The Seven Rays – part 4

The Ray of Active Intelligence and adaptability [is] the ability to take an idea and adapt it down to a comprehensive level, adapting an idea to the immediate needs and to verbalize this idea in a way that it becomes part of the new plans or the new direction that it is desired for a person to take, or a country, or a group of people, for that matter.

Robert: Welcome to Inner Sight. Today we’ll be doing the seven rays— part four. Actually, we’ll be speaking about ray three today, and when we speak about the rays it has to do with those qualities in the universe that are unseen energies, frequencies that affect us. I think more than ever, we’re learning that reality, the world, is much more than the five senses, so these are some qualities within the universe that do have an effect on us. All of the dialogue that emanates from this show is based on the twenty-four volumes of literature that Alice Bailey has written. Here’s a thought 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 take a look at ray three, I think what we should do is recap what we’ve learned so far about the rays. Can you do that for us? 

Sarah: Well, we can touch briefly on what we’ve said so far. The seven rays, as we’ve mentioned a number of times, are the sevenfold expression of divinity. God is one, but in His manifesting through the world of form, there’s a sevenfold expression, and we’ve talked about how this number is found in numerous depictions in the world: seven days of the week, the seven major glands, the seven colours of the prism, and so on. God expresses himself in a seven-fold manner or in seven qualities, and that’s an important point, I think, when we talk about the rays—to remember that these are divine qualities, divine emanations, and that should put aside any sense we might have that some rays are more preferable than others. They’re not. They’re all divine. The science of the seven rays is so comprehensive and so complex that in these radio programs we’re really just making little stabs here and there at the science, not going into any detail at all. People who find that they’re really interested in it need to do a lot of study on their own. What we’re trying to do is just give an introduction and an overview to see if it elicits people’s interest. I think today people are becoming more and more psychological in their orientation. They want to understand themselves and they want to understand others. The seven rays are a wonderful way to look at oneself and others because they approach human beings from the standpoint of their inherent divinity, not their inherent neuroses, which is so often what psychology does. People are innately divine, even if they don’t always behave as if they are. And learning to see people in terms of these divine qualities helps to bring out a compassion and an understanding, not only for what they are, but for what they are becoming. 

Dale: Yes, I think that’s the important thing to get across about these rays.  They are seven basic expressions of God in the world, not only in humanity but in the other kingdoms as well. And so, this is God’s way of expressing Himself through humanity, by way of these seven emanations, or seven divine energies, you might say. 

Sarah: For example, we were talking about the first ray. God expresses Himself through the first ray in humanity through leadership, through the spiritual will, through the capacity to use power and to use power rightly. If you have a government leader, a president or a chairman or whatever, you want that person to use power, but to use it appropriately. And the first ray endows the human being with the capacity to wield spiritual power. 

Dale: Right, and the second ray quality is in the line of the teacher. You might say a good first-rate teacher might be on that line of energy and expressing that quality because it’s the teaching ray. It’s also the ray on which the Buddha was found, and the Christ. They act together as two brothers along the same path of love and wisdom. That is one of the names given to this second Ray of Love-Wisdom, and so that’s why it’s along this line that the teaching is found. It’s also the ray of the builder, the building ray. So, very sketchily, these are just basic qualities that are expressed in the first two rays, and those are the ones that we’ve covered so far. Today we’re going to pick up on the third ray. 

Robert: And to continue our discussion, we’re talking about the third ray and that is, the Ray of Active Intelligence. “The servers on this ray have a special function at this time in stimulating the intellect of humanity, sharpening it and inspiring it.” I would think that would be quite a valuable function. That thought, once again, comes from the works of Alice Bailey. What can you tell us about the third ray? 

Sarah: Well, let’s see. It’s the Ray of Active Intelligence, of adaptability. It’s also sometimes referred to as the ray of the creative intelligence, since the third ray stimulates the principle of intelligence of the mind in the human being. We’ve talked about will or power, the first ray; love-wisdom, the second ray; and the active intelligence is the third ray. Those three components are the essence of the human being’s essential makeup—will, love, and intelligence. We need all three. And you could say that people who are strongly influenced by the third ray are people who are very comfortable with ideas, with philosophy, with the world of thought. Sometimes they tend to be totally caught up in the world of thought and not terribly practical in the sense of actually bringing through any realized plan that they then fulfill, but they do have an affinity for ideas, for creating in the mind plans and patterns. 

Dale: Yes, it’s said that the servers, the great beings who serve on this ray, work by manipulating these ideas. They are very attuned to the intuitive ideas that are existing on the inner planes, so their job is to adapt them. Interestingly enough, that’s another part of this ray. It’s the Ray of Active Intelligence and adaptability. I’d like to focus on that because it’s the ability to take an idea and adapt it down to a comprehensive level, adapting an idea to the immediate needs and to verbalize this idea in a way that it becomes part of the new plans or the new direction that it is desired for a person to take, or a country, or a group of people, for that matter. One example might be having to do with the founding of the United States. Our founding fathers grasped this idea of democracy, then they adapted it to the particular needs of the time, and based on the vision held in their minds, it was then adapted into laws and amendments in the Constitution. This became the basis for our country and for the way of life that we have here, based on the rule of law. So that’s just one example where I think ideas are stepped down and adapted for use. This is the great, skillful way of the third ray server. 

