. The first ray person loves isolation. That’s one of the characteristics of that person who’s under the influence of the first ray, and it’s the line of least resistance. They are the one who normally stands alone. This is their strength, and it’s also their weakness, and that comes from the writings of Alice Bailey. How can something be both a strength and a weakness? 

Sarah: It relates to what Dale was saying a few moments ago about these seven expressions of divinity. They are the qualities of God in a sense if we think of them in that way. Maybe I should just take a moment to run through them again, for our listeners. The first Ray of Power, the second Ray of Love, the third Ray of Active Intelligence, the fourth Ray of Harmony through Conflict, the fifth Ray of Science, the sixth Ray of Devotion and the seventh Ray of Organization. These are the sevenfold expression of divinity, but they become distorted. Just as the prism breaks down the rays of light into different colours and frequencies, as these rays express through form, depending on the purity or impurity of that form, the rays are degenerated, you could say, and that’s what makes an energy—essentially an energy which is impersonal—into either a strength or a weakness. 

Dale: Right. And it said in the quote, the first ray person loves isolation. Well, isolation at one point on the path can be a kind of a weakness. He wants to do things on his own. Whatever plans he has, he wants it to be his plans and if he’s selfish or in his own makeup he’s self-centered, that can turn the energy inward onto the person and it could lead to crystallization after a while. 

Sarah: But you can also see that the ability to stand on your own, to be independent, to be responsible for yourself, and for your spiritual development, is a great strength; to lose the dependency on others. 

Dale: That’s right. So, that’s where this isolation can be both a strength and a weakness. It depends on the person, where his consciousness is focused. If it’s very focused on himself, then that ray energy, that quality, is going to lead to a certain amount of crystallization and he’s going to see himself standing apart from everybody else. 

Sarah: That’s what I find so fascinating about the study of the rays in terms of human psychology. It helps you understand that all energy can be either expressed in a refined and spiritually positive way, or it can be distorted into a degradation of that energy. For example, the tendency to become static and crystallized, as Dale mentioned, is an attribute of the first ray that is more negative, but that same capacity to stand firm, to be resistant to the pressure from outside sources, is a great strength. So, it makes you realize as you study the rays that all of us are in the process of becoming. We’re developing and we’re constantly having to correct for an imbalance of energies within ourselves. It helps us to see how we have to grow, and it helps us to perhaps be a little more patient with others. 

Dale: As it says, it’s the Ray of Power and Will. So, it is a very strong energy—the strongest of the energies that emanate from God—and that’s why it has to be very carefully handled and it has to be balanced. That’s why it’s said, the first ray should be balanced out by a quality of love. Where that love is absent, where it’s not present, if you have just pure first ray force by itself, then it can be very destructive. 

Sarah: A comment that I like from the writings of Alice Bailey is that the individual who’s strongly influenced by the first ray must use that will on himself, or herself, not on others. 

Robert: How would the first ray person respond to something I read by Krishnamurti, where he suggests that as far as following and finding a spiritual path that we become a light unto ourselves—and I think maybe it was also said by Buddha—how would the first ray person respond to something like that? 

Sarah: I think that would fit their spiritual development very appropriately: to be a lamp unto oneself. The first ray person is capable of standing alone and forging their way fearlessly in their spiritual development. The fearlessness of the first ray is something everyone needs to cultivate, the courage to develop spiritually and to face oneself and to hone and refine one’s mind and emotions. That’s the ability of the first ray person to make their own way without dependency on others. 

Dale: But as we mentioned, that can also be a weakness too, because where there is a strong first ray there may be a tendency just to go barging ahead, forcing ideas on the group or the people they’re working with. Let’s say it’s a businessman that wants to establish a new business, and he has this vision and he charges ahead. He actually provides the power and the persistence, the energy to bring about this new venture, but it takes cooperation with a lot of other people to build a new business like that. If he finds it difficult to cooperate because of a strong first ray tendency, then the company could self-destruct. 

Sarah: Maybe a good way to sum up this question is something that’s said in the writings of Alice Bailey, that wherever we identify our greatest strengths, that’s where our weaknesses can also appear. 

Robert: Today we’re talking about nuances of energy that affect people and that have a profound effect upon people. I think this is something that people can relate to because we’re living in an age where science is constantly demonstrating that there is so much to reality and in the universe that has to do with things that we’re not able to see, touch, feel, and yet they have a profound effect upon us. As Sarah mentioned before, we can explore these topics further. We’re just skimming the surface in these shows. There are twenty-four volumes of literature that have been written by Alice Bailey, so if you’d like to look further into her works in order to do an in-depth study or exploration of the seven rays, the energies that affect individuals and have a profound effect on personality, you certainly might do so. What would you say would be the best book that listeners can read if they want to pursue the seven rays? 

Sarah: Esoteric Psychology would be the introduction. 

Robert: You mentioned that the rays are threefold in expression. How does this apply to the first ray? 

Sarah: The first ray’s threefold expression is as purification, destruction and organization. Those are the three components of this tremendous, and again I should remind people, divine energy. Purification is the clearing away of all impediments. Destruction might be a surprise to people; to think that that’s an expression of divine intention. But I think we find an example in nature, through the process of fire. Clearing away the dross, the dead forms in the natural world, then makes possible the regeneration of life. Fire is a very necessary part of the natural world. That’s a good example of the spiritual basis of destruction. Organization: we see that throughout nature, the divine and precise order in the construction of life, the manifestation of life. 

