The Seven Rays – part 5

The name of the ray is Harmony through Conflict, not harmony and conflict, but the harmony that comes through conflict, rightly handled, through the handling of stress and strain.So, all of the tensions and difficulties of modern-day life that condition us human beings are leading to something spiritually productive. 

Robert: Welcome to Inner Sight.  We’re doing the seven rays—part five today. We’ve been speaking about the various unseen forces that affect our personality, who we are, our self definition, and we’re finding out that there are so many aspects of the universe that do have an effect on our being, our own personal reality. When we speak about the rays, we’re speaking about energies and various frequencies that affect us. We’re going to move forward today and discuss ray four. Today’s opening thought is once again from Alice Bailey. Alice Bailey is the founder of the Lucis Trust organization, and she’s written twenty-four volumes of books, and all of the dialogue that emanates from this show is based on at least one or sometimes more than one of the volumes of literature written by 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 go into today’s show on ray four, what I’d like to do is have Sarah and Dale recap what’s gone on before. Would you please do that for us. 

Sarah: Well, we’ve talked about the seven rays as seven qualities of the Godhead or divinity, and I think that’s the most essential point to keep in mind, that these are expressions of divinity. There’s the first Ray of Power, the second Ray of Love-Wisdom, the third Ray of Active Intelligence. The fourth Ray of Harmony through Conflict, the fifth Ray of Science and Knowledge, the sixth Ray of Idealism and Devotion, and the seventh Ray of Order, Ritual and Organization. Last week we talked about the Ray of Active Intelligence, the third ray, and how that endows the quality of being able to work with ideas, with the mind, creating and sharpening the intellect of the human being so that the mind can work with ideas, develop them, manifest them, in living, practical works on Earth. This is the gift of the third ray. One aspect that I thought perhaps we should stress more is a statement from the books of Alice Bailey that says the third ray holds the key to evolution. I was musing over this, why the Ray of Active Intelligence would hold the key to evolution, and it occurred to me that there’s a statement in the beginning of the Bible book of Genesis, that man shall have dominion over all the earth. I wonder if the key to evolution doesn’t lie in man’s ability to use the mind to create the necessary forms and institutions that God intends to manifest on Earth. Man is after all, literally, “one who thinks.” The Sanskrit origin of man is “thinking entity” or “one who thinks,” so perhaps the use of the mind fulfills God’s plan on Earth, with the cooperation and the willingness of humanity. 

Dale: Yes, and another aspect of that active intelligence is also adaptability. That’s also part of the third ray and we talked about that a little bit last time. The ability to adapt, to take an idea and adapt it to the immediate needs of humanity, this is an aspect of the mind or an ability of the mind. We’re constantly adapting, if you think about it; new ideas are coming out all the time, new inventions, new ways to think, new ways to conduct our lives. So, it’s a very useful ray energy, or quality, that divinity provides for the human being—this ability to adapt. 

Sarah: That reminds me of that statement, I think it was Cardinal Newman who said, “to be human is to change and to be perfect is to have changed often.” That’s adaptability. 

Robert: So, this show is about the fourth Ray of Harmony through Conflict. Alice Bailey made a comment that really enlightens us about the qualities of the fourth ray. She says that “The fourth ray teaches the art of living in order to produce a synthesis of beauty. There is no beauty without unity and symmetry.” What do you think Alice Bailey meant by this statement? 

Sarah: Well, it’s a common misconception among those who study the seven rays that the fourth Ray of Harmony through Conflict is the ray of the artist, and it’s not. An artist is found on any of the rays, but the fourth ray is concerned with beauty in a more spiritual sense. I think this statement from Alice Bailey touches on that. She says, “There is no beauty without unity and symmetry.” Now someone who went to art school might argue about that, but we’re not talking just about visual art, but about the spiritual beauty that comes through perfect balance, equilibrium, perfect symmetry through a kind of completeness of, or an equilibrizing of, forces and energies that leads to beauty. That to me is suggested in this statement. The fourth ray is the ray of one who searches and seeks after beauty. 

Dale: Yes, it says the fourth ray teaches the art of living in order to produce this beauty, and I think that’s something that we really haven’t come to grips with yet— the art of living— which suggests to me that there is a lot more to come in regard to how we understand this thing called “art.” It’s much more than simply beautiful art objects, or a beautiful home full of art objects. It really goes beyond the form nature to the very essence of what’s within the form. It’s a matter of the beauty which comes from within and the art of living has more to do with the radiating of love through human relationships. I think that in the future this will be the form of artistic expression, where we will see it more and more through the way we conduct our lives and the way we live our lives. It will be something very artistic, of beauty. 

