The Seven Rays – part 3

I think the second ray soul becomes more and more inclusive of life, and by that I mean the consciousness becomes more and more aware of and able to identify with the life that lives within all beings, not only within all human beings, but within all living things. And if you use your imagination to try to build a picture of such a being, it’s someone who can include the humanity and the spirituality of all kinds of different forms. On the level of the outer form there’s great variety, but the second ray soul is able to perceive that indwelling divinity that is One in all—behind all forms. This inclusive consciousness that embraces all living things is very much an expression of the second ray approach to the spiritual path. 

Robert: Welcome to Inner Sight. Our topic today is the seven rays—part three. I like this particular thought taken from the works of Alice Bailey: “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.” Before we recap, I’d just like to ask a question about this opening thought from Alice Bailey. What does she mean by “There is one Life”? 

Sarah: I think she’s referring to the creative force, the source and power of the created world, which many people call God, the Creator, Allah, or whatever. That’s the one Life and we are all contained within that one Life according to the Ageless Wisdom.  

Robert: Okay. For those who perhaps weren’t listening to us last time, I’d like you to recap the essence of the theme that we’re doing on the seven rays. 

Sarah: Well, we started out by discussing the seven rays in general and I think a good definition of what we mean by the term ray is that it’s a name for a particular kind of force or energy which makes its impact and expresses its quality according to the instrument that receives the energy, and the instrument in this case being the human being, the human psychological makeup. All human beings are conditioned by seven types of energy, called the seven rays. And we talked about the significance of the number seven in our world. For example, the story of Genesis says the world was created in seven days. 

Dale: Yes, and then there are also the seven notes of the Western musical scale. 

Sarah: Seven major glands. 

Dale: And there is also what they call seven centres, seven chakras, in the human body. Also, another way of looking at it is through the rainbow. There are seven colours in the light spectrum. If light shines through a prism, it differentiates into seven streams of seven basic colours. Seven is a very deep spiritual number, so it’s not unusual to have seven rays as well. 

Sarah: We also talked about the fact that every human being is conditioned by up to five different ray energies. Maybe we should name the rays again: there’s the first Ray of Will and Power, the second Ray of Love-Wisdom, the third Ray of Active Intelligence, the fourth Ray of Harmony through Conflict, the fifth Ray of Knowledge or Science, the sixth Ray of Idealism and Devotion, and the seventh Ray of Order and Organization. Every human being is conditioned by up to five of these ray energies. The soul of the human being is governed by a particular ray, his or her personality or outer presentation to the world is governed by a different ray energy, and then the mind, the emotions, and the physical body all have their particular ray energy that qualifies them. 

Dale: And the value of looking at these rays and trying to understand each ray that one has is an extension of psychology because it’s actually a new way of looking at yourself and understanding what you’re made of, how you’re made up. It does not have to do with just discovering neuroses and dealing with neuroses. It’s discovering what you really are and where your goals should be, your future should be, in what direction you should be leading your life. So, in that respect a study of the seven rays is very valuable. And we’ll go into this more as we go along. 

Robert: As science has evolved, we have found that there are indeed energies and frequencies that do affect us, so based on that, let’s continue our discussion on the seven rays. Today we’ll talk about the second Ray of Love-Wisdom. “By magnetic, attractive, sympathetic understanding, and the wise use of slow action, based on love, do the servers on this ray work. Today their power is becoming dominant.” That’s another thought from Alice Bailey. I like that thought, and I think it’s profound. What can you tell us about the second ray? 

Sarah: The second ray is the Ray of Love-Wisdom. As I mentioned earlier, it’s the major ray energy conditioning our world according to the writings of Alice Bailey and the Ageless Wisdom. I think it said that a majority of souls living in the world at this time are governed by this energy of love and wisdom. That does not mean that they are necessarily perfect expressions of pure divine love. What it means is that their highest self, which is the soul, the better angels of their nature are forces that tend towards love, towards wisdom. But not all souls are governed by the second ray. You recognize it by certain virtues like calmness, strength of character, patience, a love of truth, a commitment to truth, capacity for intuition and serenity. Those often are indications of a second ray human being. 

Dale: Each ray has what we call vices and virtues, and this is another way of redefining and trying to identify one’s rays because, for example, one of the vices of the second ray is called over absorption in study. For example, one spends his time just studying and studying. That could be one of the vices which could lead to a certain amount of coldness or indifference to other people. So even though it’s the Ray of Love and Wisdom, they do have their lower expressions on the rather negative side. If one can identify these characteristics in oneself, then there are virtues that one should aim for, like love, compassion, unselfishness and that serenity that is so very special of the second ray. And so, with every ray there are virtues and vices, and there are also glamours associated with the rays, too. One of the glamours of the second ray might be the Messiah complex. You quite often see that in certain individuals.  

Sarah: I’ve known some. 

