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THE SUCCEEDING TWO INITIATIONS

After the second initiation the teaching shifts up a plane.
The initiate learns to control his mental vehicle; he develops the capacity to manipulate thought matter, and learns the laws of creative thought building. He functions freely on the four lower sub-planes of the mental plane, and before the third initiation  he must,-consciously or unconsciously,-be complete master of the four lower sub-planes in the three planes of the three worlds.His knowledge of the microcosom becomes profound, and he has mastered theoretically and practically, in the great, the laws of his own nature, hence his ability experimentally to be the master of the four lower sub-planes is not yet complete, and here is one of the explanations as to the failures and mistakes of initiates .

The mastery of matter in the three higher sub planes is not yet perfect; these yet remain to be dominated.
At the third initiation, termed sometimes the Transfiguration, the entire personality is flooded with light from above. It is only after this inititation that the Monad is definetly guiding the Ego, pouring His Divine life ever more into the prepared and cleansed channel, just as in the third, or Moon Chain, the Ego individualised the personality through direct contact, a method different to the individualisation as shown in this fourth chain. The law of correspondences, if applied here, might prove very revealing , and might demonstrate an interesting analogy between the methods of individualising in the various chain, and the expansions of consciousness that occur at the different initiations.

Again, a vision is accorded of what lies ahead; the initiate is in a position at all times to recognise the other members of the Great White Lodge, and his psychic faculties are stimulated by the vivification of the head centres. It is not necessary nor advisable to develop the synthetic faculties, or clairaudience and clairvoyance, until after this initiation. The aim of all development is the awakening of the spiritual intuition; when this has been done, when the physical body is pure, the astral stable and steady, and the mental body controlled, then the initiate can safely wield and wisely use the psychic faculties, but he is able now to create and vivify thoughtforms that are clear and well-defined, pulsating with the spirit of service and not controlled by the lower mind or desire.                                                                              

These thoughtforms will not be (as is the case with those created by the mass of men) disjointed, unconnected, and uncorrelated, but will attain a fair measure of synthesis. Hard and ceaseless must the work be before this can be done, but when the desire nature has been stabilised and purified, then the control of the mind-body comes more easily. Hence the pathe of the devotee is easier in some ways than that of the intellectual man, for he has learnt the measures of purified desire, and progresses by the requisite stages. The personality has now reached a point where its vibrations are of a very high order, the matter in all three bodies relatively pure, and its apprehension of the work to be done in the microcosm, and the share to be taken in the work of the macrocosm is very advanced. It is apparent, therefore, why it is only at the third initiation that the great Hierophant , the Lord of the World, Himself officiates.
It is the first at which He contacts the initiate. Earlier it would not be possible. For the first two initiations the Heirophant is the Christ, the  World -Teacher , the first born among many bretheren, one of the earliest of our humanity to take initiation.

Browning brings out this thought most beautifully in the words found in his ppoem "Saul":-
.....................It shall be A face like my face that receives thee; A Man like to me, Thou shalt love and be loved by, forever; A Hand like this hand, shall throw open the gates of new life to thee! See the Christ stand!
But when the initiate has made still further progress, and has taken two initiations, a change comes. The Lord of the World, the Ancient of Days, the ineffable Ruler Himself administers the third initiation. Why has this become possible?  Because now the fully consecrated physical body can safely bear the vibrations of the two other bodies when they return to its shelter from the presence of the KING;

When purified and controlled they stand and for the first time consciously vibrate to the Ray of the Monad, then with prepared bodies can the ability to see and hear on all the planes be granted and achieved, and the faculty of reading and comprehending the records be safely employed, for with fuller knowledge comes added power. The heart is now sufficiently pure and loving, and the intellect sufficiently stable to stand the strain of knowing. Before the fourth initiation can be taken, the work of training is intensified, and the hastening and accumulation of knowledge has to be unbelievably rapid. The initiate has frequent access to the library of occult books, and after this initiation  he can contact not only the Master with Whom he is linked and with Whom he has worked consciously for a long time, but he can contact and assist  (in measure) the Chohans, the Bodhisattiva, and the Manu.

He has also to grasp the laws of the three lower planes intellectually, and likewise wield them for the aiding of the scheme of evolution. He studies the cosmic plans and has to master the charts; he becomes versed in occult technicalities and develops fourth dimensional vision, if he has not already done so. He learns to direct the activitiesof the building devas, and at the same time, he works continually at the development of his spiritual nature. He begins rapidly to co-ordinate the buddhic  vehicle, and in its co-ordination he develops the power of synthesis, at first in small measure, and gradually in fuller detail.

By the time the fourth initiation is taken the initiate has mastered perfectly the fifth sub-plane , and is therefore adept,- to use technical phrase, - on the five lower subplanes, of the physical, astral, and mental planes, and is well on the way to master the sixth. His Buddhic vehicle can function on the lower sub-planes of the buddhic plane. The life of a man who takes the fourth initiation, or the Crucifixion, is usually one of great sacrifice and suffering. It is the life of the man who makes the Great Renunciation, and even exoterically it is seen to be strenuous, hard, and painful. He has laid all, even his perfected personality, upon the altar of sacrifice, and stands bereft of all. All is renounced, friends, money, reputation, character, standing in the world, family, and even life itself.

Reference: Initiation Human and Solar- Alice A Bailey.