Dale: Yes, I think another name given to this ray is the Destroyer Ray. And as you said, destruction is very necessary because we have to destroy the old to make way for the new. That’s constantly happening here in the world. If you live in a big city, you know that it’s undergoing change all the time; we’re destroying old buildings and putting up new ones. The old forms of thought which are no longer adequate have to be replaced, and in that replacement of the form with something better, there is a destruction that sets in. 

Sarah: It’s death. Isn’t a good synonym death? 

Dale: Sure, but even death, which seems like destruction, is a beneficent undertaking, a beneficent process, and that’s really all that is going on. It is necessary that this destructive quality also be used with a great love because that’s essentially what God does. 

Sarah: We can look, too, in the world and see this process of destruction. You could say that the World War in its phases, the First World War and the Second World War—it’s really one Great War of the past century—was the manifestation of destruction on a worldwide scale. From the spiritual point of view, after all of the suffering, all of the death and the terrible sorrow that was caused by this war, something was cleared away in human consciousness that has made possible a better world. As a result, old limiting thought forms and old incorrect relationships between the world’s peoples were eliminated, or you could say transformed, transmuted through the war. A lot of the nations that had been under the governance of colonial powers achieved their freedom after the war. That’s an example of how destruction can lead to new life. 

Dale: This first ray was very much active during that war time. We can get into that in a minute if you like, but it’s very interesting how that worked out. 

Robert: Well, that brings me to the next question. We’ve been looking at the individual for most of the show and how the first ray affects the individual personality. But how does it work out on the world scene, in a larger sense? 

Sarah: Last time we mentioned that not only human beings are governed by the seven rays, but so are nations. peoples. They are governed both as the soul of the people, and the personality or the outer persona of a particular nation. Both are coloured by one ray or another. And it’s said in the writings of Alice Bailey that the soul of two nations is governed by the first Ray of Power or Will: the nations of China and India. There are two other nations whose personality or whose outer presentation to the world is governed by the first ray, and they are Germany and Great Britain. 

Dale: And so that relationship along the first ray line makes them actually have a close relationship in a way. Britain and India, and also Germany, because the royal family has a German lineage in Britain. It’s interesting, I mentioned earlier about the effect of this first ray during World War I and II, because prior to the twentieth century, there was a tremendous imprisonment of the human soul in the form of dense materialism. This had the grip on human consciousness very strongly, and that’s essentially what had to be destroyed. You find that after World War I there was this tremendous first ray inflow of energy then. There was a great release in the Roaring Twenties. You remember there was a tremendously creative period, and then it began to build up more during the depression years in the thirties. There was still more work that had to be done in regard to the releasing of the human soul from this imprisonment in materialism, and so these were the conditions that led to World War II. Great Britain declared war in 1939 on Germany and there was set in motion a destructive force by the ray energies. But in working through the German country at that time, this energy was misapplied and misdirected, and that led Germany to invade Poland. These are simply ways that this energy can work out through nations. 

Sarah: You can also see the energy work out on the world scene through individual leaders. For example, the writings of Alice Bailey say that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a great example of the first ray leader. And when you think back to the beginning of his first term—he came into office in 1932 at the heart of the Depression—he closed the banks and reopened them, he started new programs to bring social relief to people who were really impoverished. He tried in his first ray way to remake the Supreme Court, but Congress stopped him. But generally, he used his power in ways that served the people; not only the American people, but during the Second World War, the people of the world. And a good example of this first ray energy at its most beneficent is the Four Freedoms that Roosevelt defined for all people: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear. That very concise summing up of basic human needs is typical of the first ray. 

Dale: Yes, and another objective of the first ray is synthesis, really one of the objectives of all evolution in human consciousness; to arrive at a point of synthetic understanding in consciousness. So, Roosevelt really kind of summed that all up in his life and in his great expressions of the Four Freedoms. 

Robert: Does the study of the seven rays lead to stereotyping people and also are there only seven types among all six billion of us on the planet? 

Sarah: As we’ve said before, the seven rays workout on various levels of the human psyche. The soul is governed by a particular ray, the personality by another, and then the mind, the emotions, and the physical body are also governed by rays on each level. So, a person can have up to five different rays expressing through him or her, and this makes it very complex. We should never use an understanding of psychology in any way to stereotype people. It’s too simplistic. It’s like shorthand, and it isn’t right because it ignores the subtleties of the human psyche. So, it would be only a misuse of the seven rays that would stereotype people. What it does, I think, is help you to understand the differences and the nuances of human beings which makes us all different. It gives us tolerance. 

Dale: It’s a combination of these rays that’s so difficult to work through because they work upon each other and they modify and qualify, as we’ve been talking about. The destructiveness and the power of the first ray if it’s modified by love, the second Ray of Love-Wisdom, then you would have a very able, strong, and beneficent leader in the world, who would be a good example. 

Robert: Okay. That’s about all the time we have for our discussion today. You’ve been listening to Inner Sight. Now we would like to close with the world prayer called the Great Invocation. It’s a call for light and love and goodwill to flow into the world and into our hearts. Let’s listen for a moment to these powerful words. 

Sarah: Closes the program by reciting the adapted version of the Great Invocation

(This is an edited transcript of a recorded radio program called “Inner Sight”. This conversation was recorded between the host, Robert Anderson, and the then President and Vice-President of Lucis Trust, Sarah and Dale McKechnie.)

(Transcribed and edited by Carla McLeod)




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