Sarah: Another thing you can say about the third ray is that it gives the capacity for what is called the pattern making mind, the individual who can see the large scheme of things and see the patterns that relate and integrate various component parts into a whole. That’s an effect of the third ray. And we should mention that not all of us have all of these spiritual energies in equal parts. Some of us have an affinity for certain rays more than others, so when we discuss these rays, we have to realize that we ourselves may not be particularly conditioned by them, but we might be able to see examples in others. For example, the mathematician who can create the formulas for solving highly complex problems is probably working with the energy of the third ray. The architect who can develop the blueprint which integrates very complex building would be working with the third ray energy. Music also is conditioned by the third ray, as I understand it, because it works with the scale and the notes and creates a wholeness out of component parts. 

Dale: There’s an abstractness about music which invokes the intuitional aspect of a person. 

Sarah: And it’s often said that mathematics and music are very closely related and people who have the aptitude for one often have the aptitude for the other as well. They’re both expressions of the third ray. 

Robert: Why is it said that the third ray holds the key or the clue to evolution? 

Sarah: That’s a statement from the writings of Alice Bailey and I think it’s absolutely fascinating to ponder on. One thought I have, is that it has to do with the human being, called man, being literally “one who thinks”. The Sanskrit root word of man, manas, means “one who thinks.” The human being has a mind. God gave us a mind; whether or not we use it is up to us, but the human being, because he has a mind, has the capacity to mold and create and adapt the matter or substance of the physical world. That’s why humanity has the capacity to make such an impact on our planet more than the other kingdoms, because we have this mind, which can be either God inspired, or simply manipulative for selfish ends. I think maybe this is the intention or the real underlying meaning of that passage in Genesis, that man shall have “dominion over the earth and all things.” “Dominion” in the sense that man has the power of the mind, which gives him a certain rulership, a certain decisiveness and creativity that affects the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms. 

Dale: This is an interesting parallel, having to do with humanity’s relationship to the animal kingdom. It’s one of our responsibilities as human beings to use this mind principle to stimulate the very rudimentary mind nature in the animal kingdom, particularly in the domestic animals like dogs and cats and horses, who are on the leading edge, let’s say, of the animal kingdom. They’re preparing the animals to be ready to take that next step in evolution, and the mind plays a very important part in that. 

Sarah: Yes, we often think of our role in regard to animals as being that of loving them, of being tender and protective of them. Certainly, that’s a part of humanity’s role, but this idea that we are intended to stimulate and awaken their mind is quite fascinating. We’ve talked about this in past programs, about the experiments being conducted by scientists who are working with animal communication, which are fascinating. We can see a lot of different interaction between animals and human beings that is awakening the mind. The discipline that we instill in our pets, our dogs, when we send them to dog obedience school—that’s in effect awakening their mind, and it’s part of the evolutionary plan apparently. 

Dale: Right. There are many examples of that. And like the lady in California living with this gorilla and… 

Sarah: Francine Patterson and the gorilla, Koko. 

Dale: Yes, and they actually communicate in many ways now. This is an example of the mind principle. She’s applying it in using and stimulating the mind in her gorilla friend. 

Sarah: In the writings of Alice Bailey, though, the effect or the expression of the third ray apparently is mainly through the animal’s capacity for adaptability and for instinct. That’s the rudimentary expression of the mind, the instinct that you see in an animal. 

Robert: We have these preset notions about animals. All through my life I’ve thought, well, an animal can’t do this, an animal can’t do that. You’ve mentioned Koko and how she’s actually creating sentences; are there any other examples of that? Wasn’t it something we were talking about in regard to a bird—a parrot maybe? 

Dale: There was an example, yes. I’ve seen it on television, about a parrot that could speak words and actually speak sentences. 

Robert: Well, there you go. That certainly is a breakthrough as far as that’s concerned; apparently animals can evolve from a point of consciousness also. So how does someone conditioned by the third ray develop spiritually? 

Sarah: I think they have the best means to develop their spiritual consciousness through reflection, through deep pondering and philosophical thought on texts that they are studying. They are the kind of people who like to reflect and ponder and ruminate on what they study and take it deeply into their consciousness slowly, perhaps more slowly than the souls who have an affinity for the first Ray of Power or the Ray of Love-Wisdom. The souls who are conditioned by the third ray, probably evolve more slowly, but they do so through mental reflection and pondering. 