Dale: Yes, we’ve met a few of them. (laughter) But there are these characteristics, and this is all laid out in the Bailey books and the Bailey teachings if one wants to look at them and study them, because they actually tell us a lot about ourselves. 

Sarah: Another point to bring up is that not only human beings are governed by the rays; nations and groups are governed by particular ray energies. We talked about that last time, and the second ray is especially interesting because it governs the soul of the United States. And it also governs the soul of New York City, according to the Ageless Wisdom. Recent events arising from September 11th’s tragedy, I think, really showed the second ray soul of this great city, where people came together in love and compassion; without any hesitation they gave themselves over to the effort to salvage what they could from that horrible disaster. That’s an expression of love and wisdom that I think all of us will remember forever. 

Robert: Absolutely. I think that probably a lot of people out there admire the Ray of Love and Wisdom. If I want to get into that ray and I’m attracted to that ray, (laughter) how do I go about getting on the path where I become immersed in that particular ray? How do I do that? 

Sarah: Well, we cultivate divine qualities by pondering on them, by reflecting on them, by acting as if we already have those qualities manifesting in our nature. And certainly everyone, I think, is oriented toward becoming more loving. It doesn’t mean that people who are governed by different rays than the second are not loving—it doesn’t mean that—but you cultivate these qualities by aspiring toward them and beginning to manifest them according to your best ability. 

Dale: Of course there are different degrees of love, from the purely physical love, all the way up to—well the highest demonstration of that would perhaps be the Christ and the Buddha, those two great beings. 

Sarah: Completely inclusive love as opposed to the very personal form of love that most people think of, where you love someone for themselves and you want them to love you for your own unique nature. But the love-wisdom of the second ray is utterly inclusive in its highest form without limitation. 

Dale: So, these are the higher possibilities that are held out for us. And if you’re on this second ray line there’s always a greater love that one can work towards in one’s life. 

Robert: Now, as we do this show, I’m wondering why nobody has come along and pinned the label on me and said which ray I am. (laughter) But I’m kind of curious, how does one identify one’s rays? How would we go about that? 

Sarah: Well, it’s really quite a challenge. Those who study the seven rays find that they try on different rays, like trying on different hats and garments. For a while they might think they’re governed by a particular ray and then they’ll change their mind and think, “oh, no, it must be this ray.” But I do think that if you are attracted to a particular ray energy, if it evokes a sense within yourself that it describes or defines you, then probably you are governed by it. But the problem is, as I said before, that we are ruled by up to five different rays: the energy of our soul, our higher self; the energy of our personality, which is our outer face, our outer persona; and then the energy of our mind, the way we think, the way we solve problems; the energy of our emotional body, our habits of reaction and feeling; and the energy of our physical body. These are all governed by probably different rays—sometimes there’s some overlap—so you can respond to a particular ray, and it probably is affecting you, but to pinpoint it is not easy. 

Robert: So, when I read the works of Alice Bailey and I look upon myself as a particular ray—if I say I’m a third ray or a second ray individual—what I’m really saying is that’s my dominant energetic force, that’s the dominant ray that’s influencing me, but there are others. 

Sarah: Probably yes. They call it the energy of active intelligence; something that you feel defines an essential part of your character, in your being, yes. 

Robert: So that would be the dominant ray, but there would be other rays affecting me as well that are not as meaningful. 

Sarah: Well, one of the problems is figuring out what the dominant energy is coming through your personality or your soul. It’s not easy.  

Dale: Also, I think of one’s profession.  Let’s take for example a teacher. A good first-rate teacher will usually be found on the second ray line, because that would be a natural expression for this person from the time they were born; from a young person they would aspire to be a teacher. That would be someone who was born with this quality. 

Sarah: But you don’t mean necessarily a classroom teacher. 

Dale: No, no, there are many ways to teach. 

Robert: You’re teaching right now. 

Dale: (laughter) One can look at that, but you have to be very honest with yourself in determining these ray qualities and really discriminating and honest and say, “yes, this is what I am. I have these qualities.” As I mentioned earlier, there are virtues and vices, and by looking at the vices that we have, we can also determine or help to find out what ray quality is most strong in our life. 

Robert: So, since you used teaching as an example, a teacher would tend to probably be in a second ray, right? 

Sarah: Not necessarily. I don’t know if it’s that cut and dried, but it’s a probability, yes. 

Robert: Well, love and wisdom is certainly a quality we want to see within teachers. How does someone conditioned by the second ray develop spiritually? 

Sarah: That’s a fascinating question, because we don’t all develop in our spiritual evolution in the same way. You might think human beings would, but they don’t. According to the ray energy that qualifies their soul, they might proceed on the spiritual path in quite different ways. For example, the first ray soul approaches the spiritual life dynamically through the use of the will, the spiritual will. The phrase people might have heard of, “taking the kingdom of heaven by storm”, applies to the souls on the first ray. The second ray, however, develops in a slower way, and our opening thought touched on the slowness— “the wise use of slow action”—that’s very much a second ray trait. Wisdom, love, slow persistent endeavour, describes that soul. They work through meditation, through reflection, through study of spiritual truths, gradually, I suppose, bringing them into the atoms of their being. Through study and pondering and reflection, it sinks in. 