Sarah: You can see the spiritual progression from the third Ray of Active Creative Intelligence to the fourth Ray of Harmony through Conflict in this use of the mind, the active intelligence to live creatively and to live in such a way that your life becomes itself a thing of beauty. Maybe we can think of some people we’ve known, old people who might have passed on whose lives, when we think of them as a sum total, were an expression of beauty. I think we can all probably identify one or two people like that. Their essence that lingers after them has a quality of beauty about it, and we’re not talking about physical beauty or about any particular outstanding achievement. It’s more like an aroma, and I think that’s what you are suggesting. 

Dale: Yes, an aroma is probably a good word for it. It’s the inner radiance that comes through. We see it in flowers; for example, the inner radiance of a rose in the essence of the perfume, the aroma that is given off by the flower. I think it’s very suggestive of that fourth ray beauty. 

Sarah: That reminds me that it’s said in the writings of Alice Bailey that the fourth ray is associated with magnetism. Isn’t scent in flowers a kind of magnetic factor because it attracts bees that carry out the pollination process? Magnetism is very much an expression of the fourth ray. 

Dale: Also colour. The beautiful colour that is so evident in nature is also a very fourth ray quality. 

Sarah: So, when we take this idea of creative living, we can imagine that our lives, our essential being probably expresses itself as a particular colour and as a particular sound or note. It might be a discordant note, it might be a murky colour, or it might be something of beauty, but we strive as souls toward the expression of beauty. And it comes through harmony, as you said, through right relationship between ourselves and the world around us. 

Robert: What I’m concluding based on what you and Dale are saying is that we approach our lives as an object of beauty, almost like a medium that we’re going to mold and create; a life that is one that expresses beauty. Would that be correct? 

Sarah: Yes. If we can, we have the option, the opportunity to live like that or we can just put one foot in front of the other and follow our inclinations and our desires as they lead us down the evolutionary path. 

Robert: Well, that would be more haphazard. Why is the fourth ray such a powerful influence on humanity, and does it affect other kingdoms or lives as well? Let’s take one question at a time. Why is the fourth ray such a powerful influence on humanity? 

Sarah: Well, it has to do with conflict and humanity has a great familiarity with conflict. I don’t know whether Dale would think of this, but it occurred to me that there’s something in Hinduism called the three gunas which describes three qualities of matter, of the material: rajas (activity), tamas (inertia), and sattva (rhythm or harmony). Most of us as human beings are stuck somewhere between the polarity of activity and inertia, not only in the way we handle our physical life, but in the way we think, in the way we feel, our emotional life. On all levels, there is a tension that we are constantly adjusting between activity and inertia usually overdoing it in one direction or the other. The struggle to find the perfect equilibrium, the perfect tension between these opposing forces eventually results in harmony. And that to me really sums up the essence of what it means to be a human being. 

Dale: Yes, the fourth Ray of Harmony through Conflict in beauty and art is strongly influenced in humanity because that is one of the duties, one of the objectives, one of the destinies of the human kingdom to achieve a certain state of dynamic tension between these two gunas that Sarah mentioned, activity and inertia. We also have a responsibility to other kingdoms and nature too, and that’s very important to bear in mind. We’re not just here for ourselves. We have to act as a bridging kingdom between the lower kingdoms of the animal, the vegetable, and the mineral, on the one hand, and the higher kingdoms of the spiritual realm on the other. Humanity acts as a bridge between the two and that is very closely related to this fourth Ray of Harmony through Conflict. 

Sarah: But we shouldn’t give our listeners the impression that this ray or any of the rays affects only humanity. These rays govern all levels of life on our planet. And in fact, the vegetable kingdom is said to be strongly conditioned by the fourth ray. You might think, how could the vegetable kingdom—grasses, trees, plants, flowers—know anything about harmony through conflict? But I had the experience once of having a little flower garden and I decided to plant some cosmos, which are a deep, brilliant, vivid pink and white, and some nasturtiums which are a brilliant orange or brick red, and sometimes yellow. Then, after I had planted them and they started coming up, I realized to my horror that I wasn’t going to be able to make bouquets out of these two different kinds of flowers, and I felt so stupid. I had planted colours that would obviously clash, vivid pink and orange. Well, then the plants blossomed, and in fact they made absolutely glorious bouquets! And it was such a lesson to me of how in nature, in the natural world, harmony is produced among energies, or colours, or vibratory rates—whatever you want to call it—that we would think would conflict, and that if we tried to produce them with man-made paints, would probably clash. I know some people like to wear pink and orange and this is a free country, but I don’t think they can pull it off. But in the natural world, no problem, nature can bring together brilliant orange and pink and its glorious. That’s an example of harmony through conflict. There’s a perfect blending and merging of different rates. 

Robert: Okay. What I’m concluding too is that part of the fourth ray then is a profound respect for the dignity of all life forms and all manifestation of divinity. Is that also true? 

