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John, the last book of the canonical Bible, has been a mystery since it first appeared.

Initiation (Theosophy) - Wikipedia

No other part of the Bible has caused more controversy. Traditional interpretations of the book fall into one of three categories: the major prophecies that are supposed to have been fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A. Lansdowne, a leading expert in the field of spiritual initiation. In the Introduction to this rich and complex interpretation, he writes, "According to its own verses, the Revelation is concerned with the present time, which is whatever time we happen to be reading it, and contains information that we can apply immediately to become blessed.

This is not a book about "end times" or Armageddon and when it might come. This is a book written entirely in symbols, concealing a path for early Christians, and for the contemporary reader. Moreover, while the Revelation appears in the great lineage of Judeo-Christian tradition, Lansdowne shows that its instruction can be appreciated and applied to seekers from any tradition.

The personality has four aspects: The mental body or mind gives the power of discrimination; the emotional body gives the capacity to sense, desire, aspire, and attract; the vital or etheric body gives the power to act and be energetic; and the dense physical body, which is controlled by the three preceding aspects, enables activity to take place in the physical world.

The soul has three primary aspects: will or purpose, inclusive love, and wisdom. The informing, indwelling soul seeks to impress, impel, and motivate the personality.

The personality and the soul are in turn animated and impelled by the spirit , which is the energy of life itself. The spiritual path is divided into several distinct segments, corresponding to the various initiations, and each segment has a definite curriculum. The word aspirant connotes someone on the path of probation, which extends from the beginning of the spiritual path to the first initiation. The main lesson of each aspirant is learning to express the love aspect of the soul through outer behavior.

A disciple is someone on the path of discipleship, which extends from the first to the third initiations. The main lesson of each disciple is learning to express the various aspects of the soul through the mental, emotional, and etheric bodies, resulting in what is called the soul-infused personality.

An initiate refers to someone on the path of initiation, which extends from the third to still higher initiations. The main lesson of each initiate is learning to integrate the soul-infused personality with the spirit. The path of probation is divided into two distinct stages, called Little Chelaship and Chela in the Light. Chela is a Sanskrit word meaning spiritual servant or disciple. During the first stage, or Little Chelaship, aspirants seek out and are instructed by various teachers in the physical world. During the second stage, or Chela in the Light, they slowly learn to be guided by the light of their own souls, which explains that particular name.

Character building is defined as the effort to express the soul attitude, soul awareness, and soul consciousness, through the medium of the personality, in the physical world. In this chapter, the first seven of Bailey's rules for initiation are interpreted as describing a sevenfold process of character building for the path of probation. Rules One through Three give instruction for the first stage of that path, Little Chelaship; and rules Four through Seven give instruction for the second stage, Chela in the Light. Bailey scattered a mass of information about initiation through all of her books, written over many years.

In her final book, she stated that this information needs to be collated and brought together as a basis for instructing individuals in training for initiation. The purpose of the present book is to interpret her rules for initiation by collating and bringing together her many scattered fragments. Although based on Bailey's own material, these interpretations are solely the responsibility of the present writer and may not be what was originally intended. Thus, the reader must carefully judge the accuracy of the interpretations that follow.

Let the disciple search within the heart's deep cave. If there the fire burns bright, warming his brother yet heating not himself, the hour has come for making application to stand before the door. Before interpreting this rule, it is necessary to review some additional concepts. According to theosophy, the solar system is divided into seven force fields, called planes. Only three planes are discussed in this book: the physical; the emotional, or astral; and the mental.

Each of these planes is further divided into seven subplanes. In the case of the physical plane, the names of the seven subplanes are first ether, second ether, third ether, fourth ether, gaseous, liquid, and solid. The three lowest physical subplanes — gaseous, liquid, and solid — compose the dense world of matter and are perceptible with the five physical senses. The four highest physical subplanes represent the etheric region.

Although imperceptible with normal faculties, these four ethers are considered part of the physical realm. Corresponding to the division of the physical plane into dense and etheric portions, a person's physical body also has two portions. The dense physical body is composed of solids, liquids, and gases, including such parts as the bones, blood system, nervous system, brain, and endocrine glands. The etheric body , sometimes called the vital body, is composed of the four ethers. Although of a tenuous nature, the etheric body is the framework or foundation underlying every part of the dense physical body, and it vitalizes or energizes the dense physical cells.

The word chakra means "wheel" in Sanskrit; it refers to a subtle wheel of energy, or force center, in the etheric body.

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Traditional yoga philosophy recognizes the existence of seven major etheric chakras. For each of these chakras, Table 1 lists the English name, traditional Sanskrit name, approximate location, and associated endocrine gland. The rest of this book refers to the chakras by their English names. The first rule describes the beginning of the path of probation as well as the overall objective for that path.

In this rule, the symbols have the following interpretations: "The heart's deep cave" refers to the heart chakra; "fire burns bright," to compassion, which is the quality associated with the heart chakra; "brother," to another human being; "making application," to practicing self-discipline and purification; and "door," to the first initiation.

Each phrase of this rule is interpreted separately. The first phrase is "let the disciple search within the heart's deep cave. Because of this alignment, they also have gained the potential of sensing feelings of oneness with others, such as sympathy and compassion. These feelings are sensed within the heart chakra and represent the love aspect of the soul.

Since awareness of these feelings leads to inner conflict, people initially wish to suppress or ignore them.


Although such suppression does bring temporary relief to the personality, it also arrests and delays the work of the soul. The meaning of the first phrase of the first rule is that people should not try to suppress or ignore their feelings of oneness with others. When they consciously acknowledge the presence of these feelings, they begin the initial stage of the spiritual path known as Little Chelaship. The second phrase is "if there the fire burns bright, warming his brother yet heating not himself.

The 7 Spiritual Initiations.

Because the sensed cleavage produces psychological problems — discomfort, frustration, and nervous distress — aspirants are brought to a point of inner crisis. When facing this crisis, it would be helpful if they accepted the following premises: First, their psychological difficulties are not unique and are faced by everyone who passes on to the spiritual path. Second, these difficulties indicate progress and opportunity, rather than disaster and failure.

Rules for Spiritual Initiation

And third, the power to produce the needed integration, ending the sensed cleavage, lies within themselves. The third phrase is "the hour has come for making application to stand before the door. Their objective is to express inclusive love through their outer behavior, enabling their psychological distress to be resolved through integration rather than suppression.