Dale: Spiritually, you can develop actually on any of the rays. It’s a matter of consciousness. Spirituality is simply an awakening of one’s consciousness. On the second ray, one would be open more to that love quality that enters into one’s life, and it’s also a matter of leading a spiritual life. It becomes a way of life and your life becomes endowed with this quality. It’s not just something you think about, or study just to acquire intellectual knowledge about, but it becomes a spiritual rule by which you live and that becomes the dominant characteristic. 

Sarah: You mentioned a word earlier that defines the second ray soul’s pursuit of spiritual development, when you said, “open”; they become open. I think the second ray soul becomes more and more inclusive of life, and by that I mean the consciousness becomes more and more aware of and able to identify with the life that lives within all beings, not only within all human beings, but within all living things. And if you use your imagination to try to build a picture of such a being, it’s someone who can include the humanity and the spirituality of all kinds of different forms. On the level of the outer form there’s great variety, but the second ray soul is able to perceive that indwelling divinity that is One in all—behind all forms. This inclusive consciousness that embraces all living things is very much an expression of the second ray approach to the spiritual path. 

Dale: It’s also the way of wisdom—that oneness or that openness and inclusiveness—because it is not just an accumulation of knowledge. We use knowledge as a basis for understanding the world, which leads eventually to more wisdom and understanding. It opens the way to the intuition which is the wisdom track. The intuition is really a much higher form of mind than we normally think, because it really lies beyond the level of mind; it’s a very high level of mind that is totally inclusive. 

Sarah: Another way to understand the way that spiritual development proceeds for second ray people is to compare them to the first ray. We mentioned in the program when we discussed the first ray that there’s a tendency in those souls to destroy, to break up old forms that are no longer useful. The Bible speaks of not being able to put new wine in old bottles, and that’s very much a recognition of the first ray soul—that there’s a time to destroy and eliminate anything that hinders or impinges upon spiritual growth—whereas the second ray soul is a natural builder and creator, so there’s quite a contrast there. As people in our audience listen to these descriptions, maybe they can begin to see themselves and the people they know best in the light of these different attributes, because all seven rays are divine; there is no one ray that’s better than another ray. 

Dale: You’ve mentioned that first ray destroyer aspect and maybe in the arts, Picasso might be a good example of that destroyer, because he literally destroyed through his art. He destroyed the old forms of art, the old ideas and the stereotypes of artistic expression, and created a whole different, new expression. So, that’s one way I think this first ray energy works through human beings. 

Robert:  As I sit here thinking, what’s going through my mind is different major personalities and trying to figure out which ray they personified or manifested. Can you give us some examples of the second ray? 

Sarah: Well, the two greatest examples we have are the Christ and the Buddha. They are both examples of the second ray as World Teacher and the impact of their life and teachings is still with us over two thousand years after their deaths; they are a supreme example of love and wisdom in human form. There are other examples though. I mentioned that nations are ruled by ray energies. The United States is governed on the soul level by the second ray. So is the United Kingdom, and so is Brazil. I believe Brazil is governed on the personality level by the second ray. What are some other examples? Maybe in the arts? 

Dale: Well, in relation to the arts again, I’ve always thought that Leonard Bernstein expressed a lot of that second ray, because if you remember, years ago he had that TV special where he used his good offices and his talents to teach young people about the orchestra and about orchestral music. It was a really marvelous program. He’s a natural teacher and he taught through music. 

Sarah: So does Wynton Marsalis, the jazz and classical musician, the trumpeter; he’s a natural teacher. And Yo-Yo Ma is a teacher and he’s also extremely inclusive in the second ray sense. He loves to play music of different forms. I think he’s just issued a recording where he plays the cello along with a folk musician of some sort. He’s very open to collaborating with people of other musical traditions, and that would suggest a second ray inclusiveness. 

Dale: Yes, and there are a lot of others. If you begin to think of artists that use their talents, their art as ways of teaching, then you begin to see these qualities of love and wisdom coming through. 

Robert: One of the qualities that I’ve learned to value through the works of Alice Bailey is the quality of harmlessness. It’s really turning me upside down every time I approach a person, or anything in life, when I think, “does this follow the value of harmlessness?” Would that be a second ray characteristic as well? 

Sarah: Well, I think it must be. The expression of love is naturally and inevitably harmless. So, the second ray speaks to you, Robert. 

Robert: Yes, I admire the second ray and I want to internalize it. We’d like to welcome you to join us next time, but that’s about all the time we have for our discussion today. Now we’d like to close with a 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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