Dale: Yes, that would be true. 

Robert: We’ve talked about how the fourth ray influences a human being. Does it have a more universal effect too? 

Sarah: Yes, in fact it’s said in the books of Alice Bailey that it mainly has an impact on humanity in a general sense, more than on an individual. It is said to give the capacity to harmonize new ideas with the old so that there won’t be any gap or break in the transition, and I find that idea very meaningful for today’s times when we’re clearly moving out of an old age and an old century into a new age, a new century. Certainly, with the recent events of September 11th, I think universally throughout the world, people have a sense that there’s a break with the past and that life is being transformed and that the future is in many ways very much unknown. But the fourth ray gives the capacity to harmonize the new ideas with the old, and that means that we must learn to preserve the very best of the past as we move into whatever the future age holds for us. Interestingly, Alice Bailey said that a group of fourth ray servers, meaning people who were strongly conditioned by the fourth ray, were active in founding the United Nations and that gives you a sense of the preservation of not only of values and of achievements of the past, but of many different cultures, even as they seek to work as a universal or global institution. There’s that bridging and preserving that is an endowment of the fourth ray. 

Dale: Yes, and we wouldn’t want to go on without mentioning, too, that the fourth ray does manifest itself through individuals in very dramatic ways sometimes. And I’m thinking in particular in regard to the artist or the musician. It’s said in the Bailey writings that the fourth ray is a ray of colour, of the artist, one who loves colour, and you’ll find great amounts of brilliant colours in artistic expression for somebody on the fourth ray. For a musician or a composer, it is said that their compositions would be full of melody and great melodic lines, and I’m thinking of people like Puccini and Verdi perhaps. These great composers wrote such beautiful, beautiful music and the melodic line is so very strong in their writing and that’s typically, I think, a fourth ray expression. So, the fourth ray does manifest quite strongly often through individuals like that. 

Sarah: We’ve talked about how the rays are set to govern nations on both the soul and the personality level, and interestingly, Italy is a country whose personality is said to be ruled by the fourth Ray of Harmony through Conflict. You see that sense of beauty manifested not only through the music you just mentioned, but through many aspects of Italian creativity. 

Dale: Right, through paintings, through artworks of all kinds, sculpture, and through architecture. 

Sarah: India is another country that is said to be governed by the fourth ray on the personality level, and people who have visited India often remark on the brilliant, beautiful colours of Indian life. On the level of the soul, we’re told that Germany, Austria and Brazil are governed by the fourth ray, and you certainly have a sense of the soul aspect of harmony through conflict in German culture. Schiller and Schubert, Brahms, Beethoven, Bach, are the best expression of beauty in German culture. That country as well as Austria and Brazil are governed by the fourth ray on the level of the soul, which suggests that it conditions their destiny, the point towards which those societies are heading. 

Dale: Yes, that’s very true. You mentioned Beethoven, and of course the Ode to Joy and the Ninth Symphony, that’s a beautiful expression of that fourth ray energy coming through, I think. 

Robert: Spirituality and spiritual development is a major theme that runs through the Alice Bailey literature. How does the fourth ray foster spiritual development? 

Sarah: There are a number of thoughts that come to mind. It’s said that for someone who is strongly conditioned by the fourth ray, the spiritual path is best trodden or pursued through self-control, so that one gains control over all the different aspects of one’s nature. Again, coming back to that idea of activity and inertia and needing to be balanced in a perfect rhythm or harmony on the mental, emotional and physical levels. There’s also probably, for the fourth ray spiritual seeker, the need to come to terms with conflict in a way that’s creative and productive. Maybe some time we should devote a whole program to the discussion of conflict because I think we’re so intent on avoiding it and escaping it, and yet spiritually it’s a very productive, creative state of being when handled properly. People might find it interesting to realize that conflict is often a sign of movement, of evolution, of creative growth. 

Dale: Yes, we tend to shrink back from conflict and to avoid it. But if we can see our way through, then often coming out on the other side, we’ve gained a tremendous amount of development, of spiritual insight, and that is perhaps the value of this fourth ray energy. We are given this quality of energy for a very specific purpose and we just have to learn to use conflict in a very creative way and not be defeated by it. 

Sarah: Yes, the name of the ray is Harmony through Conflict, not harmony and conflict, but the harmony that comes through conflict, rightly handled, through the handling of stress and strain. So, all of the tensions and difficulties of modern-day life that condition us human beings are leading to something spiritually productive. 

Dale: And something of great beauty will eventuate from all of this conflict that the world is experiencing right now. I’m pretty sure of that because that’s the way these forces and energies work. 

Robert: Well, that’s all for now. You’ve been listening to Inner Sight, and 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 with 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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