Dale: There’s also the factor that we’ve mentioned before, about how all of the rays have what they call vices. There are virtues of each of the rays, and there are vices; in other words, negative qualities that sometimes are expressed. One of the vices, let’s say, of the third ray is excessive busyness, which is the overactive mind that is busy, busy, busy, that is into everything and everybody’s business, trying to organize things and wasting a lot of energy, usually getting nothing much done. 

Sarah: That’s a way to not develop spiritually; in other words, using energies in useless ways. (laughter) 

Dale: Yes, but the point is if one can recognize this fault in oneself and say, “I’ve got to change this, this is not right, I want to move on from this,” and becomes very dissatisfied with this way of behaving… 

Sarah: I think it’s easier to recognize it in others. (laughter) 

Dale: Yes, well, that’s a first step; then  others recognize it in you. (more laughter) And then it begins to hit home. At that point, it’s interesting that the Alice Bailey teachings say this person, in order to advance, what he must do is to simply stand quiet at the centre. “Cease from weaving.” 

Sarah: Cease from weaving—Oh, I love that! 

Dale: In other words, stop all of this busyness and just learn to stand silent. 

Sarah: Focused and still. 

Dale: And that’s when alignment with the soul takes place, when you can learn to stand silently and quietly, like a quiet mill pond. 

Sarah: Cultivating the quality of stillness, not only in your life, but in your consciousness. Stillness. We don’t have much of that in our society today. 

Dale: Right. And it’s not simply a matter of just sitting down in a room and being quiet. It’s a matter of being quiet in your lifestyle. 

Sarah: And quiet in your thoughts. You can sit in a room alone with the television off and not be at all quiet or still mentally. 

Dale: Yes, it’s that quiet mind that begins to align with something higher—one’s higher spiritual possibilities. 

Sarah: Well, if you think of the quiet mill pond, such a still pond can reflect the sunlight, or the clouds, or whatever. Well, a mind that is quiet and still can reflect the impression of divinity, of God. 

Dale: That’s right, it takes the quiet mind. It’s the busy mind that is always active, constantly modulating, where nothing of any higher quality or impression can get through. 

Sarah: Producing waves or skandhas, as the Hindu texts call them—we do a lot of skandha producing in our modern way of life; but it also gives us the creativity and vitality that you see in present day life. I don’t think it’s all totally wrong, but it needs to be managed and tempered. 

Robert: What do you mean by skandha producing? 

Sarah: The capacity of the mind to constantly create and bump up against the ripples of its reactions. The reactions of the senses that perceive and react and create limitations, become fixated on something, resistant to something else. All of that has to stop and the mind has to become completely still, unattached, detached from everything in the outer world in order to begin to reflect the inner reality. 

Robert: I would think that what you’re saying is that one really has to be at a point of personal evolution to even be ready for the consciousness that can deal with meditation, which is interesting. Why is it important that we have an understanding of the seven rays? 

Sarah: I think self-understanding is important. The Delphic Oracle in ancient Greece said, “Man know thyself; then thou shalt know the Universe.” In self-understanding we come to understand all selves. You cannot undertake a path of self-awareness without running into yourself coming and going in all your fellow men. And the other factor about the seven rays that I’ve mentioned is that it helps us to perceive the divine, both within ourselves and within others. So often we look for only the faults, or the negativities, or the lower expressions of the personality in ourselves and others. This helps us to cultivate a sense of the divinity that dwells within every human being. 

Robert: And it’s well said that there’s divinity within every human being. Can you name some of the examples of the third ray? 

Dale: Well, that’s a tough one. It’s kind of speculative. 

Sarah: Oh, go ahead. 

Dale: I think I’ll take a stab at it. Say someone like Einstein because, as we said, the third ray person has wide views of all abstract questions and it’s the ray of the abstract mathematician. Certainly, that would characterize Einstein. He had this great capacity to grasp these wide, big ideas, and to bring it down, to reduce it, and synthesize it, into a great formula. 

Sarah: Like the theory of relativity. Another example would be the fellow at Princeton who apparently finally solved Fermat’s theorem; that mathematical question that goes back hundreds of years that nobody could solve. He finally worked his way through it. 

Dale: And then the great philosophers in the past—those we see during the Age of Enlightenment in France. Those would all be examples of the third ray line, I think. 

Sarah: “I think, therefore I am,” was the conclusion Descartes reached. That’s a perfect example of the third ray; I think, therefore I am. 

Dale: And we can think of a lot of other examples. 

Sarah: I have another one on a lower level. I think the game of chess is a good example of the third ray, don’t you? For all the strategy, you have to plan ahead, look ahead, foresee possible consequences, see the whole picture, see what your opponent might do. 

Dale: And then adapting. Adaptation is one of the abilities of the third ray; we have to remember that. So I think that includes a lot of people who have the ability to adapt to new ideas and bring them into modern life. 

Robert: Well, I hope everyone’s enjoyed the show on the third ray and want to explore it further by reading the Alice Bailey books about it. 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. 

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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